WI Results – Damage Limitation Week 1

Weight loss:   1.5lb

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Current weight:    13st 3.5lb

Weight loss since start:   1.5lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:   4lb


What’s gone well?

I’m really pleased with my weight loss this week.  I’ve been exercising really hard using my new training app (more about that soon) and have found it pretty easy to stick to eating healthily.

Unbelieveably, I’ve managed to ‘run’ (more like a steady plod really) two 5km distances this week.  I’m not loving the running aspect of the training so far but I know that I soon will once I get back into it properly.

Despite eating out a couple of times this week, including on a fantastic day out in London taking my mum to see The Lion King, I managed to make sensible choices and avoided the temptations of desert on boths occassions.


What’s been difficult?

I’m finding tracking difficult.  I’m not sure why.  I seem to have some kind of mental block.  I did ok with it up until Friday and then it went out of the window.  I still had the plan in the front of my mind but I just didn’t write anything down.  I don’t really know why.  I had time and I’m determined to eat healthily.  It’s a puzzle.


The week ahead

I’m planning on sticking with my training programme this week as well as trying a new circuits class this evening.  I’ve got to increase my run to 6km for one of the two this week and I’m quite looking forward to that.  I’m going to add the extra 1km to the beginning part of the route so that in my head, I’m doing the extra before I get tired.

My biggest challenge this week is going to be spending a girls’ weekend in Liverpool.  I’m really going to try hard to track so that it will hopefully help to keep me focused.  I’m going to take my trainers and running gear with me too so that I can complete this weekend’s run along the waterfront.

I’ve also set myself a mini-target of losing another 4lb by the time I go on holiday which will take me back into the 12st bracket.  I’m hoping that this small but achieveable target will help me to stay on track.

Wish me luck.  And if you’ve got any idea about why I hit a block with tracking at the weekend, please let me know!


Thanks for reading,





New Year, New Start v2.015

At this time of year, many of us make resolutions of things we are going to give up or start doing in the hope of improving our health, appearance, job or quality of life.

Setting goals and self-improvement are all well and good.  However, for many of us, the setting of resolutions for the new year is often followed by the failure to stick to those resolutions.

I had been thinking about setting some resolutions for 2015 when I read an article about this topic in which many things rang true for me.  I have said for the past 12 years that this will be the year that I reach my goal weight and I never have.  This has resulted in 11 years of me feeling like a failure and being critical of my body and my appearance.

Enough is enough.  It’s time to stop putting it off.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So this year, I am going to do it.  I am setting myself some specific goals to reach by a specific deadline.

I’m heeding the advice about ‘taking baby steps’ and so I’m giving myself a full year to reach my goal.  This works out at 0.5lb per week so is more than achievable.  I’m also taking on board the idea of phrasing my goal positively rather than negatively: it’s necessary to talk about how much weight I want to get rid of (not lose, I don’t want to subconsciously try to find it again!) but I’m going to focus on how good I’ll feel when clothes start fitting me better and going shopping for an outfit makes me smile instead of cry.  I’m also going to think about how good I know I’ll feel on the inside when I’m eating well and exercising.

I’m going to have a visual reminder of my progress by putting a bead into a jar for every 1lb I shed.

So here are my initial goals:

2 weeks:             Complete week 2 of the Couch-to-5k programme

6 weeks:             3lb total weight loss

12 weeks:           Run 5km non-stop

1 Year:                Reach Goal Weight (-26lb)


I’m going to set other short-term goals as I go to help me to stay on course and I’m going to make sure that I plan how to ensure that I stay on track on a daily and weekly basis.  I’ll also be thinking of new ways to reward myself for my progress.

The Results Are In – Week 15

Weight loss:   +0.5lb

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Current weight:    12st 0lb

Weight loss since start:  6.5lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:   3lb


So: I had another small gain this week.

This made me feel a) a little bit annoyed at myself and b) a little bit silly. Why? Because, here I am, writing this weight-loss blog (which was supposed to keep me focused) and I haven’t lost any weight for 4 weeks and I’ve only lost 6.5lb since January!

I allowed myself to feel annoyed and silly for a few minutes, but I realise that if I dwell on these feelings, the effect on my mind-set is likely to be negative: I have definitely been guilty, several times, in the (recent) past of dealing with my disappointment at a weight gain by comfort eating. Because that makes such good sense: I feel rubbish for putting on weight so I eat loads of stuff that is guaranteed to make me put on yet more weight!

