Dotti's Weight Loss Zone
June 23, 2010

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Hi everyone! I hope you are all set for a great summer! Today we are going to hit 80°, and that sounds really good, after we have been having trouble reaching 70° or even 60° on some days. It has been a wet spring in Spokane, as well as cool. But I think things are about to change. I hope your weather is either nice now, or will be turning nice soon! I can already hear our local water park calling my name. Smile

I asked Al to write the article this time, and I had no idea what he would write about. I had to blush when I read it. It is wonderful being loved!

Let's go fill our favorite glass with sparkling water and settle into our most comfy chair.  Don’t forget to bring that great smile Smile of yours.

The Heart of a Lioness
by Al Coon

The Milky Way Galaxy is our home. There are over a trillion galaxies in our universe, many are very similar to ours, but only this one is ours. About two-thirds of the way out from the center, moving along one of galactic spiral arms, there is a medium sized yellow star. There are billions of stars in our galaxy, but this one star is ours, and we call it the sun. Upon one of the satellites of this star, the one we call Earth, one of the most courageous people I have ever known took the first step towards a goal that she had found impossible to reach before. Silently, spinning through the near total vacuum of space, Earth has made over a dozen orbits around its star since that day.

My beautiful wife, Dotti, was overweight. She had struggled with diet and exercise to try and bring her weight down many times, but to no avail. The stars of the universe looked on with cold indifference as her efforts led to short successes, followed by long periods of failure. Tears ran down Dotti's cheeks more than a few times, as she gave into the pain of failure.

But she didn't turn bitter against the world, or towards those around her. She smiled often, and cared deeply about those around her. When she fell, she picked herself up, dusted herself off, and made another run at her goal. Unfortunately, as the years passed by, this process didn't allow her to gradually lose a little weight, or to even hold steady, but it pushed her weight up and up as the years went by.

But then something happened, like a star exploding into a supernova in the night sky: Dotti hit upon a path that led her to her goal. Suddenly, her mind was right. Suddenly, everything clicked. Dotti went to Weight Watchers, starting on the path downward to her goal, in January of 1998. She started counting points. She went to the gym, getting up at 4:30 in the morning to crawl into her exercise outfit, drive 30 minutes over to our gym, exercise for an hour and then drive back home, before I was on my way to work. Sometimes she was back from her workout before I even woke up!

For anyone to properly appreciate this last point, he must know that Dotti is a natural night owl. She comes alive in the evenings and is happier sleeping in the morning. To get up early and get her workout in, seemed simply miraculous to me. But miraculous or mundane, it happened, over and over again. Week after week, Dotti didn't go outside of her eating program, and she went to the gym 3 days a week.

And Dotti's weight fell. Week after week passed, and each week Dotti lost 2 pounds or more, with no plateaus, and no hiccups. Incredibly, at least to me, Dotti was looking thin. She was smiling and filled with energy that she hadn't had for years. Her back pain was leaving, and her whole demeanor, which had never been surly, was growing brighter with each passing week. It was as if a fairy godmother had tapped Dotti's head with her wand, and sang, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, as happened to Disney's Cinderella. It truly seemed that magical to me.

Jim and Tammy, our dear friends in Spokane, had not seen Dotti since November 1997, when Dotti had weighed 245 pounds. When we arrived and Jim opened the door for us, his eyes got big, and he said to me, “Al, I didn't know you were going to leave your wife behind and bring your girlfriend.” Dotti truly did seem like another person, because she was bouncing with energy, and generally felt healthier.

At one point she was fooling around in Jim and Tammy's living room and pretended to throw a karate sidekick at Jim who had just made a joke, from his seat in the recliner. With one foot flailing in the air, in mock attack, Dotti's support leg, which was resting on a foot wearing just a sock, slid on the hardwood floor completely out from under her. Dotti fell with all of her weight landing on her hip and shoulder. A year before, a fall like that would have taken her to the emergency room, as it actually had. This time, the room was silent until Dotti came up laughing, with no injury at all, except a bit to her pride. She was fine, and suddenly we all were laughing loudly, in part at the humor of the situation, and in part in relief that she hadn't been hurt.

Planet earth went around the sun three more times, as the wonderful miracle continued on. Dotti not only had lost her excess weight, but she kept it off! Week after week she attended Weight Watcher's meetings and she continued to weigh-in under her goal weight. This was more amazing to me than her original weight loss.

