Thursday, 2 March 2017

This last week


These last few days I’ve been hiding away from the world. My mood has been low but I’ve been forcing myself to work and volunteering to give myself some form of routine.

Now I’m not sure if it’s the change in what I’m eating or my hormones just deciding to throw a strop but my mental health is deciding to have  a bitch fit around that “time of the month/lady time/star week” (call it what you will.

I’m already on vitamins B and D and evening primrose oil as well as my prescribed medication from my doctor so now it’s time to investigate foods and see what I can eat that will help me in the future.

I never thought about these things before but could what I have been eating be affecting my health rather than helping my health?

There are so many conflicting articles of what is good and bad so it really is about researching

I had a link sent to me www.phcuk.org/healthy-eating-guidelines-weight-loss-advice-for-the-uk/ and it’s an absolute brilliant read (click on the pdf download). It’s a 40 page document which talks about nutrition and recommendations by all sorts of dieticians, doctors, psychologists, nutritionists. It discusses the advice and recommendation from the NHS and the Nation Institute for health and Care Excellence (NICE). Grab yourself a cuppa and take the time to read it.

 

Just a little snippet of what it recommends:

Eat real food, until you're satisfied. These are foods that are naturally nutrient

dense and are minimally altered from their natural state, which will nourish you

and satisfy hunger.

2. Avoid fake foods, as much as you can. These are foods that have been highly processed

from their natural state with free sugars, highly-processed oils and

fortified nutrients, which do not nourish you and will not satisfy hunger.

3. Be active everyday, with an activity you enjoy. Whether it be a brisk walk up the

stairs or a vigorous workout in an exercise class, it'll help improve cardiovascular

health, mood and sleep.

Here are some common examples of real foods:

1. Fats & Proteins. Eggs, sardines, mackerel, salmon, beef, chicken (with skin), lamb,

pork, liver, kidney, heart, avocados, olives, full-fat cheese, full-fat yoghurt, cream,

almonds, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, walnuts.

2. Carbohydrates. Broccoli, spinach, green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes,

mushrooms, cauliflower, courgettes, onions, carrots, butternut squash, blueberries,

strawberries, apples, oranges, lemons, parsnips, beans, legumes, potatoes,

fermented breads.

3. Drinks. Water, tea, herbal tea, fruit tea, coffee, full-fat milk, full-fat cream.

4. Oils. Beef tallow, butter, coconut oil, ghee, goose fat, lard and cold-pressed olive

oil.

Here are some common examples of fake foods:

1. Fats & Proteins. Low-fat cheeses, low-fat yoghurt, low-fat spreads, beans in sauce,

flavoured nuts, canned whipped cream.

2. Carbohydrates. Sugary cereals, refined breads, refined pastas, crisps, biscuits,

cakes, dried fruit.

3. Drinks. Sugary soft drinks, fruit juices, low-fat milk, sugary milkshakes, prepackaged

smoothies.

4. Oils. Sunflower oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, soya oil and rapeseed oil.

 

Ultimately it’s your decision with what you do. I’m not saying believe me and everything I tell you , all I’m doing is telling you the research I’m finding and for you to make your own informed decisions.. I won’t think less of you whatever you decide to do. We are all different.

I’ve spent the past two weeks constantly justifying my choices. Apparently im a hypocrite, I’ve changed my mind overnight, I’m wrong, It stopped working for me because I wasn’t doing it. And every single time I have responded providing the option to re read what I am saying, that I am merely stating the negative impact it has had one me and that it should be just as acceptable to show both the good and bad sides no matter which you agree with.

A hypocrite would be me flying the flag and supporting something I don’t believe in any more. A hypocrite would be me pretending that I’ve had nothing but amazing positive life changing experiences and hiding the truth from people when I’ve always said I would be open and honest.

I know the healthy balance project is helping people, I’ve had so many messages and comments and its inspiring and motivating to know there are others who feel the same, yes they are also scared from stepping away from the safety net of what we have all come to love . but it’s exciting and so much fun to listen to and read  all this research that people are doing.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Labels


So the reason I decided to look at the healthy balance project was because I was caught in a cycle of self-hatred, obsession and guilt. I was standing in front of the mirror and pulling at my skin saying I was fat and punishing myself if I made a “bad food choice” in a day. I was obsessed with all the things I was doing wrong rather than concentrating on what I was actually doing right. I was spiralling out of control with my mental health again and although I’d been working on that with my counselling I wasn’t addressing this side of things.

