Um…

I missed this earlier.  Mostly because I was a bit busy – and the rest was because I forgot!  The second full week on Slimming World wasn’t a great success, despite all of my efforts to try my best.

I spent the week munching lots of crisps and craving sweet things and basically eating everything I shouldn’t.  I was also at a local community event last Saturday.  We have a street party at the community project every year, and normally I would take the photos.  This year, they decided to hire a professional photographer and I said I would do whatever was needed.  On the morning of the event, I made a sandwich to take with me, completely unaware of what I’d be doing.

So, I get there and discover I’ve been signed up for food prep and serving.  In previous years we’ve had a barbeque outside where we’ve done burgers.  This year, they decided on hot dogs.  It’s easier to do and doesn’t require hiring a barbeque grill or spending hours cooking in the kitchen.  They also got some of those oniony things you can get in Pizza Hut (the crunchy stuff that doesn’t require cooking at all!) and a couple of jars of gherkins.  The sausages – ‘regular’ and halal, – were cooked in massive pots of water on the cooker and the vegetarian sausages (which we had far too little of, as it turned out!), emptied into massive bain-marie trays to keep them warm, and then we popped them into bread rolls.

It was relatively easy (I was just putting them in the rolls and popping them rolls on trays) but I spent the entire time, pretty much, on my feet.  My measly little sandwich was woefully inadequate and soon found myself picking at the sausages that had broken up (they were gluten-free, so I could!) I was so tired when I got home, I napped!  I woke long enough and just about had enough energy to make another sandwich and a cup of tea and then I fell asleep again.  And so began the few days of eating absolute crap.

Come the Slimming World group meeting on Tuesday, I decided to wait until afterwards and eat dinner when I got home – I’d planned to have a frittata and a salad (I’d already made the salad before I left) – and had a bit of an achy tummy.  I assumed it was just because I hadn’t eaten dinner yet.  The group was good if a little daunting.  It was the first proper group session I’d been to and my friend couldn’t come with me this time.  They did the Woman Of The Year thing.  And I put on 4lb.  To be honest, I deserved it.  And I was sort of expecting it given the start of my cycle was due soon-ish.  Anyway, on my way home, I thought I’d pick up some fruit and veg and some granulated sweetener (for porridge) for the rest of the week, all with the best intentions of being healthy.

And then I get home to find TA-DAH! my cycle was starting.  Well, that explains a lot!

For the first few days of my cycle, I tend to go a little crazy and crave salt and sugar, and I couldn’t help myself but have it.  I did try to be as healthy as possible, though – filling up on porridge in the mornings (sweetened with the stuff I picked up after group instead of my usual sugar or Golden Syrup) and making salads, and eating eggs, etc.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll have lost at least some of what I put on this week, but we’ll see!  I wish I knew how to get a handle on things during my periods!  I lose the plot every single month for that one week!

I’m going to try doing some of the Body Magic stuff soon – well, as soon as I stop feeling quite so pukey, anyway.  It’s fun being a girl, eh?!

Progress Report…

So, I just finished Week 1 of Slimming World, and it turned out much better than I could have hoped, really.

I had a couple of days where everything went a bit wrong (mostly down to not eating enough and then going slightly crazy) but the rest of the week was good.  A bit boring here and there due to serious lack of budget, but good nonetheless.

On Tuesday we – my Slimming World and theatre company friend – went along to be weighed at the consultant’s house just around the corner from the church where we would normally meet.  The change in venue was due to a funeral of one of the members of the church.  Next week should be back to normal.

Anyway, we go in and join the ever-growing queue of people waiting to pay and hop on the scales.  I wasn’t feeling particularly confident in myself, but I knew where I’d gone wrong and that the following week I would try my best to do better.  My friend was in the queue just ahead of me (I was preoccupied with untangling myself from my scarf!) and she’d lost a total of 4.5lbs.  I thought I might have maintained or gained a couple (because that’s what typically happens to me) so, taking a deep breath, I stood on the scales and was greeted with the words “6 off!”  Six pounds off!  That can’t be right, can it?  I remembered to look at the scales this time, but it didn’t mean anything to me anyway.  Oh, well.  But yeah, 6lbs off!  Amazing!  I am now the lowest I’ve weighed in several years!

