Overall Christmas Success

So… Well I had lots of good food the last week! Weighing in at a gain of 4.5lbs I must say I am surprisingly happy with the result. Since my start in August I have had constant weight loss each week with a single maintain so today was my first gain. I had been dreading today somewhat both as specifically this day as I know I had not optimised well this week but also the day that I would have a gain. I had feared that it would be very disheartening and would cause me to doubt sticking to plan.

At first I was worried that my weight loss was temporary and would ounce back however with last week giving me a total loss of 3st2.5lb I am still at 2st12lb loss overall and know I have definitely lost weight and food optimising works. While 4.5lb gain sounds a lot I am looking at the two week shift, over the two weeks I have had a net gain of 1lb and when I think back over the two weeks my original goal was to gain no more than 6lb (when at target there is a+- 3lb swing allowance soI figured once at target I could drop 3lb below and swing to 3lb up over Christmas and still be at target).

Now it is back to full optimisation and trying to figure out if now is the time to start body magic!

Update 26/12/2015

So there was the popcorn cinema, the family Christmas dinner and finally Christmas Day itself featuring a breakfast with my parents and dinner with my in-laws…

I had been weighing myself throughout the week and I was pleasantly surprised to be expecting a loss, got to weigh in and not only a loss but my biggest for a month! 3.5 pound off and smashing through my 3st award!!

Looking back at this week I had optimised for every meal I could, I chose the most optimised options from menus when eating out and for the Christmas breakfast we’d asked my Dad to get 1/2 syn sausages which was the only non-free item we had (we had trimmed bacon, baked beans, scrambled egg and some HE toast). For Christmas dinner the only syns were the gravy as we’d made subs for the potatoes with the veg being speed foods for the rest and the meat being lean.

Now I think as there was so much sub-optimal food about I had been a bit hungrier this week with it being hard for me to judge between true hunger and cravings I had just not had much to eat between meals. Also being Christmas week I probably skipped a few meals too as there just was not enough time!

The main thing I believe I did this week was to just not eat more than one of anything if I did eat a treat. And generally I managed to not have dessert most meals when there was so much tempting on offer.

By sating my hunger on free foods and then only allowing myself one chocolate or a single small portion of nuts for example I managed to stay on plan and make progress!

Now the last hurdle is Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve!! I have currently stopped drinking (personally alcohol is not where I want to use my syns) so I am expecting this to be the downhill slope of my Christmas challenge.

Again only time will tell but today I am feeling good about my weight loss!

The Force Awakens!

Soooo I have not had a chance to go to the cinema recently but I made a point to go and see Star Wars: The Force Awakens; it was Epic!!

However in contemplating my trip I was wondering how to deal with the popcorn problem…

Well normally (read before slimming world) I would have had a large salted popcorn (~40syns), a large nachos with cheese and jalape├▒os (-37 syns) and a large diet cola (free!). I would also have this as my dinner although often went for a McDonald’s supper after the film finished (~million syns).

So I talked about it with my wife and came up with a plan! I would have a large portion of smash with baked beans and some vegetables for breakfast so I would be quite full going to the cinema (we had selected a 10:45am showing so it’d be quiet) and then have nachos while there no popcorn and try not to eat all the nachos!

Naturally this plan failed and to leav on time I skipped breakfast ­čś▒. So a new plan was formed and we had a subway salad for breakfast at only 1.5syns for the sweet onion sauce with all the salad and three double meats!

I then decided that I would allow myself the flexisyns today for the popcorn and so I’m aiming for 50 flex syns today as my new goal.

Hopefully when it comes to the weigh in i won’t be sad :(.

Weekly update 19/12/2015

The Christmas Work Party!

So as one of the dreaded weeks has come and now past I am able to reflect on party week and the impact on my weight loss!

Firstly this week came in at a 1.5 lb loss so good! Since I started Slimming World back in August I have managed to have a loss most weeks and a few maintains! This week I was that person, as I queued up for weigh in I was talking to Marie (our group leader) bemoaning how this would be the first week I would have a gain! So I will be honest I was somewhat surprised at this result.

┬áLooking back at the week I should have had a bit more confidence. The rest of the week had been food optimised with plenty of fluids and speed foods, I had resisted the increasing levels of Christmas goodies that had shown up. Whilst I had partaken of a few mince pies (plus a disappointing rogue apple pie that had been slipped on the plate ­čś▒) I had counted them in my syns! And since sworn off the 12.5 syns for a Tesco deep filled!!

For the actual Party itself although there was a free bar I had already decided alcohol was not how I wanted to spend any syns! So I had decided in lieu of knowing what I would be served (from a syn perspective) that I would simply eat my allocated portion and take the consequences. I think what saved my waistline was the very small (normal ­čśÁ) portions.

Free Roast Potatoes!

