Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Time to {diet} {part 1: Planning}

It’s that time of year again.  I’ve enjoyed several months of food freedom but my ever expanding waistline has taken over and it’s now time to say farewell to the weekly {daily} cake run, the glasses {bottles} of wine and scoops {tubs} of ice cream.

Yes that’s right.  It’s time to diet. 


So where to begin on this journey of shredding these extra layers of cuddle {sorry}? I’ve tried several different dieting techniques over the years and although some have worked well for me nothing has stuck to become a way of life which is ultimately what I’m aiming for.  Not a quick fix {although it would be nice to fit into my size 10 jeans next week} but a lifelong healthy relationship with food which enables me to still have the odd treat.  Because let’s face it, my life without chocolate isn’t worth living. 

Heard it all before?  Me too.

So what makes this time different?  In truth nothing really except the fact that I know deep down that this is something that I a) really want and b) am sick to death of revisiting.    They say if you’re tired of starting over then stop giving up and I couldn’t agree more!

So why have I failed in the past?

  •          Unsustainable plan:  Too few calories
  •          Tiredness:  Vicious cycle of feeling sluggish
  •          Not facing/addressing reasons for comfort eating:  Mindlessness
  •          No accountability:  Why does it matter?  Avoiding situations like swimming
  •          Cravings/addiction:  Habit of comfort eating
  •          Unhealthy relationship with food:  Lack of nutritional knowledge
  •          Lack of time: Easier to get a ready meal/take-away
  •          Lack of planning/preparation:  Tied into lack of time/commitment to sit down and plan
  •          Giving into peer pressure/temptations:  Another birthday another cake
  •          Diet becoming all-encompassing and too much pressure:  An additional pressure rather than      way of life
  •          Going it alone:  No support/structure
  •          Over complicating:  Everything from scratch
  •      It's bloomin hardwork!

 So should I follow a {published} plan?

Before I started writing this post I dug out several books I’ve purchased over the years in an attempt to shift the pounds.  In order they appear in the photo above:

  •          Lean in 15:  This is a new book I’ve just bought by Joe Wicks.  I’m yet to read it properly and use the recipes and techniques he suggests but essentially Joe is all about the lifestyle change and banning the word diet by combining healthy quick to make recipes with high intensity interval training {HIIT} workouts.  Sounds ideal!  His 90 day tailored plan is a bit pricey for me but he has loads of workouts on his YouTube channel and quite frankly I could quite happily live off his chicken pie forever {bosh!}.  Definitely going to be incorporating this into my plan!
  •          The Diet Doctors:  I bought this book in 2008 and depressingly {according to my entries at the time} I weighed 9st 9lb.  And I thought I needed to lose weight?!  Anywho.  This book is based around a 12-week back to basics diet plan starting by making small changes to your diet then personalising your plan to cater for personal ailments such as hair loss, greasy skin etc and gradually adding in exercise, stretching and toning.  I really like the back to basics idea of this plan and I think it’s a really good place to start without going into crazy lady diet mode.  I also like the monthly rules.  Again something I’d like to incorporate.
  •          The Hunger Fix:  I bought this when I had an {oh my goodness I literally think I have a problem with food} moment.  I’m currently reading it so I haven’t yet got the total gist but basically talks about the theory behind and how to overcome food addition.  I’m hoping this book may help me deal with the underlying issues as to why I overeat.  Will update if it proves to be helpful!
  •         Detox Yourself:  I bought.  I read the first page.  It sat on my shelf for 5+ years.  Basically I wasn’t and still am not willing to be that extreme.  Juicing, detoxing, living off rice and beans {heeeey I’m a celeb fans!} just ain’t gonna fly with this mamma. 
  •          The Flat Tummy Diet:  I followed this diet plan back in 2011 to lose weight before we went on holiday and lost 8lbs in 3 weeks which was amazeballs but the only reason it worked for me was that I limited my calorie intake to 1,200 calories a day and religiously tracked everything I ate and every bit of exercise using the Myfitness Pal app {see my blog posts here and here).  It worked.  I felt good.  But it wasn’t sustainable for me.  But to be fair I probably skipped the chapter on maintenance!  Great for my lifestyle then but I remember feeling really weak and tired and now with two little people to run around after I just can’t put myself through that again.  Although I did enjoy the cake from Jane’s Pantry I treated myself to every Friday!
  •          Slimming World:  Ok so this isn’t technically a dieting book you can buy but this is the main book you receive when you sign up for SW.  I joined SW in November 2015 at the heaviest I’ve ever been (12st 2lb) and repeatedly lost weight to -16lbs by February 2016.  I then plateaued and it took me until April 2016 to lose another 1.5lb to reach my maximum weight loss on plan of -17.5lb (10 st 11lb).  This was still way off my target of 9st 7lb and from then on I fluctuated around the 11st mark until I finally stopped attending group in September 2016.  So what happened?  The biggest thing that helped me stick to the SW plan was being held accountable and staying to group each week.  This was fine when the boys were very young and would usually sleep through group but as soon as they started getting more active it became harder and harder to not only listen and get the most out of it for myself but they also started being quite disruptive to the rest of the group.  So I would go and weigh then leave straight away.  For me the accountability stopped as I no longer cared if I gained or lost and my heart and mind just wasn’t in it anymore.  5 months on I could no longer justify the cost of going to group when I knew I wasn’t sticking to plan.  And now the pounds are creeping back up.  I think SW is a fab plan and definitely something I’d go back to.  I’ve looked at going to a different group at a time when Mr H is at home to have the boys but we only get two evenings together a week at the moment and I’m not willing to give one of these up when we barely see each other as it is.   One day J

