I look pretty happy in this photo, don’t I?

Well, the truth is that I was happy. I had just joined Slimming World and I had decided that I was going to do something positive for myself and try to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Years of ignoring what I had been putting into my mouth had taken their toll and that it was time to make a change.

I didn’t have a weight target in mind. It wasn’t really about weight. I do of course want to look my best. However, I have found that since turning 30 my worries about what others see when they look at me have diminished at a pretty stealthy rate!

For me, my focus was on my health.

I already knew that 2 litres of cola each day and a penchant for drive thru food was costing me an arm and a leg. My habits needed to change. For my health and my purse!

So, the planets aligned and off to Slimming World I went. Determined that I was about to commit properly to something which would improve my life.

Fast forward nearly 6 months. Drum roll please..

..I AM THE SAME WEIGHT I WAS WHEN I STARTED THIS!

To say that I am not where I thought I would be by now is something of an understatement. I cannot pretend I’m not disappointed. I’d imagined I would be at least 3 stone down by now. Admittedly I am amused by it all too. But…

I was supposed to feel more like me

Because that’s it in a nutshell. I don’t really know the person I have become. She is certainly not who I was or who I imagined I would be. Maybe that’s just what nearly 40 feels like? Does 40 feel like giving up?

The fact of the matter is that I was ready to give up. On Slimming World. On myself.

Slimming world works. I know it works. I have seen the numbers in my book going downwards each week when I was making an effort to stick to it. The problem isn’t Slimming World. The problem is me. I have been sabotaging my own lifestyle. I wish I could say why but it’s not going to be that simple, is it?

I got a phone call on Friday night. It was my local chinese takeaway calling ME to let me know that their loyalty discount was ending that weekend and did I want to order food so I could use my discount? I shit you not. My takeaway phones me. That’s a problem.

Did I order food? Obviously I did. I enjoyed it too.

Actually though, I deserve better. So, today I will take a deep breath and walk through those doors into group. I will set aside a couple of hours for me. When I get home I’ll curl up with a cuppa and my Slimming World books and I will read through them again.

I will treat myself like a friend.

Hopefully this time around I will be able to make better choices. In a few months time maybe I will start to see a change. Not just in my body but my health too. Who knows. I will try to give myself a chance though. Wish me luck!

I am so annoyed with myself. My intention was to plan every week because I know it will reap it’s rewards both in lbs lost on the scale at Slimming World and £’s kept in my purse. If I had a purse. Which I do not. I am too disorganised.

Gah!

So long story short, half term happened and I didn’t meal plan. We ventured down to see the in laws. This involved an array of off plan meals and I put on weight and am now poor. So now that you are up to date, let’s head back to what I blimmin’ well know will work and get on with the plan! I foresee a lot of salad in my immediate future…

The Week Ahead in Food

Friday: Low syn Tuna salad followed by a gorgeous low syn lemon Jello dessert.

Saturday: Ham and egg salad with a large bowl of melon.

Sunday: Roast chicken with syn free stuffing and vegetables

Monday: Piri chicken breast with a dressed salad and a baked sweet potato.

Tuesday: Spaghetti bolognese and garlic dough balls. The Asda ones are 1 syn each.

Wednesday: Butternut squash stew with bulgar wheat (pictured) as part of my commitment to cutting down on the amount of meat we consume.

Thursday: Diet coke chicken with noodles and stir fried veg.

 

Breakfast will be a mix of porridge, fruit or bacon medallions and veg (courgettes, mushrooms, tomatoes). Lunches will be mainly salads and I will also make a big pot of syn free soup to have alongside and for snacking. I am determined to have a better week foodwise. I have to really!

On the upside, I am feeling positive about taking control of things again. I have started to understand that I need to make this a priority for not only my physical health but my mental health too. Does that sound odd?

 

Katykicker

Why do I find meal planning so hard? You would think after 17 and a half years of being a parent I would have got past sifting through the fridge at 5pm in a panic and not knowing what to to cook for the people who reside with me.

No such luck

In a bid to inject some organisation into our week and hopefully leave time for more of the “other stuff” I am trying. Really trying, to get on top of this part.

If I can nail this stupidly small and seemingly easy part of our family week then, I don’t know, maybe everything else will somehow fall into place. Moody teenagers will suddenly transform into pleasant and cooperative young adults. The Husband will shake off the fatigue of his day/week/month/year and become attentive to something other than Clash of sodding Clans and the 4 year old. Maybe he will stop declaring he hates a food that just 2 days earlier was all he would let pass his lips. I will of course be able to spend those extra few moments of my day doing something fabulous.

You can place your bets on how that will turn out.

We do definitely save money when we plan though. So there is that.

Our Dinners For The Week

Friday – Chicken Noodles with a homemade 2 syn Sweet and Sour style sauce

Saturday – Burgers with chips and slaw. I might make my chips with celeriac. I don’t know if that will taste a bit parsnippy though?

Sunday – roast chicken, mash, roast celeriac, carrots, sprouts.

Monday – pie for them. tandoori skewer and Slimming World aloo gobi for me. Nicer than it sounds.

