Tuesday, 8 June 2010

There are some people out there who will tell you constantly that “diets don’t work”. Even when they see the weight coming off, they are waiting and watching for you to ‘fall’. They want you to eat junk food with them and overindulge in the ol’ alcohol – all in the name of a good night out. They are even quite happy to see you putting on a few inches around the middle and digging your ‘fat clothes’ out from the back of the wardrobe. They will convince you that love handles are ‘cute’ and that a found face is ‘angelic’.

“Social Sabotagers” is what they are and they’re up to no good I tell you, no good.

What is a Social Sabotager?

Do you have someone in your life (maybe in your house!) who – whenever a ‘social’ situation crops up is guaranteed to say:

“Go on, one won’t hurt” ... or

“I feel like MacDonalds for lunch. Why don’t you just have some fries?” ... or

“Well if you’re allowed 15 Syns a day, why not have 45 today and then none for 2 days?” ... or

“What’s the point in coming out if you’re not going to drink with us??” ... or

“You only live once!”

They just don’t seem to appreciate the delicate line between success and failure when you have a bad relationship with food and are battling to fix it.

The problem with “One won’t hurt” is that they’re right – one won’t hurt at all. But when does one ever stay as one? I can’t eat one cube of chocolate from a Dairy Milk bar. Can you?

The “fast food” trap – Again, I can’t walk into McDonalds and order a small fries after smelling the rest of their menu cooking or seeing everyone else in a state of Burger Munchin’ Bliss. Give me a Quarter Pounder ... now!!

And the danger of Pre-Spending your Syns (having a few days worth in one go) is two-fold. 1) You will feel like pooh once that junk food hits your system all in one go. You’re not used to it anymore so you will immediately feel sluggish and bloated. Yuk. This can then lead to yet more ‘comfort eating’ to cheer yourself up. And you will then have the added fear factor of “But what if I want a glass of wine tomorrow, or a Galaxy Ripple during my fave tv programme?”. Nope. Can’t. You had them all two days ago remember? You could use your 15 Syns for tomorrow and start afresh the next day ... but will you remember? And here begins a vicious circle, see.

One of my biggest irritations is when I’m told that I’m not going to be fun if I’m not drinking. And it’s a trap I always fall into. And – shamefully – sometimes push onto others. “Oh okay then, I’ll drink with you guys”. And I don’t know about you, but once I get that taste of vodka, it’s a very slippery slope until my head hits my pillow anywhere between 2am-5am.

And finally – “You only live once!”. Very true – however, I’d rather live it in clothes I choose to wear and not clothes which ‘will do’ because they hide my ‘fat bits’.

Do you recognise any of this? Please feel free to add your own!! :-)

So anyway, today I’m going to Name & Shame the biggest Social Sabotager I know. And you know what? I bet you know them too!!!

It’s ME!

I am my own Social Sabotager. I am always saying stupid things to myself, such as the things listed above and more. I am the first one to find an ‘excuse’ to eat whatever I want. Someone is upset? Here, let’s some chocolate to cheer you up. Oooh, it’s a Bank Holiday and the sun is out – drinkies!! Oh lovely, here comes friggin' Star Week (SW ladies know what this is lol) – well blow it, I’m pigging out now for sure.

Once I get into a mindset of “I can’t be bothered”, everything spirals. The more I tell myself I can’t do it, the more true it becomes.

Case in point: The last 3-4 weeks have involved Bank Holiday weekends, lots of social occasions, a few upsets and Star Week. I have practised ‘Flexi Syns’ for a few days, been On Plan for a few days, and then gone totally off the rails for a few days. Every week. And each time it happens, I count down the days to Weigh In and think “Well, you’ve definitely put on this week – might as well write it off and start afresh on Thursday”. And every week, it’s Treat Night after Weigh In which involves large amounts of grease, and then Friday I haven’t bothered to go shopping so it’s “grab whatever is to hand” and run out the door to work, and then the weekends have been full of visiting friends or having people over or necessary housework or SOMETHING and then BOOM it’s Monday and I STILL haven’t been shopping for my precious lifesaving Muller Lights etc.


The last two Weigh Ins at Group have resulted in two gains for me. Bad times. The Boy hasn’t gone at all because he’s been Off Plan since his birthday. I’m going to nag nag nag until he comes back, don’t you worry. My mom on the other hand has been keeping her head down and ignoring the crazy eating habits of the “dwellers in the roof” (yup, that’s me and The Boy) and has actually had a loss two weeks running and is very close to her 1 stone award. And I cannot tell you how wonderful that is. My mom used to be the BIGGEST Social Sabotager of all – if there was any excuse to eat sweets or platefuls of toast, she was there with bells on. But now, she is doing incredibly well!! I don’t know where her amazing willpower has come from but I can’t see it going any time soon. Things have changed around here for good it seems.

So ... what am I going to do? I’ll be honest. Not much. I still have quite a few social engagements to get through in the next few weeks and I know that if I try to go back On Plan 100% right now, then I will be lining myself up for a fall. I know my own mind and I know I just won’t be able to do it. And that will make me rebel against it (because I’m stubborn like that) and that will lead to an even bigger weight gain. Stupid yes, but true nonetheless.

I have decided that for the next 3-4 weeks until all my socialising has calmed down a bit, I’m going to stick to Plan 100% during the weekdays but be Off Plan with no pressure at weekends. It might sound totally scary and alien to those of you on here who are fellow SW devotees but right now it’s what I need to do. And I don't adovate it and I certainly don't suggest you do this with me! I don't want to get blamed for your gain!! lol

On a positive note though, last night (in a moment of clarity) I got all my old back catalogue of SW magazines out and I ripped out about 30 odd pages of recipes that I want to try in the next month. I really NEED to get back in the kitchen – I haven’t really cooked anything for at least two weeks in all honesty. Apart from a bit of pasta. That’s quite shocking considering what the Plan is all about! And honestly, I’m excited about some of the lovely recipes I found. It did give me a little boost :-) I will try them out and report back (with pics of course) so that hopefully some of you can also get some new inspiration.

Happy June people! You only live once – live it healthy!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Weigh In Result ... & Man Of The Year!!

Time to celebrate!
Tonight a very successful Weigh In for the family (I lost 2 lbs; the Boy also lost 2 lbs; & my mom - who swore blind last night that she had put on this week - lost 1 lb). And it was also a yummy "taster evening" jam packed with inspirational dishes. And ...... drum roll ...... we had our Man Of The Year 2010 award. Excitement!
For the "tasters", I took the SW quiche (that I posted the recipe for on here the other week), and mom took her homemade tuna sushi. Lots of requests for the sushi so I will post full details in the week so people at home can try it out. The food from everyone on offer tonight was sooooo good - I was very impressed by our Group. My friend Christine made a humous which I'm definitely going to post the recipe for here when I have it. We dipped carrot sticks & raw peppers in it and oh-my-god - delish! There were a few desserty type dishes which I will also definitely post here as they were SO YUMMY (finally!!). So far I've never had any luck with SW desserts so I'm eager to try the ones out that I tried tonight. One, for instance, was a Spiced Apple Cake. I can barely allow myself to think about it now that I'm home with none here to snack on - it was that good *drooool* And at 6.5 Syns for two small pieces, it is less than a Galaxy Ripple & waaaaay more satisfying. Will post the recipe as soon as I get it from the member who made it.


