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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Weight Watchers’

On The Topic Of Weight: Some Suggestions

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Thank you for your letters. I received so many letters on this topic asking me what a person can do to help, if mentioning weight is counterproductive. One woman wanted ideas on how to deal with her teenage niece who searches her kitchen for snacks from the moment she walks in from school and then gets upset because of her overeating. Another wanted to know how to help her husband who keeps gaining weight but doesn’t see it as becoming a health problem. Most of the other letters were variations on the same theme, and so let me try and address these issues.


It is so important to remember that the issue of weight is complex and the causes are multifaceted. Pain, uncertainty, unhappiness etc. in people’s lives are often stuffed down with food. Food can also fill the loneliness and makes people feel better. While we may not know what is causing the problem, we can assist in helping a person deal with it simply by making her feel better about herself. The more you like yourself, the less you want to hurt yourself. The more you love your life, the less you will risk losing it. This may sound simplistic, but by simply making someone feel good about who he/she is, you can start him/her on the road to better self-care.


As I’ve discussed, commenting on a person’s weight or telling him that he needs to lose weight, is not an effective means of helping that person deal with a weight problem. Things that do work are usually inviting the person to join you in an activity that you are doing. Asking if he’d like to begin walking with you, as you are starting on a walking regime and you’d love his company, conveys the message that you care about him without pointing fingers at his failings.


Asking for that person’s company as you join a diet club, like Weight Watchers, is also effective for the same reasons. But this takes a time commitment from you and may not be something you particularly want to do. Another way of discovering the best and most effective way to help someone with his/her weight is simply to ask how you can help. Do not bring up the topic, but if you are a good friend your friend will eventually bring up his/her concerns about carrying excess pounds. That is your opening.


It is your chance not to lecture or tell the person what she/he already knows but to ask how you may be of help in what she/he wants to accomplish.  Then you must listen and be willing to accept the answer. Do not contradict or challenge what that person is saying. If you are told there is nothing you can do, then that is exactly what you will be doing – nothing – for now. Just say that you are there for him/her any time, should she/he want your help. This lets the person stay in control of his/her own life. Once you respect that choice, you have a better chance of the person coming back to you to enlist your help when she/he is ready. Readiness is a major part of succeeding. Trusting you to respect the person’s choice is a prerequisite to asking for your help.


As for the teenage niece who searches for snacks, when she is sharing her regret over her self-destructive behavior is the perfect time to ask her − not tell her − how can you help. Listen to what she is telling you. “Nothing” is code for “butt out.” “I don’t know” leaves you an opening for suggestions. Would she want you to remind her when she opens the fridge that she will beat herself up about it later? Would it be helpful if you had a healthy snack ready for her when she came over?  Would it help to put a child-safe lock on the candy cupboard as a silent reminder for her to stop? Then, listen to her answer and do what she asks you, whether it makes sense to you or not.


For the husband who is gaining weight and has no problem with it, why not try making time to go for a short walk together. Make the walk an enjoyable together time. You can even include your children, making it a family event. As you casually direct the walk up a steep hill, if there is one in your neighborhood, or keep up a fast pace if there isn’t and you both get short of breath, the idea of the need for you both to exercise becomes self evident. The family walk can become a fun way to put some health in your day while enjoying each other.


Whatever direction your help takes, try not to control the other person. Let that person decide the type of help she/he need from you, if any. And if your help is not wanted and the person continues to harm him/herself with poor choices, your choice must be to accept that person, as he/she is. It is the only chance you have, that the person will get help, eventually, when ready to do so.


You can reach me at annnovick@hotmail.com

Further And Final Comments and Observations on the Topic of Weight

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

I have spent the last few articles discussing what, I have come to believe, are abusive comments made to overweight people in the guise of caring and acceptability. These comments, I believe, are one of the few socially acceptable ways we have of denigrating others without having to cope with the fact that what we are doing is wrong. 


