WD Slimdown blog - Woman's Day Blog


I'm on Vacation!

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On Monday, I thought today would never come, but then the week whizzed by. My students had engineering projects due this week so it was all "fun" learning instead of "the usual". Today, the team (5 teachers, 115 students) had a pizza party (we won it from the PTO) and I LOVE pizza - had some too, but did not go crazy - yay me. There was also a holiday goodie table in the main office. In past years, my pattern was to go in a few times and browse, pick up a plateful and enjoy. Today, I browsed and picked one cookie and ran for the door! (it was oatmeal raisin - healthy - right? with a few chocolate chips thrown in for good measure).

The upcoming week may be the most difficult for me since the Slimdown began. Heading to the Boston area tomorrow, pick one son up at the airport, the other in the North End and then to my sister Leslie's for Christmas Eve dinner - mmmmmmmm. Staying at my mom's for Christmas day - big Italian dinner - mmmmmm. Staying over again since we have a Yankee Swap on the 26th to trade for our least favorite gifts we received for Christmas past or present and of course lunch! So much good food, so little control over what's served. Will head home on Sunday night and regain more control of my food choices. More travel at the end of the week over New Year's - will blog about that later.

Monday morning, I'm calling in to the Today Show with Joy's Diet SOS segment - 9am ish - check it out!

Gotta go now - more gifts to wrap and cookies to decorate  and packing for the weekend - do I have everything done? Tomorrow is Christmas Eve - how did that happen so fast?

Are YOU ready?

~ Celeste (down 25 and holding steady)



Winter Wonderland

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This is the time of year when I miss my sons - yeah ... at the holidays ... but on cold, snowy, wintry mornings like today ... I miss them more! We had over 6" of snow overnight and it looked so beautiful until I got the call that there was school but with a 2 hour delay. Just enough time for me to shovel the driveway. I guess with just six inches, I could have powered over the drifts (I have 4wd) but I thought of the Slimdown Challenge (and the cookies) and thought - no gym today if I shovel - Bonus!

My driveway How do you incorporate "everyday" exercise into your weight loss plan?

~Celeste (down 25)


Nothing Fits!

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I know that sounds like a great problem to have when you're losing weight, but it really isn't. This morning, at 7am, I was like a maniac trying on clothes to look at least kind of professional. I needed to leave the house in 20 minutes but my clothes were too saggy and baggy (just like my skin - I know, TMI). Even the ones I just bought last month are too big. I have been passing my old clothes on but, now I have such a limited wardrobe. And what size AM I? Depending on the store and/or brand - the sizes are so varied. How can I tell Santa to get me some new pants if I don't know the size? Such a wonderful conundrum ...

Ok, Santa - gift cards are the way to go and I can go on a spree since I have ONLY 2 LBS TO GOAL!!!!

Oh - Allison, we can shop together so you can help me decide what to get (especially the jeans that you're gonna be buying for me!)

~Celeste (minus 25 as of today!!!!)


The Fat Girl in the Mirror

High school 76I know this is not my usual blog icon, but ... this is what I see when I look in the mirror. The fat girl. I think I probably need a shrink or something since I'm almost at my goal weight - a number I do not remember being in the last 40 years (no lie). You'll have to check out the February issue of Woman's Day to see the actual number! My mom took me to Weight Watchers when I was 13 but I must have really have blocked that number out of my long-term memory.

I have 3 more pounds to go. A friend called me a "skinny b*#ch" the other day (lovingly of course).  My MOTHER said I was looking very thin (and my mother doesn't say things like that very often - right Al?). My clothes are so loose that I can't wear them, but I still see the fat girl in the mirror. Why?

How do you see yourself?

~Celeste (down 24lbs - still)


Evolving Christmas Traditions

Wd iconAs a kid, Christmas Eve was all about getting ready for Santa but almost as important was going to Ma & Pa's house for dinner with the family. Ma & Pa are my grandparents who lived very close to our house. My mom has 4 siblings, so they were there with their kids and the 8 of us were there. We had the traditional Italian dinner of fish and pasta - I love pasta! Then Christmas morning came and was so exciting with awesome presents!!!! Christmas dinner was also at Ma & Pa's and featured homemade raviolis that Ma and my aunts made a few days before. They were smothered in sauce with meatballs and braciola (pronounced ba-joe-lee in our house) - all freshly made and soooo delicious.

As my siblings and I grew up, our cousins did too. Christmas Eve still was at Ma's (Pa passed away in 1980) but Christmas Dinner moved to each individual house. My sibs and I were at Mom & Dad's house. The menu remained the same, only the location changed.

I got married in 1987 and moved 1.5 hours away to Cape Cod. I wanted to have Christmas morning at my own home with my own family so the Cruse's did not travel north and our own Christmas Eve tradition began. We had a special dinner and drove to Nobska Lighthouse to watch for Santa in the night sky. When we saw him swoop by, we rushed home, watched Frosty the Snowman and tucked the boys into bed to wait for Santa - he was on his way after all!

Since my family and I wanted to do Christmas morning at home, Christmas Eve with the extended family was out. We still traveled for Christmas Dinner though! As the years passed, Ma was getting older and couldn't have everyone at her house anymore. Christmas Eve moved to my sister Leslie's. Ma passed away in 1996  (at the age of 91) and the family honors her by carrying on her traditions. Mom, Allison and Leslie now make the raviolis and brother Ken makes the braciola for Christmas Dinner. Our family has expanded so much that another split maybe coming soon - but not this year.

