Slimming World Update – Week 77

Hello my lovelies – how are you?

I’m OK, I guess. Been better, been a whole lot worse. Had a bit of a shock at weigh in last night. But rather than upsetting me (well it did upset me, but more of that in a minute) it slapped me round the face. It was like Weight Loss Me grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me, saying “Hey! Buddy! Wake up. This is NOT OK. You know that right?” After last week’s ENORMOUS gain of 10.5lb I gained another 0.5lb. 11lb over two weeks (taking my weight loss back to 5 stone 12.5lb). And Weight Loss Me is right. This is not OK.

Last week I just laughed as I stepped off the scales. Yeah it was a huge gain, but it had been Christmas guys, come on! Pah! I thought. I’ll lose it all again in a couple of weeks, it’s probably mostly water. I was flippant and cavalier and I paid the price. A slap in the face of another gain (no matter how small). I didn’t make choices that would give me the results I wanted. Simply not making as bad a choices as I did over Christmas was not enough. I knew that deep down. Granted it resulted in 0.5lb gain and not 10.5lb gain but still!

So yeah I had a bit of a moment in group yesterday. I didn’t mean to, but then my consultant was nice to me and I burst into tears. I was just so angry with myself and sad and disappointed. It’s so hard to just draw a line and start again, when you know what’s come before. I can’t help but focus of the fact that this gain has taken me all the way back to the middle of July. 6 months hard work – poooof – gone like that. And how easily too. I mean, it’s frightening how quickly it all unravelled!

Right, wallowing over. I was talking to a friend last night and we came to the conclusion that this far along the journey motivation is harder to come by, partly because I’ve forgotten where I’m going and partly because I’ve come so far already. I never imagined I’d get so far, so imagining I’d go further, in reality, is proving much more difficult than I thought. Do I really want to go further? Yes I do. Why? Hmm not an easy question, I tells ya. Why do I want to lose at least another 2 stone if not a bit more? Do you know, I could say all the things you would expect me to say, to be healthier, to be fitter to be able to fit into a pair of size 12 jeans. And all these things are true. Honestly they are. But really, I want to do it, JUST TO SEE IF I CAN. Hahahaha does that make me bonkers? Probably. But I’ve spent some time looking at this and while all the positives that come from weight loss are absolutely true in my case, in my mind I just keep hearing this voice. Can you? Well can you? I think it’s time to stop asking and start telling. Yes. I. Can. Can’t I?

So OK, these targets need to be real and achievable. They also need to be far enough away to be realistic, but close enough that it’ll keep me focused. Make sense? That being the case I’m setting my first target as 12lb lost by 11th Feb. That’s in 5 weeks time and right in time for Valentines Day. It requires consistent losses every week of around 2.5lb. It’s a stretch and no mistake but I have absolutely done it before. Ultimately I would like to reach my target weight this year, and although I still don’t have this in mind yet it is something I will decide on this year.

So to make a fresh start and give myself a boost I have chosen to start off with Slimming World’s new Extra Easy SP plan. As I mentioned last week it’s a kind of ‘high volume low energy (Speed) paired with high Protein’ plan. It’s not meant to be how you live your life, but rather a week long boost if you hit a rough patch. And they don’t come rougher at the moment so I’m giving it a whirl. To be honest I couldn’t do it long term. It’s restrictive in what you can and can’t have and having followed Extra Easy for so long it’s taking a while to get my head round. However, I’m definitely giving it a go, to see what can be achieved. Breakfast took a bit of thinking about this morning, as I normally have banana and coffee (bananas are out!). Eventually settled on mushrooms and eggs on wholemeal toast (HEB). And it was delicious. Having never been much of a brekkie person, while I have to time to prepare things like this I really should! Lunch was tuna mayo with lettuce, spring onions, beetroot, red cabbage and tomatoes and dinner was a massive plate of chilli with tonnes of beans in. All good, but I don’t think I’ve eaten enough S and P foods during the day as I’m not feeling full enough. This one takes a bit more planning than perhaps I’m used to, so would recommend reading through the items you can have and getting plenty in before starting! I’ve ended up with a load of fruit, all classed as free but not Speed. Ho hum