The past few weeks have been eye opening and life changing for me, with the help and support of my amazing other half , my bestie Alice and my friend Debbie I’ve been learning so much. Quite simply I have STOPPED.

I have STOPPED:

Weighing, measuring, counting, obsessing, restricting, depriving, worrying, feeling guilty or pressured.

I have STARTED:

Enjoying what I’m eating, loving researching, not feeling guilty for anything I’m having, feeling relaxed and that a weight has been lifted.

It’s truly been a revelation. The biggest change for me is reading labels and ingredients and I’ve discovered that many of the foods I’d been having that I thought were healthy as they were helping me lose weight are actually full or rubbish and what those ingredients actually do to your body and affect your weight loss. I’ve been reading blogs and health journals and nutritional and scientific reports about low fat and low sugar foods and one blogger said it perfectly when they said many of these foods are “just a chemical shit storm”, and boy they weren’t lying.

So now I’m making sure I’m mindfully reading labels and contents and sharing the knowledge that I’m finding. It really is trial and error. I’ve got rid of so much rubbish like sweetener , diet fizzy drinks, low fat and sugar free products. These were all things I was regularly consuming because I was told they were “free” but I wasn’t actually checking if they were actually any good for me.

I’m actually looking forward to going out for meals and enjoying myself and accepting that it is about balance and I don’t have to beat myself up if I eat something that might be processed. This is about balance so it’s all good I will enjoy those things guilt free and continue to research and learn.

My blogs will probably contain a lot of discovery and findings and I hope that in turn it helps you to do the same. Now let’s go find all those delicious wholesome cakes that’s taste good (They exist right??)

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The Healthy Balance Project


So out of all this chaos the healthy balance project was born. After talking about how I was feeling, it became apparent so many people also felt the same way and we thought we would figure out this scary journey ahead together. Its our way to relieve the obsession of weightloss and start to research more healthier balanced ways of eating (clue is in the name don’t you know)

Here’s what I’ve discovered so far:

  • Dude where’s my stress? It’s gone!! There is no pressure or stress and I don’t worry anytime I need to think about food

  • Reading food labels is truly eye opening

  • Muller lights are the work of  Satan

  • I don’t like limes in water ( weaning myself off sugar free cordial is quite the challenge!)
  • You really should slice through the fruit when putting it in your water so it actually has some flavour

  • I’m not scared of bananas anymore (the eating too many myth scarred me for life)

  • Porridge is a texture I’m learning to love (especially when it has chocolate in it)

  • Porridge in the microwave is not an option

  • I don’t like overnight oats

  • Dark chocolate is king!! …but then it always was for me

  • I’ve learned more about food in the past two weeks than I have done in the last two years

  • I’m not snacking as much and I’m much more full legit warm belly full

  • You’re likely to piss someone off who doesn’t agree with what you are doing and boy will they let you know about it and tell you that you are wrong
  • I’m sleeping much better
  • I’m gaining weight and I’m not bothered because I’ve finally realised my weight doesn’t define me and when you come away from something and do something quite different that’s bound to happen so there’s no point in worrying about that.

Monday, 20 February 2017

What's right for YOU


It’s all relative really. We all have our own opinions but what’s become really apparent is that if you have an opinion that’s contrary to the popular choice then you MUST be wrong, Science and Nutritional research MUST be wrong.

Let’s get super real here do diet plans work? YES while you follow them, what do they create? For many  (including yours truly) it's obsession, weighing yourself several times a week/day, tormenting yourself over eating something additional and beating yourself up, “well that’s that blown.”

I think the message I took from recent events and yes that documentary was not “oh I might as well give up, what’s the point?” it was “What have I been eating and why does it continue to affect me not only in my body but also my mind” For me this isn’t another way to lose weight, I'm not looking for an alternative food plan , i'm looking at making the healthiest choices for my body. I've never read as much as I have these past few weeks and not only research articles but so many people’s  posts,comments and messages of how they are feeling, how constant dieting has exhausted them and now they’re at a loss as what to do next.
 One thing is clear, many of us are frightened of change, of the unknown and not having the safety blanket, but at the same time just so done with counting and measuring and weighing and obsessing.