Clare invited a successful SW Consultant to speak to us tonight. She has been in the local & national papers (and on GMTV) for her 9 stone weight loss & she looks great. I think it really helped a lot of our members to hear that her weight loss had at times been a struggle & - yes - there were some weeks where she didn't succeed. But she confirmed that the key is to just keep going & you WILL get there if you want to. By the way, it only took her 23 months to lose that weight. And - as I often repeat on here - it was simply down to a change in her eating habits & then some exercise when she reached a point she was comfortable with. No tricks, no crash/fad diets. Just dedication, commitment & faith in herself that she could do it. And she did. Wonderful to see & very inspiring for our Group. Thank you Clare for arranging this!!!
Next up was the Man Of The Year 2010 award.
We have two guys in our Group ('the Boy' and another chappy, Scott, who is one half of a lovely couple). The guys were asked to come up to the front with Clare & say a few words about their weight loss. In typical 'bloke' fashion, they both clammed up & the whole process took about 5 minutes, ha. Bless them. They both looked fab though (& proud of themselves - rightly so) & it was cool to see some before/after photos & clothing that Scott had brought in.
The Boy
(with our wonderful Consultant, Clare)
“Cut to the chase Neffy”. Okay, the nominations were counted and I am SUPER PROUD to announce that my darling bouncing baby boy WON !! :-) There was only 1 lb in it between his & Scott's weight loss so they were both very deserving but I must admit that I was chuffed to bits for the Boy. I am still in awe of his dedication to the Plan & the support he gives me at home. When I am having a bad evening & I desperately want an extra glass of wine or some chocolate, he'll be right on hand to tell me "Don't give up mum". We have a chalkboard in our kitchen & he wrote an a very supportive message for my mom & I this week, awwwww. And let's not forget - he turns 17 next Friday & yet he turns up to Group each week, sacrificing his Thursday nights with his friends & then he sticks to the Plan 95% throughout the week. It must be very tough for him (even tougher than last time we did SW a couple of years ago) & I'm so glad that he got recognition for his hard work tonight.
The Boy receiving a SW mug, pen & certificate
BEFORE: February 2010
AFTER - 1 stone 6 lbs healthier!
The Boy said to me when we got home ..... "I'm buzzing" :-) That about sums up the vibe in our house this evening. Hoorah!
Feeling very positive about the week ahead. I do have a 'danger zone' over the weekend as I'm going away to visit extended family but I will plan for that as much as I can (within reason - I plan on enjoying myself!) & hopefully I can do some 'damage control' when I get back :-)
Have a beautiful, inspirational & successful week everyone! Be gorgeous!!
P.S. Look what these two were up to while Clare was trying to conduct Group tonight. In their own little world enjoying their SW taster desserts ...... hehehe
We can still seeeeee youuuuu!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Weigh In Result - 06/05/10

Sorry for the one week break - I didn't go anywhere ... I was just being incredibly lazy & unmotivated.

Confession time: Last week at Weigh In it became obvious that I had lost my 'mojo' & gone a bit 'off tangent'. I can't really pinpoint where I went wrong - it was just all a bit wrong. The whole week. And I paid for it - it cost me a 1.5 lbs gain.

I was very sulky about that initially because I thought I had done okay. I hadn't been a complete angel but I had stuck to the plan. Or had I? A bit too much alcohol, a few sneaky choccie bars when no one's looking (because they don't weigh anything if no one sees you eating them right??), 'guestimating' how much cheese I had with my morning omelette, too much Spag Bol and not enough fruit & veg etc ...... you get the picture.

So my fury at the scales turned to embarassment as I sat there silently evaluating my week. I was so cross with myself that when Clare came to me during our Image Therapy I blamed her 10 Speed Food Soup for my gain. Luckily, a couple of others chipped in and blamed it too as they hadn't got the weight loss they'd wanted that week either. But - surprise surprise - turns out they had been a bit 'flexible' with their Syns too. You know who you are! :-p

So I folded my arms, huffed & puffed to myself and promised to do better next week.

Next up was The Boy. Well ........... ready for this??

** Drumroll please **

He received his One Stone Award! Very very proud.

Then Clare announced that he was also the Slimmer of The Week. Still very proud but also slightly miffed considering the amount of extra Syns he sneaks in.

And THEN Clare announced (very quickly I might add - I think she could see the steam coming out of my ears) that he had also won Slimmer of the Month!!! Well, I don't think I've ever seen The Boy look quite so smug.

Okay okay, I'm bitter because he cheats & loses, but I cheat & the scales turn against me. But really honestly & truly, he does absolutely deserve his Awards because it is tough hard for him. He is going to be 17 this month, he has discovered the odd unsupervised tipple and has a fairly packed social life. For him to stick to the Plan even 75% is pretty amazing and so - yes - I'm very very very VERY proud of him. And I am confident that he's going to keep it up.


So we've worked out that little things add up to ........ ummm - a lot. On the scales. Let my week be a big lesson to you: No sneaking, cheating or bending the rules. No one else will be affected by your slack approach to the Plan but you. So no one else is going to feel bad but you. And making yourself feel bad? That's a sad state of affairs ...

On the flip side, little changes bring big results. Remember that! :-)

So onto this week - - All three of us were feeling a bit 'blah' about our week. My 'mojo' had returned for all of about 3 hours at some point and then slipped away again. I think this past week has been one of my worst on Slimming World ever. I just couldn't get into it. I would start the day well, even lunch was okay ... but my evenings were a bit of a 'free for all'. I noticed mom was a little less enthusiastic this week also. And The Boy ..... well he was out until 6:00am on Bank Holiday Sunday so you tell me whether he stayed within his 15 Syns over the weekend. Hmmm?

We decided we would go and get weighed this evening but wouldn't stay for Image Therapy. This is not a decision I ever take lightly. I know that - for me - if I miss IT, then the rest of my week will be rubbish. I need to hear my Consultant doing her thing and I sometimes need telling off. Yes it's okay to have a gain - you're not going to get kicked out of SW. But I respond better to people telling me to "sort it out" rather than the 'softly softly' approach.

So as soon as Clare found out that the three of us were sloping off and not staying, she went into 'Hardass Consultant' mode and - one guilt trip later - our bums were firmly on the seats instead of on the bus home. Go Clare!! :-)

Weight loss this week for me was 1.5 lbs (so back to where I was 2 weeks ago, phew) and The Boy lost a lovely 2 lb. He is being put forward for Man of the Year next week with another guy at our Group. Wish them both luck!

And as a result of deciding to stay after Weigh In this week, we probably enjoyed one of the best Group nights to date. Clare focused on going through the Extra Easy Plan - step by step, page by page. My mom said it was like she was saying "Come on you lot, you can bloody do this so why aren't you?!". And we sooooo love her for it.

She discussed at length the Symbol Sense in the front of the books and even I - an old hand at this SW malarky - sat up and took notice, taking mental note of what foods I was going to make a beeline for this week.

Then she went on to discuss 4 options for the week ahead. They were:

1. Opt to follow the Plan ... but without the weighing & measuring. Pressure off. If it has to be weighed or measured, don't eat it. Just stick to Free and Superfree foods.

2. Back to Basics - Get those Food Diaries filled in & make sure you keep your eating in check. Are you following all the rules to the 'T'?

3. SAS Log (Slimmers Against Sabotage) - I won't explain this because unless you are a Group memeber, it really won't make sense.

4. "Poke it Clare!" - Which means you aren't doing any of the above & you are going to confidently carry on with what you're doing.

Mom chose Option 1 - - I chose Option 2 - - and The Boy (cheekily) chose Option 4. So let's see how we all do this week!

One thing is for sure - we're never eating that 10 Speed Food Soup again. Okay, so it doesn't make you gain weight (even though I wish I could blame my previous week's gain on that) but it does make your insides die & rot, and then the gas is expelled from your bottom. Often. And deadly. Seriously kids - word on the street is ..... just say no!

