Returning to Weight Watchers — Now — Just Watch Me Roar!


Dearest Readers:IMG_0620_edited.JPG

After almost six weeks of missing my regular Weight Watchers meetings, I returned yesterday. As most of you might know, I’ve been sick. Very sick and weak. Normally, I do not have spells of asthma related illnesses during the summer; however, this summer, my husband had, and I quote the doctor’s diagnosis, ‘a bit of pneumonia.’ I cared for him, washing my hands daily for what seemed like a thousand times. I told him to cover his mouth when coughing or sneezing. I did not wish to get his germs. At times, my husband appears to become a child again. I call him a ‘two-year-old’ and when he is sick, he definitely is like a child. Heck, I would not even give him a morning and evening kiss! After he got well, I awoke with a sore throat. The next morning, I awoke with major congestion in my chest and when I coughed, my chest burned inside. I phoned my doctor, seeing him that afternoon.

After chest x-rays, I was diagnosed with bronchial asthma. Great. And so, I was sick for six weeks!

My doctor prescribed a Z-pack and a steroid. Not prednisone, but another steroid. I’ve forgotten the name of it, but I do know it started with the letter “D.” Steroids do strange things to me, especially regarding my cognitive abilities. I took the meds, hoping within five days I would feel better. I did not. The doctor’s office followed up to see how I was doing. When they heard my voice, they decided to get another prescription for me. With the first steroid, I did not have any side effects. Certainly wish I could say the same about the refill of that steroid.

On the third week of my illness, I weighed, losing three pounds. I was ecstatic! When I am sick, I lose my appetite. After starting the additional steroid (same steroid, just a refill of it) I noticed I was hungry — ALL THE TIME! I would eat my breakfast of yogurt with fruit, or oatmeal with fruit, and I was still hungry. I made a sandwich. Still hungry! No doubt I appeared to be a bottomless pit where food was concerned.

I phoned my husband at work, asking him to bring home potato chips and ice cream. I want Ice Cream, I said. Ice cream. Ice cream — I-SCREAM for ice cream. I had no idea why I wanted ice cream and chips. I certainly wasn’t pregnant!

My cravings for food continued. It seemed no matter what I ate — I wanted to continue to eat. And eat…and EAT!

Craving something crunchy, I opened the pantry. All we had in the pantry was a box of Ritz Crackers. I opened them — eating way too many. The serving size on the package said five crackers. Trust me, I ate more than five.

At Weight Watchers we learn to look at the serving size, along with the ingredients. Big deal. I don’t care what the serving size says. I’m hungry!

Since I was so weak and ill, I decided not to track my foods on Weight Watchers. Monday of this week, I took the final steroid. I was feeling better, but had no idea why I was eating like an elephant, or so it seemed. I got on the scales. Gaining seven pounds, I burst into tears.

What is wrong with me? I’m doing Weight Watchers. I’m sick and I don’t understand why I am craving foods I no longer eat. I’m not eating fruit every day, nor am I eating vegetables. My daily intake of food is Boars Head London Broil, Boars Head turkey, and potato chips. No fruit. No vegetable, and of course – ice cream. Did I mention peanut butter??  Just why am I doing this. Why am I sabotaging my weight loss? If I keep eating like this, I will gain all of my weight back. I made a promise to myself. A promise to NEVER gain it back and I haven’t, until now.

I looked at the empty prescription bottle. I rushed to my computer to look up ‘side effects of oral steroids.’ Among the side effects were:

blurred vision

increased appetite

A variety of side effects were listed, but those two I definitely experienced, especially the increased appetite.

Maybe I should stop beating myself up. Maybe this time, the cravings and eating are truly not my fault. EXCEPT – I am the one opening my mouth and eating these foods. Just maybe the steroid is telling my brain I need food. How I wish this would end. Why can’t I be strong enough to fight this battle?

Sitting at my desk, reading more about this steroid teaches me I have to be strong and I must stop eating the ice cream. Potato chips. (After I started Weight Watchers, I grew to hate the taste of potato chips.) Not this week.

On Tuesday of this week, I decided it was time for me to be accountable and responsible. I grabbed my cell phone and went to the Weight Watchers E-tools site. I tracked my intake. Probably the first time in maybe three to six weeks. Sabotage. SABOTAGE. Today is the day I STOP SABOTAGING MYSELF! I’m not an elephant, or a whale. It’s time to stop this insanity!

And so, yesterday, I walked into my Weight Watchers meeting, ready to admit to myself and my friends at Weight Watchers that I’ve gained weight while sick. Yes, I’m disappointed. I really thought I was stronger than that. How could I allow a drug to influence me? Just how?

Approaching the area where we have our ‘confidential weigh-ins’ I spoke softly to the receptionist. “I’ve missed six weeks due to illness. I do not want to weigh in today. I’ve been on steroids.” 

Lots of members of Weight Watchers are under the impression they MUST weigh in every week. A few years ago, Weight Watchers gave us a ‘No Weigh In’ card. I’ve used mine a few times, but I knew deep inside my heart if I weighed in, seeing about a five-pound-gain, I would be so depressed, I wasn’t certain I could fight, or find strength, or return.

