My quest to start a whoopie pie stand of my very own in a Chicago farmers market.
There’s a pretty big part of me that I haven’t yet shared on here. It just hasn’t been very relevant, but I’d like to talk about it now. I have been “on” Weight Watchers since July of 2010. I lost 46 pounds and hit my goal (something I still can’t believe) last May. In September last year, my mom, who is also on WW and who is also doing very well (so proud of you, Ma!), noticed a link on their website to apply to be in their next commercial. She sent it to me, so I looked at the application and thought about my answers to their questions for as long as possible, sending my application in the night it was due. I didn’t even have a good “after” picture to send them, so I threw on a spandexy slip (I may be thin now, but I do still have a little extra skin around my middle) and a tight dress, charged my dead camera for 10 minutes, and had my boyfriend take a picture that night. I also had to comb through old pictures of myself on Facebook and my computer to find a “before,” a painful activity that sent me into a week-long bout of the blues. Hey, weight loss is great, but it’s a complicated, emotional thing too.
After 2 auditions and what felt like years of waiting, I found out I was one of eight people chosen to be in the next round of commercials, and they wanted me to take pictures for print too. They flew me and my boyfriend (had to give up my first class seat to bring him along, but it was an easy decision) out to LA for the week all expenses paid. I met nine other fantastic, inspirational, beautiful Weight Watchers and we spent an insane, completely unbelievable week together. We had our makeup and hair done for 3 days, got to keep the clothes and shoes they put us in (including 3 pairs of Spanx one poor lady had to wear!), and yep, we even got to meet Jennifer Hudson, who was sweet enough to take a pic with all of us after a long day of shooting. If you’d like to read my answers to the questions on the original application, they turned it into a Success Story here. If you’d like to see the commercial I’m in with the whole group, go here and click on the “Believe Group” video in the line of five videos under the pic of Jennifer holding her waist. And if you’d like to see my solo (!) commercial, go here, scroll down to “Meet Lindsey,” and click on “Watch Lindsey’s TV spot.”
I have been able to keep the weight off for almost a year now because I still follow the program and honestly, I do work out quite a bit. It’s not usually very easy, but I’m happy to do those things because I can still make and eat delicious macarons and whoopie pies and beautiful, delicious pastries like these:
Pecan Sticky Buns! The key to my lifestyle (as any true Weight Watcher will tell you, I’m not on a diet) is sweets in moderation. And occasionally some recipe re-tooling. I took Ina Garten’s recipe for Easy Sticky Buns and WW’ed it by decreasing the butter, brown sugar, and pecans. Honestly, I can’t really imagine them needing any more of those things after trying them. They were sticky, gooey, and soooo buttery delicious. Here’s the adapted recipe (only 6 Points Plus per bun…to put this in perspective, in case you’re not a Weight Watcher, I get 31 points a day and generally try to eat 3-7 points for breakfast every day):
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 10 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Place 1 rounded spoonful of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture.
Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and any other spices you’d like (I used nutmeg as well). Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down. Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2-inch and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Be careful – they’re hot! Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon) and cool completely. Eat with a glass of ice cold skim milk for an additional 2 PointsPlus and feel a little better knowing you’re also getting a Good Health Guideline in.