Summer with Talbots

Summer Styles from Tuckernuck

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Rules & Tools of My Weight Loss Journey


Hello, dear friends.  I hope this post finds you well.  Did you have a good weekend?  We made it to two Open Houses but unfortunately, no offers were made on our end. 

I've gotten several letters from my readers asking me about my weight loss journey.  You can read a couple of excerpts below.


I have been inspired by your Weight Watchers journey. I started it last year and initially had success but have stalled. I am writing to you to ask you to please write a blog post on your weight journey favorites! 

Favorite tricks, recipes, and how you have stayed focused and motivated.
I really have fallen off the track and need some really good motivation! 

You asked for it, you got it...

Let me begin by giving you a brief history of my yoyo weight battle.  Like many of you, I was just your average size as a kid.  I then hit puberty, and before I knew it, the number on the scale went up while my self-confidence took a deep dive.


I boarded five days a week at my all-girls Catholic high school, and I loved every minute of it.  The food was great, and meal times were my social hours and the highlight of my day.  Every day after classes, we would all meet in the cafeteria for gouter - a fancy French term for an afternoon snack.  It consisted of unlimited Lorna Doones and Bug Juice.  Nothing tasted better than this combo coupled with rehashing the day with my buds.

This is where I learned one of the most important lessons about food and weight.  No one is the same when it comes to weight gain and loss.  I started to notice that my plaid uniform skirt was getting snug while my skinny friends' skirts looked the same.  

I've never forgiven them for that.

My Mother was the first to notice and never ceased to bring it to my attention.  While home on weekends, I would sneak in the fridge for a forkful of leftover Pepperidge Farm cake.  

It never failed - my Mother would always catch me mid-bite and deliver a disappointing look that she had perfected over the years.

You would have thought that I ate the family dog!  


Marie Claire

It was during these calorie-filled years that I went on my first diet.  Does anyone remember the Cambridge Diet?  
I lost a few pounds, but then I couldn't look at another shake without gagging.

I then customized a new diet in college.  It consisted of Tab, Marlboro Lights, and cafeteria food.  My best buddy, KTG lived on a diet of chips and regular coke.
She was (still is) skinny as a rail.

One day, I took a long look in the mirror and asked myself a very important question...

Why do I keep picking skinny friends?

Anyway, as the years went on, cigs and Tab were the only staples in my erratic diet.  I never ate a meal without accompanying it with a can of Tab and always followed my dessert with a cig.  

I married a chef whose favorite ingredients were creme fraiche and butter.  Before I knew it, I was pregnant with my #1.

Bye-bye butts, hello baby!
...and pastries, potatoes, and pasta.

Before I knew it, I was the mother of two licking every crumb off of my kids' plates.

And then 27 years later, this happened...

I was bound and determined to ditch the baby weight by the big wedding day.  

I didn't start dieting right away, though.  
It's a lot more fun to fantasize about being skinny than actually doing something about it.

I considered going back to my customized diet.
But then I realized that no one smokes anymore, and I hadn't seen Tab in stores for years.

I scoured the Internet for every diet known to man.  
I wanted to find that magic pill where I could eat anything I wanted and lose weight.

I finally decided on Weight Watchers because I figured if it was good enough for Oprah, it's good enough for me.

lithos pos

I also chose WW for its nutritional benefits.  
Everything that had zero points were foods that I should be eating anyway for good health. 

I signed up for the mobile app, which also gave me access to attending in-person meetings.  I never attended the meetings because I didn't feel the need.  Lots of my buds that use WW feel that the meetings really helped them.

As many know,  WW operates on a point system.  The site is user-friendly and informative.  I spent the first two weeks on my phone looking up and tracking my points.  
I drove the Mister crazy.

I looked at what foods I did not want to give up.  There were only two - Cremora in my coffee in the morning and a glass of wine in the evening. 

I then looked at what I was presently eating, which wasn't working.  I decided to fill my diet with 0-point foods.  That way, I wouldn't go over my allotted point goal if I wanted an extra glass of wine. 

