My Weight Loss Journey

Why I’m not ashamed to feel good about myself…

Quite often now, friends, colleagues and family are commenting on my weight loss. “Gosh Emma, your legs are so slim!” or “That top is too big you need to get a smaller size!” etc.

Its so lovely when people say these things, because you can tell they really mean it as it comes unprompted. In the past, when I lost a lot of weight I used to dismiss compliments that came along with the weight-loss. I’m not really sure why that was, exactly. Maybe I was embarrassed, or simply because I wasn’t sure I knew how to accept a weight-related compliment (after all, I wasn’t used to getting positive comments about my weight), or maybe it was simply because I felt I didn’t deserve them.

But I have a whole new mindset this time around. I’m in my 30s, I didn’t appreciate aspects of my looks the whole way through my teenage years and my 20s, so this time around when I’m looking better and feeling better about myself then I’ve decided I’m damned well going to enjoy the compliments and allow myself to feel good about me. Very ‘Loose Women’ of me, but you know what I mean!

I’ve been thinking of all the little positive changes that have come along with the actual weight loss – some obvious, like fitting into clothes, but some are less obvious and ones that I might not have admitted to before but there are other benefits to losing weight than just looking and feeling thinner. So to motivate anyone who is wavering with their journey, or anyone who is fed up with themselves and thinking of making a start, here is a list of things that have improved/changed for me as a result of my weight loss. I began off feeling utterly shite about myself and I know some people reading this will be feeling the same. It can change. You can change it. I’m in the middle of doing it and this is what I’m enjoying now, starting with the most obvious to the utterly ridiculous..

  • I’m thinner and I look better, that’s a given. Not ashamed to say it out loud anymore!
  • I can fit into clothes with smaller sizes that I had packed away tearfully a few years ago.
  • I can walk into a shop (ANY SHOP – EVEN BLOODY TOPSHOP**!) and know that I will be able to try something on and not scream with despair.
  • My underwear doesn’t hurt me anymore. *cringe*
  • I’m more interested in fashion and creating an outfit – as a result I’m taking more pride in my appearance.
  • I can run around after my kids and play with them in the garden and not have to sit down, out of breath and red faced.
  • I don’t want to instantly change into my jammies when I get in from work just so I feel comfortable.
  • I rarely feel bloated any more.
  • I feel more organised about what I’m eating (it definitely gets easier the longer you do it)
  • My feet have shrunk! Which is a bit of a downer with some existing shoes, but means I can fit into a 7 rather than an 8 in shops (They NEVER have an 8 when you want it)
  • Shopping is FUN!
  • When another car parks too close to yours – I don’t freak out about having to squeeze in.
  • I’m sleeping better and having less headaches.
  • I’m not too embarrassed to go for a spray tan or a wax. Yay!
  • I’m not going to develop diabetes!!
  • No more bra back strap extenders. Thank Christ.
  • On hot days if I dare to wear a maxi dress, I don’t have to wear shorts underneath to avoid my chubby thighs rubbing against each other. OW.
  • I look forward to social events and get excited about going out.

And finally – I’ve posted a full length selfie for the first time EVER!!

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 21.38.41

13lbs remaining. 14 weeks until my birthday.

Now, is that a target or what?

**Unfortunately I have realised I’m now too old to buy from Topshop…**

Slimming World Takes Over The House

So it finally happened.

I got the G Man to join Slimming World.

I’d like to brag that I managed to persuade him all by myself and that I was the sole voice of reason, bringing him to a moment of clear-headed enlightenment, but alas – no. He kind of figured it out himself. After quitting smoking 6 years ago, the weight had begun to creep up on him so he felt it was time to make some changes.

Of course, it was double delight for me. Not only was the other adult in the house following the same plan (making it SO much easier to stay on track) but also the adult THAT IS THE BEST COOK EVER was following the plan! No more worrying about making my own separate slimming world friendly dinner, no having to check my portions of food if I had to eat what the rest of the family were having. Now that he was following the plan, it was endless amounts of syn free dinners, snacks and delights. Honestly, its been great and I realise I’m very lucky to be married to a man who not only loves to cook but is very good at it.

