Monday, September 30, 2013
As you read this, I'd love for you to sing "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warwick & Friends in your head. I'm waxing nostalgic because things are changing around here. My blog, "Laugh It Off" will no longer be a contributor blog and I just wanted to reach out and let you know.
Don't worry I'm still a Weight Watcher for life but I won't be dropping my regular pearls of wisdom and laughter. I just wanted to say that so you'll know that you can reach out to me. Now the song in my head should change to "I'll Be There" (feel free to sing either the 4 Tops or Jackson 5 version or a medley version of them both).
I hope you will continue to laugh as you're on your Weight Watchers journey. I know things can get hard sometimes when you're struggling to reach or maintain your goal weight. If you find yourself needing a laugh, feel free to come by and read one of your favorite blog posts. I hope you have a favorite blog post. I'm here for you, so keep laughing. That's what friends are for.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
September is National Chicken Month. Did you know that? There are so many food related days, weeks, and months that I had to find out for certain before I joined in the month long festivities. Thanks to the internet, it has been confirmed.
Joining in the chicken month festivities was a mere technicality, because every month is chicken month to me. Since I discovered the joy of chicken sausage, there are days where all of my meals include chicken. If you ask me, chicken is the candy of meats. Maybe I can convince the International Chicken Council (I don’t know if such an organization exists) to adopt that as the chicken slogan, “Chicken, the candy of meats”.
I think it’s fitting that September is National Chicken Month. I think that chicken is needed in September. Chicken brings not only sustenance and nutrition, but joy. With the end of summer and all of the change that occurs with kids going back to school, we all need a little chicken.
Chicken is also relatively low in PointsPlus values. The boneless-skinless chicken breast is a welcome compliment to vegetables and salads that fills you up and allows you to use PointsPlus values on other sweet treats. Sometimes that other sweet treat is more chicken.
I’m going to make the most of National Chicken Month, because I just got the Weight Watchers ultimate chicken cookbook. I think I’ll discover some new and exciting recipes if I can ever get past looking at the cover photo of two fried chicken legs. I never knew I was a leg man until now.
Monday, August 26, 2013
I’ve spent the last 11 days away from my family. My wife and son went to visit my wife’s parents in Oklahoma. During that time I’ve been to Sacramento, Philadelphia and Baltimore and I also spent about 3 days home alone in NYC. I know that when people think of being home alone, they think of unlimited excitement and unbridled freedom, but that’s hardly ever the case.
If I was a wise man, I would have prepared meals just like I usually do when my family is here and make them spread out over several days, but I think my wisdom went out of town with my family. I won’t be surprised to find it in their luggage when they get back home, “oh look here, there’s my wisdom. I couldn’t find it the whole time you guys were away”.
I didn’t cook for myself the entire time I was home alone. I figured if my family was on vacation then so was I. I’m usually the cook at my house, but just like my wisdom, the cook went on vacation too. I tried to order sensible meals and make healthy choices, but the combination of being on the road and being home alone don’t always combine to make for healthy choices.
This leads me to the conclusion that I’m ready for my family to come back home. Their return will encourage me to go grocery shopping and prepare balanced meals. My son will also jump on my neck and shoulders and require me to carry him around thus making me earn Activity PointsPlus values. Being away from my family has made me realize that they’re my healthy choice. I’m glad they’re coming home.
Friday, August 09, 2013
I’ve been receiving a lot of compliments lately about my weight. Most of the time people say, “have you lost some weight”? Or something else that eludes to my trim physique. But I haven’t really lost any weight, I’m just maintaining, but I get what they’re saying.
My weight has stayed in the same ballpark for a couple of years now, but all these compliments have made me wonder if I’ve been doing anything differently lately. One thing I can say about Weight Watchers, if you stick to it, eventually your habits will change and before you know it, you’re living a healthy lifestyle. At this point healthy choices are the rule rather than the exception.
The one thing that has changed is that my son is getting older and bigger. That is my secret! I have a son who likes to run, play and ride on my shoulders. My interactions with him are providing me with a wealth of Activity PointsPlus values. I’ve discovered a workout that I highly recommend to everyone. Let’s call it The Child’s Play Workout Plan.
It’s easiest if you have a child of your own, but don’t fret, there are kids everywhere and I’m sure we can find you one. Grandparents, you can use your grandchildren. If you’re not a parent or grandparent, find a nephew, niece, or child of a close friend. The next step is to run with them, actively play with them (that means no video games or board games), and give lots of piggy back rides.
But please only play with kids you know. If you play with kids you don’t know and raise the ire of their parents and the authorities, don’t point a finger at me.
Living a healthy lifestyle can literally be child’s play just by being active with a child. Plus kids really can help you enjoy life with their simple, happy approach to it. Now go play with the kids, people!
