Joey: “Oh my… how much do you weight, Ross?!”
Ross: “I prefer not to answer that right now. I’m still carrying a little holiday weight”
(Friends, Season 7, Episode 12)
When I walked through the Slimming World doors yesterday, I had a similar moment of Ross-sensitivity. A long time member started chatting to me while I had a newbie clipboard and when I said I used to be a target member, she jokingly asked “what went wrong?”. It was all harmless tongue in cheek, which typing it right here totally takes it out of context. But after my first interaction, I felt a smidgen guilty.
You see, over the last year, I’ve totally changed my lifestyle while I’ve been renovating our first house. You can see lots of my projects on my DIY blog, The Carpenter’s Daughter. I haven’t taken DIY light heartedly and I’ve installed fencing, laid my own patio, dug up my drive to put down gravel and tonnes more.
But many of the jobs require lots of time and energy, but each job I learn how to do rewards me on so many levels. You can see me making a pair of gates right here:
But let’s get back to that time thing. Time is something I just don’t have enough of and I know I’m not alone. I am superb at zoning on a job and not noticing I’m hungry until I’m starving.
These are the times when I’ve made very bad choices and it became a slippery slope of synful habits. But I was struggling to do it all: the housewife, full time work and manual labour. I now have complete empathy for tradesmen who sweat and find healthier choices difficult.
And then there was the false sense of security where I’d convinced myself I’d earned the right to go to the chippy, assuming I’d burnt a million calories that day.
WHAT MOTIVATED ME TO NIP IT IN THE BUD?
Well, obviously with it being the New Year, I’ve had time to reflect on what I want to achieve this year. What I’d like more than anything is to find a better balance and in turn, have more me-time. I’m tired most days because I push my limits.
But what I didn’t want to do is buy bigger clothes. I have two pairs that fit and the others are DIY clothes. And instead of accepting a new size, I’d rather pay towards a meeting to set me straight. I quite like the idea of a whole new wardrobe as my goal incentive this year.
I was also in two minds whether to do the online version this time, or go to a local group. Thank you to those who put their penny’s worth in on my Facebook page. I’m pretty sure the online version wouldn’t have been as effective. So I’ve decided that leaving the the house and meeting up with like-minded people over coffee (it’s included at mine), is my little break from home. And it’s like a positive refresher each week.
The Journey Never Ends
It was very comforting to see familiar faces and friends again. No one was judgemental. In fact, a lady who did it with me before also rejoined. As someone said on my Instagram post yesterday, the journey never ends and it’s so true.
But before I was weighed, I was convinced I’d put my all my weight back on. And to my surprise, I wasn’t even close. Basically, I’d been beating myself up over one stone and my tight jeans were making me feel fat. I suppose my DIY body magic may have a lot to say for that, but we all know when we’re not happy in our own skin. And I hadn’t weighed myself for maybe two years.
I tend to put weight on my arms and bum. PS, I fully recommend Killer Buns & Thighs and 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels, but this time I probably won’t be doing any extra exercises other than running for now.
Getting Organised & My Plans
My first tip is to search online for a Slimming World voucher (usually in magazines). I picked up a copy of Bella that wavered the joining fee and only paid £4.95 for my week 1 weigh in. The money I saved went towards 3 cookbooks for inspiration. You can never have enough new recipe ideas. I’m also ditching the scales. Last time I obsessed and it’s not worth it.
I’ve also got a new useful fridge magnetic weekly meal planner* which totally beats writing it down on scrappy bits of paper. I know I need to be all about planning this year as I’ve been working all hours. I love how it’s a visible reminder with a shopping list that I can fill in and photo to take with me.
The day before I rejoined, I completely gutted my dry store cupboards and rearranged everything. I’ve now got a list of anything I had excess of to use up (be prepared for some strange mung and aduki bean recipes if they work out ok!). Don’t worry, I won’t turn in to Gillian McKeith any time soon! And I’ll be making myself stay to group each week or attend another class if I’m busy that day. The best part about showing up I think is learning what recipes people are loving right now.
This is year is MY year!
When I reach target weight (yes, I’m that determined), I will continue to attend group. This year is all about balancing what I love: sharing my favourite recipe developments and DIY. It’s just a no brainer.
So if you are interested in joining, the plan really does work when you stick to it. It’s hard initially if you don’t know what foods are free without reading your book but you soon get used to it. Nothing is banned as such and if you want to “syn” cake, you can.
Also, don’t be afraid to join if deep down you want to. The plan has definitely taught me a lot of good habits that will always be with me that may be reflected on my smaller weight gain this time.
*The weekly planner was a perfectly timede PR sample. All opinions are my own.