I’m only HALF A FECKIN’ POUND away from getting my 3 stone award and after that, there’s just one measly stone to get me to my official target. The end is really in sight and whats lovely is I’m doing it with my other half – we can achieve it together. The kids are really benfiting too as there are so many vegetables, good lean protein and fruit being consumed in our house that we’ve never eaten so healthily.

Here are just a few of our meals from the last week or so – some are lunches and some evening meals – and I will post the recipes and links up for some of them soon (once I get them from the G Man. I don’t cook as you know so haven’t a clue how he made them!)

Two and a half stone…over halfway there.

I shared recently on social media that I had achieved my 2 and a half stone award with Slimming World. I’m so proud of this and really feel it has been relatively easy. I really don’t mean to sound like a know-it-all or the kind of person that you want to slap, (I promise!) but when I say relatively easy I mean that I’ve got the right attitude in place for the first time ever. It doesn’t mean I lose pounds and pounds every week. Some weeks it is only a half a pound, some weeks I stay the same, and other more satisfying weeks I do lose 2 or 3lbs.

2 and a half stone.jpg

But its easy because it has become a way of life for me. I’m not on a diet. I’m following a healthy eating plan, yes. I’m watching my intake of sugar and fat and carbohydrate, yes. I’m trying to eat plenty of good protein. But I’m not labouring every meal, every weigh-in, every snack. I’m just living my life and making the plan fit around it. If I want to stay on track when the rest of the family are treating themselves to a massive chicken pie with chips – well, I just have an Iceland SW meal, or plan ahead to have my own SW friendly recipe.

I’m seeing other, non-scale victories too. I’m down two sizes. I am fitting into clothes that had been relegated to the back of the cupboard. I’m feeling lighter on my feet and much healthier. I’m actually looking forward to my work Christmas do this year, because I had actual choice in the shops as to what outfit I could buy – I wasn’t destined to only go to one or two shops because they do ‘big sizes’.

It feels really good.

And for those reading this that don’t personally know me…all four of you (hi, Mum!) I have to explain that I really am a normal woman who has a massive appetite, eats too much junk, is too fond of takeaways and has been known in the past to order nachos with cheese and extra-cheese-on-top-of-the-cheese-please in the cinema. And yet, I’m on my way to my target weight. Over halfway, actually.

And yes, Christmas will be a stumbling block. But a delightful one. I’m not going to torture myself. If I gain a few pounds, so what? That’s normal! I will attend my meetings as usual and I will try to be on plan for as often as I can. That’s what I’ve realised. One small gain or one difficult weigh-in shouldn’t ruin the whole process for you. Chalk it up and move on. If I had given up inthe summer when I gained 9lbs, I wouldnt be another stone and a half lighter now…would I?

I saw this meme today posted by a target member in our group – he has lost stones and stones and is a great inspiration to us – and I couldn’t have put it better myself.

 

goal-meme

Merry Christmas everyone.

Go on…enjoy the turkey.

🙂

I’ve got my 2 stone award, and yes I’m feeling proud of it!

Thursday 20th October 2016

So after having a great summer and enjoying a little of what I liked every now and again…and babysitting my weight etc, I’m now fully back on track. I’ve finally achieved that oh-so-elusive but attractive 2 stone award. I even got the Slimmer of the Week AND Slimmer of the Month award at the weigh-in a couple of weeks ago. I was genuinely shocked but chuffed.

I can see it my final goal now, I’m more than halfway there. It’s just ahead and my sweaty little hands are going to grab it very soon.

You know how I know? Because last Saturday, I sat in a certain well-known fried chicken restaurant and ate a takeaway sushi pack from a supermarket.

Oh, how times have changed.

And I didn’t even mind. Normally in the past I would have sat there, glowering at everyone while the juicy gravy covered chips were shovelled into thier mouths, wishing all the time that I could sink my teeth into a spicy chicken burger and feel that tingle of lemonade bubbles slide down my throat.

