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

Gym wear review: Skechers Flex Appeal

As you know, SWHH tends to focus on the normal struggles of normal twenty-somethings (well, as normal as myself and Miss Regan can get) and with those struggles comes the constant attempts at maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle.

You’ve read about our juice diets, various 30-day fitness challenges and now the Slimming World journey my co-editor is currently embarking on. As for me, I feel for the first time that I’m very much in a good, controlled and happy place when it comes to my health and fitness.

I’ve managed to find a routine that doesn’t feel like a laborious chore and I’ve changed my diet to accommodate a few things that I never thought it would… Yes people, I’ve boycotted the blue WKD and instead embraced the world of fruit juice *gasp* and even *faint*

That aside, I’ve also stuck to going to the gym four days a week, trimmed my food portions and upped Denver’s walks so we both have a bit more cardio going on – and it’s working. But, because of new said lifestyle, I’ve had to say goodbye to my old gym attire and welcome some new hardcore gym bunny clothing (yes, that sentence just happened).

First up are my new trainers. These are the Skechers Flex Appeal in pink (obvs) and despite not being a girly girl, I absolutely LOVE them!

Feeling like an utterly cool late-90s Britney, I’ve always had a slight soft spot for the American shoe company, although I didn’t know that they actually make damn good trainers.

Yes they’re pegged as a ‘running shoe’ and you all know by now that I ain’t no runner, but in terms of going to the gym and taking the dog out on his walks, these are the most comfortable trainers I’ve ever worn. The memory foam insole is genius, moulding to my feet so that every time I put them on it’s like walking on a pillow and the mesh fabric sends a lovely breeze of fresh air through to keep everything nice and cool.

Skechers Flex Appeal, £58.99, Cloggs

If I were to take up running (and when I wear these, the really ambitious part of me thinks I can) they would definitely be the shoes I would wear. Having abnormally thin feet, I’m also often plagued with the delight that is ‘new shoe blisters’ but they didn’t even fall foul of that fate, which in itself is miraculous.

The saying ‘Cinderella is proof that a pair of shoes can change your life‘, (which I live by FYI), is in this instance true. Looking more the part and feeling unbelievably comfortable have been key to the maintaining of my new regime.

I’m also fairly certain that good ol’ Cinders would be rocking a pair of these beauties if you stumbled across her at the gym…

– love Stef x

While the boyf’s away…

So, November 29 rolled around meaning my lovely boyf. has gone to Thailand and won’t be returning until December 16.

Now, for most girls that would mean sulking in pyjamas, eating a lot of Ben & Jerry’s, watching hundreds of chick flicks and counting down the days until their return.

Well not this girl.

Although I’m going to miss him terribly, especially given that it’s the festive season, it’s a once in a lifetime experience for him.

Yes, I’m a bit jealous that I won’t be exploring another country for three weeks, but it means, should we ever decide to go to Thailand, I have my very own personal tour guide who will know all the best places.

But, I digress – my point is that while the boyf. is away, I have set myself a bit of a challenge.

Call it temporary insanity (or just plain stupidity) but I’m going to partake in the following:

Why I hear you ask? Well, I don’t have my distraction around to encourage me to eat Dominos, and in doing this I might just look and feel strong and healthy for all the Christmas parties that are around the corner.

Plus, it will allow me to live off tins of Roses and Quality Street guilt-free once the boyf. returns…

Wish me luck!

– 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 Juice Diet #3: Well, this is awkward…

So, I’m just going to say it, the juice diet and I parted ways about two weeks ago – not intentionally though.

I could list all of my reasons/excuses (moving house and being unable to find my juicer being just one factor) but I won’t, there is no real excuse if you’re dedicated.

Although I would like to start it up again, (I am currently on my week of  ‘eating clean’ before I go right back to just juice), I do have to tell you what I did learn from coming off the extreme diet.

1. Eating real food hurts

Big time. On day one of moving day, having not eaten a thing, we opted for a takeaway. Eyes being bigger than my belly, and the fact I am greedy (hence the multiple diets) I had a huge plate full. By the time I had finished I actually felt like I was dying. Moral of the story: don’t eat a plate of chips when you have practically starved yourself for three weeks.

2. You will gain back the weight you lost

I didn’t sit and gorge on take out, and I have had some very healthy meals, but every single pound and inch I managed to lose has crept back on. Makes sense though really, what I lost in two weeks I put back on in two weeks. #depressed.

3. Motivation is hard when you’re hungry

When I am laying in bed watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager, (don’t judge – Daren Kagasoff is a BABE), I have every intention of starting the next day a lot better – none of this waiting for Monday nonsense. But then lunch time comes, and I’m hungry and well, I just want a big-dirty-white-bread-sandwich loaded with mayo.

4. Planning ahead is the key to a diet/life change

Seriously. Due to the above, you really should plan your meals and then you can really get your head in the game.

5. The nutrients really didn’t make me feel any better

I was loaded with all sorts of vitamins which I had read were supposed to make me full of beans and feel like a goddess. I didn’t. I was cold, tired and short-tempered to name but a few. I barely had the energy to do anything other than sit and I quite honestly felt miserable. The only joy I felt was hopping onto the scales and seeing the numbers drop – this was literally my only motivation and is enough to make me do it again to kick-start the weight loss.

