Take that 12 pounds of Christmas.

I said it in my last blog post that I’d lose the Christmas gain in two weeks and that is exactly what happened. If it had of taken 3-4 weeks I wouldn’t have been upset at all but I am chuffed that it fecked off sooner.

EVERYONE overindulges at Christmas. I’m not saying it’s right but over-eating and Christmas go hand-in-hand and it’s one of the best parts of the whole experience. I am no different to that. Come Christmas week I had gotten my 4 stone award and was feeling great but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to a bit of a healthy eating holiday over the Christmas. I wanted to eat whatever I wanted when I wanted. Now I wasn’t expecting a twelve pound gain but two weeks of eating crap had to catch up on me. When I go on holidays for a week I gain half a stone so it actually makes sense.


Someone on Snapchat (I vlog my days and show you everything I’m eating if you want to follow me at traceyquinn89) told me that it wasn’t really twelve pounds though. She told me it was impossible. Well, I weighed twelve pounds heavier on my scales, my mam’s scales and Peter’s parents’ scales. I also couldn’t close the buttons on my jeans and actually looked and felt like I had gained that much.


I have no doubt that because it went on so quickly it was “water weight” or something but it was definitely there. The girl on Snapchat told me that to gain a pound you have to eat so many extra hundreds of calories per day. I remember looking at the number and thinking I definitely had 4/5 times that amount extra per day over Christmas. I was eating a “normal” amount of food but with all the things I normally avoid like white bread, crisps (during the week, LOVE a packet at the weekend), fattening sauces, loads of cheese (I weigh and measure as part of my healthy extra a) and full fat drinks. Then in the evenings when I wasn’t even hungry I might have another sandwich, packet of crisps, chocolate and some Christmas pudding. An extra days worth of calories in one sitting. It can easily be done (I don’t want a medal).


I know how hard it can be to put a stop to this kind of thing though. We’re well able to jump off the wagon and relax but getting back on it is not so easy. It can feel helpless. It’s like looking at yourself spiralling out of control and not knowing how to physically stop it. You are caught between two places. One part of you wants to continue to eat what you want and the other part of you feels like absolute crap. One of them has to prevail and quite often the easier option is to just continue. Before you know it it’s been a few months, the weight you’ve lost has completely come back and you feel really low. Trust me, I speak from experience.


I need you to know that even if the above happen, even if you leave Slimming World or your healthy eating plan for 6 weeks, 6 months or six years, all is not lost. The minute you decide to change is when it all gets brighter. I always recommend not starting on a Monday or even tomorrow. Start from your next meal. Every single meal is an opportunity to get back on plan and one healthy meal is often enough to remind you of just how good you feel when you are eating healthily.


By the end of Christmas I had no energy and just felt really down. It really affected how I felt emotionally. I knew I had a stressful time ahead in January as we waited for my Dad’s latest scan results (the Cancer is still stable, thank God) and it was prime comfort eating territory. I just knew I had to do something.


I sulked for the first few days. I felt totally sorry for myself and then suddenly that spark of excitement hit me. I started to feel good again and after just 2-3 days my clothes fit better. I couldn’t believe the difference that just a few days made.


The main things that helped me were

  • Keeping my “big treat” to the weekend. A take-away or meal out. It kept me motivated all week and gave me something to look forward to.
  • Replaced most of my teas with green and herbal teas. I had just one “milky” tea or coffee per day and weighed and measured the milk as part of my healthy extra a. SO easy to have two healthy extras a day when guessing. It could be an extra 40 syns a week you aren’t accounting for. I’d rather have a Spice Bag.
  • Used my hi-fi bars as part of my healthy extra B and saved it till the evening with a cup of tea. It gave me something to look forward to all day. When Billy went to bed I sat down and savoured the bit of me time.
  • I had extra veg or salad on my plate and less of the carbs. Sometimes none of the carbs and loads of the veg. It gave me a really good boost.
  • I drank tonnes of water. It really does make a difference.
  • I brought a packed lunch and snacks with me if I was visiting a friend. I even brought my measured out milk for a cuppa. Every little helps.
  • I used my syns for things like relish (1 syn per tablespoon) and light salad dressing (aldi light ones are 0.5 syns per tablespoon) and didn’t go over 1-2 syns per day for the first week. Again another boost.
  • I planned planned planned. I looked in the fridge and presses and made tomorrow’s plans for food. I lay in bed deciding exactly what I’d have for my meals the next day and how I’d get the most out of my healthy extras. I took meat out of the freezer the night before. I used the slow cooker.


I’m now a pound lighter than I was pre-Christmas and I am 9 pounds away from my target weight. Christmas was a bit of a scary time for me because it’s the first time since I started this journey that I felt a bit like I could “ruin it all”. I felt out of control and I didn’t know if I could face such a massive gain. If you are feeling this way too I want you to know that you absolutely can and WILL do this. Do it NOW. Join your Slimming World group. Make a meal plan. Buy a slow cooker. Go for a walk. Drink a glass of water. Do something for you. Something to mark the end of the run of bad eating. That’s all it takes. Feel the fear and do it anyway.


DO NOT feel guilty because you are human and life is there to be enjoyed, but I swear to God if I could bottle the feel good feeling that comes with being a healthy weight (when you’ve been 5 stone overweight your whole life) I’d give you a taste and you would believe me.


You can do this. You will do this. But most of all, you bloody deserve this.


Trust me, I too would love to live in a world where “feeding the ducks” means “looking at the water and feeding yourself a second lunch” but toddlers have that one well and truly covered.