I was big on frozen, low-cal breakfasts.  I decided to replace them with fresh fruit, fat-free greek yogurt, with a side of a 1 pt. muffin (recipe at the bottom of page).

When I added up the calories of all the gummy vitamins that I was ingesting, it gave me indigestion. 
I trashed the gummies for the vitamin pills.
Btw... if you have trouble swallowing those gargantuan vitamins like me, take them with yogurt.
They go down as smooth as silk.

I usually had a salad for lunch every day.  I looked at the ingredients that I was using and found a lot of empty calories.  I replaced the crunchy salad toppers with shredded carrots, olives, and raspberries and blueberries.

I love shredded rotisserie chicken and always use it as well as a dollop of cottage cheese.

Btw... there is no measuring in WW.

You've heard me sing the praises of Walden Farms Calorie-Free dressing.  It comes in several varieties.  You can find it on Amazon or this company, which I have just started using.  It always has the best price and lots of great deals on vitamins.

I also never leave home without my trusty dressing.

At around 2PM, I always hit a slump.
It's amazing how a cup of tea sweetened with this, and a side of a muffin keeps me satisfied for the rest of the afternoon.

Or sometimes, I nosh on some nectarines or watermelon.

A fellow dieter told me that whenever she feels a craving coming on, she brushes her teeth.  
Sometimes that's all I need.
Other days, I want to eat my toothbrush.

It's 5:00 somewhere!
I love these individual packets of popcorn with my vino.

My favorite thing for dinner is a shrimp cocktail with big old fat shrimp.

Otherwise, I have chicken or fish with fruit or roasted veggies that the Mister makes ahead of time.

Since moving to the apartment, I have taken my exercise regime up a notch.  I went from walking three miles a day to six miles.
When you live in a small apartment, it is during a pandemic, and you've finished every available show on Netflix, there's not really much else to do. It also helps if I am listening to a really good book.  This is what I am listening to and loving now.  

Last-Minute Notes

It took me 9 months to lose 20 pounds.  I only weighed myself once a week.  This scale would be my best friend one week, and my worst enemy the next.  The key is not to get discouraged.  

I was told that the longer it takes to lose the pounds, the harder it is to gain it back.  That proved correct in my life.  I had gone on two vacations after I lost the weight and ate and drank what I wanted and I didn't gain a pound.

Drink as much water as you can.  
I am not a fan of plain water, so I mix this lemonade in, and it helps me to increase my intake.
If you are looking for me, I'm in the bathroom.

On average, they say that it takes 66 days to form a habit. 
 That's about how long it took me to get into the habit of healthy eating.  It's become second nature to me.

This was a lot easier for me now that we don't have kids at home.  Any snacks you will find in our kitchen are the Mister's.
He has his own cabinet and places his treats on the highest shelf, which is out of reach for me.
Btw... our step stool is in storage.

Now, I enjoy cheat meals without the guilt.
I know I will be right back on the WW train in the morning.

Weight Watcher Muffins

Don't forget to spray the muffin molds.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1/2 can of pumpkin
1/4 cup of plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup of carbonated water
(regular water is fine too)

Then add the bread mix.
The resident chef says it keeps the lumps out.

Scoop into pan.

Bake for 25 minutes.
You may have to adjust it to your oven.


I bake several dozen at a time and freeze them.


Lastly, the Mister took this pic at lunch right after I bought my MOB dress.  I can remember how happy I was that day.  Not only was I relieved that I found my perfect dress the first day out, but I could fit into the size that I set as my goal.  

There's no better feeling.

If I can do it, anyone can.

Now it's your turn.

I want to hear your thoughts on dieting and what has worked for you.

Until next time...

It is my pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite readers, Holly, and her little darling, Zoe.

I am sending you a picture of Zoe, our poodle /bichon rescue we adopted in 2009 from Houston Poodle Rescue. Twice a year she travels from Texas to New Hampshire on a road trip with my husband and me. She is the best dog we have ever had, and she was actually house trained when we got her.

Zoe (and I) have been in a book. An author friend of mine, Cynthia Lord (Newbury author) is a children’s book writer and her book Half a Chance is loosely based on our NH lake. Zoe is quite a kayaker with her pink life vest. She hates water, but will go anywhere with us!

