Food and Weight: An Ongoing Journey

Archive for the ‘ActiveLink’ Category

It’s darned cold in the apartment today. It’s supposedly 41°F outside, but you couldn’t prove it by me. It’s raining and windy, and the weather report is predicting it will drop 2-4″ of snow later on. The Landlord gives heat in dribs and drabs, but even covered from chin to feet in heavy sweats and wool socks, it’s still cold in here.

The bad thing about is it I keep eating to try to get enough calories to get warm. When I get cold, I crave starchy foods and hot liquids — you know, the kinds of foods that stick to your ribs (and your hips if you aren’t careful).

The good news is that it’s only supposed to last another two days or so. The weekend (and into next week) is supposed to warm up, thank heavens.

In other “news,” I have been getting slightly better are meeting at least the base line of my ActiveLink, although I am still not earning Activity Points with any regularity. I shall continue working on this. I did change the position of the device from being hooked to my bra to being worn on a chain around my neck.

I’m trying to be kind to myself, but I’m really feeling impatient about getting my walking range back. I’m also trying to remember that a 60-year-old body just may not be as capable of bouncing back as fast as a 20-year-old body, and taking into account that I may need the cane for longer than I would like.

The good thing is that yesterday and today I have not needed to take a long nap in the middle of the day. I consider this major progress, since it means I might actually be able to meet my working deadlines.

All in all, things are nowhere near horrible, even though this weather-related eating may cause a small setback on my path. On the other hand, winter will not be here forever, so I can hopefully get back to doing some real walking soon.

I remain hopeful, at any rate…


I didn’t get to meeting today — which is not very accountable — but I’ve been in deadline hell.

I still have stuff to do, too.

However, I did exceed by goal on Active Link yesterday, by walking around Manhattan until my energy crashed out.  I need to do more walking. And, for the moment, I need to take my cane with me when I do, because the neuropathy acts up more the heavier I am.  Still, I can walk, which is something.

I’m still sleeping far more than usual, which I take to mean that I am not as fully recovered from the CHF as I’d like to be.

And the next three days have health appointments.  I have the dentist on Sunday, for a cleaning, and to discuss the root canal and the future gum work I need. Monday is the gastroenterologist, for a procedure to stop the blood vessel connected to the remaining hemorrhoid from feeding it, so it can – hopefully – wither and die. That will not only be a relief, but will go a long way to returning my elimination functions to something resembling normal, eliminating one major stumbling block to weight loss.

So, that’s where things stand at the moment. I’m in process of recovering my health, which is the most important thing.

Went to my first weigh-in since the hospital, and I’m happy I did.  I’m down 9.4 lbs, for a new weight of 231. That means I have less than 100 lbs to go to get to goal!  When I got home, I added another little black rubber bracelet to the collection on my right wrist. (I won’t add charm to my charm bracelet until I get to where I was before I backslid.)

I am munching on a fruit salad as I write, having shared a humongous omelet with the ex and the roomie earlier.

I aw my Primary Care Provider yesterday, and he is, overall, pleased with my progress. I am delighted with the Furosemide, which has eliminated the edema in my ankles.  The doctor says we have to monitor it for a while, to make sure it isn’t damaging my kidneys, but other than that, he has no problem with me staying on it for a while. (He knows how much I hate it when my ankles swell.)

I also reset my ActiveLink today.  I’m not sure why it was giving me so little response, so I decided to do a reassessment, and go from there. We shall see what happens.

Anyway, that’s about it for the moment.  I have a ton of work to do this weekend (which is good, if a bit terrifying), and I must get to it.

