Monday, 30 June 2014

Back Again!

I've been away far too long again haven't I? Life has well and truly got in the way, with work, the radio show and me and Hague making the most of the sunshine when we're not at work, blogging has fallen by the way side. Add to the that the minor detail that I can't seem to manage a whole week on plan for love nor money and I'm sure you can see why blogging has slipped ever so slightly down my list!! 

I'm trying my hardest to get my head back in the game, and went back to weigh in last week for the first time in 3 weeks, to a gain of 9lbs - it's insane the amount of damage I can do when I fall off plan, quite frankly it's downright scary, and the line was drawn....

Line literally drawn there, and a promise made to Claire that I will never be that heavy again! I've  been working on ways to keep myself motivated, including a little motivational book, full of reasons, motivational quotes, pictures and ideas to help keep myself on plan - plus of course being on plan whenever I can. This week has been pretty good, with just Saturday being a bit wobbly, but not as wobbly as it could have been, or would have been before. Yesterday though, was completely on track...

I tried out something new in Starbucks, the Lime Refresha, which at 3½ syns for the grande is a lot better syn wise that the similar Green Tea, Lime and Mint Cooler at Costa, which I love, but it's 8 syns for a small one! It's all about the small changes....I thoroughly enjoyed my food yesterday, so it's now a case of onwards and upwards!

Today brings the start of my week of nights, after our show on Harbour Radio this evening at 5pm and I shall be trying to get a blog up in the mornings before I head to bed. I miss blogging - I love the feedback I get, and the fact that my honesty on the blog helps to keep me on track. I've not been totally off the rails, despite that scary gain though, it's mainly been the CBA's that have stopped me!! I'm started the week right, with some toasted couscous soaking ready for breakfast, soup already done overnight in the slow cooker for work, and as I'll be at the radio station until past 7pm and I'm going to try and quickly weigh in tonight I'm also getting my dinner for before work ready now, so I can just re-heat it when I get in! I'm scaring myself with such organisational skills! 

So I shall leave today's blog there, with yet another promise that I'll try and get you all updated far more often, and a few piccies from the last week or so, to show you what I've been up to!

Fitting into Little Booteek sale goodies! LOVE this dress! 

Meeting Minions, which was hugely exciting for me...even though I'm 39 :)

Plus of course hosting our Lust for Life show on Harbour - such great fun, and you can listen in every Monday between 5-7pm at, or try the little gadgety thing up there on the right hand side of the blog!

Back soon!!! xx

Friday, 20 June 2014

Confessions Of A Ropey Role Model

My name is Karen Mitchell, and I'm currently the ropiest poster girl for Slimming World you're likely to find. Just last week I was in Woman's Own magazine, I co-host a health and fitness show on Harbour Radio, and I'm the Greatest Loser in my Slimming World group....

....and right now I can't stay on plan for love nor money!

Less than two weeks ago I started the ground breaking "Stars On My Calendar" incentive plan to get me to stop falling off the SW bus at the slightest bump in the road, and that is currently not quite working out like it should have done...

Quite a lot of grumpy faces there rather than stars unfortunately. I'm trying so many things, even TOK has promised me a DVD if I manage a week on plan. Insane isn't it? I managed weeks and weeks and weeks on plan not that long ago, but right now I'm hovering around ½ stone out of my target range and with the willpower of a soggy jellyfish. I think the fitting phrase here is "Gah".

All I can do is keep going though, and as you can see from the star on the calendar, today I have managed just that. I even managed to resist buying some naughtiness when I was left unsupervised in Asda, something that I have struggled to manage in the last few weeks - a big step forward there for me! 

Right now I'm focusing on each meal, no further than that, and doing my best to stay on plan as much as I can, and if I do slip off I'm not writing off the rest of the day, but getting back onto plan for my next meal.

Whatever has got into me will pass, it has to. I was firmly in the zone before, and I will be there again. It just might take some time and patience and frustration to get me there, but I shall not give up, just flicking through pictures like these....

