Thanksgiving Month!


Welcome! Do or Die You Choose Garden
Vegetable Soup
What's For
Comic Relief

Food Finds Motivation So Healthy
Copyright and


Hi everyone!  November is here, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner…only two weeks away. 

Al and I have decided that it is time to make the decision of whether we will be enjoying the rest of our lives being healthy and active, or continue on the path we have been on the past few years. We decided that we are going to do whatever it takes to be healthy, and it has started already. Al is going to tell you about it in his article this time.

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Okay, it's that time to go fill our favorite glass with sparkling water and settle into our most comfy chair for a nice visit.  Don’t forget to bring that great smile Smile of yours.

Hugs! Dotti  

Do Or Die
    By Al Coon

Thirteen years ago this month, in 1997, Dotti and I weighed about the same, with Dotti at 245 and I was 240. We went to McDonalds regularly, and we did other things that helped maintain our weights at that level. Dotti's back was causing her problems, and she had fallen in the summer of 1997 and separated her ribs playing kickball at a family outing. I had no reason at all to think anything would ever change when Thanksgiving of 1997 approached. I had accepted the inevitable. I personally had struggled a number of times to lose weight but any losses were temporary and the weight came back on each and every time. Dotti had tried over and over again to lose weight with disheartening results.

Both of us were so beaten down by failure that I thought we were locked in to dying as overweight people, and at a young age. But Dotti surprised us! Something happened around Thanksgiving time of 1997, and Dotti set off on a Journey that still impacts our lives each and every day.

Dotti's weight fell from 245 down to 138 by the end of the summer of 1998. By Thanksgiving a dozen years ago, I was the most surprised man on the planet. There was no way I expected that to happen. It was like a miracle. But the miracle had only just begun.

There was another miracle brewing in 1998, which was to be something wonderful, and far-reaching beyond our wildest dreams: Dotti's Weight Loss Zone was created by Dotti.

Things were wonderful! Dotti's back problems evaporated. She was full of energy and seemed excited about waking up each morning. It was a happy experience just watching the changes in my wonderful wife! But I still didn't believe it. Sure, she lost the weight, and that was amazing, but she had been thin before, and then put it all back on. I only gave it a few months in my mind, and then it would be over. But I was wrong!

When Thanksgiving of 1999 came to greet us, Dotti was still at goal. The same was true when Thanksgiving of 2000 came along.

In April of 2001, Dotti had her first Dotti's Weight Loss Zone conference. It was incredible! Many wonderful people showed up to visit with Dotti, and each other, and they even included me in their circle, even though I was still just an observer, watching Dotti, and sitting around 240 pounds. I had been watching the miracle occur, without having it rub off on me.

By Thanksgiving of 2001, I was a believer. Dotti was going on and on at goal and it seemed effortless for her. I had finally been caught up in her whirlwind of success and started my own Journey, but none of that would have happened, ever, if not for Dotti and all she had done already.

In the year 2002, a few roadblocks came up, which finally led to serious problems. In February, not long before Dotti's Weight Loss Zone conference #2, Dotti took a fall, that injured her knee. It didn't seem all that bad at first, but as time went on, it didn't improve, and it continued to cause pain. By the summer, she was using a cane regularly and finally in August she had surgery, where they removed 15% of her cartilage meniscus.

While the lack of exercise in 2002 had been a problem, the biggest thing that happened that year occurred in May, when Dotti quit smoking. From that point on, things started to come apart for her weight loss Journey. She has not had a cigarette since May of 2002, and that is great! But the cost has been very high.

Al and Dotti at Angels Rest in the Columbia Gorge On the upside, the knee surgery had worked! The pain was gone, and in 2003 we decided to work towards increasing our exercise level. We did a number of hikes that summer (I documented eighteen of our 2003 hikes on our Coon Family Hiking Club page), and some of the hikes were quite strenuous. Had we found a substitute for the smoking?

In 2004, the wheels started coming off the wagon in earnest. In our close family, we had two deaths occur, and a near death as well, and since then, Dotti's weight has crept up and up over time. There have been some bright spots and some dark days, but today we find ourselves back where we were in 1997 once more. At the doctor's office a couple of weeks back, Dotti's weight was about 250. She is having terrible pain in both of her hips, and her back is hurting once more as well.

