How I’ve lost two stone since Janaury

I’ve never been the kind of person that could stick to new year’s resolutions. Every year since I can remember I have pledged at midnight I will become a better version of myself. I will work harder. I will cut out junk food. I will eat more fruit and the list goes on. This year, I made the same pledges, but for once I decided to do something about it, rather than hope it would happen by itself.

On 5 January I went to a Slimming World group all on my own. I sat in the car in the carpark for about five minutes, completely scared. Scared because I had to go in alone. Scared because I might not go in. Scared of what I would have to give up and scared of who I might become. That all seems very melodramatic, I know, but my self confidence was at an all time low.

Eventually I got out of the car and walked through those doors and joined the semi circle of people sat inside the hall. The consultant came over and introduced herself, she was friendly and handed me an application form to fill out. I was also given a little pack (pictured above) containing books packed full of information and food diaries which I had a read through while the current members were weighed in.

When everything had settled down, the consultant went through the book inside the pack, it turned out the plan had changed slightly over Christmas, so it was new to the current members as well. I had done some research over the Christmas holidays, so I knew roughly what to expect already. I picked Slimming World over any other diet plan or slimming group because is not a calorie restricted diet, so you will never be hungry. It is about changing your lifestyle and learning to make good choices.

You can eat as much meat, fruits and veggies, and carbs such as pasta, rice and potatoes as you want. The only rule is a third of your plate should be filled with “speed” foods which as certain types of fruit and vegetables. The only foods that are limited are cheese and milk which you can have one measured portion of a day. And bread and cereal which again you can have one measured portion a day. On top of this, you can have between five and 15 “syns” a day which include naughty foods like chocolate, crisps, mayonnaise, oils etc.

With this plan you never have to cut things out, just moderate them which is perfect, if like me, you have tried to give up chocolate for lent and failed every year. When you ban yourself from food you crave it more and end up giving up, so a measured amount keeps the cravings at bay, and the pounds too.

The plan involves a lot of cooking from scratch, which I love to do anyway, so it wasn’t a huge adjustment for me. I found that all I needed to do was swap what I was already having for lower fat versions. So using Frylight instead of oil to cook with, fat free yoghurt instead of full fat.

I have cut some foods out of my diet, and that is because I simply don’t miss them, and I’d rather use my syns on something else. I never realised just how bad fruit juice is for you. It is packed full of sugar. Just because a glass is one of your five a day, doesn’t make it healthy. I’ve also cut out houmous which I used to eat all the time with chopped up veggies, thinking I was being really healthy. If I want it now, I make it from scratch which is much better for you.

A typical day

30g of granola with a big dollop of Total 0% fat greek yoghurt and half a bowl of strawberries. If I need a sugar boost I will add a little drizzle of honey, which is “synned”.

An apple

Leftover chili con carne from the night before (made with 5% fat mince) packed full of peppers, a big handful of spinach and some brown rice (you can have white rice too, I find brown rice more filling and tasty).

Mullerlight vanilla yoghurt

Pasta with chicken, bacon (all fat removed before cooking), peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, pesto (synned) and quark (a very low fat cream cheese) with 30g of cheddar cheese sprinkled on top and a salad and low fat dressing.

If later on I fancy something sweet I might have a Freddo bar (synned).

As you can see from my sample menu I can eat plenty of food. The naughty things are limited and every plate had a decent amount of fruit or vegetables which helps to control portion sizes. I find eating a typical menu like this (obviously I eat a wide variety of things, not just this every day!!) would result in a 2lb weight loss at the end of the week.

I’ve had my ups and downs since joining with a little holiday to Berlin, days out, and nights out. These things do get in the way sometimes and can hinder progress. Life can get in the way, but 95% of the time I am on plan and I am loving it.

So today I am two stone lighter than when I first stepped on those scales. I have lost a total of 15 inches from my body with a massive 6 inches coming off my hips alone! I’ve had to buy smaller bras and a smaller pair of jeans and a lot of my clothes are looking too big for me now. I’m not really sure what clothes size I am now, but I’d suspect I have gone down two sizes.

I was terrified going in to group for the first time, but everyone there is in the same boat and is understanding. A six months ago I would have told you I’d be fat forever. But now I can see a future where I am smaller, healthier and fitter.