Saturday, 30 August 2008

The Self-Sabotage Fairy!

Grrrrr I'm so frustrated with myself! I know I'm in for a gain this week because I've allowed myself to be careless, to not monitor my food intake properly, to eat things without knowing the syn value first, and worst of all, to eat something I shouldn't because I'm with people who are eating. (Jam and cream scone if you want to know!)

I know these pitfalls exist. I know that if I fall into them I won't lose weight. I know what I have to do to reach my target. But the self-sabotage fairy is sitting on my shoulder whispering things like "you won't gain 2lbs just by eating a scone!" and "how much difference will it really make if there's a bit too much meat in the chilli" not to mention the all time humdinger "you deserve a treat!" How much do I hate that one!

I'm not writing the week off, I'm doing all I can to haul a loss from the jaws of a gain. But my scales, although unreliable, do tend to accurately show an upward or downward trend. And it's up this week.

On the plus side I'm walking enough to exhaust 2 greyhounds, to the point one of them lay down on the mat last night and refused to go out again when I put her lead on. Some personal trainer she is! ;)

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Creamy pudding and sympathy

Week 33

Weight: 17st 9.5lb
Loss this week: 1.5lb
Total lost: 72lb

Yay another loss! I've still got a very close eye on that "15st by Christmas" target and it is still achievable, but only if I keep my eye firmly on the ball now. There isn't a lot of room for slip ups if I want to make it, and I so do want to make it. Obviously if I don't, it won't be a disaster because I will still have lost a lot of weight over the course of a year, and no doubt at all that I will continue. But for motivation, you can't beat hitting targets! I've always worked very well to a deadline so I think it's time to really see my deadline approach and tackle it head on now!

Last week Dietgirl showed us her recipe for Eton Mess, substituting 2% greek yoghurt for the whipped cream, and I vowed to make it. Not only did I make it, I served it to guests and it went down a storm! I have had the real deal in all it's creamy sugariness, and the low fat version is every bit as nice, no question. And takes a couple of minutes to make. For other Slimming World followers out there, I used the Total 0% greek yoghurt which is of course free food, as are the strawberries. And I used meringue nests from Sainsbury's which are 2.5 syns each. So if you allow 1 meringue per person that's an delicious sweet creamy pudding for a measly 2.5 syns. Well it would be rude not to make it really!

Finally today I'm going to use my blog to whip up a little sympathy for my poor daughter who, at 6 years of age, is suffering with shingles. I didn't even know kids could get it! Poor baby, she is doing really well but she is in pain. Lots of love and very gentle hugs for Rebecca, get well soon baby xxxxxxx

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Talking of great underwear...

I took this photo so you could all point and laugh at the state of my gorgeous Bravissimo bra. But when I looked at the picture I spotted something much much more exciting!

Look! I have collar bones!!

I suddenly feel all feminine and delicate ;) I still need to go bra shopping though!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Undress the Nation

As promised, a thoughtful and considered post today - I have been pondering my thoughts on this one for a few days.

I recently saw a "debate" on a parenting forum entitled "Celebrating Obesity?" and the subject matter was Trinny & Suzannah's recent programme featuring size 16+ women and their struggles to find flattering clothing. It's still available to view on ITV's website if you missed it as I did, and want to watch.

The focus of the programme was (in my eyes) helping larger women find flattering clothes that would make them feel and look good. The focus of the debate in question was how unhealthy they all are and how could anyone think it was OK to celebrate their fatness. And because one of the "fat women" (she is a size 18, I'm still aspiring to that!) made a throw away comment about designers only catering to "size 10 freaks", slim women got all up in arms about "thinnism".

So here's my critique of the programme, in all it's glory.

First of all, I have to say I did cringe at the size 10 freaks comment. I'm sure the woman who made it would love to be a size 10 freak and I'm also sure it was made in jest, with an undercurrent of jealousy maybe. But not a great way to get people on your side! Another thing I found very cringe worthy was Trinny & Suzannah donning fat suits to go on a shopping trip with 2 of the ladies. That was patronising and unnecessary. They could still have seen how hard it is to find good clothes without the fat suits. But the women on the show didn't appear to feel patronised by it so hey, who am I to judge!

Having discovered that you can't buy a size 22 evening dress easily on the high street, they then confronted a group of retailers about their offerings. Now this is another part I just didn't like. I saw no point at all in asking representatives from stores that do not in anyway cater for the 16+ market to turn up. They don't have to sell plus size ranges, any more than they have to sell sausages for god's sake! Better to concentrate on the retailers who do profess to sell larger ranges, but make a dog's ear of it in my humble opinion. Naturally they offended the retailers by ripping into their ranges which I guess is their confrontational style, but certainly it wouldn't be mine.

On to the intersting part of the show - this is why we watch - looking at how to dress to flatter the shape of our bodies. Empire line dresses, good underwear (and oh my god what a difference good underwear makes!) and bizarrely jackets that won't fasten! Yes, you read that right...they put big busted ladies in coats and jackets 2 sizes too small so they won't fasten, to allegedly give a smaller appearance.