I am not talking here about the helpful words and kind offers like “I’m going for a walk, would you like to join me.” Or “I’m thinking of joining a gym and would love your company. ” Or, “Will you join Weight Watchers with me? I don’t want to go alone.” Those are positive motivational efforts made by a caring person who cares for another and is willing to put her/himself out to help.


What I am talking about are the inappropriate, unsolicited comments of the obvious: the “you-know-you-should-take-off-the-weight” comments that inform the overweight person of a problem that they are already acutely aware of, as if they’ve never noticed.


The last time I brought up the topic of being overweight with a well spouse support group, about a third of the members of the group were overweight.  The members of the group, who were heavy, agreed that these unsolicited comments about their weight were never helpful, always hurtful and usually caused more harm than good.


Despite this, a gentleman in the group insisted he often made these comments, to strangers, friends and family members alike, because he cared.  It did not matter that all the overweight people in the group insisted the comments were counterproductive. It did not matter that those types of comments caused them pain. He still said he would continue to make such comments because he cared and he believed they were helpful, despite the evidence to the contrary right in front of him.


My feeling about this became even stronger when I received this letter:


Dear Ann,


I have been following your articles on the issue of weight. I have never considered myself a hurtful person but I realized I have made these very comments to others. I really began to think seriously about it when I was waiting for my car at the local car wash. The person standing beside me had a weight problem. 


As I was standing there, thinking that she really needed to lose some pounds, for her health, and perhaps I should say something; a man came out of the car wash and joined us to wait for his car. It was quite windy and the smoke from his cigarette was all over us. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind moving away as his smoke was bothering me.


When he did, I wondered why it hadn’t occurred to me to tell him that he needed to stop smoking for his health. I didn’t know either of these people. Why did I feel I could correct one and not the other?  Amazingly, why would I comment to the person whose actions (the weight) has no effect on me and not to the one whose actions (second hand smoke) could kill me. What right do I have to correct anyone?


Though I disagreed with you initially, I am changing my mind. It is very scary for me to think of myself as a bully… but maybe that is exactly what I have been doing when I make these comments.


K.


                                                            * * * * *


I also began to wonder about the bystanders, the people who hear these hurtful comments made and say nothing. Silence lets everyone believe we agree with what is being said. Many of us have been in such a situation and for a variety of reasons stand by quietly, our silence saying we agree with the hurtful comments. 


Perhaps we choose to remain quiet because we do not want to become the focus and have the one making the comment switch his attention to us, or because we want the attack to stop and not be extended by our comments.  Perhaps we remain quiet because we don’t want to be seen as aligned with the person under attack or because we are just feeling uncomfortable by the whole incident and want it to go away.


Perhaps we think that if we say something we will make the victim feel worse or we just don’t know what to say to make the situation better. Or could it be that we actually agree with what is being said and feel that though it may hurt their feelings the comments are really for their own good?


It is up to each of us to examine our motives for our silence. It is up to each of us to consider what we are being told by the recipients of these comments: that they are hurtful and counterproductive. And then it is up to each of us to decide what we will do the when we hear someone being told that they really are the size of a football player and need to take off weight and start eating less. Whom will you align yourself with next time?


You can reach me at annnovick@hotmail.com

Just In Time For Chanukah

Friday, January 16th, 2004

Most people will agree that one of the joys of Chanukah is the excuse to eat potato latkes. However, for many the preparation is a hassle, and we would much rather spend that time with our families. So, for years many people have used packaged frozen latkes. Don’t get me wrong - they are good, but it’s not quite the same as homemade.

This year there is a new latke in town - one that gives you the taste of homemade with a fraction of the work. Ruthie & Gussie’s Traditional Potato Pancake Batter (Steve’s Gold Metal Latkes, Star’K, parve) is made from an award-winning recipe. The batter comes in a 28 oz. plastic container that you can keep in your freezer until you need it, then either defrost in the refrigerator or microwave and mix.

