No to Go: My Continuing Journey Back from Injury

The author on the eve of a metric century ride in support of breast cancer organizations

The author on the eve of a metric century ride in support of breast cancer organizations

This past June 30, I experienced a life-changing split second. In the blink of an eye, I was transformed from a distance cyclist in training, enjoying a downhill coast, to an invalid, facedown on the pavement, looking at my misshapen wrist and asking passersby to call 911 and my partner, Roy. A driver turned left into me (the driver is liable for damages), and I went flying. Though the impact gave me a concussion, chipped my left knee, ripped my left meniscus and knee cartilage, bruised my left shin bone, and broke my right wrist, I was lucid enough to ask the paramedics to make sure my ActiveLink made it into the ambulance with me. I suspected I was not going to be using it for a while, but I hoped I’d be back before too long. Continue reading


A season for everything

Last week, we talked about powering up our meals with Power Foods, which, of course, include fruits and veggies.

Austin's bounty in June, a sample of the offerings from Johnson's Backyard Organic Garden

Austin’s bounty in June, a sample of the offerings from Johnson’s Backyard Organic Garden

One of the great things about summer is the wide availability of delicious, hyper-fresh, direct-from-the-farm produce. The tangy-sweet of peaches, pleasant bite of jewel-colored radishes, warm meatiness of tomatoes (perhaps with the spicy-green of basil), and snappy freshness of green beans punctuate summers’ adventures in Austin. Continue reading

What Is an Activity Monitor?

I’ve been hearing questions about what an activity monitor is, and whether this month’s routine is just an excuse to sell stuff. I get that, I really do. We’re talking about the ActiveLink and the pedometer that we have available in meetings, and there are big, full-color pictures of those items in our Weeklies.

Yes, those are available, and, yes, they’re great tools specifically designed for our members. But anything you use that measures your all-day activity is a fantastic choice. There are digital monitors and pedometers that you may buy and may already have that are perfect for our routine.
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The Leader Living This Month’s Routine: Always Wear an Activity Monitor

The idea of someone or something watching, always watching, can be ominous, creepy, or threatening. If you’re an 80s music fan, you’re familiar with Rockwell’s song “Somebody’s Watching Me” and the classic from The Police, “Every Breath You Take.” Surveillance videos, GPS tracking, cookies on Web pages all smack of infringement into privacy reminiscent of Orwell‘s worlds and other dystopias.

“Okay, so an activity monitor, not so much like those things. But why use yet another gadget. I mean, really? I work out. I am pretty active. I bike to work, even.”

That was me, for more than three decades of my life. I didn’t see the point of fancy sports toys. I wasn’t an athlete, but I moved and even sweated. So why bother with anything to measure it?

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The Leader Living this Month’s Routine: Pre-Tracking PointsPlus Values, Part 3

There’s no place like home

I am always sure to have the things I love close to me. The dogs get beds everywhere in the house that I spend time, and everywhere I look there is art and music that makes me happy. I have a large collection of exercise DVDs and equipment for rainy days and the super-hot summer months when going out for a ride or run isn’t feasible, and there’s plenty of room just to move when I want. Last week’s meeting topic got me thinking about something else that’s been helping me on my way.
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The Leader Living this Month’s Routine: Pre-tracking PointsPlus Values, Part 2

My sipping solution

I may have told you that a big part of why I found some of the weight that I lost the first time I got to Lifetime with Weight Watchers was my discovery of the world of fine wines, microbrews, and craft cocktails. My loving partner and I went to tastings together, where we discussed the complexities in a mouthful of Mouvedre. He and I regularly shared a bottle of decent-but-not-astounding wine on weekday evenings, and we enjoyed nice 2- or 3-pint outings to the pub on the weekends. We swooned over the talents of our local mixologists. In the back of my head, I knew how those beverages could affect my weight, but I figured I was running, cycling, and eating right, like I did when I was losing. I was drinking water and never drank sugary sodas. What harm could a little drinking do, even if I “forgot” to track it?
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The Leader Living this Month’s Routine: Pre-Tracking PointsPlus Values Part 1

When I started Weight Watchers ten years ago, I was completely unfamiliar with the idea of managing my food intake. If I saw something that looked tasty, I usually ate it. Becoming aware of the effect food had on my size, in a way that was more concrete than “Ice cream can make you bigger,” was weird, but also exciting. It seemed like a game. It wasn’t long before I realized that my old way of deciding what to eat and when was not going to serve me well in the future. No problem! I was pretty creative with finding food substitutes that would fit right into my daily Points allocation (this was way before PointsPlus). As I lost weight and my Points allocation shrunk as well, however, I discovered that I was going to have to get even more strategic about my eating. Why? Well, because I wanted my cold, creamy dessert, of course! There were days, after I reached a specific goal, and my Points decreased again, that I found I needed to make more changes in order to fit in the treat I wanted. I started mourning those “missing” Points until I started really thinking ahead. I HAD the Points…I just needed to reserve them. I started just taking those out of my day, at the beginning, and I stressed out a whole lot less. Also, I started getting creative with the choices I made for the rest of the day so I would stay satisfied. I learned how to make the most of my allocation for the whole day, adjusted to eating more healthy foods, and found a whole new layer of living the plan. So, just making the space for the choices I wanted helped transform my experience and helped me build the habits I rely on today for maintenance.

How does having a plan help you? Talk about it below.