Significant Milestone = Time for Reflection

Though not exactly a resolution, on January 1, 2015, I set a goal.  It was somewhat far fetched, and would require equal parts persistence, sacrifice, grit and luck.  As I reached this goal on Saturday, with about three weeks to spare, it sent me into a state of reflection.

The goal that I achieved is running 1,000 miles.  Even though I ran every step, it’s difficult to wrap my mind around that distance.  That’s like running from Wisconsin to Florida, from Georgia to Rhode Island, or Southern California to Oregon.

Getting there didn’t happen quickly or easily.  And it’s actually quite similar to the broader journey to health and weight loss.  It was accomplished through many small steps adding up to one larger journey.  Each small step taken alone seems rather insignificant, but when chained together, produces something meaningful.

As coincidence would have it, the seeds that grew into the beginning of those small steps were planted four years ago Saturday.  That was the day that my “before” picture was taken, as we headed out to a Christmas party.

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Before (Dec. 2011)  – During (2012) – Now (Dec. 2015)

As we got ready for that same Christmas party this year, I couldn’t help but think of the changes that I occurred in my life and my family’s life over the past four years.  The external changes, while obviously easy to see, only show a small portion of the story.  The internal and interpersonal changes, however, are much more meaningful.

As noted by a physician after losing weight, my health benchmarks have all improved.  Additionally, I’m now able to enjoy activities with family and friends in ways that I previously wouldn’t have been nearly as quick to embrace.  As a family, we enjoy skiing, swimming, running, playing tennis (and much more!) with friends and extended family.  And thus these relationships have also benefited.

At the end of the day, strong relationships are what make a healthy and active lifestyle truly sweet.  A most sincere thank you my friends and family who have stood by my side and helped me to achieve this 2015 goal.  xoxo

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A Tiny Tin

I have a friend who makes a dangerously delicious Christmas treat.  Its addictive qualities those of Doritos or Oreos.  Last year, she was kind enough to bring my family a large tin.  (I’m pretty sure I ate more than my fair share.)

The topic of her signature treat came up in conversation a few weeks back and I jokingly asked her to keep it far, far away from me this year.  Taking to heart my blog title, she brought me “just a dot, not a lot.”  What a thoughtful friend!

In the end, it was the perfect amount.  Not too much, not too little and most importantly no deprivation.  Hats off to moderation!

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A little *is* a lot!

Recently, I’ve heard several people putting themselves ever-so-slightly down.  Comments like, “I’ve been good all summer and I’ve only lost 7 pounds.”  The comments have come in various forms, but the gist is the same: whatever weight they’ve lost isn’t enough or isn’t fast enough.

So why the picture of popcorn kernels?  Simple.  That bag of bulk kernels is heavy.  Like, really heavy.  If I had to lug that around with me all the time, I would definitely feel encumbered and it would make me grouchy.  (Actually, I did carry that bag around with me this morning and it was a burden.)

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How much does that bag weigh, you ask?  Seven pounds.  Seven really heavy pounds.

I took that bag of popcorn with me to my Weight Watchers meeting this morning as a “show and tell.”  When a woman received accolades for passing the 15 pound lost mark, she lamented that it took her a year to do so.  That was the perfect timing to bring out the kernels.  When she held the bag and realized that she had lost more than TWO of them, hopefully she realized what an accomplishment that is!

As the bag was passed around, the comments were: wow, oh my!, that has to be more than 7 pounds… and so on.  Nope!  It’s “only” 7 pounds.  And 7 pounds clearly a significant amount of weight on your body.

Remember that this is a journey and there’s no hurry to make it to the destination.  Whether it be 7 pounds, 5 pounds, 3 pounds or even one single pound.  That is a lot!  And just as importantly, it’s movement in the right direction.  Instead of being down about how little it is or how long it’s taking you, be proud that you’re making positive changes and moving forward!

Now please excuse me while I go sit down with the kids and a bowl of delicious stove-top-popped gourmet, white hulless popcorn to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  And if you’re curious, a 1/4 of kernels, popped in 1 tsp of coconut oil, makes a about 6 cups of popcorn.  Drizzle it with 1 tsp of melted butter and the whole treat is only 5P+!

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Willpower is Greater with Forethought

Oreos may as well be kryptonite.  I’m not sure what it is about them, but I can’t eat just one.  (Potato chips, no problem.  Oreos, problem.)  A long time ago, I decided that Oreos were a food that should never be in my house.  They’re really not that good.  They have no nutritional value.  They’re highly processed.  Loaded with calories and fat.  But even knowing all of that, I have little willpower against them.

THE PROBLEM: Our son requested a homemade mint ice cream birthday cake, layered with Mint Oreos.

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I’m happy to report that it took some willpower and forethought, but I took my own advice and had “just a dot, not a lot” of the leftover Oreos and lived to tell about it.  The birthday cake is assembled and it’s in the freezer firming up, in anticipation of the birthday celebration.  With forethought, I was able to defeat my kryptonite.

Here’s my strategy:

  1. Make a half-batch; enough for respectable servings, but not enough for leftovers for days
  2. After looking at the nutritional information for the Oreos, decide what a reasonable quantity is for now and commit to that
  3. Do not so-much-as sample a crumb until everything is assembled AND cleaned up
  4. Clean up the kitchen
  5. Divide the remainder of the leftover Oreos into containers for the boys’ lunchbox for tomorrow (once they’re earmarked, they no longer tempt me… thankfully)
  6. Sit down with my little girl and enjoy our predetermined quantity with her
  7. Ahhh…. breath a sigh of relief; I enjoyed my kryptonite and I won’t be kicking myself later

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For the record, there were 10 Mint Oreos remaining: 3 for me (6 PointsPlus), 3 for my daughter and 2 each for tomorrow’s lunch boxes.

I’m sitting here typing, not feeling deprived since I allowed myself to enjoy the treat, and I’m feeling empowered by moderation.  Just a dot, not a lot.

Mini-Cucumbers

A friend who works lunch duty at an elementary school recently asked me if I had seen mini-cucumbers in the produce section at the grocery.  She has been noticing them appear in kids’ lunch boxes.  Always up for trying something new, I added them to my shopping list.

They’re tiny, portable, cute, flavorful, crunchy and refreshing!  They range from the typical small-size gherkin up to restaurant-size pickles.

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I prefer mine quartered and lightly salted, though you could easily just chomp into them whole.  They taste like fresh cucumbers (obviously), but have the feeling of eating a pickle.

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The packaging varies.  Here are the bags from a couple of the varieties that I’ve purchased.  (One company is even non-GMO, which I opt for when available.)

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For Weight Watchers followers… good news!  Fresh cucumbers are 0P+.

Chicken Wrap: Lunch for 5P+

Previously, I’ve confessed my fondness for wraps.  They are quick, versatile and (with the type I buy) low in Points Plus.  I’ll throw almost anything into my wraps.

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Today, it was leftover chicken (3 ounces for 3P+) from the whole chicken I baked yesterday, along with some mixed greens, cherry tomatoes and spicy mustard (all 0P+).  With carrots, a mini-cucumber and a side of my favorite veggie dip (30g for 1P+), it was a satisfying lunch… high in protein, low in carbs and enough fruits and veggies to make me feel full.

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This lighter lunch left room later in the day for the obligatory post-Easter Peeps.  In case you’re wondering, 5 Peeps for 4P+….