Can I just say at this point that we really do have a wonderful Consultant :-) She does really care about us and it's not fake or forced. Every week she comes armed with brand new helpful information, funny stories, positive encouragement, tips & tricks, and - most importantly - patience and a smile. She has lost over 7 stone you know. She knows how hard it is to lose weight, to change your eating habits and then keep at your 'target'. My mom was almost ready to pack it in tonight - and I have been left wondering where my 'mojo' went & whether it would ever come back. Dark times for me because you all know how much I love this Plan and I know it works - I have proof. I AM proof :-) But sometimes - life just gives you a smack & you think "Oh fudge it, I'll just lay here on the floor for a while". But after a good talking to by Clare, and lots of positive advice from both her and our lovely Group members, I know mom & I are feeling a lot better about the week ahead and my 'mojo' is restored. That's the kind of genuine support and care that you get at Slimming World. Worth every penny of the membership in my opinion :-)

If anyone is interested in joining the BEST Slimming World Group in the Plymouth area, feel free to get in touch with me. I go on Thursday nights at 6:30pm and I promise if you come, you will never look back!

Things to remember this week:-

- Little changes bring big results!

- Superfree food = low in calorie, high on filling power!

- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.

- Don't "guestimate" your weights & measures - get the food scales out.

- Plan ahead. Don't get caught out.

- If you have a bad day, move on. Don't dwell on it. Better one bad day than a bad week.

- If you 'flexi Syn' one day, make up for it with heaps of Superfree food the following day.

Have a really positive week everyone!

Monday, 26 April 2010

What does 11.5 lb weight loss look like?

So I said last week that if I had a good weight loss at the next Weigh In that I would post some 'Progress photos'. Kinda wish I hadn't now but nevermind - I did promise honesty after all!

Those of you who followed my journey with Slimming World last time round will have seen my cringe inducing bikini pics. These are not those - I am not that brave this time, ha ha. These will have to do:

Weighing in @ 11 stone 3 lbs after stuffing my face in Africa & Nepal

And x 6 Weigh In sessions later - - 11.5 lbs lighter! 1 stone to go!

I can see (& feel) a huge difference in my clothes. My tummy is flat again, my hips are not spilling out over the top of my waistband, and my butt is considerably less horrendous. Let's see my mom try & embarass me at the supermarket check-out now! Ha! Just need to crack on with the exercise now to get toned & I'll be back to normal :-)

By the way, I've received a couple of emails from random people who have come across my Blog telling me that Slimming World is "b*llocks" & "doesn't work". Can I just say - - in your face!!! :-) All the weight I have lost is purely down to healthy eating - NO 'fad' diets, NO starvation, NO stress! This is called Food Optimising & it promotes a healthy attitude towards food & nutrition. Fact. If you still disagree, please do me a favour ... why not go & sit in on a Group one evening & hear the success stories, see the happy faces & feel the positive energy. You can't ignore proof that big.

I have never believed that those 'fad' diets work - no matter how many recommendations they come with. Replacing food with a milkshake is NOT healthy. Getting 'diet' food delivered to your door is NOT going to change bad habits in the long run. I'm even wary of Weight Watchers with their 'Points' counting system - anything that comes across as constricting & feels "like a diet" will eventually lead to failure if you have big issues with food. Slimming World & the 'food optimising' plan is - as far as I can see - the only sensible & natural method available to those that really want to change their life, change their habits & ultimately change their future.

Getting off my soap box now ... au revoir!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Weigh In Result - 22/04/10

Sorry for the delay in posting this week’s update but I’ve been incredibly busy since Thursday evening & this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down & get Blogging.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect this week as I’d been in a bit of a stressed out state of mind (men!) & hold my hands up to overindulging the weekend before (Carly!). Ummm, and then my sister came round on Weigh In day & we decided to make use of my mom’s new sun-deck. And - picture the scene - to christen the deck in style, we needed something to drink. So yes, up until about one hour before Weigh In, I was lazily slurping wine in the glorious sunshine. But! I still lost 2.5 lbs so hoorah!

Starting Weight:
11 stone 3 lbs

Current Weight:
10 stone 5.5 lbs

Total Lost:
11.5 lbs

Target Weight:
9 stone 7 lbs

Still to Lose:
12.5 lbs

Check that out! Less than a stone to go already! Okay, it’s ON now because - remembering last time I went through this - the weight loss starts slowing down a bit now so I need to keep on the ball. "Dear Waist-line, I'm watching you ......."

Family Update: My mom lost 1 lb which was a well deserved loss & I’m super duper proud. She had a tough week & normally that would have guaranteed to have her reaching for the fridge or nipping to the shop for a choccie bar a-bit-too-often. Not this time, not my Clever Mommy. She stuck to her completely Syn-able Freddo Frog thingys when she needed a ‘sweet fix’ & the rest of the time she was totally On Plan. Go Mom!

The Boy lost 2 lbs this week which was another “How????” moment for me. The child just never seems to get his ‘just desserts’ for eating ... well ... too much dessert! I clean his room every week & this week there were a few chocolate bar wrappers, one family sized bag of Doritos (empty), full fat coke bottles (also empty) & not to mention other wrappers from various treats that are not allowed on SW. Hmmmm. Still, he has been playing football quite a bit with his friends so we’ll give him credit for that. Keep it up!!

So, I made a deal with myself at Group that I was going to get back to cooking from scratch & trying out lots of lovely SW recipes (been a bit lazy with the old jacket potatoes lately) but then I landed myself a new job on Friday (very exciting!) & then finished the day off at a friend’s house eating Lamb Tagine (not of the SW variety) & ....... homemade passion fruit meringue cake. Whoops. Although, we did make up for it by playing Just Dance on the Wii for about 2 hours straight later that evening :-)

Saturday was a ‘good food’ day. One of my best friends & her son came to visit so it was nice to have some new mouths to feed. For lunch, I tried out some homemade burgers with SW chips & salad. Went very well – even if I did get confused half way through & add mint to my beef mince thinking momentarily that it was lamb. In the evening, my friend mentioned that she had tried my Success Express pasta dish after I had posted it so we had a dish similar to that. Her son stuck to chicken flavour Super Noodles. By the bucket load.

Today has been crowned “Sushi Sunday” & I think it will become a regular thing in this house. My mom is super talented when it comes to this stuff & she made us a gorgeous selection for lunch today, including some yummy squid. If anyone is interested, don’t hesitate to get in touch & I will email over the method & recipe.

My Clever Mommy Made This!!

After that super healthy & saintly lunch, I went to Morrisons to stock up on this week’s Muller Lights, Quark, cottage cheese, veg etc. Shoping after you've eaten (and eaten well) is such a top tip. I went in such a good frame of mind & was totally turned off by all the pastries & other sickly 'yummies' that usually attract me. I could almost feel my halo glowing.

For tea tonight, I made run-o-the-mill Spag Bol (zzzzzz) with a Syn-Free SW dessert for afters. It was a recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie that we were given at Group last week but I am re-naming it Lemon Pudding with Meringue Top though because - unless I did something very wrong - it ain’t no pie dude!

Verdict: Slightly sharp. Would add more sweetener next time - another 2 tbsp? And also, I couldn’t get my meringue to crisp up – it went a bit soggy. Booooo. I think next time I will cook the meringue separately & then pop it on top once both parts are baked. But overall it was very nice & I will be making it again!
300g Quark
1 x lemon (juice & grated rind)
3 medium eggs (separated) 6 x tbsp sweetener
Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Beat Quark until creamy. Add lemon juice, rind, egg yolks & 4 tbsp of sweetener.
Share mix between 4 ramekins and bake for 10 minutes.

Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form & add remaining sweetener (the 2 tbsp).

Remove desserts from oven & place meringue mix on top*. Bake for a further 5 minutes or until golden.

