Every Loss is a Win

I just realised I didn’t write a post last week! Well for those of you who aren’t connected with me on Facebook, I lost another 2.5 pounds last Tuesday and finally got my half a stone award after 4 weeks! Yay!

I wasn’t as successful this week but a loss is still a loss:

Current weight: 13 stone 1.5 pounds

Total weight loss this week: 1/2 a pound

Total weight loss so far (after 5 weeks): 9.5 pounds

I was actually quite pleasantly surprised because I had a few too many cocktails last Friday to celebrate the completion of my dissertation. I didn’t even feel guilty because we totally deserved it; however, I wasn’t as strict as I could have been for the remainder of the week to make up for it. Don’t get me wrong, I completely stuck to the plan every day apart from Friday, but I could have been better. So any loss is a win really! Especially when I ate a lot of pasta and potatoes (all free – but seriously, how did I lose any weight at all?!).

That being said, it’s time to really push myself to get below the 13 stone mark. I’m SO close! I can hardly remember the last time I weighed under 13 stone but it does feel like it’s going to be a little tougher to get there because it’s a weight that my body is used to… but it’s happening! Let’s see if I can get a 12 on the scales next week and kiss goodbye to number 13 for good…

I’m also thinking about trying a new Slimming World recipe every week to keep things interesting. This week, I decided to try their Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe served with brown rice and plenty of steamed vegetables. I have to say, it was delicious. Even Joe liked it, so you know it’s a winner.

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SW Sweet and Sour Chicken – delicious and completely syn free.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any recipe recommendations!

Until next time 🙂

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

It’s going to be a short post from me again but it’s been another good week!

Current weight: 13 stone 4.5 pounds

Weight loss this week: 1.5 pounds

Total weight loss so far: 6.5 pounds 

I am SO close to officially losing half a stone and that’s only after 3 weeks!

I was actually feeling a little disappointed with the result initially because I was looking at a potential loss of 3 pounds the day before; however, I’ve since realised that any loss is an extremely positive result and should be very happy, which I am!

I think I need to remember that my main goal is to lose 1-2 pounds a week and so far I am smashing that goal right out of the park. I am totally on track and cannot get upset if I don’t get a huge weight loss each week because that would be unrealistic and would just set me up to fail. Slow and steady wins the race!

I’m now just very determined to get that half a stone award next week and I’ve also set a small goal to get below the 13 stone mark in 3 weeks. I never want to see “13 stone” on my scales ever again after this!

 

Slimming the Stress Away

Dissertation stress is ramping up as the deadline draws nearer so it’s going to be a short post from me this week. That being said, I have stuck to the plan 100% and I’ve found that so easy to do. Simple AND successful. It’s been another good week…

Current weight: 13 stone 6 pounds

This week’s weight loss: 2.5 pounds

Total weight loss so far (since starting SW 2 weeks ago): 5 pounds

I tried a couple more Slimming World recipes this week which were very successful. On Friday I had some serious craving for some comfort food so I tried the SW Deluxe Macaroni Cheese which only amounted to 4 syns per portion (if using skimmed milk as a Healthy Extra A option). It turned out brilliantly and completely satisfied my cravings.

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Deluxe Macaroni with leeks, mushrooms and sun-dried tomato.

I’ve also discovered M&S Count On Us chocolate mousse pots and Rowan Glen low fat toffee yogurt which are both around 4 syns so they’ve proved to be excellent treats at night if I’ve used up more syns during the day.

Another thing I’ve really noticed this week is how much more enjoyment I’m getting out of cooking and preparing meals. I’m putting that little bit more time aside in the evenings for this, ramping up the tunes and having a dance around the kitchen which has proved to be an excellent form of stress relief! Feeling good all round! See you next week.

 

Syns and Small Wins

Well, I can safely say this is my favourite plan so far and one I feel I can really stick to for a long time. For those of you following this journey, you’re probably feeling pretty fed up of watching me set myself up for yet another failure – trust me, it’s even worse living it. So to find a sustainable plan that allows me to enjoy food AND lose weight? It’s the absolute dream. I feel so hopeful and so determined to do this once and for all.