For myself, watching Dotti having such trouble pulled the wind out of my own sails. Also, personal issues, such as my Mom having Alzheimer's haven't helped a bit on keeping my focus on my Journey. I was up to 223 pounds about the time of Dotti's doctor's visit.

So, here we were, standing at a crossroads. We could continue with what we were doing, and fade into life as invalids, and suffering all the many afflictions of being overweight, or we could take this bull by the horns and create the lifestyle we need to be healthy and very active once more.

My thought was, "I have to save Dotti's life!" This is a naturally active woman, who loves life, and enjoys activities that are outdoors, vigorous, and exciting. Hiking up a mountainside is something she loves to do. Riding wild rides at amusement parks is just her "cup of tea." Being stuck in a wheelchair, and not being able to move freely will kill her, literally.

You must understand that Dotti is the center of my universe. She literally is my reason to get up in the morning, and things I do are important to me, because she shares them with me. For me, if anything happened to Dotti, it would be like living in the deepest part of Carlsbad Caverns, and having someone turn out the lights forever. I cannot let this happen as long as I am breathing.

So, we sat down and discussed our situation, and we came to a decision: this is a fight for our very lives, and we are not going to give up the ship. From that day forward, we made a commitment to focus upon our health before anything else. We will eat right, and we will start to exercise as much as possible. Whatever we have to do, it is what we WILL DO.

We have lived by that commitment for a couple of weeks now, and of course the results have been good. If you do what you are supposed to do, the results are always good.

For starters, Dotti has two bad hips, and so she can't do much exercise. About a week ago, Dotti had a horror show of an MRI hip study, where they tied her feet together in a position that put pressure on her hip in a way that cause excruciating pain. The technician wouldn't listen to her, and tried to proceed anyway. Of course it didn't work, and Dotti finally was able to abort the try.

When Dotti staggered out of the hallway from the MRI room, leaning on her cane, with tears running down her cheeks, she looked as if she had been physically beaten up! We were all of the way home, and I had her settled into a comfy chair for a while before she started to recover from the experience. (I don't know why someone like that technician would go into the medical profession, when she really doesn't seem to care about people.)

We feel that the hip problem will be resolved in a positive way. Yesterday, Dotti was able to complete the MRI with sedation, and with the help of a much nicer technician, and she is seeing a well recommended hip specialist this month, and we have high hopes of this having a happy ending, even if it requires surgery.

In the meantime, Dotti has still lost ten pounds, just by changing her eating habits, and I have lost 5 as well. Over the next few months, we hope to have positive things to report to you, and we will be starting a joint weekly journal on Saturday, where you can check up on our progress.

Something that is very different about this commitment from the one Dotti made in 1997, is that it is not just a sudden inspiration from some unknown source. This is rooted in knowledge that we are fighting for our lives, and it is Do Or Die. Either we make these changes or the lights go out. Also, it is a joint commitment this time, because Dotti and I are in this together. We are doing it for ourselves, and for each other.

By this time next year, I firmly believe that both Dotti and I will be at goal, and we will be doing a tremendous amount of walking together. Hikes in the woods, and walks around our neighborhood and around the city of Spokane are going to be the norm. We will be eating not only fewer calories, but better calories, and we will be feeling better than we have felt in many years.

This is our commitment: we have already made it, and we have already started reaping some small benefits, even in this short time. We have both reach goal before, and so it is not a question of knowledge holding us back, but only a question of commitment. Now the commitment is here, the passing of time is all that is required to see the results.

It is sad, but it is human nature, that we waited until it got so bad we couldn't ignore it. We are up against the wall, and it is do or die. Dotti and I have chosen to Do rather than to Die. While this commitment is overdue, it is not too late!