When all seemed right, and that things would go on forever this way, in February of 2002, Dotti took another fall. This time, her knee was damaged. We didn't know how badly for a few months, but she had to have surgery in August to fix it. Naturally, her activity level fell off during this time, and then the real hammer fell, and shattered the fairy godmother's spell: Dotti quit smoking.

Ever since that day, Dotti has had her weight slowly but inexorably move up and up. As the earth was making its thirteenth trip around the sun, Dotti's weight reached about the same spot it was at the start in 1997.

While the magical ride to goal Dotti had in 1998, showed determination and persistence, it has been the time since she quit smoking that has shown her true courage. Dotti has never lost her belief in herself. She has continued to search for the path back to goal, and she has never once had a cigarette since that day in May of 2002. While her weight has slowly crept up over the years, she has been dragged against her will, with her heels dug in all the way.

Dotti's Courage

Today, Dotti is still set on the goal that she has never lost sight of. Dotti is working hard towards reaching her goal weight. Once again, Dotti is going to the gym. Dotti is back at Weight Watchers each week attending her meetings. Dotti has lost over ten pounds so far on her current effort.

The number on the scale is important, because reality matters. The number is an indicator of where she is on her Journey, and there are many health related dangers that can be attached to it. Dotti's hip joints are in jeopardy. Her knees are in pain. She risks injury if she should fall. These are real things that are attached to that number on the scale. It is like watching the pressure rise in a boiler that is moving into the red. But, important as that number is, it is not everything.

Dotti has been battling against genetics all along. Her biological siblings all struggle with weight issues. Their natural tendency is to run out of control towards being exceptionally obese. It is only through constant vigilance that they all can avoid disaster. The fact that Dotti's BMI is under 40 is only because she has found the courage to struggle on, even when things are going badly. Based upon family history, it could easily be over 55. In reality, it has been Dotti's willingness to struggle, even when things have appeared hopeless, that has created the possibility of hope.

It is fighting on, when there seems to be no chance of winning, that shows the largest amount of courage. I have seen Dotti's tears, and heard her cries of frustration, but underneath it all, I have continued to witness her courage to keep trying. Through the pain of arthritis, Dotti exercises. Through the stubborn scale's failure to drop, I have seen Dotti grit her teeth, wipe the tears from her eyes, and plunge into another week of struggling to bring that number down. Over and over again I have watched this incredible woman fight her way through pain, frustration, and apparent failure, and never, ever give up!

Dotti has a place in her heart that holds an indestructible belief that she can do this. Nothing can touch that place. The fire that burns there cannot go out. With all that she has had to face, it seems impossible that she can go on, and on. And yet she does. And because I have seen this with my own eyes, I too believe that she will find a way to do it!

Even beyond my hope-based belief in her ultimate success, I have an unyielding certainty in my heart that Dotti will never give up, no matter how long this struggle is forced upon her. I have watched Dotti in the depths of despair, with pain streaked across her face. I have seen Dotti sink into tears of frustration. I have seen Dotti pour her heart fully into making things go just right during a week, and then have the scale move up instead of down. I have seen Dotti suffer on her Journey a thousand ways, but I have never seen her give up! She has not quit, and she never will.

It is not in the face of the victor where you find the most courage, but in that of the vanquished. It is the one who has given his all to reach a goal, and had it dashed from his hands where you find an indescribable strength of soul that makes a man cry, “I will not submit!” Dotti has that courage, and she will forever resist being governed by failure. She has that courage, and no number on the scale can take it away. No amount of failing can make Dotti a failure, because she always demands a rematch. Always!

Dotti is the love of my life, and my very best friend. We were made for each other, if two people ever were. So, I don't claim to be an unbiased observer when it comes to my Dotti. But on the other hand, there is no one on earth who knows her better. And I can say with certainty that Dotti has the heart of a lioness, with no place allowed within it for quitting.

Dotti gave up a three-pack-a-day smoking habit in 2002. She never looked back from that choice. She could have looked at her weight going up and started smoking again. Instead, once again showing her courage, Dotti took the harder path and refused to fall backward into smoking. For eight years she has never once had a cigarette. With the pressures that Dotti faces, being who she is, to stand strong and take the tough road on smoking, shows a courage that few people have. Dotti wants success on the scale, but she wants to do it right. And she is going to keep struggling until she does—just wait and see!

Wherever you are on your Journey, I hope you will take Dotti's courage as your own! Whether you are at goal and sailing on smooth seas, or floundering in desperation, surrounded by despair, with all hope sinking out of sight, or you are somewhere in between—reach out your hand and declare, “I will not submit!” You are so very worth the effort!

