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The Bagel…


Welcome to Friday. Every Friday my office has a ritual – BAGELS!!!! I will state right up front..I LOVE BAGELS!!! – the more butter the better! Actually butter and cream cheese together – is my preferred topping. So, every Friday these beautiful lumps of white flour, surrounded by an assortment of flavored spreads welcome me. Ok, so out of sight out of mind? NOT! Even if I don’t walk by the area where these bagels are displayed..I know they are there. As I sit in my office, I watch a host of fellow employees walk by carrying this delicacy back to their desks. Today bagels are a common food, but that was not always the norm. In 1971, I made my first trip to New Orleans. The previous summer I had attended Camp Stanley in the Catskill Mountains of New York state. Camp Stanley was a “fat farm” – a camp for girls who needed to lose weight. I loved that camp…but I’ll save that detail for another story. Anyway…I met a fellow camper who was from New Orleans. She invited me to come visit for Mardi Gras. I jumped at the invitation. The date was February 1971, and I was on my way to the Big Easy. Polite and proper person that I am – I asked what I could bring as a gift. Without hesitation, my host said “bagels!”. On my way to the Philly airport I stopped at the bagel bakery and picked up two dozen fresh out of the oven bagels. I arrived in New Orleans, and took a taxi to my friends’ home. Keep in mind – this was decades before “Google maps” – so I had no idea where I was going, and what my friends home would look like. The taxi pulled up to the most beautiful mansion I had ever seen. I had only seen homes like this in the movies…it was spectacular. The butler opened the door, and the family greeted me. The upstairs maid showed me to my guest room. My room was so large; it had two bathrooms…and a bell to ring when I wanted the maid! I was in shock!
I handed the maid my box of fresh bagels. She took the box and told me dinner would be served in an hour in the formal dining room. An hour later I walked into this very formal room, and sat down at the dinner table. Yes, I felt like a fish out of water. Dinner was served. The meal? A sirloin roast, with an assortment of vegetables – and a bagel. I did all I could to not laugh. A bagel and steak? For dinner? Where was the cream cheese? All’s well that ends well…my host and her family loved the bagels. And in case you are wondering..the next morning the kitchen staff prepared croissants served with marmalade and butter. Not so bad!


Ok friends, it is dinner time. Even with the best of behaviors and adherence…this is the bewitching hour. This is the moment that I am the weakest. This is the time that I want to write off the day and…”pig out” – so…I hope for strength. Hubby is bringing home dinner – roasted chicken and salad. This is why my house is “clean” – because I assure you…if I see it..I will eat it!

Just a regular day….

vinegarBut I still need a plan. It is a work day. I am in my office. I started out the day with a great egg white omelet filled with onion, pepper, tomato and spinach. Lunch – will be an office meeting. Probably a tray of sandwiches, maybe a tossed salad. I will toss the bread from the sandwich and place the sandwich meat on top of my salad. I keep a bottle of amazing vinegar in my office. It is crazy expensive at over $30.00 per bottle, but well worth it! Sometimes the office lunch is pizza…when that is the case, I don’t take part and I buy my own. There was a time in my life when I would have said – the heck with it, pizza? and I would have ate it. If I am really craving pizza, I will make a flat bread crust from garbanzo bean flour, and put chopped vegetables and tomato-eggplant spread on top. Dinner tonight will probably be eaten at home. I always keep frozen shrimp around, as it defrosts quick when you run the shrimp under water. The other day someone gave me a gift of imported cheese. Not wanting to insult them, I took it and said thank-you. I then gave it away to my neighbor. I can’t keep food around that I shouldn’t eat. I don’t have any willpower – I never have had any. So that means if you live with me – you must eat as I do. It’s okay to have rules in your own home. At least, I think so!

Please allow me to re-introduce myself to you!!

I have been blogging for a while now, and I appreciate all who follow me. Recently, my audience has truly grown, and I think it is time to re-introduce myself.

Basically – who am I?
Is it that simple?
Who is ThinCin?
What is this all about?
Most important ….How can I help others.

