Hello, it’s me again! For this post, I thought it would be nice to share with you a little something I’ve started this week. Recently, I’ve been quite unhappy with my weight, and with every year that goes by, I seem to gain more. At a rough estimate, I must be gaining somewhere in the region of 1/2 a stone each year.
I’ve struggled a lot with my weight over the years. It’s been very up and down since I was a child. Back then my diet was poor due to being an obsessive eater. Most of the food I ate wasn’t good for me and my diet was quite restricted due to my fear of certain foods. A lot of the things that I struggled to eat used to make me feel sick and tasted awful. It seems that I had and still have some kind of psychological eating problem that has never diagnosed nor taken seriously. I was just told that I was a fussy eater by doctors, but it was much more than that.
As I reached my teens, my eating habits were still pretty bad, and on top of that, I often used to comfort eat due to having issues at school. I was not treated well by the ‘friends’ I had there, which often triggered it. By my mid teens, I was already overweight, my prom dress couldn’t have been any smaller than a size 14-16. I’m a lot better with eating more varieties of food now than I ever used to be, but I’m still not quite there yet.
Once school was finished, I dropped a lot of weight. I guess this was down the fact that I was happier and no longer comfort eating. I reused my prom dress a couple of years later. It was vibrant red which was perfect for my halloween character one year as an elegant vampire and it had to be taken in quite a lot! I kept it intact and it’s still in my wardrobe somewhere. I gained a little bit of weight in college but nothing too drastic. When the time for university came along, I became slimmer again. My nursing placements kept me on my feet for up to 8 hours a day, and the rest of that time I was out with friends, probably getting drunk!
Then as uni finished, I started to get comfortable as things calmed down in my life. My placements had finished, and I started work full time. Unfortunately, the unhealthy food habits crept back in again, mostly because I was too tired to cook or make any effort with healthy eating. And this has been the story pretty much ever since. I’m quite an active person, my job requires me to be on my feet a lot during the day, and I’m often out of the house during my time off. I often like to go on long walks too, but it’s never been enough to get the weight off. Which is why I feel that it’s more about my diet than exercise. Running kills me though, I wonder sometimes if the asthma I had years ago as a kid is still lurking.
I am currently 15st 6oz, which is about the heaviest I’ve ever been. It sounds an awful lot of weight for a young girl, but I am 5ft 10.5 inches tall. Because of my height, I’ve been lucky enough to miss the obese area on the Body Mass Index chart by a whisker, however I am still classed as overweight. I know that the BMI chart is subject to criticism, as it doesn’t take into account muscle mass and fluid retention among other things. But I don’t consider myself to have much of either of those at this moment.
So, I went into the slimming world meeting, which apparently took place in a brand new setting which they’d not been in before. I think that may have made them all feel a little bit like newbies again. I was impressed by how many people were there. I thought it might’ve been a small group, but there were at least 20 people if not more. I found a spare seat and chatted to the people next to me, both of which were members. One had not been for some years and the other had been coming quite a while. At this point I really felt like quite a beginner.
I knew a very small amount about how slimming world worked but not much more than that. Luckily our consultant spent time teaching everyone the basic steps of the diet, which was helpful for me. She went through our food optimising book and taught us the core of how slimming world works. There are ‘syn free foods’ of which you can have an unlimited amount. These things include fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs etc. So in any meal, you can have as much of these as you can manage. You have your ‘healthy extras’ which have some syn value but are healthy sources of calcium & fibre etc. And then you have ‘Syns’ these are foods that can make weight loss difficult. They are all numbered so that depending on how many you have, they will all add up to a total number at the end of the day, i.e. wholemeal bread is 3 syns for a medium slice whereas white bread is 4.5 for the same amount. The daily allowance is 5-15 syns per day.
Me and the other new person were the last two to be weighed, it was done after everyone else had left. We got talking about our goals and I told him I was aiming to lose a minimum of three stones, he told me he was going to try for two. We got our membership and payment sorted and away we went.
