Friday, 14 October 2011

Frequently Asked Questions

I get a lot of emails from people, so I decided to make up a FAQ page so I'm not answering the same questions over and over again (which to be fair are answered time and time again throughout the blog)

Who are you?
I am Sarah / Sazz. I'm 20 something and Irish. I live with my boyfriend Gavin and have just finished my Masters in Queens University Belfast. I work in retail though hope to find something to complement my qualifications soon. You can find out more about me here in my about page, or more about my personal history here on my post about my weightwatchers journey to date / my goal post.

What weight loss plans have you followed?
Although I currently follow weight watchers I have tried a number of other plans to lose weight. Only weight watchers has worked for me. I believe this is for two reasons.

  1. I actually wanted to lose weight this time, I wanted to lose weight for good. To be successful at weight loss I believe you need to actively want to do it, for yourself.
  2. I chose weight watchers because it is a healthy way to lose weight, the weekly meetings provided much needed support, the plan itself is mentally healthy, addressing behaviours with food and promoting 'a little bit of what you fancy', allowing me not to cut out any particular foods (because I would have craved them) and most importantly, introducing portion control. I have tried other systems that did not promote portion control and I had gained weight because I do eat healthy food, I just ate and drank too much.

I generally don't mention the other plans that have failed for me in this blog for a number of reasons, the biggest being just because it didn't work for me, does not mean it doesn't work. For me I wanted to use the healthiest option out there and for me that was weight watchers. Note that I stress for me.

When did you join weight watchers?
I joined weight watchers in March 2010. This blog started around that time to document my progress with weight watchers but since then has just became my place to talk about weight, university, clothes, holidays, really just whatever I want. I don't like pigeon-holing it into one particular thing. 

How much weight did you lose?
I lost 60lbs with the weight watchers discover plan. I have since moved to the weight watchers pro-points plan

How long did it take you?
It took me 8 months to lose my 60lbs. This included a few months of a plateau.

How do you keep motivated?
This is a tough one. Because I know I can be very positive for this blog, but I am not always very motivated. As I write this post I am up in weight and finding it difficult to get back into the swing of weight watchers. I find losing weight much easier than maintaining it. I think that is why this blog is so important to my success with weight watchers, it keeps me accountable and allows me to organise my thoughts and feelings. A lot of different things keep me motivated, I suppose the biggest being my own success and the success of friends and family.

How can I talk to you?
I have a contact page, that has everything you need to get in contact, again, if you add me on twitter, please do interact. I have no time for internet drama, or any type of drama, I have had women old enough to be my mother complain I do not follow them back when they never interacted with me in the first place. It's embarrassing, so please do follow and interact, otherwise I will think you are just another one of the silly spam / businesses that follow me.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Ending a Chapter

I've been very neglectful of this blog haven't I? I think it's because I've been very neglectful of myself. I'm not going to rhyme off everything that I have done that's been pretty bad over the last few months because that will put me into a negative frame of mind and I know I can fix this. I have the tools, both physical and mental to put myself back on track and lose the weight I have put on. I just need to focus.

Having finished my masters I have no courses to do this year. For the first time in 20 years I'm taking a bit of a break from education. Only for a year, but all the same a break is a break. A massive chapter of my life is ending (for now anyway) and I want to make sure that with whatever I do next, I'm both physically and mentally healthy for it.

So that is why I am committing myself to this blog. I will post an update every week, possibly more seeing as I spend my time writing and now I have no university to distract me.

I am returning to looking my weeks, setting challenges and goals for myself and sticking to them, as for this week, I'm boiling down to the basics I know to work.

  1. Planning. It's key to my success when I feel the way I do. I need to be organised, so yesterday I did a huge online shop and have mapped out meal ideas for the week.

  2. Tracking. There's not much I wish that weight watchers would change, but I wish to what ever deity you choose that they would roll out proper support to those not using iphones. The official weight watchers app will not work on my android phone, it won't even download, and there is no mobile site. It's stupid. Especially considering I'm an online subscriber and one of their selling points is an android app calculator. So I have downloaded an unofficial app so I can track all the time (you can find that app here if you're interested), I hope to write up my points every evening into the official site. For me I need to track to keep myself in check. And I hope to track at least 5 days this week, moving into 7 days as a more long term goal.

