Unexpected visit from the witch

Despite not being due to arrive for another 11 days, the witch reared her ugly head this morning. It took me completely by surprise. I usually have a couple of days of absolutely appalling PMT to warn me, but not this time. I have been eating a decent amount of foods containing the B vitamins though, so I’m wondering whether that has something to do with it. For years my Mum has sworn by B vitamin supplements to alleviate PMT. I’ve largely dismissed her to be honest, but maybe there really is something in it. Why is my Mum always right? (I do actually call her “The Oracle” because of this!).
I’ve not noticed as much bloating either, which I’m putting down to my abundant usage of root ginger this week in my cooking and several huge mugs of fennel tea.
I haven’t had epic cravings for chocolate, cheese or carb-laden meals either now I think about it.
I am pretty amazed at how many positives are coming out of following this diet after only 11 days on plan.

For the last few days, I’ve been snacking on “seaweed” like you’d get from a Chinese takeaway. Except, it’s really been some roughly shredded curly kale, heaped onto an oven tray, squirted with fry light and sprinkled with salt, then put into a hot oven for 5 mins (my oven only works on HOT for some reason), then sprinkled with a powder sweetener just as it comes out of the oven. Leave it for a couple of minutes and it goes wonderfully crispy. It is a gorgeous little snack. I leave a bowl in my kitchen and grab a handful every time I wander in there. Or sit down with some to snack on. It is full of iron and calcium, is really tasty and you get the feeling you’re crunching something like crisps but without the fat. Genius.

Long may this positivity last. Honestly, whilst out walking with my little 2 earlier, my knickers kept rolling down. I genuinely think I’ve lost 2lbs this week. I feel like I’ve done half a stone in total. I can’t wait to get on the scales on Wednesday morning and see how I’ve done!

5 lbs lighter than last week!

Well, I am very happy to say I’ve started off with a great loss of 5 lbs this week. Just the kind of encouragement I need to stay motivated.
Mind you, I’ve not got even remotely bored of the simple start food list. I’ve been making up some really delicious recipes and enjoying my food so much.
I am trying to eat a good variety of colours each day to keep everything aesthetically pleasing. For instance, last night I stir fried some quorn pieces in a tiny bit of water, added baby sweetcorn, spring onions, pak choi, finely chopped ginger, garlic, soy sauce,  Chinese five spice, and cooked for 10 mins. Absolutely delicious, so satisfying and colourful. I then had a persimmon, a satsuma and a banana for my pudding. And I did not feel any temptation to pick or eat again that day or night.

I am feeling so good already, I feel brighter, more alert, my skin looks better, my bowel is moving regularly and very easily and I have so much more energy than before. Even with keeping up my 10,000 steps each day. I’ve been smashing that in fact, doing a minimum of 13,000 steps daily. I hope that by increasing my activity, it will encourage my skin to tighten so I’m not left with the large amounts of saggy skin I am paranoid I’ll end up with!

Super soup

I have just had the biggest bowl of soup I’ve ever had and it was delicious. It was kind of an invention. I chopped, peeled and de-seeded a butternut squash, peeled and chopped 3 sweet potatoes, put them in a pan with a tablespoon of curry powder, half a teaspoon of mixed spice, a stock cube, a peeled and grated 2 cm piece of fresh root ginger, enough boiling water to cover the veggies and a generous handful of chopped coriander. I left it to simmer for half an hour, then mashed the veggies with a potato masher and seasoned to taste.
Absolutely delicious!! I had made enough for lunch tomorrow, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be back for a second bowl later on.

