Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Fame Game

Week 38

Weight: 17st 10lb
Loss this week: 1lb
Total lost: 71.5lb

Humph! That felt like a lot of work for 1 pound off! I suppose not everything shows on the scales immediately though, so I maybe had really gained more than 1lb last week so have in reality lost more than 1 this week. Or something like that!

It's on the way down and that is of course the main thing. But I'm going to have to work extra hard this week now to be on track for my 10% off by Christmas!

The challenge this week is to try something new foodwise, so I am searching for a recipe that is cheap, simple and appealing. I have found one in this month's Slimming World magazine for 3 Bean Chilli. I already have most of the ingredients for that one in the cupboard so I may well try that tonight. I will report back on how it goes!

I forgot to mention last week, we had a press photographer at class who took a group photo of us...I would have been happier with a bit of lippy on but hey, maybe this is a lesson to me to be well groomed at all times, just in case! I don't know whether the picture appeared in last week's local paper because I forgot to buy it! I'd make a rubbish celeb!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

A Recipe for Success

This week is going along nicely. I've eaten healthily, lots of good walks leaving me the required "slightly out of breath" and I think I maybe may have lost a teeny bit of weight. The scales in my bedroom long ago ceased to be a reliable indicator though, so it's a case of fingers crossed!

Yesterday I dug out one of the recipe books I used loads way back at the beginning - I think my mojo is lurking within the well used pages of that book. Along with various food stains. That is the mark of a good recipe book though. A pristine recipe book is clearly not doing it's job!

I have decided to give you the recipe for the divine soup I ate yesterday. In the end it was nearly all I ate, it was so filling!

Sweetcorn and Coriander Soup


Fry Light
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
handful of fresh coriander or 2-3tsp dried coriander (I like a good handful of fresh, adjust to your own taste though!)
Large can of sweetcorn (I like the creamed variety best in this recipe)
3/4 pint of stock made with chicken Bovril or Vecon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh coriander to garnish


1] Spray a non stick saucepan with Fry Light and gently cook the onion and garlic for 5 mins until soft. Stir in the coriander and sweetcorn and continue cooking for 2-3 mins. Add the stock and simmer for 10 mins.

2] Transfer the soup into a blender (in small batches is safest!) and puree. Return to the pan and simmer for a few more minutes.

3]Season, serve and garnish.

How quick is that! The recipe in the book actually has pasta added but I tried that and thought it ruined a very nice dish. I like coriander a lot, but you can make it as mild or as strong a flavour as you like. For those of us on SW, it's free on green.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

A New Dawn

Week 37

Weight: 17st 11lb
Gain this week: 1lb
Total lost: 70.5lb

I never know quite what to say here when I've had a gain. I don't want to appear to be making excuses for my slip up, nor do I want to slip into negativity about the whole thing. Sometimes I may transiently feel negative but I'd prefer that not to be the overriding impression left on my blog!

So I will merely say here that I am really very much OK with a 1lb again,bearing in mind I haven't been to class for a fortnight, which just inevitably leads to a loss of discipline, and I know there have been enough times where I went off track for me to have fully earned a gain!

So no angst here, nothing to see, move along please!

I have decided that I'm going to have to shake things up a bit in order to keep this lifestyle going. Of late I have definitely slipped into a bit of a rut with regards to what I eat. Naturally that is going to get dull and dreary. There are a million wonderful healthy recipes out there, the shops are groaning under the weight of delicious ingredients. What I need to do is rediscover the excitement that I felt 6, 8 months ago and get experimenting! And revisit some of the recipes I adored when I was last feeling experimental too.

Last night at SW, Heather asked us all to set a mini goal for 3 months time, which takes us to Christmas. I'm not seeing my 15st by Christmas goal as achievable anymore, and that's OK, I'm not about to beat myself up over that when I have lost 5st so far! So I decided to make my goal to lose 10% of my body weight, which roughly equates to around 25lbs. When you start at SW, one of the early targets is to lose 10% of your weight as that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity related cancers. Club 10 was a brilliant award, I remember feeling really really excited about achieving that. So this now feels like a fresh start. Yesterday was the Autumn equinox so I have a brand new season, a new goal and a refreshed attitude.

You officially have my permission to kick my arse if I mess this up!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Testing, testing...

