Slimming World Journey: Weeks 1-3

As you are aware if you follow us on Instagram, I am now trying Slimming World as part of my plan to lose the desk chair arse I have acquired over the past few years. So far, so good. I mean, I still have ass but the numbers on the scales are going way down.

Here are the results so far:

Week 1: -5.5lb loss

Week 2: -3.5lb loss

Week 3: -2lb loss

Needless to say I am pretty chuffed with the results! I know the first week of any diet is always the best and is usually the biggest loss, but I am hoping to maintain a 2lb loss a week – but any loss will make me happy!

Considering that the only thing I have changed is my meals – and I am now eating breakfast which is a meal I haven’t eaten since I was 10, I think this is pretty good going.

I literally don’t do any exercise – I have an office job, I drive everywhere, and the furthest I walk is upstairs in my own house.

I do intend to include exercise into my new lifestyle, but I don’t want too much too soon and end up burning out and giving up like I have done so many times before. I will soon be walking from the car park for work rather than catching the park and ride bus, which saves me £24 a month and means I will be walking up a very steep hill for 1.6 miles a day.

Hopefully this will keep me on track before adding an actual gym routine a few times a week!

But for now, my first few weeks on Slimming World were very easy with just small adjustments to what I used to eat – I don’t feel deprived or like it is an actual diet.

In these three weeks I have still had a whole weekend from dieting for a hen party in Manchester complete with Nando’s, Wetherspoon’s breakfast, alcohol and a cheeseburger at 2am as well as the odd takeaway or two.

For example, my usual order from the chippy is a chicken and mushroom pie, a cone of chips and a scallop with a can of Fanta and usually a slice or two of bread, whereas now I have a cone of chips, fish with the batter taken off, mushy peas and a Diet Coke. But with this, I will usually eat an apple and a nectarine before my dinner so I don’t eat so much and still get my Speed Foods in!

For those who think a crash diet is the way to lose serious lbs you’re right, but it’s the worst thing to do if you actually want to maintain your weight loss (and I imagine that you do).

I have tried many diets from juicing, to 5:2 to Atkins, to point blank 800 calories a day, and I can firmly tell you that none of them are sustainable.

Slimming World is the food lover’s diet, and as I say there is initially no exercise involved, unless you really want to you don’t actually have to – but it helps.

If you are looking for a change in your life, I firmly think this is for you – don’t wait until Monday, or next week, start now and visit your local group. I’m so glad I did, I just wish I’d have done it sooner.

Are you on Slimming World? We would love to hear about your journey, and new recipes would be hugely appreciated.

You can follow my food diary on Instagram, and I would love to follow yours!

– love Carla x

Slimming World: Week 1

It is no secret I need a good diet. I have tried everything from Atkins, gluten free, meat free, 5:2, juicing to plain old starving myself. Some of it works briefly, some not at all, but what I have learnt is that none of it is sustainable. The only one I surprisingly felt ok doing was the juice diet, mainly because I was drinking so much I was never hungry,but you can only do liquids for so long, so every now and then I’ll do a three day juice cleanse to re-set my body if I have had a particularly bad week but other than that, these “diets” for me just don’t work. And right there is why, they were diets and not a lifestyle change – which was what I am in desperate need of. So I joined Slimming World. All I can say is wow. I can eat so much food it’s not a diet, and I am finding it SO easy!

What is Slimming World?

I would basically call it the food lovers diet, simply because you can eat so much, you can have naughty treats (Syns) and not feel guilty, and it is incredibly easy to maintain. It has changed now and gone are the Red and Green days, instead it is Extra Easy and Extra Easy SP. It is all about Food Optimising and combinations of food that speed up your weight loss whilst keeping you fuller for longer. It is broken down into three basic categories: Free Foods, Healthy Extras and Syns. You need to incorporate all three for this to work, for you to maintain and not feel deprived of food.

Free Food

Free Foods are the best bit – you can have as much as you want, no weighing, measuring or calorie counting. Free Foods include:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Fish
  • Meat and Poultry
  • Meat Replacement
  • Eggs
  • Rice and Pasta
  • Beans, Peas and Pulses
  • Some dairy products

Basically pile your plate high with pasta or potatoes if you fancy it -it’s all about what you eat with it that makes it work, the important bit being Speed Foods marked with and “S” in the bible you get for joining. For example, you want Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner, go for it pile on the pasta and the meat, your speed food will be the veg you have with it, and make the sauce with passata to keep it Syn free!

