Dotti Dotti Dotti's
July 21, 2008    
Issue #052


Hi friends. Our son LeRoy just had his 31st birthday and I'm sitting here thinking about how fast he grew up. Time certainly is scooting right by.

It's been two weeks since we last visited. Hope our visit today brings a smile Smile to your face and leaves you with a feeling of "time well spent". Smile It's that time now to grab a tall glass of sparkling water and get settled in your comfy chair. Al will be writing our article today which I know you will all enjoy.

Al How To Say 'NO'
And still feel good about yourself!
   ...Part 1 of 2

By Al Coon

A problem that many of us face is the frustration felt when we are manipulated or pressured into doing things that we don't want to do. This is often done by the same people over and over again. They know how to push our buttons and seem to be able to make us do things that we don't want to do, almost at will. And when it is all said and done, we feel bad, and we feel stressed. If we naturally go to food for comfort, then we eat.

We are going to take this problem on in the next two Dotti's Newsletters. Learning to say no with dignity, without guilt or anger can help to make your weight loss journey far easier. This time we will start by laying the foundation, covering some basic concepts.

Twisting Your Arm

Your phone rings, and your little sister* is on the line, with a request for you to come right over and give her a ride to her job. She overslept and her car is in the garage right now, and she doesn't have time to catch a bus and still arrive on time. You have a brunch scheduled with a dear friend, and you have been planning this for a couple of weeks. You could of course call her up and cancel it if you had to, and your sister is waiting for an answer. What do you do?

Now let's bring this a bit more into focus. Your sister has repeatedly done things like this. She has never once appeared to care that it was putting you out when she requested you to drop what you were doing to come running. And whose job is this that we are talking about? Who is responsible for getting to work on time? Clearly this is a case of your being used, and not by someone who truly appreciates what you are doing. Little sister may love you, but she doesn't respect you very much. And, from the way you feel after calling your friend to cancel the brunch, you don't respect yourself very much either.

Are we trapped into a never ending cycle of being used and feeling bitter, or, if we do finally say no, feeling guilty? There is a way out!

*NOTE: We are not picking on "little sisters" here. It could just as well be little or big brothers, Mom or Dad, cousins, spouses, friends, bosses or even total strangers, like salesmen, telemarketers or survey takers in the mall. It could be anyone who can use guilt to manipulate you into undesired action.

There be Dragons Here

Stress is a multi-headed dragon, because it can attack in many ways. It can cause physical ailments and some of them are quite serious, even life threatening. Stress can just make you feel bad, or send you into depression that kills your drive and leaves you apathetic. And as we all know, it can make you EAT!

When someone makes an unreasonable request you find yourself feeling trapped. Once again you are up against the wall. If you say YES, you feel depressed and angry that someone would be so rude as to even ask you to do this, and that you were too weak to say NO. If you say NO, you feel guilty for not being there for him.

But there is a "Get Out of Jail Free Card" from this mess: assertively saying NO allows you to avoid both of these traps.

The Middle Ground

When you are assertive, you walk the moderate and middle ground. You are not a steamroller, aggressively running over people and their feelings. You are not angry or insensitive. You calmly and clearly express your answer with no hostility.

At the same time, it is neither servitude nor self-abasement. You look the other party in the eye, and with full dignity, you give your answer.

Best of all, it is guilt free! You have done the right thing. Right because it is what you wanted to do, it is not malicious, and it is what needed to be done.

Another benefit of being assertive is that it makes you actually feel better about yourself. You are your own master. You didn't commit to something that you feel you should have avoided. You chose what your actions would be—not someone else. As a result you feel stronger and freer, with your life appearing to be more a path of choices rather than mere obligations.

Finally, it even makes you feel better about others, especially the one you had to say NO to! When you say YES when you didn't really want to, you feel bitter as a result. You feel angry at yourself for being weak, and you may well overeat as a result. You also feel angry at the one who asked and who caused you to cave in. If you love that person, that can generate feelings of guilt, even after saying YES!

An unreasonable request is unfair, and trying to pretend that it isn't won't fool your mind into believing it. And face it, when you are bitter, you can't help but resent the one who caused it.