....make me realise I have so much to lose if I put the weight back on. No more long walks with Hague, no more bike rides on Margot exploring the Norfolk countryside, no more clothes that reflect the real me. That's just too much to lose right? 

I may need more reminders before I'm firmly on the bus again, but I will get there! Life has changed hugely for me in the last few months, and I like it. I like the chances I've been given to do something different, to make a change, to get out there, and throwing it away to return to the 25st + recluse I was would be madness. Simple as that.

I might not feel confident enough to say no more, but I will certainly say that I will be doing my utter best to get back to where I was, and not beat myself up for falling off. A positive frame of mind is always better after all.

Phew, hopefully that's enough of a catch up for you all! Apologies for the ramblings! been an odd one. I didn't get up until way, way too late and rushed around to get out to head into town with Hague for him to start work and for me to have a mosey around the food festival. A banana stuffed down my neck in the name of breakfast before we biked in.

However, when we got to Harbour it was to the news that they were promoting in town and so off we all headed to do a bit of promo for the without a scrape of make up on, not even mascara! Eek! Luckily the people in the market place didn't run for cover, and after a while I was free to carry out my moseying, including a hello and hug with Hailey and a cuppa with Glenys before heading back to the station to listen in on Keith and Dan's show.

Once we were done, we had the joys of shopping ahead of us. Lack of funds last week meant that we lived out of the cupboards (when we weren't shoving crap down our throats) and so we were massively short of noms, hence having to visit the Holy Trinity of shops, Aldi, Asda AND Tesco, so obviously it was a tad late by the time we got home and sat down to dinner. A bloody awesome dinner if I do say so myself.

Every healthy extra on one plate. Lovely job! I thoroughly enjoyed it I must say, and put away dessert after a wee while.

They did have new, multi packs of mini Danio's in Tesco, but I stuck with my lovely large tubs instead. Such a treat for 3 syns. An evening of nattering to TOK, persuing bikini's (I know!) and football has eased the day away, so there is just time for a wee snack before I head up to bed as for some reason I've said I'll ride to the station tomorrow with Hague to wave him off to Barnsley. At 6.15am. 

Food Diary (Friday)

Free and Superfree Food
cherry tomatoes
onion and chive cottage cheese

Healthy Extras
A - 4 Laughing Cow light blue cheese triangles
A - 3 Asda light cheese slices
B - (both) - 60g wholemeal bread

10g wholemeal bread                     1
2 Asda meat free burgers               1
tbsp ketchup                                  1
tbsp mustard                                  1
milk in coffee                                 1
Danio blueberry                             3
Tesco veggie taster sushi                ½
Benefit bar                                    2½

Total syns                                      11

So one on plan day under my belt. Here's to a few more, as well as a few more blogs and a few more visits to the scales!!! 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

3, 2, 1.....

From the outside, today has looked like a normal day, but underneath it's been quite exciting really! It didn't start very excitingly though, I woke up tired, hot and grumpy - just for a change - and didn't want to get up - just for a change. However, bills don't pay themselves and so out of bed I crawled and got myself some breakfast.

Bit of an odd mix there, toasted couscous, muesli and mixed fruits with yogurt. I've not had it for a while, and rather enjoyed it, especially washed down with coffee. Far too quickly the time whizzed by and I had to get myself ready for work, oh it gets harder and harder as the week goes on, but I managed it, and got myself to work as well.

I'm so good! ;o)

Work wasn't great, it was hot, and the line was playing up, so I was a busy girl, a hot girl and a rather grumpy girl. I managed to work my way through this little pile of food though.

I definitely had the hungries today, and I've decided that this no longer means I have worms, it means I have a Very Hungry Caterpillar in my stomach. Mainly as I love the Very Hungry Caterpillar, so I don't mind sharing with him :o)

Got a bit distracted there.....I also got distracted at work, when one of my apps told me that 2 years ago today I was at the Priory I actually took notice of the date and realised that today marks my 2nd Slimming World birthday! How time flies!