It was a good week, weightwise!  At meeting this morning, I weighed in at 239.4, for a weekly loss of 3.6 lbs., and a total loss this time around of 23 lbs. We were discussing looking objectively at our pasts  (with regard to weight loss), and reflecting on what worked for us and what didn’t work for us.  For me, what worked is:

  • Recommitting to becoming more flexatarian in my food choices
  • Tracking as religiously as possible
  • Getting out of my computer chair and moving every day

What didn’t work is:

  • Thinking I could do it without making permanent changes
  • Thinking I could do it without tracking
  • Thinking that because I had lost 80 lbs I could go back to eating the way I had in the past
  • Not making the changes in my routines and thinking that would support my progress and maintenance

This week, I have committed to move for at least 15 minutes each day.  Given that most of my time is spent sitting down, this is a big one for me.  In the Spring, Summer, and Autumn, it’s pretty easy to go walking (now that I can walk again), but in the winter — even when the ground is not covered in slush or frozen — it’s harder to get motivated to go outside, especially if I don’t have a destination in mind. So, I think that the first thing I will need to do is to create a bunch of destinations that I can have, that won’t force me to spend a lot of money.

I don’t have pedometer figure this week.  Sadly I forgot to switch the pedometer to my sweats pocket, and I wore them most of the week (when I bothered to dress at all), because I was cleaning.  I did wear my ActiveLink, and I seem to be getting closer to achieving my daily goals, but I’ve  only actually made it past by enough to earn an activity point once.  I still have hopes of reaching the goal for my 12-week challenge, though, especially if I get off my but the way I am committing to doing.

So, as 2012 draws to a close, What are your goals for 2013?  What strategies will you use to get there?  What worked for you in 2012?  What didn’t?  Can you look at the past year objectively (which means without attaching a judgement about yourself to it)?  Further, having looked at it objectively, can you come up with routines and strategies that will support your moving forward in the New Year?


I gained this week, but I got a pleasant surprise.  See my home scale said that, in my nightgown I had a 4 lb gain.  And I’m retaining solids again.  Knowing I was going to take a hit, I figured I might as well change from summer weigh-in clothes (light knit stretch pants, tee shirt, no socks) to winter weigh-in clothing (jeans, heavy-ish sweater, thick socks).  So I got to the center, got on the scale, and was surprised to find only a three lb. gain.  This pretty much mean that the total gain was half heavier clothes and half retained solids.  Not bad at all, considering that I had three Thanksgiving dinners this week.

Last Thursday, I was at my cousin M’s; Saturday I was at my cousin I’s; and Sunday I made belated Thanksgiving for myself, my WW buddy C, the roomie and my ex.

So my current weight is 246.4.  Not the greatest, but not terrible, either.


Since I don’t quite get the ActiveLink stuff yet, I wore both that and my trusty pedometer all week.

November 23:  4,734 steps

November 24:  2,469 steps

November 25:  220 steps

November 26:  2,230 steps

November 27:  469 steps

November 28:  86 steps

November 29:  1,968 steps

Will post more tomorrow — I had a long day, and want to get some sleep!

Okay.  Here’s the deal.  Thanks to Marc, my accountability reporting will be changing in eight days.  I now own the new ActiveLink device that Weight Watchers has teamed up with Phillips to develop.

ActiveLink Device and Its Two Case Choices in Its Box © 2012 Deborah J. Wunder

The device comes with two cases, that I can switch at will.  The one on the left in the photo is the clip case, for clipping onto a shirt, a pocket, or a waistband.  The one on the right is for putting the device on a chain or a cord, and wearing it like a necklace. I am told that you can even wear the device while swimming, or while in the shower!

The first week of wearing the device, it does an assessment of my normal activities, and provides a baseline.  After that, it provides challenges to get me to increase the number of Activity Points I earn. It also converts all my activities, not just my walking, into Activity Points.  Until I see how it shakes out, though, I am wearing my trusty pedometer.

For now, here is my current accountability, though:

  • Weight at Meeting:  243.2
  • Loss this Week:  2.8 lbs.
  • Loss to Date:  19.2 lbs.
  • Walking this Week
    • 11/9:     4,768 steps
    • 11/10:  3,481 steps
    • 11/11:  0 steps
    • 11/12:  0 steps
    • 11/13:  0 steps
    • 11/14:  0 steps
    • 11/15:  0 steps
  • Measurements:  I have started tracking my measurements on eTools, although I will not be making these public at this time.

So, I promised a recipe.  This is for stuffed, baked delicata squash.  It’s a great way to use up the leftovers from my 16-bean and beef chili.