Anyway, I’ll get straight to it. I lost 2.5 pounds this week. I’m really happy and I thoroughly hope that those small successes continue on a weekly basis!

What I’m even happier about is that I was able to enjoy my Birthday on Sunday and still lose weight. I didn’t allow myself any cake but I certainly didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything either. I treated myself but just didn’t go completely overboard. I kept the plan in mind at all times.

For the rest of the week I really stuck to the plan and enjoyed up to 15 syns a day. I made sure I set aside enough time in the evenings to prepare meals for the following day and that certainly made things so much easier. I also created a “cheat sheet” which lists all of my favourite free foods, healthy extra A and B options with measurements and my favourite syns along with their values. I sent that document to my phone so that I always had to available to check and this really allowed me to familiarise myself with everything during this first week. I also took advantage of the Slimming World app and mobile website which provides plenty of helpful tips, tools and recipes to give you the additional support that you need.

For me, a typical food day would look like this:

Breakfast (cooked with light-cal spray):

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Low fat sausage
  • Grilled tomatoes
  • Mushrooms

Morning break:

  • 1 Hi-Fi bar (Slimming World brand) or Alpen Light bar (1/2 of my healthy B option).
  • Small skinny latte (1/3 of my healthy A option)

Lunch:

  • Bean chilli with a variety of vegetables
  • Apple

Afternoon break:

  • 1 Hi-Fi bar or Alpen Light bar (1/2 of my healthy B option)
  • Tea with skimmed milk (1/3 of my healthy A option)

Dinner (cooked with light-cal spray):

  • Brown egg fried rice with chicken, asparagus, peas, onion, mushrooms and green beans.

Evening treat:

  • 5-6 coconut rounds (10-12 syns)
  • Sliced apple
  • Cup of tea with skimmed milk  (1/3 of my healthy A option)

So there it is! Reading through it, it seems like a lot actually… There was lots of variation throughout the week of course but that’s how my days looked for the most part.

Thanks again for the ongoing support. I won’t let you guys down this time! See you next week.

 

 

Quark is my New Best Friend

It happened again. I wasn’t getting the results, my weight loss plateau’d and I gave up. I lost control and I went carb crazy. It’s only been about a week and a half but I’ve gained the weight back, and more…

So I’m turning it around. I’ve joined Slimming World and for the first time in my life, I feel truly optimistic.

I had my first meeting yesterday and was amazed to hear about some fantastic results within the group. The best part? ALL THE DRIED PASTA YOU WANT (you just have to watch what you have with it – I ‘ll touch on this later).

The reason why I am so optimistic is because the plan is just so realistic. I was flipping through the information and recipes thinking “I can absolutely do this!”. After spending the majority of my life reluctantly cutting out certain foods, I am so excited about the prospect of being able to enjoy eating again. It’s just all about moderation and optimisation, something I’ve never been able to get under control before.

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I’m already thinking about and planning meals differently, attempting to fill a third of my plate with fruit/veg and another third with protein. I’m also discovering products like quark and passata which are total life savers. They’re free foods so you can have as much of them as you want (dust? anyone? no?). Combine them together and you’ve got a brilliant alternative to tomato and mascerpone pasta sauce, which I can tell you, is definitely not worth the syns.

You get a maximum of 15 of these “syns” a day and you’re encouraged to use them. That’s what makes this plan so sustainable. You’re encouraged to enjoy a treat, every day. Again, it’s just all about moderation. If I want to enjoy a cheeky chocolate bar, I absolutely can, but it just means I can’t have cheese on my baked potato for lunch. I’ve got to weigh up my options and decide what I want and what I can save until the next day. It’s so simple but it really gets me thinking about what I’m eating. These are also habits which you can develop for life.

It’s also really interesting to see how many syns some foods can be. Almond croissants, for example. I knew they weren’t great, but I didn’t realise they were THAT BAD. One almond croissant is 20.5 syns. The scary part? In the past, I wouldn’t just have one but TWO of those bad boys. And that was only breakfast. I mean, at least I know where I was going wrong…

Full breakfast as pictured above? I can have that all day, every day if I wanted. Tiny, unfulfilling almond croissant? Not so much. And I am totally okay with that.