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Sometimes you find a good thing and you just have to share it. I want to let you know how I’ve been maintaining my goal weight during the summer. I thought I was gonna have a hard time maintaining because of all of the summer tasty temptations, but this summer has been a little bit different.
Here in New York City, we just emerged from a record heatwave with temperatures above one hundred degrees for several days in a row. I found the excessive heat to be just what I needed. Trust me, I hated every minute of it. It was the kind of heat that makes one constantly state how hot it is. You could hear it everywhere, “It’s hot”, “It’s so hot”, “It’s so hot that...”. It was so hot that I kept wishing I was a baby so that I could be pushed around in a stroller under a shaded visor while wearing nothing but a diaper.
It wasn’t until after the heatwave that I realized that I was looking and feeling svelte and trim. It made me look back in retrospect and realize I was employing “The Beat The Heat Plan”. Here’s how it works. Drink lots of water to hydrate, it also fills you up. Avoid too much cooking because that makes the house even hotter. Eat salads, fruit, and real-fruit-popsicles which all have low PointsPlus values. Try to stay as STILL as possible, but if you must venture out into the heat, move as QUICKLY as possible. It’s better to hurry through the heat and get to your destination than to slowly bake yourself in the sun. The fast pace will help you to earn Activity PointsPlus values.
I hope my plan works for you. I’m hoping to continue the Beat The Heat Plan even now that the heatwave is over. I’ll also spend my time between now and Fall to come up with a similar plan for the Fall and Winter seasons.
Friday, July 12, 2013
Is it me or did it seem like summer came out of nowhere? Here in NYC, it was cool and springy and then all of a sudden it was a heatwave. Summer didn’t even give me a chance to prepare. How could you do that to me summer?
Everything is telling me that I’m supposed to be sexy in the summertime. The clothes we’re supposed to wear are smaller and expose more flesh and even the sun conspires with summer, beating down and making us sweat just challenging us to take our clothes off. Pools and beaches are open and of course you can’t go to the pool or beach in a full suit of clothes. We’re actually expected to get as naked as the law will allow at those places.
As if that wasn’t enough we’re then tempted to fill our half naked bodies with all of the treats of summer. There’s the basic cookout fare, hot dogs, burgers, ribs and any and all of the other things you can expect to see at the cookout. And by the way, you can expect to find a cookout on any and all weekends all summer long.
It’s just not fair.
I shared all of this to say, “what are we gonna do”?!?! I don’t really have an answer, but I am proposing that we ask ourselves that question. Let’s ask it before we get to the cookout. Let’s ask it as we go to the grocery store. Maybe if we’re asking that question all summer long, we’ll take the time to plan and make some healthy choices.
One of the things I’m gonna do is, go swimming as much as I can. That’s a great exercise for the whole body that will help me to earn Activity PointsPlus values. Maybe that will allow me to treat myself a little or work off some of the treats I already had because I didn’t ask myself, “what am I gonna do”?
Monday, July 01, 2013
When I first became a comedian, I was a young man. Young enough to be able to eat buffalo wings, chicken fingers, and french fries several times a week and maintain my boyish figure. One of the joys of being a stand-up comedian was the complimentary food that was standard for most comedy clubs. I was even given the sage advice of an older comedian, “go for the perks kid”. (feel free to read that with an old grizzled comedian’s voice very similar to Jimmy Durante or Burgess Meredith)
As I got older I realized I couldn’t continue the wings, fingers and fries diet. That was made easier as I settled down in New York City and decided to cut down on working on the road. When I perform in New York, I’m able to prepare meals at home before I head to the comedy club and make a healthier choice. My plan was to stay in New York, audition during the day, perform at night and make my mark without having to leave town to much.
That plan had to change recently when I received a wonderful opportunity that’s gonna take me out on the road quite frequently in the coming months. It’s an opportunity I’m very grateful for but I’m very aware that I’m gonna have to game plan and prepare for eating on the road. Already in one weekend on the road, I had a turkey burger with bacon, cheese, avocado, chipotle mayo and apples on it. That’s right, apples. Whoever came up with that idea is a genius and I hope to one day meet this person so that I can give them a warm 5 minute hug and just talk apples and meat.
I’m up for the challenge. I’ll just make sure that when I’m backstage at the fully stocked table of free food, to walk past the candy section. I’ll make sure to calculate the Activity PointsPlus values I earn by walking past the candy and chips. I’ll stop in front of the fruit section and eat fruit whenever the urge hits to grab a wing or a chicken finger. It can be done and I’m gonna be the one to do it!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
It seems like when it rains it pours. I mean that literally because as I’m writing it’s raining very hard outside. It’s amazing how seeing rain fall down can make you think of how true that old adage can be. I can definitely say it for myself right now. I had sinus surgery and almost immediately after my last follow up visit with my ear, nose and throat doctor, I find out I had a broken hand that I’d been walking around with for three weeks. As a result of my dormant post surgery lifestyle, I missed maintaining my goal weight. And then today as I take my car to be serviced, I drop my phone face down and crack the screen. It’s enough to make a person ask, “Why me”???
