Slimming World Update – Week 82

Hi chaps

How has this week gone for you? If you’re anything like a large proportion of my group last night, its been a tricky one! I don’t know what it is, maybe its the cold weather or the feeling of deep winter, with no view of summer in sight? Either way I know a lot of people have been struggling with life, let alone a weight loss journey. And I can count myself among them.

The last week has been such a week of contradictions. My meals have often been wonderful. Smack on plan and completely food optimised. I’ve tried new recipes and used ingredients I’ve never cooked before. We had Cottage Pie one night, a recipe from the Slimming World Lifeline Online. It had kale mixed through it, which I’ve only ever eaten as crisps before. It was delicious, although next time I wont be mixing fromage frais through the mashed potato. It just didn’t work for me. I also made my interpretation of a friend’s Quinoa, Bean and Tuna Salad recipe. I used dried quinoa, rather than the ready cooked packets. As with a lot of things, cooking it from scratch makes it a free food (the packets often have syns, some as many as 6.5, which is fine if you have the syns to spare and want something lightening quick) and it was so easy to cook, I have no idea why I’ve never tried it before. I’ll definitely be making it again but possibly with less beans and tuna. The quinoa has such a nice flavour it would have been nice to be able to taste it a little more!

My first attempt at non packet Cottage Pie with carrots and broccoli. Delicious!

My first attempt at non packet Cottage Pie with carrots and broccoli. Delicious!

But then there’s been the cookies. We discovered last week that Oscar loves (and I mean loves) baking. It’s such a fabulous past time and helps with his attention and speech. However it does also result in delicious cookies. And I have been tempted more than once (or twice or three times 😉 ). I meant to send them off to work with Ben, but somehow they ended up staying in the house! School boy error I suppose. Then there were other lapses, when eating with friends or trying to recover from the mother of all crappy mornings. But for the most part these were choices I made, knowingly and with full understanding of what I was doing and why. And I did chose reduced fat cheese on my pizza! 😉

Cookies. So many cookies!

Cookies. So many cookies!

So last night’s maintain was thoroughly OK with me. I was astonished I didn’t gain if truth be told. So I remain at 6 stone 6lb lost.

Anyway I came home from group last night to the news that I’ve got an important family occasion to attend in three weeks time. Ben’s grandparents are celebrating their 60th (60! I know! Amazing!) Wedding Anniversary and have invited us to join them for a meal and an overnight stay at Buckland Tout Saints in Devon. Its such a lovely idea and I cant wait to see the family again. It does of course mean I’ll need a nice new frock to wear. And that’s got my mind firmly back in the game! Shopping always does! Hahaha only joking, it’s the thought of being able to walk in, proud and confident, at least a stone lighter than the last time I saw them. And I’m going to use that visualisation to help me this week. I do have a night out with the girls on Friday, but I’ve already decided on various strategies to minimize any impact that could have, including eating an early dinner at home before going out and sticking to long drinks such as Spritzers.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Have a great week, wearing your very best positive pants (eh Sara? 😉 )


Slimming World Update – Week 80/81

Hi chaps

Yes its me. Don’t panic, I’m still here 😉 I know I didn’t post last week and I’m sorry. But actually, I’m not that sorry. It was my choice. A sort of self imposed rest and even now I know it was the right thing to do.

I didn’t have such a good week last week, in many areas of my life, let alone my food and subsequent weight gain. Yup. Gained 2.5lb Yeah. Owch! I came home last Wednesday really sad. Like really sad. Not angry or annoyed, but just sad. And really I don’t think it was all about the weight. I think life in general had got on top of me and I hadn’t been as good at handling it as I thought I’d been. Thursday wasn’t much better, but I let it breeze through me (along with a very yummy piece of Coffee Cake at the Devils Punchbowl cafe) and by Thursday evening I was feeling much calmer. I think just knowing Oscar was going to preschool in the morning made everything feel so much better. I know. I am a terrible person 😉

So yes the rest of the week was much better. I came away from group with an SOS log, something I’ve not used in a while, but something I was keen to give a go. It’s a way of logging every single thing you eat, along with when and how come and all that jazz. Coffee cake aside I kept for for the first few days and found (what I already knew) that I was wildly estimating my syns, when I even bothered to consider them at all. I guess I’d fallen into a bit of a trap of thinking, well it’s not cake, it’s not chocolate, it’s not ‘exciting’ food so it doesn’t matter as much. Trouble was it wasn’t free food either. So the syns were piling up and I wasn’t really paying them as much mind as I should have been. Deep down I knew this of course, but having it down in black and white does rather make you accountable doesn’t it!