Nope. Nope. Nope.

Not anymore.

I’m not a saint, of course. I’m having plenty of treats and I count my syns very carefully, allowing myself a little tipple at the weekend if I fancy it. And it’s working. I’ve also enjoyed cooking and eating a range of slimming world recipes over the last while, as well as making sure that my lunch and snacks in work are all healthy options. I really enjoy making myself and the kids the sw carbonara recipe (I add some mushrooms in) and we’ve also enjoyed the beef stuffed sweet roast potato recipe. another favourite is actually a Lorraine Pascale recipe of Honey and Mustard spatchcock chicken which is only about 6 syns for the entire chicken (no skin, of course!) and I’ve had that with beans, broccoli and boiled potatoes. And always a favourite is the slimming world Tikka Masala ready meal, which I have at the weekend when the G Man is ordering his typical chinese takeaway. I’m just trying really hard to make the right choices.

So far, so good. It’s less than 10 weeks until Christmas, so another pound a week would be slow but steady progress.

Can I do it? Let’s just wait and see.

Why I’m babysitting my weight loss…

August 2016

Everyone who knows me knows I’m constantly trying to slim down and get healthy. It’s become almost automatic for people to enquire as to the status of my weight loss almost like it’s my third child. How are the kids? They say. Quickly followed by; still at the ‘aul Slimming World malarkey?

And I answer that the kids are great and yes. Yes I am still dieting. And I’m not offended at all. Maybe I should be, some people might be but I don’t think it’s a shameful thing to say that you’re following a healthy eating regime and it isn’t shameful to admit that you sometimes…occasionally..(alright!) quite often fall off the wagon.

wp-image-1644968541jpg.jpgWhen you’re a teacher, the summer often feels like a free-for-all. Like you’ve been given an invisible licence to eat, drink and be merry.  Rather like Christmas, but more with barbecues and less with turkey and gravy.  Although boozing does seem to feature heavily in both!

All teachers know the secret joy of a Sunday night tipple when there’s no school to get up for. It’s a small but important thrill.

This summer, unlike previous years, I HAVEN’T jumped off the wagon the moment school ended and sprinted straight into KFC. (Although to be fair that’s probably the only time you’d see me run anywhere.) I’ll admit, my weight loss has somewhat stalled but I’ve kind of done it on purpose. *Cue the gasps*

But its okay. Because I know I will kick back into gear in September and I’ve managed to get to grips with the right way to eat and the right way to treat. See what I did there…? Well, at least I make myself laugh.

I’m enjoying the summer. I’m enjoying eating out with the family but choosing the better option in the menu. I’m cooking slimming world friendly meals from scratch but not at the weekends.wp-image-1053743508jpg.jpg

I made a lovely Jamie Oliver recipe recently that I adapted to make into a slimming world one and it was gorgeous. I will share it soon. I’m eating healthily but having treats when I really really want one. I’m not losing weight but I’m not gaining it either. Once I get to my target weight this kind of set up will do me nicely, thank you very much.

Because I will let you in on a little secret. I get it now. I finally get it. ‘Not following the plan’ or ‘being off the wagon’ doesn’t actually mean ‘go ahead and eat a whole pizza followed by dessert then a family size bag of crisps‘. Plus the slice of bread and peanut butter. And the leftover curry. And the cheese. And four chocolate digestives. (That’s an edited version.)

20160802_123551It means eat fresh, sensible food. It means don’t lie to yourself that you’re going to lose weight this way, but if you want to enjoy a holiday or a break from work or a family event then it’s okay. Just don’t go overboard.

I’ve two weeks left of the summer. I’m going to enjoy them. So I’m going to keep babysitting my weight loss. After all, 1st 5lbs isn’t a bad bit of progress – I’m almost halfway there!

