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...]

On My Way to Seattle for the International Food Bloggers Conference

It’s been almost 3 years since I started this blog.

In that time, my blog has led me to a career in online marketing, introduced me to some great people, and gotten me quite a few free meals.

Now I’m taking another big step in my blogging journey by attending my first food blogging conference this weekend, the International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) in Seattle.

International Food Blogger Conference 2013 Seattle

I’m not the only Tampa blogger making the cross-country trek, either. I’ll be joined by 7 other ladies from Tampa:

To kick off our time in Seattle, on Friday morning the 8 of us will be doing the Savor Seattle Tour of Pike Place Market – which is a guided walk through the market where you sample 16 different items. I’m pretty stoked for this even though we’re doing it at 9:30 am. I’ve tried the famous Beecher’s mac and cheese at their New York store (it lives up to the hype), but I can’t wait to try it at the original Seattle location at Pike Place Market.

I’ll be spending a lot of time at the conference, but fortunately I’ll also have enough free time to explore the city. If you’ve been to Seattle, I’d love your recommendations on where to eat and what to see! Please leave a comment or shoot me an email with your suggestions.

You can  also follow me on Twitter and Instagram to see what I’m up to in Seattle this weekend. I’ll also be posting about the conference once I’m back home.

Mexican Chicken Soup

Since no one proposed to you after making a roast chicken, you might be looking for more uses for your leftover chicken.


This healthy soup is fresh, light and makes a great weekday lunch. I brought it with me to work with a bag full of cilantro (not weird at all…) and avocado to top it with. Speaking of large amounts of cilantro… [Read more...]