Mushrooms and eggs on toast. A great SP breakfast

Mushrooms and eggs on toast. A great SP breakfast

We also had lots of new starters yesterday which was great to see. Loads of people wanting to take that first step to a healthier future. Plus it’s always lovely to meet new people. One of my best friends even took the plunge and joined a group down in Plymouth. I know how hard it was for her to take that step and I’m so, so proud of her. She’ll be covering her cupboards with certificates in no time. The only advice I’d give a new member, is not really advice more an observation. When you’ve been eating what you liked, when you liked, without moderation for a long time, it can take a couple of weeks to get your head in to the zone of making better choices. People tend to deny themselves things instead. Slimming World doesn’t work like that. If you want it, you can have it. Just count it. Unless it’s free then fill your boots. Seriously. I couldn’t have come this far if I had to deny myself anything (least of all smoked salmon droooool). And also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If ever you’re not sure, the books, the website, your consultant or fellow members will have the answer and gladly share it with you.

So my goal for this week is not to cry when I get off the scales.

Have a great week people

Xxxx

Slimming World Update – Week 66

Hello! How you been? You’re looking great by the way!

I’ve been pretty good myself this week. I’ve done more stuff with The Boy than I’ve done in a while, including trying some new activities and watching him explore. We’ve had one or two false starts, but in the last week we have had some amazing triumphs and that always cheers me right up. The weather’s definitely taken a turn for the colder, but I love this time of year. It’s been crisp and sunny on a couple of occasions and that, plus jumpers and wellies, always makes my heart happy. It’s also allowed me to indulge in some serious stew making and there is little better to warm the cockles of your heart than a home cooked stew. I don’t know why, it must be the Irish in me, but I’d take a good stew over a soup any day of the week.

I’ve also been baking! After making biscuits for last week’s taster session, I realised how much I’ve missed baking, having made nothing (except a failed sponge cake in February) for ages. I also realised it’s actually the process I enjoy more than the result. And as the process is free on Slimming World 😉 I’ve been indulging. So this week I’ve made flapjacks (as a treat for Ben as he spent Sunday morning helping a local organisation, Logs 4 Labour, clear some local woodland), Ginger Cake (for Ben to take to his office on his birthday) and 2.5 litres of Granola (as a present for Ben’s birthday). I’ve LOVED doing it, although I swear I’m not trying to fatten my husband up 🙂 . I’ve not felt I was missing out at any point by not eating it, although if my house could smell of sweet cinnamon and ginger from now until Christmas that’d be great! So I might have to do some more!

Flapjack

Flapjack

Ginger Cake - picture not taken by me!

Ginger Cake – picture not taken by me!

Granola - Nigella recipe of course!

Granola – Nigella recipe of course!

Anyway last night’s weigh in was added to the triumph pile when I found I’d lost 1lb which is 6 Stone 4.5lb in total. It wasn’t quite the two I had in mind, but I’ll take it as I’m still on track to reach 7 stone by Christmas. Group was great again last night. Everyone’s really motivated at the moment and its lovely to see everyone getting their awards and feeling the love. As it happens, I also got an award last night. Alongside the weight loss, Slimming World also run something called Body Magic Awards. It’s proven (by important people in very clean, white coats I assume) that a more active life will lead to a maintained weight loss, so while exercise is not part of the SW ‘plan’ it is encouraged to increase self esteem and help maintain the weight losses you’ve achieved. There are four levels of Body Magic (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum). The first, Bronze is awarded for 45 minutes of activity a week, over three days, maintained for four weeks. Now, I know I’ve been doing this level of activity longer than I’ve been doing Slimming World, what with the walking I do. But for some reason I didn’t want to get my award for just pushing the buggy. I wanted to be doing something more, well, organised I guess. Anyway this week was my fourth week at Core Stability, so I felt ready to get my Bronze award. Woohoo! The Silver award is 6 x 15 minutes or 3 x 30 minutes per week maintained for 4 weeks. Again I probably already do that, but I want to know I’ve earnt it. So I’ll look at it again in four weeks and see if I can hand on heart say I have!

