You may remember last year, at my 40-year old health check, I was advised to lose weight and exercise more. Although, after years of yo-yo dieting on every fad diet to ever hit the book shelves, I did not hold out much hope for long-term success. The nurse handed me a leaflet for Slimming World, and after an initial flurry of excitement over the unlimited carbs paragraph, I stuffed it into my pocket and went away to think about it.
For about 5-months.
During this time, I continued my pattern of avoiding carbs from Monday-Thursday, and then devouring them in the form of Roast Chicken & Thyme flavoured crisps every Friday night.
Over the summer, I gained a few more pounds. Many of which had Prosecco written all over them.
But, when the new school year started, something switched inside me and I knew I was ready.
Now, if you are not familiar with the Slimming World format, you will be forgiven for arriving at your first meeting and thinking ‘WTF?!’ After the initial new members presentation where the consultant takes you through the plan step-by-step, you are then invited to stay for IMAGE therapy. This is the bit where you sit around and talk about your weight loss ‘journey’ in a group setting. It’s ok, I rolled my eyes at first too.
Once I got past the clapping, I saw the potential benefits – support, encouragement, motivation. And let’s face it, I had been trying to go it alone for over 20-years and weighed more than I did when I first started! Maybe a change of strategy was exactly what I needed.
Besides, there really was no other diet left in the world for me to try.
Keeping a food diary is key in the early weeks, especially if you are in a bit of denial about wine not being one of your 5-a-day *coughs*. But, the rest of the plan was easy enough for me to get my head around. You can eat as much free food (fish, lean meat, eggs, rice, pasta, potatoes, pulses) as you like and fill 1/3 of your plate with super free food (fruit, veg) at every meal. Things like bread, cheese, fats and alcohol are also allowed, albeit in limited amounts.
I’ve been following the plan for almost 5-months now, but this is the first time I am blogging about it. There is a reason for this, and that is because I have posted ENDLESSLY about every other diet I have ever embarked on, only to abandon it a few weeks later. I made a promise to myself this time to wait until I’d lost my first stone, so I had something tangible to write about.
During this time, I have not counted a single calorie, weighed a single ounce of free food, or rejected a single carb. I have had to stop eating as many crisps though (BOO!) and I do have to measure wine before I pour it into my glass… some days my measurements are more generous than others! This has meant my weight loss has been a tad slower than it maybe could have been – I am definitely taking the scenic route to my goal weight. However, I’m still managing to lose most weeks and I’ve dropped almost 1 ½ stone now. I want to lose about the same again, so if I continue at my current rate of around 1lb a week, I shall hopefully be beach ready for summer! How I would love to wobble less around the pool this year.
There’s also something called non-scale victories! Remember the Cynthia Rowley dress I bought years ago with the intention of slimming into but never did? IT FITS! I’m not sure if I like it now I’ve seen it on though…
I’ve also discovered a lovely little community of people who share recipes, swap tips and encourage each other.
All this time, and it wasn’t the crisps that were sabotaging my relationship with all the other diets after all. I just had yet to find ‘the one’ for me.
This post is so gushing about Slimming World that I feel I should point out it is NOT sponsored by them