So near and yet so far

If you go by my last weigh-in, I’m only 2 pounds away from my Club 10 award. And a two pound loss is easy, right? Apparently not this week!

I’ve managed to mislay my motivation. I know it’s around here somewhere, because saw it only a couple of weeks ago. But I put it down somewhere when I was so sick with my tooth thing, and now I can’t find it again. 

The up-shot is that I’ve been eating all manner of bad stuff this week. Around half my meals have been Slimming World recipes, but the other half have not. And the snacks? Don’t get me started on the thousands of calories of sweets I’ve been shovelling into my gob for the last few days.

I have weigh-in tomorrow morning, and unless all my limbs fall off overnight, then the chances of me losing this week are less than nil.

And so, the temptation is to not go to class. I’m sure we all understand that feeling. It’s easier, when we know we’ve been bad, to stay away – or to weigh and go – so that we don’t have to face the indignity of justifying our gain to the group.

I’m in that position right now. My rational brain is saying to me “Get along to group in the morning, and sort your shit out!”, while the irrational bit of the brain is saying “Sod that! Lie in and bacon sandwiches for brunch!”.

As of this second, I really don’t know if the rational or irrational side is going to win. But at least I haven’t cancelled my alarm for tomorrow morning, yet…

Letting go of guilt

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

We had a bit of a discussion about feeling guilty in our class today. It was worrying the number of people who felt weighed down by guilty feelings.

We all feel guilty about our actions, and one of the most common sentiments I tend to hear is that we feel guilty that we let ourselves get overweight in the first place.

I can’t believe I let things get this bad

Beating ourselves up for stuff that happened in the past is not healthy. It’s emotional baggage that’s much too heavy to be carrying around. Instead we need to learn to forgive ourselves, draw a line under the actions of the past, and concentrate on the positive changes we can make for the future.

Dwelling on the past and how we got to be overweight will only make us feel more miserable – and less likely to take action to lose weight and become more healthy.

I feel bad putting myself first

This seems to be especially true of those of us who are carers for our family or friends, where we are more used to putting everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. We feel selfish for even taking an hour out of our week to attend a Slimming World class.

However our loved ones don’t begrudge us some “me” time. In fact, because they love us so much, they want to support us in our journey. They know that being more healthy (and hopefully lighter) will make us happier, and give us more energy to invest in our relationships.

I fell totally off-plan at the weekend, and it was Tuesday before I got my head straight and back on-plan.

We’ve all been there when one blow-out sabotages not only that day, but often the few days after. We make one bad choice, and we beat ourselves up so much about it that we give up and compound that bad choice with a bunch of other ones.

What we need to accept is that, on occasion, we’re going to go off the rails. It happens, so there’s no point denying it. But our best response to it is not to feel guilty about it, and continue sabotaging our progress, but to accept it for what it was and move on as quickly as possible.

I know that if I can quickly let go of the guilt of a binge session and get back on-plan as soon as possible, then I’m going to stand a good chance of pulling it back.

I might not end up with a nice weight loss at my next Slimming World class, but I’m doing a hell of a lot less damage than if I were to stay off-plan until my next weigh-in.

I had a bad week so I won’t stay to class

One of the most common reasons for people not staying for class seems to be the embarrassment or guilt of a bad week. I know I’ve weighed and walked straight out the door a number of time when I’ve gained.

But it seems to me that when I do gain, that is often the time when I need the most help, and should be the time that I make a special effort to stay for class. After all it’s not a judgemental environment. I’ve never heard a consultant criticise someone for having a bad week. Instead all they want to do is help us!

And it’s not just the consultant. Everyone in the room is there to support us – primarily because everyone in the room knows exactly how we feel because they have gone through the exact same thing themselves!

There’s any number of reasons why we might feel guilty, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that guilt is a very negative emotion – unless, of course, it inspires us to do better. And what we need to do is try and turn that guilt into inspiration as quickly as possible – because it’s only then that we can get on with the important job of losing weight!

Losing my mojo

I can’t seem to get in the zone at the moment. And I’m definitely going way over my syn limits pretty much every day.

I know what I’m doing wrong, but I can’t help myself.

My only mitigation, and the one thing that stops me going crazy, is to keep going to my Slimming World class. I might be maintaining or gaining, but I know if I didn’t go to class I’d be way worse!

So by keeping going to class I can hopefully keep in a holding pattern, until I find my mojo again.

Eating in Slimming World Class

There’s a unwritten etiquette to eating in a Slimming World class.

If you’re having a Taster Night, then it’s expected for you to bring and eat something in class. But what about the rest of the time?

