The “C” world is doing the rounds at the moment. I’ve been somewhat burying my head in the sand about the whole thing but I’ve realized that it is happening so I might as well start getting organized. I’ve managed to make a list and even pick up a few bits for Billy. I’d consider that good going considering the calender still technically says October. I had promised myself that I wouldn’t think about it until after our holiday.
As you may know we have returned from a seriously brilliant holiday to Fuerteventura. You can check out our holiday vlog here if it takes your fancy. It was amazing. Now, I am one of those people who loves my grub. No big surprise there. You don’t end up four stone overweight without a slight enthusiasm towards the things in the kitchen. The point I am making though, is that food is one of the things I get excited about. I love eating out. I love looking at foodie pictures on Instagram and Facebook. I love cooking shows and trying new recipes. Feeding my little family makes me happy. Putting together our weekly menu gives me a bit of a buzz. You get the point, I know. When I embarked on this weightloss journey I didn’t know that it was going to be “my time” as such. In other words I didn’t actually think that I would make this kind of progress. I had accepted that I never would. It was another shot at it. Another opportunity to say I gave it a go. A temporary distraction basically. Thankfully it ended up being a lot more and it has completely changed my life. I ended up losing 52 pounds in 52 weeks and that number still baffles me. The thing is, I had probably learned a thing or two about what didn’t work for me. The first thing that comes to mind is the whole idea of ruining your diet.
In previous attempts I found myself being really good for a few days and then I would ruin it at the weekend. By “ruin”, I mean if I was going to the cinema, a party, night out or a lunch date I would eat whatever I wanted. I had no willpower at all. Then the guilt would set in. I would feel so depressed about the fact that I ruined my hard work that I would spiral in to another bout of comfort eating. I would then have a big gain and spend weeks trying to lose what I had already lost. That cycle repeated itself over and over again until eventually I gave up and ended up with more weight on me than I had when I first joined. It doesn’t take a rocket science to figure out that it wasn’t working for me, and yet I repeated the cycle time and time again.
This is one of the biggest changes I made this time round. I realized that I was never going to be the kind of person who was willing to give up the weekend. I enjoyed the brunch dates, the date nights and the treats. It’s something that gets you through the week doesn’t it? The promise of a treat and something that you wouldn’t allow yourself during the week. So I basically decided to have it. It’s that simple. HAVE the bloody food. Enjoy it and drop the guilt. The guilt is the very thing that was “ruining” everything. It prevented me from being able to get back on plan after the weekend because it felt like there was no point. Well, turns out there is. Very quickly in to this journey I realized that if I was good all week I really could afford to relax at the weekend provided I immediately got back on plan after it. That is key. It sounds so obvious but emotions and guilt tend to muddle these things. So that is what I do. I spend Sunday afternoon- Thursday evening being totally on plan and super strict. I eat very few carbs and fill up on lots of high energy low fat foods. I enjoy the slimming world plan and eat delicious food every day. I am just clever about it. From Friday- about half way through Sunday though? I am well and truly off plan. If there is a party I am eating and drinking what I fancy. If we go for dinner I order what I fancy. If we go to the cinema I sometimes have Popcorn AND ice-cream. You get the idea, I have what I want.
Holidays are the exact same. I know all the things that will make a big difference when on holidays. Stay away from bread, drink tonnes of water, don’t order dessert etc etc. Yeah thanks but no thanks. If I am on holiday I am genuinely mostly excited (maybe after the weather) by the food. Eating out and not having to cook or clean is such a joy for me. It is genuinely the thing I look forward to most. As I said, I am a foodie. I am never going to be the kind of person who goes on holidays and tries to be good. Some people do it really well and I think that is brilliant but it just isn’t worth it too me. The grub is too much a part of my excitement and enjoyment. This would be my second sun holiday since starting Slimming World just over a year ago. I took the same approach this year as I did last year and I enjoyed myself. I ate whatever took my fancy and I really mean that. I ate bread with every single meal. I just cannot say no to bread when I am away. It is something I don’t eat too much of during the week. Instead I look forward to it at the weekend. I’d rather use my healthy extra B on Slimming World Bars (or Alpen Light/Aldi Own Brand) with a cuppa. On holidays I eat ALL the bread. I also ate pasta at least once a day because the all inclusive always had a lovely pasta option and I couldn’t say no. I had ice-cream every day too. I just ate all the bold things and thoroughly enjoyed them. I arrived home a week later looking and feeling like I had gained a minimim of 7 pounds. I’d guess that it was about 10 pounds. I could actually see it and feel it. I didn’t feel guilty though. Sure I knew what I ate for a week and I enjoyed it. Now here is the key. What I did next was… get straight back on plan. Not the day I go home but the next day. As much as it pained us to write a shopping list and buy fruit, vegetables and healthy food – it really is the best thing we could have done. In the midst of my holiday “come down” (you know, the inevitable back to reality low we all get) I was meal planning and sulking in ALDI.
And just like that I was back on plan. This was Sunday and I had all the way till Thursday before my Slimming World class. This is where the magic happens. You can do so much in just a few days if you are strict and organized. I got straight back on plan and I swear to you I felt 70% better after just two days. After three days I felt as good as I did before I went away.
When I went to weigh in on Thursday I expected anything from 3-5 pounds and I would have been totally fine with that as I know the initial result before I got back on plan would have been horrific. The result? A gain of 2.5 pounds. I was beyond chuffed. Such a small amount of weight and being on plan for just four days before my weigh-in made a massive difference. I’ve given myself two weeks to lose the gain and I know I will do that.
So there you have it. My advice, and the thing that has made the biggest difference to me this time is to enjoy my treats but get back on plan straight away after. I go on holiday embracing and accepting a gain because it’s just a fact of life. But this way I feel in control of it and thankfully the comfort eating is no longer part of my life anymore.
As always, any questions – just ask and I’ll happily help if I can.