Apologies for the absence of words this week - I've been on a course in Manchester all week - long long days of filling my head with clever stuff, in the presence of people far cleverer than me. I now have 4 weeks in which to really really learn all the clever stuff before the first of 2 testing days. I wish I could show you the amount of information I have to learn. I'm quite overwhelmed!

Because of the course I wasn't able to get to weigh-in this week, so no update available on that score.

The venue of the course was most pleasing, and they provided an excellent range of food and refreshments. I was really really happy with the vegetarian choices, but I couldn't really have them because they weren't diet choices! The 2 things, sadly, are not synonymous. On day one there was a wild mushroom risotto, which I did eat, followed by cheese and fruit (or a fabulous looking chocolate gateaux which I resisted!) Day 2 was a Quorn moussaka which I thought looked wonderful. But I didn't eat it, I went to the salad bar instead. I followed with cheese and fruit again, resisting the fruit pie and custard option. Day 3 I wasn't so virtuous, I chose the lamb with olives and chorizzo because I can never afford to buy lamb and it's my most favourite meat in the whole wide world. And then I followed it with lemon meringue pie because of course the faulty wiring in my head inevitably leads me to say "I may as well, since I've already blown it....." So the bad news is that even on the days I made the healthiest choices I was not working to The Plan, but the good news is that I'm right back on it now, no question.

I'd best go and get my nose back in my books. My brain my explode with the amount of new information now held within. If that happens, at least I'll have eaten lamb before I died.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Slimmest town in Cheshire!

This week in my local paper there is an article saying that in our town we have lower rates of obesity than our neighbours. (inexplicably in the online version of the article they have included only the Before photo of Heather, my SW consultant! You shoud see how good she looks these days!) Just 6.6% of patients in our area suffer with obesity apparently. A pretty low figure when you put it in the context of headlines shreiking "Obesity Epidemic!" Since that headline puts nearly 25% of adults in the obesity bracket should we conclude that the obese are a healthy bunch, since such a small number are counted as patients? Or is our town incredibly slim and healthy, way way below the national average? Or is that just an attention grabbing headline with no basis in truth? Hmmmmmm....

My attention was grabbed by this:
A spokeswoman for East Cheshire PCT said: "We would expect to be in one of the lower bands due to the low level of deprivation in the area.

So deprivation is a recognised link to obesity. But is it really true that it's cheaper to eat rubbish? Sometimes when I'm handing over my hard earned for a few bags of fruit and veg it can certainly feel like it! But I decided I needed to be a bit more thorough with my research than that, so I have done a little leg work (finger work since it's all online?)

I have devised 2 meal plans. One healthy, one not so much. I then went with the shopping lists for the 2 plans to My Supermarket and priced up the shopping baskets for both. I assumed some basic store cupboard ingredients and took liberties with assuming not much in the way of cooking from scratch for the unhealthy week cos I'm lazy like that. On the "bad week" I took the cheapest options and on the "good week" I took the lowest calorie (the site software makes this easy!)

Bad week

Meat pie, chips and mushy peas
Pizza and garlic bread
Spaghetti Bolognaise
Egg, bacon, sausage, beans and fried bread
Sticky Sausage and Savoury Rice
Egg, chips and beans
Chippy tea! (I'll allow a tenner for that, but it may be less, I can't remember!)

I've added the ingredients for cereals for breakfast, sandwhiches for lunch, snacks and drinks.

Total spend: £52.99

Good Week

Stir fry Quorn, veg and rice
Spaghetti bolognaise made with Quorn
Vegetarian Chilli
Baked potato & cheesey beans
Eggs, SW chips and beans
Quorn Cottage pie
Meatballs and spaghetti

Additions to basket as above (but healthier!)

Total spend: £43.70

Hmmmm. Not a scientific study but it kind of belies the myth that it costs more to eat healthily don't you think!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Aspiring to Obesity!

Week 35

Weight: 17st 10lb
Loss this week: 2lb
Total lost: 71.5lb

Thank goodness, I re-earned my 5st award - I totally hate it when I have a gain that takes me above an award weight - it makes me feel a total fraud! So a big sigh of relief from me tonight!