Budget is still small and a little restricting at the moment, and I’m still trying to put myself and the contents of my fridge-freezer back after the power went out, but I’m determined to do well this week, too.  I’m going to make some portions of cottage pie in a bit.  If nothing else, I’ll have something healthy to eat for a few days.  My plan is to top up – or try to top up – the food shopping throughout the week and slowly build up the freezer again.

I’m very pleased so far, but I am still also a bit confused as to how it even happened in the first place!  It’s win, though, so I’ll take it!

I finally joined Slimming World!

I did it!  After umming and aahing – and trying it on my own for a little while (with very little willpower, I have to admit) – I finally took myself along.  I managed, somehow, to convince one of my favourite ladies to come along with me, and we signed up together.  We even have little blue cards and stuff!

Was I nervous?  A little, but as I think I explained previously, with it being held in my church, and knowing a few people from church go along anyway, kind of made it easier.  The lady who runs the group – Lesley – who I spoke to the night before, was really nice and very friendly.  As it turns out, it wasn’t a normal night.  There were some unexpected roadworks right outside the church.  They’d been on the same stretch of road on Sunday, but much further down it, but come Tuesday, they were right in front of the church, with only a small gap for the gate and pathway towards the building.  As such, it wasn’t a ‘normal’ night.  Instead, people were basically just coming to get weighed and leave again.  There were two other people who were also joining for the first time.

My best lady and I sat in a corner and filled out the registration form, and waited for Lesley to come and have a chat with us.  She then handed us both a pack and explained everything.

This is essentially what’s in the pack (not shown are the food diary slips and Body Magic slips.)

 

To be honest, it was a little hard to keep up, but I just about managed to keep up!  She was very friendly and totally put us both at ease.  The best news is I get to eat as much pasta, rice, and potatoes as I like, provided they’re not cooked in oil or fat.  I could very happily eat pasta by the bucket-load!  And, of course, unlimited amounts of every other Free food (most of my favourite foods are in it, thank goodness!)  Eggs are my new best friend!  The trick is to eat enough to fill you up.  Some days are hungrier than others, so this is excellent!  You get 5 – 15 syns (short for synergy) a day to ‘spend’ on anything that’s not Free.  Plus two Healthy Extras in the form of something containing calcium and something with lots of fibre.

And then it was time to get weighed for the first time.  I didn’t look!  Not because I didn’t want to, but because it didn’t occur to me to look in the first place.  I was a little tired and a lot hungry, and is desperate need of caffeine!  But according to the pack I was given, I was at 16st. 7.5lbs – a lot better than I thought I was, so there’s that!

This week, particularly Day 1 (I know, I know…) didn’t exactly go to plan and here’s why: I let myself get too hungry.  Since the Power Cutting Out fiasco – and thereby losing all of my food I had in the fridge and freezer – it’s been a slow process trying to buy stuff to replace it all.  So, Wednesday, I made a pasta, egg, and cheese combo to take to theatre rehearsals.  I had some left over so I ate that as a small ‘lunch’.  The problem was that it was too small (even if it didn’t look like it – the pasta swelled up a lot!) and since I was also trying to work and get things sorted for theatre rehearsals (i.e printing scripts, etc) I let myself get too hungry and that’s when I reach for the things I shouldn’t – like crisps.  I wanted to pick up a bottle of Diet Coke or something to take to rehearsal since I knew I wouldn’t have much time on the way there and ended up reaching for the multipack of crisps.  Big mistake, and I knew it.

It was my friend Jason’s birthday, so, in cahoots with his girlfriend (and my aforementioned Favourite/Best Lady), I made him a surprise birthday cake to take to rehearsals that night.  So, despite a healthy start with Overnight Oats and the dinner I’d made with the pasta, it all went horribly wrong because I’d inadvertently forgotten to plan a proper lunch.  And then had a cube of cake.  The rest of the week so far has gone much better.  Thursday was a basic Potato and Rice kind of day as I slowly build up my food supplies again.  I don’t like not having fruit or vegetables in my kitchen!  And I’m so far a bit bored because there’s no fruit or vegetables.  Yet.  But I’m really liking the Overnight Oats thing, though!

Friday was a Baked Potato and Egg Mayo and some tomatoes.  I could only afford to pick up a couple of small items in the supermarket the other day (tomatoes, peppers, and another pot of yogurt), but it’s a start!  And then I decided to try and get as much as I could on Friday evening.  Again, the budget was a bit limited, but I did manage to get some: spinach, a leek, more yogurt (lemon this time), some bacon, a couple of small tins of beans, and a bag of potatoes.

