Finding Success in Unlikely Places

I’ve had my first (albeit minor) gain during this Slimming World journey. I knew it was coming after weighing myself on my home scales this week but I still felt pretty rubbish and actually seriously considered not going to my formal weigh-in on Tuesday night… But I did it AND I made sure I had a Slimming World lasagne cooked and ready for me when I got home.

I’m not sure what caused a gain this week and I was particularly gutted because I actually felt that this had been the best week I’ve had in a while. Hopefully it’s just a natural part of the process but I’m certainly being a bit more careful at the moment and have made a few modifications regarding my syns!

Current weight: 12 stone 12.5

Weight loss this week: gained 1/2 a pound

Total weight loss so far: 12.5 pounds 

I also realised that this has still been an extremely successful week due to the fact that I attended my formal weigh-in despite knowing I had gained weight. The weather was pretty cold and miserable on Tuesday (seriously, it was snowing) and I could have easily stayed in and ordered a takeaway instead, but I didn’t – so I’m feeling pretty proud of myself about that.

There’s no point in dwelling on it any more however and I have already noticed a positive change on my home scales so we will see how things go next week!

As mentioned, I tried the Slimming World lasagne recipe which turned out to be fantastic! I was in need of some delicious comfort food to combat the miserable weather and it totally satisfied those cravings. It was very quick and easy to make – I also used Quorn mince, which made things even easier.

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I also discovered the wonders of Muller Light and realised that the majority of their products are free on Slimming World which means I can have as much as I like! My most favourite flavour at the moment is their limited edition coconut and lime – it’s so good!

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I’ll keep going and am still feeling very positive about everything. I am on placement at the moment however – hence why this post was a bit late – but I will do my best to keep you all updated! Again, please get in touch if you have any recipe recommendations.

Until next time 🙂

Another Pound Bites the Dust

I’m 7 weeks into this Slimming World journey and am now just one pound away from losing a whole stone!!

Current weight: 12 stone 11

Weight loss this week: 1 pound

Total weight loss so far: 13 pounds

I wasn’t sure how this week would turn out after having a bit more time off, celebrating the completion of our final uni assessment and also the fact that it was the Easter holidays. So much enticing chocolate on sale at the moment… I resisted however! I allowed myself one creme egg but otherwise treated myself to Easter-themed bath bombs from Lush instead. It was nice not to feel bloated and guilty for once, just pampered and refreshed!

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“What Came First?” Easter Bath Bomb from Lush

I also finally got round to trying the Slimming World Diet Cola Chicken. A lot of people have raved about this recipe and I can see why! It was fairly quick and easy to make and so tasty – I’ll definitely be making it again soon. Thanks to Jenny for recommending it this week!

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SW Diet Cola Chicken

So small goals for the next few weeks include losing another pound this week to get that stone award, losing 2 more pounds over the next 2 weeks to get my Club 10 award (meaning I’ll have lost 10% of my body weight) and to lose a total of 5 pounds in the next month to get myself down to 12 and a half stone. I’ve also got to try a new recipe! I’m thinking lasagna or a roast… Which one should I choose?!

I’m really happy that I’ve managed to lose weight every week so far and hoping I’m able to continue. At the moment, it feels like I can do anything and I am so humbled by all of the support and kind messages I’ve been receiving from everyone since I started this back up again! So, thank you! It really keeps me motivated 🙂

Until next week!

13 Stone No More

It was a bit of a stressful week as I worked towards my final university assessment just 11 days after our dissertation hand-in. I spent the majority of my time living in the library and I thought it was going to be tough to manage Slimming World on top of that, but it really wasn’t! And I have the results to prove it:

Current weight: 12 stone 13 pounds

Total weight loss this week: 2.5 pounds

Total weight loss so far: 12 pounds

I am absolutely delighted and so pleased to finally kiss goodbye to that 13 stone marker! Also just 2 pounds away from losing a whole stone… Feeling great.

I have never been able to lose weight over an assessment period before and yet I’ve achieved it with ease whilst writing a dissertation AND completing a final assessment. Phew!

Here’s photo evidence of me feeling good before heading in for my presentation yesterday, because, why not:

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There wasn’t much to it and I’m actually still quite surprised to have managed it considering the food that I ate. A big batch of SW macaroni cheese, baked potatoes with tuna, Alpen Light bars, omelettes, salads and fruit got me through a tough week. I suppose it seemed like a lot of food at the time but but the choices were much smarter than my usual assessment period diet of croissants, pre-packaged sandwiches, chocolate, crisps and pizza/lasagne.

I didn’t have time to try a new SW recipe this week but I’ll try to get back into that next week. I’m also hoping to incorporate more exercise into my daily life so we’ll hopefully see how that will make an impact.

Until next week! 🙂

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 🙂

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.

