Holiday eating…eek!

When you’re on any kind of weight-loss programme/diet/regime/eating plan, anything out of routine is a bit of a curve ball.  Especially when you go on ‘holiday’.  Whether its a weekend away, a trip to sunnier climates or visiting family, you kind of, well, let yourself go a bit.  The ‘ah why not, we’re holiday’ mentality.

This week we’re visiting my family in the Yorkshire Dales.  That normally means (amazing) ice-cream and copious amounts of nibbles (i.e chocolate, biscuits and crisps).  But at least I saw this curve ball coming from a distance.  They say fore-warned is fore-armed so hopefully a little extra thought and organisation will be my weapons.

Everyone is different, and everyone trying to shed a few pounds has different weaknesses.  I have two: Snacking and Chocolate.  So I need to think about both of these in light of being away from home and being in full control of the food I eat.

Snacking.  It’s ridiculous because with slimming world we all know that we can eat until we’re full, stuffing our face with filling free food and healthy extras.  But for me the ‘full feeling’ rarely lasts until the next meal.  That’s whether I’m trying to lose weight or not.  And I get very crabby when I’m hungry.  Just being honest here.  So knowing this I wanted to bring a load of snacks that wouldn’t see the past five weeks of dieting go to waste.  So here’s what I decided to pack into the food bags:

  • Carrots: to make carrot sticks (I’m lucky that I just LOVE raw carrot).
  • Bananas and other fruit: (I find bananas fill me up way more than other fruit, but then other fruit is nice for a sweet alternative to syn-drenched goodies).
  • Low-syn crisps/snacks: (Aldi had these AMAZING corn snacks the other week that either equalled or were less cals/fat then Walkers French Fries which are around 4.5 syns I think – but I couldnt find them this time.  Instead I got a multi-pack of Snack O Jacks’ sweet chilli crunchy curls and they’re 3.5 syns).
  • Sweet/baking potatoes: (sometimes only chips will do and chopping these babies up, throwing them onto an oven tray with a good spray of Fry Light and popping them into a hot oven until they done does the job for me! A splash of  vinegar and I’m one happy dieter).

Chocolate  Its’ so good.  And lets be honest, there’s no alternative that equals it, right?  Some people need to go cold-turkey and stay away from it.  They know that they can’t just stop at one square of Dairy Milk.  But for me, a world without any sort of chocolate is a grey one.  Yes, it takes willpower and The Husband hiding it, but I’d much rather have a little than none.  So I packed with me:

  • Curly Wurlies (6 syns I think) 
  • Hi-Fi Rocky road bar (3 syns!!!)
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk ‘Little Bars’ (5.5 syns)

Another thing I need to do is be realistic.  I know I am going to have an icecream.  I know I am going to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening.  But its about making good choices – like going steady on the scoops of ice cream (!) and buying ‘light’ wine (I bought a bottle of Stowells’ Light Rose – its not the finest wine I’ve ever tried but it certainly doesn’t taste bad).  And if I go with an awareness of the sweet treats I’m indulging in then I’ll not only be careful in everything else I eat but I’ll not fall into that horrid pit of shocked guilt afterwards.  After all, it’s our holidays afterall…


Yes, I still count on my fingers.

Its that time of year again.  Having launched last year, we’re a week away from Emmanuel’s second Starlight Party. It’s consuming most of my limited brain cells.  Ugh.  The tickets have been in demand and though the requests are still coming in we’re all sold out.  I’m pretty sure.  I think.  You would not believe how many times I’ve sat, with the clip boards on my lap, counting on my fingers, too lazy to walk into the next room to get the calculator.  I have a pile of lists on my desk – but everything seems to be under control.  And, as a responsible professional, would do I do? I Arrange to go visit family and be away for the week running up to the party. To a place where there’s almost zero mobile reception. When I’ve made a load of orders to be delivered in the days to come.   Yeah, I did.

Its all good though.  I mean, what could go wrong?  The Husband is away the 24 hours leading up to our drive over to Yorkshire, so it’s down to me to pull this off.  I can do it.  Clothes are packed, I have a ‘to-do’ list for the morning and a shopping list for the afternoon.  AND, we’re not heading straight off after school, so that buys me a bit more time.  Easy peasy.  Ha!

I should have known better than to give Ruby a bag and ask her to fill it with toys to take with her to granny and grandads.  Toys.  She set to it like it was a life or death mission.  I while later I thought the bag was looking a little full so had a peek inside, only to find it stuffedl with a body warmer and a couple of small books.  Sheesh.

I’m declaring this to be a week, well five days, of reading, lounging, playing and knitting.  I get so inspired when I’m over at my folks’ cottage that there is almost a creative overload – like fireworks going off in my brain.  I want to put to my hand to everything and just make.  And then I don’t know where to start so I end up not making much before life takes over again.  So if I restrict myself to a couple of knitting projects (and possibly one or two new ones) over the next week then I might just stay focused.

And then when we get back, of course its the starlight party which Im praying will be epic, but I also get to order a new phone and we’re quickly approaching an acceptable time to be excited about christmas.

