Category Archives: PointsPlus

Weekday Giveaway: Who’s Hungry?

In yesterday’s post I shared how Weight Watchers helped shed light on how much I was eating as opposed to how much I should be eating.  And it’s true…When I looked at my daily intake in an honest way it didn’t take long to realize that I was overdoing it at home and when I was out.  I still overdo it more often than I care to admit, but Weight Watchers and Applebee’s are trying to make it easier for me.

My favorite restaurants are little hole-in-the-wall places that typically offer big portions sans nutrition facts, but I have to admit that I do like chain restaurants sometimes because it’s easier to navigate the menu.  I like knowing how many calories or points is in the meal I’m eating because when I’m aware of it I’m much more cautious.  I know I’m not  the only one who feels that way, right?

I like the idea of sitting down, looking at the menu and knowing exactly how many calories and/or points are in the meal.  Some cities (New York being one of them) requires restaurants to disclose nutritional information on the menu, and Applebee’s is ahead of the game by sharing  Points Plus information on their Weight Watchers approved menu.

So when Applebee’s offered to let me try a new Weight Watchers friendly dish, I accepted the offer.  And now I’m extending it to you.  Applebee’s is going to give away a $25 gift card to one of my blog readers this week.   Obviously, you can elect to eat whatever you want to eat, but I’d recommend trying the Weight Watchers menu.

I’ve tried the Grilled Jalapeno Lime Shrimp and the Creamy Parmesan Chicken, and I like them both.  The shrimp is scrumptious and light which contrasts the comforting flavors of the chicken.  I’m salivating just thinking about it.  Yum.

Tell me that this doesn't look like comfort food to you...


So who wants to go to Applebee’s?  Leave a message in the comments telling me you’d like to win.  I’ll choose a winner Friday at noon central.  I’m e-mail the winner, and he or she will have 24 hours to claim their gift card!

Good luck!  I hope you’re hungry!


 *All opinions in this post are mine, and I have not been paid to endorse this product. Applebee's will provide a gift card to one winner. The winner will have 24 hours to respond from the time the e-mail is sent.  Resident must be 18 years or older and live in the US.

Friends Who Understand, A Great Workout and A Plan

Yesterday I did some things that I don’t ususally do – some good things and some things that I wish I didn’t have to admit.  Let’s start with the things that I wish I didn’t have to talk about…my weekly weigh-in.  I skipped it.  Yep, that’s right.  For the first time since joining Weight Watchers in 2009, I skipped a weigh-in because I didn’t want to deal with the numbers on the scale.

As a monthly pass member, Weight Watchers allows me to attend unlimited meetings, and they don’t require a weigh-in to attend.  I just didn’t do it, and this behavior is a slippery slope that I am not willing to slide down so I’m saying it now – I will NOT skip another regularly scheduled meeting because I don’t feel like facing the music.  I just won’t do it so feel free to hold me to it.  Over the last week, my choices became progressively worse until yesterday when I decided that enough was enough.  Now I have to do it again tomorrow.

I also did something that made me feel good about myself.  I took Anne’s advice, and set a challenging fitness goal for myself.  I hit the gym and completed 10 miles on the bike, pedaling as fast as I could.  It takes me 5 1/2 minutes to do a mile which added up to a great cardio workout followed by 100 crunches.  I know I should feel good about being able to do 10 miles on a bike without much effort, and I do.  But I thought I’d feel exhausted, but I didn’t.  I think I’ll have to try 20 miles when I’m back at the gym Monday.  Until then, I plan to do my favorite Richard Simmons workout, “Party Off the Pounds.”

I’m traveling again tomorrow which means that I’ll have the opportunity to prove to myself that I can make healthy choices even when I’m away from home.  I’ll bring a gigantic English cucumber, grapes and bananas.  And this time, Cal is coming with me, and I think we’ll spend some time ruminating over his ideas to change my palate.  I think it’s okay to like sweets, but I don’t think it’s okay to let them consume my mind or control my actions as they sometimes do.

With the holidays quickly approaching, I’ve come up with a plan that will (hopefully) help me stay in control of my cravings and food intake.  Chubby McGee, one of my favorite blog friends (check out her blog here) spurred a thought for me that has turned into action, and it worked well yesterday so I’ll do it again tomorrow.  She said that she loves cupcakes so she allows herself to have one every week.  She budgets for it in her intake, and she walks to the bakery and back to get it.  By the way, I’ve done that before, and I think it’s a brilliant plan.