Today (Saturday) was a bit more interesting and a step further towards ‘normal’ in my house!  I slept in a bit later so I made a sort-of brunch with a tin of beans, a couple of rashers of bacon (with the fat removed.  1) That’s what you do when you follow Slimming World, and 2) That’s how I always eat it because I hate fat on meat), and three eggs.  I forgot to look for mushrooms and some gluten-free bread (though I probably couldn’t afford the bread even if I had) but it was tasty and filling and I enjoyed it.  I made a jacket potato with cheese and salad made from the spinach, some of the tomatoes, a hardboiled egg, and some balsamic vinegar I managed to rescue from The Great Power Cut.  It was tasty!  I’m about to check on the yogurty-oats I hastily threw together while making dinner because I forgot about the Healthy Extra with the fibre last night.  I’d planned to have the cooked brunch so I didn’t make up any oats.  Very silly, since the oats are basically all I have that’s loaded with fibre.  I’m getting bread and other things as soon as I can!

There’s a taster night at Slimming World group on Tuesday and they’ve already said that they’ll make sure something is gluten-free for me!  And it’ll be back to ‘normal’ which I’m looking forward to.  So far, so good.  I just sort of wish I’d done it much sooner.

 

This is harder than I thought…

I did it again, didn’t I?  Made huge promises and then vanished…  Well, part of that was because things got really busy and I had almost no time for anything else!  Add to that coming home super tired and not wanting to do anything other than nap/drink copious amounts of tea and coffee, and well, you know what happened!

Anyway, so I’ve (sort-of) been giving Slimming World a try.  And whilst it’s not terribly difficult, a couple of weeks of nothing but gains despite really trying was off-putting.  But then I had the start of my cycle to blame for some of it.  Things always seem to go a little crazy around my period.  I start craving salt, fat and sugar and I’ll almost definitely bite someone if I don’t get it.  And, to be honest, I have no clue what to do when this happens other than give in to it.

There was also a spot of bother in the form of everything going wrong (life, work, stuff…) and then, last weekend – a week ago almost to the hour, actually – the power went out.  I wasn’t expecting that at all.  I hadn’t done anything different to previous weeks so, at least to me, none of it made sense.  At first, I figured it was a power cut because the weather had been seriously acting up in comparison to the previous week or so.  The storm wasn’t fun and I spent that night hiding under several blankets with a cat on my lap (the buy cat decoded to hide somewhere else – in the cat tree, as it turned out!) terrified.  Me, not the cat.  She couldn’t care less!  I know older cats are typically very chilled out about stuff in general, but this was a bit silly!  Anyway, I just figured the weather had done something to the power. But when I stuck my head out the door to investigate, all of the corridor lights were on – so it wasn’t the building.  It was then I thought it might have been a fuse or something.  That investigation showed the real problem – I had no credit left on the meter.  Which is what puzzled me.  Like I said, I hadn’t done anything different to other weeks…  The downside was that there was nothing I could do about it.  The little money I did have wasn’t enough to turn the power back on and I had other, more pressing matters to spend that money on (or some of it) so I resolved to tough it out, stock up on food I could eat cold (so crisps, basically.  Because my cycle started that morning – I know, great timing, right?! – I was feeling a little nauseous and I know that salted crisps at least keep that at bay…)  That was the end of a week that mostly sucked.  You know those days when you wish you could hit the reset button and start again?  I had a week of that…

Fortunately for me, some very kind friends at church offered to at least get the power back on, so I only had a total of roughly 24 hours without electricity – but it sucked.  Things are mostly back to normal now (as normal as they ever are for me, anyway!) but the Healthy Eating went right out of the window!

I’ve ummed and aahed again, but I finally came to the conclusion that perhaps going to a Slimming World group might actually help keep me on track.  On Tuesday (or at some point in the next week or so) I’ll officially be joining a group.  People are scary, though (I have social anxiety) so I’m a bit overwhelmed at the thought of going into a room full of people I probably don’t know.  I’ll do my best to remember to tell you about how that goes!