Be you.

Last night I was telling a bunch of teenager to just be themselves.  They have so many expectations thrown at them, most of which would fundamentally change who they are.

Their hairs are numbered.  They’re made the way they are on purpose.  And the best way they can live life to the fullest is just to be who they are and not try to be someone else.  It frustrates me so much because it sounds so cliched.  Just be yourself.  What is it that makes it so hard to sink in?  It’s something  I still struggle with as I approach 30!

Sometimes youthworkers are compared to disneyland staff.  You just expect to see enthusiasm and energy, right?  I remember, back when I was training to be a youth worker, one of my line managers at county council told me that I need to find my niche to ‘connect’ with young people.  We worked together doing some detached work and he’d just swagger over to a group of young people and…trump! He’d get a laugh or a girly fake-disgust and he’d suddenly he became the jokey/confident youth worker.  I held my wind in and got a stomach ache.

Studying youth and community studies was no mean feat for me.  Walking into a lecture/seminar felt like walking into the lions den each day.  The course was full of ‘out-there’ people and, well, it was never dull.  I would have hid under the table if I thought I would have gotten away with it.

At the end of the three years, everyone was awarded a certificate.  Mine was “the shyest youth worker”.  Cringe.

The things is I’m not actually that shy.  I was just putting myself up against these massive personalities and expectations of a youth worker and decided that I didn’t match up to it, so took a step back.  It shook my confidence, visualising this ultimate youth worker that I’m supposed to be…

I wonder if there are a bunch of people that would be so influential in young people’s lives but think they just aren’t…enough.  Not young enough.  not cool enough.  Not loud and flamboyant enough.  And that’s really sad – the young people miss out on some incredible relationships and they miss out themselves.  I have learned so much from the teenagers I’ve worked with – they push me, challenge me and encourage me more than any one adult has done.

I’m rubbish at pretending – it can get very awkward and has got me into trouble but you can read me like a book.  For a while I battled against it, but then I figured I would just be creating a mask – a more polished version of myself.  How can we, as adults, do that and then expect young people to just be themselves, warts and all??

So I’m not the ultimate youthworker.  I’m not happy and bouncy all the time.  I get grumpy when I’m hungry.  I get PMT’d out.  But I love Jesus with all that I am and I love young people like they’re my own kids (or, ahem, maybe little brother or sister…!).  I don’t feel enough – but I know that His grace is enough.  And when God calls us to something, he’s already figured out that we’re the person to do it – we don’t need to sweat it or question it.  And whatever it is, whether its supporting something already existing or stepping out into new territory, as a very wise Charlotte gambill preached at Cherish Conference this year – we just need to put our hand up and say “I’m in”.





I’ve been neglecting Tutus and Trainers recently.  All for another writing project; I feel like I’ve been cheating.  Honestly, it meant nothing to me.  It was just words.

So. I’m wearing glasses.  I don’t remember if I wrote about the whole glasses/immature/ridiculous palava.  In short; since being told I can’t wear contact lenses I’ve sulked.  I’ve walked into optician stores, tried on glasses, scowled at myself in the mirror and stomped out.  I kid you not.  I even drove down into Blackpool with the thinking that if I intentionally went into town for glasses, I’d get some.  I didn’t.  I just stomped in and stomped back out again.

So The Husband agreed to come with me.  And not let me leave until I chose some.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I think glasses are great; on other people.  When I was a kid I used to secretly hope that I failed the eye test so I could wear them.  But then a couple of years ago I had to start wearing them – and they annoyed my nose.  Seriously, muchos annoyment.  I think the top of my nose must be flat or slide-shaped because they just slide right off.  Last year I tried contact lenses, it felt like I had grit in my eyes, they put some dye drops or something in and told me my tears dry up too quickly to keep the lenses moist.  I tried again a little while ago and it didn’t work out again.  Then I lost my glasses.  I started to get headaches right above my nose, between my eyebrows – which is a joke in itself because with the medication I’m on you should be able to punch me in the head (please don’t) and  not feel a thing.  Which brings us full circle back to standing in the opticians with The Husband.

Did you know that Specsavers do 2 for 1?!?!?! This is not a sponsored post.  But like, really, buy one – get another free!! That’s mental.  So I was Oh ok, I’ll take a second pair.  That lifted the sulks a little.  I proceeded to try on every pair of womens’ glasses in the store, like I’ve done other times over the last month.  And yeah – that includes those glorious huge hexagonal glasses with clear plastic rims.  We eventually settled on a couple and The Husband pressed me to finally make a decision – in the end he decided for me.  I don’t blame the man; there is only so long you can spend in there and not go stir crazy.  I chose a pair of sunglasses to keep in the car as well – did I tell you they were free??

Jump ahead 24 hours and I collected my new spectacles.  I’m still getting used to them, but ‘m still pushing them back on my nose every other minute.  Perhaps they could make me prescription a swim-goggle-type contraption that wrap around my head to stop them falling off.