If you are assertive and answer honestly with a guilt-free NO, when it is appropriate, you will avoid that bitterness and resentment towards others.

That Sounds Good but How Do I Pull it Off?

The first thing it will take is a change of perspective. If you were standing off to the side of Stonehenge on the morning of the Summer Solstice, you might see a beautiful sunrise and the rocks brighten with the rising sun, but it would seem like many other days of the year. But if you are standing in the center of the circle and you look out towards the heel stone, you will see the sun rising up right over the stone. Where you are standing—your point of perspective—makes all the difference.

What we most have to fight is our own perspective when dealing with others. When we feel we have no rights, of course we have no right to say NO. It is only when you accept the fact that you have rights that you can use those rights. A roof can only hold the rain off your head if you stand under the roof.

Rights Don't Require Justification

It is something we don't think about enough, but we need to remember that we have rights and they are center to our whole view of life.

Do you feel guilty when you cast your vote, if it doesn't line up with the way someone else voted? Of course not! You have the right to vote any way you choose and you don't have to justify your choice to anyone else. That is the way rights operate. They are yours to use and you don't need to justify your use of them.

If you own a house you have a right to live there and to bar anyone else from living there. That is the way rights work. They are guilt free. You have the right to pick the color of your shoes, and you can pick what you want from the menu, as long as you can pay for it. You exercise these rights every day and guilt is not part of the exercise. It is because you understand your rights and accept them that you feel no need to explain your use of your rights, nor do you feel guilt when you stand on your rights.

By changing your perspective just a bit, you can move from not seeing your rights to seeing them crystal clearly.

Your Right to Say NO

As a free person, by definition, you have the inalienable right, within the law, to choose what you will or will not do. And this right is the foundation of assertive behavior.

If you have the right to decide what you will or will not do, no one else has the right to deny you that choice. To be truly free you have to accept this right as your own. If you think about it, it is this very right for which so many of our men have died over the centuries. This right has been paid for, and it has been paid for, for you, as much as for anyone else; embrace it now, because it is yours!

We often think of the grand idea of rights but we all too often forget that they apply to us, even in the very small details of life. To the extent that you can choose what you will do, to that very extent you are free.

Evaluating a Request

When someone asks you to do something, the first thing to do is to remember that you are being asked to pass judgment on the request. Just because a request is made does NOT mean that it will be granted. You must decide. And you have as much right to say NO as to say YES!

The request is properly weighed against your standards, and not the standards of the requester. Remember that the requester is in charge of his own life, and you do not control that, nor should he control yours. And that means, when you feel the answer should be NO, then when you open your mouth to give your answer, what comes out should be NO.
  • If saying YES is going to make you feel bitter then say NO.

  • If you feel the request is unreasonable, say NO.

  • If the only reason you can think of for saying YES is that it would make you feel guilty to say NO then the correct answer is always NO!
Also, you have no obligation to say YES this time, simply because you said it once or a million times before. Each request stands on its own merits and you are not bound by previous decisions as if you were a court of law relying on the opinions of some previous self as an authority to appeal to. If this request is not one you want to grant, then it demands a NO answer.

Generosity is a wonderful thing when it is done voluntarily. You feel good about helping someone out! When it is appreciated such things are an important part of what makes life a joy. Being assertive in no way hinders you from being generous.

On the other hand, when you are manipulated into being generous only because you were shamed into it, you will feel bitter and used. That is neither wonderful nor enjoyable. It is an ugly thing.

Choice is the key. When you choose to do something, then it is your gift from the heart. When you are manipulated into doing something then it stolen from you because you were unable to say NO.

(This will be concluded in the next issue of Dotti's Newsletter)

This time, we covered some basic theory. It is important to realize that you have the right to be the master of your own destiny. You have the right to choose your path, and you have the right to say NO. Unlike when you cast your vote, your right to say NO is not lost in a sea of other votes. When you say NO it is undiluted and pure. It is an important right and we should not give it up lightly. It is part of what makes us free, free of outside control, and free of guilt.