During the meeting, I shared a challenge I experienced just last week. The cravings. Non-stop eating. My illness. How devastated I was when I discovered no matter what I tried, I could not stop stuffing my mouth. Since joining Weight Watchers, I’ve been extremely proud of how strong I’ve been while eating. I no longer eat until I’m full. I stop when I am satisfied, with exception of this illness and those d— steroids!

I actually look in a full-length mirror after dressing now. There is NO WAY I am allowing steroids to dictate my eating habits. No more cravings. No more stuffing my mouth with foods I actually do not like to eat!

This morning, I told myself today is a new day. I must be strong. I must not weaken. If I have a craving, undoubtedly caused due to those steroids still in my system, I will eat fruit, or I will find something else to do! I will lose the three pounds I gained (according to my scales at home), and I pray I will lose them before next weeks weigh-in.

This I do for me. This too shall pass, after all, it’s when things seem worse, you mustn’t quit!

I’ve found my anchor. WEIGHT WATCHERS!!! Now, just watch me roar!

Weight Watchers… Building A Bridge To A New Adventure


Dearest Readers:

Today, I will share a bit of my experience and dedication to Weight Watchers. I joined Weight Watchers in March, 2011. On the day I joined, I was mortified. Afraid. Horrified I would see someone I knew and they would share with the world that “Barbie was in Weight Watchers today…”

I’m certain some of you have acquaintances who love to spread gossip…the wicked and ugly truths some women love to share! Years ago, I referred to these ‘acquaintances’ as friends…I do not anymore! Friends do not spread ugly gossip. Friends accept you for who you are. True friends embrace you with love and acceptance, even when you are down.  I’ve known and lost a few ‘friends’ since in all total honesty — they were only acquaintances. They pretended to be your friend to your face, but turn your back and you almost feel the back-stabbing and the poisonous words they spat, and so — I keep my distance!

At my first meeting at Weight Watchers, I did not know anyone. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was apprehensive about the ‘confidential weigh-ins’ too. Approaching the desk, I did not see any curtains, or a doctor’s scale. You know the type. The weight measurements slide across until balanced, and the person who balanced the scale always leaves it to the latest weight. Everyone can see the weight of the person who weighed previously, and I cringe whenever I get on them. My newest experience with Weight Watchers was a scale sitting on the floor. I was certain others could stretch their snoopy eyes over to see how much a person weighed. That didn’t happen. The scale does not show anything, with exception of the person (a receptionist or leader) standing at the desk. Only she knows what the weight of each individual is, and they do not share the number to anyone! Believe me, the confidential weigh-in does exist!

Maybe this might work this time, I thought to myself as I approached the scales. Just maybe this time I will succeed.

I imagine you are thinking — what? Does she really think Weight Watchers works?

My reply to all of you reading this is a simple, “Yes! Weight Watchers, because it works!”

I recognize it has taken me five years to lose 35 pounds. And, in the past year, I have bounced back and forth, just like a yo-yo. Undoubtedly, 2016 has been one of the most stressful years of my life. In February, we had the roof to our home completely replaced. After that accomplishment, we searched for over two months to hire a general contractor to do the inside repairs on ceilings, walls and other areas due to the torrential rains we had in October 2015. On May 28, 2016, the repairs were completed. My husband had reverse shoulder replacement surgery on May 31. His recovery was a whirlwind of ups-and-downs. The summer of 2016 was so stressful, I found myself slipping away from Weight Watchers and everything I loved. No walking. No exercising. No writing. No dancing…No music or singing…Nothing!

Since the summer, I’ve found myself giving in to weaknesses. After all, it didn’t matter IF I gained weight. I’m happy to report, I did not put those lost 35 pounds back on; however, I have not met goal. I don’t even have a clue what my goal should be!

Today, while sitting at my meeting, I glanced around the room. Like most Weight Watchers meetings during the holidays, we had only a small group, including a 93-year-old woman and two men. Every time I see this precious, sweet and beautiful 93-year-old woman I am inspired. Many people would say, ‘at her age, why should she be so worried at her weight?’ I say, I think she is an inspiration to all of us. Yes, she uses a walker and maybe her shoulders slump a bit, but she is still full of life. To her, her weight is important. Today, she was furious with herself. She was baking cookies with her son this week, and that is why she gained a pound. Sitting in front of me, I tapped her on the shoulders. “Just look at how blessed you are to be baking cookies with your son.”

I’m so envious. During the Christmas holidays I do not see my son, even though he lives less than 30 miles from me. How I would love the opportunity to make Christmas cookies with him again. I suppose a mother can dream.

Every year since joining Weight Watchers, I tell myself the new year will be my year. I will break this plateau and achieve goal. No, I haven’t achieved my goal yet. At least I haven’t gained the weight back!

Not only have I kept the weight off, I have gained in confidence and self-worth, much to the credit of two wonderful friends I’ve made, thanks to Weight Watchers. Since I am a writer, my life is a bit isolated. I find myself spending too much time keeping to myself. Last year, before the torrential rain storms, and the storms brewing inside my home, I kept to myself. I quit walking. Now that I think about it, I realize those walks I took with my friends energized me by encouraging me to continue. Feeling the fresh air on my face, walking the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, and enjoying the views, birds, flowers and freedom of walking, I found myself inspired. Refreshed. Now, I realize, I need to take a first step again to walk, to find that inspiration and motivation. Tomorrow morning, I plan to take that first step!