*As mentioned, I’m not doing this next time – I’m going to bake them separately & then put them on top of the pudding.
Oooh! And speaking of recipes, I’m on a roll today! After the dessert, I decided to give the much talked about SW Quiche a go. I made some of the mini-ones using a muffin tray. The recipe I used said it would make 6 but I think I used the wrong size muffin tray as I got 11 out it. Bonus! They have been 'tested & tasted' by both The Boy & Mom .... Verdict: BIG Thumbs Up!
These will be absolutely perfect on summer picnics, at work with a salad lunchbox, or as a Syn Free Snack anytime (on Extra Easy & Original).
6 - 11 Round slices of ham (I used Yorkshire ham cut fresh from the deli counter – the recipe called for 6 but I ended up using 11)
1 x leek (finely chopped)
4 x rashers of lean bacon (all fat removed, chopped)
1 x green pepper (chopped)
1 x red pepper (chopped)
Fresh black pepper (to taste)
Fresh chives (chopped)
Half a tub of Quark
3 x eggs
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Cherry tomatoes
Spray the holes of the muffin tray with Fry Light & line each with a slice of ham. I cut mine to the centre on one side so it was easy to ‘curl & fold’ if you get what I mean?!
In a pan, spray Fry Light & cook leek, bacon & peppers. Add the remaining slice of ham (chopped). Divide mixture into the ham cases & add chopped chives.
Beat Quark, eggs & mustard together with a little black pepper. Carefully pour equal amounts into ham cases & decorate the tops with cherry tomatoes.
Stand muffin tin in a baking tray half filled with hot water. Place in oven at 160C/Gas 3 for 30 minutes.
Once cooked, leave to stand for approx. 10-15 minutes before trying to remove ham cases from the muffin tray.
And they do stand up – I promise! See ...
Well I really hope everyone has a great week. I’ve got a good feeling about this one people. I’m totally prepared for it. Clare drummed it into us at Group this week that PLANNING is everything & you know what ... she is 100% right! (And P.S. Sorry Clare - You were only saying last week how my Blog isn't just about what I eat & I seem to have devoted a whole post to recipes, ha ha. Hopefully there will be a bit more chit-chat during the week!).

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Weigh In Result - 15/04/10

I'm baaaack! Sorry there was no update last week but I was too busy having fun in New York City :-) I had a wonderful time and can't wait to go back one day. Amazing place.

Tonight was my first Weigh In for 2 weeks and I was expecting a bit of a gain. I did try to be good in New York but - really - how good can you be when you are in Central Park on a hot day and there are street vendors selling Ben & Jerrys on a stick? Yeah. Thought so.

So I was pleasantly surprised - okay, I was chuffed to bits - when I stepped on the scales tonight and found that I had MAINTAINED my weight loss. Thank you God! I have put it down to the fact that one of the first things I did in NY was go out and buy some low fat cooking spray and I stuck to my usual 'energy omelette' breakfasts. I'm such a good girl *shiny halo*

The rest of my meals were hit & miss *ahem* Sometimes I'd have a jacket potato, but then the next day I'd opt for a juicy burger (minus the bun). But I walked a LOT around the City and across both the Brookly and Manhattan Bridges, and more importantly, I didn't over-indulge when it came to alcohol - my main downfall when it comes to my weight. I think the most I had in one night was 3 G&Ts, so - go me!

I also ate quite a bit of Sushi in the last few days. After I'd had it one night for dinner, I actively sought it out for my lunches too. And again at the airport. And at Paddington Station on my way back. I think that and the intensive walking saved me to be honest. It could've gone really pear shaped - or rather my figure could've!

Yummy Sushi

So here I am - back on Plan and ready for a good weight loss next week. Bring it on! I'm going to go to the supermarket tomorrow and stock up on all the 'usual suspects' so I don't have to think about it too hard. Group tonight was very good - our Consultant had lost 5 lbs this week and you could tell she was really fired up and wanted everyone else to get on board. I've come away with a few recipes to try out - the '10 Speed Food Soup' and a ..... wait for it ..... mashed potato sponge cake thing. There were mixed reviews from other members about the latter recipe but hey, I'll give it go and report back :-)
Treat night wasn't as bad as usual tonight either. I had a homemade steak baguette (granary) and a bottle of cider. Much better than a Chinese or a bag of chips.
As for the rest of the family - well, my mom lost 1 lb last week which was great to hear while I was away, but she didn't come tonight as she had double booked herself. Naughty. And Mike didn't go last week as he was too busy getting drunk at a beach party (teenagers!) - so he had an expected gain this week and snuck out before the end of Group. Come on guys - pull yer socks up. The Boss is back now!!! :-p
Hope everyone else out there had a good couple of weeks. The Spring is really warming up now and summer is right around the corner so don't lose your mojo peeps - imagine yourself in that bikini (hell, put up pics around the house like I do!) and make it a reality this year! I've only lost just over half a stone and the difference is noticeable in my clothes, my figure and my skin. If I get a nice loss next week, I'll be tempted to put up my current before and after pics to show you what my loss looks like in reality. Every few pounds of fat/bloating gone really makes a difference I swear so don't focus on the big numbers and just stick at it. You'll be so pleased - and super proud of yourself - that you did.
Best of luck for the next 7 days everyone :-)

Friday, 2 April 2010

Weigh In Result - 01/04/10

Big sigh of relief! I didn't fill in my Food Diary this week & I was terrified I had gone off Plan a little bit. I was distracted over the last 7 days (life etc) & it just goes to show that Slimming World becomes 'second nature' very quickly because even though I wasn't really 'thinking' about what I was eating, I know for a fact I was eating well. And so when I stepped onto those scales last night ... another 2lbs off :-)

Starting Weight:
11 stone 3 lbs

Current Weight:
10 stone 8 lbs

Total Lost:
9 lbs

Target Weight:
9 stone 7 lbs

Still to Lose:
1 stone 1 lbs

It would have been a bit more if had been very good but I will admit to having a bowl of Seriously Cinnamon cereal when I shouldn't have (the man-child's fault!) & possibly one or two cheeky glasses of wine when my Syns for the day had already been used. Hmmm, & I did go a bit nuts on the Skinny Cow ice cream one night. So PHEW!

I was also terrible about cooking the meals I had planned out last weekend. I did make the lamb curry which is always a hit & was delish, but the fish pie got neglected, as did the chicken & mango salad. Shame on me. I also made the 'Zero Syn' dessert I told you about last week but it was ewwwww so I won't pass on the recipe. It involves whisking egg whites for a few hours (well, it felt like it anyway) & it reeeeally wasn't worth it. I was kind of glad about that as I didn't want to have to make it again to be honest. Waaaay too much hard work!

And so to the star of the show - - The man-child lost 3.5lbs this week bringing him to a total loss of 9lbs so far. He got his Half Stone Award and Slimmer Of The Week. YAY!!! He was very naughty this week (although he won't admit what he ate) so that was a lucky 3.5lbs BUT it shows that he isn't just eating whatever/whenever as the weight is still coming off. So I'm still very proud :-) He is also still running which I'm sure helps loads.

My mom had a much better result this week too - another 2lbs off. So happy for her! She has told me that something in her head has finally clicked & she is not craving all the rubbish foodie things she used to. You have no idea how much this makes me smile. She has really struggled with her weight for the last 18 years or so & I can't wait to see her in the body she wants. She is very excited about being able to wear clothes that suit her personality rather than her shape. I'm going to really enjoy going shopping with her. Advance warning - Party at our house when my mom gets to her target weight!!! :-)

Here are a some homemade food pics from this week:-

Lamb Curry with natural yoghurt, spinach & rice

My favourite salad - 2 x poached eggs, chopped up bacon, baby new potatoes, salad greens, cucumber, grated carrot, cherry tomatoes & raw pepper. I use Balsamic or Caesar Fry Light salad spray as a dressing.