This year, my son Dan is living and working in Barcelona, Spain and flies into Boston at 4pm on 12/24. My son, Joey lives in Boston and will meet up with us at the airport. My boys will be having Christmas Eve dinner with the whole clan at Leslie's for the first time!! I can't wait to share the joy of Christmas Eve and old family traditions with my sons!

How have your family traditions evolved?



Me vs. the Buffet

Wd icon I went to brunch on Sunday with Allison, our mom and two aunts. Brunches historically meant that I ate everything that was offered and a lot of it - it was a buffet after all!

This Sunday was a different story. I viewed the buffet line to plan what I really wanted, then grabbed a plate. Skipped through "fillers" and took half as much of only the stuff that looked really delicious. My plate was not spilling over the edges and that's a novelty for me! I went back for seconds but got salad (dressing on the side) and a few really yummy potatoes that Allison and I split. I did not take any desserts but did have a taste of everyone elses. Not a recipe for diet compliance but, for overall diet success, I think my strategy is a winning one.

Don't ask about the Christmas party the night before ... the scale will tell that tale on Friday!

Happy Holidays!

~Celeste (hopefully still down 24lbs)


Save the animals!

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I went to college in Maine many moons ago and have my degree in Marine Biology. My goal in life was to become Jacques Cousteau and sail on Calypso; seeing and doing wonderful things on the oceans. When I mention this to my 12-14 year old students, I am so sad when they say "Who's Jacques Cousteau?" After college, I worked as a biologist for many years - going out on ships for as many as 100 days per year. When my children came along, that all ended (couldn't take 'em with me and no-one wanted to have them for 2-3 weeks at a shot). Anyway, my path led me to teaching Science which has become my way of introducing kids to Jacques and other cool scientists and the amazing world of ours.

I got an email today from a collegue asking me to pass the word about a very worthwhile cause - here's the info - please VOTE!:

The National Marine Life Center is a finalist in the Pepsi Refresh grant program.  We've applied for $250,000 to add much-needed rehabilitation pools for stranded seals and sea turtles in our new marine animal hospital.  To win this grant, we need you.
Here's how you can help.
  • VOTE today, and every day in December! Visit www.refresheverything.com/nationalmarinelifecenter or text 104765 to Pepsi (73774) to vote.
  • SPREAD THE WORD! E-mail your friends and family, share on Facebook, post on your blog, tweet on Twitter.
  • VOLUNTEER to serve as a "Get Out the Vote" Captain in your school/workplace/neighborhood.  Post flyers, set up and staff a "vote NMLC" table, recruit others to help.  E-mail me if you can help and if you have any additional ideas.

With your help, together we can save stranded marine animals and return them back to their ocean home.Help send me home!

Thank you.

Kathy Zagzebski

Kathy Zagzebski
President & Executive Director
National Marine Life Center

Contact Information: National Marine Life Center, P.O. Box 269, 120 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, MA  02532-0269
508.743.9888 x301 | kzagzebski@nmlc.org | www.nmlc.org


~ Celeste (down 24lbs!)


It's all about the numbers for me.

Wd icon Depending on who asks me, I might say that I diet for better health, so my clothes will fit better, for more self confidence etc... All great reasons but, bottom line, for me - it's the number. According to the numbers on Joy's Ideal Weight Chart, when we began the Slimdown Challenge, I was bordering on obese and will not be considered in the "normal" healthy range until I hit the magic number of 127. And that's the HIGH point - the range is 101 to 127lbs for a 5"1' woman.

I'm at a number now that I don't think I've seen since grade school (a few years ago). Hopefully in the next few days, that number will become a new set of numbers - in the 120's!!! I know, unheard of - but I'm almost there and am pretty psyched about it!

Why do you diet?

~ Celeste (down 22)


Thanksgiving Recipe SOS

Wd icon I made the Chocolate Angel Food Cake recipe I see every day on JoyBauer.com. The problem is: I don't know what the problem is, but my cake is not Chocolate Angel Cake, it's more like Chocolate Brick Cake. It looked so yummy when I took it out of the oven but then it dropped like a rock and it's just as heavy and dense! Hey I'm teaching the Density unit in 8th grade so I can bring it in for show and tell! Angel cake

I'm gonna cut veggies and make a platter to munch before dinner instead of a healthier choice for dessert I guess. 

Any suggestions about how to make the perfect Angel Food Cake?

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!



Caution - speedbumps ahead!

Wd icon I'm so very thankful for my family, friends, my health and my food! Unfortunately, on past Thanksgiving days I really, really showed how thankful I was! Turkey plate

My butt was proof!

Our family table is set for 20ish adults and of course, the kid table as well. This is half the table...Give thanks!

Everyone has an assignment. Mine this year is 3 loaves of bread and a pecan pie. I can make or buy my stuff. Is there a recipe for lo cal pecan pie? (hahahaha). I was successful with the "taste 2 bites and pass the rest" strategy before and I plan to engage that strategy on Thurs, but... my mom's stuffing and gravy is sooooo goooooood and the pies..... mmmmmmmmmm Pies



Happy Thanksgiving!

~Celeste (down 22)

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