 Example of how my current week usually pans out {based on my SW week of Thursday-Weds}

  •          Thursday:  Weigh in.  +2lbs,  Have a fresh wave of motivation to be good this week - to sit down and plan our meals for the week, to try new recipes, to say no to cake and to lose the 2lbs I’ve put on.  
  •          Friday:  Friday treats!  Hot pork roll on my lunchbreak, cakes in the office, easy pizza dinner and chocolate for pudding.
  •          Saturday:  It’s the weekend so I can be a bit slacker on the healthy eating right?  Meet up with friends for a coffee {and cake}, treat the boys {and mummy} to a gingerbread man from Tesco.  Eat dinner of sausages, mashed potato and peas with the boys.  Hot chocolate and biscuits in front of the telly.
  •          Sunday:  Pop round to mum and dad’s – yummy lunch and pudding, tea and cake mid-afternoon before heading home.  Mr H arrives home ~6pm with a giant bar of chocolate and wine, too unorganised and tired to cook once boys are in bed so we order a take-away.   Was going to do a food plan and online food shop but watch Planet Earth 2 instead.
  •          Monday:  Work – didn’t make a packed lunch so grab my favourite spinach and ricotta pasty in town along with something sweet for pudding.  Starving by the time I get home so scoff some biscuits before dinner.  Eat a huge bowl of spag bol and garlic bread prepared by Mr H as a family.  Finish last night’s wine and chocolate.
  •          Tuesday:  Must do better today!  Prep a packed lunch which is eaten on the side of the road on way back from one of my work visits.  Hungry again once back in office so much on whatever biscuits/cakes are lying around.  Pick the boys up from nursery.  Shattered so eat bits of toast, biscuits, crisps, crackers all evening. 
  •          Wednesday:  Twins club – quick cup of coffee and a catch up with the twinnie mums before heading over to Sainsburys café to give the boys lunch and grab something quick and easy to eat for myself like a panini.  Quick top-up food shop and more treats for the boys {mummy} then home ready to transfer sleeping boys into their cots.  Cup of tea and a cake before tackling the housework.  Dinner of whatever the boys are having. 
  •          Thursday:  Weigh in.  +2lbs

 Enough said!

What am I going to do differently this time?

  •          Review what’s worked and not worked for me previously
  •          Try something new!
  •          Ask my nearest and dearest to support me and sign up to helping me stay on track
  •      Be honest and open about the fact I'm trying to lose weight/be healthier 
  •          Focus less on dieting and more on a healthier way of life
  •          Make small changes
  •          Weekly food shop with limited top-up shops 
  •          Flexible meal plan with ideas somewhere prominent in the kitchen
  •          Be more accountable:  Weekly updates on the blog, ask Mr H to weigh me every week
  •          Keeping an honest food and mood diary for at least the first 4 weeks 
  •          Be open to reviewing and changing my plan if somethings not working
  •      Eat regularly and take each day {hour} at a time

Time to {diet} {part 2:  The Plan} coming soon :)

 photo elliesig_zps47aabffe.jpg

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