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    NELLJONES   301,353
300,000-349,999 SparkPoints

Think INSIDE the box!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

When I first joined WW years ago, the Plan was very limited until you reached goal, then you got certain foods back every two weeks for 10 weeks. Then they switched to an exchange plan and the whole universe of legal food opened up. The lists were HUGE! It's an enormous box of possibilities.

I know people who bemoan not being able to eat the Macho Nacho Platter at some restaurant, yet look at the lists. The components are all there if you make them yourself. Or smothered pork chops. Or chicken pot pie. Or macaroni and cheese. With just a little of the creativity we all have, there really isn't much I can't eat, I just need to make it myself.

I learned to cook in Weight Watchers. I learned how little oil or cream it takes for something to be delicious. I learned the order to add ingredients to maximize their flavor. I learned that adding vegetables can vary texture and color in any otherwise ordinary dish. I learned that a little fruit adds a sweet counterpoint to a savory dish. And all those things are in the lists.

Rather than seeing all the stuff I can't have, I look at all the foods I CAN have, a list far longer than I ever thought when I started out. Those lists are the ultimate mix and match, and the results are an endlessly varying sequence of wonderful dinners. The lists do not include doughnuts, or anything from Ruby Tuesday or TGIFriday (I don't think those restaurants even existed when I started out), but when I shift my eyes from the food outside the box to the food inside the box, it is an unending source of delicious possibility.

The only limitation is my own creativity, and creativity is like a muscle: the more you use it, the better it gets.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
LESLIESENIOR 10/6/2013 11:51PM

    Double fist pump on this blog. Thank you for your wisdom and optimistic view point.

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MYAKAYAH 10/1/2013 10:50PM

    Hey, a win is a plus The Redskins are in the NFC East so Dallas at 2-2 makes The Redskins able to catch up quickly. If The Broncos take it to them Sunday they'll be 2-3 and if The Redskins win they are right there lol. My Broncos at 5-0 would be fabulous!
Good for you on looking at food as positive instead of the everything you can't have mentality. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Very well said. I need to learn to be more creative!

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WATERMELLEN 9/30/2013 4:57PM

    Great blog. True of food, true frankly of life in general: when we focus on what we "can have" instead of what we can't, there's way more contentment and even gratitude.

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TRAVELGRRL 9/30/2013 3:27PM

    Totally agree! I cook completely differently than I did 20 years ago. And WW? Hey, I remember when we had to eat 5 fish meals a week (always tuna for me) and LIVER once a week! (Which I never ate.) Yes, things have definitely changed -- for the better.

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CELIAMINER 9/30/2013 8:11AM

    Agree! We love salad with every dinner, but sometimes it gets boring, so I change things up with a little dried fruit and nuts and a different balsamic vinegar. Not much of a change, but it makes me feel good.

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AVANELL 9/29/2013 6:36PM

    You have made the program a lifestyle change, not a quick road to an end result. That's great, Nell. What an inspiration you are to me!


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FISHINGLADY66 9/29/2013 6:30PM

    Thanks Nell. Great information.

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GABY1948 9/29/2013 3:15PM

    Now, if I could learn to love cooking like you do I would be all set but I do agree with all you say here...I would NEVER go back to eating the old way! emoticon

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LADYRH 9/29/2013 6:56AM


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MEDDYPEDDY 9/29/2013 3:51AM

    You are so right, the deprivation I tend to feel does not come from lack of possibilities in nutrition. It is something else, harder to define for me, but food does really give many opportunieties to eat healthy if I explore it with an open mind!

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KAYYVAUGHN 9/28/2013 6:45PM

    Thanks Nell for the ideas. I still don't see how you cooked while your kitchen was being redone. I need to visit and get some lessons.

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CATLADY52 9/28/2013 5:48PM

    You've made several good points here. emoticon emoticon

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ZEEDRA 9/28/2013 2:58PM

    Thanks, Nell!

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/28/2013 12:27PM

    Yes, indeed! Creativity and wonderful world of ingredients... a set of measuring cups and a food scale... and you're a world-class chef! So much better when you know it's the best it can be FOR you, as well as tasting great.

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PINKNFITCARLA 9/28/2013 12:14PM

    What a great way to look at it! I totally agree. I eat pretty much what I want as well, making things with different ingredients and choosing to use no added salt. Now when I eat out, things taste too salty and too fatty. I like the way I do things and the creativity to make really good dishes!

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SUNNYBEACHGIRL 9/28/2013 11:40AM

    I really learned alot from WW also. But the after loss support just wasn't strong enough to help me keep my weight down. I am hoping that SP is the tool. Great blog

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MADEIT3 9/28/2013 11:04AM

    Great Blog! Restaurant food is too scary today!! And cooking for yourself (and loved ones) is so satisfying!

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SUZYMOBILE 9/28/2013 10:49AM

    We sure aren't missing anything by not going to TGIF or Ruby Tuesday!

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NASFKAB 9/28/2013 10:35AM

  very true creativity makes it great

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ELRIDDICK 9/28/2013 9:51AM

  Thanks for sharing

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VTRICIA 9/28/2013 9:50AM

    Yup, no boiled chicken breast and brown rice over here!

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Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.