Leader’s Thoughts: Wear an Activity Monitor All Day, Every Day

So, you’re wearing your activity monitor, you’re doing more than you ever thought you could, you’re tracking like a champ, and yet the number on the Evil Box is not moving as much as you think it should. Oh, baby, have I ever been there, done that! And, you know, you and I are not the only ones.

Yes, this is the same person. At the same weight. Can you see a difference? Do you think the number is the only indicator of her progress? I didn’t think so. 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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Recipe: Garlicky Shrimp with Broccoli and Toasted Breadcrumbs

I am putting this on the menu for next week… looks fantastic and FAST. I’ll serve it with some brown long-grain rice—3/4 cup for 4 PPV.


3 cups uncooked broccoli, small florets, or broccoli rabe
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil, extra-virgin, divided
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp table salt, divided
1 pounds uncooked shrimp, large, peeled, deveined
3 cloves (large) garlic, sliced
1/3 cup canned chicken broth
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


Put broccoli and water in a microwave-safe bowl; cover and microwave on high until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain well; set aside (be cautious when uncovering bowl).

Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape toasted crumbs into a bowl; stir in lemon zest and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat; add shrimp and sauté until shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add garlic; sauté until very light golden, about 1 minute.

Stir in broth, pepper flakes and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring to loosen bits from bottom of pan, just until shrimp is cooked through, about 1 minute.

Remove skillet from heat and add cooked broccoli; toss to mix and coat. Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining teaspoon oil; toss again. Serve shrimp and broccoli sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs. Yields about 3/4 cup shrimp with broccoli and 4 teaspoon breadcrumbs per serving..


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.