Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tuesday Treat!

I'm back, two posts in one day. I think I'm coming down with something!

I know this is odd, and I know I'm waaaay too old for it but I really want a name necklace! I was never allowed one as a girl because my lovely Mum was worried about weirdos and perverts, but now I'm almost 30 and live in a (mostly) leafy suburb I think I'm safe. What do you think? Shall I treat myself?

My name's not Carla, by the way, it's Helen. You know, just in case someone wants to buy me one...

What will you be treating yourself to today?


Weekly Weigh in No. 14 and Operation Fit and Fab update

14 weeks in and I have lost another 1 1/2lbs - equalling 25 pounds in total :) Go me! I'm chuffed that despite being ill over the weekend and totally fluffing up on Sunday by not eating all day then having 2 slices of dominoes pizza and garlic bread the effort I put in the rest of the week has paid off.

One of the main things that has got me through this week is Operation Fit and Fabulous and the support of Jayne and the ladies on Twitter. We're spurring each other on, throwing advice and ideas back and forth and assuring each other that, yes, Jaffa Cakes do count as one of your five a day!

Last weeks missions were to drink 2 litres of water a day, body brush before each shower/bath, exercise for an hour 3 times a week, be kinder to yourself and get enough sleep. I managed the water, although I did feel like I was sloshing when I walked for the first few days and still get a bit nervous when I'm too far from the loo. I don't have a body brush yet, but as soon as it arrives it will be meeting my wobbly thighs. Exercise I surprisingly managed too, thanks in part of my other half being off work last week we managed a walk and my patented walk/run hybrid (ralk or wun?), and last night I did a half hour of Wii Fit and 45 mins of Zumba. Wont be so easy this week as he started two new jobs yesterday so he wont be around even in the evenings and will be much less inclined to want to go walking when he is here. Also I have DS1 off sick from school so am pretty housebound. I will manage it though, even if it's in smaller chunks. As for being kinder to myself, I'm not sure. making the time to exercise and things kinda covers that, but maybe it's one I need to work on more. And the last thing I definitely need to try harder at is the sleep thing. I haven't managed that one little bit. Last night I was down to 5 hours and it was disturbed due to snotty kids, and then the baby woke me up at just gone 5am. The key for me in this one is to go to bed earlier I think. Last night it was gone 11.30 when I went upstairs, so probably nearer midnight by the time I got to sleep. I need to put things off to the next day - not getting a blog post up before I go to bed isn't the be all and end all.

So, a bit of a mixed bag. Overall I'm pleased with myself this week. Next weeks mission looks quite achievable too. Get your 5 a day - something I generally do anyway. At the moment I have porridge with berries for breakfast, some kind of home-made vegetable soup for lunch and something with a mound of veg on the side for dinner. And snacks in between are generally apples, carrot, pepper and cucumber sticks, apples, grapes and did I say apples? Something also suggested is to keep a food diary, something which Weight Watchers also recommends in the way of tracking. They have tools on their website which allow you to track each food you eat and their pro-points value. This is something I used to do religiously but have slacked a bit lately. So, as of tomorrow I am going to log absolutely everything I eat, even foods with 0 PP value. It will be interesting to see how much I really eat.

How have you done this week?


Monday, 26 September 2011

Fun ways to look at what you've lost!

As of last Tuesday I had lost 23 1/2 pounds. To some people this may not seem like a lot, but to others  it's a huge amount. To me, as I'm not even a quarter of the way there it seems a little insignificant, but I know I should be celebrating every pound. I came across this post on a weight loss surgery blog (not something I'm considering, don't worry! A friend of mine has just had surgery and was sharing recipes with me) and thought I'd share with you a different way to look at how the pounds add up.

24 Pounds is equal to=

24 Guinea Pigs

6 Ostrich Eggs

Two average adult cats

What, us?

An average 2 year old
My 14 month old, Jake, who weighs 21 pounds

Half a bale of hay

Don't they look like Weetabix? Probably tastes about as good too...yum.

A quarter of a two-month old horse!

You didn't think I'd actually quarter it, did you? Far too gory!

And, once I reach my target of just over 90lbs I will have lost the equivalent of...

A newborn calf!

And because I couldn't leave him out, my (almost) 4 year old Ollie, who weighs 39 pounds.

Incredible! So, what have you lost?


