Friday, 24 August 2012

Salad Days

I've recently developed an allergy to tomatoes, which, in my world, is devastating! I love and adore tomatoes, in all shapes and sizes and various forms. I was practically weaned on tomatoes and usually grow my own in the summer (although this year's monsoon weather put paid to that). Now, if I eat them, it makes my mouth really sore and my chest tight  which is very very scary!

To me, a salad isn't a salad without a tomato. Or it used to be. This recent allergy has made me look at the way I see salads. A salad is a dieter's friend, but it can soon get rather boring if you're eating lettuce, tomato and cucumber at every meal... So I've been coming up with some ways to spice up your salad.

Chose your leaves

Are you an iceberg fan, or do you favour a little gem? The leaf is usually the basis for a good salad, and there are so many available now there's no reason not to vary them. I like to buy bags of pre-washed salad leaves, for convenience mostly, but also because of the variety. Our favourite is a babyleaf salad, but you can try rocket, spinach, beetroot leaves, watercress. Whatever takes your fancy. A good old round lettuce can be a nice change from the more "exotic" too!

Once you've got your leaves, what goes on top. I often find myself piling everything salad-like on top, but you really don't have to. Chose three or four "toppings", such as:

  • cucumber
  • tomato *sob*
  • peppers
  • carrot (grated, cubed, thinly sliced with a speed peeler...)
  • olives
  • herbs (I like basil or mint)
  • beetroot
  • beansprouts
  • mushrooms
  • radish
  • celery
  • onions
Know your onions

A good onion can add a sharp kick to your salad, but again you can vary them. Spring or salad onions are quick and convenient (snip them with scissors) but try red onion, spanish onion or even a couple of pickled onions for variety.

Pickle it

Talking of pickled onions, pickled beetroot, gherkins or cauliflower can also be a great addition to a salad. Add a blob of sweet pickle to turn your salad into a ploughmans.

Fruity twist

Still missing that tomato? I've been experimenting with adding fruit to my salad. Grapes, strawberries (great with balsamic dressing), melon, mango, apple or raisins will make a great addition to a good salad.

Protein power

Now you've got your basics, add the protein you need to make this a meal. Chicken salad will get boring really quick if you have it regularly, but combine it with bacon and a mustard dressing, or with mango and a curried mayonaise and it's a completely different meal. Other great protein sources for salad are:

  • lean ham
  • prawns
  • tuna
  • boiled eggs
  • cottage cheese
  • chorizo (quite fatty but a little goes a long way!)
  • lean bacon or turkey bacon
  • crab sticks
  • omlette
  • reduced fat cheese (try feta or mozzarella)
  • quiche (crustless quiche recipe coming soon!)

Dress it up

Now here's a stumbling block - the dressing. You don't want to add a load of calories at the last minute, so chose wisely. I like to use balsamic vinegar, but raspberry vinegar is nice too. If you're buying a shop bought dressing, do for one that contains less than 40 calories per 100mls or is marketed as a lighter choice (my current favourite is honey and mustard). You can also buy 1 calorie salad sprays that are intensively flavoured so that just a few sprays (at 1 calorie each) are needed. If you're a fan of mayonnaise or salad cream, chose on that's "extra light" or "lighter than light" and try mixing it with fat free fromage frais to make it go further. Or water down some fat free natural yoghurt and add some finely chopped mint, for a dressing that feels really creamy and indulgent, without all the fat.

Things to avoid

This may sound obvious, but if you're trying to keep your salad healthy there are some things to avoid:

  • croutons
  • full fat cheese
  • crispy onions
  • crispy bacon
  • creamy or oily dressings
  • chips on the side!
I enjoy salads, and I always have, but it can get boring, very quickly. I hope I've given you some ideas and inspiration to spice up your salad! Let me know your suggestions too :)


Monday, 20 August 2012

Weekly Weigh In - Back in the zone


Monday again, so I trotted off to the pharmacy and hopped onto the scales. Ok, so it was more like dragged myself to the pharmacy and forced myself onto the scales - it is Monday! But, it paid off since I have lost 2.8lbs this week :)

Last week's weight:

13st 13.8 lbs/ 88.9kg (195.8lbs)

This week's weight:

13st 11.0lbs/87.6kg (193lbs)

I'm surprised at how easily I have just slipped back into this dieting lark. It's like I have a new found determination. Long may it last!