Wishing you the very best,

Motivational Puzzle   

    Can you spot the 6 differences between two pictures of Dotti?

Click on the image here and test your skills of observation:

Link to Dotti Puzzle

Did you find all 6 of the differences in last Dotti's Newsletter puzzle?
Dotti's Deck Puzzle

Just in case you missed any of the changes you can check your work here:
Dotti's Deck Answer Key

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Mileage Quiz

On average, walking one mile burns 100 calories. At that rate, if your body burned gasoline instead of food, how many miles per gallon would you get when you walk?

            a. 110 miles per gallon
            b. 310 miles per gallon
            c. 510 miles per gallon
            d. 710 miles per gallon

(Find the answer below in Quiz Answers.)

Loaded Baked Potato Skins

This is a healthy version of one of the greatest inventions of the 1980's: the hollowed-out deep fried potato skins filled with sour cream, bacon, and cheese that first appeared on the menu at T.G.I. Friday's in New York City.  Of course, here the potato is baked, not fried and the fillings are all reduced-fat making a serving one-third of the calories and less than one-fourth of the fat of the original.

Serves 4


         ♦ 2 medium russet potatoes, about 8 oz each
         ♦ Nonstick cooking spray
         ♦ Salt and freshly ground pepper
         ♦ 1 1/2 cups shredded 78% reduced-fat cheddar cheese (such as Cabot)
         ♦ 1/4 cup real bacon bits (such as Hormel Real Bacon Bits)
         ♦ 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream (such as Breakstone's)
         ♦ 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and set it aside.

Prick the surface of the potatoes several times with a fork. Microwave the potatoes on high until they are completely cooked through.  Let the potatoes cool until you can handle them.  Then cut each potato in half lengthwise, and using a small spoon scoop out and discard (or save for breakfast in the morning!) the flesh of the potatoes, leaving a very thin wall of flesh on the skin, less than 1/4 inch thick.

Place the potato shells on the prepared baking sheet.  Spray them, inside and out, with cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper.  Bake the potato shells until they are golden brown and beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes.

Divide the cheese among the potato shells.  Sprinkle the bacon pieces on top of the cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbly, about 8 minutes.  Serve the potatoes topped with a dollop of sour ream and a sprinkling of chives.

Per serving:
            187 calories [649 calories before], 6.6g fat [39.7g fat before], 2g fiber, 14g carbs,
             18g protein, 678mg sodium  *4

     ~~~Now Eat This! by Rocco Dispirito

Ice Cream Quiz

How many gallons of Ben & Jerry's original chocolate ice cream would it take to match the amount of energy contained in a gallon of gasoline?

            a. 1.4 gallon
            b. 2.5 gallons
            c. 4.6 gallons
            d. 6.7 gallons

(Find the answer below in Quiz Answers.)

100-Calorie Snack - Strawberry Sandwich

This is a wonderful little treat when you are craving strawberries.

         ♦ 1/4 slice Mestamacher or other dense 3-grain bead (about 65 calories)
         ♦ 2 tsp farmer cheese
         ♦ 3 strawberries, sliced
         ♦ 1/2 tsp honey
         ♦ Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Place the bread on a plate and spread with the farmer cheese.  Top evenly with the strawberries and drizzle with the honey.  Add black pepper, if desired.  Cut in half and eat.

Per serving:
            104 calories, 1.9g fat, 3.7g fiber, 18.1g carbs, 3.9g protein, 236mg sodium  *1.5

      ~~~100-Calorie Snack Cookbook by Sally Sampson

Weight Loss is 90% Mental

Just like Matt Hoover, 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!

Enjoying Weight Loss

The "Enjoying Weight Loss"
hypnosis CDs help me to be the
best I can be on Program. ~Dotti~

Mental Toughness

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This is a great tool to
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If you would like a power assist on your Journey I highly recommend the
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Want to know more?

  • There's lots of info on our Review Page—how this has worked for me.
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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.

Click Here to Listen Matt Hoover

Little Things Add Up

Remember to be careful with your measuring.  1 tablespoon of mayonnaise is 90 calories but if you go over it starts to add up really fast.  Here are a few more commonly used foods.

  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise = 90 calories
  • 1 tablespoon honey = 58 calories
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup = 52 calories
  • 1 teaspoon olive (and most others) oil = 40 calories
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter = 40 calories
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar = 35 calories
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar = 25 calories
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup = 15 calories
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce = 10 calories
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar = 10 calories
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard = 5 calories
  • 1 tablespoon capers = 5 calories
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot chili sauce = 5 calories
  • 6 cornichons = 5 calories

Coming in at 0 calories = 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Tuong Ot Toi Viet-Nam Chili Garlic Sauce, 1 teaspoon horseradish, 1 teaspoon Tabasco and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire. 