Not. Convinced.

A group of fashion students designed a range of clothing for the women, which inevitably needed lots and lots of adjustment before the garments where anything approaching flattering. But in the end they did a good job and the women looked great. And it was bloody heart warming to see that they felt great too, so much so that many of them were reduced to tears. It takes a hard hearted woman to watch that and then say they shouldn't celebrate because they are so unhealthy (Does anyone really think the debaters really give a damn about the health of these women?!)

Representatives from Evans and Elvi where wheeled out to view the collection and declared themselves impressed. They were very gracious considering their own ranges had been under the spotlight at the start of the show.

Here's the thing though. Even I can see that it would be very hard for a high street retailer to replicate the cut and fit of the tailor made garments shown. We don't all have the same shape so one size is never ever going to fit all. So if they were to go off and try to make an off the peg evening dress for size 22 women, how could it ever fit and flatter in the same way as the bespoke dress that has been fitted and tailored for the one woman who will wear it? I'm sure the same is true in a size 10, but does the problem not scale up with the size? I suspect it would.

So are we about to see an influx of fabulous fitted clothes in Evans? Well I will watch and see, but somehow I doubt it.

But great underwear - we can all do that!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Hang out the bunting!

Week 32

Weight: 17st 11lb
Loss this week: 4lb
Total lost: 70.5lb

Imagine me here doing a little happy dance - ok a big big happy dance! I smashed the 18st barrier that has held me back for so so long, and grabbed myself a shiny 5st award into the bargain - I bloody knew last week's gain was just an anomoly! Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah! (I was sort of singing that!)

I can't do a big flashy entry right now, sadly, because I have guests (and apparently my chilli is standing at number 1 on the leader board!). So I will return with a thoughtful and considered post in the next day or so.


Saturday, 16 August 2008

Red Alert

Today I am having a "red alert day" which means, in a nutshell that I am having very strong food cravings and in my battle to keep the "bad" food at bay, I risk seriously overeating anyway! Aaarrrrrgh!

I'm craving sugary carbs it seems. How Rebecca's Frosties made it from the kitchen to her belly without diverting to mine this morning I will never know (her bowl may have been 1 spoonful light...!) And then there's the breadbin, which contains a wealth of opportunities - jam butties, cheese on toast, toast and jam, did I mention cheese on toast, oh, and look, there's crunchy peanut butter - uh oh!

So how am I managing it? Well I had toast, as perfectly allowed, but this means I've eaten into my Healthy Extra allowance for the day right at the very start, which is often bad news. And I used syns to have some butter and jam on it, same problem as the toast really. I followed with a big chunk of melon to try to get the sweet hit without the damage. And I have filled up on savoury rice for lunch and then took the dogs for a very long walk indeed. The dogs are in a state of collapse on the living room floor now, and I do actually feel much much better.

So. Sweet sugary carbs bad, didn't stop the cravings at all. Long walks good, crisis possibly averted. Must remember that lesson for next time!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Happy Healthy Eating.

Thank you for all your lovely supportive comments on my "Woe is Me" post on Monday! Have no fear, I remain firmly committed, am fully on track and in fact my scales do show a small loss this morning so fingers crossed this was just a mad diet anomoly sent to test my mettle!

I *will* do this!

I don't talk about what I eat very much so I have decided a food post is in order. In order to be successful on the Slimming World plan, I have had to make a real effort to re-educate my palate. If you are not familiar with the plan, basically there are 2 ways to go - red days mean plentiful lean meat, fish, fruit and veg, and a very modest allowance of brown pasta, or wholemeal bread, or potato cooked in a healthy way. Green days allow for an abundance of pasta, rice, potato, and pulses, fruit & veg, and of course a small allowance for meat, wholemeal bread and other healthy choices. Once you've read and understood the plan, it's very simple and you soon get into the swing of it. Initially I tried a more or less equal mix of red and green days, but I found that red days left me craving carbs, feeling generally hungrier, and my purse much lighter! So I quickly moved to 99.99% green days which suit me very well.

My new best friend is Quorn. I used to think the mushroomy stuff was vile beyond redemption, but it is just a case of finding the right products to ease into it and then only a matter of time before your favourite thing at tasting sessions are the ones made with Quorn! The product that swung me round was Southern Style Burgers. At 2.5 Syns each (from a daily allowance of up to 15 Syns) they are syns well spent. Lots of the other burger type products are wonderful too, as of course are the Quorn mince and Chicken Style Pieces. I am afraid the bangers are still vile and disgusting though!

I am a fan of a lot more vegetables these days too. I have always loved fruit so no learning curve to speak of there, but veg has perhaps not featured highly enough in my diet down the year. There's nothing I like more now though than a delicious serving of roast veg - I use whatever veg is lying around in my kitchen but I especially like root veg.

And homemade soups - mmmmmmmmmm! Lunch today will be homemade sweetcorn soup with coriander and it is to die for! Roll on lunchtime! And for tea, egg, beans and SW chips. Happy days!

Monday, 11 August 2008

Oh dear.

