Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Defying Slimming World

I know I like to rebel, but little did I realise I'd be rebelling against Slimming World, the organisation that have felt like a friend for most of my adult life. I would drift back time and again as the plan worked for me.

I'd follow good old Green days and the weight would shift. The only reason the weight didn't stay off was due to my falling off plan and eating my body weight in crap food, it wasn't down to the Green plan. Well, now, apparently, Green doesn't work, people don't lose weight on it......

....I beg to differ here!

I'm sure I'm not the only Green day devotee out there who feels snubbed by this move. Extra Easy may be an easy plan to follow, but for me, it offers no good reason to ditch my extra Healthy Extra choices, especially the cheesey HeB choices that are only offered on a Green day...a life without Stilton? Not for me. There is a good reason that cheese is offered as a Healthy Extra, it is a source of protein, maybe one with fat content too, but that is why it's a measured amount, something that isn't offered on Extra Easy, so I'm losing a source of protein on my vegetarian diet by switching to EE.

Of course, I could use my syns on that cheese, and on an additional A choice, so I'd be left with just 8 syns to play with, or 3 when I drop down to the standard 15 syns. Could you easily stick to plan with 8 syns a day? Or 3? Didn't think so.  Of course, I could always choose between tea and coffee and a portion of cheese a day, and have cereal, OR cereal bars OR bread. Thing is, when I have tried to do that in the past, I've become grumpy and miserable, having to choose between coffee or a treat in the evening, having to cut out my sweet treat of an Alpen light or Hi-Fi bar makes me feel like I'm on a diet, makes me feel restricted and makes me fall off plan. Wasn't the whole ethos behind Slimming World that you can make the plan work for you? For me the three plans of Red, Green and Extra Easy were probably the best portfolio of plans Slimming World have ever had, and believe me, I've seen a few. I was there when it was just Red and Green, and when they introduced Mix to Max (remember that??) and of course the huge success that is Extra Easy. 

If you're a red day devotee, you'll be okay, just go with the new Extra Easy SP plan, half a plate of veg and half a plate of protein. Jobs a good'un. It's the plan that has replaced Success Express, and for me, makes it practically unusable. It would mean a week of meals that are half veg and half beans/pulses/plain quorn chunks/mince. So much for no food is banned eh Slimming World?

I shall stop ranting now, I'm sure you can all appreciate that I'm upset and frustrated at what I see as pointless changes. It's all very well saying I can still follow Green, well yes I can. For now. Already there is a new syns online on the website, showing only EE syns, how much longer before all support for the Red and Green plans are quietly dropped and it's a case of EE or nothing? Even now I'm questioning whether it's worth me going to group anymore as I was told the Green plan will not be talked about, so why am I paying that money? 

For now it's time to try defying Slimming World, I think I'll try defying Slimming World....

This girl is green, through and bloody through - and I now have an even bigger bit between my teeth to prove Slimming World wrong, to show you can  bloody well lose on Green. Just watch me fly ;o)

Oh, and here's the food I've been eating over the last few days...as that's sort of why you're all here right? ;o)

Hopefully I've not upset too many of you with my rantings, but I feel justified in feeling angry and upset. Why fix what isn't broke, why upset the multitudes of vegetarians who stick to the Green plan. Oh, and don't patronise us by wheeling out a vegetarian consultant who thinks that courgette strips can replace pasta and roasted butternut squash is the same as roasted spuds. 

Monday, 29 December 2014


Well, here we are again. A New Year is almost upon us and unfortunately I'm nowhere near where I wanted to be just 7 weeks away from my 40th birthday.

I shall not be at target by then. In fact I'll weigh closer to what I did in February 2012 (before SW). Only one person is to blame. Me. Simple as that. I've had health issues this year, and frustration, anxiety and depression have all played their part, as well as the more physical issue of my thyroid wonking out.

None of that made me stuff my face with rubbish though, I'd faced issues before and stayed strong throughout. Somewhere in the summer I totally lost my way and eating rubbish became my new hobby, now I have to face up to that, face up to my huge gain - I'm back at group tomorrow - and face up to the fact that I'll be up in the 20st range once more and that I have a whole lot of work to do to get back into my gorgeous clothes!