Today, at Weight Watchers, I gained. Big deal! I’ll get those two pounds off again. As for 2017, I will go on record to say, my journey and adventures with Weight Watchers will continue. I will walk. I will fill my body and my mind with new energy while telling myself:

THIS I DO FOR ME!

Although 2017 is only a few days and steps away, I will not fail. After all, You only fail in life when you stop believing…and trying…and moving.

I plan to continue my journeys, along with Weight Watchers! Tomorrow is a new day and I will embrace it!

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Top 10 Workout Songs for June 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Top 10 Workout Songs for June 2016

Fort Wayne, IN – June 1, 2016 – The summer possesses a strange magic that allows it to draw pop songs out of the woodwork—even from acts that aren’t necessarily pop acts. Even if the season itself isn’t pulling the strings, music lovers are definitely gravitating to big choruses from a variety of sources. In this playlist, we recap the best of those for working out in June.

Justin Timberlake’s new single—from the Trolls movie—is the single most popular song in the gym right now (and an early contender for song of the summer). Elsewhere on the conventional pop front, you’ll find a blast of sass from Meghan Trainor and a slow, but feisty number from Pink. Beyond the Top 40, there’s a comeback track from pop punk favorites Good Charlotte and an indelible melody from Swedish trio Peter, Bjorn & John. Taken as a whole, the list features an unreasonable number of memorable hooks. So, when you need an instant boost for your summer workout sessions, here are the month’s top tunes—according to the votes logged on workout music site Run Hundred.

Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop the Feeling – 113 BPM

Calvin Harris & Rihanna – This Is What You Came For – 124 BPM

Pink – Just Like Fire – 82 BPM

Meghan Trainor – Me Too – 124 BPM

Zayn – Like I Would – 113 BPM

Alan Walker – Faded – 90 BPM

Peter, Bjorn & John – What You Talking About – 127 BPM

Good Charlotte – 40 oz. Dream – 112 BPM

BRKLYN & Mariah McManus – Can’t Get Enough – 129 BPM

Nick Jonas & Tove Lo – Close (Dan E Radio Edit) – 125 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Contact:
Chris Lawhorn
Run Hundred
Email: mail@runhundred.com
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My Thoughts About The New Weight Watchers…


My thoughts regarding “Oprah” and the changes are simply this: Those of us who are overweight have had difficulty with belief in ourselves…We have the tendency to cater to ourselves via comfort foods, sweets…temptations…etc…when we should be caring about ourselves. Instead of negative thoughts and “I’m done with Weight Watchers” posts, what we should do is say this — “We are good…We are worthy…We are strong…and together…We Can Do This!” I have the tendency for depression, and when I am depressed, nothing will stop me from eating bad things. Thru Weight Watchers, I’ve seen changes — in myself…my faith…my belief…I am strong…I’ve made loyal friends with several members at our meetings. I am blessed! Maybe I am beautiful…Maybe I truly believe in ME — now! Thank you, Weight Watchers. I believe change is good. Without change, we cannot grow. If we do not grow, we do not find success, happiness and belief in ourselves. Just my two cents worth for today! BELIEVE!!!

I’ve been a member of Weight Watchers since 2011. Four years. During my four year journey, I’ve seen changes. I am one who believes in life we ALWAYS have changes. Weight Watchers has been around for 50 years now, through many changes – everyone of these changes is for the better! I’m one of the rare people who truly believe life is all about change. Without ‘change’ we cannot grow. If we do not grow, we are not successful. So, you ask — what is the BIG DEAL with the changes at Weight Watchers.

Honestly, I cannot answer those questions. My meeting is on Thursday of every week. It is my “Weight Watchers” day. I plan my schedules around this day. No doctor’s appointments…meetings, etc. on this date. After our meeting three of us go out to lunch – to do what most great friends do together — to talk…to get to know one another…to build friendships! To support!

At the moment, people who are members of Weight Watchers are FREAKING out! On social media sites, they are asking, “what are the changes?” And — “why are they changing things?”

I suppose they want someone to tell them ahead of time about the changes. News Flash – people — Weight Watchers, their leaders and those who work for Weight Watchers are FABULOUS about keeping secrets!

No, Weight Watchers is not a secret society. They are there to help us; nevertheless, there are many changes rolling out this week. ALL of these CHANGES are to build a better Weight Watchers for all of us to succeed. They DO want US TO SUCCEED! By now, you’ve probably heard millions of complaints about the new plan…”It isn’t working…I can’t log in…” And — “Why did they change something that isn’t broken?”

Correct me IF I’m mistaken, but Weight Watchers is interested in the self-worth of a person…not only is it a corporation established to help those who are struggling to lose weight…Weight Watchers is helping us to BELIEVE IN OURSELVES!

We’ve had discussions about Belief. Self Discovery…and How We Can Break the Plateaus. Activity…Mind Over Matter…How to Cope With The Holidays and Social Events…and so on. All of these weekly discussions are building us to truly find the person we want to be. None of this is related to Oprah Winfrey. These “changes” were in the works earlier this year, not when Oprah signed on.