I’m still enjoying the simple start, I actually activated my monthly pass today and downloaded the various apps. I am pretty surprised to learn that with my mammoth walk yesterday and my usual school run walking today, I’ve “earnt” 24 pro-points.  I’m possibly not as lazy as I thought I was!! Fingers crossed it means I’ve got my 2lbs off this week 🙂

The 7 mile Sunday

Today was certainly unexpected. My daughter had a birthday party to go to across the other side of town, but there was a public transport fail in my town today. Trains replaced with buses, Sunday services redirected places I didn’t want to go and no buses on the routes I needed. Great. Never one to willingly upset my children, and it being a sunny day, I dusted off the pushchair, grabbed some drinks and the present and off we set for a long walk. It was lovely actually just chatting away with my little 2 as we walked, and it wasn’t that long until we arrived at our destination. 3.3 miles from where we’d started. Whilst DD2 was at the party, DD3 and I hit the playground over the road. Lots of pushing of swings, have got to add to my exercise log surely?!
All too soon it was time to walk home, when DD2 told me she hadn’t eaten anything at the party.  I’d taken a small picnic for DD3 to have in the park but nothing was left. So we had to stop off at a local mini supermarket. I was ravenous by this time, it was 3.30pm and my breakfast crumpets were long gone! I tried to find something on plan, but it was a very limited choice. I ended up with a packet of carrot sticks, some nice carved ham and some wholemeal rolls. I KNEW calorie controlled bread was on plan during simple start, and I do not know what made me think the rolls would be ok too. But I had 3 of them, stuffed with ham, and then half a packet of carrot sticks (DD2 and DD3 munched the rest), with a litre of water. Compared to my usual diet, my late lunch is a huge change, but I am very annoyed that I essentially fell off the plan so soon after starting.
For dinner I made quorn bolognese with chopped tomatoes garlic and parsley with wholewheat pasta.
Too much carbs for one day and I am sure I’ll regret it come weigh in.

Another 2 behavioural changes today though!
Firstly, the public transport thing. I would have used it as an excuse to stay at home ordinarily,  but not today. Today I proved that even fat lazy bread obsessed women can walk 7 miles if they need to.
Secondly.  During dinner, I stopped eating when I felt full. I didn’t force myself to eat it just so my plate was clean. I broke a habit of a lifetime and not only stopped when I didn’t feel hungry, but I also haven’t been picking at it again later on.

But now I am exhausted. So off to bed and let’s see what Monday brings.

The Jury’s out on Buckwheat…

Somebody once said to me that losing weight isn’t just about counting calories, or making sure you don’t eat more cheese than would fit in a matchbox. To be successful you need to change your behaviour.
I’ll admit that I’ve never quite understood what behaviour has to do with food or with weight, but by writing this I’ve actually noticed a change in my behaviour.
I assumed that “behaviour” meant how bad someone is, but giving yourself or a foodstuff a “bad” label immediately turns weight loss into something negative.
But really it’s something much more than that. I’ve changed a couple of behaviours this week without realising until today.

Firstly, I am now eating breakfast. I never ate breakfast. I hate milk so much, and cereal is pretty horrid dry. I’ve always avoided toast because 2 slices can quickly turn into 6 slices slathered in butter. But I have been eating breakfast these last few days. Ok, so it’s probably pretty boring to someone who enjoys a bowl of crunchy nut with milk to just have 2 crumpets with 2 teaspoons of butter, but I am eating something. Today I had 2 persimmons after my crumpets and that felt like a very substantial breakfast. It certainly kept hunger at bay until well past midday.

Secondly, I have pretty much always had a bread based lunch. I can’t eat bread like a normal person. It doesn’t matter if it’s sliced, white, brown, crusty, soft, or what shape it’s in, I cannot seem to limit myself. And of course, bread without butter is only any good when stuffed full of Italian Deli meats! And with butter, usually comes cheese. Fairly calorie laden already, but if I were alone, I wouldn’t just have the one sandwich I would have in company. Oh no. I could quite easily munch through 4 rounds of sandwiches. And as disgusted as I am at myself for doing it, I could justify it by saying it was really breakfast and lunch in one so it was perfectly fine to over eat to such an extent.
Of course, it isn’t justifiable in the slightest!
So I have been basing my lunch on meals that don’t need bread to make them.
Today, I had a sort of chunky soup made with leek, courgette, chicken thighs, portobello mushroom, tarragon, a stock cube, water and then I added some buckwheat. I’ve never had buckwheat before, but I bought it by mistake instead of bulgar wheat which I really like. It tasted really nice, but the buckwheat didn’t add anything to the dish at all. I thought it may have been a bit like pearl barley or lentils, but it really didn’t do anything except make me chew more. I’m not sure I’d cook with it again, but I’ll maybe have a look for some recipes that use it online… just in case I’ve been using it wrong !!