Tuesday – rice, chicken, corn on cob, think Nandos without the price tag.

Wednesday – Sausages and mash. Did you know you can make your mash creamier by adding an egg? I am going to try it. If I end up with a scrambly egg mash, I will let you know.

Thursday – Spaghetti Bolognese. A smaller portion for me which I will bulk out with roasted red pepper and courgette.

 

Breakfast is usually porridge with fruit. Lunches I don’t tend to plan. It will be whatever I can grab that is Slimming World friendly or maybe if those other things fall into place then who knows. Maybe I will make a soup. We can but dream, right?

 

 

Katykicker

Last week I decided on a whim to start attending a weekly Slimming World group. Yesterday was my very first weigh in so I thought I would update you on how the first week went!

The group was really welcoming. I won’t deny I was nervous, mind you.

I came home after group with my new pack and I must admit that I did feel a little overwhelmed by all of the information I had been given.

Getting my head around it

It took some effort to read through the books I had been given but it was so worth it. I made a note of meal ideas for the first few days to make it a little easier to stay on plan.

I found it quite difficult to stop snacking. To be honest I hadn’t realised just how regularly I had been stuffing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Often would be an understatement. It’s a habit that I am trying to focus on breaking.

One of the things I was worried about was feeling hungry. I get awful heartburn and it seems to be worse when I feel hungry. To the point where the urge to vomit because of the acid taste has woken me in the night. I suspect it has a lot to do with my weight.

Meals

I thought I would share some of the meals I have been eating during my first week on plan.

One pan brunch.

This was so easy to make and very filling. Cheap too! I pan fried Slimming World sausages in spray oil and then added onion, edamame beans and a tin of tomatoes with a big pinch of mixed herbs. After a few minutes of simmering I cracked an egg into the pan and finished it under the grill.

Sea Bass

This was a really quick dinner to throw together. Pan fried Sea Bass with boiled broccoli and a bag of microwave rice from Aldi for 1 syn. Less than 10 minutes from fridge to plate.

Smoked Salmon Broghies

A quick lunch, but very satisfying. Broghies with low fat soft cheese, smoked salmon and cucumber and a small bunch of grapes. 4 syns but I think it was worth it.

Sunday Roast

One of my favourite meals of the week. Roast chicken (skin removed) with roasted squash. Roast onions and roast potatoes and all of the sprouts. 1.5 syns for Aldi gravy.

Fishcakes and Chips

Hands down my most filling meal of the week. In fact I couldn’t finish it. The fishcakes are 2 syns each from Morrisons and are very, very nice. I had mine with slimming world chips, mushy peas and pickles. MrG did not believe that this was a “diet meal”.

Spaghetti Bolognese

This is a weekly favourite. I just adapted it to make it plan friendly by swapping a jar of sauce for a homemade one. I used passata with basil from Aldi. That’s something I am really enjoying, about Slimming World. I can make the same for all of the family and know that we are all eating healthier. Except Moose obviously who is going through a phase of eating 2 bites of anything and proclaiming that he is full. Aren’t 4 year olds fun?

Did I lose anything?

YES! Even though I had a couple of blips. Namely falling foul of the chocolate calling my name and then asking Bess to fetch me a glass of Pepsi Max and her getting me the full sugar Pepsi by mistake. I wasn’t best pleased.

I LOST 3LBS! More importantly though I feel a lot more confident about my choices and better in myself. Just knowing that I am drinking lots of water and eating healthier meals is making such a difference already.

What are your favourite Slimming World dishes? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.

 

 

Starting Slimming World in January does feel like a bit of a cliche, but sadly needs must. Please don’t misunderstand me though. I am not ashamed of my body. Far from it.

My body has carried me through to the age of 37. It has walked for miles when I couldn’t afford any other kind of transport or just when I fancied a bit of a walk. My body can really move (when it wants to) especially through water. I think maybe on account of my oversized feet which make for effective flippers.

It has carried and fed 3 children. My tummy is covered in stretch marks and my breasts are not as perky as they once were. They aren’t ugly to me. I see them as a map of the pregnancies I have been fortunate enough to have experienced.

I don’t care what anybody else thinks of my body. I have strong legs and capable hands and shoulders which I know can handle some weight. Metaphorically and otherwise.

I want to be clear. I’m not starting this because I dislike my body. I am doing this because I love it. It deserves better than how I have been treating it for the last <cough> few years.

If I am honest I would quite like to be able to buy clothes a bit more easily. It might be nice to queue for a theme park ride without thinking “oh shit, what if I don’t fit”. The thing I really want though is to be healthier, to be stronger and to give my amazing body its best shot at a healthier future.

So, this morning I joined a Slimming World group.

If Mondays on the blog are about the children with my Living Arrows post, Wednesdays will be about me. I will be making an update every Wednesday as that’s the day after weigh in day and I will talk about how I got on and share any meals I liked from the week. I feel really positive about this change in lifestyle. Hopefully it will help me to feel better and look better.

The plan seems relatively simple to follow. My biggest change I think will be just being aware of what I am eating and also trying to drink enough water. I am pretty awful at this really.

I just hope I can stick to it! Either way, I’ll keep you informed.