In the Next Dotti's Newsletter, we will build on this foundation, and give you some techniques to use to help you with saying NO without being riddled with guilt. This can help to empower you without being cold or heartless. You can care and still say NO without guilt. And that means you will not be tempted to eat in order to comfort your stress.

Until next time...

Wishing you the very best,


VitaliciousTM Vitamin-fortified, delicious, better-for-you baked goods

A Note Note from Vitalicious

Try Vitalicious TM muffins today! They come in at 1 point on Weight Watchers and are the perfect snack.

Large Tasty Portions!
One Yummy Point!
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Some tasty things to think about from

While visiting Vitalicious TM, don't forget to check out their VitaMuffins which are fortified with at least 15 essential daily vitamins and minerals. They have an awesome selection which, includes:

BlueBran, CranBran, MultiBran, AppleBerryBran, Deep Chocolate, Low-Carb/Sugar-Free BananaNut and Velvety chocolate, VitaBrownie, and Double Chocolate Dream.

VitaliciousTM VitaTops, VitaMuffins and VitaBrownies are delicious. They are healthy, taste great and fit within any program you are using to attain your healthy new lifestyle. ~ Dotti

Come Join the Fun!    Online Friendships are real friendships

Do you want some extra support during your Journey? Would you like to have a place you can call "home," where you can be yourself? Our Message Board is just the place. It's home to all our Zonie friends who share their Journey experiences and are always willing and ready to offer support, laughs, friendship and Hugs! ~ 24/7. Our DWLZ Message Board is at: Don't forget to register if you haven't already done so.

Food Finds

We are smack in the middle of summer and our lives are busier than ever. Why not try these great, easy-to-make veggie singles the next time you are making your meal. I love them and the best thing is that they are "just the right portion" which helps you easily stay on your program.
  • Birds Eye Steamfresh Singles, Super Sweet Corn
    [80 Cal, 1g Fat, 2g Fiber, 14g Carbs, 0mg Sodium, 3g Protein] *1.5

  • Birds Eye Steamfresh Singles, Baby Brussel Sprouts
    [50 Cal, 0g Fat, 3g Fiber, 9g Carbs, 20mg Sodium, 3g Protein] *0.5

  • Birds Eye Steamfresh Singles, Peas
    [70 Cal, 0g Fat, 4g Fiber, 13g Carbs, 0mg Sodium, 5g Protein] *0.5

Smashed Orange-Ginger Sweet Potatoes

You can also use the garnet yams, which have a dark orange flesh, which is especially sweet.

Makes 8 servings

  • 2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger

    • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and add the sweet potatoes.
    • Boil for 10 minutes or until soft.
    • Add half and half, butter, orange zest, and ginger.
    • Using a potato masher or large for, mash until all ingredients are mixed well and potatoes are smooth.
    • Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    • Serve immediately.
    Nutritional Value—

   Per serving:
       202 Cal, 4g Fat, 6g Fiber, 40g Carbs, 16mg Sodium, 2g Protein *3 (3.5)

      ~Prevention Guide—Weight Loss pamphlet by Prevention Magazine

Penny's Low Fat Desserts—Cookies and Muffins



Penny's Low Fat Desserts

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"Your oatmeal raisin cookie was AMAZING! ~U. R. of CA

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See our website for other specials:

Cookie Flavors:
Oatmeal Raisin: 6g fiber, 1g fat and 140 calories.
Chocolate Chip: 7g fiber, 3g fat and 150 calories

Muffin and TOPS Flavors:
almond poppy, carrot raisin, orange cranberry, chocolate chocolate chip, apple cinnamon

Sign up for Penny's newsletter
  for a SPECIAL SAVINGS so you can give us a try and receive new product information.