So here’s the thing, if you want to follow a weightloss plan and it works for you then go head girl, go head get down. But if for one second you find yourself, crying over an unjust result, taking laxatives to get a better result, not eating meals with your family to get a better result, making yourself sick because you feel guilty for what you ate, feeling crap because you’ve got yourself to the gym three times and you’ve not lost weight just STOP! Is that really all worth it? And if you think yes it is carry on, but if you don’t seek knowledge and educate yourself and do what’s right for you!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Questions and Answers

First of all can I say, I know this will be open to much debate. I offer my point of view as many others offer theirs. it is your personal choice what you do. But make sure you're doing it because you know the facts and not because someone else has told you. you owe it to yourself to get the information you need to make informed decisions 


I think the last week has really opened my eyes to “weightloss” and after reading everything and watching not only the channel 4 documentary but peoples actions and behaviours through what they show on social media it’s become more and more apparent for me of how bad slimming clubs are.

As predicted there are those defending slimming clubs to the hilt but my concern is in what they are saying. They are in fact the same words I have mouthed over and over again. “It does work but then I stopped following it and then I gained all the weight back and more and now im losing it all again”. There you have it in that sentence right there, I gained it all back. And I did, several times, I have yo yo’d pretty much since being 17, im 39 in July and I don’t want to do this anymore.

So for me it’s all about the science and the facts. The studies were there, a five year study, by qualified researchers who specialise in diet and nutrition. The hard raw facts were there and yes it was depressing to hear at first because that defence mechanism kicked in. But the truth hurts and diets and slimming clubs don’t work long term for the majority of people. The MAJORITY!! Yes there are the success stories of those who have kept the weight off for 5+ years but for most of us we gain, lose and regain the weight within 1-2 years.

So I wanted questions answering and I still have some which I will continue to try and get the answers to. I became obsessed with the scales, I was beating myself up for eating “off plan food” , I’d torture myself if I didn’t get the correct weight result I thought I deserved. I’d eat healthy all week to then “have a day off “ and stuff my face with sugary crap.  Why was I doing this?
  
 Let me guess ...your response will be "Well that's because you didn't stick to plan" but what is plan teaching us? It has taught me to be very extreme in my eating habits, to punish myself and to praise myself dependant on what the square on the floor says.

Because I had spent 2.5 years having my brain moulded that this fantastic weightloss plan that would change my life forever. After year one I got to target very quickly, obsessing over the scales,results,stickers,awards. I restricted myself, sometimes starved myself and I alienated myself from my life and my friends. 

Ask your self this…how is a syn calculated? By 20 calories right? Well no , not if it contains “free food” , or if the unicorns have flown with the dinosaurs. You actually can’t get a straight answer on this. How is an avocado syns but a manufactured pasta sachet full of chemicals , or a “low fat” yogurt full of chemicals “free”. The explanation of a syn is vague and doesn’t actually give you any calculations  just that you can enjoy between 5 and 15 a day.

In doing my research I have read through my SW book and the SW website to ensure that the information I am providing is correct. As they are extremely into “brand protection” I for obvious reasons can not include what they actually say due to copyright infringement but for anyone who does follow SW you can gladly go fact check me via your book and the website.

So week in week out getting more and more obsessed and then more guilty if I didn’t stick to it, all the time my £4.95 happily being taken .

So what is the right way? Who knows? All I can do is make healthy choices every day without guilt , pressure or obsession. I can safely say being part of a slimming club has absolutely messed with my head and my self worth I have witnessed myself and others having full breakdowns in class after stepping off the scales. It has truly messed with my head. And I know for a fact that I am not alone in this, there are so many others who feels this way who want to make changes, so if you do want to, let’s do it together. Lets figure out this balance with facts and research and guidance and help from professionals who know what they are talking about.

This path is new for me and quite frankly super scary because I'm losing that “routine” and “guidance” but that was actually just adding to my issues if I think about it, so here it goes, a new adventure.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

A change is coming


So this is probably going to come as a shock to some people but I have decided to leave Slimming World. It’s something I have been considering for some time and I’ve finally come to the decision and deciding how best to move forward with my weight loss journey.

Some people will think my reasons are daft and that’s ok, we are all entitled to our own opinions but the time has come for me to stop dieting and obsessing. I do great for a few months and then I just feel guilty and stressed and sad and I don’t want it to have that control over me any longer.

I am grateful to SW for helping me lose the weight I have lost but for me now I need to research and figure out my new path of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ive been reading article after article and have had my eyes well and truly opened the past few days. I’m not going to sit here and bash SW , its really up to you to do your own research and make your own mind up. If you’re happy with what you are doing then do it.

For me I haven’t been happy and I’ve been fooling myself. I tried blind weigh ins thinking that was the solution and it turns out it’s not. This will be about trial and error and finding what works for me but I am confident that I will find that right balance for me.

