First Update in a while

I am the Man of the Year!!!

Woot! Of course being the only man I cannot help but feel this is not a huge achievement… Perhaps from the perspective I am the only man that has managed to come to group for a year… So I suppose it is an achievement of a sort.

I have been quite flat on the scales these past six months so on the plus side while I have lost weight loss focus this would normally result in me gaining back all my weight in 6 months so I can consider it plus that I didn’t put the weight back on.

The last four weeks I have lost over 10lbs, which puts me on a good blue line being at at target by September however I am also conscious that I had started this four week period with a huge gain!!

So I guess I will see what I see 🙂

Weekly Update 2016 02 27

So what has been happening!?! 4lb off this week which while good I had D&V last weekend and missed group so that “helped.”

Well I have lost a little focus and while still on plan have had a few too many cheats I feel and this is reflected in my weight loss … Or lack there of.

Effectively I have maintained for two months but this week I am now back to a new lower weight since I started my journey and have two big milestones coming up firstly the not so big 3.5 stone loss… 2.5 lbs away!! And secondly being 18 stone!! Not 18 stone exactly but in the 18s (18stn13.5lb) :O :O Being 18 something is the lowest I have been as an adult … Now OK in my 20s (age here not stone!) I had briefly pipped to 17st13lb however I was on the Atkins diet and gained 1/2 stone the day I came off of it so I don’t really count that. However it has been a very long time since I say 18 looking at me from the scales so while 3.5stn lost will be a big achievement in absolute terms the 18 on the scales is something that emotionally will be much more impactful!

This then leads me on to something I see in image therapy sometimes about visualising yourself a target… Well the last time I was a target with regards to my weight I as 3 :O and I have no idea what a target weight me looks like… So hopefully this is something I will be starting to find out!

Weekly Update 2016 01 23

2.5 lb on!! This is my first problem gain. I say problem gain as my first gain was over Christmas when I ate lots of Christmas food so I was expecting a gain and had even planned to have a gain.

This week was my second gain since joining SW but the first where I had stuck to plan all week… Or at least I thought I had.

So what went wrong! Welllll first thought, I was up late eating and drinking. I was drinking zero calorie soft drinks and eating a few syn free yogurts but as I went to bed quite late I know is broken my routine and filed up my digestive track wit there being not enough time to empty it. My next though was that I had done a lot (for me) of exercises this week and that can cause a distribution, so everyone in group has said when they have started body magic, and I could see there being some logic to this.

My final though was that basically I was having too many syns!

The first two thoughts I know are valid but only for one week… If I am a little backed up then next week I’ll get a double loss of 5-6lb. If the exercise caused a blip, or something else, then next week I’ll get a typical 2-3lb off. If I get a maintain or gain then I need to go back to a food diary and figure it out!

I know how volatile my weight can be so I prefer to not over react to a single weeks result… Even if it’s a big loss… So install wait and see…

To Weigh or Not to Weigh…

So who weighs themselves?

I do!

In group there is sometimes discussion and always split opinion on should you weigh yourself at home?

Most seem to feel that you should not or maybe it’s ok to weigh yourself once a week if for some reason you cannot make group.

Others weigh themselves a few times between group weigh ins and often have a tale of sadness as they either think they have gained, go off plan a little, then come in with a 1lb loss and curse themselves for going off plan as otherwise that would have been at least 2lb off!!

Personally I weigh myself a lot! Basically as often as I go to the bathroom (where the scales are!) and I feel you need to really understand your weight fluctuations to avoid the “Oh Yeah 11lb off this week even though I ate cake! CAKE EVERY WEEKY NOW!!!” To “I followed plan exactly !!! eXACTLY!?! Why did I get a maintain!”

For example I weighed myself after dinner on Friday, my weighins are in Saturday morning, and I weighed myself before group and I had lost 10lb! Now some may think “Broken Scales” etc but as I do this every week I know this is what typically happens.

I know I weigh more before bed than the morning (by multiple pounds) and that drinking a pint of fluid will make you gain 1lb of weight!

So to clarify I don’t mean a true 1lb you are fatter gain! I am not saying don’t drink!! It is simple maths, a pint of water weighs one pound. If you put that inside yourself you have gained one pound. As your breathe water vapour and CO2 leave your body (along with sweet of course) and you loose weight. But if you weigh yourself, drink a pint of water and then weigh yourself again you will weigh one pound more!!

