Sunday, 21 February 2016

Fakin' it.

Years and years ago I bought Richy a session at an Indian cook school as a birthday gift. I picked the time and what he would be cooking because it needed booking before his birthday, so I was careful to pick something I liked the sound of (shocking!). It turned out to be one of the best gifts I have ever bought him because even though that was at least 5 years ago we regularly cook the chicken jaipuri curry and rice he made that day. It actually turns out to be very Slimming World friendly too once the oil is culled. The original curry recipe asks for 1tsp(!) of coconut milk but this can easily be swapped for yoghurt to keep it totally syn free.

It turned out this weekend has been a sort of fake away weekend. I fancied a curry on Friday so we made the Jaipuri which was excellent, and then nursing a slight hangover today I resisted the urge to phone a pizza or order a Chinese and made a chow mein. I'm not going to lie - a takeaway would have suited my mood better but in an attempt to redress the balance where last night's wine syns are concerned it was the better decision to cook something, and it suited my wallet better too.

Today's chow mein was about half a syn plus some sweet chilli sauce and was absolutely perfect for tonight. Here's what I did...

1.5 cooked chicken breasts, shredded and marinaded in 2 tbsp soy and 2 tbsp sherry
A handful of cooked prawns

4 cloves of garlic, sliced
A thumb size chunk of ginger, grated
3 spring onions, shredded

1 large carrot cut into thin batons
2 peppers thinly sliced
A handful of sugar snap peas sliced lengthways
1 medium onion thinly sliced
Half a bag of beansprouts
3 cards of noodles, cooked
Half a stock cube
Soy sauce & oyster sauce to taste

Sweat the spring onion, garlic and ginger for a minute in fry light.  Add a splash of water if it looks too dry.

Add carrots and onion, followed by peppers and sugar snap peas. Add the stock cube to a corner of the pan and add a splash of water (or sherry) to make a light paste and stir through. Toss through a couple of tablespoons of oyster sauce, chuck in the chicken and prawns, then the beansprouts..  then the noodles and mix well.

Add soy to taste and serve with sweet chilli sauce. 

This quantity served 2 adults and 2 kids and I have 2 portions leftover for lunches this week. WIN! :-) I didn't put chilli in it because my girls are wimps but you could easily add some in and obviously amend the veggies to suit what you have and like. This is quick, satisfying, cheap and versatile. I'm not reinventing the wheel here. It's nothing new and actually it's not a diet recipe.

These two dishes kept me away from the takeaway this weekend. It won't always be the way, I know, but right now I'm happy enough that this weekend hasn't been wasted.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Look at that face!

This is the face I pull when I don't get what I want. I was 3 here and 31 years later I still pull it (so I am told). In this case what I didn't get was a quick fix, but really, honestly... who does?

I know I have been a bit quiet about this (shocking!) but I have been back on plan for a couple of weeks now. First weigh in good (4.5lb) and second was a maintain. I should be upset about that but to be perfectly honest I had a takeaway, a lot of wine and a meal with friends. With cake. Hoping for that 2.5lb this week for my first new book shiney. 

Ahh... Remember the shineys? I am really looking forward to getting some book bling on the go as the pounds and inches go down. I've already dropped a couple of inches - it's amazing how quickly you can see results and to anybody starting their journey I would definitely say take measurements from the start. I know lots of people take them monthly but I do weekly and stick with it, taking a note on weigh day. The thing is your clothes might not show a difference and the scales might not either but chances are stuff is happening. I measure my ankle and wrist too and believe it or not they do show a difference!

Anyway that's all a bit dull so I'm going to leave you with that for today whilst I go and figure out what I am going to have for lunch tomorrow. I've got something delicious in mind for tomorrow's dinner though, so until then...

See ya, pals.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

See Saw Marjorie Daw

I think as you get older you learn a lot about yourself.

In the past few years I have learned that I am capable of more than I ever imagined in terms of (currently lapsed) weight training. I've learned that pride comes before a fall. I have learned that I can safely describe myself as a yo-yo dieter and that I will always always have to watch my intake. I have learned how quickly weight gains on you; how little disregard it has for your mental and wellbeing or how hard you are working at the gym; how sneaky it is; how it climbs on board when you aren't watching... and then... one day... all of a sudden... BOOM!

Back at square one.

I've learned the value of the saying"never say never". "That weight is never going back on". "I'm never doing this again". One thing I can assure you I am never doing is saying these things again! The truth is that of course I wish I hadn't put weight back on, that really goes without saying... but is it the absolute end of the world? Not really. I still have my family and great friends and a happy life and that really is the top and bottom of it. That being said, Slimming World and I are about to become reacquainted and in advance of that I've already started eating according to the plan, and it's going well.

Will things be different this time? Of course they will. On the one hand, I've done it before. On the other hand... I've done it before (if you see what I mean). When I joined in 2012 I had no idea what weight I wanted to be or how I would look at any given weight. Now I know where I want to be and and I know roughly how that will look. I understand my body shape better than ever before - I know that I am pear shaped and high waisted. I know exactly where I want to get to... and that's to where I got before. At that weight (in the picture I was actually slightly heavier), I wanted to lose another 3 stone. At the time I was fixated on that weight but in hindsight I see that it wasn't necessary and that I looked and felt amazing. I maintained for a year, fighting and trying and when nothing else was coming off I lost heart and weight started to creep on.