So, to combat this, I decided to remind myself of what I have achieved on my weight loss journey:

  • I have lost just over 2 stone since I first started my weight-loss journey
  • I have lost 11.5lb since Christmas (this is calculated from my weight at weigh in prior to my official Weight Watchers weigh in so, although I’m fairly confident in the reliability of the scales used, I’m not counting it as this year’s starting weight)
  • I used to wear size 18 jeans which were too tight and now I’m wearing size 14
  • I have dropped a dress size since Christmas
  • I haven’t given up on my goal

I don’t want to make excuses about why I gained last week, but I think it’s important to think about the reasons why I gained weight to make sure that this doesn’t become an upward trend.

I was still on holiday from work last week and, following a fairly busy first week, it was a quieter week. Therefore, I could’ve gone to the gym each day. Or at least once. But I didn’t. Why? Because I just felt like being lazy! Do I need to feel guilty about that? No. I work hard and I’m always on the go with various other commitments and projects so I think it’s important for my mental health and well-being to have some down-time from time to time.

I did cook a number of healthy meals and have stockpiled a load of portions of different soups (click here for my Spicy Chicken, Tomato & Chickpea Soup and Persian Beef Pilaf recipes)to keep me going for lunches at work over the next few weeks so that has helped with the damage limitation.

I did eat quite a lot of chocolate. It’s my biggest downfall. I love it. I need to think about how to incorporate a small amount of it into my diet without letting it get out of hand. To help with this I took advantage of the Weight Watchers bars being offer and have bought some of those. I’m planning on going back to the Simple Start plan this week and using the bars as one of my daily treats. I’ve put them right at the back of the cupboard so I don’t see them every time I open the cupboard. In fact, I think I’ll even get one out of the box when I’m making my dinner and have it on the side ready for my treat – then I don’t have to see the rest of the box when I’ve got my chocolate craving.

I’m 2 days in to my new week now and I’ve already taken a couple of positive steps towards achieving my goal of losing weight this week: I’ve stuck to the plan on both days, I went to the gym last night and I’ve bought a pedometer. I’m going to use it over the next couple of weeks to gauge the average number of steps I take each day. Then in a couple of weeks, I’ll try to up my average.

Looking back at my achievements so far, I think the last one is probably the most important. And that’s what I’ve got at the front of my mind this week as I get tempted to indulge in foods that aren’t going to help me to achieve my goal, or as I’m tempted to miss an exercise session: DON’T GIVE UP Fat-Fighter!

Thanks for reading.

What do you do when you feel like you’re stuck in a weight-loss rut?


The Results Are In – Week 14

Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Weight loss:   +0.5lb

Current weight:    11st 13.5lb

Weight loss since start:   7.0lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:   2.5lb


I realise that I’ve skipped straight from Week 12 to Week 14 but I’ve had a week away from the blog (and away from the plan) for Easter.

Following a gain on my last reported weigh-in, last week I stayed the same – which I was pretty pleased with after not really getting fully back on track and attending a friend’s birthday party on the Saturday night.

So, this week, I’ve had another small gain.  Previously this would have completely thrown me and I’d be well on my way to letting my weight creep all the way back up.  But not this time.

I knew I’d most likely put on as I’ve been on holiday from work, have eaten out nearly every day (and even twice on Saturday) and I’d eaten several hot cross buns and a couple of Easter eggs.  So prior to my weigh-in, I was pretty terrified that I was going to have crept (or leapt!) back over that 12st mark.  So worried was I about this that my intention was not to weigh.  I felt that seeing my weight back over 12st would dent my motivation.

As I’m a clerk at my Weight Watchers meeting, I knew I needed to go to the meeting and eventually I woke up to the fact that ignoring my current weight would in all likelihood just do more damage.   I realised I couldn’t change the choices I’d made over the previous couple of weeks, but what I could do was to take control of my decisions over the coming week.  With this in mind, I made a plan of all my meals for the coming week, and went and bought all the ingredients needed.

I’ve also reset the mini-goal I’ve been working towards.  I was aiming to lose 4lbs in April but have actually put on 2.5lb.  If I stick rigidly to the plan there is a slight chance that I could achieve this by the first weigh-in in May but I think it’s better to keep things more realistic.  Therefore my aim is to lose the 2.5lb that I’ve put on by that point (2 weeks).  This is easily achievable, and if I manage to lose any more, then that will be a bonus.

As I’ve still got another week off work, I’m going to get ahead with some soup making as I know from previous experience that I lose weight successfully when I stick to having soup for my lunch.  So my plan is to make 4 different soups this week, and freeze portions for when I’m back at work.  I’ll be sharing the recipes on here over the course of the week so keep an eye out.