Wishing you the very best,

Don't forget to come and check on our progress at:

Dotti and Al's Weekly Journal

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You Choose

Below is a list of a few activities that you can do with no rewards or you can turn it around and reap the rewards of 30 minutes of exercise. (figures are based on a 180-pound woman's expenditure)

Watch a baseball game [burns 66 calories]
Play baseball [burns 354 calories]

Shop Online [burns 66 calories]
Walk around the mall [burns 141 calories]

Drive to the car wash [burns 66 calories]
Wash your own car [burns 129 calories]

Watch ballroom dancing [burns 66 calories]
Go ballroom dancing [burns 129 calories]

Ride a lawn mower [burns 66 calories]
Push a lawn motor [burns 258 calories]

Play a video game [burns 66 calories]
Play Frisbee [burns 129 calories]

Use a leafblower [burns 75 calories]
Use a rake [burns 171 calories]

Sunbathe [burns 66 calories]
Go swimming [burns 300 calories]

~~~Change One, The Official Reader's Digest Diet



The happy comments have continued to pour in from iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch owners who are using Dotti's Food Score iPhone App Dotti's Food Score. (We want to thank those of you who have taken the time to give us high marks at the iPhone store!)

Now we brought this same helpful app to the phones of Android owners too!

Dotti's Food Score for the Android is at the Android store right now!

We congratulate the surprisingly large number of Zonies who hunted down the app before we even announced it to the public!

Eating out at a restaurant can be a real challenge, when you are striving to be on program! Now you can see what you are eating, before you eat it—all you have to do is check your phone and let Dotti's Food Score help you make the right choices. With nearly 600 restaurants to choose from you will almost always find, your exact restaurant, or if not, one that is very similar to it, to give you help in making an estimate about menu items and their nutritional value.

Any Questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page! < click >

Remember, if you have an Android, your wait is over!
Dotti's Food Score is now on sale at your Android app store!

Halloween Puzzle

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

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

Garden Vegetable Soup

It's that time of the year again where we get out our favorite soup recipes to warm us up on those chilly days.  Here is a favorite one from Weight Watchers that comes in at 0 Points!

     Makes 4 servings


  • 2/3 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups fat-free broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup green beans
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup diced zucchini

Spray  a large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray, then heat.  Saute the carrot, onion and garlic over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add broth, cabbage, beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano and salt; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until beans are tender.  Stir in the zucchini and heat for 3-4 minutes.  Serve hot.

Per serving: *0

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
Enjoying Weight Loss Hypnosis CDs!

Want to know more?

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

What's For Breakfast

How about a simple, fast, smoothie breakfast paired with a half english muffin with 1 tsp peanut butter.

          1 mango, cut into cubes
          1 banana, broke into large chunks
          ♦ 1 cup pineapple chunks
          1 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
          2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
          1 cup ice cubes

Combine mango, banana, pineapple, kiwi, yogurt and ice cbes in a blender.  Puree until smooth and thick.

Pour into 4 glasses.  You can freeze the leftovers in sealable plastic containers.  Microwave for 30-60 second and stir, to defrost. 

Makes 4 servings  (about 2 cups)

Per serving with half english muffin & peanut butter: 260 calories, 4g fat, 250mg sodium, 47g carbs, 4g fiber, 11g protein *5

~~~Change One, The Official Reader's Digest Diet

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

"Ability is what you're capable of doing.  Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." ~~Lou Holtz

"Our only limitations are those which we set up in our minds or permit others to establish for us." ~~Og Mandino

"A positive attitude is a state of mind which is maintained each day through optimism, enthusiasm, and a belief in oneself and in one's true potential." ~~Anonymous

Comic Relief

The Stranger in My House

A very weird thing has happened. A strange old lady has moved into my house. I have no idea who she is, where she came from, or how she got in. I certainly didn't invite her. All I know is that one day she wasn't there and the next day she was. She's very clever. She manages to keep out of sight for the most part, but whenever I pass a mirror, I catch a glimpse of her there; and when I look into a mirror directly to check my appearance suddenly she's hogging the whole thing, completely obliterating my gorgeous face and body. It's very disconcerting. I've tried screaming at her to leave but she just screams back, grimacing horribly. She's really rather frightening.

If she's going to hang around, the least she could do is offer to pay rent. But no. Every once in a while I do find a couple of dollar bills on the kitchen counter, or some loose change on my bureau or on the floor, but that certainly isn't enough. In fact, though I don't like to jump to conclusions, I think she steals money from me regularly. I go the the ATM and withdraw a hundred dollars, and a few days later, it's gone. I certainly don't go through it that fast, so I can only conclude that the old lady pilfers it. You'd think she'd spend some of it on wrinkle cream. God knows, she needs it.