Who am I?
My name is Cindy Wanerman. I am a 56 year old female. I have two day jobs. One job is in financial services – an industry that I have been in since 1979. My other job is Chairman of the Board of the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site. I have been at the penitentiary since 2002. My partner at work and in life is Larry Wanerman. We have been married for 32 years. We have two grown children – Alex, a jeweler in Philadelphia and Stacy, President of Penn State University – Abington Campus.

I grew up fat, and battled a weight problem for most of my life. Nine years ago both my husband and I had gastric by-pass surgery. It worked for me; it did not work for him.

After gastric by-pass not working for Larry – I didn’t know what would. Besides Larry’s issues – which included high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure – and type 2 diabetes…my son Alex was also morbidly obese. So does history repeat itself? I guess so.

In March of 2012, the four of us were celebrating Larry’s 60th birthday. A joyful celebration – on the surface. For me, I cried every day that I would lose my husband and my son due to weight related issues I had maintained my weight loss since gastric bypass in 2004 – but in fact I was still making poor food choices. My eating was based solely on caloric intake, without regard to the quality of the calories I was eating. It was time to make a change. But how?

I consulted with a nutritional counselor, and was given logical advice.

Eat meat, fish, egg whites, vegetables, fruit, tofu, nuts and beans. Use healthy oils in moderation. Limit dairy to fat free Greek yogurt. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Use stevia and spices to enhance the flavor of foods. Drink ½ ounce of water per body pound per day. Don’t over eat. Don’t count calories, but be aware of grams of protein. Always have breakfast.
Never skip a meal.

Most important …

Hunger is the enemy of self control.

Could it really be that simple?

While the recommended “yes” foods seemed fine – what was I giving up? I had to say good bye to bread, rice, pasta, and sugar, and most dairy products. We cleaned out the kitchen of all “no” foods. We stocked up on the yes foods. It didn’t take long to see and feel the results.

Within two months Larry was off of all his prescription medicines. Within six months he had lost 80 pounds. By choice he diligently tests his blood daily and has maintained healthy sugar levels for over one year-without the use of medicine. Larry had taken diabetes medicine for over 20 years.

Having stayed at the same weight for almost nine years, I dropped an additional 20 pounds, a good place to be when menopause sets in. My son Alex – transformed his life. At age 25 he was seriously morbidly obese. Alex lost over of 100 pounds. Alex is now trim and fit. As his body changed, so did his world. Please read the past blog entitled “Please read this story from my Heart”.

Who is ThinCin, and what is this all about?

My personal physician was impressed with how our family transformed their weight, and was living a healthier life. She encouraged me to share my knowledge and personal experiences with others. But why would anyone listen to me? I am not a medical professional. Her encouragement empowered me, and I decided I did need to share my food experiences, and hopefully help others along the way.
Frankly – I didn’t know where to begin. I consulted with a friend who told me to share my story and my daily meals via social media.

On March 5, 2013 “ThinCin” was officially launched on Facebook and twitter.

The ThinCin page shows photos of all of the foods I eat – everyday, in real time. It didn’t take long for me to develop a following of friends. Almost six months later I have received rewarding feedback from people who find my way of communicating what I eat – easy to follow and inspiring.
Since that day in March 2013, I have photographed every thing I eat. I share what I eat, where I eat – I incude some recipes as well. I even posted blood test results to show how healthy I am.

Most Important…How can I help others?

I want to help everyone feel great from the food they eat. My food list is limited – but the combinations and recipes I can create are limitless. I do love food. I do love to eat. Join me every day and every where I eat. Learn the joy of eating and feeling good from food. I’m encouraged daily by people I meet that follow ThinCin. I am truly amazed by the numbers of people that follow me, contact me – and share with me wonderful stories of how they feel by eating the ThinCin way.
Please read my past blogs – It is an insight into my personal thoughts on weight, and weight issues. Thank you for reading this long note – I hope you join me at, twitter and Facebook. Keep the comments coming in! I love to answer your questions.