Goals this week:
2l or water (been slacking a little bit on this)
Some form of exercise at least once
Carry on food optimising with the Slimming World Extra Easy plan

How has your week been?


*EDIT* I've just realised I only have 3lbs to lose to get back to where I was at my last Weight Watchers weigh in...can I do it this week? Maybe that's my incentive to work out...

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Jenny Craig Competition

I think at one point or another most of you reading this blog will have considered using something other than your own will power and nutrition knowledge as a route to losing weight. Wouldn't it be so much easier if things were done for you - if you were told what to eat and when, and even had it prepared for you. There are many plans like this available, including Jenny Craig.

If I'm completely honest, if I had the money, I would totally go down the route of using a weight loss plan where food is delivered to me and all I would have to do it heat it up and eat it. Of course, it's not going to stop me buying a slab of chocolate or snacking unhealthily in between meals, but it would take a huge load of the stress of dieting off. I love cooking, but sometimes I want to be cooked for! But, like I said, £50 a week is way out of my budget - in fact, I usually feed a family of four for around this amount.

But to celebrate their newly launched website Jenny Craig Uk are giving bloggers have the chance to win some fantastic prizes (including £400 to spend at Evans Cycles!) just by asking a question.

The prizes on offer include:

1st Prize – A £400 contribution towards a brand new bike from Evans Cycles ( and a 28-day Jenny Craig weight loss package including food hampers and personal weekly phone weight loss consultations.

2nd Prize – A £50 voucher for Sheactive ( and a 28-day Jenny Craig weight loss programme including food hampers and personal weekly phone weight loss consultations.

3rd Prize – Three 3rd prize winners will each get one 28-day Jenny Craig weight loss package including food hampers and personal weekly phone weight loss consultations.

For your chance to win all you need to do is:

A) Cook up a tasty nutritional question to spice up Jenny Craig's new blog;

B) Describe the question you would like Jenny Craig UK's weight management experts to answer on your own blog and link to the contest in your post;

C) Tell us about your entry by leaving a comment with the URL of your entry in the comments on this post on their blog, or tweet @JennyCraigUK using the hashtag #AskJennyCraig before 11.59pm (UK time) on 13th September 2012.

I think my question would be:

I am a big snacker and often eat out of boredom. What would you recommend for some healthy snacks (that aren't boring!) and to keep my mind off food between meals?

Let me know if you enter, I would love to know your questions too!


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Food plans and sticking to them!

I feel I have been doing really well at sticking to my food plans recently, and that has been helped greatly by posting them here. But I can't help but think it's a little boring to fill my blog up with food diaries! So, I've decided to make my food diary into a google doc, which you can still look at if you want to! That way I can combine it with a tracer of sorts, and if anything changes during the day I can add to it easily and make changes as I need to. I've been doing this for the past few day, and it's really helped to have a spreadsheet that I can just pull up and add my syns and healthy extras into as and when I eat them. For instance yesterday I had planned to have some cheese on my chilli at dinner time for 3 syns, but changed my mind and had a treat size milky way (teeny kids chocolate bar) for 3 1/2 instead. If I wasn't keeping track I might have just had both. I was really proud of myself for making the choice to have the small chocolate and dropping the cheese instead. Baby steps!

So, here is my google doc with my food planner/diary, for anyone interested. I will add a button to my side bar and will try to keep it updated every day, and add a new sheet each week. Another tool in the armoury for staying on track!

