2013 is my year!

Happy New Year!!!

Here I am again, but this year is going to be different! Why? Because my reasons for losing weight are different.

2013 is my year!

My first meal of 2013

At the beginning of October I was admitted to hospital with 3 Pulmonary Embolisms (P.E). This isn’t the first time I’ve had this problem and therefore I am now on lifelong anticoagulants (Warfarin) and Monday I start investigations into why I keep getting them.

The thing with Warfarin is it is highly effected by the things you ingest, so for the last 3 months I’ve been scared to get back on my diet for fear it will effect my blood levels…but the truth is my blood levels haven’t been stable since I started the medication so I believe if I just take the plunge and get back on track, my diet will be more stable and therefore my blood levels will also.

There are other factors, like being ill can complicate my medication, therefore being a healthy has a huge vantage point for me.

So here I am. I started back on my diet yesterday and will be back in my Slimming World class tomorrow evening. I plan to keep a log of my progress here, so stay tuned and wish me luck!


Life changes

I thought it was about time I updated with my progress.

I had a bit of a blip a week or so ago, nothing to do with the “diet” being hard, I was just being silly and eating everything in sight. Needless to say, I gained 2lb and I deserved it. I’d lost 5.4lb the week before so I didn’t feel too bad about my blip.

I’ve since been back on it and lost 1.2lb this week. I’d originally set my weighloss goal at 1lb a week, but I feel confident that I can stick to a stricter calorie intake and so I’ve upped it to 2lb a week.

I never thought, in a million years, that I would choose to calorie count over Slimming World, but at this moment in time, it’s working better for me. I do have Slimming World to thank for teaching me about healthy eating, if it wasn’t for them I would probably be wasting my calories on junk and finding myself hungry at the end of the day, but as it is, they have enabled me to make good choices and so I’m finding it easy to stick to at the moment *touch wood*

My view on the best diet out there hasn’t changed. Slimming World is, hands down, the healthiest “diet” I’ve come across (and I’ve tried a lot) but as a busy Mum of 2 who doesn’t always have time to look up syns, pre-plan my days ahead of time and get to class on a regular basis, calorie counting is my best option right now.

I’ve made a few small changes to help get me on track to a permanent change in how I eat, drink and exercise….

* I’ve started drinking water. Before I would drink sugar free squash, which is fine for weight loss, but it wasn’t helping me abolish my sweet tooth, so water it is now. I’m actively trying to drink more too, I didn’t drink nearly enough fluid before. At first I wasn’t keen on the taste, but now I’m actually enjoying drinking water. It’s surprisingly easy to change your taste buds.

* I’m exercising more. This part is the most important part for me. My meals are pretty healthy and have been for years now. We do have the odd “bad” meal, but on the whole out meals are balanced, low fat and made from scratch from fresh ingredients. My problem is snacking inbetween meals and not getting enough exercise.

* Cut out snacking. I’m trying to go without anything inbetween meals. If I do feel hungry, I’m starting with a glass of water. If I’m still hungry, I’m having fruit.

That’s it for now. I didn’t want to change too much at once or I wouldn’t stick to it. These are manageable at the moment.


A brief update

Last week I was ever so good and I lost 5.8lb…Yay!

This week I’ve been awful and daren’t look at the scales. I started off so well today and have literally just blown it. I could kick myself! I am so weak when it comes to food.

I’ve been racking my brains; is it boredom? is it comfort eating? am I thirsty? I will of course look at and test these individually. Starting tomorrow I will increase my fluid intake and see if that helps, in fact I think I will concentrate on this for the week and see what the result is at the end.

I’m not looking for a quick fix, my aim is to become healthy, and drinking plenty of water is healthy right? So whilst I will be weighing myself weekly (I’ve decided to change weigh-day to Sunday morning) I’m not going to be obsessing about my weight. I will endeavour to change one thing a week. As of tomorrow it will be water, the week after? Who knows, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

New year, new start

It’s time to make a fresh start and when better than at the start of a new year? Christmas and all that tempting food is out of the way, party season is over, back to the grind. 