Over and out.  🙂

Sharing some helpful recipes

I thought I’d share a few recipes and weight loss stories here, based on the fact that I’m trying to lose weight AGAIN. Also because I need to keep the recipes I like all in one place so I don’t lose track of them and thirdly, because perhaps others, like me, might like to try out recipes that I’ve enjoyed.

I’m hoping to share recipes that I find online, which I will always provide a link to, and also to share ones that I create myself. I’m not known for my culinary prowess in my household, but perhaps I might begin to hone this new skill, and maybe lose weight at the same time.:)

Vegetable (or chicken) Chow Mein

The first one I want to share has been my saviour the last few weeks….we all have those family-foodie traditions when we usually get a certain takeaway on the same day each week, or go to the same restaurant on a certain day etc. Our main tradition is a chinese takeaway on a Friday evening. Oh, yummy…there’s nothing I’ve enjoyed more than honey chilli chicken and rice or chow mein…I could go on. And on. And. On.

chow mein

So when I realised I would have to sacrifice a ‘real’ chow mein for one that was ‘pointable’ (as I’m personally doing Weight Watchers) I knew that I would have to find a recipe that would satisfy. Here it is. The only change I made was that I did a veggie version without the chicken. It is easy, quick and really genuinely yummy. Even the G Man, who is a WAY better cook than me, tasted some of it and actually asked, actually asked me to cook it for him the following Friday. Result.

Diet Diary for December:

December began off well, as I joined back with WW at the beginning of November, 6 weeks after Adam was born (they don’t let you join before that) and believe it or not, after 4 weeks I’ve lost 1 stone and 2lbs! That’s 16lbs for any Americans reading this. I’m so SO pleased. I know it has been a drastic loss mainly because it was probably a shock to my system and I know that the weight loss will slow down gradually, and I will be happy to lose a pound a week from now on. I’ve managed to have some treats (as long as I’ve kept track of them) as well as eating proper portions of healthy, nutritious food. But…I’ve even been able to have my occasional cheeky glass of wine!

drinks

I had my work Christmas Party last weekend, a rather wonderfully messy night where the drink was flowing, and a certain ‘friend’ didn’t do what she was supposed to, which was stop me after four drinks…ended up becoming my ‘enabler’…but I love her anyway! Adam’s christening is this coming weekend, and of course there’s Christmas Day itself, all occasions where food and drink is plentiful, so watch this space for how it all shapes up! 🙂

Diet Diary for January…

Yes, I had to face the music. I DEFINITELY fell off the wagon over Christmas and I ate and drank a little too merrily. But you know what? It didn’t bother me. It wasn’t the end of the world. I enjoyed Christmas, spending time with family and friends and I began with a clean slate when I returned to Weight Watchers after Christmas and began as I meant to go on. I had a gain of 6lbs over the two week Christmas break (which was a lot less than I thought it would be, it felt like 40!) and today, believe it or not, at my first weigh in today since starting back I managed to lose 7 and a half pounds! Happy me!

Week One WW Food

I was careful, I planned meals, I weighed my portions and was still able to have treats like a cheeky glass of wine and some (carefully measured!) crisps at the weekend. I know I won’t have the same loss next week, as it will have to even itself out, but I’m so pleased to have started off well. Some favourite low calorie and wholesome recipes that I found online were Mushroom Risotto, Asian Meatballs, Salmon in Honey and Soy. The meatballs and the salmon recipes are particular favourites in our household because they are genuinely tasty and you couldn’t tell for a second that they are low calorie so we will definitely be making them again.

Weight loss this week: 7 1/2 lbs

Total Weight loss: 1stone 4lbs (18lbs)

🙂

January Diet Diary…the sequel.

Sooooo. I made it through January. But not without some hiccups. (No, they weren’t hiccups caused by overeating.) I know, even I’m surprised! January has seen me get to my stone and a half marker! Wayhey! That’s 21lbs.

I had to battle a shocking head cold which made all food taste the same to me, so it was really hard to enjoy what I was eating. This would normally make me turn in disgust to junk food. But not this time, I really didn’t want to undo all the good I’d done since Christmas. I managed to make sensible food choices and lost 3lbs on my return from being ill, and managed to get to a stone and a half loss.