So I kept a closer than usual monitor on things this week. Oh except for the weekend! I know, worst week possible to have an event, but the week before had been so utterly crap I decided not to worry. How often do I get to go out on the lash? So rarely in fact that I had to ask Twitter if it was indeed still called “the lash”. I was reliably informed by Slimming World’s Man of the Year, Brendan O’Donnell, that yes it was. Phew!

The 'lash'

The ‘lash’

I drank copious amounts of wine, with a cheeky cocktail thrown in for Emma’s birthday and spent the entire of Sunday lying on the sofa eating what can only be described as bread. Loads and loads of bread. And bacon. Oh and some chocolate. All for hangover medicinal purposes of course. And once I felt better I made a lazy roast for dinner, with syn free potatoes, chicken and sprouts. And carried on as normal. The only real changes I made this week were being more mindful of what I was eating AND cutting down on non speed fruits like bananas. I decided last week I was eating way too many and I have to say I think I might have been right.

So weigh in last night could have gone either way really. I felt better in myself though, and actually for me that’s the most important thing. Anyway turns out getting larey in Guildford did me the world of good, because I lost 3lb this week. Taking me back to 6 stone 6lb lost. And back on track towards 7 stone.

The weekend aside, I have to say making a few conscious changes and writing stuff down again did feel good. It made me feel more in control than I have done in a while and it’s a feeling I want to keep hold of. So this week I’ve been looking at other changes I can make. I want to mix up our menu at bit and I got plenty of inspiration from last night’s Free Food Feb taster session. I’m definitely going to be giving the pulled pork a go and the quinoa salad Becky made is already on next week’s shopping list. I took my syn free hummus with veggie sticks for people to try and it went down a treat. Great for a party or for nibbling in front of the telly.

Syn free red pepper hummus. grill one red pepper until slightly charred and add to blender. Add one can of drained chickpeas, grate in 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 or 3 tbsp of water and salt to taste. Whizz until desired consistency.

Syn free red pepper hummus. Grill one red pepper until slightly charred and add to blender. Add one can of drained chickpeas, grate in 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 or 3 tbsp of water and salt to taste. Whiz until desired consistency.

Serve with speed food veggie sticks.

Serve with speed food veggie sticks.

I also want to add more exercise to my week (I know, me, wanting to do more exercise!) It’s worth a whole post in its own right, so keep your eyes peeled for that, but suffice to say Pilates has given me a taste for something more! Eek, exciting!

Have a great week thinking about small changes you could make to put you firmly in control.

Big loves


Saturday night's 'look'

Saturday night’s ‘look’

Slimming World Update – Week 76

So just a quicky from me today as I’m sure you all have stuff to do like drinking champers and seeing the new year in!

I had my first weigh in after Christmas last night and I knew it was going to make me wince. I could feel it in my clothes and see it in the mirror! We had a lovely Christmas just the three of us at home with our carefully chosen cheeses and chocolate and Baileys (so much Baileys) and wine. And then there was my nemesis, the bread. We basically sat on the sofa for a week and whilst we in no way gorged, we ate the kinds of things I haven’t eaten for a year! To begin with it felt wonderful. Relaxed and peaceful and decadent. By the end of the week I was miserable, visibly bloated and beyond tired. I should have known a whole week would be too much. And it was. I gained 10.5lb. Seriously. Wowsers.

So I’m not happy about it (of course I’m not) but I’m not too down and I don’t feel in any way guilty. I didn’t stick to my plans and I have to deal with the consequences. And I’m ok with that. How can I be anything else?

I’m back in the saddle now, despite it being New Years Eve. Being parents of a young child we’re not going out or doing anything exciting this evening, so that gives me plenty of control over what we eat and drink. I’ll have one glass of bubbles to welcome the New Year in, but that’ll be me. I’m cooking the most gorgeous looking Sirloin steaks for dinner, with syn free chips and roasted vegetables and I can’t wait.

