How to start a Weight Loss Journey

Over the last few years I’ve had so many people tell me how hard they have found it to start losing weight. I hear them. It’s no lie when people say the first step is the hardest. So here’s a couple of things I’ve learnt about starting a weight loss journey.

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1. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve tried before, the first step on a weight loss journey never gets any easier.

You might have all the knowledge and the nutrition info and all the tools you need to start losing weight, but if you’ve taken a break from healthy living, getting back into it never gets any easier. Newbies and veterans alike struggle to take that first step and all should be applauded for doing so.

2. YOU have to really want to do it.

You can pay lip service to wanting to lose weight all you like, but if you don’t want to do it deep down in your soul it won’t work. The commitment to changing is something that takes passion and if you don’t feel it, why on earth would you stick to it? Likewise if you’re just doing it because you ‘feel you should’ or for someone else’s benefit, you’re never going to truly get it. And that’s fine. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready. You, and only you will know when it’s time ?

3. There is no ‘right’ way

Now you might think this is weird coming from someone who has enjoyed the Slimming World plan for several years now, but I stand by that statement. What what works for me, might not work for you and vice versa. You know you better than anyone in the world. You are the only one who can say what is going to work for you. You dig Slimming World and feasting on large portions? Fantastic! Green smoothies and the gym your thing? You go girl! You prefer to count calories? Amen to that! Never let anyone else tell you what kind of weight loss journey is best for you.

4. Be prepared

Now this could mean one of two things really. Firstly being prepared with the right kinds of foods in the house etc is sooooooo helpful. You try starting any kind of healthy living with a house stuffed the gunnels with chocolate, wine and crisps and you’re not giving yourself even a fighting chance. And if you have to have these things in for other people, try moving them out of eye line and get your preferred foods in their place.

Secondly it could also mean being prepared for how hard the beginning might be. Changing foods is one thing, but changing behaviours is a whole other ball game and it doesn’t happen over night. If you’ve been eating pretty much what you want, when you want, for a long time, changing that behaviour could take a while. Be prepared to have to literally think about everything you do and eat until it becomes second nature. It might take a while. Don’t be surprised by that and just accept it’s the way it will be.

5. Set small goals

For the love of all that is beautiful in this world, please don’t start any weight loss journey with just your end weight in sight, particularly if, like me, that is a loooong way away. I still don’t know where I’d finally like to get to because it’s never been near enough to be an achievable goal. Smaller goals are achievable and any life coach or motivation ‘guru’ will tell you achieving a series of smaller realistic goals will help keep you going. And the more goals you reach the more positive reinforcement you’ll get. By all means have a figure or a place in mind, but remember to set smaller goals within that figure. Could be a number of lbs lost or a size of clothing you want to wear or how you feel at a particular time. By breaking it down you’re more likely to get there.

6. Be your own cheerleader

Probably one of the most important things in beginning any weight loss journey is to make sure you celebrate your own success. And publicly if you can bring yourself to. We all have to be motivated to do anything in this life (would you go to work if you didn’t get paid?) and losing weight is no different. Please, please, please don’t ever put your weight loss down, say it’s not that good or not as good as someone else. Losing weight can be bloody hard work, so why would you ever put any loss down as ‘not good enough’? You get out there and you shake those pompoms! You might find it awkward to begin with, but every pat on the back you give yourself will just reinforce that you’re doing the right thing. And if others join in, well all the better ?

Making the decision to change in your life is never easy, but I swear once you take that first step, over the mental block that’s stopped you doing it in the first place, you’ll have done half the hard work already.

Good luck?!

love

Lisa

xxx

Slimming World Update – Week 90

Hiya

How’s your week been? I hope you’ve had some of the good weather we’ve had this week. Man alive it’s sooo good to feel the sun on my skin and the grass between my toes again. I always thought Autumn was my favourite month, but the older I get the more I love the summer. I think I was born to walk bare foot! The sunshine just makes everything feel more hopeful.

We’ve had an amazing week in real life too! It was Oscar’s third birthday last Thursday. I know, my little itty bitty baby is now a strapping three year old, with a shock of blonde hair and the cheekiest grin. We had a day out on Thursday for him, which if you missed you can read about here and then a full on celebration on Saturday at The Hen House, in Haslemere. I’ll be writing a post about that shortly, but suffice to say we had an awesome time.