Week 31

Weight: 18st 1lb
Gain this week: 0.5lb
Total lost: 66.5lb

Somehow I've gained a half a pound this week, and I don't know why because I've been totally on track, and exercised, done the best I can really. This is a major psychological blow because I've been 18 something for a very long time now - I think I arrived here in May. I've been fine with the gains I expected, where I'd been off plan, but it's much harder to accept this. I'm afraid I didn't stay to class because I needed to escape to lick my wounds.

I still feel like crying if I'm honest.

Sorry for the woe is my post, I'll try harder next time!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Gok, Gok, Wherefore art thou, Gok?

Following on from my post about my clothes not fitting I have had a meander round the shops to see if I can pick up a few pieces. I came home empty handed because a: I don't really quite know what size I am, b: I'm not accustomed to shops other than Evans so I felt very much out of my comfort zone and c: I just don't know what suits me now!

I have established that fitted tops look good on me, enhancing the "hourglass" part of my shape. But I can't get much beyond that. I tried on a shirt in Dorothy Perkins that was fabulous - fitted in at the waist, slight flare over the hips, detailing at the bust to draw attention to my best (though shrinking away!) assets. And then the whole look was destroyed by the sleeves. Puff sleeves. That ended at the fattest part of my upper arms. My eye was drawn right there and they looked extra extra large surrounded by puff sleeves!

Undeterred, I find another nice fitted shirt, but this one lacked the detail that showed my best bits. OK it lacked the detail that showed my worst bits too, but why couldn't we have compromised! A couple of Tshirts later I was losing heart and didn't even bother with the trousers I had picked up.

Trousers. A whole other minefield. Too short or too long. Jeans are not a good look on me, but oh so practical, unless the hems are trailing in the puddles, which is most of the time since it's August! And then there's the whole gaping waist issue going on.

I really don't know what shape skirts I should be looking for, I mean I seriously have no clue. I've hidden away in dark trousers for so long. I do have a couple of skirts but I don't feel especially comfortable in them and can never wait to get them off and get comfy at the end of the day.

So what I need is a Gok in my pocket, to help me throw a few key pieces together and make me look fabulous right here and now!

Gok, if you're reading (if not, why not??) help me please!!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Let them Eat Cake!

Week 30

Weight: 18st 0.5lb
Loss this week: 3.5lb
Total lost: 67lb

Yay I lost all my gains! That's a good result, I'm happy as I can be with that. Now to get the SW scales to say 17 something. My own scales, that have pretty much consistently weighed me 2lb lighter than SW for the last 30 weeks or so have had me at 17 something for about 3 weeks now! According to them I was 17st 9lb 30 mins before official weigh in. Why have they forsaken me! I guess this means I can't trust them anymore. Maybe my secret scale hopping days are due to end. I'll stop soon. Maybe when the difference becomes really bad..... ;)

At SW tonight I heard a lot of negative language around food and eating..."I was bad" "I've only myself to blame" "It's all my fault" and similar. I hate that food, which is both essential for life, and an absolute pleasure, becomes a sin, a guilty secret, a stick with which to beat ourselves. If there is a problem inherent with slimming clubs I would say it is that it does seem to make people beat themselves up in this way. I don't know about other classes, but this certainly doesn't stem from our consultant. I've never heard Heather berate anyone for their choices. And it is a choice. Stay on plan, Food Optimise 100% and lose weight most weeks, or cut loose, eat and drink what you fancy, and deal with a gain.

My advice (for what that's worth!)is this. If you choose to cut loose and take the gain, enjoy it, don't feel guilty. Just get back on track as soon as possible. Get that line drawn and move on! Life is way way to short to waste it feeling guilty about eating a cake.

Just make sure the cake is a really really good one.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Comfy Slippers

I am delighted to be able to report, more or less half way through this week, that I have slipped comfortably and easily back into The Plan. It was like putting on my comfy old slippers, no pain or angst involved. Phew! Always good to know you have things under control. I feel better when I'm eating better. It feels odd for me to say this, but I could feel every bit of those 2 extra pounds I gained while I was away. I felt bloated and sluggish and remarkably my heartburn had returned with a vengeance. I never would have believed that 2lbs could make such an impact to be honest. I doubt I've shed them yet, but I have already lost the heartburn again and feel lighter and slimmer deep down inside!

I'm feeling a bit of clothes angst at the moment though. Nothing is quite the right size. My work uniforms are too big, my jeans are too big, my skirts are too big. My tops are mainly OKish, and I have a few pairs of trousers in the "Can do them up but they feel too tight" category so I have something to shrink into. But right here right now I feel a bit of a scruff to say the least! I need a clothes fairy godmother to regularly replace the stuff in my wardrobe and drawers with clothes that fit and look good. For free, obviously.

On the subject of clothes, I whipped out my fat trousers for a laugh (the one pair I kept for the special photo at the end when all the weight is lost)and I can already almost get both legs into the one leg of the trousers - those things are huuuuuge! I'd love to tell you they were baggy on me.

But I can't.