Then once a week (hopefully) I will take pictures of what I eat all day, and do a "what I ate today" sort of post - so it's a bit more interesting! I love looking at pictures of what people are eating and find it really gives me inspiration for my own meals, so I'm looking forward to this too!

How do you plan/track your food intake? Are you a pen and paper kinda person? Or have you got it locked down in your head? If you want to use my google doc template, please feel free, and let me know how it works for you!


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Recipe of the week - Pineapple upsidedown cake

Yep, cake! I'm not a huge cake fan, but the kids were bored and I said we'd make one. This recipe has no fat and looked Slimming World friendly. I worked out the recipe contains 49 1/2 syns for the whole cake, so if you divided it into 10 that's just 5 syns per portion - not too bad for a treat and much better than processed junk! I served mine with coconut Greek 0% yoghurt (Muller, 1/2 syn per 120g pot) for a retro pina colada vibe ;) (The syn values are for all plans)

Pineapple Upsidedown Cake, 10 servings, 5 syns per serving

150g tinned pineapple, drained (2 1/2 syns)
100g sugar (18 syns)
170g self raising flour (27 syns)
2 eggs
100ml skimmed milk (2 syns)
Frylight/low calorie cooking spray

Heat half the sugar and the pineapple in a pan until the sugar caramelises.

Beat together the rest of the ingredients to make a batter.

Grease a loose bottomed baking tin with frylight before tipping in the pineapple and caramel. Pour the batter on top.

Bake in a hot oven (220 degrees or gas mark 7) for 15-20 minutes.

Once cooked, turn out onto a plate as soon as it comes out of the oven or it will stick to the tin as the sugar cools!


And now I have this in my head, so I thought I'd give you all an ear worm too ;)


Today's Food Plan Tuesday 14th August 2012


After yesterday's success I'm excited for this week! So here's today's food:

Porridge magic muffins made with 35g porridge oats (HEb), 2 eggs, Mullerlight and fruit (will post recipe if they work!)

Pasta and broccoli with 60g Kerry Low Low soft cheese (HEa) stirred through

Chicken stir fry with baby sweetcorn, peppers, onions and mange tout, with noodles

Fruit (apples, bananas, plums in the fruit bowl), yoghurt, cucumber, cottage cheese



Monday, 13 August 2012

Weekly Weigh In - Back on track!

*Yippee hooray jumps up and down and does a dance*

Ah I'd forgotten how good it feels to have a good loss! And I mean GOOD!

Last weeks weight:

14st 5.3 lbs/ 91.4kg (201.3lbs)

This weeks weight:

13st 13.8 lbs/ 88.9kg (195..8lbs)

Three massive achievements - back under 200lbs, back into the 13 stone range and under 90kg in one week. Just the boost I needed I think!

I haven't done any exercise this week, apart from taking the kids swimming and running around after them all week, and I had a slip up on Friday night with a binge after someone (*coughMrFGScough*) wound me up, so I am more than happy with the result. I haven't felt deprived, or hungry really although the first couple of days were really hard as my body was CRAVING sugar. It didn't help that it was that time of the month either (which Slimming World helpfully calls Star week *puke*).

All those things said, I know 5 1/2 lbs is a big loss and I'm not expecting as big a loss this week. I'll aim for a sensible 2lbs :)

This weeks goals:

2lbs weight loss

2 litres water a day

1 exercise session...maybe

I've put a maybe to the exercise because I'm still struggling to fit it in. It will be easier in a few weeks when my eldest starts lower school full time, I can hopefully get into a routine where I can have a long walk with the little one in the buggy, or do a DVD routine when he's napping. I do run around with them, play in the park, take them swimming etc but everything has to be at their pace so it hardly gets my heart rate up. But, they say it's 30% exercise and 70% nutrition, and I think I'm finally getting the nutrition on track :)

How has your week been?


Yesterday's food... Sunday 12 August 2012

Ooops, didn't post this yesterday! Sunday is usually the day I get a little lie in and Mr FGS and the kids let me sleep in to 9.30. Not exactly a great lie in but I'll take it! Anyway as soon as I was up they wanted to go to the park so I didn't get breakfast, and paid for it the rest of the day as I was starving an hour after lunch.