I’m fully aware that because of this decision some of you may stop following my journey, that’s cool, I get that, I’m not there to give advice and support on the things you continue to do so that’s cool.

The next week or so will be very interesting. There will be opinions and discussions once a channel 4 documentary airs next Tuesday regarding the slimming industry. Some people will get offended and defensive and argumentative.

At the end of the day everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we have to respect that. Do your own research and do what is right for you.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Ask and you shall receive

So time for another blog about my budget busters time savers and faves. I get asked this quite a lot so here’s some of the  things I love. 

Freezer - If you can afford it and have space get a cheap second hand chest freezer. This honestly has been the best investment I have made. I got mine from gumtree but try freecycle or your local facebook pages.

Slow cooker has been a time and money saver. I invested in one of those timer plugs so that the slow cooker is only on for the right amount of time and I don’t burn the house down lol. I can make large portions of meals and then batch them up and freeze them or stick them in the fridge.

Yellow Sticker Bargains – If I can buy it cheaper I will. I head to Tesco a couple of times a week and see what they have. I spoke to our local M&S and now know they sticker first thing when they open, 2.30 in the afternoon and just before they close. It’s worth finding out when yours does. I buy a lot of the meat and then throw it in the freezer. I do the same with wholemeal bread/baps and veggies.

Microwave steam bags – whoever invented these THANK YOU!!! I found mine on the sandwich bag aisle they’re  about £1.50 for 40 and then I buy a big bag of frozen mixed veg for a pound and hey presto cheap steam fresh veg in minutes.

Tesco Slaw- In the pre packed salad section in some Tesco, they £1 and syn free. You can add your own mayo if you want to make it a creamy slaw

Frozen Garlic, Ginger, Chillis, Spinach – Another amazing invention! These save so much waste and they’re a great price. I find mine in the frozen Asian foods aisles in Tesco and Asda

Home Bargains/B&M – Praise Yeezus for these bargain buy shops. From the amazing Torku No 1 bars (25p in home bargains – like a Nutella wafer bar) ,Mayflower curry and Chicken Gravy powders , Blue Dragon long grain microwave rice (syn free) , to all your cheap pastas, rices, sweet treats and snacks , Diet fizzy drinks and everything in between. When you’re on a budget these places are a god send.

Aldi/Lidl – Hello cheap fruit and veg!! Lets face it we eat so much of this with our healthy eating so we need to get our money’s worth. I find the meat a bit hit and miss but love the frozen prawns. Your essential beans , tomatoes etc are just so much cheaper here along with pasta , rice etc etc. Their bargain buys are ace too, I always look out for when the slow cookers,steamers, pans etc are on offer. They’ve started to do frylight and choc shot too.

JD Seasonings meal kits – One of the best discoveries EVER! This is such a time saver and a great batch cooker and portion sizes are 4 minimum. By adding load sof extra steamed veggies I make these go even further.  Buy them in bulk to get them cheaper. If you order by 2pm you get them next day www.jdseasonings.co.uk

Actifry:   Yes an expensive investment but so worth it, I cook chips , roasties and my meat in there

Budget buster meals:

Definitely got to love pasta and rice based meals, I then whack a steam fresh veggie bag in the microwave to make sure I’m getting my speed in. I have a variety of recipes I like to use. Macaroni Cheese , Spaghetti carbonara, Veggie fried rice are just some of my faves . There are so many good recipes around for them. Check out two chubby cubs and a pinch of nom for great recipe ideas.

Chunky soups – I use my slow cooker to make my soups a lot but if I need one soonish I just whack everything in a pan. I still use @healthyliving_gal  tomato and bean soup recipe , its so filling and delicious and I add extra speedy microwave steamed veg into it and chop up bits of meat to make croutons. This is a really cheap soup to make and it makes LOADS!!!

 



I make a basic soup with a litre of veggie stock , throw in any veggies I like and cook on a medium heat for 20-25 mins and blitz it. Once again I add extra speedy steamed veg at the end and any chopped meats for croutons

Burrito Bowls – best invention ever…I’m giving my bestie Alice the credit for these. (This will make 2-3 burrito bowls) – Also a great quick meal

·         1 packet of microwave rice ( 2-3 mins to cook, Blue dragon long grain rice is free)

·         Salsa (10-15 chopped baby tomatoes, half a red onion finely chopped, fresh coriander chopped, garlic to your liking and a squeeze of lime juice to your liking)

·         Refried beans ( tesco and old el paso are syn free)

·         Lettuce/Salad of your choice

·         Meat of your choice ( I use Tesco Peri Peri chicken fillets in the chilled meats section – syn free) I warm mine in the microwave and then chop it up.