Healthy Extras

Healthy Extras are the bits you can’t eat so much of, but you must still have one of each a day. You will have an “A” choice (hexa) being dairy foods high in Calcium such as cheeses and milk, and your “B” choice (hexb) will be items high in Fibre such as some cereals, bread, canned soups, nuts and seeds. This was a tiny struggle for me as I always use mozzarella cheese as my healthy extra A choice but I can only have 50g a day and anything else dairy I use my Syns for. Sounds adequate for some, but cheese is definitely my favourite thing in the world so it is hard to weight it out and put the rest away.

Syns

Syns are the good bits of food you really love, chocolate, crisps, naught cereals, ice lollies, alcohol and basically everything I have way too much of. The way it works is you have 5 to 15 Syns a day so you don’t feel deprived, so if you want a jam and cream doughnut you can have one, but it will cost you 12 Syns! You can be flexile with your Syns, so if you want to save them for the weekend you can, but always set a new goal to stay within your allowance and keep you on track.

Food Diary

That may all seem a bit much for someone who has no clue what Slimming World is, but I promise it is way easier than it sounds! Here is a typical weekday for me, as I work in an office it can be easy to pick at food, but I have managed to rope three of my colleagues into joining so it is much easier for me now!

Breakfast

1 slice of wholemeal toast (hexb) no butter (because gross!)

1 poached egg (you can have as many as you want, it’s Free!)

Mushrooms (Speed food)

Grilled tomatoes (S)

Baked beans (Free)

Then in the car I will eat an apple (S) and a nectarine (S)

Lunch

Jacket potato (Free)

Baked Beans (Free)

50g grated mozzarella cheese (hexa)

Salad – lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion red pepper and carrot (all S)

Strawberries and an apple (S) in a mullerlight (Free)

Dinner

Turkey breast steaks with lemon, garlic and Italian herbs (Free)

Sweet potato fries made with Fry Light and salt (Free)

Roasted vegetables (S)

Snacks

I generally pick at blueberries during the day at work, and at around 3pm I have a cup of tea (1/2 syn)

with 2 jaffa cakes (5 syns)

Day finished with 5.5 syns out of 15.

I am a creature of habit, so I actually eat the same things most days for ease, unless I want a lie in then of course I have two Rocky Road Hi-Fi bars (which are AMAZING but only available for purchase from the class, but I hear you can buy them from Ebay!) and my fruit on the way to work. All diet drinks are FREE, so I drink a LOT of Diet Coke!

Weight lost

This is the exciting bit, I have done no exercise at all, and literally the only thing I have changed is what I eat, and I actually never used to have breakfast so now I eat even more! I went to my first weigh in on Wednesday and lost 5lbs!

Whilst writing this I am nearly through my second week, and I have had a sneaky go on the scales and I have got say I am VERY pleased with the results so far! I have a few recipes I want to try so stay tuned and follow my food diary over on Instagram.

If you are on Slimming World and have any tips or recipes you want to share we would love to hear from you!

love Carla x

 

 

Things I’m Loving #4

Things I'm Loving 4

1. 30 Day Butt Lift Challenge – with a hen do, birthday and wedding coming up, I wanted to at least attempt some form of toning. These various 30-day challenges have been the subject of many a SWHH post, but it’s because they’re amazing. Easily doable, I find that I can always stick to it for the full duration and it actually produces the desired results. (NOTE: You may end up walking like John Wayne by Day 3 but hey, no pain no gain. Yes, that sentence just happened…)

2. Johnson’s Holiday Skin – again, with all of the events that are due to happen, I wanted to make a little bit of effort and make my legs appear to be the same colour as the rest of my body. I’m massively against fake tan as I’m ridiculously lazy, so thanks to this brilliant moisturiser, a gradual skin-coloured tan builds of its own accord.

3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman – I received this book for Christmas after I went wild (yes, wild) in WHSmith. I read it in a day and a half as the story completely captivated me. I’ve bought the sequel Where She Went  and I’ve asked for the film for my birthday. It may aimed more at a YA audience, but I like to think I’m on the cusp of that category still…

4. Avon Truly Radiant – again, my body is a variety of different colours so to help in making myself just the one shade, I’ve been turning to this Avon beauty. It’s a tinted moisturiser , but one that actually produces a good colour and coverage, especially as we edge ever closer to sunnier climes. Being an Avon lady has its perks!

5. Momma Keeling – okay, she may not be too happy about being referred to as a ‘thing’ that I’m loving, but the fact that she’s got a mention should be more than suffice. It was of course Mother’s Day on Sunday, so an honourable shout out to the lady that gave me life had to happen. Thanks Mum!