Nothing! Bad Helly

WM pitta bread (HEb), boiled egg, peppers, 1tbsp extra light mayo (1/2 syn), hummus and carrot sticks

Chicken curry (1/2 syn), rice, brocolli

Mug shot, fruit, wm toast x2 (6 syns), 60g kerry low low cheese spread

Am going to weigh myself in a minute, so I'll update soon - feeling kinda nervous!


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Today's food plan Saturday 11th August 2012

Little bit late today, we've been busy gardening and took the boys to the park. I had a slip last night, that turned into a binge so I need to be extra good the next few days before I weigh on Monday. I am such an emotional eater and I need to work on that.

Today I am having an original (or red) day, which is slightly different - pasta rice and starchy veg like potatoes are restricted and you can have 2 of each healthy extra instead.

35g porrigde oats (HEb) mixed with pineapple Mullerlight, defrosted frozen berries and coconut 0% fat greek yoghurt (1/2 syn)

Carrot sticks, Apple, 60g Kerry Low Low cheese (HEa), Pack French Fries (4 1/2 syns)

Turkey burger, 42g low fat cheese (HEa), Wholemeal pitta (HEb), butternut squash wedges

Friday, 10 August 2012

Today's food plan Friday 10th August 2012

Good day yesterday :) Getting into the swing of it, and the turkey burgers I made for dinner were lush!

Today's plan:
Poached eggs, tinned tomatoes, oven baked hash browns, fruit

Wholemeal roll (HEx B), 2 slices Kerry Low Low Cheese, ratatouille (2 syns)

Lamb hotpot

Fruit, yoghurt, cucumber, hummus, tzatziki

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Who you callin' chicken?

So, although I have recommitted myself to eating well and losing weight, I haven't committed myself to any form of exercise yet. My running shoes are buried under my children's wellies and sandals (British weather ftw), I have no idea where my sports bra is and my Zumba DVD is gathering dust. I do want to pick up some exercise again, I just have to fit it in and commit to it.

I have problems committing to exercise because when you have two children and no childcare (my family live 60+ miles away and the eldest is off school until September), and a partner who works irregular hours and sometimes has to travel a lot, getting an hour to myself to go for a run 3 times a week doesn't always happen.

Today, a leaflet came through my door, advertising a new local Zumba class. I like Zumba, I'm not too bad at it (ie I only occasionally trip over my own feet and look like an elephant having a fit) and I enjoy it. The class is at a really convenient location for me, just down the road at a building I work in occasionally and you don't have to pre-book the class or pay up front for a course. And it's only £4 a session, which is affordable. The timing is slightly awkward, as it's around the time my other half gets home (so I would have to leg it down the road) and then he'd have to put the kids to bed. But I deserve an hour to myself right?

The problem is, I am just not brave enough. I really really want to go to this class, I really think I'd benefit from it. But it would mean walking into a room full of people I don't know, who probably know each other, are most likely fitter than me, wont sweat as much as me or even occasionally look like an elephant having a fit. And that scares the proverbial out of me.

Am I being silly? Should I man up and get on with it? I've never been good with new situations like that. I have my little bubble and I'm perfectly happy in it, thank you. But it's holding me back. There is also a new running group in my town that I wanted to go along to, but I can't bring myself to do it. I'm just worried about what people will think of me, or that they'll think I'm weird. Why does that even bother me?

I just don't know what to do. I know I'll probably chicken out, or find an excuse not to go along next Tuesday. But there's a little part of me that wants to go. Ok, a big part, I don't think I have any little parts, teehee!

What do you think? Are you the same?


Today's food plan Thursday 9th August 2012

Quick one this morning as I'm taking the boys swimming - little bit of exercise! Yesterday was good, I upped my syns to 11 and felt much happier. I don't feel so energy sapped either, so I hope that means my body is adjusting!