So for dinner if I have three pints of calorie free drink plus am eating around 3lbs of food, I will gain 6lbs!

Now this is not fat increasing true weight gain. And in four to eight hours I know that it’s coming all back out but it is important to know that your weight will swing up and down by many pounds each day, in my case 10lb or more, and you need to therefore weigh yourself at the same point of that swing to see what your true weight change is.

I know that for me the most stable results are from getting up, going to the toilet, then weighing myself naked! I make sure my scales are in exactly the same position and I have a fairly decent pair of scales. I also know that naked I show as one pound heavier at home to when I weigh in at group. If anything breaks this routine then I know that I cannot have full confience in my weigh in.

A couple of months ago I had a very low 0.5lb weight loss one week and 5lb the next. I did the same both weeks as for being on plan but the first week I couldn’t sleep and stayed up watching TV until 03:30 eating carrot sticks and drinking diet fizz. So really I lost 3lbish each week but that late night eating just meant there was more in process food inside me for the first weigh in!!

My main point is though that even a weekly weigh in has the problem that if you cannot poo before group then you are hold a couple of pound in! So never feel too good or too bad about one weeks result and look at your last four weeks! If you’ve lost what you want to average in the last four weeks and you honestly have been following plan sometimes you will get blips!

And sew it continues…

A quick update for now. So this week saw me loose 2.5 lbs. Am generally happy with that. If I’m honest, I did want a couple more. Sometimes I feel a bit lost when I’m not sure why I have haven’t lost as much as the week before …when all I did this week was replicate last weeks menu when I lost 7lbs!

On reflection, I don’t think I ate enough speedies! I didn’t plan and have bulk cooked food for lunches – definite danger zone for me. I also am going to try and focus on having at least 5 syns a day rather than 2 or 3 some days.

Craving chocolate so badly tonight. Hormonal and emotional food cravings. First night of trying our baby boy in his own room. I think I am the one feeling separation anxiety!  I raise this point as I feel it is important that we acknowledge and address emotional eating. It definitely plays a big part in my weight loss journey. I think it’s really important that we take time out to recognise our triggers and patterns to our behaviour that cause an emotional response to our eating food, and then use that insight to put different coping mechanisms in place, rather than reaching for comfort food as an emotional crutch.

Use each other for support. Hubby really helped me tonight. I felt like throwing away today and just stuffing my face with chocolate. Decide on a level of support that you would like from each other when you need a bit of help – Whether it be a gentle reminder or a bit more of a stricter reminder!

Sweetdreams. Onwards and downwards! 😉




2016 01 16 Weekly Update

So another week has gone by… 3lb lost this week so how do I feel!

Neutral to be honest, I was happy to have lost weight but I was expecting that as I’d stuck to plan and I weigh myself everyday, often multiple times,  so I knew I was tracking well.

I had set a mini goal of 3lb for this week and did it. I think more than anything this week felt like confirming that I really was back in plan with 5lbs lost in two weeks and more importantly getting to a new low after the increase over Christmas!

And sew it begins…

Miserable, sad, fed up, bloated, immobile, crying on the inside, biggest size clothes too small! Yep, that was me before I started SW; along with a huge serving of denial! And guilt – I’ll just enjoy this food, and start dieting next week. The next week diet never came.

So I was in Tesco car park and saw an old friendly face. She has had amazing weight loss with SW. She was warm and friendly and planted that encouraging seed to come back to SW. I knew I had to do something… I was gaining weight at a regular and steady pace. As I write this now I reflect on my lowest adult weight I can remember and 2 years ago to the month I was 7 stone lighter than when I was when I joined SW in August 2015. I have battled low mood and anxiety for a long time and have always used eating as comfort and a crutch, a coping mechanism. I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. Self conscious, hiding behind people in photos, confidence hitting Rock bottom in my general daily life. Not being able to sit in restaurants. Not fitting in theatre seats. Maxing out the biggest size clothes and Only being able to buy clothes on two shops. Out of breath , diabetic from being too fat. Crying and cringing inside.

