TFS Wednesday: Surfing for Food

Some of the best tips I got while working the scale were about internet sites.  Whether inspirational or informative, these can help you get over stuck spots.  

Plateau’s are par for the course, so a little encouragement and inspiration from others in the same boat can make a big difference.  One of the best places I know of for realistic (at least for me) inspiration is  There is a ton of organized, doable ideas on the free part of the site that are great when I am running short of inspiration.  Two of my favorite areas are the message boards and the recipe swap.  

The message boards let you find others like you who are probably facing the same issues you are.  There are boards divided by age, boards for working women and/or moms, boards for those with more than 100 lbs. to lose, etc.  Even if I don’t feel the need to post anything, I can always get inspired or re-inspired. 

The community recipe swap has been a gold mine of ideas.  There are some super-creative and motivated people out there who refuse to give up their favorite foods, so they get busy recreating them in a healthier version.  Scroll through these recipes and you will find better versions of all sorts of restaurant favorites and new ways to make classic family favorites.  Most of the everyday cooks on the board don’t get really wild with odd ingredients (unlike professional chefs), so you don’t get as many recipes for things like lentil tacos here.  

Another favorites website is Dottie’s Weight Loss Zone (  Dottie is a St. Louis woman who started posting the points for restaurant foods online years ago.  Since she was not limited by corporate contracts she has always had hundreds more restaurants and foods listed than were ever available on the official Weight Watchers list.  (She now has an app too.)  Even if you are not counting points, this site is helpful because it gives you a clear picture of what the better choices are at each restaurant.  Knowing that a certain salad is 15 points and the petite steak dinner is 10 can be helpful even if you don’t know how points work for you.  (hint:  take the 10 point steak).  Some foods are shockingly high and that is good information to know.  It is also interesting to compare foods, like french fries.  They all taste pretty much the same, but they way they are made can make a world of difference in the amount of fat and calories in them.  Compare them from all your favorite fast food places and you will be amazed.  

With so many resources available there is no reason for you to have to reinvent the wheel.  If you set aside a few hours you can find weight loss buddies, revised recipes and a huge list of best options when eating out.  Let’s surf.

TFS Wednesday: PMA

I am a glass-half-full kind of girl.  It is my natural point of view to see the positive in almost any situation and I’m usually perplexed when others aren’t enjoying something as much as me.  I truly enjoy dieting.  Not just the results, but the process of dieting.  I see it as a big game and I love to win the game.  

Those who were successful on Weight Watchers,when I worked there, tended to have a positive mental attitude (PMA) and I am sure that is true for any weight loss program.  Seeing weight loss (and maintenance) as a challenge rather than a burden will not only increase your chances of success, but it will also make the trip a lot more pleasant.  

I was lucky to start Weight Watchers with a super-positive leader.  Diane set everyone up to see all the foods they could have while losing weight.  She encouraged us to try lots of different foods, and keep enjoying the foods we love in moderation.  She never posted a list of bad or off limit foods (because I don’t think she had one.) It’s possible to see any diet plan this way, but I admit that it is much easier with Weight Watchers.

Somewhere along the line I started to look at my daily points (or calories, etc.) like money.  This made the game much more fun.  At the time I was allotted 22 points per day plus the bonus points.  I looked at it like someone (maybe the magic diet fairy) gave me $22 to spend everyday, plus bonus money for the week.  I got excited.  It was mine to decide how I wanted to spend it, and more would show up tomorrow.  The bonus points were just beyond fun.  I would buy all sorts of splurges and savor the thrill of every one.

I challenged myself every day to use my “money” to get the best food bargains I could find (like those I posted on Monday).  I felt like I was winning the game when I found foods that I love the taste, I knew I was getting good nutrition, and I only had to spend a little of my daily 22.  Birthdays, holidays and other events were challenging, but it was a fun challenge.  Our family always gets Gigi’s cupcakes for birthdays (16 points each!!).  Instead of whining that I can’t have an entire cupcake (and the diabetic coma to go with it), I just spread the yum (and sugar) out over three days.  

The way I see it, it’s just more fun for me.