It’s 8 weeks since I joined Slimming World. For someone who doesn’t normally ‘do’ New Year’s Resolutions, by the start of this year I was fed up of feeling and looking chunkier than I used to (the dreaded middle age spread). My skinny jeans were tight and I had started doing something I said I never would – buying bigger clothes.
Also, I’d catch sight of myself in a shop window or store mirror and think, That doesn’t look like me! So I joined Slimming World, with my mum, and we started the new year as we meant to go on.
Partnering with someone else is good as you can food shop together and discuss healthy meal ideas. We are both pleased with our weight loss so far; I’m happy to report that I now weigh 1 stone and 1lb less than when I started. My target weight is two stone less than when I started. I can tell I’ll be shopping for smaller jeans soon as I can feel my usual ones slipping down through the day, which is a very nice feeling!
That and the fact that when I look at my ‘mum tum’ side on in the mirror it doesn’t fill me with dismay anymore. I wore a dress at a party last weekend that I couldn’t fit into properly at New Year – all these little things have given me a boost.
So I thought I’d share 5 things I’ve learned since joining Slimming World:
I can lose weight
Sounds like a silly thing to say. Everyone can lose weight – it’s pretty simple science at the end of the day, if you eat the right things in the right quantities. But at the start I did doubt myself. Would I be able to stick to this? Did I want to commit to it enough? I wasn’t sure if joining a slimming group would be for me, but it has been a positive experience and staying for the chat after weigh in is a chance to ask questions, listen to advice, find out what other people are cooking and eating and it helps you stay motivated for the week ahead.
I am not actually addicted to chocolate
I seriously thought I couldn’t hack life without my daily chocolate fix. The fact is I can still enjoy chocolate – daily, if I wish to work it into my plan – but I now don’t feel the need to have it every day. I find I’m just not thinking about chocolate as much. So what has happened?
I am more aware now of what my body is taking in, whereas I didn’t give it much thought before. Writing down what passes my lips helps me focus. I also think the seeing and feeling that I am getting slimmer has probably affected how I view treats like chocolate. It kind of feels like wasted calories now, that could sabotage my plan. So unless I really am craving it, I don’t tend to reach for it as readily. Not only chocolate, but cakes, butter, cream etc. have all dropped down my food priority list which feels kind of liberating!
I don’t need to feel hungry to get slimmer
If you love food, Slimming World is great because you can enjoy large portions of the right food and don’t ever need to feel hungry. I think this was my previous notion of weightloss; a constantly rumbling tummy and the diet of a herbivore! Well, I’m still tucking into comfort food such as lasagne, cottage pie, roast dinners and hearty cooked breakfasts. If I was on a diet where I was always hungry, I would not last long. Who would? This way, I feel like I’m eating normal quantities of my normal favourite foods, but just healthier versions.
I want to adopt this for life
I’ve come to realise that after getting away with it for years, now I’m in my mid-forties I don’t have the metabolism that I used to and can’t eat whatever I want whenever I like. Starting Slimming World has been positive as I feel I’ve taken control of my daily diet and am much more aware of what I’m eating. I feel now it’s possible to stay on plan once I’ve lost the weight, too. Of course, I’m not a saint and there will be times such as meals out, weekends away, holidays, birthdays and just ‘bad days’ when I will want to indulge. But I won’t feel guilty because I know that by sticking with a sensible ‘food optimising’ routine most of the time will keep me on track.
Small changes can make a big difference
I know I’m eating more sensibly and healthily than I was before. Although I’m still enjoying plenty of dairy products, I don’t consume the same amounts of fat and I’ve increased my vegetable, fruit and fibre intake. Although I do still have it, I’m not eating as much bread too and I feel better for it – I think my digestive system is happier.
Using a low calorie spray instead of cooking oil, choosing low calorie versions of things like potato salad, opting for fat free yoghurt and skimmed milk, cutting out rubbish snacks like crisps etc is making such a difference and it feels manageable to me. Not only that, it is having an effect on the whole family, because I don’t have to cook separate meals on the whole, which would be a nightmare. I might adapt things, so if the boys want chips I may have rice, or I can make some Slimming World chips, roast potatoes or wedges. We’ve swapped things like oily tomato pesto sauces for passata instead, for example. I’ll sprinkle less cheese on top of my dishes than the boys’ portions etc.
Here’s what I enjoyed for breakfast today – I made this with All Bran, but often will prepare it the night before with plain porridge oats (the much talked about ‘overnight oats’). Layered with fat free yoghurt and a sprinkle of frozen berries, it has become a firm favourite with my eldest son, too. It keeps us feeling full all morning and is delicious and so easy to prepare.
Is anyone else making changes to their lifestyle through Slimming World or perhaps The Body Coach, or something else? Maybe you are managing to go ‘sugar free’? I’d love to hear about your experiences. I’m also going to talk about how I’m improving my fitness in next weekend’s post – for anyone who’s interested in knowing how a lazy girl who has never been into fitness is finding running several weeks on!
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