Two whole years! In that time I've gone from a sz 32 to sz 14 in jeans, from a couch potato to a runner and cyclist, and from weighing 25st 2½lbs to 14st 5½lbs (and I have got down to 13st 9½lbs in that time). Quite amazing really, and two years is nothing in the scheme of things really is it? What a huge change! 

I'm rather proud of myself :o)

Anyway, back to reality, and after I realised it was my birthday, it was back to the line to finish off my shift before escaping home! Once again Hague had dinner waiting, and today it was the veggie version of our recipe of the week for the radio show, a celebration of Brazil, their national dish Feijoada.

I found the recipe HERE, and rather than faffing, just asked Hague to throw it all in the slow cooker, he added in a Quorn fillet too. Rather lovely it was too, so I'll definitely be having it again, it makes a change from chilli, even if you do have to soak the beans first as I couldn't find canned ones! As I'm still feeling rather stuffed, I might skip dessert today and just have myself a cup of milky chai in the bath later! So decadent!

Food Diary - Green

Free and Superfree
Activia 0% yogurt
mixed summer fruits
sharon fruit
cherry tomatoes

Healthy Extras
A - 350ml skimmed milk
A - 40g reduced fat Cheddar
B - 40g Dorset Cereals simply fruity muesli
B - HiFi bar

Jacob's Oddities                  5½
Asda SP macaroni cheese    3
blueberry Danio                   3

Total syns                           11½

Mere moments after deciding I won't have dessert, I've remembered that I have a Danio left in the fridge, so I think I'll be partaking in that :o)

So the 2 of the title is rather obvious, it being my 2nd Slimming World birthday, what about the others? Well, today marks the 3rd on plan day of the all new revitalised Karen... another gold star for me - yes I am actually awarding myself gold stars for each on plan day. I need incentives, what can I say, and I don't think you can ever have too many incentives! I've even decided for rewards, such as a new book when I reach 30 stars, and a trip to the cinema for 50. I shall be working on another bucket list to help me get to target too. Every little helps after all!

Finally, the 1...there is just one more shift standing between me and my week off. Wonderful. So all in all, not a bad day at all really eh? 

Day Two Of A New Start!

A bit later than advertised maybe, but I am here to report another on plan day! Go me! Yesterday was a particularly short day, as the combination of my 2-10 shift and warm nights has meant that I'm pretty much doing nothing but get up, eat, work, come home, eat, bath, bed! Scintillating I'm sure you'll agree!

I could have weighed in yesterday, at my alternative Wednesday group, but I was just shattered so plumped for more time in bed, probably wise after my crap food overload at the weekend! I got up just in time to sort out breakfast before heading out to work, although a minor spanner was thrown in the works but us having no sliced bread!

So wholemeal rolls it was underneath my tomatoes and eggs! With that barely digested it was off to work for me, once again to a very warm factory. Work was rather long and uneventful, except for the overload in Facebook notifications about my magazine debut! Everyone has been so lovely about the article, I'm so glad I did it now, and it seems to have given me a little boost of willpower too, never a bad thing.

Foodwise, work looked sort of like this, I say sort of, as I was charging my phone during my last break and so can't share with you the delights of a banana and Benefit bar, but I'm reasonably sure you all know what that looks like, especially if you're a regular reader!

Rather nice noms there, even if I do say so myself. I had pre-ordered my dinner during a quiet moment at work, and so it was ready and waiting for me :o)

I was inspired by Hague, who had had burgers and chips before I left for work! Dessert was a bit different, with half of one of my binge buys, a granola square mixed in with my fruit and yogurt, decadent maybe, but it tasted lovely. Scarily enough, just one of the granola squares has 16½ syns! Ouch! So it was just half for me, as it's an on plan day :o)

With it already getting late, us trying to get our radio show sorted for Monday and dinner, I didn't manage to get a blog up before I needed to get bathed and head to bed. A gold star for me though, as I managed another on plan day!