  3. Moving More. I did originally have plans to join a gym this month. But I simply do not have the money to commit to that. This annoyed me for a bit, until I realised, I lost pretty much four and a half stone without joining a gym. I can lose this without a gym. I dug out my old trackers and checked out what exercise I was doing in the run up to my goal and over the next four weeks I hope to incorporate that routine back into my schedule.

So to clarify, this weeks aims:

  • Plan my weeks menus (done already)

  • Track at least 5 days this week, sticking to my daily allowance of 29 points and making use of my weekly allowance if needed.

  • Walk to work at least 3 out of the 5 days I'm in and at least 1 "proper" workout. Tracking my activity too.

I will not beat myself up about it if I fail any of these goals, just accept it, move on and start again.

I am also not looking at the scales. For me this is more than just a number on a scale, it's about how I feel.Focusing on the healthy things like my food, exercise and water intakes will allow the number to go down. I want my focus to be on health and not numbers. This worked well for me last time.

I've also did a bit of a crash revision course on my folder from my meeting (which I haven't been attending and don't think I will for another while yet) to get my mind back on track,


and I still have 2 of the weight watchers magazines to catch up on (3 if you include the November copy which hasn't shown up yet, if anyone reading this has received theirs can you tell me? Since renewing my subscription none are showing up on time / to the correct place.

So that's that, next week I'll post saying how I've got along and create new mini goals.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Long Weekend in Enniskillen

We've obviously travelled a lot in the last year so couldn't afford anything big this year, so rented a cottage in Enniskillen overlooking the lakes for our anniversary. All I did that weekend was drive and eat. It was a brilliant weekend, a nice wee change. Here's a selection of my photo.

The cottage had an open fire which we had great fun with (our house has an open fire too, but if we light it the smoke backs up into the dining room, so this was a fun novelty)


We took a wee spin into Enniskillen and got some pictures



And got soaked but I had my old lady bonnet (too windy for umbrella)


Visited some castles



The path from our cottage led to this wee jetty.





I had some coke that looked like Guinness.


The view from our open plan kitchen / dining room / livingroom


Went to a driving range, never done this before, I'm awesome at mini-golf but this was new. I loved it.




Also went to the marble arch caves, it's been years since I was last there, it was still just as interesting. Meet some stalactites.


And a view from a picnic area near the caves.


At Enniskillen castle I found a huge cannon. As an Arsenal FC supporter I tend to have a lot of pictures of me and cannons...



It was a fantastic weekend. I wish I could do it over again.

Currently drafting a new post, talking more about weight and plans for getting back on track. I've missed blogging.

Sarah xx

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Long Overdue post

I've had a few emails from various people wondering what on earth has happened to me. Did I explode out of stress?

Well I can tell you all that I'm grand, I did explode in a ball of stress, a few times, but uni is all over, I've handed in my Masters and now I'm playing the waiting game, hoping that it will all pay off and I will actually graduate.

That was the 15th of September, it is now the 2nd October, what have I done I hear you ask? Well to be honest, not that much. I feel like I need to rest, mentally I am shattered after that last few weeks, even now and I've really just spent the last few weeks tidying my house (therapeutic though I've still loads more to do), catching up with reading for fun, chilling out watching my favourite TV shows, and I went away for a long weekend for me and the wonderful Gavin's 5th anniversary.

I have been a little sickened of writing so I needed a few weeks break from that. But overall I think I'm good. I have a few wee projects to do for fun, doing some non-blog writing and then of course working my day job. Hoping for a full-time job in the coming months and some afternoon classes somewhere to keep the mind busy too.

It's been a very weird adjusting period, not having something to research. It's going to be a fun gap year.

Anyway, a post isn't a post from me without photos, so here's a select few of the last month or so.

One Tuesday evening I drove my sister to Bangor to see The Script, me and Gav had dinner in pizzahut and ice cream by the promanade




On the day I handed my dissertation in Gav took a half day from work, while I waited for him to  get out I went to one of my favourite places in Belfast, Botanic. I spent a good time in the main house and then headed to the Rose Garden







And then there was tea.


A few weekends ago my good friend Linzi appeared at my house with a three bottles of wine. The genius lady.


About 12/1am we then wanted Domino's, those of you in my facebook feed then probably seen the following pics.





AWESOME evening had.