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Slimming World Bronze Body Magic Award

It was nice getting a certificate though – it’s been a while 😉

I also got my copy of this year’s Christmas Cook Book and my ticket for our groups Christmas Party last night. The book is similar to last year’s to be honest, although it does have an extended section on things to do with left overs, that could be used throughout the year. I’m looking forward to trying the Salmon Kedgeree and the chocolate pots look divine. All this Christmas talk has put me right in the mood and I’m listening to festive tunes while writing this. So what that it’s only October!

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Hope you have a great week, wrapping up warm and getting your stewing freak on!

xxxx

Slimming World Update – Week 52 – One Year Special

Hi there

I’ll start by telling you that at last night’s weigh in I lost 2.5lb which, despite not being all the weight I gained over the last two weeks, is a good enough start for me. It takes me back to 5 Stone 12.5lb.

But actually what I want to talk about today is not last night’s group, or even this weeks result.

You see this is a pretty special post for me, because last night’s weigh in marked the 1 year anniversary of my joining Slimming World and starting on this incredible journey I never believed I could make.

A year ago I was in a very different ‘place’. I weighed 6 stone more than I do now, had a very different relationship with food in general and my outlook on life was tired, sad and often on the negative side. I was so consumed with being a new mother and the associated challenges that come with that, that I’d almost ceased to exist as a person in my own right. I don’t think that’s wholly unusual in new mothers, but I was compensating for this lack of self worth by giving myself the one thing that I really didn’t need. High sugar, high fat food and lots of it. It’s sad to think I gained 2 stone after I had my son (and not, as someone assumed the other day, while I was pregnant), but I think I need to make it clear that I can’t blame my starting weight solely on motherhood. I have been obese my whole adult life. My weight’s fluctuated a bit, but except for a year or so I’ve been a size 22/24 all my adult life. The last time I wore the size 16’s I’m wearing now was in my late teens.

A couple of things happened to motivate me to change things in 2013. Firstly my son turned 1 in the April (I wore a size 24 dress to his party. It was pretty tight) and I realised I wouldn’t be able to the use the ‘new baby’ excuse for much longer. He wasn’t new any more!

Around the same time I also started keeping a gratitude journal via the Happier.com app, recording three happy moments a day. I did it daily and realised within a few months that all my happy moments were about Oscar and never about me. This got me thinking. So I started my blog to give me something of an outlet, with no intention of sharing it 😉 !

Then over the next few months I happened to see a couple of photos that shocked me rigid.

First there was this one.

May 2013 (c) Louise Phillips

May 2013 (c) Louise Phillips

At the time I told myself it was just an awful photo – that the boy was extremely wriggly and I was caught in an unflattering position, trying to keep hold of him. Now, I think it looks like I’m trying to hide behind by one year old son.

Then a couple of months later this was taken at Oscar’s toddler group summer picnic.

July 2013

July 2013

I was convinced this was going to be a great picture of the two of us and when I saw it I was heart broken. That dress is a size 26.

I knew something had to change, but funnily enough joining Slimming World wasn’t so much about losing weight at first. It was more about getting some space for me. So OK, so my reason for joining might sound odd to you, but it was hugely motivating at the time. I’m not sure if I had joined with the sole intention of losing lots of weight I would have succeeded in quite the same way. I went with no real expectation, putting no pressure on myself to ‘do well’.

But to my surprise, after a couple of weeks I did start to ‘do well’ and the boost it gave me was immeasurable. The ‘plan’ (I never call it the ‘plan’ – it makes it sound a bit cult like!) made me question how I thought about food. Don’t get me wrong, I knew what foods were nutritionally better for me than others, but this actually made me stop and think about the food I was eating, rather than blindly eating whatever I fancied. The group sessions, or Image Therapy as Slimming World rather grandly call them 😉 were also a revelation. I found, and still do find, talking about any issues I’ve had that week incredibly useful, but not only that it also gave me the space to be proud of my achievements, something I’d never done before. Accepting compliments is incredibly liberating. If you’ve not done it before, I highly recommend it.