One of my morning omelletes - 1 x egg, spinach, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes & 28g mature chedder

And here's another - 1 x egg, spinach, salad tomatoes & 42g fresh mozzarella

1 x banana on 2 x slices of wholemeal toast (from a 400g loaf). I have this when I am bored with snacking on Muller Lights. The bread is your Healthy B for the day & you can Syn 1 tsp of butter (2 Syns)

Achievements: I got into my skinny jeans this week! AND I was able to zip my knee high boots up over my calves. Woohoo!
Aims: Bye bye wobbly 'baby' belly - since my 'baby' is turning 17 next month, I figure it's time to stop using that excuse ;-) Must tone up.
With Easter this weekend, I'm going to use my Syns on alcohol & a big ol' roast dinner on Sunday. No choccie eggs for me. I actually don't feel 'hard done by' because I know it'll be worth it when it's bikini time!
* * REMEMBER, 1 x large Easter Egg (& the choccie bar that comes with it) equals approximately 90 Syns. Holy Moley! * *
Dammit! I just wrote a whole piece about a yummy homemade 'catsup' (ketchup) that my mom made today but Blogger decided to lose it somewhere in cyberspace so - cheers Blogger. I will put the recipe on here another time. It's very good!
Have a happy & healthy (& yummy) week everyone!

Friday, 26 March 2010

What does a SW fridge look like?

Well, like this really . . .

Lots of Quark, low fat cottage cheese, low fat natural yoghurt, low fat fromage frais, Extra Light Laughing Cow triangles, Extra Light Philidelphia, Extra Light mayo, heaps of veg, stacks of lean meat (this week I have lamb shoulder, a corn fed chicken, minced beef & top side steaks), fresh ham from the deli, fresh herbs (basil, mint) and of course Muller Light (16 x Vanilla and 16 x Tangerine).

I'm planning to make ham roll-ups, a tried & tested lamb curry, chicken Sunday roast, spaghetti bolognese (my son's favourite), steak with salad, vegetable soup, and mango chicken salad. Our freezer looks just as healthy - we have one drawer full of Quorn mince, Quorn chicken pieces and Quorn sausages (these actually taste yummy - I promise), some cuts of fish, Skinny Cow ice creams (4 1/2 Syns), and again lots of veg (frozen green beans, peas etc).

The 'sausages' are going to be used for a SW fry up and also in a casserole one night; the mince is my mom's (stir fry) and the 'chicken' pieces are great to throw in pasta. The fish is going to be made into a seafood pie - recipe in this month's SW magazine.

Our fruit bowl is literally overflowing - apples, oranges, bananas, kiwis, lemons, limes, mangos, strawberries, a melon and a pineapple. This is our 'snack station' :-)

In the cupboards we have bags of pasta, passata sauce, rice, Bovril stock cubes, Fry Light, eggs, salad sprays (also made by Fry Light), porridge, wholemeal bread (400g loaf), baked beans, Chicken Super Noodles, fresh ginger, garlic etc.

With the pasta, I'm going to attempt a SW quiche this week. Watch this space!

Ooooh! I bought the ingredients for a lovely sounding SW dessert this week - using vanilla Muller Lights, fromage frais (I think), gelatine, cardamom and pomegranates. I'll definitely let you know how that one goes too!

So there you have it - that's what our kitchen consists of. No naughty things hidden anywhere to tempt us - best way. If it's not in the house, you can't have it! Although, I did buy some Seriously Cinnamon cereal for 'treat night' on Thursday. But I'm pretending it's not here ;-)

I think we're pretty well prepared for the week ahead. And all being well, there will be lots of photos of the meals to inspire you later in the week. I'm going to write out a proper menu plan tomorrow morning so I don't have any "oh-crap-what-are-we-going-to-eat-now?" moments. Here's hoping for a good weight loss for all three of us next Thursday :-)

Disclaimer: I am invited to a birthday party tomorrow and so far I am vowing to be a saint (I am even taking SW snacks so I'm not tempted by sausage rolls etc). BUT I reserve the right to let my halo slip a little if I should so wish and will take the subsequent consequences on the chin. Nuff said.

Weigh In Result - 25/03/10

Last night wasn't quite what I was expecting to be honest. I thought I would have lost a lb or two more as I felt I had been very good this week but I still got a good result so I won't whinge. This week I have lost 3 lbs.

Starting Weight:
11 stone 3 lbs

Current Weight:
10 stone 10 lbs

Total Lost:
7 lbs

Target Weight:
9 stone 7 lbs

Still to Lose:
1 stone 3 lbs

As you can see, I have now lost 7 lbs which is half a stone - so I got my first award!

I also won Slimmer Of The Week which was very nice - I got a shiny sticker for the back of my book and also a box of fruit and vegetables. I'm going to make a couple of SW casseroles today and enjoy my winnings over the next few days :-)

My mom lost half a pound but we realise where she went a bit 'off Plan' and she's "drawn a line under it". I'm still super proud of her because she has changed her way of thinking when it comes to food loads and, after all, a loss is still a loss! She's still that step closer to getting her first award and getting into her new summer clothes in time for her holiday. I know she will do it and I'm going to be rooting for her every step of the way. Go Mom!!! :-)

My son, the 'man child' - aka jammy bugger - lost an amazing 6 lbs. The only reason he didn't get Slimmer Of The Week because it was his first official weigh in and you have to go for 2 consecutive weeks first. I'm sure he'll storm it again next week and sit there with a smug grin, as per usual. I don't know how he does it - especially as he confessed to having a Chinese & a few beers round at his girlfriend's house at the weekend. He has started running (as well as going to the gym) and I'm very impressed and inspired by his motivation. It just goes to show how much exercise can really boost your weight loss and allow you to be a bit relaxed about your eating (only a bit mind!). He was the same last time we did SW and I know by the time summer arrives, he'll be a completely different person. Exciting!

I have gone back to omelletes for breakfast - this morning's was spinach and reduced fat chedder cheese. I'm going to have egg salad and boiled potatoes for lunch (and melon fruit salad for snacking), and tonight I think will be spaghetti bolognese. You must remember to use extra lean mince for this dish, and we make our bolognese sauce with passata (sieved tomatoes), fresh herbs and tomato puree (you have to Syn this part). Yum!

Good luck this week everyone!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Week 2 - Progress

Just popping on to update on what I've been eating lately :-)

I'm disappointed to report that I haven't been very good at the whole Success Express thing. I usually love that Plan and really get on board but for some reason or other, it slipped away from me this week. I have stuck to Extra Easy though so I'm still hoping for a good result tomorrow night at Weigh In.