Today's food:

2 low fat sausages (1 syn each), baked beans, fruit

Crustless bacon and potato quiche, salad

Homemade burger, homemade coleslaw (will check syns), wholemeal roll (HEx B), cheese (HEx A), homemade oven chips

Fruit, hummus, cottage cheese, carrots, cucumber, mini twister ice lolly (2 1/2 syns), yoghurt

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Today's Food Plan Wednesday 8th August 2012

Day two over and things are going well. I ate so much fruit and veg yesterday, I think I have a slight orange tinge due to carrot overdose. I can definitely tell I'm upping my water intake as I'm becoming rather well acquainted with my toilet. My body is craving sugar too; I'm breaking out, my hair is greasy and I'm so exhausted without that sugar high! It's only temporary though, hopefully in a few days (once Aunt Flo has departed too) I'll feel better. I only had 3 1/2 syns yesterday, when Slimming World says you should have between 5-15, but I more than made up for it in free food, and I wasn't feeling hungry. I will add some more syns in though, as I don't want to feel deprived. Here's today's food plan.

Veggie omelette, beans, fruit & yoghurt

Soy & garlic chicken (1 syn), wholemeal pitta (HEx B), salad or veg

Potato skins with cheese (HEx A) bacon and onion filling, salad

Fruit (grapes, apples, bananas, doughnut peaches), carrot sticks, slimming world hummous, cottage cheese, yoghurt

Water, tea, coffee (with milk 1/2 syn), diet coke

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Daily Food Plan Tuesday 7th August 2012

Yesterday's food went well. I stuck to the plan of what I was eating and only had 6 1/2 syns - 3 on cheese in the morning, 1/2 on a splash of milk in tea in the afternoon and another three on cheese in the evening (since when I weighed out my 42g of healthy extra cheese there was a teeny bit left, so as I had enough syns left I had it too). I did get some cravings for sweet stuff (eg chocolate) in the afternoon, but I didn't cave. Water was good too, and I had at least 2 litres. A good start, I hope I can carry on!

Today's food:

Soft boiled eggs and wholemeal soldiers (healthy 'b' choice) with marmite, fruit and yoghurt

Jacket potato with left over turkey bolognaise, 42g reducaed fat cheddar (healthy 'a' choice)

Oriental soy and garlic chicken (seasoning mix 1 syn), stir fried vegetables (no oil), noodles

Fruit (bananas, nectarines, apples and grapes in the fruit bowl), carrot sticks, cottage cheese, boiled egg, syn free hummus if I get around to making it... natural yoghurt, 1 pack of cheese curls if I absolutely must! 4 1/2 syns.

Water, water, water! Diet coke, black tea and coffee or with a splash of milk (1/2 a syn)

Monday, 6 August 2012

Daily Food Plan Monday 6th August 2012

I thought I would post my daily menu plan in order to help keep me on track. I find it really helps me to plan my meals in advance, even if it is only the night before.

Baked beans on wholemeal toast (Healthy 'b' choice), 20g reduced fat cheddar (3 syns), mullerlight yoghurt, apple

2 quorn barbeque fillets, vegetables, savoury rice

Turkey bolognaise pasta bake, made with lean turkey mince, very low fat cottage cheese, 42g reduced fat cheddar (Healthy 'a' choice), salad

Fruit (bananas, nectarines, apples and grapes in the fruit bowl), carrot sticks, cottage cheese, boiled egg

Water, water, water! Diet coke, black tea and coffee or with a splash of milk (1/2 a syn)

My new starting point...

So, this morning I took myself off to the pharmacy at my local supermarket where they have a set of all singing-all dancing digital scales. Literally. It shouts at you. Fortunately it prints out your vitals discreetly, but it makes sure everyone in there knows what you are doing first...

I stepped on, inserted my 50p and gripped the handles. After measuring my height and weight, it apparently took my body fat percentage too.