Speaking only for myself, Weight Watchers has changed my life for the better. Yes, I am eating healthier. I am more active – able to walk the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge…able to dance and to sing. I have found a new and better person previously locked away, deep inside my soul. In March, 2011, Jennifer Hudson was the spokesperson. I was struggling to lose more weight, and I kept telling myself — “One day, I plan to walk that bridge.” For those of you who do not know, that bridge [Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge] opened in July 2005. Just WHEN would I walk it?

In 2011, my life changed for the better, and I feel confident that the New and Improved Weight Watchers 2016 will lead the way for me to embrace the change and get going with my weight loss. After all, I have goals (secret goals) I will not share – yet. Hopefully soon, I might share a few of those goals on my site.

Today, I will go on record to say – Hello, 2016 — it is ready, and it is time for me to move on with my writing and my story, “Chattahoochee Child,” and it is time for me to get moving more with Weight Watchers. Many members are throwing their hands in the air, as if to say — “I’m done.” The question they should answer is this — as a member of Weight Watchers — online, or a weekly member who attends meetings — are you really ready to give up on yourself? Think about it. Change is good. I embrace it!

 

 

 

“WEIGHT GAIN IS NOT A PERMANENT CONDITION!’


Dearest Readers:

Today is my day to face the music…stop beating myself up…and move on with life! Why? Simple. Today is my weigh-in day at Weight Watchers. Early this morning, I felt nervous. Embarrassed…All of those negative feelings we all feel whenever we gain weight.

I confess – I have used my ‘get out of jail free’ card several times lately at Weight Watchers. You know the card – if you are a member of Weight Watchers. The infamous “No Weigh In” card. Effective today, I am not using it; after all, it isn’t helping me.

Today, when I walked into the meeting, I dreaded facing the music. After the weigh-in, the wonderful receptionist who always shares encouragement with all of us said to me — It’s OK. “Weight gain is NOT a permanent condition.”

How true! She reminded me of the weight I have lost, along with all of the inches that appear to be falling off from my body and I smiled.

“You’re so right,” I smiled. “That’s a wonderful quote you’ve shared and I shall use it wisely, reminding me that my joining Weight Watchers was a lifetime, and lifestyle, change for me.

Last weekend I was bad. Very BAD! At a graduation, I reminded myself to eat wisely and carefully — and then — I committed the ultimate Weight Watchers sin. I ate cake. I could not resist it. I requested a large piece of cake. I ate every bite. Later, I went back for a second piece. I did not work out. I did not climb my friends upstairs stairs like I promised myself I would. I did not work out at all before going to bed. As I stated, I was bad.

On the way home, you guessed it — we stopped at fast food restaurants – and I was bad again. That night after arriving home, my husband and I went out for pizza. I ate every bite. I realized my life was spinning out of control. I watched an episode of “My 600 Pound Life,” http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/my-600-lb-life/ recognizing  I would never allow myself to become one of those reality show participants. At first, I wanted to write ‘reality show freaks’ – but I am trying to be positive here. I am trying to be happy and stop beating myself up.

Why Do We Beat Ourselves Up?

My actions got me thinking… If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know my life as a child was filled with unhappiness. When I graduated from high school, my parents were divorced – sitting as far away from each other as they possibly could. When my name was called – no one cheered. After the graduation ceremony, I came home with my diploma. My mother never said she was proud of me. There wasn’t a celebration. No cake. No gifts – with the exception of a few relatives who gave me graduation gifts. While watching the pride and love in my friend’s eyes when she spoke of her daughter at graduation and at the graduation party, my mind rushed back to my childhood and how different I wish it was.

So today is a wake-up call for me. A day for me to graduate from my childhood and to move forward with my life. Today is a new day. A great day to strive for happiness, instead of sadness. After all, negative thoughts only feed negativity. Positive thoughts teach us happiness, renewal, and motivation. Today is my day to move forward — to STOP beating myself up and to track all of my food intake – just like Weight Watchers teaches us.

And now, I must take that first step to have a good day. Thank you, Weight Watchers. Today is a new day. “Weight gain is NOT a permanent condition!”

 

 

My Weight Watchers Saga…


Dearest Readers:

I’m back! Have you missed me? Frankly, I think I’ve missed myself. Allow me to explain. Three weeks ago, I awoke on my Weight Watchers weigh-in day with a bit of a stomach bug. I stayed home. Jumping on my scales, it appeared that I was gaining — again!

RATS! I screamed, choosing to return to bed to sleep off the stomach bug. Sleeping is something I embraced since I have a rather serious case of insomnia. Last week, I promised to return to Weight Watchers for the dreaded weigh-in; however, my body decided I needed to stay home. I awoke early Wednesday of that week with a dreadful migraine headache. For those of you who do not recall, I have suffered from migraines since nine-years-old. I was hit by a car as a child. All I recall about that incident was feeling a gush of wind escaping my body as I hit the hood of the car. Reportedly, I bounced around like a dog, flying through the air, landing 60 feet across the highway of a “Dead Men’s Curve” landing on the sidewalk. Don’t ask me…I wasn’t there! When I did awaken, I looked into the beautiful blue eyes of a medical technician. In those years, we didn’t have EMS, or EMT’s, only ambulances. I remember attempting to turn my head, noticing a crowd of people overlooking me. I struggled to move – but I couldn’t. I saw my parents. I do remember saying, “I can’t move,” and the medical technician with the gorgeous blue eyes picking me up. My response was, “Mommy, he’s cute!”

