Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Again!

All postings prior to this one are from my blog "Weight Loss, Jabber and What Not" which was previously known as "Strat's Garden" which was previously know as "Stratcat Online".  They've all been brought here because I'm ready to delete the other blogs but want to keep the history.

I originally started my blog when I wanted to leave a comment on a friend's and the host insisted I have an account; and thus Stratcat Online was born.  The blog was named after my cat Strat, a very unique couldn't ask for a better cat.  He was my very best buddy. Almost four years ago, he went outside and never returned - it was very heartbreaking.  I renamed the site "Strat's Garden" to continue an "in memory".  This past year I began a weight loss journey and the blog became "Weight Loss, Jabber and What Not".

However, despite the fact that weight loss has become a big part of my life, I didn't think the blog reflected on the rest of my life, oh the posts were there, but the blog wasn't "me". 

Recently CC and I were joking around and the phrase "The World According to Laura" came up.  Though a catchy title and one I's being used to death all over the internet.  This past weekend my dog Lucy chose to eat one of the cushions on the couch...not a unique thing to happen as Keyser ate a hole in another couch back when he was a pup; and thus "The Dog Ate My Sofa" was born!

The sidebars are still a work in process...I know there are probably photos that aren't right or missing...but I'm very excited about this blog!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Little Sweet Gem

One thing I enjoy about Weight Watchers is when others bring in recipes.  Here's a little gem from a week or so ago:

Single Serve Microwave Cake
3 Points Plus

Take an Angel Food Cake Mix and any flavor Regular Cake Mix (yep, absolutely any flavor).
Combine them together in a zip lock bag (just the dry mixes, don't add anything else).
Store mix in the bag or transfer to a container.

Whenever you want a piece of cake:

1/3 cup of the mix
3 TBL water

Mix together in a microwavable mug and then microwave for 1 minute, 10 seconds.

TA-DA!!  You know have a single slice of cake!  It will slide right out of the mug.  You can top it with fruit, powdered sugar, icing, whipped creamed, peanut butter, etc...  Just remember to add points for your topping.

What could be better than this???

For a printable version of this recipe click here:  Single Serve Microwave Cake

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Well getting to Goal was expected with the doctor's note, what wasn't expected was the 2.8 lb. loss for the week!!  Yep, you read that right - 2.8 lbs.!  After all this time!!!

Now starts the 6 weeks of maintenance - yes, I have to do that.  That's okay though...hopefully I'll be Lifetime by vacation.

Everyone seems to be very happy for me and that's very important to me as I need that support!  And hopefully I'm not sounding like the weight loss expert to everyone - lol!  Sometimes though I can't help it. 

Like I've said before, you must find the program that will work for you for a LIFETIME.  You must be in the right frame of mind to do it.  You must measure, weigh and track.  If you can't do it on your own, find some support - I get sick of hearing "I can't afford Weight Watchers"...yes you can!  I'm not rolling in money here..but packing lunch rather than going out has helped a lot.  I use to eat lunch out every day..if you figure approximately $8.00 a day for lunch - that's $40 a week.  That $40 will pay the Weight Watchers monthly fee.  You just have to decide whether the food or your health is more important.  But if you truly can't do that, find a friend to diet with.  I couldn't do it without CC!!  Check my sidebar...many diet program options there - some are free.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oatmeal Pancake Recipe

If I could find the posting again, I would give credit where credit is due...but I can't.  This recipe came from the message board on the Weight Watchers website:


1/4 cup Quaker Quik Oats  (2 pts.)
1/4 cup Eggbeaters  (1 pt.)
1 TBL skim milk  (0 pt.)

Mix together and let stand for 1 minute.  Spray pan with oil spray and heat over medium heat.  Pour in mixture and cook like you would any other pancake!  Total:  3 Points Plus.

You can do a variety of things with this recipe (Just don't forget to adjust your points if you add something that adds points).

Add:  Berries, Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Diced Apples

Top With:  Whipped Cream, Sugar Free Syrup, Fruit Topping, etc...

Serve With A Side of Fruit.

You can use 1 egg in place of the Eggbeaters - this will increase the pancake by 1 pt.

For a printable version of this recipe click here:  Oatmeal Pancake

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Today I finally made goal......kind of....

Though the Wendie, Maggie, Debbie, Dorothy or whatever they are called plans are weight has not been budging and I still think the amount of food I ate on Sunday was outrageous.

I went back to the message boards somewhat defeated.  I mentioned the fact that my leader had suggested a doctor's excuse since I've been at a standstill for so long.  I found that many people do this.  Several told me that in order to make it to their goal weight they had to resort to practically starving to get there...then they couldn't maintain it.  They finally went to their doctors and got the note.  They all said it was the smartest thing they did.  Even the people who didn't have to do this, didn't think it was a big deal and were supportive of the idea.  So I called the doctor's office and requested one.