 

 

 

Time Savers:

Philly cheese steak style sandwich:

·         Quorn Pepper steak (COOKIN MICROWAVE FOR 2 MINS)

·         Fry off onions in a pan

·         Use your HEX B bread or a flat bread (ones in Iceland or tesco are 5 syns each)

·         Put your Pepper steak the pan you fried the onions in, top steak with onions and then top with your HEX A Cheese (leerdammer light or primula light work great with this)

·         Put a lid on your pan and steam melt the cheese

·         Toast your bread

·         Put the cheese steak in and enjoy!!!!

 

Noodle Pots and steam Fresh Veggies/Slaw:

·         Put the kettle on and make up a noodle pot ( I switch between naked and kabuto noodles depending what’s on offer)

·         Make a pack of steam fresh veggies and throw in the microwave for 3 mins

·         Or buy the Tesco slaw pots ( £1 in the prepacked salad section and syn free)

·         If you’re feeling rock and roll chop up some meat to throw in

·         Bung your noodle pot in a bowl, add in the veggies/slaw and meat and enjoy!

 

Posh beans on toast:

·         1 can beans in a pan

·         Fry off mushrooms peppers onions in some garlic

·         Mix beans and veggies together and sprinkle in some smoked paprika (and chilli flakes if you like spicy)

·         Serve on your HEX B toasted bread

Brekkie on the go:

I Love Tesco (Have I mentioned that before?) Mine has a wicked grab and go section and these thing called pick boxes. If I forget to make breakfast I grab the boiled eggs, ham pieces and sliced apples for a quick filling brekkie

Sushi snack packs:

All hail the sushi snack packs – depending on where you get them from and what size they are the syns differ but I love these as a quick pick up with some fruit or an edamame pick box

 

Meat: (soz veggies)

If I’m hungry I’ll grab a packet of meat and an apple, it just tides me over till I can get home and get to something more substantial.

 

So I Hope these help you guys out, just a few ideas to keep you going

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The What If's


So I’ve been doing my blind weigh in and today I pick up the results of the last four weeks. I’ve really enjoyed the last four weeks with no pressure and then this morning I had that horrible feeling of panic and all the “What if’s” started in my head.

The whole point of doing this was to take away those “what if’s” and just focus on healthy choices when I can, which is what I have done. It really does take a long time to adjust your head from those automatic negative thoughts ( the what if’s). I was so guilty of putting an incredible amount of pressure on myself while I put myself out here on social media and worried about what people would think. I have to remind myself daily that this is for ME and yes sharing my story may just help people but ultimately this is for me and my piece of mind.

I’m obsessive by nature and a numbers girl by trade so the mixture of those two can be very damaging. I am getting so much better at not focusing on squares on the floor and numbers but it’s been apparent this morning I’m still not quite there yet. So I use this as another learning curve , pack that little bit of extra knowledge in my Dora the explorer back pack( or my tots tv Sac Magique) and carry on as I am.

Sometimes I read what I have written and can’t believe how far I have come, that I finally allow myself to be a human with feelings and thoughts rather than some version of me that I thought everyone else wanted to see. I’m really proud that I can acknowledge the self doubt and deal with it and move forward. It takes work but here I am doing it.

So with all that being said, I’m going to do the same again for another four weeks. I’ve really enjoyed doing it this way and just have to keep reminding myself that there is no pressure, that’s the whole point of it lol!!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Cravings


I’ve just done it. That thing many of us won’t admit to but let’s face it,honestly, we pretty much have all done it.

You’re sat there minding your own business and then you get that tap on the shoulder. “Hiya, it’s me, cravings, I saw you eyeing up those biscuits, go on have them.” And thus begins the internal conversation you have with yourself agreeing and disagreeing and the next thing you know your hand is in your purse, head is in the fridge, biscuit is in your mouth.  And you swiftly remove your hand ,head, spit out that biscuit (Yup I’ve done that) and talk to yourself. “What are you doing? Do you really want this?” Sometimes its yes and sometimes it’s no.

 But it’s that voice, that doubt, that craving, that urge. It sits on your shoulder nagging in your eye and sometimes you want to kick it in the vagina as hard as possible. (My craving is a girl don’t you know!)How do you beat it once and for all? I honestly don’t think you will, sometimes it will win and it’s those days you have to just go with the flow.