I’m not looking to lose the whole 10.5lb in a week (it wouldn’t be realistic for me to say I was), but I do hope to have at least something of a loss this week. And going back to normal eating from Brie and Butter I would hope so! One thing I’m not going to try this week though is the Slimming World new boost plan, SP.

Slimming World have just reissued their member packs and I got mine last night. Not huge amounts have changed, red and green days have been phased out in favour of the Extra Easy I’ve been following since the beginning, so that doesn’t really bother me. Some syn values have been reassessed and updated which is great. The biggest change as far as I can see is the introduction of a boost plan, for the times when your weight loss is maybe at a standstill or you need a little extra help. SP has replaced Success Express, which I had a modicum of success following once or twice, and should not be followed for more than 7 days at a time. If you’re a member you’ll have all the info in your books, but basically it’s eating meals that are half protein and half vegetables. It removes the carb element entirely. I think I might give it a go once Ben is back at work and things have settled down a bit. Being something of a carb lover, I can see it being something of a challenge for me, but I have undone a lot of hard work this week and I don’t want it to take months to get back to where I was and beyond. So if this can help, all to the good.

As the new member packs came with new books, we were given the choice to get new stickers to replace the ones on our old books. I definitely wanted to, each award sticker means so much. Needless to say I was stood there covering my new book in stickers until everyone else had left. It was a nice feeling and reminded me just how far I’d come. And my new book looks fab!
The only sticker I couldn’t replace was my Greatest Loser from last year, but I know it’s there in spirit 😉


So here’s to a fab New Years Eve whatever you’re doing. I won’t start getting all philosophical about the new year on you. People do seem to use the coming of a new year to start projects and I’m not really sure why. If it needs doing, surely it needs doing any time of the year, right? That said however, if you do want to make some changes this coming year, I hope you find the strength to face the reality of the situation and take the first (and most important) step towards that goal, whatever it may be.

For me it’ll be situation normal. I’ve still got so far to go, but you know me. I just keep on, keeping on. Me and Slimming World will keep on losing this weight and I’d love to start doing more exercise this year. As my group and core stability now clash I’m looking for a new Pilates class, but that’s just to start. Who knows where this year will take my body!

Happy New Year you gorgeous people


Slimming World Update – Week 75


I promised I’d update you this week. And here I go!

So last night was the final group before Christmas – Tuesday instead of the usual Wednesday and despite it being so close to the big day, it was important for me to weigh in. Partly to know where I am right now and partly so I can know exactly how I do over the next week or so. As last Friday saw me drinking my own body weight in wine and eating an entire bag of Metcalfe’s Salt n Sweet popcorn when I got home, not to mention “recovery toast” the next day, I knew this weeks result might be a bit of a shock. And was it ever.

I lost 3.5lb!

I can’t tell you how shocked I was. I can only put it down to all the dancing we did on Friday night (it was fantastic and I feel the need to go dancing again soon!) It means I have lost 6 stone 9.5lb (93.5lb), 2 stone 9.5lb since last Christmas! Get in! It was so unexpected and it’s MADE my Christmas. Already. And it’s not even the big day yet!

So the next few days I will be going fairly easy on myself syn wise and that’s my choice. Obviously there’s the main meal, but alongside that I have a BOX of cheese in my fridge (we plumped for Gorgonzola, Yarg and a Port flavoured one with a Stilton core I don’t even know the name of, this year) as well as two boxes of Hotel Chocolat chocolates (we decided to go for a small box of Christmas and a small box of boozy flavours). These next few days will be decadent for sure. But I also have the wherewithal to make proper meals. Casseroles, soups, proper wintry fare. Gone are the days when the Christmas holidays saw me existing on a succession of one snack food after another, all washed down with vast quantities of Quality Street. I mean what’s the point? Seriously? What kind of a gift is that to give myself? Heartburn, nausea, stomach cramps, not to mention the weight gain. No thanks – you can keep them for me.