So that's the aim.

Get... back... there.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Oh what a week!

Well. First week back on it was, frankly,  a bit of a shambles...but I knew that would happen. Visiting family, my daughter's birthday, a party, Mother's Day - all in the one week? Sheesh.

I could, of course, have gone back to Slimming World this week and not last. I had various reasons to postpone - the social events plus a dose of ill health amongst others. I had good reasons for going though, and my main feeling was that I would rather go and get started than wait, mainly because, well, what more damage could I cause?! I'm glad I went last week. I made lots and lots of very poor decisions... but you know, I made lots of good ones too. Out of 7 days I managed to be "on plan" maybe 3 days. Maximum. And I went last night to face to music. And I lost half a pound. That's a packet of butter right there. (Or not, if you like).

It's been nice thinking about meal planning again, working through my cupboards and remembering all the lovely things you can eat readily on this plan rather than focusing on the things you can't. Lunch has always been a tough shout for me, mainly because I have to really plan in advance. As in make it and have it sitting waiting for me. I've knocked up a couple of pasta salads this week, one was a take on a pasta puttanesca and the other was a sort of tuna pasta full of capers, red onions and salady things. Today though I made a couscous chicken salad, full of Speed foods, lemon, balsamic vinegar and - obviously - cooked chicken. It was massive but delicious and has reminded me of one of the great things about SW. Variety.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

This time, it's personal.

I'll just cut to the chase, because let's be honest, who needs small talk?

I've been back and forth in the last year. Mostly forth. Weight creeping on. Up and up. I've piled on a massive chunk of what I lost. How depressing. How annoying.

How disappointing.

So many good intentions simply thrown away. So many good habits tossed aside. It would be so easy to say never again but that's not life. It's not reality and it's not people. It's not me, sadly.

At the point I got stuck I was determined to lose another 2-3 stone but since sticking and maintaining before gaining I have realised that actually where I was was a pretty perfect place to be. I felt good... I was around about a size 14 and had developed a new confidence. Now I've put weight back on it's all a bit messy. I didn't have "old me" photos last time, but now I do. I didn't have clothes I didn't fit into last time, but now I do. Last time it was just a battle against the blubber. This time it's a battle against 2012 me. And it's harder.

I miss my collar bones and those funny ligaments in my knees I didn't know I had before losing over 6st. I don't know how to dress my new shape (and it is new because the weight has gone back in different places) so I feel terrible most of the time. I miss my favourite dresses. I miss understanding my food. I miss control. I miss feeling good. On the plus side my fitness is massively improved and my body is smaller than before, I think I can thank the gym for this.

So anyway I've taken a decision to go back to Slimming World and I'll rejoin next Tuesday. 17 weeks until I go to Tenerife for our summer holiday. Game on.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

And I'm feeling good

Well what a week.

Monday I went for my first Couch 2 5k run. I'll come clean - it wasn't pretty. For the rest of the evening I was grumpy and sore, I was walking like an old woman and my hips gave me some amount of bother all night. Tonight I went out with my wee pal Fiona for my second run. I have to say it was ok. I mean, obviously, it was hell but it was great to have a buddy to drag me around/drag around me with and I think it's  fair to say we kept each other going.

Diet wise eating on plan is going really well. Class on Tuesday night brought me a 3.5lb weight loss which is 10lb of my gain in 2 weeks. Sounds a lot but I know it will level out very soon and that will very probably be this week assuming I am not too naughty food wise given I am doing a good bit of socialising  (again). The best  thing about  weigh in though was getting my first shiny at Clare's class - I came home with a certificate as well for Slimmer of the Week! Sadly for me I've  gained so much weight since I joined that class that I still have a good way to go to get my half stone  award but this is a nice start to my new collection.

All things considered another good week and a great boost. Onwards and... downwards?

Monday, 4 August 2014

Run Fatgirl Run

So my first week back on it went well. I lost 6.5lb despite having friends up to visit, eating out lots and drinking too much wine. I would call that a success! Buoyed from that weigh in, I refused a takeaway in favour of a home cooked curry. So far this week is shaping up well - a few many drinkies and a meal out but nothing too dreadful and in actual fact I opted for a Light Option at Prezzo (a smaller portion of King Prawn Spaghetti with a side salad and a low fat vinaigrette). 

This week I've to back into meal planning and genuinely refusing naughty things without feeling left out. At a friends's house for lunch I refused crisps and crispie cakes in favour of raiding the boxes of berries! I've also gone through my freezer to see what exactly is in there and cooked up a few delights to feed us on busy days. So far I have chilli, Thai Red fish curry and a sweet potato korma waiting for me (including a portion of that korma for tonight). 

The big thing this week is that exercise wise I've come to a decision and tonight I am starting Couch to 5k. This will probably kill me, however I cancelled my gym membership due to lack of use and I plan to run, walk more with the buggy and actually use my (as yet unwrapped!) kettlebells. I will be on the lookout for a Garmin Forerunner15 watch next month so I can track and trace my runs etc as well as gather points for my life insurance. Oh the joys. 

So out I go tonight. It won't be pretty, but it will be worth it.