Note From Al: Dotti and I have had Penny's cookies and muffins many times, and we love them! They don't stay long in our house because they make great snacks, and desserts during the day, without blowing you off program. They are good—really good! And if you want a hot snack, pop one of them in the microwave, and you are ready to go with a very tasty, LOW POINT, treat. ~Al


Remember What is Most Important

Don't put off living until tomorrow.
Don't be afraid to dream some time away.
Don't look too far ahead,
     don't look back with regret;
          just look with hope
               to the horizon of today.
Don't be afraid to reach for your goal,
     no matter how distant it might seem.
And don't be surprised if you succeed.
The truly special people in this world,
          the ones who reach their dreams,
     are the ones who do the things
          they really want to do.
Don't be one of the many...
     be one of the few.

~~~Collin McCarty

     ~Creeds to Live By, Dreams to Follow, Susan Polis Schutz

Weight Loss is 90% Mental

I use Dr. Roberta's Enjoying Weight Loss Hypnosis CDs as an important help on my lifelong Journey to a healthier me:
  • Whenever I listen to these CDs—I have a good day on program.
  • Whenever I have failed to do well on program, it has always been when I stopped listening regularly.
  • They continue to be an irreplaceable part of my Journey back to goal, and now I am listening every single day!
If you would like a power assist on your journey I highly recommend these Enjoying Weight Loss Hypnosis CDs!

Want to know more?
  • There's lots of info on our Review Page&mdash see how this has worked for me.
  • You can try them out for 4 weeks before buying!
  • Don't want to pay all at once? —Just choose 3 equal installments!
What can you do to get your mind onboard with your weight loss desires?
   — I honestly believe this is an answer to a dilemma that we all face. Come and read about it.

Getting a Grip on Portion Sizes

During the summer we are the busiest, it seems, from a lot of the posts I read on our Message Board. It makes sense. The weather is fantastic and most of us are out and about enjoying it. Along with that comes more eating out and eating on the run. I thought I would take this time to refresh some quick portion visuals to help you while eating away from home.
  • 1/2 cup
    • fruit or vegetable that fits in the palm of your hand
    • the size of a tennis ball
  • 1 cup
    • about the size of a woman's fist
    • cereal that fills 1/2 a standard cereal bowl
    • broccoli the size of a light bulb
  • 1 oz cheese
    • about the size of a computer floppy disk or 2 dominoes
  • 1 tsp butter or peanut butter
    • about the size of the top half of your thumb
  • 1 oz nuts
    • fits in the palm of your hand
  • 2 oz meat
    • small chicken leg
    • 1/2 cup cottage cheese or tuna
  • 3 oz meat
    • about the size of a deck of playing cards or cassette audiotape.
    • 1/2 chicken breast,
    • small leg and thigh,
    • 1 medium chop
    • 1 small hamburger
    • 1 unbreaded fish fillet
  • 1 medium apple or orange
    • size of a tennis ball
  • 1 small banana
    • about the size of an eyeglass case
  • 1 grain ounce equivalent*
    • 1 slice of bread
    • 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal
    • 1/2 regular bagel
    • 1/2 cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta or cooked cereal
~Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, General Mills Pamphlet

* 1 grain ounce equivalent is about 1/6 of the adult recommended amount of grains to eat in a day. You can see a table that breaks the requirements down by age and sex at:

Software You Can Use! — And Now Available Online!

A NoteWeight Commander

The Weight Commander is an awesome program for your Journey. I highly recommend it to all those who are on a Journey of their own. It is a wonderful program to track your progress on any weight loss program you are using. You can read My Review of the Weight Commander or go straight to the source and check out this great software by following this link to Weight Commander. He has many tips and ideas throughout his program which will help you to be successful on your Journey.

And for those who don't feel comfortable downloading software, or who cringe when Windows gives them another unnecessary warning about running perfectly safe software, Michael has created a wonderful online version of Weight Commander, where you can always access your information with privacy, with no worry about trying to transfer it from computer to computer when you switch. You can of course still get the software version (which continues to work very well, even on my Windows Vista computer), but the online version of Weight Commander is a wonderful new option! You make the choice, but you win either way. Smile

Weight Commander