I weighed in yesterday at a whopping 13 stone 11 pounds. That’s the heaviest I have ever weighed before. My long-term goal is to lose 4 stone and the short-term goal is to lose around 1-2 pounds a week, which seems totally do-able. I’ve got 16 weeks until my trip to Croatia and 19 weeks until graduation and realistically, I could lose 3 stone by then if I really stick to this plan. I can do this. I’ve got to.

I’m really excited.

 

Forever 7 Day Shake Challenge – Day 3

Things have been going okay! The only struggle I seem to be having is finding the time to write a post every day… Busy, busy times.

I’m certainly enjoying my protein shakes for breakfast. It’s so quick, easy and sweet which is exactly what I need and crave in the morning. I can see myself having more protein shakes for breakfast in future, even after this challenge is complete.

As the day goes on and as I begin to crave warmer, more savoury foods, it gets much harder.

I am also beginning to feel a little frustrated because my current weight just doesn’t seem to want to budge. I think I hoped that suddenly I’d shed the pounds going into this challenge but that hasn’t happened yet. Mind you, it probably takes more than 3 days before you see a result! I need to be more patient…

Despite not currently seeing a difference in my weight, I certainly feel a difference. I am again, much less bloated and way more energetic.

The Forever protein powder is great and comes in a range of flavours. There are also lots of recipes that I have yet to try. For those of you not familiar with the Forever brand, it’s certainly worth checking out! They offer a wide range of good quality health products and I’d certainly recommend them. If you’re interested in finding out more, get in touch and I’ll direct you to a friend of mine who is a Forever product representative.

I’ll keep plugging away and we will see how things go! If nothing else happens, this challenge has certainly changed my perspectives on protein shakes for the better.

Forever 7 Day Shake Challenge – Day 1

Today I started a seven day shake challenge and I’m going to write a daily post about it.

Here’s what the challenge involves:

-Two of my main meals a day will be replaced with a Forever Lite Ultra protein shake and the third will consist of a high protein/low-carb meal.

-Each shake contains 50% of my required daily vitamins and nutrients and act as meal replacements.

-I also get free foods (all fruit and veg) which I can snack on throughout the day.

Day one was a success. I had very little time this morning to come up with anything inventive so I quickly blended some vanilla Forever Lite Ultra powder with 300ml of coconut milk and ran out the door.

When I finally arrived at my first university class I was able to sip away at the protein drink. It was still cold and well blended but I was sure to give it another good shake, just to be sure. It’s been a while since I’ve had one of these so I was pleasantly surprised when I remembered that it tastes just like a milkshake!

I was certainly slightly skeptical that the one shake would keep me satisfied until lunchtime; however,  my stomach didn’t rumble once. In fact, I felt quite energetic despite missing my usual morning coffee and didn’t think about food during the rest of my classes.

Because I didn’t want to carry around a second shake with me all day, I opted for an avocado and goats cheese salad for lunch instead. Normally, I would choose something quite high in carbs, especially on such a cold and busy Monday, but I was still feeling quite satisfied from the morning protein shake.

Apart from lunch, I had an apple (one of my free foods) in the afternoon to keep me going until dinner.

I didn’t get home until about 7pm this evening and I’ll be honest, I was feeling pretty tired and was craving something warm, savoury and comforting. So I’ll admit, the thought of drinking a sweet, cold protein shake was a little off-putting. For that reason, I whipped up a half-portion of spiralised butternut squash and corgetti to make myself feel better without feeling guilty; then I had the protein shake as “dessert”. I was perfectly happy after that!

At the end of day one, I feel very positive. Looking back, I think it might make more sense to have the shakes for breakfast and lunch, allowing me to enjoy a warm meal in the evening, because that just seems to be what my body wants/needs. On a whole however, I’m certainly surprised at how satisfied I felt after drinking the shakes and how easy it has actually been today. Because I’m not much of a morning person, whipping up a quick protein shake also keeps things simple and easy – hardly any fuss and no real need for me to get up any earlier than usual! Bonus!