I’ve looked at these things in depth more and more as my journey has gone on, time is awesome and hind sight gives you wonderful advantage to say YUPPP I’ve been here before ,choose your path.

 But if you haven’t don’t worry, there’s plenty of us that have spat that biscuit out (or munched it and enjoyed it) , those of us that have gone back to the fridge fifteen times, every time shutting it saying, I don’t want that really (before walking back and saying yes I do), those of us who have gone to the shops and filled our baskets with delicious stuff and then put it back replaced it with fruit, gone back down the biscuit aisle and basically done a 5k pacing back and forth looking like you’re on the rob when really you’re just fighting the cravings.

I just did it, purse in hand eyeing up the chocolate fridge that’s next to me in work.  I got up, made a coffee, sat back down and wrote this.

On this occasion  I kicked craving in the vagina!!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Plan and prep and advice


January pay day is finally here!! What a long long month that was. The last week has consisted of making meals out of what was left, so options were definitely limited lol.

It’s finally time to start planning some meals so that I can ensure I’m doing all I can to help my weight losses. I get asked a lot for my advice for planning, staying on track, how to deal with a gain and getting back on track. There are some old posts on here covering that so have a read of them

Joining Slimming world top tips:


What to do after a gain:


Getting into running:


Food planning and prep:


some of my fave meals:


Setting mini targets:


 

Reading through these is good for me too especially as I’ve been so busy with my volunteering so it’s a weekend in doing lots of food prep and looking at new recipes to try. I have to remember that I need to take care of myself too.  Food budgeting is a massive area for me (see the food glorious food blog for my tips) I have a strict financial budget every month due to being a credit card whore when I was younger (learn from my mistakes people). If I can find it cheaper I will do. Cooking on a budget is just a way of life now, but I need to find more budget friendly recipes for sure (any blog recommendations are greatly appreciated J )

So here’s to a decent Feb full of delicious meals!!!

Monday, 16 January 2017

SW top tips


I get asked a lot and I could give you a wishy washy response but let’s get real and honest. After getting to target very quickly and now trying to get back there I thought I’d share with you my words of wisdom from my own experiences.

Firstly weighing for the first time at class, you step on the scales and for many people you’re going to be the heaviest you’ve ever been. So while you’re stood on said scales feeling like King Kong (Like I did) the first question you’ll get asked is what do you want to set your target weight as?

HOLD UP RIGHT THERE while I just pick myself up with the devastation that has just gone before me. What I’d say about this is don’t worry, it’s not affixed number, you DON’T have to commit to that forever. So don’t panic if you’re in a bit of a haze.

The new members talk can be pretty confusing especially if you’ve never done slimming world before. There’s no test at the end of it so don’t worry if you don’t take it all in. Honestly it will take you about 3 weeks to get your head around it. So don’t get too disheartened in that time if your weight loss isn’t what you were expecting.

So once you’re home and armed with all this brand new information and told if you lose X amount of lbs a week by the end of the year you’ll lose X Stone. Well here’s a little truth…sometimes the scales are a little bitch and don’t do as you expect. Some weeks you’ll be 100% on plan and you’ll maintain or even gain, and sometimes you’ll have been a naughty monkey and had a few off plans escapades and by some miracle you’ve lost 3lbs. The scales don’t always reflect the work you put in so try not to get hung up on the numbers, the important thing to concentrate on is the healthy choices and changes you are making to your life.

I say from day one you have to be honest and take away any guilt. There will be week’s when you’re in the zone and smashing it and other weeks where you’re just not feeling it. If you go off plan , don’t stress about it. Let it be. Be mindful if you do go off plan that it may result in a gain, but so what? Your weightloss journey isn’t defined by one week’s results. So just get back to business as usual when you can and carry on as you were. There’s no point in sitting there beating yourself up. What are you beating yourself up for? For going out and sharing happy memories with friends or family? ..the scales don’t measure memories.

Eating healthy is expensive , the amount of fruit and veggies you go through is insaaaaannne and this is when Aldi and Lidl become your best friend. I also buy a lot of frozen veg and make my own microwave steam bags( found in the sandwich bag aisle in most supermarkets) and buy frozen garlic and ginger from the Asian food frozen section (in most supermarkets).