Online Version

Weight Commander
Offline Software

Weight Commander
Our review

Nutrients—Why They Are Important

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans list several nutrients that adults need to increase in their diet. Look at list below and during the next month try to make sure you are including them in your diet.

Vitamin A, C, & E— These vitamins are antioxidants which help keep your cells healthy and support your immune system.
  • Vitamin A—can be found in bright orange fruits and vegetables & leafy greens
  • Vitamin C—can be found in citrus fruits, strawberries & leafy greens
  • Vitamin E—can be found in some fortified ready-to-eat cereals, almonds, peanut butter, corn oil and canola oil
Potassium & Magnesium—These minerals are important for regulating blood pressure, muscle contraction, and nerve impulses. These minerals are found in a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes and fish.
  • Potassium—can be found in dairy products, like yogurt
  • Magnesium—can be found in foods made with whole grain
Calcium & Vitamin D—These are bone-building nutrients that are especially important to help minimize the risk for bone loss.
  • Calcium—can be found in milk and dairy products; fortified in foods like some ready-to-eat cereals, soy beverages and orange juice
  • Vitamin D—fortified in foods like milk, some yogurts, and some ready-to-eat cereals; also found in eggs and some fish
     ~Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, General Mills Pamphlet

Comic Relief

Somewhat skeptical of his son's newfound determination to become the next Charles Atlas, the father nevertheless followed the teenager over to the weightlifting department.

"Please, Dad," whined the boy, "I promise I'll use them every day."

"I don't know, Michael. It's really a big commitment on your part," the father pointed out.

"Please, Dad?"

"They're not cheap either."

"I'll use them Dad, I promise. You'll see."

Finally won over, the father paid for the equipment and headed for the door.

From the corner of the store he heard his son yell, "What! You mean I have to carry them to the car?"

~Author Unknown - Thank You Marguerite

Baja Bob's Cocktail Mixes
     ~ Home of the Original Sugar-Free Margarita Mix

A Note Note from Baja Bob's

Try some Baja Bob's Sugar Free Cocktail Mixes today - What a great way to enjoy an occasional cocktail without any guilt! Enjoy and stay on your program! Enter Code dotti10 when ordering and receive a 10% discount...

Baja Bobs

Use Coupon Code

 The growing popularity of the Weight Watchers Diet, combined with Baja Bob's incredible taste, has helped to push this cocktail mix leader into the mainstream. Baja Bob's newest release, Mojito Mix, follows their other popular flavors. All of the Baja Bob's cocktail mixes contain approximately 70-100% less calories and carbs than traditional mixes sweetened with high fructose corn syrup making these mixes the perfect Weight Watchers addition.

Baja Bob's mixes are great with or without alcohol, allowing people who are watching their weight, or those who are forced to watch their sugar intake due to health reasons the opportunity to enjoy the great taste of a cocktail.

Baja Bob's cocktail mixes come in several flavors: Original Margarita, Wild Strawberry Margarita, Desert Key Lime Margarita, Crazy Caribe Pina Colada, Loco Lemon Sweet & Sour, Maui Madness Mai Tai, Cranberry Cosmo Martini Mix, Sour Apple Martini Mix, and more to come...
Dotti Baja Bob

Smile Enjoy a cocktail and stay on your Program Smile

Green Leafy Superfoods

If you are overweight and want to shed those extra pounds, eating more of these dark green leafy vegetables will help shed the weight. In fact, eating them raw is even better nutritionally speaking.
  • Arugula (rocket salad)
  • Beet Greens
  • Sprouted broccoli seeds
  • Chicory
  • Collards
  • Dandelion greens
  • Endive and escarole
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Parsley
  • Spinach (if you have kidney stones, best to not eat this one because of its high oxalic acid content)
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress

Did you know...?

Our Journey is not just about weight loss; it's about constantly learning new things...

Each year, when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus comes to New York City, the last stage of the journey is made on foot. Spectators gather as a procession of adorned elephants is led through the Lincoln Tunnel—an event depicted in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

According to a 2005 survey by, 43% of Americans called in sick when there was nothing wrong with them, up from 35% the year before.

The first film version of Frankenstein was a 15-minute silent produced by Thomas Edison. When Tomas Edison died in 1941, Henry Ford captured his last breath in a bottle.