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your physician for guidance and advice.

It’s Not A Diet! It’s A Tune-up!!

Think about this for a minute. You’ve worked hard at losing weight, and you have reached your goal. Then what? Well to begin with – everyone tells you how good you look. Shopping is fun again, and fitting into those old clothes that have been collecting dust in your closet is empowering. But then it happens, the scale starts to creep up. Many things affect your daily weight. Whether it is the time of day you weighed yourself, or perhaps it is a different scale than the one you usually use…numbers can play mind games with your head. Of course good advice is to get weighed every day, at the same time…on the same scale…naked. Three years ago, I bought a second home. Truth be told, I never bought a scale for the second home. Why? Well, I knew it would probably not be the same weight as the scale that I have gotten weighed on almost daily since 1999. All things being equal the weight on both scales should be about the same. I’m constantly traveling back and forth between these two homes, and so I thought I was “safe” not having a scale in the new place. Recently I knew I would be in my second home for a three week period of time. The thought of three weeks without getting weighed scared me. So…I bought a scale. I weighed myself in Philadelphia, and the next morning I weighed myself in Miami Beach – on my new scale. And, just as I feared…the scale was two pounds higher in Florida than it was in Philadelphia. Mentally, I started to beat myself up. So, I went about my day, feeling badly that I had started to gain weight. Being fat again is my biggest personal fear. My personal self esteem is totally correlated to my weight. Good or bad….I am almost 57 years old and I am not going to change the way I personally judge myself. Over the three week period of time, I did not drop those two pounds. In fact, I gained five more pounds. Had I eaten healthy? Yes…but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing! When I left Florida, after just three weeks – my weight on the new scale was reading seven pounds higher than what I had last weighed on my Philadelphia scale. The next morning in Philadelphia I weighed myself. The scale was five pounds higher than what I had been three weeks earlier. So, the Florida scale did have a two pound weight difference – but the reality was…I had gained five pounds. Did my clothes still fit? Yes. Did people still tell me how trim I looked? Yes. Did I feel like the Goodyear blimp? Yes. Am I crazy? Maybe. Was I crossing “the line”? I define “the line” as the point where I need to lose weight. I needed to have a healthier mindset about my weight. I decided to draw a mental comparison between my weight issue and a fine sports car. What do they have in common? Simple…the need for tune-ups!! Whether in tune or not, a Maserati is a fine automobile. But, it certainly performs better when it is tuned. If you were to disregard the tune up, eventually the Maserati engine would need a complete overhaul. So…I am embracing a new understanding…Every so often…I NEED A TUNE-UP!!! Eat a little less, work out a little more…get the scale back to the number I like. So last night I went out to dinner with friends that I often dine with. A healthy appetizer was served, and I declined to eat it. A friend asked “Why are you not eating that?…it’s a healthy food-don’t tell me you are dieting?”. My answer was…’Dieting? No….I’M GIVING MYSELF A TUNE-UP!

Legislation for a healthy America!

 Recently I was traveling on a major airline. The flight attendant came around and offered us beverages and peanuts. I was a bit surprised at the peanut offering as I thought they had been outlawed in most places. A short time later an announcement was made that the flight attendants must collect all of the peanut packages. They went on to explain that a passenger had notified them of an allergy to peanuts – thus prompting this recall. I applaud the airline for the quick action. Frankly – the whole situation really surprised me. I’m old enough to remember when airlines served real meals. I even own a set of stainless steel cutlery from Eastern Airlines. I was once on a TWA flight where the “stewardess” brought a buffet cart down the aisle and you could choose your own desert! Those were the days! No doubt an allergy attack from peanut dust is probably a very frightening situation – although I’ve often wondered if most airlines were pleased to have a reason to no longer offer peanuts and instead switch to a lower cost snack alternative. Well this brings me to today…and what took place in my office. My assistant told me he was going out to get lunch and asked me if I wanted anything. I asked him where he was going. He told me it’s a new donut place that just opened up. I asked him what could they serve that would be so different from the donut chain stores. He said they serve fried chicken and fresh deep fried donuts. My first thought was this is a store that Mayor Bloomberg would never allow to open in NYC! I then looked at the menu online. There was NOTHING even remotely healthy! Needless to say I declined his offer of bringing me back anything from this Zagat rated establishment. A short time later he returned with his lunch of fried delights. He was even kind enough to bring back a box of donuts for the rest of the office staff to enjoy. Diligent employee that he is – he sat at his desk while eating his lunch. Ah, the aroma! Deep fried dough with powdered sugar!! Fried chicken that was dripping with oil! Smelling that meal made me crazy!  My thoughts turned to the peanut recall on the airline. I fantasized an announcement being made over the load speaker in my office that said “Due to the overwhelming aroma of the greasy fat laden chicken and the airborne powered sugar that is permeating the air – all unhealthy lunches must be removed because ThinCin is having an allergic reaction!

