Week 2: Weight Watchers Weigh In

I have some good news from my second meeting this morning: I’m down another 1.8 pounds! I’ve lost 5.8 pounds total since my traumatic experience on the scale two weeks ago.



My Weight Watchers leader made a great point today. This is the 30th week of the year (where has this year gone, by the way?). So, that means there are 22 weeks left. At an average of a pound a week, it’s possible to lose at least 22 pounds by the end of the year. Small, consistent losses can really add up. So, in the spirit of the video I posted yesterday, I’ll continue focusing on the small picture, knowing that the daily and weekly victories add up to something HUGE.

Overall, this hasn’t felt like a diet — it’s just made me more mindful about planning my meals for the day. Between Monday and Friday, this isn’t difficult. I go to work, eat similar things each day, get in a work out — sticking to this rhythm is easy during the week. It’s the weekends that can be my undoing, so I know I need to come up with a strategy for days that won’t be my usual routine. I had a friend in town over the weekend and instead of letting that derail my entire diet, I made sure to plan in a way that would allow me to make smart choices all weekend.

I got up super early to make it to an 8 a.m. Zumba class on Saturday morning (which surprised even me) in order to set the tone for our day. We went to the beach with a bunch of friends and — knowing I’d be imbibing in a couple of cocktails — I packed a cooler with fruit and healthy snacks to keep me full all day and to offset the points from drinking (One drink is 4 points! This certainly makes me aware of every.single.drink.). It took me about 10 minutes to pack all of my snacks and about 3 seconds to make a conscious choice with every sip I took and bite I ate throughout the day. I made a few small changes to my normal behavior and because of that I stayed on track.

In an upcoming post I’ll share examples of what I’ve been eating (I seriously don’t feel the least bit deprived) and some tips for portion control. Stay tuned!

Andie Mitchell’s TEDx Talk

I’ve read Andie Mitchell’s blog for years. After losing 135 pounds — and keeping it off — Andie started a healthy food blog where she also shares how she lost the weight (and the struggle of maintaining). She’s a huge inspiration to me as a fearless writer and accomplished blogger (her book is coming out next year).

When I found out she was doing a TEDx talk earlier this year, I knew she’d share an inspiring message. I recommend spending the time watching this if you want a powerful reminder to take weight loss (or anything, really) one day at a time.

My First Weight Watchers Meeting

Just checking in for a quick update…

As some of you may know, Weight Watchers offers both in-person meetings/weighs ins and an online program (which is a suite of tools and resources). I’ve chosen to use both. I love their online stuff but I know I need the weekly weigh ins to keep me accountable.

This morning I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting. I was the youngest person there, but it was a good group. It’s just a quick 30-minute meeting each week talking about a different topic related to weight loss or specific to the Weight Watchers program. You also weigh in (privately, of course) and your progress is tracked. They make a big deal out of every milestone you hit, like 5% lost, 10% lost, etc. Everyone was really friendly and many noticed I was new and said hello.

The best part is that I weighed in 4 pounds lighter than I was a week ago, when I had my freak out moment on the scale. So, it looks like I’m off to a good start. :)

I also want to give a quick shout out to everyone who has reached out with encouragement and/or shared their own struggle. It’s awesome to know I have so much support and I truly appreciate it.

Now I’m off to drink a 5-point glass of wine…

How I’ll Lose the Weight (And Why Failure is So Common)

I’ve always hated admitting when I was on a diet. Only the people who would absolutely need to know would be told (my mom, my roommate, anyone I frequently had meals with). By telling people it not only meant that I was admitting I had a weight problem, but it also would let other people be aware when I inevitably failed.

I have failed at losing weight more times than I can count. Once you have failed so many times at something, you accept that you will always fail. I knew that every diet, even when somewhat successful, would eventually result in failure. Once you have become a chronic dieter, you understand this cycle. It’s very, very hard to break the frame of mind that comes along with so much failure.


I’ve been on a lot of diets. SO MANY DIETS. I’ve done most of the diets in the below list multiple times. There are plenty I don’t remember, too. Some were successful, but the weight always came back. And it usually comes back and then some.

I have tried:

  • Weight Watchers
  • Sugarbusters
  • South Beach
  • Low carb, in varying levels of strictness
  • Paleo
  • 4-Hour Body
  • HCG injections (I lost almost 20 pounds in 42 days and within a year I gained back 30. I consider this my greatest dieting failure of all!)