Food Diary - Green

Free and Superfree
cherry tomatoes
sharon fruit
Shape 0% yogurt
mixed summer fruits
Activia 0% yogurt

Healthy Extras
A - 3 Asda lighter cheese slices
A - 250ml semi skimmed milk
B - 60g wholemeal bread
B - 2 Benefit bars

20g wholemeal bread                   2
2 fruit shoots                                1
tbsp honey & mustard dressing     1
2 Asda meat free burgers             1½
½ tbsp mustard                            ½
½ tbsp ketchup                            ½
½ Tesco granola square               8½

Total syns                                     15 syns

As I mentioned, a very short day, but I'm pleased that I managed to stay on plan again, and I'm feeling positive. It's a good feeling :o) Here's to another gold star day! 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

I CAN Do This!!!!!

If I keep saying it, it'll happen right? 

I wish I knew what has happened to me, to my rock steady, iron clad willpower and my determination to stay on plan for good. It has deflated, left me, and I don't know why....

...well when I say that, I probably have a bit of an idea why, after trying so desperately to lose weight and getting nowhere for months, easing my foot off the pedal has been very relaxing. Too relaxing obviously, and now old habits are creeping back in with a vengeance. It's not a good place to be. I thought I'd beaten the old me into submission, the me that would crave junk food for no good reason, would binge until I felt ill and the me that reached over 25stone. Obviously she's stronger than I thought...but I like new me. I like the clothes I can fit into, I like what I can do now, and she will not win. She won't. I WILL get over this blip and get back on track, so Slimming World is as easy to me as breathing again. One step at a time, and so today, I'm doing this....

That's it. The line is drawn. No more messing about, no more binge eating and no more succumbing to cravings which do untold harm to my state of mind. It's done.

Today has been a 100% on plan day, and it's felt good. Despite waking up still feeling stuffed and rather ill after the overindulgence of last night, I had breakfast, as I wanted to get back into my good habits, so it was a small, but perfectly formed meal I enjoyed.

I would probably have had more but the strawberries were bloody tiny and I quite frankly, couldn't be arsed to chop up anymore ;o) With breakfast eaten, I pretty much had to get myself up and out ready for work. At least there are only 4 days in this week after me getting a swap for yesterday so I could do our Harbour Radio show. When I left, I reminded Hague to pick up a Woman's Own magazine and headed off.

Work was much of a muchness, and for the first time this year it was hugely warm inside. I mean it's always pretty warm, but today it was stifling. It's just one of those things that are slowly improving, but for now, we just have to put up with it. At least there's a filler near the window! Foodwise, work shaped up like this...

Only the two breaks today, as I had a changeover around dinner time and so didn't get round to eating until 7.30, so didn't have much time left to squeeze in the last break, never mind. The shift went past quite quickly though, which is never a bad thing and I couldn't wait to get home and get my hands on the magazine Hague had picked up for me earlier...

Why the excitement about a magazine? I'll give you one guess...

SQUEE!! This has been on the horizon for a while now, but I was so pleased with how the story was written and just how good it all looks, I'm so pleased. Let's be honest, I shouldn't need any more motivation than that should I really? 

It's definitely made me remember how far I've come, and how much I have to lose should I regain the weight. The reasons worked so well for me, and I think the fact that I've achieved most of them isn't helping my focus, so perhaps I need to work on another list to get me through these last few stone to target. It can't hurt anyway!

I may have been very excited, but it didn't stop me wanting dinner!

Very cheesey pasta there, with a tub of LowLow and topped with 6 syns worth of grated cheese. Just what I fancied! Dessert was simple, and partly courtesy of a bargain run after we finished on the radio last night.