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring , there are so many amazing recipes around. I can’t recommend enough JD Seasonings who make awesome meal kits and my go to recipe blogs are two chubby cubs and a pinch of nom. There’s nothing you can’t have , just use your syns and healthy extras to make food that little bit more exciting and tasty. You can totally have takeaway on plan, just use those bad boy syns and you are good to go.

What’s the key to a good weightloss? Well part of it is luck because the scales can be a bitch (as we previously mentioned) but all you can do is be 100% on it, weigh and measure those healthy extras where needed, stay within 15 syns per day and make sure there’s at least 1/3 speed food on your plate. For me I have better losses when I increase the speed on my plate. I tend to go with half a plate of speed, I put that on my plate first and then add my free food.

For me carbs aren’t my friend so I attempt to reduce those as much as possible. You will get to learn how your body works, especially around star week etc. Monitor how your body reacts with certain times of the month and certain foods. Star week for me I’m always hungry so I make sure I’ve got on hand lots of free food snacks and I bulk out my meals with even more speed.

Remember the plan is about eating until you are satisfied, not you can eat as much rice and pasta and potatoes as you like. If you just ate those and nothing else you wouldn’t get the losses you’re expecting. Speed is key!

Your journey is your journey, so even though I’ve spouted on about my approach remember to just do you, we get caught up trying to compare our journeys to others but at the end of the day all you can do is take care of you. Figure out your own path and own it, be unapologetic for how you do it because it’s yours.

Friday, 13 January 2017

What's the rush??


When I originally got to target I was fast and furious. I just wanted to get there asap , I loved  getting my shiney’s each milestone and smashing it. But it came at a price. I was so strict with myself I was 100% on plan every single week meaning when events came up I would either pass on them or sneak my own food in. I became absolutely obsessed with the numbers and the scales and on a week where I had an unjustified gain I absolutely broke down thinking that people would think I was a liar , that I hadn’t stuck to plan and that I wasn’t a good Slimming World example.

I strived to be accepted within the weight loss community , I had such a narrow minded view of the journey and thought everyone should do it the way I did.

WRONG!!!!!

I piled so much weight back on whilst still attending classes and finally everything took it’s toll. I decided to take a different approach with my journey. No pressure, no guilt, enjoying myself and not feeling any guilt and not letting the scales define me.

The scales are a complete TW@T!! There’s no two ways about it. There’s weeks where you’ve completely smashed it and you get a maintain or even a gain or there’s those weeks where you’ve got away with murder when you’ve not stuck to plan and you’ve maintained or lost.

So with that in mind I stopped focusing in the scales and just worked on making healthier choices. I could feel myself slipping back into bad habits and worrying about the scales whilst I’ve not been at my best mental health wise so I decided to weigh in blind at class. This means you don’t see the scales, you don’t see your results in your book and it’s not discussed in class, and I tell you what its great.

It’s felt like such a relief not knowing what the results are. I’m just concentrating on a day by day basis and loving feeling in control again. I think there becomes appoint with people who have been on their journey for a while where you get a bit bored or complacent or go with the “it doesn’t work for me anymore” approach, which let’s face it it’s bollocks, it does work as long as you’re prepared to put in the correct amount of effort required.

I think this is when you realise once and for all that this is a lifestyle change and it’s forever. You can have those odd days where you go off plan or whatever but ultimately is making sure you’re eating healthy balanced meals.

It’s still a bug bare of mine that people say Slimming World is shit you just eat mug shots and Muller lights – well actually love their not a requirement , just like your attitude! Yes you can have these if you choose but they’re not a must, much like most things, it’s up to you if you choose to have them or not.

I’ve learned all this along the way on my journey, personally I’m not a massive fan of muller lights, I used to love them but really went off them. The same with fizzy drinks ( I was definitely drinking too many so I’ve cut down to1 or 2  a week) and pasta and sauces are a thing of the past as I’ve learned carbs really aren’t my friend.

So in the same way you figure out what foods to eat, you need to do the same with your approach. I always say now be kind to yourself, enjoy the good times with no guilt and no stress.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Blindsided


No matter how many times I go through this I don’t think I am ever prepared for when I get blindsided by the anxiety and depression. I’ve spent the best part of 6 weeks fighting my own mind again. Christmas is a massive trigger for me. I really don’t enjoy Christmas anymore and this time round it hit me hard. Luckily for me I acknowledged this straight away and asked for help. I got in touch with our works Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and was talking to a counsellor immediately.