      ~~~100-Calorie Snack Cookbook by Sally Sampson

Exploding Apple Quiz

How many apples would you have to eat to consume the same amount of energy as is contained in one stick of dynamite?

            a. 5 apples
            b. 25 apples
            c. 75 apples
            d. 105 apples

(Find the answer below in Quiz Answers.)

Software You Can Use! — And Now Available Online!

A Note Weight 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

“I deserve credit EVERY TIME I exercise.  I deserve credit EVERY TIME I practice a healthy lifestyle skill.  I deserve credit EVERY TIME I stick to my Plan.”

Comic Relief

Thank you Michelle for sending this in.

By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished."

So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freakin’ good I feel right now


Boldly Be

Whatever is in you to be,
whatever you love, is your fire.
Ignite it, trust it; it is a gift born of your spirit.
Be it in words, dance, colors, or a song...
have absolute faith in what you have been given;
chase it no matter how elusive;
be it... however challenging;
pursue it without pause;
seek to... boldly be
whatever is in our heart to be.

Pam Reinke - Keep Believing in Yourself and Your Dreams

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

Baja Bobs

Baja Bob's incredibly good tasting 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.

Enjoy a cocktail and still stay on your Program

Food Finds

We've had some rainy, cool weather this last week, which reminded us how much we love soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  There are more varieties so check them out at your grocery store. 

  • Progresso Light Beef Pot Roast, 1 cup
           [80 cal/1g fat/2g fiber/12g carbs/660mg sodium/7g protein] *1.5
  • Progresso Light Italian Style Meatball, 1 cup
           [80 cal/2g fat/2g fiber/13g carbs/480mg sodium/3g protein] *1.5
  • Progresso Light Roasted Chicken & Vegetable, 1 cup
           [70 cal/1g fat/3g fiber/10g carbs/460mg sodium/6g protein] *1

Pizza Fit’n Free   “America’s Fat Free Pizza”

Pizza Fit'n Free To celebrate 20 years of
Fat Free Pizzas,
we are offering
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Visit and enter coupon code DWLZ during checkout to receive 10% off!

Quiz Answers

Mileage Quiz

ANSWER:     b. 310 miles per gallon        

Although we cannot use it for food, a gallon of gasoline contains the equivalent of about 31,000 Food Calories worth of energy. So, by burning 100 Calories per mile, we would use the equivalent amount of energy contained in a gallon of gas every 310 miles of walking.

31000 Calories per gallon / 100 Calories per mile = 310 miles per gallon.

Ice Cream Quiz

ANSWER:     c. 4.6 gallons        

A half cup of Ben & Jerry's Original Chocolate ice cream has 210 calories in it. There are 32 half-cups in one gallon.

210 Calories per half-cup x 32 half-cups per gallon = 6,720 calories per gallon

Gasoline has about 31,000 Calories of energy in each gallon.

31,000 Calories / 6,720 Calories per gallon = 4.613 gallons

Exploding Apple Quiz

ANSWER:     a. 5 apples        

What makes dynamite so destructive is the fact that it releases its energy so quickly. A normal stick of dynamite has 2.1 million joules of energy. An apple, with its 100 Food Calories, holds a whopping 418,680 joules of energy.

2,100,000 / 418,680 = 5.015 apples

If you measured all of the energy contained in one stick of dynamite in Food Calories, it would only have 500 Calories in it, or about the same number that are in half a cup of roasted mixed nuts.

Humorous Quotes...

I thought we would keep it light-hearted today with these humorous quotes.  Enjoy!

Father doesn't hear what Mother says, and Mother hears what Father does not say. ~ Anon

Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others. ~Oscar Wilde

Death is the most convenient time to tax rich people. ~David Lloyd George

I refused to attend his funeral.  But I wrote a very nice letter explaining that I approved of it. ~Mark Twain

      ~~~The Little Book of Humorous Quotations by Alison Bullivant

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. These are 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.

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—

"Your body keeps an accurate journal…            
           regardless of what you write down!"


Newsletter Sign Up

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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.


Another visit is coming to a close ~ how fast the time goes when you are having a great time. 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   

Copyright and Disclaimer

Copyright © DWLZ, Inc.—2010, 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.

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