Thursday, 23 September 2010

Plan of action

I know it's been ages since I posted, and to be honest I haven't had the passion for the program I normally do and have been a bit lax. Also because I put weight on (as spoken about in the last post) I've been trying to correct the damage done that week, and I suppose the biggest reason I haven't blogged, is because I didn't actually feel like it.

So what is my reason for blogging?

I'm going to Paris this weekend (four year anniversary with my brilliant boyfriend), not to rub it in. But I'm back to only being 4.5lbs from goal and I am petrified of doing damage. But then even more petrified of not enjoying my food. It's a load of confusing and conflicting thoughts. And I keep wondering what to do. And now I've decided.

I'm going to eat what ever the hell I want for my two or three meals a day, drink what I want, try not to snack or eat anything too bad. But I'm not travelling all the way to Paris to deny myself anything. No matter what I have people say to me.

I've gotten very frustrated over the last few days, actually more the last few weeks. I've had so many people say so many things to me this last few days that are really bugging me. A lot of it are strangers in work, regular customers that I don't actually interact with me but who (through being socially retarded) feel it necessary to tell me their thoughts on my weightloss, my shape. And to be honest, very few of the comments are actually nice. Here's just a few of the things I've been told in say the last month:

  • If you lose any more weight you'll disappear

  • You're too skinny

  • You've lost so much weight, you were prettier when you were fatter.

  • You need to stop losing weight now, it doesn't look right on you.

  • You've lost so much weight

I really, really hate it when people make a comment on the loss, but fail to accompany it with a compliment. Why state fact like that? Yes I'm fully aware that I've lost a lot of weight, good for you for having eyes.

I think the novelty of having people comment on it has truly worn away. At least with randomers. I like it when it's friends or family, or people who I think genuinely care. Just no more random strangers (unless you're a blog reader / twitter user - but then to be fair you're not really a random stranger that way are you?).

I have such issues with the word "skinny" it just keeps cropping up everywhere, and I find it weird, mostly because it's never used in reference to me, but mostly because I know it's not true. I'm not skinny, sure I'm a lot slimmer than what I was six months ago, but I'm still just bordering on the 'healthy' level of BMI and I know full well when I'm going to stop losing the weight and flip to maintaining it! And that's when I'm actually healthy, not bordering the whole healthy - overweight line. There are only four people I'm going to listen to when it comes to my shape and that's my mam, my boyfriend, my sister and my weightwatchers leader because I know with them they care about more than how it sits on me, this whole journey isn't just to get into smaller clothes. It's about getting back to my healthy self, the rest are just added benefits.

Anyway, that rant over, onto the next one.

When I've been talking to people about going away this weekend I've had so many people playing with the fears I already have. I know that the worst thing that can happen this weekend is that I put on weight, and if I do that, it's easy lost. Okay I did some damage there a few weeks ago, but I lost it in two weeks. I am getting to goal, there's no question about that, it's just a matter of when. Granted, I want it sooner rather than later, but I sorta like how hard I'm having to work to get these last few pounds off, will make it harder for me to go back up if I feel it now.

Anyway, I digress again!

I hate people being so negative about going away on holiday, I can go away and enjoy myself without putting on loads and I think it's their negative behaviour that gives me the negative thoughts.

Right, so that's that off my chest. My next post will be a holiday post, probably full of photos of food. So you have that to look forward to.

No photos this week, still not in the mood.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A Guide to WeightWatchers

Disclaimer: I know sometimes it sounds like it, but I am not endorced by weightwatchers to write this blog, I don't get any money or treats or anything for typing about them, I do genuinely love them, the program and the ease of it. I love it mostly because I can taylor it to my life, still eat what I want (within reason, all things in moderation) and lose weight. I have tyed a number of other diets, none of which have worked and none of which I'll mention by name here, it's pretty uncool to slag off the opposition, besides, it might work for others.

I want to lose weight and keep it off, for me this isn't another short time diet, this is a life style change and I blog about it to keep myself in check, if it happens to get a few other people thinking, then that's just a bonus!

I've had variations of this question asked by many people to me, what the hell is weightwatchers? Is it not for old ladies trying to slim down for their daughters weddings? Does it actually work? And I thought it was about time that I gave a run down what exactly weightwatchers is. Hopefully I'm not stepping on anyones toes explaining this, can't see how, it's just free advertising but hey.