For the record, I’m just as bad about sticking to an exercise program:

  • I bought P90X and did it one time.
  • I joined a gym I have been to less than 5 times (and I’m still paying for the membership fees).
  • I’ve never made it all the way through any sort of Couch to 5K program. I have the apps to prove it.

The good news about all of this dieting experience is that it’s made me painfully aware of which parts of dieting I suck at.

  • I can’t do a diet that is very restrictive. I love food too much to limit my choices.
  • I can’t do a diet that is totally unforgiving if I slip up. If one naughty weekend means I will see a huge surge on the scale, I usually end up quitting altogether.
  • I can’t rely on just myself for accountability. I know this is going to take a village. :)

For these reasons, I’ve chosen Weight Watchers as my diet of choice. If it’s easy enough for Jessica Simpson, I can handle it. I’ve done it in the past and can say with certainty, it’s the easiest of all diets I’ve tried. It’s extremely flexible and you’re given enough wiggle room to enjoy certain foods. The drawback is that the weight comes off slowly. But this also means you’re really putting in the time into adopting healthier habits instead of a quick fix (I know a lot about those).

As far as exercise, the only exercise I really enjoy going to are group classes. I’ll take Zumba and other group fitness classes at least 3 times a week (so far I’ve been going almost daily!). Once I make this type of exercise a habit, I will add in strength training.

I don’t have an end goal in mind yet. For now, I’m focused on getting the first 10 pounds off and dedicating myself to frequent exercise. In the past I’ve made unrealistic or intimidating goals (lose 30 pounds in 3 months!) instead of taking it several pounds at a time.

What’s your experience been like with diet failures? What does or doesn’t work for you?

Hitting Refresh

Hello old friends,

It’s been far too long since we last spoke. A lot has changed for me, and I’ve decided to take this blog in a new direction…

As most women are, I’m always cognizant of The Number on the Scale. Sometimes I hide from that number. My scale has conveniently been out of sight for a long time. Most recently, I went about 6 months without letting myself know The Number.

Last week I got on the scale and a number appeared that I had never seen. I had never even been close to seeing this number. I had never imagined I would see this number. I was already going through a difficult time, and seeing that number felt like the biggest blow possible. To say that I felt kicked while I was down is an understatement. As I write this, I am the heaviest I have ever been — by a lot.

Seeing that number was about so much more than my weight. It was a huge red flag that I had lost control of my health and, in turn, my life. That number told me that I hadn’t been taking care of myself, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally.

Snark and Pepper will now be about how I’m moving forward after seeing that number on the scale. This will be a chronicle of how I regain control of my life, one step and bite at a time. I will share my struggles and my triumphs. I will share the tough truths about weight loss and being overweight. Of course, I will stay true to my roots as a food blogger and share healthy recipes, too. (Don’t worry, I won’t be taking any of the unhealthy recipes from the past down!)


I originally wanted to start an anonymous or private blog dedicated to my weight loss journey. I knew that writing about my experience would be the best thing I could do to hold myself accountable, but I was afraid to come out in public as ME about my battle with my weight. Ultimately, I’ve decided to use this as an opportunity to refocus Snark and Pepper because:

  1. People who know me in real life read this blog. I would like to share this experience with those people.
  2. I want to help other people going through the same struggle as me. Since my blog has been around for a while, I won’t need to start from scratch to attract new readers. Using this already-established blog real estate is the best way to reach more people.
  3. Staying accountable will be easier if I’m 100% open and not hiding behind an anonymous blog.
  4. Food will still be a topic I write about. As you already know, I love food. But clearly I love it a little too much. There’s a lot to talk about with regards to my relationship with food.

I’ll slowly be rebranding my blog in this direction over time, but for now I’ll be doing what I feel very compelled to do right now — which is write, write, and write some more.

Shit’s about to get real. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.



Easy Chicken Curry

I should probably call this chicken curry for wimps.

I don’t eat a lot of Indian food. Which is unfortunate, since I love curry. The thing is, I can’t handle the heat. I’m a huge baby when it comes to spicy food. So, as you can imagine, Indian food and I don’t have a very close relationship.  [Read more...]