Thanks, Holly!

Linking up with:

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Feel free to contact me through comments and email. I love to hear from my readers!


  1. I guess my diet has restricted my arm use. Instead of putting food into my mouth via fork, I just let my head fall into the plate! Ugh. Seriously.....I just can’t get my well eating groove back. BUT...just got my first shot and after second one, I’m already lined back up with my Pilates trainer to start back!!! Cannot wait! 10 yrs of two day workouts...and then nothing during covid...has NOT been good for my derrière or my mental health. Cannot wait to feel sore after first workout 🏋️

  2. Hey friend! I just discovered you as my neighbor at The happy Now Blog Linkup, and I am so glad I did!

    First of all, can we just go for a walk together? I would say meet for coffee but I don't drink coffee and I'd want a big bakery cookie instead. You seem real and fun and like someone I'd love to talk to. (Too much??)

    Secondly, the WW tips are perfect. Seriously. I just rejoined WW and I am finally in the mindset that this has to be more than a good scale week or bad scale week thing. I'm discovering how to change my thinking this time around and it feels really good. Your tips are great and I can't wait to try those muffins!

    So glad we were neighbors today!

  3. TAB... its what my mom drank all the way up to just a few months ago where they stopped making it - it was a day of mourning... day? More like months

  4. Well I love the topic but am ready for a month of no Thanksgiving/Christmas/Superbowl (yes, the Superbowl splurge set me back pounds just indulging in whatever I wanted for one day!) That will come off though, and will be back on track focused on low carb over here. I've enjoyed Jenny Craig for it's ease, very little meal planning, and it's taken off pregnancy weight twice. I walk regularly but only a couple miles or 30-40 min listening to my custom walking long do your six mile walks take? Wow, maybe if I listen to books I could keep walking? Anyway, loved your post and tips. I find a wedding or vacation or big event is good incentive to be extra good. Then...some things slip. Gosh I have a lot to say on this, thanks for listening and writing!

    1. Hi Carol! My Sista has had great success with Jenny Craig. My walks take about an hour and a half. If it's cold and windy, I don't go that far. You should try listening to a book. It was life-changing for me. I hope that you have a wonderful week, Carol.

  5. First of all, you look absolutely fantastic. In August, I decided that I needed to follow a program that I could follow the rest of my life. Basically, I gave up sugar and white flour and have never looked back. I am losing, but like you, losing slowly. It feels so good. My granddaughter is getting married in August and I am looking forward to finding a special dress for that occasion. Hang in there. Sounds like you have changed your course for the long-haul. Me too!

  6. My daughter’s wedding is in 18 months - trying to just be as good as can be - hoping to get 10lbs off on my own (eating better, less wine - boo, and lots of walking. Goal is to be there by 12 months out and then turn to WW for the remaining 10. I’m worried if I start now I’ll gain it back before the wedding! What do you think? Good Plan?

    1. I bet you won't gain it back!! Start now and see how it goes. I have a feeling that you will bee feeling so good about yourself that you will keep it off. Have a wonderful week and keep me posted.

  7. Thanks for sharing your story, friend. WW is the best. I had great luck with it a few years ago before all hell broke loose in my life. You've given me another great reason (in addition to the size of my posterior) to get back on track.

    1. I have full faith in you, dear Maggie. Enjoy your week.

  8. Thanks for sharing this, Katie! You are very inspiring, and look fabulous. I did WW about 19 years ago (after child #2) and it worked very well for me, but I think the programme has gone through many changes since then. Way to go, you!! (And it's right about taking it off slowly - it's easier to sustain that). -Jenn

  9. I am enjoying the puppy tales at the end of your posts. Always fun and always sweet! Congratulations on your weight-loss journey! I did WW years ago and was successful. I went to the WW meeting to be weighed-in every Saturday morning. Then I stopped an Dunkin on the way home for my cheat treat of the week. Then, I quit and gained it all back. Low carb works for me and I need to get back at it. I now have 8 pandemic pounds that won't go away. You have motivated me!! xo

  10. Thanks for sharing! I joined WW nearly 2 years ago and I too just love all their zero point foods. I start my day with fruit and fat free yogurt too.