All that remains of this exciting day, is for me to wind down, have a bath and get myself to bed. Hopefully getting enough sleep to drag myself to weigh in in the morning to face the music! We shall see ;o)

Food Diary - Green

Free and Superfree
Activia 0% vanilla yogurt
sharon fruit
bistro salad
cherry tomatoes
cottage cheese with onion and chive

Healthy Extras
A - (both) - 60g LowLow cheese spread
B - WeightWatchers wholemeal pitta 
B - 2 Aldi Benefit bars

Danio blueberry yogurt                3
30g Cheddar                               6

Total syns                                   9

Quite a modest food day today, probably my body has had enough food shoved into it over the last few days and is having a bit of a break! With an on plan day under my belt, no excuses not to do this, and my national magazine debut, today has been a good day. I shall do my utter best to ensure it's the first of many, and to ensure I stay on this bus until the day that Claire hands over my target certificate, the target I set all those months ago. Because I CAN do this, and I WILL do this, be it for my 40th or 41st birthday. The holiday is over, it's back to work time for this Slimming World Gal. I'm back, and I'm ready to do this thang!

Tiny potato is wise, tiny potato believes in me. I will do the thing. I will get to target. The end game starts today.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Crappy Moods and Confessional Moments

I’m afraid today is yet another humdrum sort of a day – yesterday wasn’t much better but was mired down by utter tiredness and bizarre mood swings of quite phenomenal proportions, I even scared myself with them!

So, yesterday. I gave up the ghost with trying to sleep far too early again and was up in time to spend some time with Hague, at this point my mood was reasonably normal, for me anyway, and as it was so early, I even had myself a little snack before showering and heading to weigh in.

 Despite the drizzle, I took Margot to group, and finally got to use my new waterproof jacket, stopping off for a parcel pick up – new Converse, yay! – and an Aldi stop for fruit before arriving in time to join the biggest queue in the universe for weigh in. Which I chose not to join and instead just nattered away until it had disappeared. I got a shock at weigh in when I was told I didn’t have to pay as I was in my “grace” period for getting back into target, and I handed over my £4.95 anyway as I was that confident that my 11lb gain from my last weigh in, combined with my MayCation would not be conducive for me getting back into target. 

Funnily enough I was right, but I was wrong about my weigh in result as I’d been convinced I’d be looking at a gain after my holiday, even with missing group last week, but I had a loss, of 2lbs no less, which was thoroughly unexpected, but very gratefully received!!  So all good at group then eh? I rode home on Margot though and could feel my mood just descending, I have literally no idea why, and by the time I got home I was all a bit of a teary mess.

A very concerned Hague offered to stay at home with me rather than head to KickBoxing, but as I didn’t know what had caused the plummet of my mood, it was pointless and so I sent him off to enjoy himself whilst I threw together dinner.

 I ate it, whilst my mind decided that it would descend further into the grumps and torture me with ideas about going to Asda on the way to work and buying crap food. I don’t know why my resolve has hit such a stumbling block recently. Every time I feel down, or bored, or grumpy or just not focused my mind zones straight in on foods that are off plan. I went for so long without feeling like this that I’m struggling to understand why I’ve lost that cast iron willpower. I did end up going to Asda, and after perusing all sorts of rubbish, I ended up buying granola squares and a bag of Munchies.

I still don’t know why. I ate two of the granola squares on the way to work and opened up the Munchies. Ate a few and decided I was being utterly stupid and so threw then in the bin when I got to work.


I did eat the other two granola squares though, oats and nuts are healthy right ;o)  I then spent my shift feeling like crap, bloated and uncomfortable, and so only managed a few bits from my lunch bag.

 I got home and still didn’t feel particularly hungry and so just got myself straight to bed (after a wee chat with Hague) and for once, I slept, really slept and woke up at 3 just as my alarm was going off feeling actually refreshed, guilty and embarrassed for giving in to stupid cravings maybe, but refreshed and I woke up determined not to fall off the wagon again.

As today was a 12 hour shift, I woke up to dinner being practically  ready as I’d asked Hague to do me “anything” to eat for dinner/breakfast/whatever the hell you call it, before work, he’d obliged with vegetable pasta.