The rest of the year you probably already know. It’s passed anyone’s expectations, probably because no one actually had any 🙂 . My SW achievements include:

  • Winning Slimmer of the Week 12 times
  • Winning Slimmer of the Month 3 times
  • Losing 10% of my body weight
  • Winning ‘Greatest Loser of the Year’ for Liphook 7.30 group
  • Losing 6 stone in just under one year

12 What a loser! 20140627-124559-45959549.jpg

But the achievements I’ve seen every day have been just as incredible

  • Going from a size 26 to a 16 Dress (with a stop off in my gorgeous size 22 Monsoon dress)
  • Getting back into my pre-pregnancy size 22 jeans and quickly slimming out of them again
  • Walking everywhere. I’ve halved the time it takes me to get anywhere, meaning I keep arriving early to everything!
  • Buying my first ever pair of skinny jeans – and living in them!
  • Finally fitting into Fat Face and Joules and other brands that don’t even carry plus sizes.

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But I guess my greatest achievement so far has been just to keep going. To finally understand that no one else is responsible for this journey. Only me.

It’s not always easy. I have hard times, same as everyone. I have set backs and disappointments. I have days where I just don’t want to care any more. Days when I’m sick and tired of thinking about food and whether the choices I’m making are the best ones. Weeks when I look at the scales and want to cry, be it a gain or a loss. But despite all that, I just keep going. Something in me wont let me not.

Because you see I’m not finished yet. I still have further to go than some people ever do, but I have lost more than I need to lose and that’s a great feeling.

Hey what am I saying, I haven’t lost this weight. It’s gone. I have no intention of finding it again!

So the coming year? Who knows. I still have no idea of what my final target weight will be, or even should be. It was so far away I couldn’t even think about it before. Perhaps this year I will. I have my next interim target (to lose 2 more stone, making a total of 8 stone) to reach and I’m happy enough with that for now. Scales aside, who knows? I’m looking forward to buying a new winter coat to replace my old size 24 one. I want to take up yoga or pilates. Little things really.

Most of all I want to keep this happy, confident feeling. I feel like I’m visible for the first time in so long, I don’t want to fade again.

See her? That’s Lisa that is.

Have a great week

xxxxx

 

 

Slimming World Update – Week 51

Alright?

Last night is the first group I’ve ever refused to discus the weeks outcome (be it a gain or a loss). I just needed time to whirl it round my head first. To take it in and digest just how I felt about it. And as SW never insist you discuss your week, Sara was happy for me to do this, which I appreciated.

Now that I’ve done that, I’m not to going to beat about the bush. I had a whopping gain of 3lbs and I’m gutted.

I know why I did. I spent the week estimating my syns (or just not bothering to count them at all) and eating things I knew weren’t going to give me a positive outcome come Thursday. I don’t feel guilty about this, I feel bloody annoyed, and disappointed in myself. Its not like I don’t know what I’m doing. Look how many weeks I’ve been going! I just got lax. Slack and not mindful of what I was doing. And I have no reasons for it (not that I would insult you with petty excuses). Why did I let myself do it? I just couldn’t tell you. Sorry.

I don’t know what else to say really except that I obviously want to lose it again. Those certificates I cover my kitchen doors with, don’t mean a thing if I’m not keeping the weight off to match. Also I know it’s ‘only’ 4lbs across two weeks, but do you know I can already feel it in my clothes? And I just don’t want to. So this week, I will be: upping my super free, drinking more squash, properly counting my syns and writing everything down. Basics really. Boring I know but if I do it right I get the results I want. Every time I want to eat something synned I will ask myself whether I really want it and remind myself of how yukky I felt looking down at the scales this week.

We’ll get there. Even if there are a few detours along the way.

On a more positive note, the clothes swap went brilliantly. I made low syn pinwheel sandwiches to take with me that went down a storm (0.5 syn for two)

Yum!

Yum!