Saturday, 24 September 2011

Recipe of the Week - Cheats Carbonara

Hello and welcome to another weekly feature that I probably wont keep up! Ha! I love cooking, and creating low fat meals on a budget has become a bit of an obsession. And you can't get more budget busting than pasta. Unfortunately, it's quite a gut buster too, clocking up 1 ProPoint per 10g on Weight Watchers! Compare this to potatoes for example, which are 1 ProPoint per 50g and you can see why I don't eat much pasta any more. But I was in the mood for comfort food, so I created this cheats carbonara which is tasty, quick and cheap! A real carbonara, with eggs, cream and fat-filled parmesan is one of my favourite things to cook out of the question for me at the moment, but this is a great substitute. It comes out at 9 ProPoints per serving.


100g dried spaghetti (10 ProPoints)
100g extra light cream cheese with garlic and herbs (I used Tesco - 2 ProPoints)
1 gammon round (I used Tesco Value), chopped into small squares (6 ProPoints)
1 red pepper, chopped
A few mushrooms, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Serves 2

1. Cook the spaghetti according to pack instructions, reserving about half a cup of the cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan and spray with fry light or cooking spray. Cook the gammon, peppers and mushrooms until the gammon is cooked and vegetables softened.
3. Add the cream cheese to the ham and veg, along with a small amount of the pasta cooking water and stir to combine.
4. Combine the pasta and the sauce and season to taste, remembering that if your pasta water was salted you probably wont need much salt!

Although I've not tried it I'm sure this would also work with bacon (2 bacon medallions are only 1PP, to serve 2 people you'd need at least 4), chicken (a medium chicken breast is 4 PP) or prawns (60g for 1PP) so you could make it "cheaper" on ProPoints if you need to, as the gammon round is 6PP.

I served mine with steamed marrow and a garlic bread slice (I used Tesco for 3PP). Some other serving suggestions:

  • brocolli, green beans or courgette could be boiled or steamed and either mixed through the pasta or served on the side (0PP)
  • Weight Watchers Petite Pains for 3PP each
  • green side salad with balsamic vinegar dressing to contrast the creaminess (0PP)
  • 20g of grated half fat cheddar sprinkled on top (1PP)
  • a nice cold glass of white wine! (3PP for a small 125ml glass)
Super simple and tasty! Will you be trying it? How do you make pasta fit in your diet?


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Operation Fit and Fabulous!

I've not been blogging for a huge amount of time, but in the last few months it has really opened my eyes to a new world of friends and opportunities. I started my nail blog back in March as a way to document my growing obsession with nail polish and to talk to like minded people, and then this blog more recently to help keep my weight loss on track and share my success (hopefully). In that time I've met some lovely bloggers, won giveaways, been complimented and made people smile, which makes my day! I love it when I get a positive comment or a lovely twitter message. I really don't know how many other blogs I am following now (is there a way on Blogger to see? I'll have to explore) but one of them is the lovely Beach Bum Beauty and recently she gave her readers the opportunity to join her with Operation Fit and Fabulous!

I was hesitant at first, but sent her an email with a bit about me and she welcomed me with open arms! Every week, Jayne will set us missions aimed to make us feel Fit and Fabulous and good from the inside and out. It's not just about weight loss or fitness, but also how we feel about ourselves and ways to make us more positive, something which I'm not always very good at. This week's missions are apparently small basic ones. What have I let myself in for?!

1) Drink 2 litres of water every day - This is hard! I've been sloshing around making sure I'm not too far away from the toilet all day! TMI? Sorry...
2) Body brush every morning before you have a shower/bath – I don't have a body brush yet, but when I do I'll be brushing religiously!
3) Get enough sleep – 7 hours is usually enough for me. I know 8 is the ideal, but what I get is usually around 6 so by aiming for 7 I'm hitting middle ground. Of course this all depends on what time the baby gets up... Also, it should be quality sleep too, and mine is often disturbed by little people/funny dreams/snoring men so maybe I need to invest in some earplugs. Think I will be woken up by several trips to the loo tonight too after all that water!
4) Be kind to yourself – I don’t think I'm that hard on myself, if I miss an exercise session or don't get something done that I wanted to it doesn't really bother me. But what does happen instead is that I end up chasing my tail around to get those things done and end up with no time for me, which is going to have to change if I'm to get the next mission done...
5) Exercise at least 3 times a week for an hour – I have been better at exercising lately, and last week I did Zumba 5 nights out of 7. But I need variety in there, and getting a whole hour at a time is a challenge too. Yesterday I walked 3k in a hour, and today I did a sort of walk/run hybrid (walk 5 mins, run for 1, wipe DS1's nose, feed DS2 a breadstick, repeat) for 4.5k, so I already have 2 out of the three hours under my belt! My other half starts a new job on Monday though, and having him at home is the only reason I managed that. However, I am going to buy myself some new running shoes and try to do my patented hybrid (without the nose wiping etc) a couple of evenings a week in the hopes I can eventually run more and walk less. And I'm going to carry on with Zumba (I like it even if I do look like a plonker) and also swim more. I will crack this!
So far this week, I'm enjoying it. It feels good to be taking control of this in more ways than just with my diet. Also, it's really helping having a little Operation Fit and Fab family to lean on for support. All the OFAF ladies are lovely, and you can see our profiles here or search the hashtag #operationfitandfabulous on Twitter to see how we're getting on.
Wish me luck! *sloshes off to the loo*