I spent a good half an hour sobbing and trying to form sentences and try and explain the chaos that’s spinning around in my head at a million miles an hour. I explained to her my situation, the events in my past and the nightmares and flashbacks and the anxiety and depression and she said it’s clear you suffer from PTSD. PTSD?? Isn’t that what happens to soldiers? After a really helpful chat I booked in for some one on one counselling and went off researching PTSD.

I sat there in tears checking off each box going YUP THAT’S ME!!! I had always assumed I had anxiety and depression and that was it, I’d even been to the doctors and counselling and that’s what everyone thought. Why had no one ever picked up on the fact that it was actually PTSD?

I’ve had two sessions so far and they are hard and I feel completely drained but I know in the long run they will help. I am researching PTSD, practicing my mindfulness and removing myself from stressful situations. Yet I have been so low and down and it’s frustrating when you’re trying to fight it and you can shift that darkness that looms.

I should have known, I stopped taking my medication about 6 months ago thinking I was brave and strong enough to take on the world on my own and in hindsight I shouldn’t have done it. There’s no shame in needing help in any form. I sat in the doctors on Monday and broke down once again, we agreed to start the medication again and keep reviewing it.

I think I get very frustrated with myself for feeling this way and that’s a bad way to be because I only have a certain amount of control of what is happening and I need to focus on not being frustrated about it and just to continue to deal with this each day as it comes and ensure that I work towards a healthy mind and taking care of myself with the resources available to me.

With that being said I’m reading books and articles and writing and just taking time for myself. Something I work hard on and encourage others to do is to take yourself on a date. I talk about it in my coaching sessions all the time. It’s really important to take time out for yourself. I tend to go for coffee and take a book or go for a walk and have my headphones on. It’s a chance to reflect and plan and just enjoy your own space and give yourself a bit of time to focus. We spend so much time doing things for other people and sometimes you just need to take time out for yourself.Self-love and self-care are so important. We are so good at picking at ourselves and taring ourselves down that we neglect all the positives in our lives and all the good things that we do.

It’s my only resolution this year – take care of me, be kind to me.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The Lurgey


Woman down I repeat WOMAN DOWN!!! I got hit with the office lurge pretty bad and I’m on day 11 of joy and finally feeling human again. What I’ve learned in this time is that I’m not a very good patient, and I’m not a very good Slimming Worlder. I knew on Friday the worse was yet to come germs wise so I went off to Iceland and stocked up on SW meals and SW friendly stuff. And to a point I did have those but then I also had lots of snacks and some pizza. I decided just to let it be as I had zero energy. I got straight back to plan yesterday and the impending gain happened yesterday and I’m cool with it. Usually I’d beat myself up but what’s the point? I knew what I was letting myself in for.

I started at a new class also. I was really struggling with motivation at my other class. It wasn’t very positive and I had a few run ins with the weigh in lady that made me feel a bit shit so I decided to find a new group. Ive always been quite lucky and had some amazing consultants. I don’t think that people understand that even when you’ve lost a lot of weight and know the plan inside out that you still need that support and motivation.  I was really nervous going in but the class was brilliant and the consultant (Also called Emma) was fabulous. She’s one of these ones that takes no crap and doesn’t allow the confessionals of how bad people have eaten. She focuses on all the positives and that’s exactly what I need. There’s 17 lbs officially back to target but more importantly Im getting closer and closer to fitting in my shorts comfortably. This is my biggest motivation. I just want to be back in those and I will feel so much better.

I’ve also been working on my anxiety a lot, its been a bit up and down of late but I’ve found that practising mindfulness is really helping me and I am calming down a lot quicker when I do get anxious. The reality is it will probably be with me the rest of my life but as long as I use the techniques I’ve been taught I will be able to manage it so much better. I watch a couple of you tube relaxation videos and I have a couple of little mindfulness books and a book called the little book of calm. It takes a while to get into these techniques but they definitely do help. I wish I would have found them a long time ago.

Food wise I’ve been looking at new recipes  to try. I hate getting bored , that’s when I go off plan. So I’ve found some new curry recipes and some other veggie recipes so that the whole house can enjoy them. I actually found a Slimming World meal that I like. I’ve really not been a fan of any that I have had so far but the Chicken Jalfrezi one is really nice. I tried the chip shop curry sauce and it wasn’t nice at all. There is as an onion gravy coming out but we shall see if that’s any good. The one thing I am excited for is the new Mint Hifi Bars. I cannot WAIT!!! This is literally the happiest day of my slimming world life ha ha ….sad but very very true!

So here’s hoping to a good few weeks ahead , I wanna be in those shirts!!!!