My fat year: no more SW

After a very up-and-down year so far, I’ve decided to leave Slimming World.

I managed to lose half-a-stone (7lb), but then kept putting 2lb on then losing 3lb, putting 1lb on and losing 0lb.

And then I had to go onto a “white/bland” diet, which pushed the syns through the roof.

We cook a lot of meals from scratch and they (SW) make it very difficult to calculate the syn value, plus they seem to advocate a lot of processed food or ready-made food that we, personally, prefer to make ourselves (such as jams, jellies, breads, etc).

So it stopped working for me and, to be frank, I couldn’t justify the cost any more. I’ve also cancelled the magazine subscription, but apparently I have that for three more issues anyway.

Before I terminated the account, I did hit my gold activity award with SW, so it wasn’t all a waste of time. And I’ve pretty much managed to keep that half-a-stone off (and on, then off, then on again …).

I know a lot of people have lost a lot of weight with SW, my mother-in-law included, who lost 6 stone (84lb), and some friends of ours who each lost at least 4 stone (56lb).

So I’ve decided to just stick to healthy, unprocessed eating as much as possible, and I’m cutting down on the aspartame, instead preferring to try and curb or lose my sweet tooth a little.

My fat year: up & down

It’s been a while, but I have still been watching my weight and, to be honest, it’s been very up and down.

I can’t believe that you can put 3lb on one day and then lose two of them the next. This past week alone I did exactly this.

Yes, yes I know we’re not supposed to weigh ourselves every day and, because of the fluctuations last week, I did stop bothering. But Monday is weigh-day and I had to do it this morning.

Fortunately, I do have a weight-loss of 2lb from last week. Unfortunately, I’m still 1¼lb heavier than I have been at my lightest on this current diet.

At the weekend, even the poet reported a few pounds weight-gain, so he’s cutting down again now. It’s funny how complacency can set in so easily.

We’ve not been walking for a long time and I think that’s having a lot to do with it – for both of us. As well as the extra food we’re clearly eating at the moment, of course. Instead, either the weather has kept us indoors or, as soon as the weather has improved, we’ve been working in the garden.

At the weekend we had to buy a new lawn-mower and the poet did the first cut yesterday. It was hard work, but not as hard as it was with the old push-along lawn-mower. (He can’t use the tractor here, but he’s keeping hold of that for when it comes in handy again …)

Two weeks ago, in gale-force winds, he built a new greenhouse. Last weekend, he built wooden staging. And during the week, after work, he painted the staging with wood-preservative. Yesterday, we were finally able to spend a relaxing couple of hours sowing seeds.

His band doesn’t have as many gigs this year as of late. He wanted to cut back and so they’re only doing one gig a month (two a month when one is a charity gig and one is a paid gig). We hoped this would free us up to do more things but, as ever, it’s been very, very busy and we’ve been visiting or entertaining over our birthday season, in the midst of which comes Mother’s Day too.

This coming weekend we have the usual Birmingham/Doncaster visits, but perhaps we can squeeze in a walk on our way from Brum to Donny.

Saying that, I did achieve my Slimming World silver activity award on 23 March, and I’ve started my gold award today. The chickens, the little bit of gardening I have managed, and just shopping all contribute to this challenge. The gold award lasts for eight weeks, though, while the bronze and silver were both for four weeks each.

The warmer days make eating salads much easier, so hopefully there will be something more positive to report soon.

How’s your slimming going?

My fat year: plateau

bronze-awardOkay, it’s not great news as I plateau at the moment, hovering within less than a pound or two of my next personal goal.

But it’s not *all* bad news.

Excuse alert … Last week was very, very, very bad. We had a three-year-old’s birthday and a, er, (*cough*)-year-old’s birthday. And this meant cake.

Three birthday cakes in fact. And party food. And more cake. And biscuits. And yesterday there were pork pies and scotch eggs. And more cake …

BUT … I still only put on a pound.

I’m still hovering around the next-stone-zone-down target, and at least I haven’t put on a lot of weight – although having just watched Super Slimmers: Did They Really Keep The Weight Off?, I am wondering if it’s worth it …

However, I *have* just completed my Slimming World bronze activity award and I’ve started the silver activity award. So, as I say, it’s not *all* bad news …

We’re back on the wagon again this week, so hopefully there will be something more postive to report next week.

How is your weight loss going?

My fat year: almost at 2nd target …

Castleton landslip walk (picture: Ian Wordsworth)

I’m just one week away from the end of my first three months with Slimming World. I’ve hit the 7lb loss twice, and today’s weigh-in has been my lightest so far. I’ve lost 9lb in almost three months, and if I crouch down and squint at the scales, I can see the next stone-zone. In fact, I’m just ¼lb away from that next personal target of mine.