I’m doing it differently this year because, to be honest, I’m fed up of “dieting” and obsessing over food. I love Slimming World for a number of reasons. It sustainable, there’s very little weighing and measuring and I love the company at my class, but…(there’s always a but right?) I’ve been doing the diet healthy eating plan (on and off) for about 17 years, I had some success back in 2004/5 but since having children my heart isn’t in it. I don’t have time to work out syns, or remember if I had one Healthy A choice or two etc. I’ve really struggled because of the lack of time to plan and think about what I’m doing. The only time I do it successfully is when I stick to what I know the syn value of and then I get bored of the food I’m eating. Getting to class is also a bit of an issue for me, my life is so hectic and every class I miss is £4.95 down the drain. 

I’m a stay-at-home-Mum so money is tight. I’d very much like (and benefit from) attending some sort of exercise class, but my budget only allows for one or the other. My reason for slimming has changed considerably since having children. I no longer care about being thin and beautiful, I simply want to be healthy and live a long life, watch my children grow, maybe meet my grandchildren etc.. so exercise is very important to me. 

So it’s with a heavy heart that I am making the decision to swap my Slimming World class for an exercise class (yet to be determined) and rather than counting syns and healthy extras, I will be…

  • Cutting out unnecessary snacking. If I NEED to snack it will be on fruit or raw veg
  • Making healthy choices. Over the years we have changed our eating habits considerably and I’m confident that 90% of our meals are healthy, balanced meals. Snacking is my biggest problem.
  • I will try to include at least 1/3 veg in every meal. Pasta dishes will be served with salad, omlettes packed with veg, sandwiches packed with salad and so on. 
  • My portion sizes will decrease. 
  • I will track my eating (on myfitnesspal.com), but not until the end of each day when the children are in bed. It’s the only time I have to think*

* I know it seems like I could spend this time pre-planning the next days food, but I seem to be in a habit of doing things spur of the moment and don’t know what I’m doing from one moment to the next so pre-planning wasn’t working out for me. I need to be able to just choose the healthiest option at any given moment. At the end of the first week I should have an idea of what (if anything) I need to change (smaller portions, more exercise, choose different meals), I’m hoping over time, I will learn what I can and can’t get away with and change my instinctive choices when it comes to food. 

MyFitnessPal lets me to use the calories burnt during exercise, towards my daily food allowance. This will allow me to be flexible on days when something special is going on or an unexpected lunch date occurs. It should also encourage me to exercise more.

The bottom line is, if it doesn’t work out, I can always return to Slimming World, the lovely ladies there will no doubt welcome me back with open arms.. I will miss them terribly, but I need to make a life change, I can’t spend my entire life turning down sandwiches at friends’ houses because they used white bread, or because I already had my allocated healthy extras. Worrying about whether a pasta dish was cooked with oil or if the mayonnaise in a tuna mayo sandwich is full fat or low fat. 

I started my healthy eating quest yesterday. Day one went great, today I had one last post Christmas celebration to get through but I pulled it back a bit with a session of Zumba. 

If anyone would like to join me on MyFitnessPal (it’s not a diet, it’s a tool to track food and exercise so even if you’re following Slimming World it’s a useful tool) you can find me here http://www.myfitnesspal.com/laymon23

Wish me luck! 

One day down

The day is over (or it will be in 15 minutes, for me anyway) and I’ve had a total of 7.5 syns.

I did both my walks and burnt around 430 cals

What’s more, I went to the cinema with my friends and whilst they munched on popcorn, I had a tub of grapes *polishes halo*

I was quite hungry when I got home so I had another bowl of the free pasta I’d made at lunchtime.

Unfortunately I haven’t had time to plan tomorrows food but for a rough guideline I will be doing my walks again and for…

Breakfast – Branflakes and strawberries again.

Lunch – Pasta with salad

Dinner – Mushroom risotto

My priority when I get home from the school run tomorrow will be to work out my meal plan properly, for now…it’s bedtime.

