Sure look, I am not alone here when I say that I have pretty much yo yo dieted for all of my adult life. I would lose a bit, gain a bit, and somehow end up with more weight on me than I had when I started. It’s a familiar cycle for many of us.
That being said, it is with great pride that I write this post from what I feel I can now call “the other side”. I am now at the lowest weight I have been since I was about fifteen years of age. I am nowhere near my goal weight but I have lost 22.5 pounds over the past four months and I feel really brilliant to see those words on my screen right now.
I joined Slimming World with my sister in July. The funny thing is that it was one of the times that I was less “song and dancey” about the whole thing. I didn’t have a big moment where I proclaimed “this is it”. I didn’t set up a charity page (we did raise €1000 in fairness, lets ignore the fact that I fell pregnant before the challenge even grew a pair of legs) and I didn’t compose a dramatic Facebook update. It was actually a bit of an effort if I am totally honest. My sister and I were finding it difficult to find a venue that worked. Between both of our schedules and dodgy bus routes we just couldn’t find a venue that worked. We made a rough plan and went for the group that made the most sense. From that day on we haven’t looked back. My sister is on fire and is also down 1.5 stone. She looks fantastic and she is just glowing. I am a very proud big sister (but not too big… I am officially ONLY overweight according to Mr BMI. I can now delete the word “obese” from my vocabulary).
We went along and the rest is honestly history. Thursday nights have become our “girly night”. We catch up, get out of the house, and live for our cup of tea and Slimming World bar after the weigh in. We’ve set up a Whatsapp group where we share recipe ideas and confess when we’ve a bit bold. It has been a super positive experience for us both and I am just so grateful that it has happened like this for us.
So what is different about this time? I think for the first time in my life this has just become normal to me. I have no date in mind, no occasion or event. I don’t even really have a goal weight. In previous attempts to lose weight and become healthy I placed a huge focus on being 100% on plan all the time. I suppose I have grown to know myself really well and I have realised that it just doesn’t work for me to do that. I have tried the clean eating and gym thing and I seriously envy those who can stick to it long term. I, on the other hand, cannot. For me it has been about finding something that I can live with. Something that I am happy to commit to forever. Yes, forever. Hand on heart I am over the moon for this to be my forever “diet”.
You know how some people look at “food as fuel”? Yeah, I am not one of those people. Clearly. I LOVE food. Love cooking, eating out, watching food programmes, planning recipes and searching hashtags on Instagram. I think food is to be enjoyed. It is a joy in life. You know what is not a joy in life though? Feeling heavy, unhealthy and generally uncomfortable in your own skin. So really the ideal set up for a girl like me is some sort of liveable food plan where I can have healthy habits, a healthy attitude and lose weight. But for the love of God I want to eat food that tastes delicious. She doesn’t ask for much, says you.
This is basically what I have been doing. I have been following the Slimming World plan, with the odd tweak thrown in for good measure. I love Slimming World because for me it is a liveable way of eating whilst losing weight. I can cook healthy hearty dinners where I don’t have to be afraid of carbs. I can eat out and make good choices. I can even order a take-away. Would you believe that I order a take-away every single Friday night? I also view the weekend as a treat. I don’t go off the rails every single weekend but I like to save most of my syns to be enjoyed between Thursday night and Sunday morning. Between Sunday and Thursday I am an angel. I will have 5-7 syns, lots of superfree and speed foods, cook wholesome healthy meals and drink tonnes of water. What keeps me going (apart from the fact that the food I am eating is bloomin’ delicious) is the fact that if I really really want something I can wait and have it at the weekend during my treat phase, if you will. It doesn’t work for everyone, we are all different, but the penny has dropped for me and I can finally say that I have found something that works for me. I’m losing weight, eating healthily and feeling in control which is very important for me.
I wouldn’t mind – but I am not having massive losses every week. I joined about 16 weeks ago and I’ve lost 22.5 pounds. Some weeks I lose half a pound, others one pound and on a really good week I will bag two. In the middle of all of this I’ve had a holiday (and a two pound gain after a week of all-inclusive). Hand on heart though I am chuffed with that. If I could lose half a pound every single week and still have a social life and a bit of freedom with what I eat then I am one happy girl.
So let’s get to the good stuff. Here is a little glimpse in to what I’ve been eating.
“Big Mac In A Bowl”, “Creamy Honey Mustard Chicken” and “Baked Meatballs”
Slimming World “Spice Bag”, Quiche, and White Chocolate Mousse Dessert.
SW Chocolate Brownies, SW Curry with Rice And Chips And Hearty Irish Stew With Mashed Veg.
Lunch is usually something like this – dinner leftovers with lots of salad and some light salad cream. I also bring fruit to snack on and I eat oats and fruit for breakfast. I am never hungry and really enjoy my grub.
Special mention and thanks must go to the lovely lads in Slim Valley Fresh Foods. Their selection of fresh lean meat and Slimming Friendly products have made this experience all the better. I regularly make a big order (free delivery when you spend €20) with them and it helps me to meal plan and stay on track. Take a look at their website, you will not be disappointed.