Yes, at nine-years-old, I was checking out the guys. Silly me. I remained in the hospital for two or three days. The doctors said I had a brain concussion and needed to take it easy for a while. I do remember touching the crown of my head, feeling it squashing like a sponge as I pushed it. The pain it created was almost unbearable! No playing. No bicycle riding…skating…dancing…Nothing! The driver of the car that hit me was only 17-years-old and drunk! I do not know his name, nor do I know what happened to him; nevertheless, I do hope he learned a valuable lesson that afternoon about drinking and driving. The only thing I do remember about this accident were the severe headaches where my head throbbed, feeling as if someone was beating my skull with a hammer. I could not stand bright lights (still have trouble with them and probably will for the rest of my life.) I could not tolerate loud noises, and when I did get a headache, I was sick to my stomach. Friends have told me they can tell when I have a headache simply by my voice. Apparently, my voice is raspier than normally. I do know that when I have one of these headaches, it is difficult for me to focus, comprehend and make simple sentences. Yes, a writer who cannot communicate due to a headache. Duh! Fortunately, those severe migraines have ceased. Rarely do I get one, but when I do — it is truly a headache from Hell! Last Wednesday, my headache remained all day and all night long, leaving me to be not too nice to everyone around, including my four-legged friends.

It appears I am rambling a bit, doesn’t it? Today, I returned to Weight Watchers after a three-week absence. Much to my surprise, when I slipped on to the scales, I maintained my weight. No loss…No Gain! I was stunned and so proud!

Next month will be four years since I joined Weight Watchers. “And you’re still going,” my friends say. “Yes…still going…and still maintaining…” BUT — not reaching my goal yet. I confess, I have not discussed my goal weight with my leader, but I will say — for me — I have a goal in mind and that goal is only about 35 pounds away.

Meanwhile, I still exercise weekly. My NordicTrack treadmill is blessed with my presence at least four days weekly. When I started on the treadmill two years ago, I used one that was purchased in 1998 for my husband. After his zipper was placed in his chest — The infamous Zipper Club — he bought a new treadmill to use – to keep active. To be honest, the only activity he gets is a remote control, to exercise his thumb so he can watch TV and the golf he plays. So, two years ago, I decided the treadmill needed to be used for something besides a place to hang clothes to air dry. In mid 2014, that treadmill said enough, when the belt decided to split. Attempting to be conservative with our funds, I bought a roll of duct tape, to repair the belt. Guess what…It didn’t work! The belt continued to split!

Fortunately, I have a generous husband. He bought me a new treadmill. “One of my choosing,” he said. I chose the NordicTrack. Now, I have it inclined at seven degrees, walking at a speed of 3.2, for 50 minutes at least four times weekly. My right leg is fighting me now, wanting me to quit, but I ignore it and move! Not so bad for someone with asthma!

Today, when I returned to Weight Watchers, I was ecstatic that I did not gain. I really expected to see a two or three-pound gain. I think I’ll take a “maintained” as opposed to a gain, shooting to lose maybe one or two pounds next week. Meanwhile, the inches are melting away and I am proud of who I see now in the mirror.

The question I have for myself is — “Will this be the year that I achieve goal and lifetime at Weight Watchers?”

I certainly plan to. Stay tuned!

Friday Reflections…Finding My Strength To Be The Best I Can Be…


Dearest Readers:

Yes, today is Friday. A day to reflect and appreciate life. A day to give thanks and be thankful for another great week of life.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will recall I am on a Weight Watchers journey. Thursday is my weigh-in day, so reluctantly, yesterday, I went to the meeting, anticipating a weight gain of three or four pounds. Why? You might say? Well, although I hate to admit it, I binged. Until Tuesday, I found myself going to the pantry to eat — of all things — peanut butter. I still do not understand what was going on with me, and why I was craving and eating that stupid jar of peanut butter. I do confess to the habit of checking my weight daily, and I work out at least five days weekly; nevertheless, I craved that peanut butter like someone who would never eat peanut butter again.

When I arrived at Weight Watchers and weighed, I read my weigh in card, realizing I had only gained one pound. Rejoice! After all, it’s the little things in life that mean so much to us, especially someone on a Weight Watchers journey.

I looked at my leader, sharing with her my week. Much to my surprise, she did not ridicule me or shame me. That is what is so great with attending the meetings at Weight Watchers. Never do we get shamed or ridiculed. We receive encouragement, even when we
“fall off the wagon,” just like I did this week. I did share with Kathy, my leader, that on Tuesday, after having a serious discussion with myself, I tossed the peanut butter jar into the trash. Thank goodness!

If you are considering a Weight Loss program, I would like to encourage you to join Weight Watchers. I joined in March 2011. For me, it has been a slow journey, but I have stuck with it, even when I miss a meeting, I force myself to continue this journey, especially this week.