Thanks for reading.


The Results Are In – Week 13

Weight loss:   +2lb

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Current weight:    11st 13lb

Weight loss since start:   7.5lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:   6lb

What’s gone well?

Despite the fact that I’ve had a small gain this week, I’m actually pleased with my mental reaction to it.  At weigh-ins past, when recording a gain, I would often get annoyed and feel fed-up.  It would seem as though I had completely let myself down and that I’d never get to my goal.  This week though, I’m feeling really positive.  I know that this week life got in the way of my weight loss this week but I’m determined not to go back into the 12 stone bracket so that’s going to help me to refocus this week.

What’s been difficult?

I’ve been incredibly busy with a whole host of commitments over the past week which has meant that I haven’t had chance to plan and shop for my meals for this week.  While I think this could be good due to me trying not to obsess over food, there is the danger that I will succumb to the call of the chocolate when I pop into the shops after work each night to get things for dinner.  However, I’m going to view this as a test of my will power and I don’t do failing at tests!  This strategy worked tonight so here’s hoping…


The week ahead

We’re going to a friend’s 40th birthday party on Saturday.  There’s a champagne reception and buffet.  As the location is about  an hour’s drive away I don’t know how close to the event I’m going to be able to eat or what the food will be like.  I’m going to save the majority of my weeklies as a buffer and make sure I’ve eaten plenty of filling and healthy foods (I’m thinking of making some kind of lentil soup for lunch and maybe a chicken curry for dinner) throughout the day so that I’m not starving.

I’m also going to alternate between alcohol and soft drinks as I hate feeling rough the morning after a party.

Thanks for reading.


The Results Are In – Week 12

Weight loss:    1.5lb5%

Current weight:    11st 11lb

Weight loss since start:    9.5lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:    0lb

What’s gone well?

I’m delighted to have finally reached (and actually exceeded) my “5% since January” goal and can now pick a treat off my list (more about this tomorrow).  My next small goal is my “10% since January” goal.  I need to lose another 8.5lb to reach this target and would like to do so by 2nd June.  However, that’s still a long way off so my next mini-goal is to lose 4lb by 28th April.

I was on the ball with tracking my weekly points this week which I think really helped with my weight loss.

I was really pleased with my exercise because, although I was unable to attend two of my usual classes, I went to my spinning class and actually stayed for a couple of extra tracks and I went back to parkrun and kept going even though my hip-flexor was niggling a little bit and the devil on my shoulder was more than ready to use this as an excuse to throw in the towel.

I think it’s been helpful to not be as focused on food: I’ve been cooking less recipes due to being extremely busy with work and trying to get a new business off the ground.  Instead I’ve been relying on simple foods such as jacket potatoes and beans on toast.  It’s actually been really liberating to realise that I can still lose weight despite not having time to devote to trying out new recipes all the time.


What’s been difficult?

It has been a little bit difficult to fit in all of my planned exercise due to other commitments this week.  However, I’m already not letting this throw me off course by making sure that I go to the classes I can get to and work a bit harder while I’m there.


The week ahead

I’m going out for a friend’s birthday on Saturday to Chiquitos.  I’ve been wanting to try this place for a long time as I really like Mexican food.  However I do know that the meals are quite high in PPVs.  But I’m simply going to plan ahead, save my weeklies to help cover it and limit myself on the cocktail front.

Thanks for reading.

PS Look out for my post on rewards that I’m finally going to get round to posting tomorrow!

5 Steps Forward. How Many Steps Back?

Hi everyone.  I am still here but I haven’t had the best couple of weeks.  There have been a number of factors involved which I’ll explore/vent about in this post but as you can see from my last week’s weigh in (posted late due to my lacklustre mental attitude), this has had a negative effect on my weight loss journey.

So what’s gone wrong?

Firstly, I had a couple of weeks of feeling pretty rotten: headachy, feverish, sore throat, bad chest, achy and fatigued.  I felt like I was going to come down with a really rotten cold.  But I never did despite feeling like one was going to come for a good 10 days.  This lead to me not going running or going to my boxfit classes.  Feeling crappy also meant that at the weekends, I couldn’t be bothered to plan and cook healthy foods so I pretty much relied on takeaways and convenience foods.

The next factor is that I ended up going to the theatre 3 Friday’s in a row meaning I had to miss my spinning class 3 weeks in a row.  For two of these I wasn’t feeling great anyway but I probably would have gone and took things a bit easier that normal.