So that's the situation. Today I am back on plan. Tomorrow I am back at group and my journey shall start again. Hopefully this time I won't fall off in such a spectacular way!

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Doctors, Sleep, Eat Cycle!

I had said I wanted to blog a bit more regularly, but right now, with me feeling so knackered all the time, not a lot is actually going on, and I figured I didn't want to bore you to death with tales of sleeping and eating and not much else...

The last few days have been a bit more interesting, so a blog wouldn't go amiss :o) I have been on plan though, so am hoping for another loss tomorrow!

Yesterday was pretty bad. I slept until 2.30, only emerging as we were due to attend a local Xmas lights turn on as Harbour Radio representatives. It was rather good fun, but damn was it cold - freezing cold. And raining. This limited our activities to mostly huddling under a gazebo, although I managed a bit of bucket rattling, hardly the most gruelling of days, but we got home, had a hot chocolate and a bath and I was ready for bed. Just over 6 hours out of bed and I was exhausted. SO not right :o(

Today was another early start - I took Hague to work, with a few quick noms inside me...

 and then after he'd done we got straight to the Doctors for the results of a thyroid function test. Lo and behold hypothyroidism is looming as I'm at a subclinical level. What that means is that my thyroid is on the way out, and I am now starting on tablets to normalise my thyroid function. The reason I've been feeling tired, anxious and depressed is starting to become clearer! Vitamin D deficiency makes you tired, hypothyroidism makes you tired....no wonder I'm spending my days barely functioning!!  

I know it sounds odd, but I'm pleased. Hypothyroidism explains a hell of a lot, including my weight plateau, my terrible memory and the headaches as well as the tiredness. I'll be glad to get on the tablets, and hopefully start to feel more like myself. I've been signed off for another 6 weeks to give the tablets time to kick in, and I do desperately home they do. I've had enough of feeling awful! Anyway, after a nap, we had to get ourselves ready for our radio show, as it's now extended to 3 hours, so it was a quick lunch before we had to head out.

Lunches don't come much more bargain basement than this...10p bag of stir fry veg, 29p Aldi sauce packet and 2 eggs. Less than a quid! Perfect for our squeezed financial household, I've spent £32 on bloody prescriptions in two weeks O.o

The radio show went well, but after just 3 hours of sitting and doing that concentrating thing I was shattered again, and so dinner was very much of a  quick and lazy variety.

Due to most of today's food being in bowls I was left with a small cereal bowl to squeeze my dinner into - was still yummy though. Just pasta with Quorn chilled bacon, courgette, mushrooms and LowLow, plus a lovely fruity dessert.

As it's nearly 9 o'clock there won't be much of this evening left, so all that awaits is to watch the rest of the Angry Video Game Nerd film, have me a milky hot chocolate and get myself back into bed! Roll on the day when I spend more hours out of it than in!

Still...at least I am now the proud owner of a pill organiser....does this mean I'm middle aged??

It'll never happen to me.... ;o)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Sleeping and Sitting

Not the most exciting of days here at the MitchyHague abode I'm afraid. Sleep has been the main activity of the day, mostly due to barely sleeping last night and so I was hideously tired when I took Hague to work - accompanied with a quick snack so as to keep myself going...

I do love these HiFi bars, they remind me of Picnics :o) Anyway, once I was back home it was back to bed for me, where it took me ages to nod off again, hence me staying there until 2:30. Bad Karen! Obviously I woke up hungry, with not a huge amount of desire to cook anything too demanding and so it was a stir fry that did the job for lunch.

In the stir fry I used an Aldi sachet sauce, which are just 29p, and this one (Hoisin and Garlic) comes in at 6½ syns for the packet, which I don't think is too bad as they taste lovely. Dessert was simple. I then did a lot of sitting and watching of the IT Crowd before Hague headed to work again and I got around to the important business of sitting some more, this time covered with all of the animals..

I did manage to move them for long enough to get myself a snack...

...followed up later on by an old favourite, cous cous quiche, which I made using some of the leftovers from yesterday.