 

Weigh-In Wednesday 2

So it’s been just over a week now and I am back into the swing of things. Starting isn’t the hard part, it’s being able to come up with a plan that you can stick to long-term! I’m still working that out; however, cutting out refined sugars and cutting back on carbs has worked out just fine for now. I’ve also been going on daily walks and I intend to get back into a more regular yoga routine over the next few weeks!

Anyway, enough rambling. Here’s my weekly weigh-in results:

Current weight: 13 stone 2 pounds 

Weight loss this week: 4 pounds

Acumulative weight loss: 6 pounds

Yippee!

It’s certainly not enough for me to notice a difference when I look in the mirror but I do feel a lot better already. I know, I know… I say this every time.

My goal for next week is to get under the 13 stone mark. Think I can do it?

In other news, I have recently discovered a simple recipe for a kale and chicken caesar salad and I think I am in love! It’s so quick and easy to make and a suitable lunch option for days when you are out and about. I’ve never really liked the taste of kale but the home made caesar dressing is absorbed by the leaves, which in turn breaks it down… and it tastes absolutely divine. I’ve included a photo and the recipe below.

Kale and Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe  (modified version of an original recipe by Hemsley and Hemsley)

Ingredients:

  • 200g of kale
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tspn Dijon mustard
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g parmesan (plus more to sprinkle on top)
  • 4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil
  • Cooked chicken breast and/or croutons (optional)

Method:

Combine anchovies, egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, parmesan and oil in a blender until smooth.

Combine with kale – massaging into leaves.

Let salad marinate for approximately one hour. Toss in chicken, croutons or whatever else you fancy, sprinkle with black pepper and enjoy!

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New Start

I’m still here!

It’s been such a struggle to get back on track since my last post. I started to lose momentum as my third year at university progressed and by exam time, healthy eating and weight loss was unfortunately no longer a priority.

By the time summer rolled around, I was back where I started and feeling more frustrated and upset than ever. I was so fed up that I couldn’t find the motivation within me to even try again. I had such a negative mentality: “why start again when I’ve failed countless times before?” 

Since then, I’ve had a bit of a wake-up call. It wasn’t just the way I looked, it was the way I felt. I started to have panic attacks at night because I felt so unhealthy. I didn’t feel good.

I spent a long time planning this time. I’m about to go into my fourth and final year of a tough degree. If I couldn’t stick with it through second and third year, how the hell am I going to make it work in my fourth honours year? I was a bit stumped.

I decided to start with small changes and go from there, incorporating more health foods into my diet and trying to walk more regularly (getting those 10 000 steps a day!).

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Yogalosophy by Mandy Ingber is a brilliant book by the way!

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Then the naked issue of Women’s Health Magazine came out and it all clicked. The magazine featured a variety of beautiful, inspirational women of all different shapes and sizes who don’t diet. They are healthy and happy… and that’s all that matters:

“I simply want to be the best, healthy, toned, happy version of myself.” – Iskra Lawrence, Model (I completely idolise this woman right now)

“Eating all the kale in the world isn’t going to make you happy.” – Madeline Shaw, Nutritionist & Writer

“Eating well and getting fit is about feeling amazing.” – Gemma Atkinson, Actress

Those were just a few quotes from the feature. It was so inspirational and made me realise that above all else, I need to be happy. That’s when I decided that I wasn’t going to “diet” anymore. I’m not going to put sole emphasis on losing weight this time and create more pressure for myself (note that the name of this blog has changed from “weight loss adventures” to “lifestyle adventures”). I’m not going to cut any specific foods, I’m just going to be more mindful when it comes to eating. I’m reducing my intake of refined sugars and carbs, eating more health foods and exercising more.

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Avocado, eggs and tomatoes feature very heavily in my breakfasts these days…
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More home cooked meals

I’m about three weeks in and I already feel so much better. By eating more fruit and veg, keeping a food diary on MyFitnessPal and doing more exercise, I no longer have the desire to eat sugar and carbs… and as a bonus, I’ve lost around 7 pounds. It doesn’t even feel like I’m trying.

With the Great British Bake Off about to start, my friends and I have decided to try baking something once a week, sticking to the show’s weekly categories. I’ve set myself an even tougher goal: to make all of my bakes refined sugar-free. I thought it might be fun to share my recipes with you each week, letting you know what worked and what didn’t!

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Raw, vegan cacao and hazelnut cake and wholewheat apple and cinnamon muffins (all refined sugar-free)

This week is cake week and I’ve got a recipe in mind, so I will let you know how that goes!

In the meantime, here’s a recipe I tried on Sunday for raw millionaire shortbreads (vegan and refined sugar-free). They turned out brilliantly and taste amazing (see photos and link below).

Until next time!

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Looks good!
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Tastes good!

Recipe for Raw Millionaire Shortbread (The Wallflower Kitchen): http://wallflowerkitchen.com/nakd-raw-millionaire-shortbread/