What makes Weight Watchers work? For me, I believe it is the meetings…the encouragement and support we receive, even when we have a bad week. During those bad weeks, many people simply give up and quit, only to return to a meeting and rejoin months later…after gaining weight. I embrace all of the members who return and I am happy that they chose to come back. I have made a commitment to myself to continue this journey, even IF it takes me the remainder of my life to reach my goal. Never have I discussed my ‘goal weight’ — but — I do have a goal weight in my mind, and I will reach it. Meanwhile, I continue the journey. Walk on the treadmill, and on the bridge, and I work out. Sometimes, I glance at myself in the mirror and stare for a moment…Remembering WHO I was before losing 35 pounds…and WHO I am now. My “arms are smaller, along with my legs. My hips have “shrunk,” according to my husband, and my face doesn’t have the fullness it had before.

Never shall I forget the first day I walked into the Weight Watchers meeting. Never did I establish eye contact with anyone. I was too ashamed of who I saw in that mirror. Now, when I walk in I am greeted — just like others, and I embrace the new me.

My Friday Reflections for today could easily be a whipping session for myself…beating myself up…like I have previously. Today is a new day…a new beginning…a new step…a new journey…a new life…and so I embrace it while being so thankful that Weight Watchers has changed my life. I am more confident and proud of who I am becoming, as I step out into this journey called life.

For me, Weight Watchers is a bridge of strength and pride while I take the baby steps to grow into the woman I’ve always desired. A woman full of pride and strength, just like the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge in Charleston.

What about you? Do you have Friday reflections to share? I’d love to read them!

Friday Reflections…


Dearest Readers:

I’ve been just a bit quiet for a while, especially with stories about my Weight Watchers journey. Why? Simple…I’m still on the journey…managing to yo-yo back and forth with the same one to two pounds. I feel as if I am rewinding, but I’m not giving up! My body is getting smaller, firmer and I am excited at that discovery. At times I will glance into the full-length mirror I purchased last year — just to see — who is that person in that mirror? “Rejoice, silly woman…it is ME!”

Today is Friday – a Friday reflection if we must. Yesterday was my weigh-in day but I awoke (actually never slept) with another headache, so I chose to bury my head in the pillows and attempt something extremely difficult for me — the blessed sleep. I suppose my body never goes into the REM sleep mode since I find myself tossing and turning in bed. And — IF I do sleep — I have dreams — sometimes nightmares. I awaken either hearing my voice speaking in such a soft and slow mode I listen to see who is speaking – only to realize it is my sleep voice…a raspy, extremely soft and slow voice. Wish I could record it, but it does sound a bit seductive!

Today is Friday…a beautiful, sunshiny day in Charleston. I walk outside, just to smell the scents of Autumn and I must say, it is refreshing to finally feel the warmth of sunshine on me after one of the wettest September’s I remember! Today I start a new column in this blog — appropriately titled “Friday Reflections.” This column will be a reflection of my Weight Watchers journey. Enjoy!

Friday reflection — Like many of you deciding to lose weight and share what you have learned or experienced on this journey, I would like to share a bit about my childhood and the eating habits I learned while growing up.

As a child, I was lucky IF we ate healthy meals. My family consisted of four girls and two extremely strict parents. We were taught we must eat “everything on our plate.” Vegetables normally came out of a can. We grew up in the projects or in mill villages, so fresh vegetables were too expensive. If we ate anything fresh, it came from the farmers market, or the garden. When we had dinners at my maternal grandmother’s home, we tasted fresh vegetables, Southern fried chicken and homemade biscuits. I loved my grandmother’s homemade biscuits. They were soft, as light and fluffy as a cloud, especially with a pat of butter and jelly and I could not resist. As a young girl, I grew to be the biggest girl in my family, and my youngest sisters teased me until I would crawl into the closet and cry. I am pleased to say, they are much larger than me now…at least they were the last time I saw them — many years ago. I suppose revenge is so sweet. The table has turned in my favor, and I am happy about that. Yes, I could be cruel and repeat to them what they sang to me, but I do not like to ‘get even’ with them. I simply smile while knowing I am the best I can be!

After marriage, I chose to cook foods a different way — fresh from scratch. Nevertheless, I still fried foods until my husband had heart surgery in 1998. At that time, I bounced from the cardiac wing of Roper Hospital to the South wing at Roper Hospital. My dad was battling esophageal cancer at that time. Food preparation was the least of my concerns as I watched my husband slowly come back to life and my father fading away. While my husband recovered, I chose to cook healthier meals. I lost weight for a while, then my body adjusted and the weight loss refused to drop. In 1999, I lost my father. Words cannot describe how much I miss him!

Oops…continuing my journey — On March 3, 2011, sitting at my computer while listening to the Today Show, Jennifer Hudson was on TV promoting Weight Watchers. She had lost over 80 pounds and looked amazing. I Googled the Weight Watchers website, deciding for only one moment to join online. A little voice inside my head said, “No… go to the meeting.” At 9:30, I walked into the meeting, wishing I had a paper grocery bag to place over my head. Three years, and 35 pounds down later, I am still a member at Weight Watchers, still plugging along wishing and hoping to reach goal. Weight Watchers is my life now. When friends ask, “Are you STILL doing Weight Watchers,” I smile…take a deep breath and say, “Yes…I will NEVER give up my Weight Watchers journey, and I WILL make goal!” Daily I work out. Sometimes on the treadmill. Other times, taking a brisk walk and I do aerobics. For me, Weight Watchers motivates me. I’ve made “lifetime friends” at my meeting, and now I wear clothes in a small size. I’ve NEVER worn small in anything previously. Just the other day my husband said to me while glancing at me, “You are getting really small now!” He’s never said that before! Yes, my journey continues…and I am proud of myself on this beautiful morning filled with sunshine on my Friday reflection! Thank you, Weight Watchers for this amazing journey!