This means that I will probably renew my membership for another three months. There’s a very good renewal offer of £45 (apx $56), which is £15 (apx $18) cheaper than the usual fee. But if I just select a rolling monthly membership, it will be £20 (apc $25) per month. So I think I’m going to renew for another three months.

There are some better offers, for a longer period, but as they cost more, I’ll leave those for now.

So … I’m still on it, and it’s still working – apparently.

The picture is of the “big hill” we walked up last weekend. Last time we tried a big hill (Kinder Scout), we turned around and gave up. That one might be back on the plan of action this coming year.

How are your fitness and slimming plans coming along?

My fat year: 2lb on, 2lb off …

At Whitby (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

So the 2lb I put back on last week has come off again. What have I been doing? Cutting down on bread. Bread really does seem to be the culprit here.

This means it was a much better week, and there is still just over a week left of my initial three-month membership of Slimming World. Over the next few days I’ll be deciding whether to renew for just a month at a time, or renew for another three months.

I do believe that had Christmas not come right in the middle, then I might have lost considerably more than the 7½lb, and maybe even dropped down into the next stone-zone. Therefore, I personally believe it’s worth sticking with, and probably for another three months if they have any offers.

This past week, then, we’ve been eating more meat-based meals. Last night the poet made us a Slimming World carbonara – and it was gorgeous. And we have a Slimming World syn-free fry-up (or 2 syns if we have low-fat sausages) at least once at the weekend, sometimes twice.

The only puddings we’ve made have been adapted from a Weight Watchers book (lime meringue pie) and another old favourite low-fat cookbook I’ve had for years (cherry crumble).

Sweet treats have included marshmallows (1 syn each) and/or individual squares of Green & Black’s salted caramel “Thin” (3½ syns per square). Believe me, three big fat marshmallows look much more satisfying than one square of chocolate. But they’re big squares and the chocolate is so rich I really do only need one square.

My bronze activity challenge is going well too. Aside from the chickens, we managed a half-decent walk on Saturday (report to follow this Friday) and Sunday was spent doing manual farm labour.

The 2lb is staying off so far this week. I hope it drops a little more by next Monday.

My fat year: a rubbish fortnight

Picture: Ian Wordsworth

Well, I say a rubbish fortnight, but actually, the first week was quite good with me dropping down to almost the lightest I’ve been since I started with Slimming World. But with only twenty-two days before my initial three-month membership to go, I’m very disappointed that this morning I’ve gained 2lb again.

I know what it is: bread.

My husband makes lovely bread. He graduated from the bread-machine to doing it all himself and now he’ll knock-up two loaves twice a week. Slimming World have told me to either allow 3syns™ per slice, or build it into my “healthy extras”.

I’ve been very good at eating salads for my dinners, though, and our teas are pretty much syn-free anyway (meat, potatoes, veg), with low-syn or syn-free puddings.

But for just over a week I’ve been freezing cold, and battling the dregs of that bad cold that’s copping everyone, and so I’ve been eating more bread – cheese on toast, beans on toast, egg on toast, bacon sandwiches, etc.

Oh yes, and pizza. He made us a pizza each on Saturday too, and it was delicious. But I can’t manage a whole pizza in one sitting. In fact, I can rarely manage much of one kind of any thing on my plate in one sitting. So last night I had a left-over pizza slice to eat after our lovely roast lamb dinner.

And this morning the scales made sure to scold me.

A friend of mine … well, it’s the daughter of a friend of the poet’s actually, but she’s lovely so I’ll call her a friend anyway – a friend of ours has lost two stone with Slimming World (28lb) and this morning I saw a recent photograph of her on Facebook. And she looks great.

So today she has given me the motivation to make the most of these last twenty-two days of my initial three-month membership. I’m also going for my “bronze activity challenge”, although much of that is easier now that (a) we have chickens, and (b) the longer, warmer, drier days are on their way, for weekend walking again.

With this seagull keeping an eye on me, how can I fail?

My fat year: Back in the 7lb club


Just 2 weeks into the new year with Slimming World, and I’m back in the half-a-stone (7lb) club!

Actually, it’s 7½lb, and I’m only 1¾lb away from dropping into the next stone-zone. I’m also only point-two away from dropping into the next BMI.

This isn’t quite the weight I was before Christmas, but even that is only a pound away. And we’ve not really been very strict either.

Cutting out processed food and cutting down on added sugar and added salt to cooking seems to be doing the trick. I’m also eating less bread.