Think about this for a moment…

cwbeforeMost of my life I was medically classified as “morbidly obese”. In plain english, I was seriously fat. My weight truly controlled my life, and not in a positive way. Everything I wanted to do would always be prefaced with “when I lose weight, I will”…and the “wills” were many. Maybe I should have risen above that mindset, but I just couldn’t. I remember at one point thinking if I passed away my children would have few photos to remember me by. Why? Because I would not let photo’s be taken unless I was at a weight I felt comfortable with. The exception is the photo that appears here. This photo was taken on September 30, 2004. I always carry it with me so I never forget where I was, and who I was. The fact is, I was not the same person I am today. You see, for me my weight was my handicap. Defining handicap as my disability. My weight was my barrier. I was not able to rise above that barrier. When my daughter was a little girl, I wanted so to take her to the seashore and sit on the beach. I was too embarrassed to do it. We took many wonderful trips to Disney World, where I felt comfortable with my appearance, but we never went to the seashore. Did my life improve eight years ago when I made the decision to never be obese again? Yes, totally. Do I fear becoming obese again? Yes. One night I had a nightmare that I have never forgotten. I dreamt I died and went to heaven. In front of me was a huge buffet of all of my favorite foods. I was told the good news, and the bad news. The good news was – I could eat everything I wanted and I would never again have to worry about gaining any weight! The bad news was – the weight I was when I died, would forever be my weight. Think about that for a moment. Are you where you want to be? Are you who you want to be? Be all you want to be. You have the power to make that choice.

Sometimes we learn what to do, by learning what not to do….

Please let me explain. My mother never cooked. She didn’t want to, and she never did anything she didn’t want to do. My dad wanted to cook, but my mother thought the kitchen should be seen, and not used…and so dad was not permitted to cook. We didn’t even have a set of dishes. Paper plates were the serving platters of choice. I was a fat kid, and I hated being fat. I was the last one to be chosen when it came to play sports – because the fat kid without sports ability is never a first string draft pick. I remember going shopping for my Brownie uniform, and I had to buy a “chubby” size. Yes, “chubby” was the real name given to clothes for people of “size”. For a six year old girl – it was a very sad time. Besides being fat, I had frizzy hair – and eye glasses. What a combination! I would look at the other girls in school – with shinny straight hair, and beautiful clothes…and I so wanted to be like them. Ironically, my mother was thin. She lived on cigarettes and instant coffee. I thought all vegetables came from a can. We’d have corn niblets, peas and carrots – and sometimes baked beans. The Green Giant was a familiar face on our kitchen table. Mom would open the can, and place the can on the table. The vegetables were never heated. Sandwiches were bologna with ketchup on white bread. Swanson “TV” dinners were a main stay in our home. The TV dinner would consist of powdered mashed potatoes, peas with carrots and “fried” chicken – it was horrible. A real treat was frozen Macaroni and Cheese. It was much better than the TV dinners. Because we lived close to the elementary school – I was not allowed to eat at school. I remember sitting in class in the morning and the school dietician would come in and take the lunch order – it all sounded so good! I would have killed for Sheppard’s pie! Boy did I want to eat at school!