Stay tuned, readers. There will come a day that I share — Barbie made lifetime! Oooooohhhhh! I cannot wait until that day! And now, it is time to hop on the treadmill, to do my workout! Until next Friday…!

To Dream — One Must Sleep — Something I Battle Nightly


Dearest Readers:

Have you missed me? I’ve certainly missed the opportunity to sit down at my desk, glue my butt to the chair and write. I’ve had so many unexpected interruptions and demands I’ve actually wished to run away from myself. Life demands is what I call them.

The City of Charleston, SC has had an amazing amount of rain falling last week, and this week appears to be a repeat. I’m sick of it. I am such a light sleeper that when the roaring, thunderous storms scream with life, I cannot sleep. On one occasion, late at midnight, I awoke to my precious Prince Midnight Shadow crying and moaning from the storm. He is a solid black, beautiful giant schnauzer, a rescue we adopted about 14 months ago. He hates storms! Absolutely detests them and doesn’t want to go outside when he hears them. He will moan and cry until I touch him and rub his fur, and then he moans, moving closer to hug me. He is such a silly guy. Today is no exception! Hearing the storms, he rushes to be by my side. We bought him a thunder shirt, but it doesn’t work with him. Tightly embraced inside the thunder shirt, his body still trembles and he moans, so the only way to hush him is to move closer to him and rub his ears, or stroke his back. It’s no wonder I am so exhausted. I have insomnia and I’m a light sleeper, so when the thunder roars, I toss and turn in bed, wishing to sleep. On the night of the threatening, torrential storm at midnight, lightning crashed, taking out a transformer nearby. Our power was out for over five hours, so no sleep for me. How nice it would be just to close my eyes, listen to my breathing, inhaling…exhaling…drifting to sleep. I envy people who sleep like babies. Those days are gone for this chick!

I haven’t written anything in a few weeks, and I have posted a bit too much on Facebook, so starting tomorrow, I am checking out of Facebook for a bit and write. I do believe I have joined the addictive club of Facebook and I have promised myself that I will break that addiction! If I can learn to control food choices, I can certainly teach myself good habits and start writing again while exiting from such non-interesting social medias such as Facebook.

If only my brain will allow the words to flow again. Wouldn’t that be nice!

This epistle is simply a free writing sample, just to convince myself that I CAN WRITE again! If you read my posts on a regular basis, you will know I am a member of Weight Watchers, losing weight ever so slowly. I have a new NordicTrack treadmill that seems to be helping with the weight loss and every week, I attend the meetings for my weigh-ins. I will be so happy when I reach my ‘unpublished’ goal, and I am not sharing that – with anyone! Let’s just say, I am still taking the journey and when I do reach my goal, you, my readers, will be the first on my blog to read all about it. Yes, I will do a happy dance, and I have warned all of my friends at Weight Watchers that I will SCREAM to the moon and back with delight, so if you should hear a loud scream later this year, you might be able to say, “That must be Barbie, reaching goal!”

This free writing is really getting on my nerves today. Perhaps it is because of all of the late night storms; the rolling, monstrous roar of thunder, and the threatening, horrifying flashing of strobe lightning igniting the late night skies. Each time I see the lightning, I jump – almost out of my skin. I still remember the words from my mother’s lips when I was a child. When we had storms, my mother would say, “You better be a good girl or God will strike you dead from lightning.” Believe me; I worked hard to always be a good girl. I did not want lightning to kill me.

Once I told a friend about my mother’s words and she stopped, glanced back at me saying “Your mother really painted some strong, cruel pictures for you. That is sad.”

I brushed the comments off, thinking that is what a mother does. It is her duty to say such things. Fortunately, after I woke up, recognizing my mother really had a colorful, cruel way to describe life, I decided to step out of those shoes and make my life different. Never has it been easy, but when I became a mother, never did I say such cruelties to my child.

Glancing outside as I sit glued to my chair, I see the clouds are still gray and thick. Just when will these thick clouds leave and allow the sun to shine again? That is almost a $64,000 question now. At least our city is a bit more comfortable now…only 78 degrees at the moment. Isn’t that nice?!?

Suppose I will close for now and stop this free writing exercise, especially since it really isn’t going anywhere. Please stay tuned readers. I will strive to take five minutes to write in my blog a bit more and I do apologize for being a bit reclusive. I did not mean to be so quiet, but with life, there are demands and I’ve had many unexpected demands lately. Hopefully soon things will change, especially since I’ve decided to take a break from Facebook. It is too addictive. There are many people who post way too many personal items there…like – I’m at the store now – shopping, or I’m out with friends at XYZ Bar having drinks…or…I’m on vacation now. I ask you, do these people even consider that we, the social media, never know who is reading our posts. At times I am amazed at the ‘too much information’ posted. I still prefer my privacy.