A fresh start…commitment!

I REALLY need to get back on track with my diet and exercise. These past few weeks I’ve really taken the mick. My mood/energy has been low (sleep problems) and I’ve therefore sabotaged my diet…not good. So I’m planning tomorrow, now…I know if I plan it, I will stick to it. 

F = high in fibre
ff = extra high in fibre
cc = very good source of calcium
ss = extra-low in energy density (super-speed food, boosts weight loss)
H = These foods are particularly nutritious or are important for good health.


Breakfast – 28g Branflakes (F), 250ml milk (cc), strawberries (ss), Agave Nectar (0.5syns for 1 tsp)

Lunch – Pasta (H), carrot (S), mushrooms (S), canned tomatoes (S), Chorizo (2.5syns for 28g), 28g cheese (C)

Dinner – Jacket potato (HH), cottage cheese (0.5syns per 100g), Baked beans (H, ss, F)

Snacks – Fruit, Alpen lights (ff)

Slimming World food groups

Healthy A – 250ml semi-skimmed milk, 28g cheese

Healthy B – Branflakes, 2 x Alpen lights

Super Free – Strawberries, carrot, mushrooms, canned tomato

Free on green – Pasta, jacket potato, Baked beans

Syns – Agave Nectar, Chorizo, Cottage cheese (I’m not sure how much I will use yet, but I’ll measure it to make sure I stay within my syns)


1) Leave car at daughter’s school and walk back home (2 miles)
2) Walk back to school to pick daughter up (2 miles)

I will eventually build my daughter up to walking to school and back, I just need to find the time to do a trial run with her on a weekend so I know what time I need to set off and adjust our routine accordingly.

The impact of exercise on weight loss

Life is hectic, but in a good way. It does mean my blog has been ever so slightly neglected, however, I have been sticking (mostly) to the Slimming World diet and have exercised when I’ve had the time.  I lost 2.5lb this week and it’s really given me the boost I needed.

The other week I join a netball team. Yes, you can play net ball at 32 years ols 😛 It’s so much fun and I would recommend it to anyone that wants to get some exercise but finds the whole process boring and repetitive.  I’ve also bought myself a new workout DVD that was recommended to me


so I’ll be giving that a go today.

I’ve been asked to research the effects of exercise on weight loss. It’s not been an easy journey. Most websites will only tell you the benefits of exercise and of course, they’re right. Anyone with half a brain knows that exercise is good for you, but can it have an impact on weight loss?

The answer lies in how hard you are pushing yourself and if you are eating enough calories to keep your metabolic rate up.

“Fact: It takes calories to burn calories. When you decrease your food intake, your body simply lowers its metabolic rate in response. This still allows the body to function properly, but ultimately your body requires fewer calories which creates hunger and prevents you from losing fat.”

Read more at http://exercise.about.com/cs/weightloss/a/weightplateaus.htm

In translation, you need to eat enough calories to keep your metabolism going. If you’re doing the slimming world diet, I would suggest you eat your allocated daily syns to give your body the calories it needs to enable it to burn the calories you require.

“if you are expending a large amount of calories through workouts and still not losing weight, it could be that you are not eating enough. This causes your body to believe that it is starving, and it will begin to store up food as fat”

Read more at http://www.livestrong.com/article/411326-does-exercising-too-much-prevent-weight-loss/#ixzz1Utm3tWnN

In conclusion, you need to make sure you are eating enough calories to keep your metabolism going. If you find your weight loss slowing or stopping look at whether you’re eating all your Healthy Extras, are you having your 10 syns a day. Cutting these out will not help you lose weight if you are exercising, you body needs to energy, so enjoy them.

More reading for anyone wanting to know more http://www.livestrong.com/article/415870-can-too-much-exercise-not-enough-calories-cause-weight-gain/

Trying new recipes

I made a promise to myself that I would try harder to try new recipes. I get stuck in a rut, eating the same foods over and over again, I then get bored and turn to “naughty” food to ease my boredom with food. I’m sure this is a familiar story with any dieter healthy eater.