This one had courgette, mushrooms and onion inside with a HeA of Cheddar on the top and it was just as nice as it normally is! I then watched Masterchef followed up with the second series of The Great British Bake Off whilst nattering to TOK via iMessage. A need for something sweet then came over me, nothing to do with watching cake week on GBBO I'm sure, and I had the brainwave of splashing out 5 whole syns on a simple, but luscious snack.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that jam is only ½ a syn a teaspoon, which means that a tablespoon is just 1½, and I had one of those on each slice. It was the perfect thing to savour whilst watching such lovely baking on the TV, and definitely a good use of a HeB and 5 syns as far as I'm concerned! 

So with the evening drawing to a close, and another blood test looming tomorrow, I'm hoping I sleep so that I'm not all of a state in the morning, mind you, as I'm now on 4 tablets a day, getting myself some sleeping tablets will hardly make a difference!  So my day has been pretty boring, and has ended up with me on 16 syns (I'm now allowed 20 due to my weight, which I am using as and when I need them). It's definitely getting easier to stay on plan, long may it last! 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

How Much?

I didn't blog yesterday due to a migraine, which meant I spent most of the day in bed. Which also means I didn't do, or eat very much....

I actually had an Extra Easy day as I only had one of each HE! We were up in bed before 11 as well, so much of a nothing-ness. My migraine even meant we missed the radio :o(

I had been nervously looking forward to today though. Firstly due to my Dr's appointment, which may sound odd, but when you've been feeling crap for as long as I have and you're going in to see the results of yet another blood test you get desperate for answers and so it couldn't come quick enough.

For once, I actually did get some answers! I'm hugely Vitamin D deficient, so need to take some tablets that contain 5000 times the RDA to get the levels back up, Also my thyroid had dipped into under-active once more and so that means yet another blood test to see what's going on and then we'll go from there. Vitamin D deficiency does leave you feeling tired though, so we shall see how these tablets help! From there it was off to pick up Hague from work, then home for breakfast...

...before a wee nap as we were heading into the Radio Station once more, this time to cover another show - alas, a power cut thwarted us and so rather than DJ-ing and heading straight to group, we left early and came home where I nervously awaited 5pm and time to leave for  group, via the pharmacy to pick up my ever so small bag of medicine O.o

I was early for weigh in, and so picked up a Costa too, a skinny toffee nut latte, and then had to wait again for weigh in to open. As I waited I was getting more and more nervous and didn't even want to look down at the scales as I was so concerned I'd not lost anything.

Silly me...

I even beat my previous first weigh in loss which was 10lbs with a first week loss of 10½lbs. I literally could not believe it, gobsmacked doesn't even cover it. Silly old me doubting the magic of Slimming World after all this time! It was a small group, and so lots of time for nattering and sharing of ideas, which I always enjoy, and I'd taken in some persimmon for some of the ladies to try as they'd never tried it before. I picked up the new magazine too, and so I'm all ready for another good week. I'd rather like 3½lbs....we shall see ;o)

One thing that was discussed was Treat Night, and about half the group confessed to enjoying this. It's a tricky one, as some of the ladies were of the mind that they needed Treat Night to stay on plan all week, whereas I am hoping to normalise my relationship with food and so will treat myself when I want to, rather than just because it's Tuesday.

I came home via Tesco to bargain hunt (salad, two packets of pineapple fingers and a stir fry for 55p), and sorted out a very quick dinner of a couscous salad topped with Quorn fajita strips and cheese.

After a brief interlude to collect Hague from Kickboxing it was back indoors to have myself a nice dessert.

I shall follow it up with a Nescafe mocha sachet before bed - but for now I'm going to relax and enjoy the insanity of my huge loss and flick through the latest Slimming World magazine to get some ideas for meals for the next week! Although,  before I head off, I will share this little gem with you that TOK shared on Facebook earlier, as it certainly put a smile on my face :o)


Sunday, 16 November 2014


It may seem like the last few months when my blog, and SW went by the wayside that I did nothing but eat. I mean, I did eat, a lot, but that wasn't the only thing I was doing. In the last few weeks when I think it's safe to say I hit the worst of the eating crap phase, with no pretense of being on plan in the slightest, in fact most days were spent grazing on rubbish rather than eating meals I also spent time thinking about what I was doing, and why I was doing it.

