Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Barcodes = The Antichrist

I remember when the bar-code system began to be used in the common marketplace.  Some Christians immediately declared that bar-codes and the use thereof represented the Antichrist.  Then the whole Proctor & Gamble fiasco ensued, and folks were convinced the company was run by satanists.  (Thankfully they survived the "scandal" and lived to print more coupons...)

I don't know if the Antichrist will need to depend on such technology as bar-codes or not.  I could see how it could work, and may indeed play a part.  I don't know.  I'm actually more afraid of a Big Brother Conspiracy using bar-codes than I am of selling my soul to the devil for a Big Mac.  Maybe Big Brother will end up being the Antichrist, I don't know.  (That being said, you'll never find bar-codes tattooed to my forehead or my right hand.)

However, this post is not about the battle of unseen powers.  It's about the mind-blowing, game-changing use of ... bar-code scanners!!!  I kind of wasn't going to go "Public" with my decision to join Weight Watchers (WW) just yet.  Well, there.  I just went "Public" with it.  Yep, that's right.  I re-joined (for the umpteenth) time on December 29th.  Ever the cost-conscious consumer, I read that some prices would be going up after Jan 1, and I also wanted to avoid the annual New-Year-Resolution crowd that inevitably shows up the first week of the year, I jumped back on the bandwagon before the new year started.  After a few days of reviewing the program changes, reorienting myself with the E-Tools system, and planning some menus, I started the New Eating Year on Monday, the 2nd of January.  My weigh-in was scheduled for Thursday the 5th, and since I only had a few days of being On Program (OP), I wasn't expecting a significant loss.  Nonetheless, I was very pleased with how those four days had gone.  We went to Applebee's on Wed night prior to my Thurs weigh-in, and I ordered one of the WW dinners from the menu.  I even shaved off a couple of Points by substituting the black-bean-and-corn-salsa with steamed broccoli.  It was very yummy and quite satisfying to the palate.  Best of all, I only ate half, and brought the other half home to have for lunch the next day.  So I was prepared to share my non-scale victory (NSV), figuring I wouldn't be celebrating so very much at the scales.  WRONG!  I couldn't believe it when the receptionist told me I was 3.2 lbs ... DOWN!  YAY!!!  The news provided even more motivation and determination, and I was elated, to say the least!!  I called everybody I knew.  Well, I called DJ, Steve, and my mamma, and I texted Whitney.  Not quite everybody, but at least those closest to me.

At the close of the meeting, the lecturer asked if anyone had tried the bar-code scanner for Smartphones.  I didn't know such a thing existed, but I thought I'd give it a try.  Friday afternoon I had a few minutes of down time, so I went to the App Store and downloaded the scanner.  I figured it wouldn't be worth a flip, but Mary found an empty Diet Coke container... one of the squatty little plastic ones... in the backseat, so we decided to scan it.  Well.  Not only did it pull up the points value (0, of course), it pulled up the nutritional information used to calculate the points (fat, carbs, fiber, and protein grams), and a picture of the squatty little Diet Coke.  Seriously cool.  So, off to the grocery store I go with my WW-friendly shopping list.  I ended up buying quite a bit more items than I otherwise would have, because... I could scan each item and it would tell me how many points per serving the item would "cost" me!!  Wow.  One of the things I always hated about WW before was "journaling".  Or writing down everything I ate.  (They call it "tracking" nowadays.)  I also hated looking up in the little booklet to find the points value of everything I ate.

Those days are gone!  With today's technology, I can keep track of all my points with the click of a mouse, and I can scan the points value of anything with a bar-code.  Granted, there are some obscure items not in the scanner's database, but if the item is not in the database, it gives the option to calculate the points using the nutritional information on the product label.  How cool is that!  And.. it keeps a list of everything you scan, so no duplicate scanning!

Another tool that I am loving on the WW mobile app is the Restaurant tab.  I haven't looked at the entire listing of restaurants (but I've already found my favorites!!!), and I can look at all their menu items to check the points value.  There's also a row of tabs at the top (ex. 2-4, 5-7, 8-10  etc.) so that if I only have 10 points left for the day, I can click on the 8-10 tab and see all the food on the menu with 8-10 points without having to scroll through the entire menu.  Brilliant!!

I have been overweight for more years than I have not.  The road has been long and complicated.  I'm so very thankful for yet another chance to start over, and get it right this time.  I've tried everything... but it always seems to come back to WW.  I've probably lost several hundred pounds on the program over the past 30 years or so.  It's what the doctors recommend.  It's on TV all the time, and the internet ads too.  Everywhere I have turned for the past few weeks, WW has just kinda been "in my face".  For me it's confirmation.  Jennifer Hudson has been singing to me about believing and I've tapped into the energy, and I Believe.  I Believe that with the techno tools available to me, that my old excuses won't work any more.  I'm excited about the tools, and how they have already rocked my world.

So, here it is.  My name is Cathy, and I'm a WW member.  And I'm loving it.

Oh, and about that Antichrist thing... I ain't askeerd of him.  My FATHER can beat up his father any day.

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