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But as far as the food has gone this week? Well, let’s just say it’s not been quite so awesome. On top of Oscar’s birthday shenanigans the house has also been awash (sort of) with Easter chocolate. Add to that party food, the odd tipple to celebrate and cake, well let’s just say this week was a write off.

At least I assumed it was.

Last night’s weigh in was a weigh and run. Not because I didn’t want to stay, but because I was coming out the back end of a 24hr bug and feeling ropey to say the least. To be honest, I could have just not gone at all, but I felt that would only compound the chance of me continuing to gain, so regardless of the fact that I felt rough and was going to have to face the result of an Easter/Birthday week, I made the effort and went.

What I wasn’t expecting, in any way, was the result I got.

OK, so I want you to understand I DO NOT know how this happened (unless the sun can melt weight!). I also DO NOT mean to advocate Prosecco and M&Ms as a weight loss method. But yes, this week I have had a loss. And a rather substantial one at that. I lost 5.5lb taking me to 6 stone 2lb lost. When I looked at the scales I was convinced it said 5.5lb ON. I sort of sighed. Then my sad face turned to a shocked face and I had to be asked if I was OK. I continued to be baffled all the way home. I seriously can’t explain what is going on with my body at the moment, and I’m well aware this week might come back to bite me on the behind next week. However, it has given me a much needed kick in the right direction.

Funnily enough a couple of other things have happened to bolster my motivation this week. Firstly I had a message from a friend I haven’t seen, or even spoken to, in about 8 years. She said she’d just seen a picture of me (ahh good old social media, how I love thee, you weird little thing!). It said:

I hope you don’t mind me messaging you out of the blue but I saw a picture of you and did a double take so I just had to tell you how bloody fantastic you look!

This friend was someone who helped me enormously when I lost some weight back in 2006. She was my inspiration, in the way I hear people tell me I have been for them. So it was super flattering to hear her say how impressed she was with my progress and a real boost. Secondly, I was looking at getting some boots online. I haven’t bought any boots since winter 2013, and I know it’s the end of the season but they really are falling apart! I used to buy my boots from the plus size retailer Evans, as their wider fit suited me. Now, although my feet are much smaller than they were, they are still wide fit (I’ve had wide feet literally all my life – I was an H fitting as a child). So I thought I’d take a look on the Evans website, to see if they had anything in the sale. Now, I haven’t visited their site for aaaaages (I’ve not needed to) and almost as soon as I landed on their homepage, I just felt so very sad. Like, I don’t really know how to explain it, but sad that this used to be my life and desperate that I don’t want this to be my life again. I had a quick look around, feeling worse and worse and closed the browser. I didn’t get any boots.

So all these things combined to make me think a bit really. To make me not want to slide back into oblivion. And I’ve come up with a new target for myself. I want to get back to what I was just before Christmas. And I want to do it by the time I go on holiday. To do that I need to lose 8.5lb in 5 weeks. I think that’s realistic.

And I don’t ever want to have to shop in Evans again.

I’ve got some super meals planned this week, including a couple from the Slimming World Fake Away book:

  • Pan fried Salmon, stir fried vegetables and noodles
  • Steak, SW Chips, salad, mushrooms and red cabbage
  • Black Bean Pork with peppers, green beans and noodles
  • King Prawn Dopiaza with spinach and rice
  • Chicken and Aspragus Risotto

And I’m feeling really focussed for the week ahead.

Let’s see if can’t limit any damage the last week may do to me next week! I’m going for a loss of 2lb.

Enjoy the sunshine and smile.

We can do this.

Xxxxxx

Sim's Life

 

 

 

Slimming World Update – Week 89

Hi guys

Just a quick update this week.

So I don’t know if any of you follow me on Instagram, but if you do you’ll know I spent the past week uploading pictures of my meals – not normally something I do. I thought perhaps if I could keep a visual diary it might help me stay focussed AND get a little accountability back in my life. If you do follow me, this is the kind of thing you’ll have seen:

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My lunches and dinners have all been fully on plan and optimised to the max. The only syns in any of these was in the sweet chilli sauce in the noodles. Boom!

Only this wasn’t all I was eating. Yes my meals were all bang on, but in between? What I like to call the hidden food? The bits and snacks no on sees you eating? Yeah, they’re the ones that caused me to gain 3lb this week.

