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…
The other day when I was sifting through the post, there was an envelope to Chloe. It was good paper. I opened it just in case Chloe had somehow come into millions of pounds. Turns out she hasn’t. But it was still very very cool.
It was from Queen. Well not exactly from the queen, it was from one of her ladies in waiting.
Back in the Spring Chloe wrote a letter to the queen in celebration of the Jubilee. This letter was thanking Chloe for writing. That is pretty cool, right?
The changes I’ve made to my eating habits is taking some getting used to. The meals are fine – I’m not going hungry. But I’m seriously craving sugar. Chocolate. Sweets. Cake. I didn’t realise how much sugar I was consuming until I had to cut right down.
Cadbury’s Curywurlies are a lifesaver but there are only so many so can eat over time…! I browsed through all of Slimming Worlds recipes online and bookmarked a load of promising recipes that might curb these cravings.
The first one I tried was a chocolate cheese cake. The ‘syns’ (extras you’re allowed) were well within a day’s allocation and it looked amazing. Surely it was too good to be true! I gathered all the ingredients together and gave it a go.
It looks way better than it tasted. I needed to add more margarine to make the biscuit base stick together, and there was a ridiculous amount of cocoa power in it, making it way too bitter. there is potential and I’m going to play around with it – I’m determined to make it work! Next on the list is a cupcake recipe. A girl needs her cake!
I lost 1.5lb the first week, and I’ve just been to get weighed and I’ve lost another 2lb this last week. Slowly but surely, I’m heading towards a healthier weight. Why do I put that out there? Accountability. If I keep this stuff to myself it would be way easier to just let myself go, one cream cake at a time. I want to be a stone down before Christmas so that means pulling out all the stops, until I can start to exercise again.
Yeah. I never ever thought I’d be chomping at the bit to exercise. What is this world coming to?
Ok so I know this is the third (or fourth??) post in a row about food. Can you tell it’s on my mind? A friend made a good point when she noted how we feel when we’re told we can’t have something… It feels like it’s constantly on your mind. what is it about the forbidden?
What has really struck me though is not how much I’m thinking about food I’m trying to avoid (though I am thinking about it quite a lot) but how little I thought about the chocolate/cake/biscuits/crisps I was consuming when nothing was off limits. It like it didn’t even register. And when something doesn’t register, you can’t keep track and so it’s crazy easy to work your way through a giant bar of Dairy milk or a giant size bag of Walkers Sensations. It’s just too easy to do it.
If nothing else this whole thing has made me so aware of what I am eating. And how much I am eating. I have this thing about being intentional. I want to be intentional with my time. I want to be intentional with my money. I want to be intentional with my relationships. Because being intentional necessitates prior-thinking and care. There’s no blagging it. There’s no coasting. There’s no taking it for granted. So if I’m intentional with food then I’m thinking about it. I’m caring about it. Not over thinking – there can be too much of a good thing – but just keeping everything on the radar.
Last night I broke off three triangles of toblerone and took them to bed with me (lets just say that there are some time’s when women need chocolate…). Because I’ve stood back from all things that make me put weight on, this was a huge treat for me. I was seriously apreciating it. And in complete honesty I satisfied my longing for something sweet half way through the second triangle (you should have seen how slowly I was eating it). Old habits die hard though and I continued nibbling away, finishing off that piece. And I really regretted it! Honestly! Not because I thought I was going to hell for gluttony, but because I felt a little yuk. That third triangle sat, in it’s foil, until I took it downstairs this morning. A few weeks ago I would have eaten a good half of a big bar of toblerone without thought.
But I’m refusing to believe that that will be the only thing I take from this season of eating/thinking about food (can you tell I hate the word diet?!). There’s no specific deadline for my weight loss – there’s no event that I need to squeeze into a certain little black dress. I don’t mind too much if it comes off slowly. It just needs to come off. By the grace of God no-one has congratulated me on my ‘baby bump’ – but I know that if I don’t flatten my midrif it’s going to happen sooner rather than later!
I’m almost certain (you never know) that I won’t ever become a health-food fanatic. I’m not crazy about seeds and…..what else to healf-food fanatics eat? mushy green ‘smoothies’? Plus, I just like chocolate and cake too much. Meals wise I don’t mind sticking to the Slimming world plan completeley for the rest of my life. For me, it’s everything in between. I’ll never be able to give up sugar. I kinda don’t want to, if I can make it a treat that I can really appreciate. I mean could you imagine a world without Cupcakes or Marsbar cake?
I wanted to blog on tuesday because it was pancake day then I didn’t, and I wanted to blog yesterday because it was the beginning of lent, but I didn’t. So I’m playing a quick game of catchup before I start real jobs for the day.
I’ve never been fussed about Lent apart from the pancakes that remind us that it is approaching. I’ve never quite been able to make the link between something related to the Easter story and giving up chocolate. I just couldn’t connect the dots, it made no sense to me. My friend Johanna took the words right out of my mouth when she wrote about it.
It’s like historically we were so close and then just missed the mark. There was a grasp on the need for a journey to be made in the lead up to the most pivotal event in history. It’s just we made it the wrong kind of journey. I don’t think the creator of the universe it too bothered whether or not we achieve 40 days without eating chocolate. I don’t think he’s even too bothered about a period of self-denial. If that’s all it comes down to. A short term health kick in the name of Jesus.
The journey is not one to take alone. It’s not one to be taken for the purpose of personal development. It’s a journey with Jesus about Jesus.
I see Lent not as a time to abstain but actually to embrace. To drench yourself in the ultimate story. Not the one that we’ve sweetened down for the kids but the brutal, violent and nauseatingly uncomfortable reality of what happened to an innocent and perfect man, ands the colossal aftermath that shook the earth.
I guess the only reason to remove or abstain from stuff is if you’re just too busy. If I can’t fit in the time to think, read and reflect on all this then something’s gotta give right? It’s been a sharp reminder to me that if I can find a half hour in the day for Home and Away, I should be able to, at very least, match it with time that I give to my maker.
Oooh, this is a serious one. please know that anytime I bring anything more than plain silliness here, I am reflecting and challenging myself rather than pointing the finger.
I promise this space will soon be filled again with frivolous nonsense. Or knitting. I will write all about knitting.