I am generally quite unhappy with my weight, so if any of you out there have any tips, recommendations or indeed magic pills, please send them my way. I don’t want to die of heart disease.

– love Carla x

The 30 Day Challenge: The halfway point

We’re halfway through April and that means I’ve somehow gotten halfway through the 30 Day Challenge.

Well, to be completely honest, I’ve probably done about four days of it properly – I had three days off entirely for the birthday weekend (prosecco and cake aren’t listed oddly enough), and for the remaining nine days I’ve ‘adapted’ the challenge.

Granola was pretty hard going, so I switched to Cheerios (same thing, ish) and for lunch I may have opted for soup over salads. Dinner-wise I have stuck to the idea of fish, rice and veg, with plenty of water and green tea in between.

And do you know what? It has worked.

I feel better for it and I’ve lost inches – actual weight loss I have no idea about as scales are forbidden in the Keeling household, but here are my before and after measurements thus far:

Before                              After                           Difference

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

Waist: 27 inches                Waist: 26 inches                       Waist: – 1 inch

Hips: 38 inches                  Hips: 36 inches                         Hips: – 2 inches

I’m rather impressed, especially considering I haven’t exactly followed the rules, but I will endeavor to maintain this healthier approach to food. For now, it’s a big woop to me and a celebratory green tea (rock ‘n’ roll)…

Have you tried the 30 Day Challenge? How did you find it?

– 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

The Juice Diet: Week #2

Well that’s another week down!

Juice Diet - Week TwoI have got to say, I’m not feeling as rejuvenated as I was promised I would. I am still a little tired, cold, and quite lethargic on the juice days. And I am going to the toilet – a lot.

The tiredness is starting to get to me now, I have no energy to do anything other than sit and watch TV, and I am having some very early nights and still waking up tired.

IBecause of this I am going to do some more research and reassess the diet accordingly, but for now week 2 is over! Here are some of the recipes for the juices I have had this week.

*You’re not supposed to have too many fruit juices as they have so much natural sugar in them, but I can’t resist a nice fruit juice for breakfast.*

My juices are made up to fill 500ml glass bottles and two of my juice days looked like this:

Breakfast: 3 pink grape fruit and 1/2 an orange

Lunch: 2 apples, 1 head of broccoli, 5 carrots, 1/2 a lemon, a handful spinach and 1 courgette

Dinner: 5 carrots, 1/2 a red cabbage, 1 thumb of ginger, 3 oranges, a handful of spinach, and 1/2 a lemon

During the day I am also drinking 6-8 pints of cold water, as well as 2-3 cups of hot water and lemon, and the odd proper cup of tea (no sugar, and a tiny amount of skimmed milk).

It doesn’t look a lot, but honestly I am very full off the amount I am having, but as I  said in week 1, I don’t know how people manage six!

I just need some more energy – if there are any of you lovely readers out there that can tell me what I’m doing wrong, or what I could do differently, then I would love to hear from you!

So, for the stats… not going to lie I am a little disappointed.

From last week I have lost:

– 0.5 inch from hips (1 inch overall)

– no change from waist (1 inch overall)

– 0.5 inch from bust (1 inch overall)

– 1lb (4lbs overall)

– love Carla x

 

The Juice Diet: Week #1.5 – Detox

So as you have read in my previous diet posts, I am embarking upon a serious juice diet, in the hope to shed a few stones (I wish…) and as part of my new ‘Clean Living’ lifestyle, I have done my research and found that there is much more to to this diet than what you put in to your body – and it involves one helluva bath time!

My research showed that hot baths with Dead Sea salts is the way to go – it draws out toxins and all sorts of nasties from your skin. To accompany that, a good scrub down with a natural long handled bath brush makes to make your skin all lovely and smooth. So I purchased some lovely salts from Sainsbury’s, and a scrubbing brush from Tkmaxx, lit some candles and some burning oils, and got in to the hottest bath my skin could take.

The salts came in a plastic re-sealable bag in a box, which for me is a huge no-no, it would end up everywhere if it got knocked over, so I invested in a jar from Poundland – problem solved!

So many sources on the internet say a good 20 minute soak, and a scrubbing down with the brush to the point your skin is red is the way to go. You’re supposed to scrub from the feet up to the heart (something to do with blood flow…) and from the neck down.

My skin turned very red, so I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re intending on leaving the house shortly after with your limbs on show! I made sure to moisturise every inch of my skin with Soap & Glory Smoothie Starand to pout it bluntly, I felt bloody wonderful when I was done. After an hour you could clearly see my skin looked fresher and had colour, to the point I actually got asked for the first time on my life if I’d been at the fake tan. (due to the lack of sunshine in the UK recently, there was no possible reason I could have this natural glow!)

Because of this, I also hunted out a smaller facial brush which I have had forever and never used, and went to town on my face just before bed. When I woke up it literally felt like I was in a new skin. I’m not a morning person, but waking up feeling so fresh could almost turn me. (I said almost…) So It now appears I have a brand new skin regime, all thanks to two brushes! A new skin and natural tan is something I can get on board with, I highly recommend doing this, even if you’re not doing a detox or diet of any kind.

Have you tried the ‘brushing’ technique? I’d love some of your tips if you have, I’m a noob to detox!

– love Carla x