For breakfast, I have swapped eggs for Weetabix this week. Not sure why, just fancied cereal (which is weird for me) so I'll only list my lunches and dinners:

L: Pasta with vegetables (I posted a pic of this in my post below)
D: I ate out. Had a bit of tapas. Naughty. Nuff said.
Syns: Quite a few probably ...
Snacks: -

L: Jacket potato w/ tomatoes, lettuce, mushrooms & 42g feta cheese.
D: Gammon steak w/ red onion, tomatoes, mushrooms & broccoli
Syns: 1 tsp butter, 1 x Twix
Snacks: 1 x Muller Light Tangerine, 1 x banana

L: Jacket potato w/ baked beans, tomatoes & lettuce
D: 1 x chicken leg (skin removed), broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, peas, parsnips
Syns: 1 tbsp gravy (granules), 1 x Cadburys Twirl
Snacks: Apple

L: Banana (forgot to have a proper lunch)
D: Pasta w/ Quorn mince, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, garlic
Syns: Portion of a jar of pasta sauce (I ate at a friend's house)
Snacks: Apple

L: Pasta w/ Quorn Sausages (chopped up) & mushrooms
D: A few slices from a beef joint, roast pototates & a tomato
Syns: 1 tbsp Extra Light Philidelphia, 1 tbsp gravy (granules)
Snacks: -

L: Beef cold cuts, 2 x roast potatoes & baked beans
D: Steak (lean) w/ lettuce, grated carrots, peppers, cucumber & Fry Light Salad Spray (balsamic)
Syns: 1 x small bottle of Premium brand beer
Snacks:Pineapple chunks (fresh), Muller Light Toffee

I have missed chocolate a lot this week, hence why I've had a couple of bars. But I haven't gone over my 15 Syns (apart from the night I went out to eat - couldn't be helped). Otherwise, I'm very happy with my meals; I'm never hungry and I feel so much healthier already. My clothes are less snug (only a bit!) and I can definitely see the difference in my 'back fat', ha ha. That'll be the lack of booze no doubt. I had a small bottle of beer earlier today as a treat (I was painting the kitchen cabinets) and I feel quite uncomfortable and bloated now.

My mom and son are doing great as well - very proud. And they are both still feeling very positive which spurs me on too. Doing this together makes it so much easier. It really makes me happy to see our 'automatic food choices' changing already. For instance, I cooked steak & salad (with grated carrot) tonight and my son actually said he preferred it to steak & chips! I can already see definition in my son's face and my mom is busy buying up summer clothes for her holiday in June - in a smaller size. Happy days!!

Treat night: When my son and I did SW before, Weigh In night was always dubbed 'treat night'. Psychologically, we found that works for us. Basically, if we've had a good result (or maintained) then we 'treat' ourselves afterwards with whatever we want to eat within reason. It keeps us going through the week. When you feel you are about to throw in the towel because you desperately want something 'naughty', you can console yourself and keep going, reminding yourself that you can have it - guilt free - after your Weigh In. Hoorah! Last week, my son had a pizza; my mom & I had spare ribs (me) and duck (mom) from the Chinese. Within the hour, we all felt sick from the grease. Lesson learned. This week, my son has decided that he's having a baguette from Subway, I want a big bowl of Seriously Cinnamon cereal (mmmmm!) and my mom is eyeing up a mini-trifle. Much better I think :-)

Newsflash: My son and I - and his girlfriend - joined a gym this week. I only went because I heard it had a Power Plate (which in case you hadn't heard is the latest celeb craze and I wanted to try and 'jiggle' my fat off) but I ended up having to do an 'induction'. It's run by the British Heart Foundation and is actually really friendly and family orientated. I've always been wary of gyms with their intimidating men pumping weights and making odd noises, but this one was lovely and I really enjoyed the induction actually. Wow. We have been given a 30 minute work out plan using all the machines for 2 minutes each. Baby steps, baby steps. We'll increase our time on the machines as we feel it getting easier.

So how is everyone else doing? What have you been eating? Have you increased your physical activity? Talk to me! :-)

Friday, 19 March 2010

Had to share!

~ ~ ~
My first Success Express meal
~ ~ ~
For lunch today I had pasta & veg. But wait, it's not as boring as it sounds!
Divide your plate in the one third / two third Rule with pasta (1/3) and your veg (2/3) ...

10 x large pasta shells, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, red onion, tomato
Measure out 42g feta ...


While your pasta shells & broccoli are simmering in the same pot, spray your mushrooms & tomatoes with Fry Light and grill ...


Drain the pasta shells and broccoli. Add into pot your spinach, onions & some passata (sieved tomatoes bought in a carton or jar). The heat from the recently boiled pot will warm them over just nicely & wilt the spinach, but you don't want to cook it as you want to retain that strong raw red onion flavour & crunch.
Bung it all on a plate and sprinkle the grilled mushrooms, tomatoes and feta cheese cubes over the top. Add salt & black pepper ... hey presto!

^^ Yum yum! ^^
And for dessert, why not try a Tangerine or Vanilla Muller Light?

Another TOP SCORE for Slimming World. Oh how I love this Plan!

Weigh In Result - 18/03/10

Last night was the first official Weigh In. Last week doesn't really count as that was just a marker for how much damage I had done in the first place. And since then, I've been very aware that my clothes just don't fit. And honestly, I didn't think I had put that much on. And people are always saying to me "You look great - you don't need to lose weight". But the scales don't lie do they? Friends do, it seems LOL

I approached last night's scales with a lot of apprehension to be honest. I've been raving about Slimming World for a couple of years now (even though I haven't followed the Plan for a while) and I was very aware of how embarassing it would be if I had to come back here and tell you lot that a) I hadn't lost any weight, or b) god forbid, I'd put on. And thinking back to my delirious ice cream & wine frenzy on Sunday, my heart was in my throat as I waited in line for my turn.

My mom went first. She also participated in Sunday's 'antics' and I was very nervous for her also as I know how much it would mean to both of us for her to lose weight. I think I may have even started praying at one point - I really wanted her to get a good result and boost her confidence in this journey we're on. She stepped off the scales, took her Record Book back from the Weigh In lady and turned to face me with a reassuring cheeky grin. "Well????" I asked. She had lost 4 lbs :-) Go mom!

Next it was my turn. I actually took the lighter out of my jeans pocket hoping that might make a difference. Ha! As I stood there, I wondered if my 'hiking' socks were possibly a bit heavy. I was about to step down from the scales and take them off when the damn thing beeped and my Weigh In was complete. Sinking feeling. I tentatively looked down at the digital display. I'd lost 4 lbs too. Go me!

Starting Weight:
11 stone 3 lbs
Current Weight:
10 stone 13 lbs
Target Weight:
9 stone 7 lbs
4 lbs
Still to Lose:
1 stone 6 lbs

Holding our heads high, mom and I took our seats eager to start the next part of Group which is Image Therapy. Not everyone stays for this part but I would highly recommend that you do. When my son and I skipped IT last time round, we would usually have a bad week and only lose half a pound or something. If we stayed, it spurred us on for the week ahead, gave us lots of recipe ideas and made us feel more 'part' of something. Learn to tolerate/ignore the 'happy clapping' that goes on and stay stay stay is my advice. Seriously.

Last night at IT, we all discussed Success Express and most of our Group are giving it a go this week. I will go into it here briefly but don't panic if you don't understand. It can actually be a tricky little Plan if you are not familiar with Slimming World and the different food groups.

Basically, you have to imagine your plate divided into a 1/3 section and a 2/3 section. Please see very basic illustration I quickly put together below:

Your 1/3 FREE section (in yellow) should be made up of your meat, fish, pasta and/or rice. Remember with meat, you have to trim all visible fat and cook with Fry Light or grill.

Your 2/3 SUPERFREE section (in green) should be made up of vegetables (not peas or sweetcorn remember), salad and/or fruit (fruit juice doesn't count - in fact, it's a Syn).

Okay? The next Rule is that you should not pile your food. It would be very easy to stack three steaks on top of each other in the 1/3 section and then put one large lettuce leaf covering the 2/3 section. Don't do that ;-)

Remember, this is only for your actual main meals. You can obviously have your SUPERFREE food at any other time when you need a snack. Such as a Muller Light or some more fruit etc. And of course your Syns stay the same at between 5-15. Another bonus to Success Express is you get those extra Healthy A's and B's back which I am really missing on the Extra Easy plan. So hoorah!

Easy peasy lemon squeezy! Well I think so anyway. You do have to plan in advance though or you'll find yourself going off track with this one. Mark my words ladies.

I loved Success Express when I did Slimming World before and once a month I would do a full week of it to give my weight loss a boost if I'd got stuck in a rut. Mom and I are going to give it a go this week and we'll see what happens.