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Weekly Weigh In - a HUGE milestone :)


Yesterday as usual I went to my Weight Watchers meeting and stepped on the scales of dread...over the last few weeks I have struggled a little, losing half a pound, putting it back on again and then even when I tried really hard I didn't do as well as I had hoped. Well, this week I stepped up and had lost two pounds. Not a huge amount, but slow and steady wins the race and about 2lbs a week is what Weight Watchers say you should aim to lose.

This brings my total weight loss since I joined Weight Watchers to 23 1/2lbs - which is more than 10% of my starting weight! I'm quite astounded by this, and feeling quite chuffed :) I was presented with a little keyring, which I am keeping on my handbag so it is a visible reminder that I never want to back to how I was before, even if I still have a long long way to go.


Friday, 16 September 2011


I love a biscuit me. In fact I love two or three...or four or five... You get the picture. At the moment I am running a play group while my friend is on holiday and the biscuit tin tempted me this morning, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of the biscuits I had was only 1 ProPoint, whereas I had assumed most of them were about 2 PP each. I feel 2 PP on a biscuit is a bit of a waste because, well, two mouthfulls and they're gone, whereas the cereal bars you can buy in group are 2 PP and are much more satisfying. Not to dunk in a cuppa though. So I've been looking through the ProPoint values of some biscuits and thought I'd make a note of which are good choices to make, whether you follow the Weight Watchers Pro Points plan or not :) Enjoy!

Pro Point values are per biscuit, unless otherwise stated
Rich Tea (1PP)
Nice (1PP)
Lincoln (1PP)
Fruit Shortcake (1PP)
Morning Coffee (1PP)
Malted Milk (1PP)
Jaffa Cake (1PP)
Ginger Nut (1PP) - some varieties, you might want to check brands individually
Oreos (1PP) - was very surprised at this one!
Fox's Lemon Crunch (1PP)
Party Rings (1PP)
Lotus Original Caramelised Biscuit (1PP)

Some things to watch out for:
Don't fall into the trap of buying a low fat biscuit thinking they will have a lower Pro Points value. Digestives and rich tea biscuits have the same Pro Points in their reduced fat varieties as the regular ones. Of course, low fat is a good option anyway, even if the PP are the same.
Remember that sometimes a single serving of something may be one pro point, but if you have two the Pro Points go up to three. Worth double checking if you plan on having more than a couple!

Happy dunking!


Thursday, 15 September 2011

Sorry I've neglected you!

I've neglected myself a little bit actually! Sorry for the absence, I have been without my computer for a few weeks and while I managed (just) to keep up with my nail blog from my phone it was rather stressful! Plus, I haven't been a very good dieter - overeating and then starving myself which is definitely not the way to go about it. Last week I gained half a pound, and was very annoyed so bucked up my ideas and got back into things properly. Having three good meals a day has meant I'm not picking so much and have more energy. So this week I lost a pound and although I had hoped for more I'm praying my hard work pays off and I see a bigger loss next week. I'm working really hard and I know the effort is showing now, I just have to keep at it!

I'll leave you with a picture of what I made for dinner tonight. It was rather lovely! You can get the recipe here and I worked it out to be just 8 ProPoints per serving, although I omitted the wine and just used extra stock. I served it with carrots and baby sweetcorn and enjoyed every mouthful! Who would have thought you could eat pie on a diet and be guilt-free!

(Just in case you didn't know what it is...um...)