So I’ve been on a mission for new things to try.

The first thing I decided to try my hand at was the Tomato soup recipe that’s been bouncing around my slimming class for a few weeks now. The claim is that it tastes just like Heinz tomato soup. Whilst I can’t backup that claim, it is a very nice soup and doesn’t feel like you’re eating a syn free meal.


Another soup I tried my hand at was leek and potato. Very easy to make and very tasty. This one was a hit with the small people that are squatting in my house, so I recommend this for anyone with a famiy. I’ll write up a recipe later if anyone would like to make it.

The other recipes I tried were in an attempt to keep my addiction of chicken caesar salad going. I succeeded in finding a way to have caesar dressing without eating into my syns! *Happy*

I used this recipe for the dressing, but instead of using 100ml of oil, I used 60ml so it worked out at 1 healthy B per person . On top I have the sticky chicken from the slimming world website…VERY tasty, I highly recommend it.

Today I received a new fitness DVD.
No I’m not a Coronation Street fan, I bought it because the instructor on the DVD, is a girl I was friends with in school. The funny thing is, I used to go to aerobics with her, so doing the workout is like working out with her all over again (or maybe not haha).

I may be bias, but as far as DVD workouts go, this was a really good one. I enjoyed doing it, the moves were explained well, but challenging enough to keep me interested and I felt like I’d had a really good workout at the end.

Extra Easy plate

I’m sure most of you are now familiar with this…

The USDA came up with a new visual aid (above) to replace the old food pyramid (below)

food pyramid

I’m not convinced it’s the best system really. What I am convinced about, is the Extra Easy plate made by a lovely lady in the Tuesday Morley group.

Isn’t it fab!?!

It’s going to take pride of place on my kitchen wall as a reminder.

This week I’m giving the Extra Easy plan a go. It’s forcing me to rejig my meal plans and think up new, exciting meals to eat. This is a good thing, I often get stuck eating the same meals, over and over again and eventually get bored. That is usually when I fall off the wagon.

Yesterday we tried a BBQ chicken recipe that was mentioned in class Thursday night. We served it with Slimming World chips and roast veg as the 1/3 free food. It was a delicious meal and I didn’t feel like I was eating a diet meal.

Thursday night we tried the KFC chicken recipe. We found it a little too salty so I’m going to be tweaking this recipe to suit my own taste…I’ll keep you posted on that progress.

Tonight I fancy trying a new recipe. Stuffed red peppers filled with rice, chicken and veg, topped with cheese from my HeA allowance…yum!


I love sushi. I don’t know why I don’t make it more often. It’s cheap to make, it fits in with Slimming World and it’s yummy!

I was browsing Ebay to see how much it would be to get some rice moulds like these

and I remembered I had something similar that my friend Alex had bought me (or the kids, I forget now), they’re actually for making ice cream sandwiches but they’re perfect for making rice moulds for sushi

I used the pig one (my youngest daughter, Anara, ran off with the other two) and I made Anara a couple of pig shaped sushi

Both are filled with tuna mayo and roasted vegetables.

she was very excited about her lunch and dove straight in


She didn’t end up eating it. It’s hard to say whether she’s just gone off it or not, because she put too much into her mouth and sometimes choking on a meal can put her off it. Funny that.

Oh dear, what a shame…more for me and Daniel 😛

This served 2 of us and there was a little left over once we were both full to bursting…so it might even serve 3 people.

4/5 sheets of Nori – free
250g sushi rice – free
2 tbsp rice vinegar – free
1 tbs mirin – 1 syn
1 tsp sugar – 1 syn
1 tsp salt – free

Tuna/mayo – syns depend on how much mayo you use – tuna free on extra easy
roasted veg – free

but you could put whatever you want in the middle, prawns, asparagus, beef…anything you fancy.

to make it fit with the Extra Easy plan you can either fill all your rolls with 1/3 veg, or you could have some raw veg on the side, or even a little salad.
We also had a boiled egg on the side because everyone loves a boiled egg 😛