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Peel, parboil for 10 minuets. Next spray a roasting tin with fry light.

Put potatoes in the tin then pour Oxo 1/3 to 1/2 way up the side of the potatoes, spray the top and put in oven (200C).

Cook for 30 minuets then check – Oxo should just be mainly gone and they should look golden brown and be soft.

When you check at 30 mins – give them a spray of the butter fry light and leave for another 5 min (or more – can take up to 45mins-1hr)

I normally make up 500 ml of oxo with 4 cubes in.

First Week Result

So there it was my first week food diary!

For those that are familiar with Slimming World you will notice a few issues… I of course did not eat one million syns at my parents party… ┬áProlly only had 400 :O … Butter is not a healthy extra :/ … However I did loose 4.5lb in my first week and generally ate as much as I wanted. A couple of times I was caught without something suitable to eat or was travelling and having to try and select something to eat from a services.

The key things I had to focus on was drinking plenty of water, eatting plenty of speeds (this first week was mostly apples) but overall I think this first week was not very comfortable. So many habits of what I thought I should be eating or reaching for and just not knowing the syn values of most foods I usually ate or to be honest what was free and what was speedy. I had always shied away from eating too many apples but these were speedies and I had always searched for free foods on many diets however there had never been such a thing… The idea of celery being negative energy food (you burn more calories chewing than you get from it) is just not true! Now here was a list of free food and anything that was marked S I could just eat as much as I wanted!

To be honest I was still not convinced at this stage that the diet worked! When I looked at what I had eaten I could see it was clearly healthier and I had not really managed to eat loads of carbs as I had planned at the new starters group. 4.5lb sounds like a lot but at 22st8lb I could have easily chalked this up to being slightly less hydrated than last week.

Sill I was happy to have lost some weight if not convinced that it was true weight loss and sticking to the plan had not been too painful. My wife had lost a lot more than me and so I was quite happy moving into week two!

Pre-Post : So It begins

So my brother and his wife have decided that they too will be joining slimming world. I would like to think this is in some small part due to see the success that my wife and I have enjoyed since we started in August of last year. In talking with him about how he is planning to start and what he is doing I realised there were some common areas of confusion that seem to crop up.

Now part of the reason for me doing this blog is one thing I learned at work is documentation is key. It lets you look back and see what you were thinking at the time and how things may have changed, it lets you keep better perspective and mindful of those goals you had when you started. As such I am going to start posting some of the highlights of my journey so far starting with… The Start!!

A not so long time ago in a Slimming World group far far away…

My wife had decided in August that enough was enough and it was time to loose weight! Both me and my wife have life affecting health issues due to our weight and as our son (just turned 1 yr at the time) was just starting to walk we wanted to be able to keep up with him! We had attempted many diets and my wife wanted to go to Slimming World.

The first plan was that she would go with her sisters while I would do my own thing to cut down and exercise a bit more however at the last minute her sisters had decided to join Weight Watchers :O Now I was somewhat ignorant of the details of either plan but while I am sure I am over simplifying the essence of Weight Watchers seems about a more or less calorie limited diet, essentially portion control. Previously I had always done very badly at such diets as had my wife so Weight Watchers was not for us.

So it was that I found my self on the 22nd August going to my first Slimming World meeting with my wife to support her as she started her weight loss journey. I was not sure if I would join and I don’t think my wife expected me to; she was just happy for me to go with her.

So I sat through the new starters talk and asked a few questions and to be honest I had zero faith that it would work and thought it was a lot of half truths and assumptions. The best example being that you could have unlimited free foods and you would loose weight! I just could not believe it! Now there was a provision made that a third of your intake had to be made of speed foods but that I could still eat as much as I wanted.

With other diets there was always some logic behind it that had been explained to me, a science to the process that could be researched and I felt made sense, calorie control seems obvious if you eat less calories than you use you loose weight! I’d done zero carb diets and the idea was if you have no carbs your body goes into ketosis that is a state where you are unable to store excess energy as fat and all energy you use is fat. There were little urine test strips you could use to see when you were in ketosis and there were many sources on the web that backed this up.

Now being a type 2 diabetic I had avoided having too many carbs when I could so being told eat all the pasta, rice, potatoes as you want seemed like lunacy I was sure I would pass out from having hypers or some such and just get fatter!! And even though I had to stuff my face with kilos of carrots while eating those carbs (carrots are my speed food of choice) I thought what are those carrots really going to do!

So I gave up; that is I gave up on understanding the science behind it. I looked at it from another angle. I would follow exactly what the plan said and I would make it my mission to eat as much past and potatoes and rice as I could with fields of carrots mixed in and if I was to loose weight then it works and if it doesn’t well… so far nothing else had so I hadn’t really lost much. So began my Slimming World Journey!