     ~It's a Fact Jack by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser

Al's Essays on Weight Loss and Maintenance

Al has written many in depth essays on Weight Loss and Maintenance and they are now available on the website!
You can find Al's Essays on Weight Loss and Maintenance at:

DWLZ Cookbooks One and Two

Have you ordered your DWLZ Cookbooks yet? These cookbooks are filled with recipes that are Zonies' favorites, dishes that are delicious but on program, with nutritional information listed. This is two books in one package: DWLZ Cookbooks Volumes One and Two. The recipes are easy to make and don't use hard-to-find items. They are together in one PDF file, viewable in your free Acrobat Reader (Version 5 and higher). These also make wonderful gifts.

Philly Swirl

Philly Swirl
Receive a 1 day shopping pass to Sam’s Club  

To receive your FREE 1 day pass to Sam's Club from Philly
Swirl, go to 
Shop as if you were a member all day and don't forget to stock
up on lots of Philly Swirl Pops!

Philly Swirl’s Sugar-Free, Fat-Free Swirl Pops
[10 cal/0 g fat/1 g fiber/4 g carbs] 0.5 pts

Every day is a good day to stock up on some great tasting Philly Swirl's Sugar-Free, Fat-Free Swirl Pops! They are delicious and only 10 calories.

Keep your freezer stocked with these great 10 calorie pops which can be enjoyed anytime throughout the year. If you are interested in learning more about the Philly Swirl products please visit them at and drop them a line. They would love to hear from you. Psst...don’t forget to pass the word! We want to see these awesome Sugar-Free, Fat-Free Swirl Pops remain available to all of us on our Journey. Let's take the power we have to make a difference by passing the word about these awesome pops and keeping them available to us in the future.

A Note from Al—
These pops really hit the spot in the hot days of summer! They are only 10 calories each and they are very, very tasty! Dotti and I really love them, and our summer freezer nearly always is fully stocked with these treats. I just wanted you to know that they are for real, and they are REALLY GOOD—way better than 10 calories should have any right to taste!

DWLZ Website Updates

Keeping Dotti's Weight Loss Zone current is a full time job and then some. Anytime you would like to find my latest updates you can find them at these links:

The DWLZ Website News & Updates forum—

US restaurants updates are on my Restaurants TOC page—

Canadian restaurants updates are on my Canadian Restaurants TOC page at:—

"Today is the first day of the rest of your health." ~~~Jamba Juice


Until our next visit, always keep in mind you are never alone on this Journey. We are all here with you, right beside you, rooting you on.

Take care until next time...

Hugs! Dotti    

"I cannot relive yesterday and tomorrow isn't here yet, so I will just deal with today." ~Dotti    

Newsletter Sign Up

If this newsletter was forwarded to you, you can sign up for it yourself at:

Dotti's Newsletter Subscription Page -

(You can also unsubscribe from Dotti's Newsletter there.)

Dotti's Weight Loss Zone

And please don't forget to come and visit DWLZ!   Open 24 hours!

If you are not already a regular visitor, it is time for you to come and make yourself at home at my web page, where you will find lots of tips on losing weight, and help in picking out good things to eat at your favorite restaurants, while still remaining on program. We have motivation, success stories, and much more. It is a lot like Disneyland: you'll have lots of fun, and you could never see it all in just one day! However, unlike Disneyland, Dotti's [ ] is open 24 hours a day, every day.

Copyright and Disclaimer

Copyright © DWLZ, Inc. - 2008, all rights reserved. This document may be reproduced freely as long as it is always reproduced in its entirety, including this copyright message, and the disclaimer below, and as long as it is always distributed free of charge.

Disclaimer - This newsletter is not meant to be a substitute for any professional advice, guidance, or counseling. We are not doctors. Any information contained in this email reflects our own opinions and experiences. It is not intended in any way to serve as or take the place of medical advice from a physician.

    *Whenever possible, I calculate ALL my Points on my Offline Points Calculator in the Half Points Mode, which rounds UP to the nearest Half Point. This keeps my site consistent. All point values shown in BLACK are calculated with the 10-gram fiber cap [Original 123 Success Points]. When there is a difference with the 4 gram fiber cap calculation, I show the points value for that in RED.

Note: Points® is a registered trademark of Weight Watchers International, Inc. The Points® values displayed are not intended in any way to show an endorsement or sponsorship of any product or organization by Weight Watchers International, Inc.