And her comment made me think about something that I did during my first year of weight-loss.  I ate fruits and veggies and lean proteins along with foods that were high in fiber.  I exercised regularly, and I ate a piece of cake almost every night.  Yep…I did it.  I had a serving of cake (7 points at the time) for dessert almost every evening, and it took a lot of pressure off.  I didn’t worry about skipping ice cream when my friends ate it, and driving past a bakery was no big deal because I told myself I’d enjoy something sweet later.  And it worked.   it allowed me to focus on everything I was trying to accomplish without the fear of eating too much later.

So that’s my new plan, kind of.  I don’t plan to eat cake everyday, but I will allow myself to have something sweet everyday, at least for now.  I have more than enough PointsPlus to eat nutritiously and stay satisfied while enjoying  half of a cupcake or a Kit-Kat.  I have me entire life to reform my nutritional intake and to figure out why I crave sweet treats, but I don’t want to spend my entire life trying to reach my weight-loss goal.  I’d rather do what I can to reach that goal asap and worry about the rest along the way.

So in addition to working out hard, I’m going to eat healthy foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients – and have something sweet everyday.  That’s my plan, and I think it’s going to help me get through the holidays with success just as it did the first year.  Obviously, I’m no pro.  I’m just a girl who’s trying to figure it all out, and I have a feeling that while I might get a little flack for it, this plan is going to get me closer to where I want to be.



Here I Am Again

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I started this blog for myself.  I wrote posts to keep myself accountable and to look back at victories as I climbed my personal Everest, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.  Over the last year, I’ve written countless posts about getting back on track, hitting my internal reset button and figuring out how to move forward after I did it for so long, and today is going to be another post about taking one step forward and ten steps back then more steps forward. This hard thing (fixing my body and mind) is something I am determined to do – even if I have to work at it for the rest of my life (and I know that’s the most likely scenario.)   And I’m certain that my blog has helped me maintain the work I’ve already done.  I don’t want to guess where I’d be without the support and accountability I receive here.

It is no secret that I’ve struggled over the last year (though yesterday was better.)  I’m proud of maintaining, but in September I thought I had found my new groove.  I thought I had figured it out again, but I have not.  Rejoining a Weight Watchers group gave me a renewed sense of hope,  but joining alone is not where the magic happens!  The truth is that I’m struggling to control my food portions.  I don’t remember having this much trouble on a consistent basis when I started WW in 2009, but I am now because I’m not following the program – at all.

I can think of a few seemingly justifiable reasons to be struggling lately (death of my uncle, toe injury, new meds…)  But the truth is that the reasons/excuses are not as important as making the changes I need to make to adjust.  I worked out yesterday – 45 minutes on the recumbent bike, upper body and 100 crunches which didn’t bother my toe too much, but this is my first healthy day since Wednesday.  Eating more crap and drinking wine and beer is not exactly the way to counteract my lack of gym time, but that’s what I did this weekend.  Yes, my weekend was amazing, but I’d look back with fonder memories if I could look forward with more confidence.

Every Thursday, no matter how poorly or how well I’ve eaten all week, I find myself ready to start over…ready to tackle the next week…until Friday night or Saturday night. At that point, I find myself thinking that I can worry about it tomorrow…I’ll say to myself “I’m going to workout so why not eat this extra piece of bread (or three?)” and  I end up spending Monday through Thursday trying to undo the damage that I did Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  And while it makes absolutely no sense, I know some of you know exactly what I’m talking about so my goal for the next 7 days is to track my food intake and to sweat hard at least 5 times.  When I do that, it works so I’m going to exercise and eat foods that I’m not embarrassed to enter in e-tools.

I say no to myself pretty often, but lately I haven’t been doing it enough.  Over the last four weeks, I haven’t said no much at all (at least consistently,) and I haven’t said yes to the gym or to vegetables and other healthy habits.  And I don’t want these setbacks to become my new normal though sometimes it seems they have.  If you’ve ever been to my blog before then you know that this isn’t new for me, but you also know that I don’t give up.

I know I’m not the only one struggling right now.  I also know that I have to keep trying because I definitely cannot accept failure and/or defeat.  If losing weight was easy……..well, you know the rest…….


0 + 0 + 1 =6, Or I Think I’ve Been Doing This Wrong

If you read back through the archives of this blog, you would see an incredible difference between Kenlie who attends weekly WW meetings (regardless of rain, snow, etc) and Kenlie who’s trying to do it on her own.  You’d also see a stark difference in the amount of weight I lose when attending meetings versus not attending meetings.  And you stick around, you’re going to see that extraordinary shift again in the coming months.