I then met the love of my life, now my husband. He has changed my life in so many ways. He loved me for who I am, gave me body confidence, and generally gave me inspiration and made me feel safe and alive. He supports me in every aspect of me life. We had a beautiful baby boy last year. That year also saw me gain 6 stone trough my pregnancy months and further gains through the rest of the year. I had tried dieting on and off – low carb, calorie counting, vlcd – I managed a couple days – couple weeks with the calorie counting, but it was hard work and I felt like it wasn’t sustainable. From Jan 2014 to August 2016 I gained 8 stone.

I asked Lee to come along to SW with me after I met my friend who said about it in Tesco. I didn’t want to go on my own, confidence still in pieces. It was scary and intimidating. My thinking process was that I have got so much to loose, I’m never going to be able to do it. Complete denial and just kept filling my face with food. Which, of course, was a vicious circle. Lee came along with me and listened to the new members talk. I was so emotional listening to our leader, Marie, and just started crying. I still get emotional and choked up writing this now. I felt that this was my chance to get the weight off. My motivation is my health and my little boy. It will be nice to be able to have a choice of clothes, sure, but my fear is my health if I didn’t do something. Lee decided to join with me as extra support. I must admit when I heard about how the plan works I was like ok I may loose a couple of stone – nowhere near the 10-15 I want / need to loose. Especially when you are told you can eat as much pasta, potatoes etc as you like in the ‘free food section’. However, I decided to put my questioning aside and have faith in the plan. I was desperate to find something. I went to have my first weigh in and those scales hit a number I have never seen before. I was so upset, horrified, scared. I think that moment will stay with me for a very long time.

I had a gain over Christmas – I was 1/2 pound away from my club 10 . This was also my Christmas wish which I didn’t achieve. But when I take a look
At he bigger picture I was 2 stone 7 lighter than I was before and if I hadn’t have joined SW in the August I probably would have been 4 stone 7 pounds heavier!

Well, here we are 20 weeks later and I am 3 stone 2 pounds lighter. Slimming world has changed my life. Between hubby and I we have lost 6 stone and 3 pounds , forever! I still have a long way to go , but I am so happy that I have started my weight loss journey. It feels different this time. I feel confident, happy, satisfied with the plan. I feel supported and I’m seeing results. I have made what I consider to be friends at my group and my leader is absolutely amazing. I have thrown myself into the plan and involved myself in the social team for our group and visiting other groups to help out on the social team. I believe this really helps to keep me focused too.
There have been a couple of weeks were I have been really disheartened. Thought I had, had a good week …only for he scales to show a loss of half a pound. But you know what, on reflection now, that loss is still a loss and the weight heading in the right direction.

I think one of the biggest differences for me, that has really contributed to my weight loss, has been my re-education around my eating habits when eating out , having takeaways and snacking. Alongside the new ways of cooking with lower syn/free ingredients. I think my biggest contributor has been speed food. The more speedies! (As our little boy likes to call them) I eat , the more they enhance my weight loss. I have also tried to increase my fluid intake. Apart from it being good for my body, I believe this has helped with the weight loss too. In reflection, the weeks when I haven’t had as many speedies or fluids, they have been the lower loss weeks.

Planning! Planning is the key for me. If I don’t have a plan of the weeks foods – it is then that I become weak and reach for convenience non optimised foods. Life gets in the way (in a good way!) , we are tired from the baby teething, Lee working, my back still had a prolapsed disc that came to light after my Cesarian. We have busy lives, and if we don’t plan that becomes a danger zone for me. I like to batch cook at the beginning of the week so we have a couple of meals that we can then add different bits too 🙂 it works well for us. And of course, I pack it full of speeds. Before I started SW I wouldn’t even set foot in the kitchen. Can’t cook, won’t cook over here! Ask Lee about the Chinese chillie!!! However, I started to make small meals and really enjoyed experimenting and finding yummy free and optimised meals for us to
Enjoy. I will share some of our favourite recipes with you all later. The frozen SW meals are also amazing life savers if you have nothing planned or you are out and about , or need to grab food quickly. We have them and pack them full of added speedies!

So, let’s talk about Christmas – and my first run of gains! I had a plan in my head that I was going to optimise all over he 2 week Christmas period and just have some ‘treats’ on Christmas Day. That did not happen. My taste buds runs away with me and I kept on eating. At first I was upset , but again, I had to reflect on my bigger picture. I also acknowledge that it is going to take me some time to address and find different coping mechanisms to work with and Undo my lifetime of emotional and psychological eating habits. I even went to get weighed Boxing Day with the intention that I would be back on plan. That didn’t happen either. I enjoyed Christmas – Christmas is a social and eating time in my house. We then went to an amazing restaurant for my brothers 30th birthday. I was torn, I was torn between optimising 100% or having that nice food while we were out. I know one of my danger zones is, I’m an all or nothing, I can’t just have one, I’ll eat the whole box. Anyway, after that two weeks, and my 6.5lb gain I well and truly drew that line. Got back on it and lost my 7lbs this week. I also achieved my club 10.