Depending on the time of day, and how much you have starved yourself prior to your weigh-in, may determine whether you feel compelled to eat in class. You may be fresh along from work, having skipped lunch, and starving hungry. You may have been out for a couple of hours of last-minute body magic, to try and burn off a couple of pounds. Or you might not have eaten at all for the last 3 days! And in those situations you may not have the energy to sit through a full hour of image therapy without some sustenance inside you. After all, all that clapping and encouraging other people is hard work!

But does that mean you can bring along your dinner, and munch your way through the entire class?

I go to a 5.30pm group, and pretty-much everyone is attending before having dinner. So it’s common to see people having a discrete snack – after weigh-in of course! Freshly purchased hi-fi bars seem to be a favourite, as well as fruit. Anything healthy, speedy or free seems to be fair game, although I’m not sure what reaction anyone would get if they started tucking into a big Tupperware dish of pasta.

I think it’s also fair to say that it may be frowned upon to try an order a Domino’s pizza or fish supper to be delivered to class! Whatever you indulge in a post-class blowout is between you and your maker, but it’s probably best not to be seen to be off-plan during the class itself – that is, unless you order enough pizza for everyone!

But that’s just my class. What’s your experience? Do people eat during your class?

What’s for sale at your Slimming World class?

Slimming World HiFi Bars

Unlike a lot of diets or healthy eating plans, Slimming World isn’t about getting you to buy their products.

There are no shakes to buy, and no ready meals that form a mandatory part of the plan. You can food optimise without having to buy anything from Slimming World themselves.

However, they do have a small number of products for sale in class that you can buy. Most notably they have things called Hi-Fi Light bars, which are sold in boxes of 6 for €3.00 a box. You can have two of these bars every day for your Healthy Extra B (HEB), which is great if you have a sweet tooth, or if you use your HEB on something else, they are 3 syns each.  The bars seem to be very popular, and often provoke heated debate – especially when the flavours change. As far as I know these bar are only available to buy in class.

Some classes may also sell packets of Scan Bran – or Scandinavian Bran Crispbread to use its actual name. Scan Bran often divides people. Some love them. Some hate them. Personally I quite like them, especially with some Laughing Cow Light spread over them and a slice of ham. Scan Bran is available to buy in some health food shops, including Holland & Barrett.

Books and Magazines

There’s often a number of different recipe books for sale, if you’re looking for inspiration on what to cook. They’re often themed around one area, such as curries, desserts, or fakeaways (Fake Takeaways – the taste of a takeaway meal without the syns). New books are occasionally given away for free as part of a promotion, typically when you sign up to a 12-week Countdown – but check with your consultant first!

The monthly Slimming World magazine also seems to be quite popular, and is sold in class more cheaply than it’s available in the shops. There are some pretty good recipes in the magazine, along with motivational articles. There’s even a small men’s section, focusing on men’s issues!

Iceland Ready Meals

Last year Slimming World announced an exclusive deal with the Iceland supermarket to sell a range of frozen ready meals. There’s no requirement to buy any of them, but they can come in handy if you’re in a hurry or stuck for ideas. And best of all, I think all of them are syn-free. And unlike a lot of other ready-meals on the market, their portion sizes are quite decent, so you feel like you’ve had a proper dinner!

I’ve only tried a couple of them, and find them to be a mixed bag. I didn’t like the sausages at all, but loved the Chicken Tikka Masala.

Because of the exclusivity deal, other supermarkets aren’t allowed to sell products that claim to be Slimming World friendly, although it seems that some of the value supermarkets are starting to bring out products that end up being syn-free, even if they can’t sell them as such. So for now it’s down to word-of-mouth to find out about them.

One pound a month

I went to my Slimming World class last night for the first time in 4 weeks.

We missed two meetings because we were on holiday, and then I missed last Wednesday because I was in A&E!

And so, over the course of almost a month, what did I lose? One pound! Just one tiny little pound. Or 453 grams for those who prefer metric.

Over the previous 4 weeks I had lost a stone, so I guess I was a little disappointed to weigh-in at just a pound down from the end of August. But then again, it’s been a fairly unusual few weeks.

We went totally off-plan while on holiday – eating and drinking pretty much whatever we wanted, and enjoying as many cocktails as our wallets could stand. And then, I spend two days in hospital last week, eating nothing but bread and water (I exaggerate, but I’m looking for sympathy here!).

Over that time I’ve probably put on weight, lost, put some more back on, and lost again. My diet has been very inconsistent, and my levels of exercise have been curtailed from what they normally would be. So it’s no wonder that I haven’t lost more. Indeed, some would say it’s amazing that I haven’t put on weight!

One thing it has done – it’s made me more determined to stick to my food optimising, and to aim for a decent loss for next week. I’d like to lose 4 lbs, as that would take me to my 3 stone award. Let’s see how I do…