I didn’t like to mention that sitting in the fridge at work was yet another tub of pasta for lunch! Ah well, nothing like double carbing eh? And to be honest, why worry when it’s a damn sight more on plan than granola slices and bloody Munchies!
With pasta eaten it was pretty much time to head to work, where the day hasn’t gone too badly. The first part of the shift was spent pretty much on my own, so rather busy…but of course I got a break in there…

 Then it was a rather leisurely lunch break as my normal machine was all done and dusted for the week and so all that remained for me to do was finish up the clean, which I took my time over once I’d enjoyed my second pasta dish of the day.

I then took the opportunity to update my Fit Log on the Slimming World website with my weekend’s activities and last night’s bike ride and you could have knocked me down with a feather when this little beauty popped up!

I’m hugely proud of this award. It’s genuinely one that I never thought I’d get. Two years ago I weighed over 25st and just walking Boo was a struggle, as was climbing our single flight of stairs to get to bed. Last year I’d just walked my way around Race for Life and a tiny spark of interest in exercise was lit inside me. This last year has seen me try Zumba, a cross trainer, exercise bike and various other home gym equipment, C25K, swimming and jogging, riding a bike and basically enjoying what my smaller and fitter body can now do, and now I have a shiny little sticker that shows that I’m on my way to a lifetime of feeling better, of making exercise a habit for life. It feels good. It also gave me the kick today that I needed not to buy crisps from the work vending machine. Yes, things have got that bad O.o

A few more breaks ensued...

...with some computer work to keep me out of mischief for the rest of the night too, away from vending machines and feeling in a more steady place on the bus. Again. A very tired me headed home feeling rather peckish and so put away a tin of baked beans before bed, and before this whole thing starts again tomorrow!!

Food Diary (Wednesday)

Free and Superfree
Cherry tomatoes
Spring onions
Cottage cheese with onion & chive
Sharon fruit
baked beans

Healthy Extras
A – 60g LowLow cheese spread
A – 40g reduced fat cheddar
B – 2 slices wholemeal bread
B – 2 Benefit bars

Blueberry Danio                3
Graze Scandinavian Fruit   4
Jacob’s cheese oddities     5½
tbsp brown sauce              1
Total syns                            13½

I wish I could put my finger on why I’m struggling so much. It seems that since I called target my mindset has just wandered all over the place. I’ve got complacent, feeling that the odd treat here and there won’t hurt, but they will. I’m focusing on things like exercise and how far I’ve come, which is good, but again, leads me to the conclusion that a little of what I fancy won’t hurt…

I’m in size 14 clothes, I’m far more active than I’ve ever been, and after my weight loss stalling so badly whilst sticking 100% on plan I guess I’m mentally taking a time out, rebelling if you like, pushing the boundaries to see what happens.

The thing is, my gain of 11lbs after just 5 weeks at target shows that what will happen is that I’ll gain the weight I’ve worked so very hard to lose, and as the last few months have shown, my body is not very willing to lose excess weight any more. I KNOW all this, I’m an intelligent woman, so why am I having so many of these wobbles? I know full well what will happen if I stop following the Slimming World plan that just a few short weeks ago I was solidly adhering to as my way of life. If I was at my final target would I feel more relaxed about it all? After all, for all the advice to look at how far I’ve come, I’m not there yet, and carrying on in this vein will mean I am highly unlikely ever to get there.

My strategy for now is to do what I advise so many other people to do, take it one day at a time, one meal at a time when I’m really struggling and see how I get on. This week’s loss should have been the boost I needed to keep on the bus, but somehow it wasn’t. So far today, I’ve resisted the urge for crisps and stayed on plan, and when I crawl into bed after posting this blog, that’s what I need to remember, today was a good day, an on plan day and tomorrow can be the same. Little steps, I was there, I was in the zone, and I can get myself back there and get to target.