After attending a new meeting Thursday night, I’ve found myself excited to cook food again and to get the most bang for my buck (in p+ values) though this time there’s an added layer.  I’m challenging myself to eat vegetables as the majority of my points.   You might be thinking “What is she babbling about? Veggies are free!”  But hear me out…

When you combine zero p+ foods in the recipe builder they’re no longer zero points because the value actually changes when the points for each item are calculated together.   In short, I’ve been tracking incorrectly.  I already knew that PointsPlus values could change when I combine two servings of something, but I’ve never tracked fruits and vegetables that way until now.  And it seems that most people don’t do it that way, but if I’m eating fresh fruit salads or meals that are vegetable dense, I need to track properly to reach my goal.

For lunch today, I ate a giant salad then logged it in the recipe builder before I tracked it.  Check out the details:

1 c baby spinach (o)

1/4 carrot (o)

1/4 large zucchini (o)

1 small apple (o)

1/4 c red onion (o)

1/4 cucumber (o)

1/2 c tomato (o)

1/2 c broccoli (o)

When these zero p+ foods were added up together, they totaled 4 p+ as opposed to zero because when foods are prepared and consumed together, they’re calculated in totals rather than separately.   It makes sense, but am I the only one who didn’t realize this until recently?

0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 + 1 + 3 =11

And here are some details on the smoothie that I made today.  I don’t regret utilizing my PointsPlus to eat it, but it does make me keenly aware of the fact that fruits are not always free.  Check out these details:

1 c strawberries (o)

1 large banana (0)

1/2 c skim milk (1)

0 + 0 + 1 =6

When consumed separately, these fruits and this milk are only worth 1 p+, but eat them together and they become 6 p+!  That’s a big difference!  And while it makes a lot more sense this way, it’s important to know that this is how it works because if I had eaten the smoothie (which was fantastic by the way) without calculating the points properly, I would have exceeded my points for the day.

And earlier this evening, I wanted a snack and needed some protein so I considered having peanut butter and banana on toast, but after adding the ingredients into the recipe builder I decided to make some adjustments because the points were so different than I thought they’d be. (I’m glad I checked!)

5 + 0 =9

Last year, when Weight Watchers unrelieved the PointsPlus plan, I was frustrated because I had learned so much about what a proper portion looked like through Momentum.  And I didn’t understand how fruits could be counted as zero p+, but now I think I understand!  And knowing that while fruits when eaten alone can occasionally be zero p+, I’m much more comfortable with PointsPlus based on my new understanding.  I had trouble wrapping my head around the fact that fruits and veggies were zero so I’m okay with this new knowledge.  And in addition to working out hard, this new information helps me feel like I’m back on the right track.


One Week Commitment

My blog has been keeping me honest for a long time, but it’s time to step it up.  I am a firm believer in tracking my daily food intake, and I’ve been doing it pretty religiously since I started this blog.  I still do it, but I could be making much better choices.

Yesterday I actually thought it was a good idea to eat a Lean (Pizza) Pocket for breakfast.  And 7 wasted P+ later, I realized that I am no longer a fan of them.  I don’t always make choices that are that appalling, but you get the idea.  And I struggle on the weekends so I am going to hold myself accountable for the next 7 days.

Starting today, I am going to log everything I eat on my blog.  Don’t worry! I won’t be writing a post about it everyday.  I’m just going to quietly update my food intake in the Food JournalTab at the top of my site in the hopes that it will persuade me to make better choices.  It seems to work well with my Daily Cardio Log so it’s worth a shot.

We’ll see how I feel after a week and go from there.  Do you track your food intake?  If so, does it affect the choices you make?


Friend Makin’ Mondays: ABC’s

It’s Monday again which means it’s time for FMM! This week, the topic is going to be fun and a bit challenging so grab a drink and get ready to share the details of your life.  By the end, we should know so much about each other that we can be betsties for life. 😉