Finally, work continues to be extremely challenging and, true to form, I’ve been comforting myself with chocolate, biscuits and cakes in the evenings.  When will I learn that, in the long term, this does not make me feel better about myself?!

As I’ve been having little conversations with my conscience about these issues over the last couple of weeks, my inner voice has been smugly chirping ‘Excuses, Excuses!’ at me.  While annoying, this has actually helped me to not lose focus completely and I feel it has played a big part in helping me to nip this attitude in the bud and find the willpower to get myself back on track.

I’ve been back on track for 2 days now and went back to the gym last night.  As I’m starkly aware that my last 2 posts have been pretty bleak!I’m going to go away now and come up with an action plan for the rest of this week  to help make sure I resume moving forwards!

Wish me luck…

The Results Are In – Week 4

Weight loss:    1.5lb

Current weight:    12st 1lb

Weight loss since start:    5.5lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:    1.5lb

Waist:    33in   (-3in)

Hips:      40in    (-3in)

Bust:      39.5in (-2.5in)

Arms:    12in     (-1in)

Thighs:  24in     (-1in)


Wow! I’m so pleased with both my weight and inch loss this week.  It was tough not to lose heart following last week’s 0.5lb gain, but I’m so glad that I made staying on track my focus.  I’m really going to enjoy buying myself a bunch of flowers for exceeding the mini-goal I set last week (to lose 1lb).

Week 4 - 5.5lb/10.5in loss

Week 4 – 5.5lb/10.5in loss

I’m also looking forward to rewarding myself for exceeding my January goal of losing 4lb.  I have actually changed my mind about my reward – I’m going to treat myself to a new CD instead of a back massage as I’m a bit pushed for time at the moment.  I might make that a reward for achieving my 5% goal.

The next mini goal I’m going to set is to lose 1.5lb by 17th February to get me down into the next stone bracket.

What’s gone well?

Despite my disappointment at last week’s weigh-in, I still managed to stick to the plan for the entire week.  I rewarded myself for this with a nice relaxing bath on Friday evening.

I successfully completed Dry January and had 2 glasses of wine of Saturday night.  I also successfully completed ‘Chocolate Free January’.  I hadn’t planned to have any chocolate on Saturday but I did end up having some Cadbury Fingers in the afternoon but I dealt with this by pointing them using my weeklies.  Simple.

I’ve found it easier to stay on top of my weeklies this week by tracking in advance the things I knew I’d be having that would need to come out of my weekly points (e.g. syrup with porridge each morning, 2 glasses of wine for Saturday).  This has helped me to plan my treats and not be suddenly left with no weeklies for the weekend.

What’s been difficult?

The hardest thing for me this week was staying on track following last week’s disappointing gain.  To deal with this I have constantly reminded myself of why I want to lose weight and have considered how bad I’d feel if I went off track and then ended up gaining even more.

Week 4 - 5.5lb/10.5in loss

Week 4 – 5.5lb/10.5in loss

The week ahead

I’m going to the cinema and then out for a meal with friends on Sunday.  As we’re going for a meal afterwards I’m not going to have any snacks at the cinema, just a diet drink.  The meal is at Frankie & Benny’s so I’m going to choose a salad from their ‘Light Options’ menu and I might have some sorbet if people are ordering deserts.

Thanks for reading.

PS  Other than the numbers on the scales, what do you use to measure your weight loss success?

The Results are in – Week 3

Weight loss:    +0.5lb

Current weight:    12st 2.5lb

Weight loss since start:    4lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:    1lb

I must admit, when I stepped on the scales this week I was absolutely gutted.  I’ve still stuck to the program, still not had any alcohol or chocolate and still kept up my new exercise routine.  I honestly could have cried (although I’ve also had an extremely stressful time at work over the last few days so I am slightly emotional anyway).

However, I soon had a little chat with myself though and realised that only 2 weeks ago I was moaning that I’d ‘only’ lost 0.5lb.  Therefore, it surely makes sense that I don’t give myself too hard a time about putting on this amount.  It may well be due to some kind of natural fluctuation in my weight and I may well end up with a bigger loss next week.

Whatever the reason for it I’ve decided to view it as a positive and make sure that I’m concentrating on feeling ‘satisfied not stuffed’ this week and hopefully it will also motivate me not to go mad on alcohol and chocolate once I’m allowed them again on Saturday.

What’s gone well?

I said in last week’s post that there were a couple of moments when I’d felt like I couldn’t be bothered to go to my fitness classes.  Well, I’m happy to report that this week it is beginning to feel like just part of my routine.

