Sunday, September 20, 2009

Goals for the week of September 20th - 27th

SMART goals are powerful for a variety of reasons. For me, they really work because they help me clarify what, when, and how I'll accomplish a goal. This week, I'm focusing (as usual) on getting in 3 liters of water daily; maintaining my exercise routine; and busting stress before I eat. So, here are my goals for the week:

1) Drink 3 liters of water daily. Write it in my planner so if I forget, I can squeeze it in before bedtime!

2) Plan out exercise for the week. Take 15 minutes every morning to plan ahead for the day and the week.

3) Type up the controlled breathing techniques for my planner. Teach the family how to do three different techniques. Use the three techniques, three times each, before every meal.

4) Pay closer attention to my appetite, and be sure to eat only when hungry and stop when just satisfied.

There -- my weight mangement goals for the week!

What are *your* goals for the week? If you want a little extra accountability, post your goals here! We'll be rooting for you -- and checking back to see how it goes :).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Enjoy the Journey!

I often encourage people to reward themselves with something tangible when they reach a particular weight management goal. Interestingly, many people are surprised by the idea. "What?!" they say incredulously. "Reward myself for doing something I should already being doing? Are you crazy?"

I'm reasonably normal, but irrespective of my sanity, I'm on to something here. Consider this: The tasks you undertake to lose weight are things you'll have to do for a lifetime, right? So, hopefully, your goal is to get to the point where things you're not doing -- quite often because you don't care so much for them -- become habitual. You've got a pretty significant hurdle to overcome, right?

So how about rewarding yourself for your little accomplishments? Wouldn't it be a lot easier to follow through on a tough goal if you were looking forward to going out shoe shopping, hitting the golf course, or getting a massage as a treat for your hard work? Wouldn't it be encouraging to start out your day getting dressed in the new tie, earrings, or gorgeous little ring you bought yourself last week as a reward for meeting a goal? You bet it would!

I suspect that what holds people back from the idea of a tangible reward for progress is the idea that they've been bad, and they deserve to suffer for gaining weight. Pish. Here's what I've observed:

  • Many people gain weight because they're using food as a tool to manage their feelings. They're just doing the best they can with the skills they have.

  • Others have fallen prey to society's diet mentality. Their lifestyle habits and metabolisms are suffering as a result.

  • There are plenty of perimenopausal women who truly don't appreciate what their bodies are going through, and they don't know how to cope with those changes.

  • Baby boomers are going through changes related to aging, and don't know what to do differently.

I could go on, but you get the idea: Most of the people with whom I work need information or skills. I don't believe a lack of information or skills makes you bad, wrong, or wicked. And if you're here, reading this, I'm willing to bet you want more information and skills. That makes you the opposite of bad, wrong, and wicked, doesn't it?

What do you think of the idea of a small, but meaningful, tangible reward, so you enjoy the process of weight loss? How big of a hurdle is it for you to appreciate your accomplishments that lead up to your ultimate weight management goals? And, most importantly, how will you reward yourself -- today, tomorrow, next week, at the end of the month -- for what you're doing?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Woman on Page 194

Okay, so I'm still talking about the woman on page 194, but I can't help it. What, you haven't heard about her? There's an article in the September 2009 issue of Glamour featuring a so-called plus-sized model:

(Walter Chin for Glamour (left); September 2009 issue of Glamour)

At first glance, this article made me feel hopeful. Isn't it great that, at last, we see a woman with a cute little belly roll, real thighs, and maybe even a stretch mark or two enshrined on the glossy pages of Glamour?

But then I couldn't help but think...maybe this article is discouraging. This woman is considered a plus-size model? She looks healthy and happy to me!

Maybe it's time for us to shift our focus from the woman on page 194 -- and not just because I've finally blogged about her. Maybe a better question all along has been: Should we be calling women with a BMI well below normal "models"?

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boston Cream Pie Update

My birthday came and went, and I'm happy to say my version of Boston Cream Pie turned out terrific! If you're craving a slice, or if you've never tried it and you're wondering what all my fuss is about,'s your chance. If you don't mind using convenience products, you can whip one up in the same amount of time you'd need to make any other box mix-canned frosting cake.

Easy Boston Cream Pie Cake


3/4 cup egg substitute (or amount provided on cake mix)

1 (18.25-ounce) yellow cake mix, any brand

1 1/3 cup water (or amount provided on cake mix)

1/3 cup oil (or amount provided on cake mix)


Preheat oven per cake mix directions. Prepare 2-8" or 9" round cake pans per cake mix directions. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, use a mixer to beat egg substitute until stiff peaks form:

Slowly add cake mix and gently fold in, so you don't deflate the eggs (the mixture will be thick). Then add the water and oil, and continue mixing until it's just mixed (the mixture will have lumps). Pour into prepared pans. (I deliberately make one a little thinner than the other, but you can make them even if you prefer.) Bake and cool according to cake mix directions.

While the cake is baking, prepare the filling and glaze:

Easy Boston Cream Pie Filling


1 (3.9-ounce) package vanilla pudding mix

1 1/2 cups 2% (or lower-fat) milk


Combine pudding mix and milk in medium bowl with a whisk for 2 minutes. Refrigerate until needed.

Easy Boston Cream Pie Chocolate Glaze


1 (3.9-ounce) package chocolate pudding mix

1 1/2 cups 2% (or lower-fat) milk

1/2 cup chocolate syrup


Combine pudding mix and milk in medium bowl with a whisk for 1 minute. Add chocolate syrup and whisk for 1 additional minute. Refrigerate until needed.

When the cake is cooled, remove from the pan. If one cake is thicker, use it for the bottom of the cake. Put it on a large plate or cake platter. Gently stir the Filling just enough to ensure the consistency is even. Spoon it on to the center of the cake and spread it to about 1/2" away from the edge. Gently place the other cake on top. Stir the Glaze well, spoon it on to the center of the cake, and spread it to the edges of the cake. You can either use all the glaze, and let it drizzle artistically down the sides, or use it like frosting and "frost" the sides with it, as I did.

Work gently but quickly, and as soon as you're done, refrigerate it. It's best to let it refrigerate for at least 2 hours, so the filling can congeal nicely. When you're ready to serve, cut it gently so it maintains its shape, and keep it cold so the filling and glaze don't get too soft. Enjoy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Be Consistent!, Part I

It's Monday, the fateful day many people choose to start dieting, exercising, drinking more water, getting more sleep, seeing the doctor, or making some other change to support weight management. If today's the big day for you, I'd like to offer you a thought to ponder:

Successful, long-term weight management is not about perfection. It's about consistency. Weight management isn't about starving yourself, exercising every single day, or doing anything else perfectly. It's about staying on track most of the time...and getting yourself back on track when you get distracted.

No, really. I'm not kidding. Consistency is all about making better choices -- not perfect choices. And here's the best part. You can do that. You can make a better choice right now. Why wait?