Slimming World for men

I felt that my Slimming World consultant was in a very spiritual mood this morning as she come over to me, laid her hand on my shoulder, and uttered the words:

Blessed art thou amongst women

She wasn’t – of course – likening me to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Rather she was making the point that, out of 30 people in the room, I was the only man there!

And she had a point. Weight loss groups like Slimming World are dominated by women. It’s just the way they are. I guess there aren’t that many men that are comfortable with the group/class format. There are just as many overweight men as there are women out there, but I’m guessing that most of the guys prefer to try and lose weight on their own.

Of all the Slimming World groups I’ve ever attended, the maximum number of men that have attended a class was three (including me). And so, for some men that can feel a bit intimidating or uncomfortable, having to walk into a room full of women.

Indeed if it wasn’t for the fact that I started Slimming World along with my wife (at her encouragement, I should add) then I’m not sure I would have been too keen to go along.

We’re all just people

These days I don’t think too much of the sex of the people in the room. After all it doesn’t really matter if someone is male, female, or a non-binary gender. We are all just people who share the same motivation for being there – and that’s to lose weight.

So I’d say to any concerned men out there to stop worrying that a group is going to be women-oriented, because it’s not. Nobody’s going to point and stare at you if you’re a man. Indeed you’ll probably be welcomed with open arms!

Variations for men

There’s no real difference in the food optimising plan for men and women. Everyone is encouraged to eat the same things, and to fill up on lots of healthy fruit and veg. The only difference is that some men can get more syns.

There is a distinct advantage, however, when it comes to the bi-annual group awards. For the men, the Mr Sleek and Man of the Year awards, there’s a lot less competition to win that in the women’s awards!

The wheels have fallen off the wagon

I’m not feeling very good about my recent weight-loss, or lack thereof.

The figures don’t lie. For the first two months when I joined Slimming World I was going great guns. In just nine weeks I had lost 2½ stones, averaging a loss of about 4 pounds a week. It was falling off me, and I was winning Slimmer of the Week or Month almost every week. It seemed easy. Follow the plan, eat plenty of speed, and enjoy my syns – and the weight loss will follow.

However, we then went on holiday at the start of September and it all fell apart. We enjoyed our break, and ate and drank well, and it made a dent – albeit not a large one – in my progress. But ever since, I’ve done terribly. My weight has yo-yoed up and down from week to week for the last 2 months; so much so that during September and October I’ve only lost a total of 2 pounds!

I went from losing an average of 4 pounds a week to only 2 pounds in two months. That’s not good.

It can only be attributed to one thing. I’ve been going off-plan far too many times in the last while. I guess I’d grown a bit complacent, and told myself I could cheat on the odd day and get away with it. But I’ve not been getting away with it. Every time I’ve raided the cupboards at home, or thrown caution to the wind when ordering a meal out, it’s come back to bite me in the ass.

To be honest, I feel pretty disgusted with myself, and I feel a total fraud for accepting the Mr Sleek award in group during the week. I really don’t deserve it. Not based on my recent lack of progress.

I’ve lost my way, and I need to find my way back. Because I don’t want to quit. I don’t want to give up and go back to how I used to me. My life is already immeasurably better for losing 3 stone, and I know it could be even better for losing another 3 stone or more. I just need to renew my determination.

I need to question every decision. Every time someone places a menu in front of me, every time I go food shopping, every time I pass a convenience store, and every time I open the fridge door. I need to remind myself, every time, why I’m doing this. And each and every time I need to make a better decision. I need to ignore the voices that tell me I can cheat “just this once”, because inevitably there ends up being far too many “just this once” times.

My amazing wife, who is on this Slimming World journey with me, has suggested to me that I need to go back to basics. She has suggested that I re-read my food optimising book, and start keeping a food diary. And when she said it, I must admit at the time I pretty much dismissed the ideas. But upon reflection, I’m starting to think she’s right. Maybe I do need to start again from scratch, and follow the plan to the letter.

Mr Sleek 2016 (my class)

Yesterday we all voted in class to pick the Miss Slinky and Mr Sleek of our group.

I was very honoured (and a little bit surprised) to be voted as the Mr Sleek, and was awarded a certificate, tie, and a small gift from our consultant. I don’t feel particularly sleek at the moment because we had a fairly bold bank holiday weekend, and I ended up putting on 5 pounds! Eeek!

Thank goodness, with all the excitement of taster evening and awards that we didn’t have time for any image therapy, because I would have been lost for words.

Anyway here’s me, together with the Miss Slinky winner Denise, and our Slimming World consultant Kate:

Don’t you love the red tie?

Taster Night

It’s a taster night tonight at our Slimming Group, and no doubt this afternoon all the members of the group are frantically scraping something together to bring along.

You could see the looks of horror on people’s faces (and the colour drain from their cheeks) last week as Kate, our consultant, announced we were going to have another taster night. It’s not that a taster night is a horrible experience in itself. It’s just the hassle of having to prepare some food to bring along.

It’s not as if you can bring just any old food. It needs to be healthy food, of course. And syn-free if possible, And something appetising. And something impressive. And something that people can easily sample in a buffet setting. So the list of options becomes ever narrower, and most of the group ends up spending the entire week googling taster night ideas.

And then of course, there’s the etiquette of approaching the table on the night. We present our tupperware offering on the table, and stand back. But as a group of fatties, we’ve all felt the fear of being judged by others for approaching a buffet table too quickly. And so invariably nobody touches the food for a good 20 minutes. We all gaze longingly at the table laden with goodies, occasionally wiping away the drool off our chins, but don’t dare to be seen as the first one to look like a greedy guts!

Eventually someone breaks the blockage, and dares to take a celery stick, and then the crowds rush forth. And within minutes all the good stuff has gone! It’s like a plague of locusts has descended and picked the table clean!

It’s only after you’ve polished off your third piece of cake that the person who made it finally admits that it’s full of sugar and fat, and is actually 12 syns a portion. Bugger!

Anyway, so the reason why we’re having a taster night tonight is that we’re also voting for Miss Slinky and Mr Sleek in class. It doesn’t seem any time since we were voting for Woman and Man of the Year, and I’m not entirely such what the difference is between the two competitions. Maybe it’s just so that someone else gets the chance to win something! Which seems fair. In my group there’s only two regular blokes that attend, and I won Man of the Year a couple of months ago, so maybe it’s the other guy’s turn?