Whenever I ask myself that question I flashback to a famous scene in one of my favorite movies “Uptown Saturday Night”. Richard Pryor played a shady private investigator “Sharp Eye Washington”. Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier enlist his services and, instead of helping them, he proceeds to rob them. When he is apprehended by the cops Bill Cosby asks him, “Why us brother”. Richard Pryor replies, “Why not you brother”? That always makes me laugh and brings me back to reality.
Why should I expect to never have to deal with intermittent downpours? We all encounter things that set us back. Most of the time we feel like we’re getting it worse than everybody else. Almost 100% of the time there’s someone who has it worse than us. Even though we try to sell ourselves on the fact that nobody in the world is having a harder time than us, when we’re honest we know that’s not true. I would like to take the time right now to express my sincerest sympathies to that person who has it worse than everybody else because nobody ever gives that person credit for their awful plight.
I’ve chosen to use my current plight as motivation. I’ve found that I’m a competitive person so my race against the clock to get back to my goal weight before my free e-tools expire has given me a sense of purpose. It’s inspired me to track like I’m trying to win the best tracker award and it’s caused me to open my Weight Watchers cookbook and find exciting meals that are low in PointsPlus values.
So next time you’re feeling like your getting drenched in a downpour, instead of asking “why me”? Ask yourself, “why not me”? If that doesn’t work, watch “Uptown Saturday Night”, I’m sure you’ll laugh yourself out of your funk.
Sunday, June 02, 2013
Recuperating from Hand Surgery and Sinus Surgery at the same time is really teaching me some life lessons. It’s amazing how much you learn about your body when just one little part takes time off from it’s duties. A nose and a hand seem so small in relation to a whole body. Neither one takes up much space, but I’ve definitely missed both of them the last couple of months.
Last week I deleted one of my blog posts by mistake because I was working my smartphone with one hand. I clumsily hit REMOVE when I was actually trying to share a link of the post with a friend on Twitter. It caused me quite a fright as I scrambled to retrieve it only to find out the blog post was lost in cyberspace. Fortunately I have all of my “Laugh It Off” posts saved on my computer (you never know, one day someone may want to make a book out of all of these posts). I was able to go copy and paste and re-post.
That experience made me think of all of the fear and panic we go through when we believe we’ve messed up or failed at things in life. I realized that once I calmed down, there was a simple solution to my dilemma. Just like with most situations, calming down was the first step. Then I realized that there was something that could be done to fix the problem.
The last few months have given me lots of time to wax philosophical. It’s also given me lots of time to lay around, watch movies and eat. This combination caused me to fall short of maintaining my goal weight this month. It’s hard to earn Activity PointsPlus values when it hurts to be active. At first I was upset by all of that, but then I realized that sometimes things are beyond your control.
Even though I didn’t maintain my goal weight this month, I haven’t totally fallen off the wagon. I’m only a couple of pounds over. I know I would have been within goal if I could have been more active. I also realize that I can simply start over or get up and keep going (I figured since I didn’t completely fall off the wagon, get up and keep going is a better metaphor). If I can struggle to type this blog with one hand I figure I can do anything.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
If you’re thinking that it’s taken quite a bit of time between blog posts lately, you may be right. You actually are right because I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on the disabled list lately. Perhaps I should have heeded my own advice and proceeded slowly with getting active. I’m once again recovering from surgery. This time I had surgery on my hand because I fractured it playing softball.
I walked around for almost 3 weeks with a broken hand. It started out with some swelling in my 3 middle fingers on my left hand that I assumed would go away. The swelling in my index finger and ring finger went down, but the swelling in my middle finger remained and I finally went to see a doctor. That’s when I found out that my hand was broken.
My biggest disappointment was that I’d miss some playing time in my softball league. I didn’t pay to be in a league to be missing games. Then I started to swell up with pride when I realized that I was so tough that I played for 2 weeks with a broken hand. They don’t make ‘em as tough as me anymore.
I shared all of that to say, don’t try to be as tough as me. I’m a rare breed, folks. Take it easy out there as you earn your Activity PointsPlus values. Trust me, going as hard as me when trying to earn Activity PointsPlus values is way more expensive than softball league or gym membership. I have to admit, I overdid it. I’m just hoping to get healthy in time to participate in the playoffs! That is, if my wife gives me permission to play again.