  11. I know you have inspired so many and I for one have been incredibly impressed with how amazing you look! And it’s too funny, I literally just ordered that muffin mix to make your weight watchers muffins! I have a cup of tea or decaf in the afternoon as well and I need more suitable snacks! I wrote a post a couple months ago about how I also lost weight during Covid, now the holidays and this winter hibernation up here in Indiana have put five back on but I feel like I can stick to this healthier way of eating! I walk 5 to 6 miles seven days a week and have really never felt better except for the normal aging aches and pains! Lol. Great post!!

  12. Your blog is one to which I look forward. Two cooking questions: why do you put your muffin pan on a baking sheet and is that bread mix healthy or filled with lots of preservatives? Those might be questions for the mister I know. You look fantastic and I am so impressed with your long walks! I get bored/tired after about a mile even while listening to a book. Maybe I need cute walking clothes?😁

    1. Hi Lynn... The muffin molds are silicone so they need stability. I think the mix is filled with preservatives. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and comment Lynn. Have a great week.

  13. You are absolutely hilarious! I wait for your blog updates to hit my email and you never fail to lift my spirits. This time you made me nostalgic for my own healthy lifestyle in my early twenties, which consisted mainly of black coffee and Virginia Slims! Now it would kill me, of course. Ah, youth. Thanks for the helpful tips and tricks, as I have allowed a few pounds to creep back during the pandemic and need some inspiration so that when spring comes I will be able to fit into the same clothing I put away in favor of tunic tops and leggings. Not everything I own has stretch to it. You look fabulous and make me feel like a slacker in the exercise dept. my own Mister walks at least 6-8 miles a day. It is NOT because he needs time away from me. It is so that he can have time away from me and listen to Sirius Radio. Hope your house search proves fruitful very soon. We have been through something similar and it’s a limbo of a type difficult to understand unless you have been through it. Full of both hope and terror. Keep these delightful posts coming. You have been a bright spot in a dark time for many. ☀️

    1. Charlene... thank you so much for your sweet words. So you were a Va Slims girl? One of my buds was a Va Slims girl and we used to tease her about her "fancy" cigs. Interesting about your Mr. and Sirius. It just goes to show you. If you can find "your thing" the walk just breezes by. Have a wonderful week, Charlene, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

  14. I'm a fellow Weight Watcher and have had great SLOW success! Way to go!!

  15. Good tips and information! Thanks for sharing. I had success with WW five years ago, lost 20 lbs over about 6 months. I also use the app, but find that I get lazy. I need to do the zero point food plan. Great idea! I have slowly gained weight back, mostly because of COVID. I started baking and of course eating the goods. Bad Mistake! Now I'm back on track to drop the lbs!!! Wish me luck! Sugar is my problem.
    Walking 6 miles would help me too. I'm going to make that a goal.

  16. I'm proud of you! That had to / has to be hard. I'm one of your skinny friends. I've never dieted.

  17. You inspired me to start walking and listening to audio books! Starting is the hardest part, but now I love it. I try to walk/listen for an hour every day. Listening to The Nightingale right now and it is so good. Thanks for sharing all of your tips.

    1. Lisa... you made my day! Congrats! As I have mentioned before, I consider my walk my mood elevator. I loved The Nightingale. Have a wonderful weekend.

  18. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. It is such a struggle. I love how you did it the healthy way. I'm jotting down some of your pointers. Thank you for sharing on the Classy Flamings blog party.

  19. Great post- made me smile but also lots of good tips for weight loss. Thanks for linking at #WowOnWednesday!

  20. Good for you. You must have wonderful will power. Since we have been eating at home so much, I have been cooking way too many comfort foods. I have my yearly physical next week and I am dreading it. I haven’t gained any weight but I fear my Cholesterol and A1C numbers...How about this cold front. Brrr! We have one of these every winter...but never one that is going to last sooo long! Stay warm...Janey

  21. Quite possibly we are the same person...
    Your great results have highly encouraged me in my weight loss journey. Slow is okay...

