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…

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bad chocolate cheesecake and a letter from the queen.

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.

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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.

 

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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?

aware.

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?

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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!

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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?

3 days.

Its been three days. Three whole days.

I think I’m having sugar withdrawal. Not that I’m a completely sugar free zone but the sugar levels have dropped mahoosive amounts.  You don’t really know how much you eat until you have to limit it.  And my body doesn’t like it. It’s missing the white stuff. If I wasn’t so determined to lose this extra weight I would have caved in by now and reached for some chocolate. Or baked a cake.  Here’s some things that have helped me to resist ransacking the ‘snack box’ so far: 

– I had a coffee. Even the making of the coffee kept my mind off what my body and my brain wanted, and then afterwards, I had something to hold in my hands.  This would kinda defeat the point if you have three sugars in your coffee. Thankfully, I’m ok with coffee-sans sugar.

– I got busy with work. Rather than procrastinate I threw myself into the list of jobs that needed to be done on the computer. I’m someone that becomes consumed with the task in hand so rather than dream of cream cakes, my mind was otherwise engaged.  Everytime my mind wandered to snacking I’d give myself just ‘one more’ job to do. 

– I picked up my Slimming world magazine and look at some success stories.  Some serious encouragement was needed and reading about people who had managed it made me feel I could do it too.  I think out of everything I tried, this was by far the most effective.  Distraction is great, but nothing beats a good dose of motivation.

clean children, chocolate and empty living rooms

Phew! What a week.  The Husband took a work trip to the Isle of Man and so I needed to really pull it out the bag.  My mum was here for the first part so I was able to ease into my independent-I-can-totally-do-this mode.  And by the grace of God I did! I managed to keep the girls alive – no, more than that – I managed to keep them fed and clean moderately clean.  I do reckon though, the only way I’d ever survive single motherhood would be to go to bed at the same time as my girls.

Ordinarily I would have kept it low key with the plan to accomplaish the bare minimum.  However, I needed some shorts for my physio session this week because I needed to start working on the muscles in my legs.  Problem was that none of my shorts fit me anymore and clothes shopping is not quite as fun when you’ve put a load of weight on – but I had to do it – so I hit the shops before one of the school runs.  My purchase ended up bitter sweet; I found a really cute pair of shorts in GAP for £5.00 – yes £5.00(!!) but to get them over my thunder thighs I had to go up yet another clothes size.  Yey for the GAP bargain, booooooooooooooooooooooo for the bigger size.

If you’re read this blog for a while you’ll know that I’m a stereotypical yo-yo dieter.  At best I start great and lose weight like a champ but somewhere along the road I meet a doughnut.  At worst I meet the Donut the same day as I decide to diet.  And don’t scream at the screen that diets are wrong and that its all about healthy eating, because left to my own devices I will just eat the chocolate.

And having pulled out an old recipe for making the worlds best fudge to put up on my new foodie page I now have a tub full of the stuff in my fridge.

Next week will be so crazy though that even thinking about it is burning calories.  After months of hmmmmmmmms the living room will be prepped tomorrow and plastered on Monday.  That means we The Husband will be clearing the room today while I supervise.  No its ok, he really loves it…

‘anti-diet’

Today I ate 6 chocolate chip cookies on the trot. I wore a t-shirt clearly too small for me.  I glared at myself in the mirror…Then ate another cookie.

Since christmas I’ve been kidding myself about my eating lifestyle.  But the reality is that when my back has hurt too much to walk around the kitchen, I’d grab something convenient.  ‘Convenient’ is nearly always junk food.  It doesn’t have to be but it nearly always is.  The husband, bless his soul, will jump right in and make dinner for us but it’ll be processed food we have lurking in the bottom of our freezer.

I’ve been a yo-yo diet victim for over five years since cutie-pie #1 came along and stretched my tummy to high heaven.  The husband says I look the same as when we first met.  God bless him for lying to me.

So when I stumble upon this article I wanted to kiss the computer screen.  It not only gives me an excuse not to ‘diet’ but promises that I can lose weight anyway.  Granted, it does skim over the importance of motivation and I think its a way bigger factor than that.  I reckon unless you’re following a step-by-step approach to eating, you need mahoosive amounts of motivation and self-discipline to maintain a healthy lifystyle.  Nevertheless, these words are logical, refreshing and inspiring.

You can read this article and the idea of the ‘anti-diet’ here

Not having chocolate biscuits and crisps in the cupboard is a good idea too.

diets, cupcakes and stacey solomon.

JimmyJams on.

Tucked up in bed.

8pm.

Great British BakeOff Final.

Need I say More?

No. But I will.

The last two days of work have thrown me into the middle of the week before I could say Bob’s your uncle. But I’ve loved it. I adore loving on those tiny tots at the Nursery when I get to do some work in there, and I have to keep pinching myself that I get to earn my keep doing what I was doing in my ‘spare’ time. I love my young people. They might just be the best young people in the world.

Being busy and knackered means I find my mornings at home an indulgent luxury. Even if I’m tiding up or sorting through the dirty washing.

I think I’ll renew my gym membership tomorrow. Then I can eat cake and not feel guilty. I could even bake cakes and then eat them and not feel guilty.

I love the bakeoff. Have I ever mentioned that? I love it. It makes me want to bake. After I watched it last week I went into the kitchen and tried out a new fangledangle recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery. I covered the place in flour and egg shells and ended up with very mediocre cupcakes. Next time I’ll stick with my simple vanilla sponge recipe. If it aint’ broke…

The cupcakesweren’t for me I must add. Oh no no no. I’m on a diet don’t you know. They were for a friends’ birthday. We had the young people hide in the kitchen in the dark and jump out at Tommy when he came in, only I got overexcited and jumped back, stepping into the dog’s water bowl. I recovered well and hobbled away, don’t think anyone saw.

Bakeoff’s finished. Well done Jo, you were a trooper. And you sound like Stacey Solomon and that makes you extra endearing.