And, the money isn't the only thing she's taking. Food seems to disappear at an alarming rate. Especially the good stuff - ice cream, cookies, candy - I just can't keep them in the house. She really has a sweet tooth. She should watch it; she's really putting on the pounds. I think she realizes that, and to make herself feel better I know she is tampering with my scale, so I'll think that I'm gaining weight, too. For an old lady she's really quite childish. She also gets into my closets when I'm not home and alters all my clothes. They're getting tighter every day.

Another thing: I wish she'd stop messing with my files and papers on my desk. I can't find a thing any more. This is particularly hard to deal with because I'm extremely neat and organized; but she manages to jumble everything up so nothing is where it is supposed to be. Furthermore, when I program my VCR to tape something important, she fiddles with it after I leave the room so it records the wrong channel or shuts off completely. She finds innumerable imaginative ways to irritate me. She gets to my newspapers, magazines and mail before me- and blurs all the print; and she's done something sinister with the volume controls on my TV, radio and phone. Now all I hear are mumbles and whispers.

She's also made my stairs steeper, my vacuum cleaner heavier, all my knobs and faucets hard to turn and my bed higher and a real challenge to climb into and out of. Furthermore, she gets to my groceries as soon as I shelve them and applies super glue to the tops of every jar and bottle so they're just about impossible to open. Is this any way to repay my hospitality? I don't even get any respite at night. More than once her snoring has awakened me. I don't know why she can't do something about that. It's very unattractive.

As if all this isn't bad enough, she is no longer confining her malevolence to the house. She's now found a way to sneak into my car with me and follow me wherever I go. I see her reflection in store windows as I pass, and she's taken all the fun out of clothes shopping because her penchant for monopolizing mirrors has extended to dressing rooms. When I try something on, she dons an identical outfit, which looks ridiculous on her and then stands directly in front of me so I can't see how great it looks on me. I thought she couldn't get any meaner than that, but yesterday, she proved me wrong. She had the nerve to come with me when I went to have some passport pictures taken..... Don't you love it??

~~~I have since found out who wrote this wonderful piece - her name is Rose Mula. The Author's Page is at:

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Enjoy a cocktail and still stay on your Program

Food Finds!

These food finds were found at different times in the last two weeks.  I absolutely loved all our food finds this time and would highly recommend you trying them. 

       Organic Mary's Gone Crackers, 13 crackers
          [140 cal/5g fat/3g fiber/21g carbs/190mg sodium/3g protein/0.5g saturated fat] *3
       Wheat Thins Flatbread, Tuscan Herb, 2 crackers
          [60 cal/1.5g fat/0g fiber/12g carbs/125mg sodium/1g protein/0g saturated fat] *1
       Carnation Instant Breakfast Essentials, No Sugar Added, Rich Chocolate Milk, 1 pkt
           (I add a packet of this to my strawberry/banana smoothie - YUM!)
          [60 cal/0.5g fat/4g fiber/12g carbs/60mg sodium/5g protein/0g saturated fat] *0.5
       Morning Star Tomato & Basil Pizza Burger, 1 burger
          [120 cal/6g fat/3g fiber/7g carbs/280mg sodium/10g protein/1.5g saturated fat] *2.5


The Winner's Creed

If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't;
If you'd like to win, but think you can't
It's almost certain, you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you're lost;
Since out in our world we find
success begins with a person's will,
It's all in your state of mind.

Life's battles don't always go
to the stronger or faster hand;
But sooner or later
the person who wins
is the one who thinks....."I CAN".

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So-Healthy Smoothies

Smoothies are a great way to start your day.  They are also a great pick-me-up for that mid-afternoon sluggish, tired time (about 3-4 pm).

          1 cup fat free milk
          1/4 cup orange juice
          ♦ 2 tbsp vanilla yogurt
          1 tbsp honey
          1 small banana, sliced & frozen
          2/3 cup frozen blueberries
          1/2 cup chopped & peeled mango, frozen
          1/4 cup frozen unsweetened peach slices

Combine all the ingredients in a blender, cover and blend until smooth.  Pour into chilled glasses and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings, 3/4 cup

Per Serving: 107 calories, 1g fat, 38mg sodium, 24g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g protein,
0g saturated fat *2

~~~Taste of Home Smoothies

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—

"The quality of your fuel determines the quality of your body."

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.


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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