Anyway, the basic concept in weightwatchers is that every food has a point value and by answering a few questions you can work out how many (per day) you are allowed. I stress that as I am part of the UK / Ireland franchise we have a slightly different system compared to other places in the world such as USA, Spain, Australia and China, I think it's mainly to do with the way we label our food, but generally, across all the countries, you get pretty much the same point value for various foods.

In order to find out how many points you are entitled to a day just answer the following questionaire.
Questions are:

Are you


female? 3 points

Age? 16-20: 5 points

How many stones do you weigh? So ignore the lbs, the number of stones is your score for this question, so if you are 12 st 1 your score will be 12, if you are 11 st 13.5 your score is 11.

How tall are you? under 5ft 4 = 1
5ft 4 or above = 2

In your day to day life are you?
sitting down most of the time? - 0
occasionally sitting, but mainly standing? - 2
walking most of the time? -4
doing physically hard work most of the time - 6

Add your points and that's how many you're allowed every day!

Now every time you go under the next stone mark you lose a point, So say you're 11st 2, as soon as you're 10st anything you drop a daily point by re-evaluating the above wee quiz.

Another important thing key to the plan is the concept of saving points. I'm allowed 22 points a day at the minute, however I tend to stick in and around 18. That way every day I can bank four points so that if I do decide to have a bad day I can go a bit over 'cus I have an extra 20 or so. You're not allowed to go under 14 points a day otherwise your body goes into starvation mode. And you're not allowed to save more than 4 points each day, so even if I were only to eat 16 in a day, I can't bank 6, only 4.

On to calculating points?

Near enough all food has a point value, notable exceptions are a lot of vegetables (and tomatoes) but you're better off googling the values of individual veg, cus where a pepper and aubergine is 0, corn on the cob is 1, so there are exceptions. Potatoes are also quite high in points.
Weightwatchers who join through a meeting (like me) get a wee chart on how to calculate their points. Basically you take the calorie count and the saturated fat per serving and work it out from the columns.

Here's a scan of the points finder you get in the meeting (I didn't scan it, this one I got froma google search, original can be found here)


There are things like tea and coffee, diet drinks and water that are free in points, however milk, if added to the tea is points, you can work that out from the side of the milk carton :) Sweetner is no points, which is good if you take sugar in things like weetabix. Cus sugar (and butter and oil are ridiculously high in points)

Fruit has points, I tend to weigh them and google most fruit to find out its value. It's cus of all the natural sugars in it. Generally an apple is half a point, so is an orange, bananas are pretty high at 1.5 – 2 depending on how big they are.

It's suggested that you stick to filling foods, it's easier for your points to stretch, filling foods being fruits and veg, breakfast cereals (without added sugars, nuts or dried fruit), lean meats and poultry, fish and eggs, skimmed milk and dairy, pasta, brown rice, potatoes and grains and non creamy soups. (Soups are brilliant, you can have an entire dinner worth zero points!) Though to be honest, I don't actually choose foods based on the filling foods ideas, I just think do I like it? is it worth the points? If yes to both, I have it.

I did a blog a good while back on recommendations of foods, I keep meaning to update that but as it stands now it's not too bad a post.

You should get yourself a notebook and record everything that you eat and it's points, it's brilliant if you have a good week and a good loss to look at what you did right, similarly it's good to be counting along in the day so you know, crap if I eat these crisps, I'm only going to have 5 points to last me the rest of the night and I still have to have dinner. It’s really important to write things down Kerry, plus how your exercise is going, how long you were at the gym, how you felt, it’s good to be able to flick back.

Activity Pointss

Activity is encouraged as well, walking, runnning, anything, but to write that down too.
Also, probably obviously, also weigh yourself at the same time, on the same day, with the same scales every week.

Weightwatchers is a freeking awesome system, the fact that I've lost over 3.5 stone since March is proof enough!!!

Helpful sites and apps for mobile:

Weightwatchers calculator is it's the only thing that's worth while if you have an ipod touch / iphone. Everything available on the app store is a load of shit. Nothing useful when it comes to tracking (fitness apps, totaly different, there's loads of brilliant ones)


Obviously there was a weight gain last week as I last blogged about, this week I did vow to get back tracking.

And I did. I physically wrote down everything that went into my mouth this week. Problem is, although I managed to get structure back into my day,, and then meals were better, I was still going over my points, those of you who follow my weightwatches twitter account (@redrunner182) may have noticed me pondering last week about eating points.