I didn’t find much by way of clothes, but I tell you what, it was enough that I could even look. At the last one, there were few plus sizes at all and certainly nothing that fitted me, so I just sat and chatted. This time I found various items that were too big for me (yay!) and I did find a gorgeous Boden dress, I would never have looked at normally. It’s missing a belt, is a bit shorter than I would normally wear and I also think it could do with being an inch looser, not that the girls agreed. But I loved the look it gave me – grown up and elegant. I plan to wear it for dinner when we go on our mini break.

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My ‘new’ dress

The best part about it is the size. It’s a 16. Happy squeal!

Which is it is so important that I don’t have more weeks like this one. The way I feel when I find smaller clothes that fit is too immense to lose.

Have a super week.

xxxx

 

 

 

Slimming World Update – Week 44

Hi there peeps

How’s it hanging? (I can almost hear a chorus of “down and to the right” as I type that!)

My week’s been great – with plenty of superb weather, which always makes things better in my opinion. On Sunday we went to the local pub to sit and watch Oscar gleefully throw himself around the beer garden. He LOVED it and had such a great time I think it could become a fixture in our repertoire of summer hangouts (if the weather holds). Sunny weather combined with a pub garden needs beer and to keep the syns down I had a shandy. Only I forgot to ask Ben to specify Diet Lemonade. That little mistake cost me more syns than I had planned to spend. With diet it would have been 4 syns – with normal lemonade it’s a painful 9 syns (when a pint of beer is only 8 syns!) But it was so nice and actually I had enough to spare, so I didn’t mind too much. Lesson learnt I guess.

Anyway, as I explained in my last update this week has been shorter than normal (in terms of SW – I haven’t rearranged the Gregorian calender or anything!) as my group isn’t running on Thursday. So last nights weigh in was back at my alma mater, Liphook group. It was so nice to see some of the old faces and great to catch up on how everyone was doing. I swear I didn’t recognise Sarah Jane – she looked amazing! It was also slightly embarrassing as unbeknownst to us, it was their tasting session! Everyone had bought all this gorgeous food to try. We felt a bit mean coming empty handed – not that it stopped us having a nibble or two at the lovely things people had made 😉 Nice one guys!

I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect of this week’s weigh in. I knew the figure I needed to reach to get that god damn certificate, so when I stood on the scales, looked down and saw a figure lower than that. Well. Just ask Hayley. I was ecstatic! I needed to loose 1.5lb and actually lost 2.5lb, meaning I finally got the elusive 5.5 Stone Award. Total lost now is 5 Stone 8lb (78lb). I know my consultant in Haslemere will be thrilled for me but I also know Hayley was right when she said “Sara’s gonna be gutted you didn’t get that with her”. I am also a little bit gutted I couldn’t share the moment with my new SW family, but I’m just so happy to have got there Nigel Farage could have given me my certificate and I wouldn’t have minded. Much.

I’m so happy – I actually do feel like a room without a roof 😉 ! Last week I came home a little reflective. I was looking at my certificates and realised I had not created a space for the next one. I don’t know whether it really helped, but maybe by creating the space on the cupboard doors, I created some mental space for it to happen. A positive affirmation that I could actually see? Who knows? All I know is that this

Space

Space

went to this

filled

filled

The consultant in Liphook asked what my secret was, but as I’ve said here before there is none. Its such a personal journey, the food plan is only one part of it. If I had pick one word it would be ‘Responsibility’. Taking responsibility for your own journey is the biggest change I made. What’s the point of worrying about what your consultant will say if you don’t care what you think? We are human and things don’t always go to plan, but looking at why things didn’t go to plan and learning from that is the biggest piece of ‘advice’ I think I can give to anyone on this journey. Not that I feel comfortable dolling out advice. I’m me and you’re you. We’ll get there in our own sweet way.

So yeah, I’m actually now on my way to my 6 (yeah I know – count it on TWO hands!) stone award. I have 6lbs to loose to get there. It’d be great to do this before a wedding I have in June – its a month away. Hmm. OK. Lets do it (she says tentatively). Better get rearranging them certificates!

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Have a great week!

xxx