There are obviously many reasons behind my complete fail at slimming. It wasn't even so much of a Can't Be Arsed attitude, as it takes a visit to the supermarket to stock up on rubbish, not to mention popping to the local shops for "emergency" biscuits - so it can't really be put down to that. I've been feeling awful, with constant headaches, anxiety and tiredness, but eating rubbish is inclined to make you feel worse, not better...and although I have been feeling supremely sorry for myself, I'm intelligent enough to know that living on ice cream and biscuits won't make me feel better.

Part of me thinks that I was almost subliminally punishing myself. Despite all my hard work my body wasn't even close to what I wanted to look like, flappy arms, huge legs and still a significant tummy and of course the weight wasn't moving. I went from being 100% on plan to "one little xyz won't hurt" to "I'll just have this one day off plan" to the devastating low of utter carnage foodily speaking.

One thing that has become quite clear is that I will never have the body of my dreams, it's just not going to happen. I need to come to terms with that, make peace with the body I have been abusing for far too long. I am never going to be able to wear short skirts, I will always be conscious of my loose, flabby bits and my stomach is never going to look like a washboard. That's the reality. However, at my lowest I felt much better about myself, much better. If that's the body I'll have, then so be it. I was rocking my look and I felt good - and at practically 40, I could be much worse off.

So, I shall take my experiences of 2014 and try to learn from them. Learn that my body may never get to that elusive target weight of 12 or 11 stone, learn that health and fitness really does feel better than the helplessness that comes with binging on high fat and high sugar foods. Learn to love the body I am in, the body that has put up with me abusing it for over 30 years with no major issues, and learn to love myself again - not label myself a failure for gaining some weight back, but take some positives from the fact that I am once again doing my best to be as healthy as I can be, and perhaps that'll help with my other issues too.

So although I haven't posted, I've been on plan. I did have slightly too many syns on Saturday - eating 3 chocolates that were probably around 250 calories all told, so they took me over my syns, but as I was planning to eat a banana and a punnet of grapes to stave off the craving, which would have been about the same, I'm not going to get too upset about it, after all, I'm still adjusting from eating thousands and thousands of calories a day.

Apart from chocolates, things have been good, meals have included this little lot and the slippery slope of "treating" myself when Hague is in Barnsley has been avoided!

The weekend has been successfully negotiated, with fried rice and vegetable chow mein later for dinner, and maybe a cheeky hot chocolate in the bath before bed. Then a new week will be upon me, with our radio show - newly extended so we're on 4-7pm at www.harbourradio.co.uk - and then weigh in on Tuesday! Don't worry, I'm hoping to blog before then! 

I shall also be taking more time to think about the body I will end up with, and be thankful that whatever it ends up looking like, it's got me this far :o) and sulking about fat legs and flappy arms will never change that, so it's time to get out of the doldrums and get this weight gone. For good.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Bumps, Banging Heads and Bargains!

Today has not been a great day for Hague. First off he couldn't find his keys this morning and was all of a panic. As his bike was locked up using said keys he had to get me up so I could run him in...as I walked down the stairs I spotted his keys, by then it was too late though and so out I went to take him to work. Whilst he was there I listened to Dave Grohl on the radio, hoping and praying that the Foo Fighters UK tour next summer includes a set at Glastonbury!

With work done for a few hours we came home and then had our first triple dog walk! Only a quick one over the park, but all seemed happy with much snuffling and sniffings going on and we all got home in one piece where I got myself back to bed as I was both exhausted and dealing with a rather nasty headache - they're constant at the moment, but at times they get even worse, and today was one of those times. 

Hague had to go back to work and me being all sorry for myself and hurty didn't go, despite the lovely Glenys saying it was fine for me to come along - in hindsight, I desperately wish I had done! I tried to sleep more but failed and so got myself up and finally got some food inside me.

Perfect example of a CBA breakfast there - note the food diary underneath ;) As my Frozen DVD seems to have lost itself I had to find myself something else to keep me occupied and so with the help of TOK, who has managed to break her ankle rather badly we sorted out some viewing for the afternoon whilst I drank much tea and sorted out another very lazy meal....