What else happened?  Oh, yeah.  A friend suggested Overnight Oats as a breakfast a while ago and I finally got around to trying it out.  As I’ve probably mentioned before, I’m a little strange when it comes to food and texture.  If the texture is all wrong, I can’t eat it.  I’ve seen lots of recipes for Overnight Oats and they almost all include some kind of fruit and yoghurt.  But since I’m a weirdo about food and texture, I’ve just been making mine with some fat-free vanilla yoghurt and some gluten-free oats.  It seems OK to me, and breakfast is a whizz – all I have to do is grab the glass from the fridge, grab a spoon and give it a stir.  I add a little extra yoghurt to loosen it up a bit more, but that’s it.  And there’s no having to decide on breakfast and making a terrible choice (I’ll admit I make some terrible choices with food, particularly when I’m hungry/tired/hangry) and it actually keeps me full until lunch.

I feel positive about (some) things again, so let’s hope it continues, ‘eh?!

Well, this is going well, huh?

I can’t even remember the last time I wrote a blog post!  Must do better. Must Do Better!

Speaking of having to do better, I haven’t exactly stuck to the plan.  My cycle started – which always seems to throw things out of line anyway, and not just with food, although that is one of, if not the biggest challenge during those seven days.  I don’t know about you ladies, but I always seem to lose the plot just before and during the start of my cycle!  I kid you not, there was one day when everything I ate could be summed up in three words: “Chips” and “Ice Cream”.  Yes, that was literally all I ate for the entire day.  I’d feel terrible for it if it wasn’t the best thing ever!  Although, really, I should feel bad about it.

On Monday, a friend picked me up and we went for a picnic lunch at a local park.  It was great!  And lunch (not provided by me, or it may well have consisted of chips and ice cream!) was pretty healthy.  She’d made me a salad with spinach (because I don’t like lettuce – I imagine lettuce tastes like grass…), de-seeded chopped tomato (because seeds bug me.  I don’t like the texture), some chopped mozzarella, and a generous glug of Balsamic vinegar.  She’d found some gluten-free tortilla chips, some houmous, and she’d made us both a couple of rolls each (all gluten-free to save time!) – mine had cheese spread and a slice of ham in them.  And she’d made us both a big flask of tea each.  And then we went for a nice walk around the park in the sunshine.  This was probably the healthiest thing I ate this week…

Tuesday, I ate crisps, crisps, and more crisps.  Wednesday, I lived on chips and ice cream.  Thursday, I had cereal, pizza, and a mountain of chips and mayonnaise, and yesterday (Friday), I had cereal, snarfed more crisps, and more cereal.  Today, was a day for eating almost all of the pasta and all of the cheese.  I blamed the hormones for most of that… I mean, it probably was the hormones for a large chunk of it (I’m looking at you chips and ice cream!) but it’s also me.  It’s a habit I find hard to break afterwards.  Take today as an example – I would give almost anything for a bag of Kettle Chips right now.

On Monday – during our afternoon in the park – my friend and I were discussing diets and weight loss and stuff (it’s a subject that comes up a lot between us) and she talked about Slimming World.  She’s been doing it since just before Christmas and is loving it.  I’ve ummed and aahed about it for ages on and off for a few years, actually.  I’ve done Weight Watchers several times on and off since I was about 11, and to be honest, while it starts off OK and I have some small success, I’m hungry pretty much all the time.  Not so much because I’m greedy (though I will admit to having some days that are hungrier than others), but because none of it leaves me full enough.  Even stretching those Weight Watchers ready meals (of the ones I can eat, anyway) with a large salad and some fruit for a dessert never seem to do the trick.  About an hour or so later, I’m hungry again.  Like, actually hungry – but then I’ve eaten pretty much all of my points and can’t justify something else.  Free/Zero Points foods are great, but – and let’s be honest here – none of them are truly satisfying, are they?

So while she talked at length about Slimming World, I was very much interested.  I’d obviously read and heard things about it before, but none of it really made much sense to me and I figured it was another Weight Watchers that would just leave me hungry and then having a blow-out/pig-out out of hunger and desperation.  What surprised me was that she – and many of my other friends who use Slimming World – said that hunger isn’t an issue at all.  A lot of (if not all) the Free Foods are things that actually fill you up – and you can eat them without restricting or counting them.

I did some ‘homework’ of my own today and was even more pleasantly surprised.  The literature explained that it’s not the calories you eat that fill you up, it’s about the amount you eat.  That might seem completely obvious, but I had never actually thought about that.  And yes, it does make sense.  But think about this: the average woman needs – according to every package of food ever sold – 2000 calories per day.  That’s just to move around do normal people-type stuff.