I can have 22 points a day at the minute and it's been like that for this last while. I normally always banked four points a day, not necessarily to use, just to have in case, and if I didn't need them then I let them go. But it's dawned on me that obviously my weight loss is slowing a lot, and for a lot of reasons. I have seven pounds to go to hit goal as I type this, an hour or so befroe my weigh-in. But I had a reader who emailed me last week (Hi Jane!) that said that she was experienceing a similar kind of thing after losing 28lbs and then took to eating all her given points a day and her weight loss has went back to it's regular 1.5 - 2lbs a week, as opposed to half to one lb a week.

I tweeted about it to be told that most people think that, and it makes sense, I mean you are given x amount of points a day for a reason, you can eat them and still lose weight, the banking system is really just for having an indulgence day (not a binge day).

Monday, 6 September 2010

Bereavement and binge confessions.

I've had a few people email / tweet me about the lack of blog posts. Yes I'm still here. And I have a post I wanted to finish and publish about a fortnight ago, but I don't think I can blog until I address something that happened last week. My mother in law (no, I'm not actually married to Gavin, but I might as well be) passed away last week. Without going into too much detail, I like to think I was quite close to her, she isn't just Gavin's mum, she's my friend and the last week has been an emotional week. And basically I've had the maddest binge. So here are my confessions.

The Sunday that it actually happened, I had a chinese take away for dinner, that could be what kicked it off. The day after I barely ate a thing, I picked at the fillings of the sandwiches I was making, had a couple of sweets and I'd say my only main points came from a glass of full sugar fanta and vodka. The rest of the week involved no structured meals, no actual meals at all really (bar a big family dinner, three courses on the Friday), just convenience and comfort food. Many many biscuits, takeaways, crisps, chocolate and wine (I drank the most wine I've ever drank in one sitting ever on Thursday night, so much wine I actually went past the point of hangover, I was actually fine the next day. Crazy).

I did decide last week that I would start back on plan come Saturday, and I did try, but I failed, no motivation, tiredness, grief, I succumbed to chocolate, sweets and ice cream. (I don't even like ice-cream!!! I hate emotional eating, such a waste of points! Such a stupid very short term fix!) Sunday... well I did better, in that I at least counted all my points for the day, even if I did go over my allowance by ten... I've really been shockingly bad, I've just let go of all caring, tracking and desire to exercise. But I think the most shocking thing is that I'm not beating myself up about it. I think the fact that I am so chilled out about my binge is frightening me, if I can go so crazy in one week, what damage will I do once I hit maintenanece?

So I had to do it, on Sunday night (last night) I located my scales and stood on them to see the damage. There was no way I would have been back on track today if I didn't, I would have just let the binge go on until Tuesday when I have my weigh-in. And I found out my damage, from my last official weigh in I've put on 3.5lbs, which isn't too bad. But it still managed to scare me back into planning and tracking today, I even earned 3 points worth of exercise today too!

Why have I confessed all this? Well mostly I need to hold myself accountable for what I've done. But also, another reason is that because I've lost so much in such a short time, a lot of people who contact me through this blog think I've had it easy and I want to remind them everyone has bad weeks, all for different reasons, the reasons you are bad doesn't matter, no one can follow weightwatchers perfectly, and I think those that do, will probably not manage to keep it off because they haven't found a balance. As long as you realise what you've done, put your hands in the air and stick at the program, it does work. Sure aren't I proof enough?

Before I joined weightwatchers I really don't think I ate too unhealthily, my main bother was portion control, so I know that if I were to start gaining back it will probably boil back to that. But two things I noted from my binge is that when I did eat I ate past the point of fullness, and to be fair, I never actually felt hungry the entire week. I also felt trumly ill when it came it to food, I'm not sure if that was because I had no structure to my eating, or if it was due to was eating just crap, and very little fresh fruit or veg (that was possibly the longest I've went with so little fresh fruit and veg in my diet, in my life ever), but I have craved my normal routine and can't for the life of me understand why it took me to stand on the scales to be able to get back on track again.

And to finish this post I'm going to add in a few of the photos I took of various indulgences over the week...The first being the chinese that kicked of the boldness, and it was so so sooooo yummy, therefore no guilt.


Tuesday evening was everything yummy in the world spread out across my livingroom floor like a glorious picnic


This picture is actually a village Gavin's sister Edele made with cocktail sticks and a paper plate, but it's too cool not to add here.


Happy beer?


Some of my many, many, many bottles of wine


Course one of the three course meal was a yummy veg soup.


The chicken sucked, but the stuffing, potatoes and veg were delicious.


Legendary dessert.




And a final positive note to end on - It's going to be a successful september!


Sarah xx