I suppose it was lunch of sorts, eaten whilst TOK and myself were watching Donut Showdown....we don't help ourselves really do we? Not long after that Hague came in whilst I was in the process of encouraging our Pug-a-liscious guests to eat whilst trying to stop Boo doing just that! He told me not to worry, and then proceeded to tell me that he'd been knocked off his bike on the ride home :( The bloke only stopped briefly to make sure he was alive before he drove off, so although Hague is a mix of lumps, bumps, scrapes and bruises his bike is buggered :( Not good. 

He decided that beer would help ease the pain, as would naughty food. Now, I'm only on my second day of a new start, my willpower could be shaky, but it held firm whilst we visited Home Bargains - a first for us, and it won't be a last...OMG the bargains - and Tesco. I picked up a new bag...

...Feta, beetroot and Frylight *polishes halo* So whilst he picked at his morsels I had me a rather gorgeous dinner, all on plan.

A few syns used, but that's what they're for. Gnocchi with spinach, roasted tomatoes and beetroot, with (defrosted) frozen cherries and a yogurt for dessert. Really delicious :) Much nicer than the Tesco Finest salted caramel and chocolate tart that had  been reduced to £1 that I left on the shelf.

The rest of the evening shall be spent nattering to SW friends, enjoying Puggle snores and watching Robocop before a final cuppa and bed. I shall be feeling rather proud of myself for staying on plan, and also for picking up such an awesome bag for just £3.99!

Go me :)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The First Day

I've managed it! A whole day on plan! Go me!

Today has been out of the ordinary though - for a start I was awake at about 8:30. Not a good thing as once again I had an awful night, mostly worrying about having a blood test today. Which I know is stupid.

Said blood test was at 10:11 this morning, and so I waited for Hague to get home to hold my hand and off we went - me having eaten a banana to try and prevent any light headedness. It went quite well, and now I just have to wait for the results. We then headed into town as Hague is getting worried about how much time I'm spending indoors. I won't lie, I was pretty anxious, but did my best to stay calm whilst we had a small mooch, ending up in Starbucks.

I treated myself to a skimmed milk toffee nut latte - so 4 syns and my HeA choice and rather lush it was too. Whilst we were in there I continued on a conversation that had started yesterday....

....I had posted on Facebook that we were looking for new pets, well, I asked for kittens, but I got an inbox message from a SW friend who was looking to rehome her Pugs....Pugs!! On the anniversary of the day we re-homed our little FlumpyCat...me and Hague both decided it was fate and so made plans to meet up with her, and Tinkerbell and Tallulah :o)

First things first though when we got in, and then was getting ourselves fed!

We then turned our attention to making sure one Basset Hound, a rather unimpressed JadeyPuss and two Pugs could co-exist for the day at least! A while ago, Hague had said he wanted a dog of his own as Boo and Jadey are both glued to me most of the time, and he seems to have got his wish as both the Pug's have been following him about - too cute!

As my body is currently used to consuming thousands of calories a day, I was peckish again a few hours later and a quick search of the fridge found a tub of Aldi low fat cottage cheese with pineapple. 

That was eaten pretty sharpish :o) We then popped out to get a few bits and bobs for our little visitors, and treats for the current Menagerie before we could get started on dinner - an eclectic, but tasty mix.

Some pasta with half a tub of LowLow mixed in, plus broccoli, roasted red pepper and a double of Quorn goodies, a peppered steak and a pork steak. The pork ones are ½syn each, so not too bad - and whilst Hague said they didn't taste remotely like pork it was nice to have something that tasted different :o) Dessert was a good old SW classic - cereal bar and a yogurt.

As you may have noticed, I don't put too much stock in sell by dates.... ;) The evening has been spent listening to Puggles snore and trying to convince myself I'm not hungry - something I'll get used to after a few more days of eating proper food until I'm satisfied rather than terrible food until I'm stuffed.

I've had 14½ syns today. I'm happy with that as I'm allowed up to 20 - although I'll be trying my best to stick to 15. My evening snack of Oddities and 35g of dried apricots will be nommed on whilst listening to Puggles snore! One day under my belt. Happy Karen checking out!

I'll be posting my food diaries on MyFitnessPal, so if you want to keep up with what I'm eating, you can find me here