  • 1/4 cup 16-bean and beef chili (or your favorite chili recipe)
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 small delicata squash (if you use a medium squash, you double the amout of chili and of rice)
  • 2 tsp shredded cheddar cheese

Take a delicata squash and cut off the end with the stem, then slice the squash lengthwise. Remove the seeds and fibers.  Thoroughly mix the chili and rice in a bowl.  Spoon the rice and chili mixture into the cavities of each squash half.  Top with shredded cheddar.

Stuffed Delicata Squash Before Baking © 2012 Deborah J. Wunder

Place the stuffed squash on a baking sheet (I cover mine with foil), and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender, and the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Baked, Stuffed Delicata Squash © 2012 Deborah J. Wunder

Did you know that you can, technically, eat the skin of any squash?  I didn’t, but I found that out when I was reading up on delicatas.  For most squashes, however, the skin is fairly tough, so it’s not worth the effort.  For the delicata, however, the skin is thin enough and soft enough (especially after baking), that it can be consumed.  That little nugget of information means that, if you wish, you can eat the stuffed delicata as a finger food, much the way you would eat a stuffed potato skin.  I am not giving a Points Plus value for this recipe, because it will vary depending on what the Point Plus value of your chili is.  I think that I am going to also experiment with stuffing squashes with other food combinations over the winter, since this is a very filling, satifying dish.

Today, at meeting, we were discussing  the four parts of the Weight Watchers program:

  • The Plan
    • Shopping
    • Tracking
    • eTools
    • Power Foods
  • Meetings
  • Behavior Modification
  • Activity

Since we had concentrated on the Plan and Meetings last time, this time we looked at behavior modification and activity.  We discussed how we had reacted to the Hurricane and nor’easter, which was a real challenge for many of us.  Most of us found that we had made some progress, in that even if we did do some comfort eating,we were reaching for Power Foods rather than foods with less nutritional value.  I personally discovered that I got as much (if not more) comfort out of replicating my mother’s split pea soup as I did from eating it.   We also discussed the new ActiveLink, and what it will do, how it will change the way we track our activities, and how much more accurately it will reflect those activities (not to mention turning them into Activity Points).

Now for another recipe!  I wanted pie last night.  However, I didn’t have the ingredients for Maddy’s wonderful fruit pie.  So I improvised.  I took a box of Jello Fat-Free Sugar Free Pudding and Pie Filling, and while I baked one of the graham cracker pie crusts, I dumped the powder into a bowl.  While the crust cooled, I whisked in 1 3/4 cups of  Skim Plus with Omega-3, and poured the mixture into the cooled pie crust.  I let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours, cut the pie into eight sections, and then had some pistachio pie.  My roommate just cut herself a slice, and added some Fat-Free Reddi Wip.  Here’s a picture of her slice:

Sue’s Portion – Pistachio Pie © 2012 Deborah J. Wunder

It’s 4 Points Plus, without the Reddi-Wip, and is perfectly yummy.  I suspect that this can be done with any flavor of the fat-free, sugar free puddings and pie fillings out there, but you should run it through the recipe builder, so that your Points Plus value is accurate.

I know Thanksgiving is coming up next week, and for many of us it will be a challenge.  I have already called the cousin whose home we will be going to, and she has gone over her meal plan for the evening.  I asked if I could bring Maddy’s apple pie and, after I described it to my cousin, she not only requested that I bring it, but is planning to try it herself.

So, here are some questions to ponder until the next time:  How do you react to challenges in terms of stressful situations? Do you reach for foods that will sustain you, or for foods full of empty calories?  If you are in WW, do you track your foods?  Your activities?  Do you still think you are on a “diet” (something that you do until you lose the weight, at which point you stop doing it and end up regaining the weight), or are you learning to incorporate your new better choices into your “regular” life, so that you can maintain the good habits even after you reach your goal weight?  How are you planning ahead for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season?  Are you willing to talk to the hosts of event you are going to so that you can plan ahead?  Are you just going to use the Simply Filling plan for that day?  How can you turn a holiday into a “win” for yourself?

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