At my last Weight Watchers weigh in in March, I weighed 13 stone 8 lbs, or 190lbs. Now I weigh 14 stone 5lbs, or 201lbs. It's not as bad as I thought it might be, but I'm still pretty upset that I've gone back over the 200lb mark, have gained 11lbs and am 13lbs over my lowest weight. But I'm not going to let it depress me, I know why it happened and I know how to change it, and this is a new start! I'm feeling positive.

My goals for the week are:

  1. Get back under 200lbs
  2. Stick to the Slimming World Extra Easy plan, and keep track of my Syns
  3. Get back up to 2 litres of water a day.
I think these three goals are pretty easy to achieve, and when I step on the scale again next Monday I'll feel great. Baby steps. I haven't included any exercise goals yet, as it's food I need to focus on for the moment. If I can fit in a swim or a run, all the better, but I wont beat myself up if I don't manage it.

Happy Monday everyone, have a good week!


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Slimming World Basics - The Extra Easy Plan


So, I said yesterday I would explain some of the basics of Slimming World to anyone who was interested! I hope it will help concrete it in my mind too, so bear with me! I wont be going into explicit detail, as I'm sure that would breach some kind of copy right or trade mark or something, but if you have any questions feel free to ask!

When you go to a Slimming World meeting, you'll be introduced to three different plans. There are Original (or red) days, Green days and the more recent addition, Extra Easy days. At the moment, I will be following the Extra Easy plan the majority of the time simply because it does what it says on the tin and is really easy to follow! Not that Original and Green are hard to get to grips with, but I find the choice on Extra Easy is wider and I feel more satisfied.

Food is split into three groups; Free food, Healthy Extras and Syns. The majority of your food for the day should come from the free food group - but the range of free food is huge! And you can eat as much of it as you like - eat until you are full.

Free Food
Free food is split into two groups - free and superfree. Superfree foods are fruit and vegetables which are free on all plans, no matter which you are following. These include (but are not limited to):
Fruit - fresh or frozen but not cooked or tinned
Vegetables - with a few exceptions such as peas, sweetcorn, parsnips, potato and sweet potato

On the Extra Easy plan, these things are also free:

Eggs - poached, scrambled, boiled, fried using low fat cooking spray - in fact any way you like as long as no fat is added
Fat free and very low fat dairy - including plain and some fruit yoghurt, very low fat cottage cheese, very low fat fromage frais, skimmed milk soft cheese such as quark
Meat replacement, such as quorn, textured vegetable protein (TVP and tofu)
Low calorie soft drinks, black tea and coffee

There also also things like stock cubes, dried herbs and other seasonings that are free. Also, fat free salad dressings that are less than 40 calories per 100ml can be used freely.

Meat and poultry - Bacon, beef, chicken, ham, pork, turkey ect. all skin and visible fat removed. Mince should contain less than 5% fat. Most things like sausages and burgers have a syn value.
Fish and seafood - Cod, haddock, prawns, tuna etc, free unless canned in oil
Pulses - beans (including baked beans), lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans etc
Rice, pasta and grains - Couscous, all types of dried pasta, quinoa, bulgar wheat etc, all types of rice
Starchy vegetables - potatoes, peas, sweetcorn, parsnips, sweet potatoes etc

So as you can see that is a huge list! All of it can be enjoyed freely, and will fill you up. No weighing, no counting. It is pretty easy to create whole meals from just the free foods.

Healthy Extras

Healthy extras are additional foods that our bodies need for health. On the Extra Easy plan you chose one 'a' choice and one 'b' choice per day.