For now, I think I will close and make the attempt to make a bit of dinner. I have a taste for crab legs…and yes, they are Weight Watcher friendly! Thank you for asking.

The weather report is not calling for storms tonight. Yes, rain is forecast, but no storms…of course, you must realize, the weather forecaster is the only profession where the forecaster can be incorrect and still keep his or her job. Let us hope tonight I will sleep. Wouldn’t that be grand!

Sweet dreams…of course to dream – one must sleep!

No One to Blame But Me — At Weight Watchers


Dearest Readers:

I confess, today is my weigh in day at Weight Watchers, only I am not going today. I’ve decided it is in my best interest to remain at home today — moping…groaning…arguing with myself…I’m certain you get the picture, especially IF you are working hard to lose weight. This week hasn’t been a user-friendly week for me, and I’ve managed to eat foods I shouldn’t have, along with birthday cake. Yes, I know, I have no one to blame but myself! I am the one who lifted the fork into my mouth and ate those foods, and I am truly (almost physically except it hurts to do this) beating my head against a brick wall for being such a weakling! According to my scales, I’ve gained four pounds this week — since Tuesday of this week.

Allow me to explain…This week, combined with the latter part of last week, have been the weeks from Hell for me. Too much stress…too many disappointments… If you recall from my postings in June and earlier this month, I posted the details of the lack of appropriate customer service from the scheduling department of Sears. The week of June 26 was an extremely demanding and busy week for me and when I finally found the time to do laundry, I loaded the colored clothing, placed the detergents and fabric softeners in the appropriate slots, only to discover my front loading Kenmore washer would not power up. I checked the fuse box, other areas that I knew to check, and phoned Sears. To make a long, pressurized story short, the earliest they could get a technician out was July 8. I was furious! I was told, and I quote, “we are overbooked due to the holidays.” Duh???!!!??? Did I HEAR the voice correctly? I ask you, just WHO plans for the scheduling of a repair due to the holidays? The first party I spoke with had one of those accents from India, or somewhere similar. Seems she offered to ‘walk me through some diagnostic testing?”

Are you not listening, India? The washer will not power up. I do have common sense and my common sense tells me that IF the machine is not powering up, a diagnostic test cannot be completed! Do I need an engineering degree just to operate a Kenmore front loading washer? ‘I don’t think so!’

Sears must think I’m stupid! I’m not. Julia Sugarbaker reborn? Perhaps!

After the incident with Sears I went online, finding the Blue Team at Sears where I could send an e-mail. Ha. Ha! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

Yes, I sent an e-mail. I am not certain of the contents, but let us just say, my Julia Sugarbaker style kicked in — BIG TIME. A customer service rep from Sears phoned me, assuring me that when an earlier opening arrived, a service technician would phone me, and he did. I think he came to the house on July 1. I recognized him since he was the technician that repaired this same washer a few years back. Apparently the problem is the computer panel. As you all must know — EVERYTHING is computerized now so what once was a simple repair job is now a complete rehaul of the repair. A new computer panel was ordered. It arrived this Monday, July 7. The technician is scheduled to repair the washer tomorrow, July 11. It has been three weeks since I’ve been blessed to do laundry at home. I’m getting into the groove of going to the laundromat now. Fortunately, the laundromats in my neighborhood have been upgraded, so the characters I saw the last time I had the joy of visiting a laundromat no longer exist. Thank you, God!

Last week simply wasn’t my week. After Weight Watchers, I had lunch with friends and decided to complete birthday shopping for my husband. We were having storms and one thing retail outlets can count on is when it is raining like it does in Charleston, SC, people LOVE TO SHOP! Customers were coming out of the woodwork! After leaving Towne Centre, I started home, noticing a car so close behind me I could not see the headlights of the vehicle. Of course you can imagine what happened. When I stopped, so did she — right into my bumper. Fortunately, it was a minor fender bender; however, my bumper has a few deep scratches, so we called the police. I reported the accident to the insurance company and now I await their phone calls. I suppose I could continue listing the events of this week too, but it isn’t necessary. Just know, I need a break, and so today, after fighting with myself and shedding a tear or two, I decided to miss my meeting.

I forgot to mention yesterday. I went to a friend’s house to rehearse our songs for our show this weekend. After our fun rehearsal, we went to the pool and swam and soaked up a few rays. I was wearing my Fitbit One. It isn’t waterproof! I slipped (by accident) into the pool and ruined my Fitbit One. I have it drying out in a bowl of rice, but so far — nothing. Dead. What a week!

Repeatedly I have reminded myself that no one placed the food in my mouth. No one force fed me at all. My husband wanted to have his birthday dinner at P. F. Chang’s — one of my favorite places to dine. After looking up their entrees on Weight Watchers etools, I realized I should not eat one bite, but I did. Add to that, the birthday cake, and I recognize I am headed for self-destruction.

Nevertheless, today is a new day. Yes, the scale tipped upward of four pounds, but my new treadmill (Nordic Track) is laughing at me as I write this, so I must gather my thoughts to close this, turn on “Designing Women” and get moving!

I am so hopeful next week will be the beginning of a new and better, happier, less stressful week. And now, I am hopping on Nordy! Have a great week!