It’s not all about the food for me. I’m excited about so many other things this Christmas. I’m excited for Ben to be at home with us for 11 days, the longest he’s had off work in bloody ages! I’m excited to see my baby open his gifts on Christmas morning and for all of us to play with them together. I’m excited to go for walks with my family, watching Oscar grow in confidence and understanding of his surroundings. I’m excited to catch up with friends, be that in person, or digitally (Skype soon Michelle?). I’m just excited for Christmas. A little peace and a lot of love.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge ‘Thank you so much’ for all your support this past year. I know lately things have been a bit hit and miss here on the blog (bloody life getting the way hey?!) and for that I’m sorry. But whether you’ve stuck by me from the beginning or are new to my ramblings, you have all been more of a blessing than you could ever realise. If I could give you all a gift it would be to have the Christmas you want. as full or as peaceful as you would want it. To taste every mouthful you choose to eat and to mindfully and thoroughly enjoy it.

I’m not even going to pretend I’ll be blogging over Christmas – I wont (although if you follow me on any social media I’ll be sure to make you sick of the sight of me – links are in the side bar!) My next weigh in is on 30th so I promise to check in after that!


Big loves



Merry Christmas from my little guy

Merry Christmas from my little guy xx



Slimming World Update Week 73/74

HI guys

Yes it’s me, remember me? I’ve been so busy these past couple of weeks that I barely remember who I am. Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat of late and for that I apologise. Only when I start to think about it, have I really been that busy? Well I guess I have been out and about in the evenings a lot more than I usually am, but really the thing that’s changed is that Oscar is edging closer and closer to dropping his daytime nap. I know – abandon hope all ye who enter here!! I find it so hard to write, or at least write anything of any value, when he’s around, that it’s just easier not to try. But actually the thing I’m finding the hardest is the lack of ‘down time’ I get these days. I’ve said it before and I don’t mind repeating that I know I have only been able to stay at home with Oscar as long as I have because he has, until recently, been a good, consistent napper. I wish I could say I revelled in his company 24/7 and wish it didn’t bother me quite as much not to have time to myself, but it does. Something has had to give and of late it’s been this.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt quite so much like I’m dragging myself towards the end of the year as I do this year. We’re all exhausted. The past few months in particular have been draining for all the family. Whereas last year I was excited to see what 2014 held, this year I can’t wait to get 2015 going, to make some changes. In some respects I feel nothing is still, nothing is constant and in other respects I feel like I’m static and somewhat stuck in a rut. Its the most bizarre feeling – like standing stock still in the middle of a storm.

I know my weight loss journey isn’t really a journey at the moment, more of a stop off. Like I’m taking a break at the motorway services of me. I don’t know, I think I’ve lost my mojo somewhere along the way. Don’t get me wrong I haven’t slipped into old eating habits, I’m just not moving forward anymore. I’ve maintained for the last few weeks and last week I gained 1lb (total lost 6 Stone 6 lb (90lb) ). And do you know what? I was fine with that. It’s not that I don’t care so much, just that I was fine with it.

I weigh in tomorrow for the last time before Christmas and I promise to update you on that on Wednesday, in between taking delivery of our Christmas food shop (Yay for Ocado and yay for me booking my Christmas Eve slot back in November!) and cooking our Christmas Ham. Oh and visiting friends and generally getting ready for the big day. Yeah, it might not be a long one on Wednesday 😉

Anyway, I’ll let you go – you probably have a tonne to be getting on with. I’ll just leave you with this picture. It was our Slimming World group party last Friday and boy did we let our hair down. Well, you know me, I don’t get out much, poor old thing!! We had a right old piss up riot and it was great to meet people from the other groups and to hear how they’re getting on. It was especially nice to have people who read my blog come and introduce themselves and tell me how much they enjoy my writing. It’s always slightly baffling but very flattering to think actual people are reading my actual words. And big thanks to the lady who couldn’t get over how I looked. She kept saying I was slimmer in real life than she’d thought I was from my pictures. How sweet!!! The dress I wore was gifted to me by our Miss Slinky, Sarah Jane, who wasn’t able to join us for family reasons on Friday. She was really missed. I wasn’t sure about wearing it, but I’m so glad I did. I felt fab all night. It wasn’t a size I’d have ever picked off the rail and it just goes to show, sizes differ so wildly that it’s not about a number but about what fits. So anyway that picture

Last year’s Christmas party outfit, size 22. This year’s, size 12!


Have a great few days and we’ll speak on Wednesday. Promise!