And so my slimming world journey began….
Now, I won’t bore you by putting endless food diaries and recipes in this post, but I will give you an insight into what I have been eating throughout this week. It’s surprising how much fat is contained in my usual diet, and I was amazed by the kind of foods that were syn free. I wish I’d taken more pictures of the food before I ate it, because some of the dishes looked amazing and would have been perfect for this post!
I had to make the dreaded switch from white bread to wholemeal. I started out with having baked beans on wholemeal toast (baked beans are syn free) for breakfast, so that the sauce in the beans would mask some of the taste. Surprisingly though, the bread didn’t taste as bad as I remember. But I may have struggled having it without the baked beans on it.
I cooked a baked potato which I haven’t made in a long time. With this I had a ‘Pizza Style’ topping which was taken from the ‘Extra Easy’ booklet. The recipe asked for regular tomatoes but I prefer cherry tomatoes as they are sweeter and they’re also syn free. I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms either so I chopped off the top part of some baby button mushrooms. It was only 2 syns, and those were just for the low fat mozzarella included in the recipe!
This week, I didn’t want to spend too much time making desserts as it’s already a challenge trying out all these main meal recipes. I focused on them and decided I would go for some simple syn free deserts which consisted mainly of fruit and fat free natural yoghurt. This is just a temporary measure until I get settled with the main meal recipes.
I’ve been on annual leave which means I’ve not had the exercise I normally get on the job. So to combat this, I’ve been going out on long walks most days where possible. Sometimes with Luke, sometimes on my own depending on whether or not he’s working on the day. I do enjoy going outside and getting fresh air, the exercise does me a lot of good. I try to walk for at least and hour or maybe two if I have time.
I was so happy when I found out one of my favourite meals was available as a slimming world recipe: spaghetti carbonara. As meals go it is definitely not the healthiest. Before trying this recipe, I often found I would frequently get indigestion after eating it as it was so rich and full of fat. This meant I had to give it up to my disappointment. I’ve not had it for years until now and it was great, I managed to eat it and it was only 1 syn per serving!
I’m amazed by how many fried foods are syn free. As long as it is cooked using low calorie cooking spray, most are fine to fry. All bacon needs is the fat cutting off and you’ve just got to be careful about sausages as some can be very high in fat. I was even able to make homemade burgers which were amazing! Home made chips using the low calorie spray are also syn free.
We went to an organised bonfire night fireworks display earlier in the week. I was a very good girl and didn’t head over to the BBQ stand for a burger like my boyfriend did. I had a diet coke, I didn’t eat anything that was made for the crowd of spectators and avoided the alcohol! Oh lord, all that took some willpower!
We went into an Iceland store and got some food from the slimming world range there. It’s sad that it’s the only place that sells the range. I got some syn free sausages which I later burned under the grill! I don’t use this part of the oven and because of this, I didn’t know that the grill door had to be kept open much to Luke’s amusement! It wasn’t my finest moment! I’m surprised that I didn’t set the fire alarms off! Luckily I had more and did them the proper way!
Day 6 was my naughtiest day, we were having sunday lunch at Luke’s parents house and I may have had a few things I shouldn’t have. I had vegetables and beef which are syn free, but then I had a sausage, a medium yorkshire pudding and a jam sponge for afters. I was dreading going back to calculate my syns. They added up to 17.5! Whoops! On the upside, I had been very good all week and my excuse is that I’m a newbie! Hopefully they’ll understand that!
I’m so happy! I’m back from being weighed, and I have lost 5 1/2 pounds in my first week! I can’t believe it! I thought I’d lose a couple of pounds if I was lucky, but not this much! I really committed myself to the diet this week and it seems to have paid off very well! I doubt that I’ll lose as much as this next week, but I’m hoping for another loss of about 2-3 pounds. So I’ve just got to keep going, sticking with the new food and going out for more exercise. I’m also going to try and make at least one dessert over the next week from the slimming world magazine. So we’ll see how I do next week!
~ Ali ~