I have been feeling quite unhealthy and sluggish for a while. My clothes haven’t been fitting me properly, resulting in me feeling restricted, especially around the midriff. There were a few “wake up and smell the coffee” moments which sealed the deal and made me want to do something about the extra weight I had obviously acquired.
The first moment was around Christmas time. I needed a strapless bra for a dress I was wearing to a Christmas “do” – so I went to Marks and Spencer for a bra fitting. I have always been an average size of 34B. So, imagine my shock when the assistant told me I had shot up to a size 38D!!! Then, fast forward to April and our springtime getaway to Nerja in Spain. There was a small terrace and pool area – so I thought I would wear my favourite bathing costume.
After ten minutes of pulling and tugging, I finally squeezed myself into my costume, to my family’s amusement. Then, of course, there were the pics. Photographs and clothing are always a good barometer for weight gain.
I have never put pressure on myself to look a certain way but this extra weight was making me feel unfit and not myself. It had slowly crept up on me and this realisation was the jolt I needed to do something about it. I knew, once I began, I would feel much better in myself
I used to a member of “Weight Watchers”, many moons ago. Back then, the weekly trip to the group kept me disciplined. Not everyone needs to attend a group session, preferring to lose weight, alone. But, the group scenario worked for me, back then.
This time, I decided to join “Slimming World” (SW). I was hoping that the discipline of joining SW and attending the group sessions would work once more, keeping me on the straight and narrow.
On my first trip to SW, I had a meeting with the leader, “Vicky,” and she explained how the plan works. When it was time to get on the scales, I was shocked to realise I had gained roughly two stone over my normal weight, taking me up to 12.7lbs!
I decided I wanted to lose one and a half to two stone to feel like my old self, while feeling relieved that I was beginning my journey to do something about it.
I decided that, for this plan to work, it had to fit in with my lifestyle – not only for me but my family, too. There were to be no dramatic changes just healthier choices. I wanted to lose weight at a steady pace with new, improved eating habits and carrying them on, way after I reached my goal weight. This appealed. I knew it would work better for me than being on some fad diet – losing the weight then reverting to old habits.
There were some changes I would make to begin my journey. First, I knew I had to cut out most of the sugar I had been consuming (I have a terrible sweet tooth). Then, I switched from being vegetarian to pescatarian. Fish is a major source of protein, rich in calcium and phosphorus, and a major source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. I am still fussy about which fish foods I eat. My favourites are cod fillet, salmon, and prawns. The “argentinian shrimps” from Aldi, baked in the oven with a quick spray of dry lite and garlic cloves are delicious. I have these with a crisp salad and long grain rice, sometimes adding a few salad potatoes. I now eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.
SW has made me aware of the “not so good” habits I had acquired. We have mostly cooked from scratch, now more so. This helps enormously with weight loss. I need to look at more of the recipes on the SW app and YouTube, which look delicious. If I have a sugar craving, I have a SW “high five” bar or a Morrison’s “Skinny Whip bar which only contains ninety-nine calories. They are not a bar of Galaxy or Cadburys chocolate!! But, I like them and they do the trick, getting rid of my sugar cravings.
To date, I have been on my SW journey for eleven weeks. I have lost twenty pounds in total. This averages out at one to two pounds a week which I am thrilled about.
I have just under half a stone to go. I want to be somewhere between 10.7lb to 10.10lb. I am 5-foot 6inches and this weight is perfect for me. I do not want to lose too much as I know it would not look good on me. This means I will be between a dress size ten to twelve.
A good habit I have acquired from the first lockdown (and has contributed to my weight loss) is a brisk walk which I do on most days for around forty-five minutes. Prior to this, I didn’t walk much at all. There are so many benefits to walking – such as decreasing the risk of hypertension, avoiding diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Walking lowers blood sugar and decreases blood pressure, too. I listen to podcasts, music and sometimes my husband joins me. It mentally uplifts me – another great reason for getting outside and seeing the sky and open spaces wherever you live.
On returning home, and time permitting, I do stretches with weights. I really need to “up my game” with this because “strength training” counteracts the deterioration of our muscles which accelerates in midlife. Oh, the joys!
I will keep you updated on my weight loss journey as I have a feeling this last bit of weight is not going to shift fast! Then, there is, of course, the task of keeping it off. With hormonal changes and a diminished metabolic rate, this will also be a journey. But, I am determined to keep to my new way of eating, which I love and enjoy. I have so much more energy and I feel better, mentally. My skin has improved and I am fitting into my favourite clothes, once more – which is excellent. I use the SW app as well as the “My Fitness” app.
I am far from perfect and I do have my moments when it is difficult to eat the right things. For instance, we were away for the weekend to Leeds, celebrating my youngest son’s birthday, and I did indulge a little. A Baileys or two may have been consumed, but, then on Monday, I was back “on it”, once more.
In today’s post, I am wearing the summer outfits that I have been wearing over the past few months, and….because they fit me, again. Plus, here in the UK, we are now blessed with lovely weather…hooray!
I hope you have enjoyed my post and it has helped if you are thinking of cutting back, or just looking for a little inspiration. This post is not sponsored.
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