To be continued…

Working Lunch (Well food in general!)

So I have been asked for some more posts relating to how I eat on the go.

In my job I have to travel quite a lot and even when I am heading into the office I cannot be sure there will be a safe lunch option for me there. So my strategy is to pop into Tesco on the way out. Now there is a lot of food in Tesco but I have some special requirements.

1) Of course the first thing is that I want the food to be free from syns! If you plan well or are good at portion control (I am horrible at portion control) then maybe you go for low syn options however this is not for me.

2) I have limited resources to prepare food, basically none, so whatever I get needs to be ready to eat and ideally come with it’s own fork!

3) Speedies!! Yes speedies… This is probably something I need to post about in it’s own right but just to say any meal you plan needs to include at least 1/3 speeds.

4) Filling! At the same time nothing but speed foods I personally find to have very limited filling power so I need to grab some Ps and some just plane free food.

Now having all these requirements initially was something of a pain so sometimes I would think… I’ll just skip breakfast and see what I can find later… At best this has left me feeling really hungry and at worst has resulted in me eating car food! {Car food is anything in the car I can possibly eat … Usually this is the boxes of Hifi bars we bought at our last meeting that I have yet to take in}

So let’s look at yesterday and today as an example of what I picked up! Of course you could use buy the same with your weekly shop however this requires organisation and foresight 🙁

Yesterday :

  1. Carrot Batons[S]! These I eat like you’d eat crisps, snacking on the all day, I ate three bags of these breaking the 2KG mark on carrot consumption yesterday (600g bags plus we had carrots with dinner).
  2. Apples[S], 12 of these as snacks.
  3. Chicken Tikka Pieces [P], Ps are more filling but just make sure you look up the particular pack you are buying to make sure it is a P and free… Not all flavoured meats will be free and some can have many syns.
  4. White Grapes [Free] most fruits are speedies however grapes are not, I had three packs of these as they were half price. Now the grapes are only included as I already have picked up a lot of speedie, if you just had the grapes to snack on this would not be properly optimised as they are only free and not speedie. Sometimes I would have bananas instead of grapes again being careful not to let my speedie food ratio drop too low! (Bananas are free not speedies)
  5. Celery [S] , I like it but I didn’t really need anymore speedies added to the mix this was just for the Crunch!
  6. Sweet Chilli Cottage Cheese: Free and somewhat tasty.


  1. Carrots, Celery, Apples, Grapes! (As yesterday)
  2. I took the Cottage cheese in to work and used the celery as a crunchy spoon to eat it!
  3. Mug Shots! All the 1% [at the time of writing] are free but best to check this with the syns online tools. These need very little prep just a mug and hot water (not even a mug if you get the on the go ones).

Final point hydration! Again this will probably get it’s own post later by fluid intake is key to weight loss and feeling well. Depending on your size and diet you will require different levels of fluids. My wife found that as she tends not to drink much at all she was always mildly dehydrated and switching to SW Food Optimising the lack of fluid intake was hampering her weight loss and starting to make her feel mildly unwell, such as headaches.

I personally like to drink a lot of fluids and tend to sip all day long. I was told by my dietician that I should make use I have plenty of water when I increased my “Healhty Food” intake as these needed lots of flushing through the system.

While water is generally agreed as the best thing to drink and no doubt I would be better off drinking nothing but water… personally I find that diet soda is fine as is weak (read normal uk) coffee, tea and even sugar free energy drinks. I say personally as I seem much less affected by caffeine than my wife and drinking a monster has almost no effect on me, I’m sure for some the caffeine could be a bad idea!

So that is a lot of food no doubt almost anyone would think… And I know most people that are loosing weight with SW don’t eat anywhere near as much speed food in a day however this is what I do as it ticks all the boxes first noted… Easy to eat, no prep needed, etc and I don’t need to worry  about having at least 1/3 speed if almost everything is speedie!!