Saturday, May 9, 2009

Back at Weight Watchers

I first did the Weight Watchers program in 2002 and lost about 22 pounds. Back then, it was one Points program, pretty straightforward. I enjoyed the meetings and found them very helpful. After becoming a lifetime member, I even joined staff briefly but did not find that activity a good fit as I was building my business at the same time and needed to devote more time to that.
Losing the weight made me feel so good about myself that I found love and became engaged and then married in June 2004.
A few pounds crept on and I "tried" WW again in 2006. That time it didn't work as well as I was not committed to doing the program and no longer enjoyed the meetings. By then, there were two choices, Core and Flex. I "did" Flex but quit after a few weeks.
In early 2008, having packed on about 25 pounds and feeling quite unhappy about that, I went back to WW and this time did the Core plan, which I enjoyed. I lost 4 or 5 pounds and was on track for more, albeit slowly, when my husband suggested we both try Nutrisystem because one of his friends had done it and lost weight.
On Nutrisystem I lost another 14 pounds or so by early 2009.
I maintained that loss until about three weeks ago (at five pounds from goal weight) when I found weight creeping on again.
I decided it was time to go back to Weight Watchers for the support and to get that last ten pounds off.
Today I found out that Core and Flex are gone and now there's just one plan, Momentum, which is a combination of the two. I can live with that, since I lost most of my weight on Flex but liked the simplicity of Core.
I liked the meeting and I liked the leader, and will keep going back to this meeting (Saturday mornings at 9:30 AM at the Ocean Park location in Santa Monica -- close enough for me to walk). Join me there if you want to try Weight Watchers -- I do recommend the program.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Long Overdue... Renaissance Faire Fun!

Kim and I enjoyed our third year together at the local Renaissance Faire. We are gradually completing our outfits as the Innkeeper and his Wife...

...who were visited in 1525 by our friends from 2009, Kevin and Lizzy!

Panel Discussion in Pictures

Got some pictures from the panel discussion to share with you all!

And at our reception afterwards... enjoying the company of one of our panelists!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

No Nonessentials Month

After taking a hard look at the bills paid this past month and how much cash flowed out of the ATM that was spent here and there, I'm going to attempt to challenge myself with a no-nonessential spending month in May. That means no daily frozen yogurts or protein bar snacks, no $4 lattes, no drop-ins at the shoe or clothing store for something I suddenly "need," no new makeup... just making do with the food in the freezer and cupboard plus any other basics from the supermarket, wearing the clothes I have, and drinking tap water (better for the environment, too!) I've become accustomed to just letting the cash hemorrhage out of my hands every month... often spending when I could be working. We'll see how this goes!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Powerful Panel Discussion in Beautiful Ventura

I have just had the privelege of helping to organize and facilitate a panel discussion event for Soroptimist International of the Americas Camino Real Region's Spring Conference being held (right now!) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ventura, California.

Yesterday afternoon at 2 PM, approximately 150- 160 women (some of whom attended the conference only for this event) had the privelege of hearing the following fabulous women speak as panelists in our event:

HEIDI FLOYD, Development Ambassador, Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer is committed to eradicating breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by providing financial support for research and research-related projects. Nearly $8 million has been raised since the Foundation began its efforts. Heidi’s job, simply put, to spread awareness across the nation about the Foundation and its commitment to the research it funds.

RENEE WHITE FRASER, Ph.D., Fraser Communications. Renee Fraser is the founder and CEO of Fraser Communications, a well-known LA-based advertising and public relations firm. Fraser Communications has represented United Way and many other nonprofit and corporate clients for fifteen years. A research psychologist, Renee teaches graduate courses at the Annenberg School at USC, and focuses her teaching, her business, and her volunteer efforts in ways that help to improve the lives of society, especially women and minorities.

ADRIENNE HOREN, VP/Investments, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. Founded in 1832, Janney is an integral part of the United States’ financial history, holding the second oldest continuously operated membership in the New York Stock Exchange. ADRIENNE HOREN, a Soroptimist member since 1995, is an experienced financial consultant with Janney. She is the trusted advisor to Soroptimist International of the Americas.

TERRI CADIENTE, Author, Life Coach, Stuntwoman. Terri, an Associate Certified Life Coach helps restore dignity to women and girls through her company Strength and Grace, Inc. the Ragdoll Restoration Foundation; a new documentary ‘Stuck in Traffic’ that addresses the issue of sexual slavery; and the ‘Raising the Bar’ program that provides girls with a parent in prison opportunities to better their circumstances. Terri has generously offered a portion of the proceeds from her new book, Live Courageously: Choose to be the Real You, in which Terri shows readers how they hold the power of choice in their own lives, to SIA.

TRISH GRINNEL, Marketing Executive with Melaleuca, The Wellness Company.
Ms. Grinnel joined Melaleuca after 20+ years in Corporate America, 15 in Telecommunications. Melaleuca is a 24-year-old, Idaho-based, INC 500 company that manufactures safer, more cost-effective products for everyday use. Melaleuca's commitment to quality and giving back is exemplified by the 2005 BBB Hall of Fame award, the prestigious Circle of Humanitarians" Award given by The Red Cross, 2006, and "The Others" award given by The Salvation Army, 2007.

Wow! Their credentials and their own businesses and organizations are exciting in and of themselves. But just imagine what can happen when you put those five women on a panel together.

Not only did each woman have a story that inspires and engages, but together, their combined energy, excitement, emotion, and hope filled the room and brought us to our collective feet. We want some of that electricity to rub off on us and power our lives. It already has -- those of us who attended were enlightened and empowered. Each woman represents a different professional background and each woman gives back in a unique way, but each of these women is fueled by her passion and that passion, individual and collective, was palpable and contagious. We were greatly touched.

The discussion was captured in a digital film and hopefully can soon be posted in its entirety for the benefit of all.

I am honored to know each of these five amazing women and look forward to to the privelege of working with each one again in future.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hurray for Crocs

No, not the reptiles.

The shoes I always swore I'd never be caught dead wearing...

Until I found a pair of Croc flip-flops that are absolutely the most comfortable footwear I have ever experienced.

I was nosing around a discount shoe store the other day and found a display of Crocs. Huh, I sniffed to myself. They're as ugly as ever. But I do need a pair of flip-flops, and their flip-flops look more comfortable than most.

First of all, the sizes run big. I had to keep trying on smaller and smaller women's sizes until even a size 5 was too big for my normally 6 to 6 1/2 size feet.

So I moved to the children's sizes. 4 was still too big, but 3 (Boy's 1), that fit perfectly.

I found a pair of brown and khaki flip-flops, bought them at half of the (gasp!) price of $30. plus tax, and took them home.

And have been wearing them ever since!

Until I went back to the store and tried on a few more styles. Meanwhile, I did some research and found out that nurses wear Crocs for 14-hour shifts on their feet, as do waiters. What better shoe to kick around the house in, run to to the store in, walk the dogs in? Who CARES if they are comical looking?

I was going to get another pair of flip-flops in pink, but after some thinking decided to try red Mary Janes. These worked in a size 5 as they are closed toed and needed a bit more wiggle room; plus, you could conceivably wear them with socks. (What happened to my fashion sense, you ask? Sometimes comfort trumps fashion.)

I wore the Mary Janes with my jeans running errands the rest of the afternoon and they are almost as comfortable as the flip-flops, though when I got home, the flip-flops went back on.

I live in Southern California. I've rediscovered heels and wear them with just about everything now, including jeans. I like to look pretty and feminine.

But when I wear my Crocs, I feel comfortable and like a kid again.

I guess that's the idea.