'A' choices are dairy foods that are high in calcium, for example an 'a' choice could be:

  • 350ml skimmed milk
  • 28g cheddar
  • 42g feta
  • 42g mozzarella
  • 42g reduced fat cheddar
  • 3 mini babybel light cheeses

'B' choices are high in fibre, for instance:
  • 35g porridge oats
  • 2 weetabix
  • 57g wholemeal bread
  • 4 original ryvita

Syns stands for synergy, and every food that isn't on the free foods list has a syn value, and this is why you really need access to the slimming world literature, either through the online source or through meetings. Everyday, you can have up to 15 syns - use them for a treat (a 140ml glass of wine is 5 syns, or a 2 finger it kat is 5.5) or add some extra cheese (6 syns per ounce/28g), a bit of sauce (extra light mayo is 1 1/2 syns per 2 level tablespoons and 4 tablespoons of gravy, made with granules is 1 syn) or a slice of bread (3 syns).

I hope I haven't confused the hell out of you here! It can be a little overwhelming at first, but it soon all sins in. And it works! I know it sounds mad that you can eat all the pasta, meat, eggs etc that you like, but really, you can. Of course, you have to chose to eat these things instead of the high syns foods like chocolate and crisps, and that's the part that I'll struggle with. I'm going to weigh in in the morning, hopefully that will shock me enough to banish the cravings!

If you have any questions, please ask and I'll do my best to answer. But really and truly, if you want to follow this plan you need to have it explained by someone trained to explain it, and you need access to the literature. There is no class near me at the moment, so once I get my finances sorted I'll be joining the online resource. Until then, I'm going it alone! Wish me luck!


This is not a sponsored post and I was not offered any remuneration for writing. All opinions are my own. All diet plans should be followed with caution and I highly recommend seeing advice from a Slimming World consultant before embarking on the plan.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

It's time... stop making excuses!

I've decided to begin again. Make a new start and get this weight loss journey to its conclusion. The truth? I'd completely stopped the 'diet', any exercise regime had fallen by the wayside and my heart just wasn't in it. I wasn't enjoying following the plan I was using, and finances meant I had to stop going to my Weight Watchers meetings. All credit to Weight Watchers, I lost close to 3 stones (40lbs exactly) following their plan but I was finding myself constantly hungry, depriving myself not just of treats but even skipping whole meals in an effort to lose weight and it was maing me miserable. Combined with the fact that I just find the plan really hard to stick to without going to group and having the online tools available to me, I gave up. I admit it.

I wasn't doing badly, 6 weeks after stopping my subscription I'd only gained two pounds from my last weigh in, which I was surprised at. I didn't feel like I was gaining weight, my clothes still fitted, I had bony bits where I should have bony bits and people were still telling me I looked good. This isn't the case any more. most of my clothes still fit, but clothes which only just fit me at the start of the summer definitely don't fit anymore! My hips have a bit more padding and my bra straps are feeling a little bit tighter. I don't have a scale at home I don't now the damage in term of pounds and ounces, but I'm guessing I've gained at least a stone (14lbs).

I don't want my clothes not to fit. I have spent most of my adult life with such a limited wardrobe, only being able to shop in plus size stores and I am enjoying being able to buy and wear what I like rather than just what fits! Being a size 14-16 (US 10-12) means that I can shop in most of the main high street stores without worrying that I'm going to struggle finding my size. If I carry on, this isn't going to be the case much longer.

I was also without my laptop or internet access for a good 2-3 months. The laptop is old and literally falling to pieces. It's been revived, but goodness knows how long for. But as long as it's working I'm going to use it to keep me accountable. Through this blog, facebook groups and other inspiration sites. Pinterest, recipes, exercise vids on youtube are all in my arsenal to get me back on track!

So, starting on Monday, and will weigh in at the scales at the pharmacy. I'll be following the Slimming World Extra Easy plan. I followed Slimming World in between having my two boys and it did work for me. The only reason I chose Weight Watchers this time was because there is no Slimming World group in my area any more. But I find Slimming World easier to follow alone, and also it is easier to fill myself up and avoid feeling hungry on the Extra Easy Plan. I'll post sometime in the week on the basics of the plan - it'll help me get it concreted in my mind too!

So, I'm back! The journey is far from over, but I'm determined to get there. I'm actually excited!