I’m also really pleased that I have managed another week without chocolate or alcohol.  To be honest, I’m not even missing it.  The only time when I did feel like a glass of wine was on Sunday when my dad came round for a meal for his birthday.  I am looking forward to having a glass of wine or a cocktail next weekend, but I won’t be going crazy!

Me & Mr FFF went to the cinema on Saturday to watch The Wolfman of Wall Street (really good but really long film – 3hrs!).  As I had plenty of weekly points available I did treat myself to 2 scoops of Ben and Jerry’s (1 FroYo & 1 ice-cream) and we shared some popcorn.  However, the popcorn wasn’t that tasty so I didn’t eat much of it.  I’ve never done this before – in the past I’d just munch my way through it anyway.  But this time I thought ‘This really isn’t worth putting into my mouth’.  So I didn’t.  Simple.

What’s been difficult?

I’m starting to worry about whether I’ll be able to control my chocolate intake when I allow it back in to my diet next weekend.  I’m not too bothered about the alcohol as I don’t drink much anyway.  Chocolate however, is another story.  I could quite happily scoff my way through a large bar of chocolate in about 20 minutes.  I’ve also got a few chocolate gifts left over from Christmas in the back of one of my kitchen cupboards.

I’m planning on having a couple of drinks on Saturday evening but no chocolate.  That way I’m not going to be treating myself to chocolate straight away on 1st February.  I might even lay off the chocolate for the rest of that week.

I’m also going to bag-up my Christmas chocolate into 3/4pp portions and keep them out of sight at the back of the cupboard.

The week ahead

I’m going out for dinner with my sister on Wednesday.  I’ve had a look online at the menu for the restaurant we’re going to and there are at least 3 options I can have with a choice of veggies, salad and new potatoes.

I’m still going to have a nice relaxing bath tonight to unwind but I won’t use my Lush products as I didn’t lose this week.  Instead, once I’ve stayed on track this week, I’m going to treat myself to a Lush bath on Saturday.

As I’ve already achieved my January target of losing 4lb, I’m going to set myself a mini-target of losing 1lb this week to help motivate me to stay on track.  If When I achieve this goal I’m going to buy myself a bunch of flowers as a reward.

Thanks for reading.


PS  What do you do to help you stay on track following a weight gain?

The Results Are In – Week 2

Weight loss:    4lbs

Current weight:    12st 2lbs

Weight loss since start:    4.5lbs

Lbs to go to reach next target:    0!

Wow! I’m so pleased I stuck with the program this week and achieved a great loss!

What’s gone well?

As I said in last week’s results post, I was disappointed at my weight-loss last week but I still rewarded myself with my Lush bath and reminded myself that a) it was still a loss that brought me one step closer to my target and b) I’ve made healthier choices with my food and exercise that have made me feel better in myself.

Having leftover portions of plan-friendly meals in the freezer definitely helped me to stay on track this week.  Although I plan my meals a week in advance, for some reason I hadn’t included a meal for Friday night.  I realised this on Thursday but was able to fall back on some leftover Moussaka after I’d been to my spinning class.

I’m also delighted that I’ve been able to maintain my ‘No chocolate or alcohol in January’ goal, even though the past two weeks at work have been pretty horrendous.

I’ve also made what I think is a big step for me in addressing my habit of comfort eating: I work with children and we all sit down to eat breakfast at 11am.  The children have toast (white bread) with jam, marmalade or lemon curd.  I’d been eating this in Week 1 and using my daily treats for it.  However I replaced it with a banana this week to try to help increase my weight loss.  On Friday, I felt very stressed and tired and I was going to have a slice.  I was thinking ‘I’ve been good all week and it’s Friday.  So I can treat myself and use my daily treats’.  But then I recognised that this would not help me to break the comfort eating habit and that I need to stop seeing food as a reward.  I ate my banana and I felt very virtuous!

What’s been difficult?

I have been slightly tempted to miss a couple of exercise classes this week with no other reason than at the time, I felt like I couldn’t be bothered.  However, I reminded myself that sitting on the sofa won’t help to bring me closer to my goals and that once I’d completed the class I’d feel better.  I managed to keep the motivation going but I know I’ll need to keep an eye on this over the next couple of weeks.

The week ahead

It’s my dad’s birthday this weekend and he’s coming round for dinner.  I’m going to make some kind of beef casserole and I’ll have a look at my Filling & Healthy cookbook and recipe cards for a suitable desert.  I think the hardest bit will be not having a nice glass of wine with my meal but I am determined to complete Dry January.


Thanks for reading.

PS  How do you stay motivated to exercise?