It wasn’t until I started eating at friends houses, did I realize people ate differently. To this day I can remember one friend whose mom would pan fry salami and serve it on toasted rye bread with lettuce – I loved eating at her house! Of course I never had friends sleep over – how could I? My mom didn’t cook for us – she certainly wouldn’t cook for my friends. In seventh grade girls (not boys) were required to take home economics. Home ec (as it was called) was half a term of food prep, and half a term of sewing. The boys took wood shop and metal class. The food prep class required students to go home and prepare meals. My mom wouldn’t allow it. Friday was the day my Mom would go to the beauty salon for her weekly “wash and set”. I would get home from school at 3pm, and she wouldn’t be home until 5pm. Truth be told – I would cook up a storm in those two hours! I hid pots and pans in my bedroom, and would cook whatever I could, only to throw everything out before my mom came home. She never knew. Well as I said in the title, sometimes we learn what to do, by learning what not to do….My house has always had an open door policy. I take great joy in cooking for others. My daughter, son and husband are all wonderful cooks. I wish things had been different growing up…but all in all, it made me who I am today.

Attitude…it is all about attitude!

Tonight I am having dinner with a cousin I totally adore. She gave me a choice of restaurants to select, and I was happy to make the choice. I went online and looked at each place she suggested. I decided on the Jarrettown Hotel. If you review the menu of the Jarrettown Hotel – it’s a combination of the good, the great and the fattening. The cousin likes it, and I LOVE the cousin and so the Jarrettown Hotel it is! So….let’s think about this a minute. I want to please the cousin and so I could order off the menu, and not make a fuss…or maybe I will make a fuss. I’ve been to this restaurant before, and I found them to be very happy to tailor a dish. I think I am feeling ciopinno. The menu says it is served over pasta. I do love pasta. I assure you – if pasta is in front of me, I will devour it! Oh…pasta…garlic bread…butter…the foods of my dreams! and of my nightmares. So for a moment let me think about tomorrow. That great pasta and that unbelivable garlic bread will be a moment on my lips, and a lifetime on my hips. That is not a good thing. What really matters? Most important…dining with my amazing cousin. Happy to be in a restaurant, and not cooking. But…I really want to leave the table having eaten foods that will not make the scale change. When the wait staff asks for my order I will politely say…ciopinno…over spinach, no pasta please. I may be told no exceptions, but I really doubt that will be the case. If the wait staff doesn’t get it, certainly the owner will understand. Please don’t bully me….I’m in your restaurant to spend $$$. So, stay tuned. Facebook “Thincin” will show you what I ate at my 7pm reservation this evening. Either the Jarrettown Hotel get’s it, and deserves your business or they don’t. I am betting they do.

I didn’t need a scale, I had a “Sylvia”!

We all know a “Sylvia”. She’s the one who will always greet you with a comment about your weight. “You look like you took off a little”, or “I see you’ve gained your weight back.” Her comments were so predictable! And SO annoying!!! I remember one time my weight had hit a new all time high. I was supposed to go to a party that Sylvia would be at. I stayed home. I just didn’t want to deal with her. Then one day it happened – I couldn’t avoid her. A mutual friend of ours had died, and we would both be at the funeral. Well lucky me, Sylvia told me I looked thinner! There was also the time that I had lost (and later found) fifty pounds because I wanted to look good at a reunion. I ran into Sylvia and she told me how wonderful I looked! Then she said “Well, are you going to keep it off this time?”  I shared with her about the upcoming reunion, which was still a few months away.  Sylvia then said, “Oh sweetheart, why did you lose it now? You should have waited until you got closer to the reunion date! You know you are only going to gain it back!”  I tell you, I absolutely could not stand that woman! Did she really think I didn’t know what I weighed! Of course I knew! Eight years ago I did lose weight. For eight years I have kept that weight off! My scale tells me what I need to know, without the added negative commentary. Sylvia was a bully! My advice – KICK those Sylvia’s out of your life. Surround yourself with people who are encouraging. Less on the opinion….move on the love.