Let me start by saying that this is not a personal attack on Rosemary McCabe. I actually went to school with Rosemary and have no personal issue with her. I also know that she likes to write about click-baity topics so penning a post about Slimming World didn’t really surprise me. It has people talking. It has people clicking her blog. She gets this stuff so more power to her.
However, and this is a big however, it had a lot of misinformation in the post which I wanted to clear up. I am allergic to tit-for-tat cyber wars so can I just emphasise again that this is nothing personal. No more than her blog post was a personal attack on me. She’s my friend on Facebook and follows me on Snapchat so she’ll know that I’ve had success with Slimming World. She might even know I am a consultant now. I’m not self-absorbed enough to think that her blog post has anything to do with me though. It’s a post about Slimming World and the empire that it is.
The biggest issue I had with Rosemary’s post was the fact that she said, in blatant terms, that Slimming World teaches it’s members nothing about nutrition. Not true. Slimming World is built on the foundation of healthy eating. Of helping YOU and your family change your lifestyle, cook from scratch and get away from processed food. Processed food that is high fat, high sugar and high…processed crap. Never in my entire life have I eaten healthier. I now make everything from scratch and wouldn’t dream of buying a jar of anything other than condiments these days. Sometimes I still can’t believe how simple that change is but how profoundly it affects the way my whole family eats.
Slimming World is ALL about the healthy food and a healthy balanced diet. Balance being an important word here. Let’s talk about what I ate yesterday for example. For breakfast I had a Muller Light Greek Style Yoghurt (Free), berries & a coffee. I was on the go and grabbed a yoghurt that I knew was free and a piece of fruit. The day before I had porridge with natural yoghurt, cinnamom and honey. The day before that I had an omelette with mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach and cheese. I mix it up, vary my plates and eat tonnes of vegetables and fruit. YES the yoghurt has sweetner in it. I choose to eat those as part of the plan but I do not have to. They help me stay on plan and by on plan I mean a healthy eating diet that is 90% healthier than my previous diet which was basically 100% processed food. It is my choice.
Rosemary had an issue with Slimming World not teaching people about good fats and bad fats. I get her point in the sense that Avocado is a super healthy wholesome food and on Slimming World it is not Free (one would use their syns on it if they chose to enjoy it). Here’s the thing though, Slimming World is a weightloss plan. It’s not a plan to help people eat clean while going to the gym. People come to Slimming World because they want to lose weight. Some people want to lose seven pounds while others want to lose twenty stone. Weight that massively affects their health. Weight that has their confidence, self esteem and world upside down and inside out. They want to lose weight. At Slimming World they will lose weight. They will also eat a healthy varied diet with tonnes of vegetables, protein, fruit, fibre and calcium. They will also have a little room for treats because… LIFE.
Clean eating is great. I love vegetables, meat, avocado and nut-butters. Really I do. The problem is I could never stick to such a plan long term. When I did try it I did it for two weeks. YES I had tonnes of energy. YES my skin improved. YES I felt really really healthy. I also gave up after three weeks because I couldn’t stick to it. Some people can and that is brilliant but a LOT of people absolutely cannot. That does not make you weak. Joining a Slimming World group because you get excited by the fact that pasta, potatoes and rice are “allowed” does not make you a fool. It makes you someone who has a mission to lose weight and wants something they can stick to LONG TERM. It’s not a quick fix – it is a lifestyle change. Your goal is weightloss and we will help you get there.
Rosemary’s blog post painted Slimming World as a plan that is too focused on processed food and not enough on nutrition. She rolled her eyes at the likes of mugshots, mushy peas and sweetner. The reality is that if we could all eat only clean foods and in the right quantities then we would never ever need help with our diets. We would all be a tribe of super healthy well-nourished people. It wouldn’t be an issue. Obesity wouldn’t be an issue. That is not the reality though. People need help. They can find that help in many ways. Slimming World is one of the most successful ways of finding that help. A room of supportive warm people who get it. People who might relate to your comfort eating, secret eating or self sabotage. All three if you are me. People who love food and want to be able to stick to something long-term. The losses are celebrated and the gains (because LIFE) do not define you. At Slimming World you will eat amazing food and lose weight. There will be no humiliation. No expectations of perfection. It is a safe and wonderful place. A place where people will share recipe ideas and tips and tricks that have helped them enjoy food and lose weight.