The nurse called me back and said that the doctor did not feel that I was being unrealistic and I could pick it up at the front desk.  I went in feeling somewhat defeated; the receptionist said "I was to ask you a question when you got here.  Back in September you told Dr. K that your goal was to be a size 10.  Are you?"  I said, "Nope, I'm a 6!"  She smiled and handed me the note.  All of a sudden I didn't feel so defeated...I not only met that goal, I went past it!  So I did make GOAL!!

Now whether Weight Watchers will make me go into maintence for 6 weeks before handing me Lifetime status or just let me have it since I've maintained that already for well over 6 weeks I don't know; but it doesn't matter.  For the first time EVER, I've met a weight loss goal!

And as long as I don't gain 2-3 lbs. between now and Thursday, I'll have a new little charm for my key ring!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Doctor's Note?

My weight loss is still at a standstill.  This has been going on way too long.  My WW group leader's advice was "Go to your doctor and get a note that says the weight you are at is okay.  We have to accept that."  Ummm...yeah, hey...WHAT????  No advice on how to get past this?  We're only talking 4-5 lbs. here.  And yeah, I want to reach goal and though I am quite happy with my weight and clothes size where I'm at....I still want to hit a goal!

One thing I've discovered through this process is that there is always way more help and information available at the WW site on the message boards and on other boards elsewhere.  Who better to help then people who are going through the same thing?  One particular board has led me to what is known as the "Wendie Plan".

Named after it's inventor, the Wendie Plan is designed to help you use your weekly points in a way that supposedly will jump start your metabolism.  It does not in anyway totally revamp or change the WW just gives you an idea on how to use your weekly points.  You continue to use all your dailies.

You can use any day as your start day...I'm choosing to continue to use Friday as my start day...and the plan seems to be laid out to work very well with that:

Day 1:   Daily Pts plus 5-7 weeklies
Day 2:  Daily Pts plus 1 weekly
Day 3:  Daily Pts plus 15-20 weeklies
Day 4:  Dailies Only
Day 5:  Dailies plus 4-5 weeklies
Day 6:  Dailies plus 2 weeklies
Day 7:  Dailies only

You will use 27-35 of your weekly points, so you still have some left if you need to use any more.

I'm giving this a shot and see what will happen.  I'm game for about anything at this point.

Another option is the "Maggie Plan".  On this one you use ALL your weekly points the first 3-4 days (in addition to your dailies) and then stick to the daily for the rest of the week.  This one requires that you follow the healthy guidelines (oils, dairy, etc....), eat healthy foods and have a glass of milk late afternoon\early evening.

Another thing I'm doing is upping my veggie intake.  I'm not a big vegetable eater but I'm working on that.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How Could You?

I posted this a year or so ago and it's worth a re-post.  It always makes me cry....

How Could You?
by Jim Willis

When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask, "How could you?" -- but then you'd relent and roll me over for a belly rub.

My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect.

We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs" you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" -- still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate.

Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love." As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch -- because your touch was now so infrequent -- and I would've defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.

There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf. Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family.

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said, "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar, as he screamed, "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.

You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked, "How could you?"

They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind -- that this was all a bad dream... or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured, "How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dog speak, she said, "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself -- a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her.

It was directed at you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of you. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Watch Those Fruits

Fruits have calories, they also have sugar, carbs, etc...just like all other foods.  Just because Weight Watchers tells you they are 0 points, doesn't mean it's 0 everything else.

The Points Plus program is designed for you not to have to count fruits, however, it's not designed for you to go into fruit overload.  Remember the guidelines say you should have 5 servings of fruits or vegetables daily, the program is designed to accomodate that.  Sure, you can have more..but if you're finding your weight has stalled or the program just isn't working for you, before hopping back to the old program or quitting all together, look to see what is going on.

Weight Watchers is a business so it's not going to offer the advice I'm going to give you because it would be promoting some competition...but you should spend a week or two at one of the calorie counting sites.  Log your menus in there and get a look at what you are consuming in a day!  SparkPeople is a nice FREE site that will show you your calorie intake, carb intake, etc.   It could be an eye opening experience.

And don't go into fruit overload 0 points, doesn't mean 0 calories!!


Today is my anniversary - it's been ELEVEN hard to believe.  Here's two photos:

Love the permed hair - lol!!  Not a fancy wedding, but we had a lot of fun and until this day people tell me it's the most fun they ever had at a wedding.

Tonight we're heading to The Ott House in Emmitsburg, MD for dinner.