Until I read the bit about the amount you eat as opposed to the calories filling you up and satisfying you, I guess I’d somehow figured – especially with the emphasis so heavily on the calories and counting them, making sure they add up to no more than 2000 every single day – that that’s what it comes down to; that that’s The Very Most Important Thing.  And it isn’t.  I realised at that moment I’d let calories (and even by extension the counting Weight Watchers points) completely control me and my life.  Which I also guess is what led to my somewhat skewed relationship with food, even as a child.  You know, it’s true what they say – very few people get through life without encountering the word ‘calories’.

I’m going to give Slimming World a chance.  To be honest, I’ve only heard great things, so I’m optimistic about things this time.  I shall endeavour to keep you all up to date.

Well, this wasn’t what I had in mind…

My first official week back on my diet hasn’t exactly gone to plan.  And I had all of the greatest of intentions and everything!

This is a summary of what happened (and what went wrong!):

Day 1:  Worked out my points but completely forgot to add them and actually count them.  Didn’t make terrible food choices, so it’s not all bad, right?
Day 2:  As above, really…
Day 3:  Theatre rehearsals day.  Typically very busy with lots of rushing around.  This invariably leads to poor food choices.  In this instance: crisps – lots of crisps. Chocolate (just one bar of Snickers, though), a big bag of prawn crackers, chips from the chip shop on the way to rehearsals.  This is supposed to be my weekly treat (it’s also because I typically don’t get home until almost midnight so I would go without an evening meal) but with everything else, it was just another Thing I Did Wrong.  And a Tim Horton’s coffee.  But it was a skinny latte and was in a smaller cup than usual!  Points and counting basically abandoned…
Day 4:  Basically running on very little sleep.  Today is a hungry day for some reason.  Too many crisps.  Again.
Day 5:  Tried to be healthy but ate far too much food.  I blame a serious lack of energy.  It didn’t help, by the way.  Also had too much coffee (ended up with a large skinny latte in Starbucks because they ran out of smaller cups), including one of the most unhealthy drinks from Tim Horton’s (a caramel iced capp thing.  I wasn’t overly impressed despite being tasty at first.  Mostly, it gave me brain freeze.) Ate more crisps in the cinema.
Day 6:  Ate far too much cheese.  Although I did eat a salad with dinner (a baked potato with cheese).  Also ate loads of crisps.  I rationalised it by telling myself I needed the energy – I did, but there’s got to be a better way!
Day 7:  Crisps.  Yeah, I know…  Again, I also ate a salad.  Not sure that counts, though…

So yeah, that’s my week.  Not great, is it?  Whoever invented crisps is an evil genius.  I definitely need to be stricter where crisps are concerned.  I rely on them far too much for a quick burst of energy.  I also rely on them when I’m feeling nauseous – the dryness and the saltiness is what settles my tummy and gets rid of the I’m Gonna Barf feeling.

Seriously, I need an intervention.  If anyone has any ideas, I’d really appreciate it!

Must try harder from tomorrow!  I basically only have salad stuff in (and some frozen jacket potatoes) so in theory, it shouldn’t be too hard!

Uh Oh…

Well, today didn’t go to plan at all!

I’m going to blame the hormones for this one, though.

Today has basically consisted of two bowls of honey-nut cornflakes, lots of tea, and a disgusting (but kinda yummy) number of packets of crisps!  The good news?  Tomorrow should see the start of going Back To Normal in terms of food.  I typically go slightly crazy for the first few days of my cycle and then I can eat like a regular person.  And my goodness, I need some vegetables and fruit!  You know when you’ve over-done it – when you start craving fruit and vegetables and salads!

I dug out the little SmartPoints calculator and reset my info on it.  I have 32 Points for tomorrow.  It doesn’t sound like much, but if memory serves me correctly, you can actually get quite a lot of food for that if you’re clever about it.

Tomorrow will also see me spend most of the day on feet and wandering around a local park taking photos of an event, so I can at least try and walk off all those crisps!  When I weighed myself – in prep, but also because I was curious (I forget to weigh myself all the time!) – I found I’d actually lost quite a bit without even trying over the past few weeks.  Nice!

I also re-downloaded an old app that should help keep me on track.  You can set reminders for things on it, too.  I’ve added a weekly reminder to weigh myself, an hourly reminder to drink water (I’m good at being so busy I forget to drink enough), and various others throughout the day/week.

Still positive, despite today’s hiccup.