I use sweetner in my coffee. I am 100% aware that it is a processed item. I get it. It’s also about 1% of my diet so I am A-OK with it. It is one of the things that have helped make Slimming World so liveable for me. My day is bursting with healthy food. Lean proteins (meat), fish, beans, pulses, lentils, vegetables and healthy snacks. A little sweetner does not define my day. It’s a small tool that helps me maintain an overall very healthy diet that my whole family benefit from.
Mugshots and Slimming World Frozen Meals (Iceland) are great when you are stuck. I wouldn’t choose a mugshot everyday or even every week but it could be the very thing that actually changes a person’s overall diet for the better, A small snack that could deter them from choosing twenty bigger ones that day. It might help keep them on the straight and narrow. And guess what… Slimming World treats people as ADULTS. Adults have the choice. I don’t have to eat mugshots. I actually choose not to because they don’t float my boat. You might though. You are an adult and you make these choices for yourself. The Iceland meals are a back-up too. No Slimming World consultant will tell you to live on them. They’ll say quite the opposite actually. If I get in from work late and I am really hungry I can have a Slimming World meal and still feel in control of the plan. It’s not everyday but it was a plate of dinner which included tonnes of vegetables, meat and spices. It wasn’t a burger, chips and curry sauce from the chipper.
Frylight is the way that I choose to cook my food. It is a choice. I would rather use my syns for a little treat in the evening. Another reason why Slimming World is liveable. It’s not going to preach and tell you that you shouldn’t have treats. In a perfect world we would all be able to turn them up on a daily basis. Slimming World recognises that we are not PERFECT though. It’s developed a plan that is healthy and leaves a little wiggle room for LIFE. Wiggle room that means you can wave goodbye to the self sabotage and GUILT of the past. It’s called balance. Nobody is perfect. I can choose to have olive oil if I want. Many people do. I choose Frylight though. It is more processed but again it’s a small change that has had a positive affect on my diet in general. I could use olive oil and go back to the way I used to eat. Treats are my trigger though. I need to know I can have a little something nice in the evening with a cup of tea. For this reason I choose to use my syns on a treat rather than olive oil. It’s about choice. My choice.
Slimming World is a weightloss plan. A healthy eating plan that suits the entire family and also helps a person lose weight. I’ve lost 65 pounds doing it. My goal was weightloss. My goal was not a perfect diet with no processed food. I know that that is not realistic for me. I also know that being five stone overweight had me in the darkest place of my life. A dark hole of constant comfort eating. Food was my drug and now it is my joy. I have self love, confidence and delicious food. I never imagined I could have all three.
Do not feel guilty for choosing to go to a Slimming World group. It is probably the most genius thing you’ll ever do. Tell yourself well done. If we could all do this by ourselves then we would. We can’t and that is why we don’t. Do not feel guilty for choosing sweetner and Frylight instead of maple syrup and olive oil. When I was using Olive Oil I was also eating ten sausage rolls for breakfast. Not so bloody virtuous.
If you want to do a nutrition course and learn about food fats, bad fats, Macros and muscle repair then DO. I think that sounds wonderful. That was not my goal though. My goal was weightloss and big plates of delicious food. Slimming World helped me lose weight. It gave me the framework that meant that I could eat healthily and still have room for LIFE. It banished the guilt and “giving up” I was so accustomed to. It satisfied me.
Slimming World is ALL about food learning. It’s ALL about learning how to eat nutritionally. It’s also about being realistic and finding something that you can stick to long-term. Something that becomes normal to you. It’s about treating people like adults and recognises that most of us need a bit of flexibility. That doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you an unhealthy person. It makes you someone who wants to lose weight and live a life that is as healthy as possible for YOU.