Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chicken Fiesta Soup and the New Weight Watchers

I am no stranger to dieting. I've tried almost every weight management strategy known to man, with a few notable exceptions. I say "almost", because there are a few diet strategies I have steadfastly refused to try. Among those are the placement of bands in locations where bands do not naturally occur, the stapling of any portion of my body (including my ears), and the surgical bypassing of certain portions of my digestive tract that God felt were important enough that they should not be bypassed.

Pretty short list, huh? Well, now you get the picture. Like so many, I have struggled with my weight for most of my adult life. I've tried Atkins (in which I discovered I'm not really all that crazy about meat anyway), Sugar Busters (lasted about 2 hours), the Carbohydrate Addicts diet (yes, I'll willingly admit I'm a carb!), the hot dog and boiled egg diet (which came with it's own unique set of side effects), and the colon cleanse (trust me, you'd really rather I didn't blog about that one).

Twenty-five years ago, needing to drop about 25 lbs, I decided to go with a friend to a Weight Watchers meeting. The meetings were held in the fellowship hall of an Episcopal church, and were led by a sweet lady by the name of Mildred, who would begin each meeting by introducing herself and telling her story. Mildred had lost 125 lbs on Weight Watchers. Sometimes she would bring her "before" photos, and sometimes she would bring a pair of slacks that she wore pre-Weight Watchers. She could fit her entire post Weight-Watchers self in one leg of those slacks. Mildred was very inspirational. I never got tired of hearing her tell her story, and I also loved hearing her say, at every single meeting, that we could have a hamburger from Burger King and stay on plan.

It became my routine to go to my Weight Watchers meeting each Tuesday night (always wearing the same outfit, because I knew how much it weighed). After the meeting, I would drive through the Burger King on the way home and treat myself to a Whopper. Within about 4 months I had lost that 25 lbs, plus a few more, and had won the coveted Lifetime membership. With that membership came a gold "key to the future", and a little plastic card to carry in my wallet. I'll always remember that night, because I was so gratified by my accomplishment, but also for the little extra tidbit of info that Mildred provided in that meeting. As always, she encouraged the members to treat themselves to that Burger King burger, but, for the first time, she followed that comment with, "Not a Whopper, though....just a regular hamburger!" Really???? Oops. The very next month I discovered that I was expecting my first child, and with that news, I stopped going to my meetings. I did not, however, give up those Burger King Whoppers.

So.....twenty-five years later, and carrying almost double what I needed to lose the first time, I decided to take the plunge and give Weight Watchers another try. I'd lost my key to the future, but had managed to hang on to that plastic card, so I whipped that baby out and proudly showed it to the cute little girl who was handling registration. As it turned out, my little card created quite the stir. The Weight Watchers ladies had never seen a card like mine, and they were quite impressed that I had managed to keep up with it all these years. I briefly pondered the possibility of loaning it to the Smithsonian, but decided that I would rather use it to save myself the thirty dollar registration fee.

Like so many things, the 21st century Weight Watchers is new and improved. It revolves around a point system, which is really simple to follow, especially with a nifty little points calculator. The meetings are led by a cute, bubbly lady by the name of Kristi, who has lost 82 lbs and gone from a size 18 to a size 2. I haven't seen Kristi's pre-Weight Watchers slacks yet, but I have seen her "before" photos, which are very inspirational. I've been listening intently for some mention of Burger King, but so far have heard nothing. I'll tell you this, though. One of the first things out of Kristi's mouth at that first meeting was, "If you want a Krispy Kreme doughnut, have yourself a Krispy Kreme doughnut....5 points". Wonder if that's for a regular glazed doughnut, or an eclair? Oh yeah. I think I'm going to like it here.

I've been Weight Watching for 2 weeks now, and have lost 5.5 of the 43 lbs. I'm hoping to shed.

One of my family's new favorite foods is Weight Watcher's Chicken Fiesta Soup. I triple this recipe and freeze it. Indulge yourself!

Weight Watchers Chicken Fiesta Soup

1 can fat free low sodium chicken broth
1 10 oz. can chicken, or 5 chicken tenders, boiled and chopped
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
2 cans whole kernel corn
1/2 lb 2% Velveeta

Mix first 5 ingredients and heat until boiling. Reduce heat, and add cubed cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

1 cup = 1 point

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Have Great Friends...and They're Funny, Too!

Those of you who know me best know that I love to laugh, and thank goodness life presents plenty of opportunities for laughter! I'm not ashamed or embarrassed to laugh at myself, and it's a good thing, since I am a bit of a goofball. I also have some wonderful friends, online and off, who share my twisted sense of humor. Laughter among friends really is the best form of therapy, too, don't you think?

Have you ever heard that saying, "If you want to appear intelligent, you need to surround yourself with intelligent people"? Well, as luck would have it, my friends are funny, which comes in very handy in view of the fact that I create funny greeting cards. (Now, in saying that, I don't want you think my friends aren't intelligent, because they don't go telling them I said otherwise.)

Most of my buddies know I create snarkalicious greeting cards. They realize that I pretty much keep my nose to the ground, constantly sniffing around in my pursuit of wittily wicked inspiration, and they readily give me the green light to take their words and run with them. Here are just a couple of examples. This card came about about as a result of a life observation made by my friend, Pat.

This next card was created a while back, and came to me during a conversation with my friend, Bren. She was actually referring to a family pet in making this observation, but it occurred to me that this philosophy has some merit where human beings are concerned as well.

The last card was inspired by a conversation between myself and my friend, Stacey, about those awkward moments when we run into someone at a store, have a nice conversation which always ends with a "we need to get together and catch up", and parting ways all while completely clueless as to that individual's identity. Now if this has never happened to you, then you can just do us all a favor and keep that little tidbit of info to yourself....because I can guarantee you that it will happen, and when it does I'll be around to make a card about it.

Thanks Bren,Pat and Stacey! These cards will be making their maiden voyages to you!