Shit.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately. I just cant stick to it. Some days I can’t, some days I just don’t want to (and mark me there is a difference). I’ve taken a food diary this week and I fully intended to use it. It’s Friday already and I haven’t written a single thing down. No point in lying, I haven’t. I had a syn free dinner last night and am currently preparing one for tonight (my favourite Pepperpot Stew, with green beans and rice) but I know I’ve gone over my syns yesterday and today. And if I’m being honest I know tomorrow probably wont be totally food optimised either.

I feel a bit like I’m unravelling. It’s all well and good saying ‘Oh yes I’m going to do this and this and wont do this and blah blah blah’, but if it comes down to the crunch and you do the opposite it’s just all bluster and hot air. Good intentions never helped anyone lose weight.

Sorry this hasn’t been more positive. It’s hard to inspire others when you don’t even have the inspiration to help yourself.

Laters

xx

 

Slimming World Update – Week 84

Hey guys

Sorry for not being around last week. I’m not really sure why I didn’t blog last week, I didn’t have a terrible weigh in or anything. In fact I maintained again. But, I don’t know, I just wasn’t feeling it. Like any of it. Not really sure why. I had a positive Friday and then the rest of the week seemed to descend into darkness. Negativity topped with a swirl of self destructive behaviour. Its not just that I didn’t count my sysns, I activity went out looking for syns. It’s been a while since I’ve felt like that, I can tell you. And to be honest I thought I was stronger than that now. Just goes to show huh? We’re all vulnerable, we’re all human. We all feel and we all have times when we do the ‘wrong’ thing. But then there is a school of thought that says you can’t do the wrong thing, that everything you do right now, is right. Even if it seems wrong, what have you taken from it, learnt from it? I also subscribe heavily to the idea of choice. That we all, always, have a choice. That no one makes you feel anything without your permission. I made the choice to let myself feel the way I did and eat the things I did and behave the way I did. No one else was in control. I could tell you how hard I’ve found looking after Oscar this week etc etc, but at the end of the day no one ate that bread for me. I chose to let myself fall sideways, the consequence of which was a 4lb gain and another lesson learnt.

C’est la vie.

Some days I wonder if it’s worth it, whether I can be bothered and what’s it all for. Some days, nearly two years on, I still have to fight with myself. Some days I get sick of trying, of thinking about food, of the energy it takes. Some days I don’t win. Then some days I do. Last week I got a new pair of jeans. You may remember I needed new jeans before Christmas but couldn’t find any I liked. I find it really hard to find jeans as I’m not a typical female shape. I’m relatively straight and narrow through the hip with a surprisingly small bum for my size! I carry most of my weight across my stomach, meaning I need a wider waist than hip (think ice cream cone!) so when I find a shape of jean that fits and flatters I am loyal to it for life. I was distraught when Next changed the material (and possibly the cut) of my favourite Relaxed Skinny jeans last year, however so were a lot of other women. I like to think the disgruntled customers were heeded as the composition of the material has changed again this season, with much more cotton making all the difference. I bought the size 14 I’ve been hankering after and blow me if they weren’t too big. Now I will point out at this stage in the proceedings that this is something to do with the cut of the jeans. The fact that I had to try, nay purchase, the size 12 bears no resemblance to my size in real life. Seriously. But they fit and I’m happy with that.

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I also had something of a surprise in group this week. I was awarded Greatest Loser 2015 for the 7.30 group. On a week where I’d had such a gain I felt something of a fraud collecting it, but then that’s what this award is all about. It’s not about what happened today or even last week, it’s about a collective effort over many weeks and months. I didn’t feel I deserved it on the night (which is possibly why I look so pinch faced in the photo) and I worry about celebrating what I’ve achieved sometimes as I might start resting on my laurels too much and becoming complacent. It’s all stuff no one tells you about a long term weight loss journey I guess!

Such a Loser ;)

Such a Loser 😉

I’m sorry if I sound a bit miserable at the moment. It’s been a real pisser of a week for a million reasons, but the boy is back at preschool now, I’ve got a new week ahead of me and on Saturday I get to see my great friends and wonderful family as I leave my son and spend the night away, just being a grown up. I’ve just got a frock for the occasion too. I can’t wait to show it to you. But let’s just say it’s very flattering, very fitted and a size 16. Go me!

Hope all our weeks are good ones, including mine.

Here’s to putting ‘Fuck it February’ to bed and starting on ‘Make it Happen March’ xxx

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? 😉 )

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