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen.  The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: ABC’s of Me
Here’s how it works…you’ll choose topics about yourself, your likes, dislikes, etc.  according to each letter in the alphabet, and share a little with us. Oh shhh…you know you love it. 😉
A) Atlantis is one of my favorite vacation destinations. I love the Bahamas! I like Aruba too which also starts with an A. 
B) It’s been a while since I’ve really liked a guy…I’ve been boy crazy since first grade when I had my first crush on a kid in 7th grade.  He didn’t care that I was alive (apart from the fact that I could spell mathematics and he couldn’t) though it’s pretty clear that I’ve always liked them older.  I prefer them to be smart now too. 😉 
C) I need to buy a car  because moving to Los Angeles means driving from point A to point B.  I was suprised to learn that L.A. has a subway system though it’s not at all like NYC.  It’s a good start though. 
D) Dad and I talk on the phone almost daily. 
E) Exercise is an important part of my life. Taking a few days off sucks.  Sometimes it’s necessary, but it makes me very lazy.  
F) College football and baseball are my favorite sports to watch on TV.  Do not bother me on Saturdays during football season unless it’s to offer me a hoagie or some sushi. 
G) I like golf.  I suck at it, but I like it.  And I need new golf clubs – preferably the light blue Mizuno clubs that I’ve adored for a few years. 
H) I’m happiest when the sun is shining and I’m around people I love. 
I) I enjoy having good conversations, playing Scrabble and tweeting on my iPhone. 
J) I still do modified jumping jacks though I learned that I can do regular ones recently..I can jump rope too! #NSV
K) Knitting is one of my favorite hobbies. 
L) Los Angeles. Enough said.
M) My mom drives me crazy sometimes, but she loves me like crazy all the time.  I love her too. =) 
N) I love my niece more than I knew I could love a human.  And I already knew I had the capacity to love a lot…
O) I am 30 years old, and soon…I’ll be 31 years old…
P) Pearl Jam is my favorite band of all time. I’ve seen them in concert many, many times, and I’ve always been 11th row or closer.  Also, I made panzanella for the first time this weekend.  I’ll blog about it soon. =)
Q) One of my favorite quotes is…”To love someone is nothing.  To be loved by someone is something, but to be loved by the one you love is everything.” 
R) Rice Kripsy Treats are my weakness…well, one of them. 😉 
S)  I applied to a couple of schools in California recently, and I received my first acceptance letter over the weekend.  I’m going back to school to study something completely different than I ever would have imagined.
T) I love twitter.  I have met some pretty incredible people that I may not have met otherwise. 
U) I never seem to have an umbrella with me when it starts to rain.  I came out of the Subway on the Upper West Side recently when the sky opened up so I ran into a store to purchase an umbrella.  I found one by Joseph Abboud on sale and thought it would be sufficient.  I used it to walk about 3 blocks before a wind gust broke it while simultaneously getting splashed by a food truck.  Sometimes I have an umbrella, and it still doesn’t matter.
V) Veal is disgusting.  I will not eat baby cow.  I will not eat baby cow.
W) White Collar is my favorite TV show.  I love Neal Cafferey.  Why does it seem like I talk about this every Monday? 🙂 
X) marks the spot, and that reminds me of a Nickelback song that I like to run to when I’m at the track.
Y) I am a Yankees fan to the core.  No matter where I live, I’ll always be a Yankees fan…Derek Jeter will always be my hero, and New York, New York will always make me think of pie in the face.
Z) Zero PointsPlus foods are my absolute favorite.  I love Weight Watchers, and the fact that fruits – even bananas – are zero points is completely awesome. 
Now it’s your turn! Don’t forget to come back and link up! Happy Monday, and happy Memorial Day! 


I take a pride in being candid and honest on my blog, and today will be no exception.  I’ve just completed week 2 of PointsPlus, and I still love it.  What I love less is that my weight stayed the same this week, but I’m very aware of the reasons for it.

  Exhibit A

  • I went to a party last weekend and was surrounded by copious amounts of decadent foods all day.  More specifically, it was a buffet-style party with a seemingly endless supply of burgers, BBQ ribs, sausage and three tables of cascading cupcakes.  If you know me, you know my love for cupcakes. 😉  Because I was in this situation for 7 hours (unable to leave even if I wanted to) I paced myself.  I used 20 weekly points – something I rarely did on Momentum. More on that in a moment. 
  • My workouts were not as strong this week as they were the week prior.  I did a few 5k’s, walked over 5 miles one day and even jogged my fastest mile on record.  It was a great workout week, but it could have been better.  
  • Last week I lost 5.8 pounds.  Unless you’re at the Biggest Loser Ranch, losing 5.8 pounds in a week is pretty rare.  In the first year of my journey I noticed a pattern.  Some weeks I’d stay the same, and I’d always have a big loss the following week.  Let’s hope I can make that happen this week. 😉 

So overall, my weight stayed the same, and I’m okay with it.  I believe PointsPlus works, but I’m also keenly aware of the work it takes to erase one day.  I stayed within my target points Saturday, but I’ve never been one to eat the extra weekly points and/or my activity points.  I think that’s still a good plan for me because on most days, I have more than enough points to stay satisfied. 

I’m also excited because I’ve been doing 101 crunches or more for almost three weeks now, and I can see that my stomach is shrinking.  And that, my friends, feels awesome.

