My Fat Year: Not defeated yet …

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Picture: Ian Wordsworth

We’ve both been working hard, watching what we eat, noting what we eat and what time we eat it, and seeing how much weight is still going on, but I’m now at almost the heaviest I’ve ever been and even the poet put on some weight last week.

So at the weekend I finally succumbed and joined Slimming World Online. This really was my last resort before heading off to see a doctor, because not only are they one of the dearest to join, I also think they’re one of the most complicated to follow.

But lots of our friends are either doing well at Slimming World or have done well there – my mother-in-law included, who is a great home cook but still lost 4 stone (56lb) with them.

I’m doing it online because there aren’t any groups within a short enough distance and it’ll be tough getting off the farm when the dark winter nights are really here. It’s also easier to do it with the poet online without us both having to pay to join a real-time group. Plus, I don’t think I’d get him through the door anyway.

Because it’s complicated, I have been trying to read up on it over the weekend and I think it’s basically food-optimising, but agree with what some reviewers and experts say in that it doesn’t teach you portion size. Fortunately, we already have this knowledge.

What has surprised me, however, is that a fruit smoothie, for example, is apparently not as good for you as a glass of fruit juice. I’ve had juice with my breakfast for years, but with all of the recent furore about sugar, we decided to swap the juice for a smoothie. And on the SW diet, which is supposed to encourage you to eat more foods that are more nutritious, a glass of orange juice is 3 syns™ but a smoothie is 6.

The other thing I’ve noticed so far is that, although the SW diet claims to be for people who enjoy cooking from scratch, there are no syn™ values for home-made bread or pasta and all of the recipes and menus use shop-bought bread and, surprisingly, dry pasta.

The poet makes our bread and he makes our pasta, as we prefer to make more of our own food and buy less processed food. And yes, we are gradually leaning towards less sugar and salt (we already cook without adding salt as we add it at the table anyway) and more fibre in our own home cooking.

Apart from this, the plan does look to be quite good. The meals are delicious – we’ve already tried several – and with work and concentration, I think it might click at some point with me and start to come more naturally, as low-fat and reduced-sugar gradually have. (And we do notice the difference now when we buy pre-packaged food, how sweet and salty it can be.)

Saying that, though, I am struggling to believe that a simple smoothie is what’s piled on the pounds since February.

Keep the feedback, experience and advice coming. We do appreciate and digest (sorry!) it all. And wish us luck. This diet has 3 months in which to do it’s thang.

(Today’s picture, by the way, was taken on our most recent walk, Clayton West Village Trail, 2 weeks ago. We didn’t have a day out this weekend just gone, so there may not be a blog this coming Friday.)