The poet had an annual check-up at the doctor’s on Friday. He’s not very well, sinus-wise, but the rest of him is apparently doing brilliantly.

His weight is down, his blood pressure is “normal”, his cholesterol is three-point-something – down from six-point-something – and his blood sugar is “low-normal” compared to “borderline” just a year ago.

The nurse said to just carry on doing whatever it is he’s doing.

I haven’t had my annual check-up yet, I don’t think I’m due. But last time my blood pressure was “normal” (it always is), my blood sugar was “normal”, and my own cholesterol was “slightly down”. Hopefully by the time I’m due, I’ll get the same kind of news.

So, whatever it is that we’re doing, it’s working. So we’ll carry on carrying on.

My fat year: New Year with Slimming World

“Neigh-up!” (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

And so I was doing really, really well, earning my first half-stone (7lb) badge from  Slimming World, and then … well, Christmas happened, didn’t it?

I’m not complaining really, though. I’ve often believed that weight-loss should not be all-consuming, that life happens, and that you can be far too anal about certain things. And, after all, Christmas really is only a week out of fifty-two. Plus, a lot of people put weight on over the holiday period, and then they lose it again.

I put on 7lb. Half a stone. In just two days (yes, really), my weight went up by 7lb. But within only days it was back down again by 4½lb. So as I re-start the slimming year today, I’m only 2½lb heavier that I was before the festivities.

I would have started last week, and I’m not averse to starting on a Tuesday either. But we did have a lot of sickness in the house over the past four weeks and, to be honest, slimming was the last thing on our minds. And anyway, there was all this chocolate and cake to finish – and mince pies and puddings and crackers and …

We did make a half-hearted attempt to get back on the wagon on bank holiday Monday last week with a trip to Whitby. But by the time we’d battled traffic, we didn’t have time for even a meagre 2½ mile 2-hour walk. But we did walk 2¼ miles around the town when we finally got there.

However, right now, we’re both much better health-wise than we were, and on Saturday we did make it on a different planned walk, one that’s only 1½ miles, but a good, easy starter all the same. And it was a walk I’d already done on my own a few years ago, so I knew it would break us in gently.

There’s still an 8-portion Christmas pudding in the cupboard, and we were going to have that for tea for the next four days. But as I’m back on the wagon today, I calculated the syn-value™ and decided that 18 syns for just one pudding portion was simply too much. (My maximum is 15 syns per day.) The pudding has a good date on it (March 2018), so maybe we’ll save it for Christmas 2017.

So I’ve made some sugar-free jellies with fresh strawberries in the bottom instead, and we’ll be having baked salmon. With a teaspoon of low-fat spread on my potatoes, this will bring my total syns for the day to 3½, leaving me plenty for if I feel like a little snack later.

I have a pint glass filled with icy cold water on my desk, and the next walk should be on Saturday, either 2 miles (in Rievaulx), or one of the 2.1 miles a bit closer to home.

The chap in the picture was snapped on our Whitby walk last week. Do say “Ey up!” back! 🙂

My fat year: Week 4 with Slimming World

0-5It’s been a much better week with Slimming World. The shopping is catching up with the menu plans and I’m getting used to not eating between meals. I’m also calculating what I can and can’t have in my head now, and just confirming it on the online diary.

We’ve been adapting favourite recipes to suit and adding more to the poet’s repertoire. We have a book called The Classic 1,000 Low Fat Recipes and many of our favourites start there. Another favourite is the Weight Watchers Time To Eat cookbook.

He made a Weight Watchers toad in the hole at the start of the week (it has vegetables in it as well), and when he went on a work’s do on Friday, I had the final portion for my tea. That left me feeling a bit hungry and I did pig-out on not one but TWO Belgian buns.

Yesterday I went bust too, but I’m not fretting over that too much as I know we’re still eating quite well (apart from the Belgian buns …).

We’re having a varied diet too, including fish at least twice a week, and at least one of those being oily fish. Last week we had plaice and salmon. This week we have salmon and cod. We’re also eating a wider variety of vegetables, but that’s not likely to increase any more as I’m a proper finick when it comes to vegetables.

We made SW steak & kidney pies yesterday and we mashed the potato with fat-free natural fromage frais … and we were surprised when we liked it too (the mash, not the pie – we knew we’d love the pie). For pudding I made “apricot cut-and-come-again cake” from the classic low-fat recipe book, and while this came in quite high (6½ syns per ninth and part of why I went bust yesterday), we know it’s still a nice, healthy pudding.

So today I weighed in, and I’m 7½lb lighter than when I started. Not only have I met my first personal target, I’ve also been awarded my first badge. Next personal target: to drop into the next stone zone.

Wish me luck!