I wish I had shown a loss, but that’s part of the game.  I watched my weight inch down over the last week, but my official weigh-in is today so I’ll keep trying.  I’m ready to make this week better.

Check out the fruit table…we were close all day. =)
And there were endless cookies and brownies and cakes and cupcakes and a full ice cream bar, popcorn bar and hot food bars. It was food insanity! Everything was free and unlimited, but I kept my cool. 

Okay..I’m Sold…

If you read my blog, you already know that Weight Watchers helped me take the first step toward changing my life.  You may also know that I was sad/angry/bitter less than thrilled when they introduced the new PointsPlus program late last year.  I didn’t understand the science behind making fruits free, but, in truth, my mind just wasn’t ready for change. 

Well, after following the PointsPlus plan for the last week, I am officially hooked.  It is incredible!  I felt all of the freedoms (and more)  that I felt when I started Weight Watchers at this time two years ago.  And I lost 5.8 pounds this week. 😉 

My eating habits were similar to eating on the Momentum plan.  I ate chips, but I supplemented with fruits and vegetables.  The plan drove me toward healthier choices that I had let slide while counting calories.  Counting calories works too. I just felt lost and found myself eating more processed foods because the nutrition facts were readily available. 

Part of my hesitation with the new plan was that I’d have to start over, memorizing new values for most foods.  In reality, it only took a few extra seconds to calculate the new PointsPlus values.  I became much more aware of my carbohydrates intake. It wasn’t difficult at all, and with the iPhone app there’s no excuse not to track everything!

Weight Watchers helped me lose the first 100, and I’m looking forward to letting them help me lose the rest.  I love this plan, and I love Weight Watchers.  Sometimes we have to accept change at our own pace, but I’m on board.  I’m moving forward, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

PointsPlus Progress

I’ve been following the PoinsPlus plan since the weekend, and I love it so far.  I don’t weigh-in until Friday, but here’s what I already know…

  • I’m making healthier food choices.  I’m reaching for a banana or an orange instead of a mini ice cream sandwich.
  • I feel light as a feather.  I don’t feel weighed down by processed foods.  I’m still eating some, but my intake of healthy whole foods is noticeably greater than it was in previous weeks. 
  • I love exercise, and I’m pleased with the number of activity points I could use if I needed to. 
  • The new Weight Watchers app for my iPhone is much more impressive than the app I used on Momentum.  It is much more comprehensive so I don’t feel a need for third-party apps like I did in the past. 
  • I feel like I have, once again, found the place where I belong.  I’ve said it a million times.  Weight Watchers changed my life, and there is something absolutely comforting and familiar about logging in e-tools.  

I’m so glad I chose to give PointsPlus a real shot.  I believe I’ll see good results when I weigh-in later this week, but I don’t have to weigh-in to know that I am making smarter, healthier food choices.  I feel awesome, and I feel confident that I am, once again, making the best decisions for my body.  And it feels good.

Hello Points Plus

I’ve been counting calories since the beginning of the year, and as a result, I have found myself doing precisely what I said I would not do.  I’ve become so focused on the caloric numbers that I haven’t bothered looking at fat, fiber, etc.  I have eaten within my caloric target, and I have lost weight.  But I’ve lost focus, in that, I’m eating more junk..less vegetables, lean proteins, fruits…

I’ve said many times that the method isn’t nearly as important as consistency,  and I still believe that to be an absolute truth.  That being said, Weight Watchers has been the driving force behind my success, and I believe it will continue to be just that for a number of reasons:

1) I look at counting points as an opportunity to get the best value out of my daily allowance.  This means that I tend to eat more fruits, veggies, lean proteins and other point friendly foods. 

2) Weekly meetings are easily the best source for recipes, tips, support, encouragement and accountability.  There’s nothing better than a good meeting.

3) People on Weight Watchers love to help other people on Weight Watchers.  I tweeted a question about edamame (my favorite veggie ever) today and received an onslaught of responses within moments. 

4) I can access e-tools wherever I am – from my laptop and/or my iPhone.  I loved the app when I used Momentum, and it seems like there are a lot of new features to enjoy now. 

I’ve been extraordinarily (and  quite openly)  bitter about the changes Weight Watchers rolled out late last year, but that stops today.  I have not given the new plan a real chance.  My life changed in  the best way when I joined Weight Watchers and followed Momentum, and I did not want that to change. Everything else in my life was changing at the same time, and I desperately needed something to feel familiar. 

But I’m ready to make the new program part of my everyday life.    I’m ready to find counting PointsPlus values as second nature as I found counting points on the old plan.  Weight Watchers is home to me, and this prodigal girl is ready to come home.