Right I have my eye on the next 10lbs because last night at work I was looking at the BMI chart on the wall and apparently when I get to 17st I go from "Very Obese" to merely "Obese" so that will be a landmark moment for me. Who knew becoming Obese would be something to aspire to - those are the kind of life goals that seem achievable ;)

Way back in the beginning I mentioned that my husband had joined me in coming to Slimming World, but since then I haven't talked about his journey at all because he doesn't want to be "plastered all over the internet"! So I am just going to take a sentence to mention that he is doing really really well too, and that him being there with me has made my own journey that much easier. And a little healthy competition at the scales does no harm at all!

For those of you who wanted to see me in my specs, here's a bigger version of the tiny pic in my profile - excuse the lack of make up and hair a mess, it is a candid self portrait taken the day I got the glasses!

Finally an apology to Heather, my SW consultant. I know she hates it when people "Pay and Weigh" and don't stay to class. I feel like I'm doing just that quite a bit lately and my defense is that I am working Monday nights a lot, and there just isn't time to stay to class, feed us all, walk the dogs, sort Rebecca out for bed, get myself ready for work and still get there on time! So I do have to leave after weigh in on those days. Sorry. Next week is as bad, if not worse. Not sure about the week after!

Friday, 5 September 2008

It's the end of the world as we know it.

Thanks to Sara for posting this link in her lastest comment. It makes an interesting read and if nothing else it allows me to cut myself some slack when I've gained a little weight. Is that a good thing though? I think it may not be. Once the crushing disappointment of a gain has had chance to abate a little, I tend to get down to the serious business of putting it right. The information held in Why Scales Lie may just tempt me to make excuses and carry on with whatever unfortunate error led to the gain in the first place.

For those who can't be arsed to read the link, it is a very interesting and measured article on how and why weight can fluctuate by up to several pounds even in the course of just one day.

However, the author states that
Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn.
I'm going to have to question this. I really can't see that last week for example I consumed an extra 8500 calories in order to gain my 2.5lbs. I know a gain was probably justified because I was aware in the middle of the week of not eating properly according the SW plan. But that is one humungous amount of extra calories and I think I'd have noticed if I'd eaten them!

Oh my god, my brain couldn't let it lie at that. Nope. My brain had to think how many extra calories gets a person to 13st overweight. 637,000 is the answer. I definitely should have noticed eating them! Bet I didn't even enjoy them all.

Did you realise we only have 5 days left to live? Yep, apparently the world will end on September 10th 2008, when scientists will cause a black hole to consume the earth. (It's in The Sun so it has to be true, right?!) Well this begs a huge question. What will you do for your last 5 days on earth? I guess I'll be watching my diet, walking my dogs and mostly having fun with my daughter. Some of those nights will be spent working too. If I knew for a fact it was definitely my last 5 days on earth I'd eat cake, drink whatever the hell I could, have lots of sex and hold my family close. But I'm not a risk taker so I guess my final days will be like the 41 years that went before them.

If you want to watch a really cool simulation of the world ending, complete with most excellent Pink Floyd soundtrack, click here.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Should have gone to Specsavers.

Week 34

Weight: 17st 12lb
Gain this week: 2.5lb
Total lost: 69.5lb

Oops, it must have been a huuuuge scone! OK, it happened, the line is drawn, and it's back to it - I will do a food diary this week and make sure I weigh my Healthy Extras and syns, and count my syns before putting them in my mouth!

I've been having some trouble with my eyesight recently. Well for a while really if I'm honest. My eyes have been aching. Can't read close up stuff, can't read the on screen TV guide either. I struggled to read the dosage instructions on Rebecca's medicine last week and in my job you have to be able to read dosage instructions! Then today I had a blinding headache. My eyes throbbed! So I gave in and trotted off to Vision Express for an eyetest and discovered that I am in need of glasses for both close and distance - no flipping wonder I was struggling and my eyes hurt! So I will soon be the bemused owner of a pair of varifocal specs.

I see this as a new fashion opportunity - all those fabulous frames to choose from! The only problem is, the price made me suck air through my teeth - good thing I have just been paid or I'd have to be a month blinder before I could afford them. The glasses I have chosen are a very bold style - I didn't go for those discreet almost invisible spectacles. If I have to wear them, they will make a statement! And if people are looking at my specs, they won't be noticing my flabby belly hey! I just hope those frames don't weigh much...maybe I won't wear them on Mondays ;)