Thirdly, in the past I’ve always had my main meal at dinner time, and so have over eaten at lunch and then picked all through the day. I’ve changed this behaviour by now having my main meal at lunch time. Which is great, I’ve got plenty of energy throughout the day, and by eating less in the evenings I haven’t had indigestion at night. So I’ve had a better nights sleep too, because I’m not being woken up by horrendous reflux.

So, only 3 days in and my health is already starting to improve, makes me feel so excited about the road ahead 🙂

So far so good…

2 days in and I’m really enjoying thinking about food in a positive way. The simple start has been, surprisingly, well, Erm, simple.
Yesterday I had 2 crumpets with 2 teaspoons of butter, followed by half a pot of 0% fat free natural vanilla prebiotic yoghurt with raspberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants with a chopped banana.
For lunch, I roasted a courgette, a red onion, a sweet potato and 2 peppers in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. I added these to a bowl of bulgar wheat that I’d cooked with a stock cube and stirred in a tin of chickpeas and some chopped parsley. It was absolutely delicious and kept me full and satisfied all afternoon and well into the evening. I wasn’t tempted to pick at anything.
For dinner I had a small amount of leftover pasta fagiolli.

Today, I began the day with 2 crumpets with 2 teaspoons of butter. I was busy this morning, so didn’t eat again until I had a late lunch. Today I cooked 2 chopped chicken thighs, with a leek, a courgette, some asparagus, some baby sweetcorn and a few handfuls of kale, with some brown rice.
Again, it kept me full and satisfied all day long. With zero snacking or picking.
I’ve just had my dinner which was a tin of tuna, some baby plum tomatoes, a tablespoon of extra light mayo all sandwiched between some toasted wholemeal Warburtons, with a persimmon half a pot of vanilla fay free yogurt. I was going to have a banana, but I am absolutely full up and satisfied in so many ways.
Feeling positive to get my first 2lbs loss next week 🙂

The 60 week shred starts here

So the 60 week shred starts here. My goal is 2lbs weight loss per week for the next 60 weeks. Hopefully this will be sustainable, attainable and wont make me feel this is an insurmountable goal. I am literally going to concentrate on 2lbs each week. I’m not thinking of the bugger picture, the end goal, nothing but a slow steady 2 lbs per week loss.

This morning I joined Weight Watchers, and am now armed with their simple start booklet, this months’ magazine, the weekly little booklet handout and some simple start recipe cards.
It’s taken a while to get to the point where I feel I can start my weight loss journey and stick to it. I have been a terrible binge – eater for years, which has led to my (gulp) weight of 19 stone and 7 pounds. I knew I was heavy, I’ve been suffering from terrible back ache when walking recently, and have noticed my breathing getting heavier and heavier with the smallest of exertion. I’ve known being so obese puts me at risk of so many diseases in the future, but I’ve struggled to make myself actually care about that. I do have low self esteem, and am bi – polar which I don’t think helps matters. The medication I take gives me the terrible munchies and I can stuff myself stupid in about 20 minutes flat. Probably taking in half a day’s worth of calories.

All this is ending. NOW. I’ve had enough. I want to be the happy slim person I used to be. I want to feel like I matter. I don’t want people to look at me with pity or disgust. I want to be able to take my children swimming and not be afraid to put on a swimming costume. I want to be able to enjoy every aspect of my life without feeling like my weight (specifically tummy area) prevents me from either doing great things or pulling my confidence and self esteem even lower. I have spent many years feeling as though I’m not worthy of good healthy food, and although this hasn’t changed, I owe it to my children to be as healthy as I can be.

So tonight I will be meal planning, doing an online shop so I’m not tempted by all the things that have contributed to my weight and thinking positive thoughts for a great first week on plan.