6. Statement necklaces – my fashion sense (or lack there of) leaves a lot to be desired. But, I have found a deep love for statement necklaces (or ‘gypsy gold’ as the boyf. likes to call them). My collection is quite substantial and I’ve found that they can actually make an outfit appear different depending on which one I opt for. They also help in making me pass for a slightly fashionable person, woop!

7. Rose gold shoes – or just rose gold anything. I have an affinity for the pinky-toned metal; watches, earrings and now shoes. The beauts pictured are from Topshop, although the pair I purchased were extremely similar from Sole Trader, and were a bargain at £10 *drool*

– love Stef x

Things I’m Loving #2

Things I'm Loving 2

1. Bloglovin’ app – I was at uni when I first became aware of blogs and bloggers and blogging, and it was through Bloglovin’ that I discovered my favourites. This site also helped me massively in my first two jobs as a PR and an SEO. The app is the perfect handy tool for catching up with your favourite blogs on the go – I’m (blog)lovin’ it (sorry).

2. Lush The Godmother & Rockstar Soap Stack – yes I’m a bit of a Lush lover, but when I saw this duo I actually squealed. In the store. In front of people. I have wanted both of these soaps for ages but have just never quite gotten around to buying. But, the clever people at Lush have put them together in a stack which is now sat in my room. Being looked at. And smelled. A lot (not sorry).

3. Charlotte Tilbury – another YouTube obsession is Charlotte Tilbury. Her how-to videos are amazing and her products are divine. They’ve made their way to the top of my wish/want/need list, but for now I’ll have to make do with drooling over the tutorials – if you love beauty, you should definitely check Charlotte out. Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot and Victoria Beckham’s gorgeous Allure cover are all recreated for your viewing pleasure.

4. River Island Gold Asymmetric Slip Dress – I heart a good ol’ sale and River Island never disappoints. This beautiful dress was just £15, (down from £45), and is very reminiscent of the dress worn by Teresa Palmer in my favourite film, Take Me Home Tonight. With a hen do coming up, this could be the outfit I’d been looking for.

5. Sex and the City – thanks to daily TV reruns, my love for Carrie Bradshaw and the girls has once again taken over. The outfits, the shoes, New York and more importantly, Berger. I loved Berger, and of all the SATC men, he is my absolute favourite. If there wasn’t a Big, I definitely feel like Berger should’ve been The One. And yes, I’m completely dismissing Aidan (bleurgh).

6. Greek yogurt & honey breakfasts – this month I’m making the conscious effort to get myself in shape. Eating will consist of healthy foods and I’ll be partaking in that strange thing known as exercise. I’ll be swapping brews and prosecco for green tea and water, and to kickstart my days, I’ll be chowing down on the delight that is Greek yogurt and honey (no sarcasm). It’s actually incredibly nice and does fill you up – if you want to be even more rock ‘n’ roll, you can add granola.

7. Real Techniques Brow Brush – by now it’s become apparent that I enjoy everything Pixiwoo/Real Techniques-related. The brow brush is something that has fallen in and out of favour, but I’m currently in a brush and eyeshadow mood for brows, so this is the tool I’ve been reaching for. The angled bristles are perfect for creating a defined brow and it’s extremely easy to use – win.

– love Stef x

30 Day Ab Challenge

We do love a good challenge, diet or basically anything to stop the ever mentioned desk-chair arse from getting any larger.

Previously we have tried the 30 Day Challenge which had great results and involved a real lifestyle change for the better, the Juice Diet which although gives weight loss, it is hard to sustain if you want to use your brain for anything other than being awake.

So that brings us here, to a non-diet, toning challenge. As the fatty of the two of us, it was my job to man up and try to wobble less, so here is the challenge:
30-day-ab-challenge-chartThe idea is to start slow, improve technique and in turn hone and strengthen your core. The website has the video links to show you how to execute the moves correctly.

So here is a break-down of the challenge:

Day 1: This is ridiculously easy, watching Eastenders while doing the moves, it took around six minutes of my life.

Day 3: Planking isn’t all that fun… It’s hard to not hold your breath when you do it, and my abs are starting to feel it.

Day 5: I am very aware of my abs. I don’t want to use the term ‘abs’ since I don’t look toned or ripped and I have a lot of weight to lose, but the muscles are starting to feel worked and tight – and for some reason my ass muscles hurt too. That can only be a bonus, right?

Day 9: You would think the sit ups or the crunches would be the hardest, but no, no. It’s the leg raises. I mean, who thought of this move?