And by the way, you don't have to do it for a whole week if you don't want to. You can do it for 3-4 days (say over a long Bank Holiday weekend) and it just gives you a little bit of room for flexible Syn-ing because your calorie intake is so low. So this is actually a really good time to get my head around it again as I'm sure I'll be using this Plan over Easter weekend ... tee hee

Speaking of Easter! Did you know that if you melt down a large Cadburys Easter Egg, it is actually less chocolate than one of their larger single bars? And an Easter Egg is a whopping 54 Syns. If you eat the bar that usually comes in the pack with the Egg, you've clocked up around 90 Syns. Sooooo not worth it!!! Personally, I'll be using my Syns that weekend on a fabulous Easter roast dinner with all the trimmings, followed by some nice alcoholic beverages. You can keep your Evil Eggs Mr Cadburys.

Newsflash: My teenage son re-joined last night too. Please wish him lots of luck! He did a fantastic job last time (as some of you saw for yourselves) and we even had a little competition going at home ;-) I'm sure he'll jump in with both feet again and do us all proud in no time at all. Go Boy!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

My first week

It's not been too bad considering it was Mother's Day at the weekend. And I will confess to 'falling off the wagon' in magnificent style that day. It started off very well mind. My son made me breakfast in bed (eggs and bacon on toast - SW style) and we had a chicken roast dinner. Our roast potatoes & veggies were done in Fry Light. I removed the skin from the chicken. I even used our halogen oven which is meant to be a healthier way to cook. Yay me! Then mom and I cracked open a bottle of wine. Okay, so two glasses would have been within our Syn limit for the day. But I wanted a bit of gravy on my chicken (another couple of Syns). And then the poor bottle was sat there with a 1/4 of wine left in it and that was just too sad a sight - so I polished it off.

Then mom hit upon the idea that we should all go to the cinema. Well, my old friends Ben & friend Jerry immediately popped into my head and, as much as I tried to ignore them, they had missed me and started waving and shouting and running around my brain excitedly. Again, I did try to be good. I truly had every intention of having one scoop of a sorbet flavour. But - damn my self discipline - when I got the counter and saw another old friend of mine - Chocolate Fudge Brownie - I knew I had to say hello. And right next to him was Cookie Dough. Well, it would be rude not to wouldn't it ..... so yeah, bung on a scoop of that.

Then the EVIL woman behind the counter started going on about some sort of deal on a 4 scoop tub. My brain overloaded and I did not hear the rest of the conversation until my own voice squeaked "Two more scoops of each please". It's all a bit of a blur but then the lady handed me my overspilling tub of calories and I was far far away in ice cream heaven.

But apart from THAT! I've been very good *shiny halo*

I have been eating a lot of fruit and vegetables - mainly bananas, apples, spinach, peas, corn on the cob, tomatoes - and have almost entirely got rid of bread from my diet, something which bloats me terribly but I usually can't resist. It's funny - whenever I am "on Slimming World", my mindset changes entirely. I start to be 'turned off' by things I used to eat (apart from Ben & Jerry's obviously) and without even realising it, I stop craving them. For instance, I would think nothing of popping next door to the shop of a morning and buying a small Meat Pattie (or 2!) from the hot counter. Hardly nutricious and totally calorific. Now, I'm not sure what kind of 'meat' it is (mixed??) and I'm sure the 'gravy' is extremely Synful - not to mention the pastry casing - but despite all it's nastiness, it tastes goooood and is very addictive. But this past week, even the smell of the shop's hot counter turns my stomach. AND I LOVE IT! I'm not surprised though - this happened last time I joined. My body is very well behaved with a bit of training and soon craves 'healthy living'.

How is everyone else finding it after their first week? Have you noticed differences in your 'automatic food choices'?

Foodwise, I am still starting most mornings with an omelette stuffed with tomatoes, spinach and 42g mozzerella. It really fills me up and I know I'm giving my body the best start to the day. Occasionally, for a change, I will have Weetabix with a chopped banana on top and 200ml semi-skimmed milk.

I am pretty much only drinking black tea with sweetener, or green tea (decaf). And water - lots of. Last time round I craved Diet Coke (which is Free) but I haven't been so bothered with that this time.

Evening meals have been varied and yummy. We've enjoyed gammon, egg and beans; jacket potatoes with baked beans, raw peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, raw onions; lean steak and SW chips (these chips are a lifesaver - and FREE!); chicken cold cuts with corn on the cob or peas, and salad; pasta dishes with heaps of veg and passata with garlic chopped into it. Mmmmm.

I never feel hungry, hard done by or think "I wish I was eating something else". All the meals I cook are exactly what I want to eat that day - the only difference being is that I grill things as often as I can and when I can't, I use Fry Light.

Snacking has become more controlled and healthy as well. Whereas I would eat a chocolate bar or crisps if I got peckish (who doesn't?), now I will have a Muller Light. Tangerine or Vanilla are my favourites. If I don't fancy a yoghurt, I'll have a piece of fruit, a hard boiled egg or some seafood/crab sticks. Okay, seafood sticks aren't to everyone's liking but I love them and they are, again, Free. If I haven't had my cheese allowance that day for breakfast, then I'll have 2 x Light Mini Babybels.

All in all, I'm really enjoying Slimming World. Again :-) For the life of me, I can't remember why I stopped. Let's just hope that the scales reflect my efforts and that I have in fact been doing the Extra Easy plan correctly after all. So wish me luck - my first weigh-in is tonight and then I will be back here to update ...... good or bad - I won't hide it from you lot!

So in the meantime, please share your week with me! Are you trying to change your eating habits? Have you tried anything you've read here? Are you also following Slimming World? Have you found a fab recipe you want to share, or a quick easy grab-&-go snack? Feel free to leave a comment and share it with me!
Top tip:
Plan your day (or week if you can) in advance. Then you can have the correct food in the fridge and never get caught out thinking "What shall I have now??".
Top tip:
Have a FREE shelf in your fridge and (if you have the space) a FREE food cupboard. Then you can never feel guilty going to these places for a snack and you won't be tempted by other things whilst browsing.
Top tip:
Make your hard boiled eggs in advance and pop them in the fridge. Then when you get a 'snack attack', they are available to grab.
Top Tip:
Toffee Muller Light as a 'dessert' after a meal really satisfies that sweet tooth. It is also the base for a few yummy, low-Syn SW dessert recipes (such as Banoffie Pie, yes really) so stock up!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Some food examples

Pasta with low fat natural yoghurt, brocolli, tomato, onion, spinach and herbs. Bit bland - needed 'something' but not sure what.

Homemade chicken kebabs with pineapple chunks, corn on the cob & low fat natural yoghurt as a dip. Lurvely!

Steak with peas and a tomato, onion & mushroom side with low fat natural yoghurt stirred into it. This was so YUM!

Extra Easy? Extra confusing!

So I am now only on Day 2 of my return to Slimming World and, in all honesty, I'm finding it a bit 'odd'. I am - by nature - a creature of habit. Hence why I put on weight in the first place. Bad habits I can hopefully correct on this journey - but the habit of previously choosing a Green day or a Red day on SW ... well that's quite tricky to get my thought process to re-programme. For those who know absolutely nothing about SW, the 'old plan' was roughly this:

Every day choose:
2 x Healthy A's, such as your cheese (28g chedder, or 42g mozzerella) and semi-skimmed milk (250ml)
1 x Healthy B choice, such as oatmeal (28g) or wholemeal bread (2 slices of Nimble)

Then choose whether you are having a Green day or a Red day, i.e:

Green - All veg was FREE, as was pasta, potatoes and rice. Eggs and beans were free too. Eat as much as you like, fill your plate. Enjoy! If you fancied meat that day, you had to either use it as your Healthy B choice and weigh it (75g of tinned tuna for instance) or you could Syn it.