  22. This is so interesting to me. I am ok with my weight but with having 4 kids and being 45 I am noticing that the scale can creep very easily so I am trying to make some small changes to what I eat. Nothing drastic but increasing water, exercise, switching my high calorie coffee for a smoothie with protein in the morning...

  23. Great post Katie. Being healthy and a good weight is not easy but worth it. I have gotten a wee bit lax in walking with winter, so I need to get my rear in gear and go. I hate taking vitamins worse than anything. It is an event to watch morning and evening with me gagging on them. I do wish they would make them smaller. You would think with all the technology somebody could make that happen.

  24. Well I think Skinny Delaney has some competition. While you have always looked fabulous to me, you now look spectacular.

    Wishing we could share a glass of wine! (not share, share, we would each have our own bottle).

    xoxoxox Annie G. lonely as can be :>

  25. What a great post, Katie. Thanks for this -- it's a good jumpstarter. I've lost 15 during Covid because of not going out to eat or doing my own grocery shopping and not buying junk. But your way is better -- a lifestyle and a good one. (I have to say, the day I learned they were discontinuing Tab I nearly cried. Tab was my breakfast till last February....)

  26. Thanks for such an honest and of course, humorous post. You always make me smile. I'm trying to get better about blogging so I've missed a few of your posts, so I'm glad I popped over to read this one. I rarely write about diets, my own weight issues, even tips on skin or makeup topics. Most of the responses make me feel like I'm singing to the choir. Anyway--I'm happy for you. Being on a program, sticking with it, and seeing results is motivating.

    My story is almost opposite of yours. I was always very petite. In my early twenties I actually did some print modeling for catalogs. After I had my two girls I think my hormones just went crazy. I was always hungry and I wanted sweets, something I never really cared for (I know this sounds weird but I was the fan of salty chips and such). Over ten years I went from 120 pounds to 150. I lost it all in my late forties on the Atkins diet, but after three years, gained it back.

    I was at my wits end in the middle of the Covid quarantine. My weight was not budging even with moving all the time with waling the dogs at the lake, gardening, cleaning this big old lakehouse, and doing all the errands and running around in my mask as hubby is older and at a higher risk for the virus. So on January 2, a little over a month ago, I started the Noom app and I really love it. It's very much like WW in counting calories. But there is a lot of learning as you move along from week to week, short articles to read that promote cognitive thinking and all the triggers that sabotage your desire to eat healthy and thoughtfully. I've learned a lot. My goal is 30 pounds by April 30th so I'm doing 1200 calories a day. I've lost 8 pounds so far, I wish it were more but slow and steady is right. I haven't been active as my back problems went berserk and I'm getting ready for the second surgery in two years. I'm actually eager for it so that I can recover and really start moving again.

    I'm going to close here, I could go on forever. If you have a chance you can Google the program or just go to the website to read about it, I haven't explained the gist of it very well. Again, thanks for sharing and giving me the chance to touch on what I'm doing. Good luck in the house hunting!


  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  28. Oh my gosh Katie, your story is mine toally and completely. I have been overweight since I hit puberty. Tab was my best friend there was a place in our little town that served it over crushed ice (a tab slushy). I never smoked or did drugs but had plenty of other bad habits. I did weight watchers in high school back in the 70's. I do think it is the best program and it works for me as long as I stick with it. And you are right about losing it slowly and keeping it off. I got my weight under control probably about 15 years ago but it crept up again during covid. So back on WW and if I would just drink one glass of wine and move more, I would be in good shape. I am sharing this on my Sunday favorites. I need to do a post like this as well!!

  29. Weight loss is never easy. Thank you for sharing your story at Party In Your PJ's.

  30. This was a great post... I am going to make a batch of the muffins...take care...and way to go!

  31. Could you please share more of your favorite WW desserts' recipes? I need to have healthy alternatives ready or I tend to slip and eat whatever my skinny 14 y/o wants to :(. Thanks!

  32. Katie, I saw that you moved to Dallas in October. I'm in Dallas, too. Lifelong. GIve me a shout.

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