I made the latkes last week on Friday – at the height of the snowstorm - and the 28 oz. container made 25 nice-size latkes that were eaten as fast was I could make them. We had a house full of children and all of them (including Raizy and Shmuly) kept coming back for more. The only complaint I got was, “When are you making more?”

Quick and easy, this latkes batter is a must for Chanukah. Look for it in your local kosher grocery or on the web at www.ruthieandgussies.com.

Many of you may have seen the ads in our Kosher Food section for Doctor B’s Kosher Lite meals. This is a product line that is low fat, low carb and low cholesterol, but filled with great taste. As you know, in this column we only review products that we have had the opportunity to sample. Doctor B’s sent us a shipment of food a few weeks ago that we all enjoyed. The variety of food they offer is amazing – everything from stuffed cabbage (parve) to cream of spinach parmigana crepes (dairy) to an incredible vanilla cheesecake (dairy, 3 WW points) - and are all reasonably priced. Whether you are on Atkins, Weight Watchers, are diabetic or just plain looking to eat something healthy and good - give Doctor B’s Kosher Lite products a try. Doctor B’s can be reached at 718-591-3447 – Make sure to ask about their dessert gift boxes, which can be delivered nationwide.

Once again, have a great Chanukah.

The Joy Of Snacking

Friday, March 15th, 2002

In my house, the search for the perfect snack is of utmost importance. In fact, I probably spend more time in the snack aisle then I do searching for the perfect cut of meat.

The perfect snack, in my opinion, not only tastes good, but is also low in fat and calories (and, of course, Weight Watchers points).

Recently, I came across a number of items that fit all three criteria.

Miss Meringue (OU parve and produced by Jacques Gourmet) ? A line of meringue cookies that start off with a satisfying crunch and finish by melting in your mouth. They come in a huge variety of flavors ranging from vanilla, chocolate and strawberry to the more exotic like mint chocolate chip and coconut. Their latest flavor, triple chocolate chip, is such a hit with my kids that by the time my husband got home and looked in the container for a taste, guess what? There was only one left. They are 80-90 calories per serving depending on the flavor (that's two WW points). The 5 oz. containers can be found in most major supermarkets and the single serving bags are available in specialty food stores.

Eat Your Heart Out (Star K parve and produced by Amy Sinaiko Inc) ? Two different kinds of snacks for different taste buds. This line includes fruit snacks in two flavors ? apple cinnamon and peach with mango. Unlike other fruit snacks on the market, these are wedges, not pieces, and have a very intense fruit flavor. They are great with plain or vanilla flavored yogurt and ice cream. At 80 calories a bag, zero fat and 2 grams of fiber (that's one WW point) ? they are a great tasting and nourishing snack.

The second item in this line is freeze-dried soybeans. Now, like some of you I had my doubts at first but I have to tell you, these are addictive. They come in three different flavors: salsa, Indian spice, and sweet and sour. At home, we added the sweet and sour ones to vegetable soup – just a sprinkle on top ? and we loved it. The flavors are also intense, but not overwhelming. They are 90 calories per bag, with between 2-3 grams of fat per serving (that two WW points), and have the added value of getting soy in your diet.

Eat Your Heart Out products are available at most major health food stores, but if you can't find them, you can order online at www.eatyourheartoutsnacks.com.

The final product of the month is not what you would call a conventional snack item ? instant soup. In our house, soup is not always a meal; sometimes it's just a filling and nutritious snack.

Kojel (OU parve and produced by V.I.P. Foods Inc) has a line of instant soups in an assortment of flavors. We tried the cabbage, vegetable/chicken couscous and garden vegetable with noodles and enjoyed all three. They are low in fat and calories ? less than a gram of fat and ranging from 136-144 calories per container (that's one-two WW points). They are available in your local kosher grocery or major supermarket. Their line also includes jello, puddings, and hot cereal for Pesach and much more.

That's it for this month. Coming in March ? pizza and mozzarella sticks.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/the-joy-of-snacking/2002/03/15/

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