What I didn’t do last week though, was ‘track’ my points, which on Weight Watchers, is very much the point (if you’ll pardon the pun) I did eat ‘well’ and I didn’t eat any rubbish, but I think I would have done even better if I hadn’t stopped tracking.

PicMonkey Collage January 2

I enjoyed a lot of fish this last week, and I really do think that helped too, especially ‘The Hairy DietersFishcakes which the G Man had a go at making; delicious. I also LOVE the smoked salmon with dill dressing from IKEA, and I’m never out of that place so it stands to reason I should have my lunch there too! And stir fry, as always, was a weekly favourite.

So my plan for this week is twofold.

1. Track my points. It really isn’t hard, and I quite like the organised nature of it.

2. Don’t eat after dinnertime midweek (unless its a zero point totally healthy snack) I really do think it will help my metabolism and weight loss.

I really hope that by the end of February I will have my 28lb (2 stone) certificate…fingers crossed.

Weight Loss: 3lbs

Total Weight Loss: 1 stone 7lbs (21lbs)

For the Love of Food: The February Diet Diary:

I love food. I really do. There’s no denying it. And I love my family and my friends. And there’s no denying that spending time with family and friends can lead, inevitably to the eating, gorging and gorbing on delicious munchies. I’ve been there. Done that. This is why I’m overweight.

As we emerge from the dullness and socially barren wasteland that is January, we are all starting to go to more social events (well, with two kids I don’t really, but you know what I mean) Anyway, a wise friend invited me to her house for dinner and I was reminded that she once told me that when you’re watching your weight, you should never apologise for what you don’t eat – especially at a social occasion.

Feb Collage 1

Am I right in thinking that most of us who have attended a party or a meal or event have felt pressured to eat the food that is offered for fear of appearing rude or being a ‘party pooper’? I know I have. There’s nothing more cringey than having a plate of heavenly smelling crackers and cheese shoved in your face, or a mouthwatering wedge of Victoria sponge flaunted at you and having to say those hideous words;

‘No thanks, I’m on a diet.’

Ew.

You feel like A) the biggest idiot and B) a total spoilsport and not to mention C) completely angry that you can’t join in everyone else and have some cake. Then you spend the rest of the party resenting the cake like its your worst enemy and eventually sneaking off to the toilet with the cake shoved into your handbag; sobbing and shoving it down your throat. Anybody? No? Just me?

But my friend once reminded me that you are the one that puts the food in your own mouth and you are the only one who has control over it so you should never feel ashamed to just say ‘no thanks’. Despite the slight embarrassment and initial feeling of ‘weirdness’; it won’t actually bother or affect anyone else in the room if you do or don’t eat that garlic doughball – but it will affect YOU. YOUR WEIGHT. YOUR SELF ESTEEM. So with that in mind, my advice to myself and to anyone else trying to lose weight – if you’re out at a social gathering, plan ahead. If you’re going to have a treat – make sure you stop at the appropriate amount. If you’re not going to have a treat, eat something filling and healthy before you leave the house or bring a low calorie snack with you.

Some other recipes that helped me through the week were The Hairy Dieter’s Healthy Cottage Pie, my Mum’s Homemade Vegetable Soup, and if you’re on the go, the Marks and Spencer Feta Cheese with Slow Roasted Tomatoes Pasta Salad is only 9 Propoints, according to my calculator.

I went to my wise friend’s house last weekend for dinner and some drinks and she cooked the loveliest vegetable stir fry, and for dessert we had low sugar meringue nests, fresh fruit and yoghurt – our own low calorie Eton Mess.

Neither of us had to apologise for what we ate…

…and the drinks. Well, we have to have a treat to stay human, don’t we?

Getting on the scales this week was a pleasant 2lb loss. Happy days.

Weight Loss: 2lbs

Total Weight Loss: 1 Stone 9lbs (23lbs)

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