Red - Basically the opposite of Green but all veg is still FREE (except peas for some reason), as were eggs. Now though, you can have as much meat and fish as you like, but you need to measure your carbs and use them as a Healthy B or a Syn.

Then it got a bit more complicated and went into SuperFree foods and Speed Foods etc. They were fun when you got the hang of them and really boosted your weight loss. 'Success Express' anyone? Hell yeah!

So .... does that all make sense? Probably not, but then it didn't to most people until they actually attended a Group meeting and then - click! - it all fell into place.

But moving on. Now there is this thing called 'Extra Easy' and from what I can gather so far - and I am struggling a bit as I said so don't take this as gospel yet - almost all of your veg is SuperFree, your meat, pasta/rice/potatoes etc are Free (pasta on the same day as meat?! Has SW gone MAD???), and you now only get 1 x Healthy A and 1 x Healthy B per day. Boooo! Syns are (unfortunately) the same. The key thing also seems to be the fact that 1/3 of your meal is meant to be SuperFree - every time? I'm not sure but it seems so. But that to me is just SuperConfusing and SuperImpractical and A SuperWasteOfTime when the 'old plan' worked just brilliantly thank-you-very-much.

Now, the other thing I'm struggling with is putting Green and Red food on my plate. I just can't stop seeing my food in categories and it's freeeeeaking me out that it's changed. See - creature of habit! So now I am eating meals which I *think* and *hope* are Extra Easy (if I'm doing it right) and feeling ... well, a bit guilty I suppose. Which isn't a great feeling when you're trying to tuck into a nice meal.

An example of the food I've had so far:-

SuperFree (SF), Free (F), Syn (S), Healthy A (A), Healthy B (B)

BREAKFAST - Omelette made with 1 x egg (F), spinach (SF), chopped deli ham (not processed rubbish)(F), tomatoes (SF) and 42g mozzerella cheese (A).

LUNCH - Steak (F), peas (F), tomatoes (SF), onion (SF), 1 tbsp low fat natural yoghurt (F) .... today was gammon steak (F), beans (F), 2 x eggs (F).

DINNER - Homemade chicken kebabs (F), pineapple chunks (SF), corn on the cob (F), 2 tbsp low fat natural yoghurt (F) .... today was pasta (F), brocolli (SF), tomatoes (SF), onion (SF), spinach (SF), 1 tbsp low fat natural yoghurt, herbs (F).

SNACKS - 1 x banana (SF) sliced up on top of 2 x slices wholemeal Nimble bread (B), 1 tsp butter (S) and/or MullerLight yoghurt (F)

So that's a small window into the first two days of my journey. Oh! I also spent some Syns on a 440ml can of Stella and a Cadburys Cream Egg. I'm within my limit for both days though.

Hmmmmm. I'm just Blogging to work it all out in my mind really :-) Has it helped me? Ummm, no. I guess I am just nervous as I don't really understand the new plan properly yet. It took me about 3 weeks to 'get it' last time so I know I just have to patient. But I'm scared of making a mistake and putting ON insteading of losing. Eeeeep! All will be revealed at Group next week ...

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The First Weigh In

Some of you will remember when I previously turned to Slimming World during a period of my life where I was incredibly unhappy and literally piling on the weight week after week. I sat around feeling sorry for myself, drinking far too much beer in front of the television and ordering take away food. Lazy, unmotivated, mildly depressed - it's an easy trap to fall into when life looks bleak. Incredibly, it took me less than 6 months to put on over 2 stone - and I hadn't even noticed because I was so down in the dumps.

However, after a mere 2 months attending Slimming World and increasing my physical activity, I had lost over a stone. And a year later, I was back down to my target weight. I felt great, looked great (even I noticed! lol) and raved about Slimming World to anyone who would listen. Some of you will have followed my previous 'online diary' and seen for yourself the "before and after" bikini photos - that 2 stone loss really made the world of difference. As those photos are now out of date, I won't post them here now. But I will be taking some new ones this week and will post those later down the line.

"Wait? You said you had lost the weight!" ... Yes, I did didn't I.

After my stint volunteering in Africa eating nothing but carbs and then onto Nepal where I ate nothing but curry and dumplings - oh, and returning home for Christmas and eating ... well, pretty much everything! - I have put on *ahem* a few pounds.

A few days ago I was in a supermarket with my mom. The woman at the checkout noticed all the fruit and veg that we were buying and made a comment about how healthy we were. I explained that it was because we were trying to lose weight for the summer. She looked at me and said "What on earth do you need to diet for?". Before I could answer, my mom piped up behind me and said "Because she's got a big butt!".

I came home from the supermarket and stood in front of my full length mirror in my undies taking in the 'view'. And I finally saw the damage that travelling had done. Where my thighs had once been smooth, they were now dimpled. Where I once had a waist, there was now just an undefined tyre. When I turned around, the dreaded 'back fat' that I had fought so damn hard to lose last time round was undeniably there. And yes, my butt was indeed big.

After the initial panic, I realised that I could actually control this. All I needed to do was to swallow my pride and get my (big) butt back to Slimming World.

Those of you who know me personally, or have read my other Blogs, will know to expect this diary to be both honest and real. I won't hold anything back - weight statistics, recipes, tips, tricks, good days, bad days, cheating days, photos. It will all be here. After all, weight is just a number and that does not define who I am. I am not scared of a number. If it makes someone feel better about themselves, or someone else relate to me, or inspire a friend ...... great - that's the point!

So tonight I went along to Group as a 'Re-Join' and stepped bravely onto the scales. I expected maybe an unwelcome extra stone to flash up but no ... I have managed to put on almost 2 stone. Again. Here are my stats:

Height: 5 ft 5 in

Current weight: 11 stone 3 lbs

Target weight: 9 stone 7 lbs

Total to lose: 1 stone 10 lbs

Current BMI: 26.2

And - ta da! - here is a 'virtual model' to illustrate my stats:

11 stone 3 lbs

9 stone 7 lbs

Losing 1 stone 10 lbs might not sound like much to those of you who feel you want or need to lose more but that really isn't the point of Slimming World and it's probably what I love about it most. Slimming World is more of a 'healthy eating for life' plan rather than one of these stupid fad crash diets, or those home delivery diet services now on offer. How does getting someone to bring food to your door - diet or otherwise - prepare your mind for dealing with meals by yourself when the time comes. Where's the personal responsbility in that? It's a cop out and no wonder people always put the weight back on. Slimming World teaches you about food. It encourages you to eat loads - as long as you eat right. I knowingly (and stupidly) turned my back on Slimming World when I reached target and - sure enough - I fell back into bad habits. I stopped measuring my cheese and could get through a block per day, I went back to having chocolate whenever I wanted, I drank far too much on nights out, I shovelled Nepali curry into my mouth night after night without a second thought. Blah blah blah. All because I wasn't thinking about what I had been taught. Duh! I have learned my lesson, I know that Slimming World works and I can't wait to get back on track with it and into my bikini this summer.
Slimming World has changed quite a bit since I last went so I am busy this evening reading my new book. Whereas before it was all Original Days and Green Days, it is now something called Extra Easy (which seems to be a bit of a 'free for all' which I can't get my head around at first glance). And they have taken away one of my beloved Healthy A's which I think I will struggle with as I love milk and cheese - and you can't have both now unless you Syn one of them! Syns are the same though (between 5 and 15 per day) so I can still look forward to a few G&Ts at the weekend. Hoorah!

Well, I will be back in a few days to explain what I have been eating and what I think of the new plan. Wish me (and my big butt) lots of success!