Day 13: LEG RAISES SUCK. I have never felt this weird ache sensation so much, it’s not my stomach that hurts, it’s a whole new world of pain.

Day 15: I am quite sore and my general middle area hurts, but I am halfway through. YAY. So here are the stats:

Visually: Still a fatty. No joke, my wobble area still looks as wobbly as it did 15 days ago.

What the tape measure says: An inch from my hips (the very widest area) and half an inch from my waist (if you can call it a waist, it’s not all that defined if I’m honest)

Okay, so I have lost an inch and a half, so something is working. But I am also trying a diet I have devised myself, which appears to be slowly bringing the weight down. I don’t know if it is all due to the abs challenge or not. All I know is, it huuuurts.

I’ll think about the pain next time I want a cheeseburger.

Day 18: Remember at Day 9 when I said leg raises were the hardest? Well, that was before I had 110 crunches to do. Oh. My. Days.

Day 22: I lied. Planking is the WORST. And is also the reason my ass hurts.

Day 25: This is literally taking around 30 minutes of my time now, including breaks, and well it still hurts and doesn’t feel any easier at all.

Day 27: See Day 25

DAY 30: YAAAAAY! IT’S OVER! FINALLY! Well I still hurt – I feel quite tender, the challenge didn’t get any easier, and I can’t even see any abs. Not one. I thought I’d look like Action Man by now! In all seriousness, I don’t look any different, but my jeans feel a little better. So here are the last overall measurements.

Hips: -1.5 inch Waist: 1 inch

Okay so the numbers have gone down, and as I said before I am on a diet I have devised for myself, but that’s for another post!

If you’re into challenges then go for it, but this is one I may only tackle again before I jet off to Oz in January (eek!)

Did you have better results than me?

Are you a dietician/fitness expert who wants to use me as a guinea pig? If you are, that would be swell – get in touch!

– love Carla x

The 30 Day Challenge: It’s the end!

So, it’s come to the end of April and my attempt at the 30 Day Challenge – at the halfway point I’d (somehow) seen an actual difference in my measurements, and now that the 30 days are up, it’s time to see the final result.

Now, I haven’t exactly played by the rules (shown below) – it was more of my own adaption, but I took the shopping list and adopted a healthier, green tea-based lifestyle.

30 day challengeThere were obstacles to overcome, such as my great dislike of fruit (which is a Challenge staple, dammit), my birthday celebrations (green tea was swiftly swapped for prosecco), and then Easter (chocolate. Lots of chocolate).

I did, however, stick to my adaption (and I’m fairly certain a bout of tonsillitis may have helped), but here are my measurements:

Before                           Halfway                              After                      Difference

Bust: 35 inches                  Bust: 34 inches                        Bust: 34 inches                     Bust: – 1 inch

Waist: 27 inches                Waist: 26 inches                      Waist: 25 inches                   Waist: – 2 inches

Hips: 38 inches                  Hips: 36 inches                       Hips: 35.5 inches                  Hips: – 2.5 inches

 

I have to say I’m surprised, chuffed and slightly baffled – I wouldn’t say I have a terrible diet (doughnuts for breakfast is allowed, right?) but somehow, just adopting certain healthier choices has made a difference.

I’m not overly fussed about inch loss, but I would like to be healthier, and I have to say I do feel better inside and out. I would definitely recommend the 30 Day Challenge and I think I’ll stick to some of the rules – I’m a changed woman!

– love Stef x

The 30 Day Challenge

The people I work with are very much like my extended family – I love them dearly and it’s because of this love that they manage to rope me into taking part in ridiculous things.

Ridiculous things like the 30 Day Challenge

So from today and for the whole of April (except for my birthday weekend), I’ll be consuming a scarily large amount of healthy food, lots of water and taking a foray into the world of green tea.

30 day challengeAs you can see from the list, it’s not a bad selection of food and I only spent £20 in Tesco stocking up on goodness. I’ve opted for granola for breakfast, sushi and salad for lunch, and a variety of fish, rice and veg for tea.

Snacks are going to consist of celery, cucumber, and (*shudder*) low-fat peanut butter on rice bread – yes peanut butter isn’t on the list, but I’m swapping the dark chocolate for it.

Oh and if you’re a bit thick like me, ‘quinoa’ is pronounced ‘keen-wah’ and not ‘kwuh-NO-uh’ – thanks Ellie 😉

Have you ever tried the 30 Day Challenge? And more importantly, am I in for a bumpy, starved ride?

– love Stef x