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How do you like your eggs in the morning... red, green or extra easy?
Member Name: NinkyNonk
Date: 06/12/09, updated on 06/12/09 (1941 review reads)
Advantages: Never hungry, lots of 'free food', great support
Disadvantages: Unlimited food could be a problem if you have difficulties with portion control
My Slimming World journey began almost 6 years ago after going to the Drs and being refused some medication because my weight was in the 'obese' range - not what you want to hear at the tender age of 20. Don't get me wrong, I knew I was a curvy girl but I thought I carried it well at 5ft 7 and was never bigger than a size 16. The Dr set me a challenge, if I could come back in 6 weeks minus 7lbs, she'd prescribe the medication (it was a contraceptive pill that helped with spotty skin - didn't have much going for me in hindsight!)
So the challenge was on! I was getting married the following year so some long term inspiration as well as a short term goal. It was this goal that made me succeed, I'm sure of it. I wanted a size 12 wedding dress and I told everyone, almost to reinforce my motivation.
I chose Slimming World simply because the class was close to where I live. I didn't know anything about how it worked so I went along to he first meeting with trepidation. I paid my registration fee and was given the bumf whilst the Slimming World Consultant talked me through Red & Green days. To summarise below:
Unlimited: any lean meat (with visible fat removed), fruit, vegetables (apart from peas and parsnips), eggs, very low fat dairy (Quark, Mullerlights, fat free fromage frais etc.)
Healthy Extras (2 x A & 2 X B)
A: Milk (qtys vary depending on whether skimmed, full fat etc.), portion of cheese (between 28g-42g depending on type)
B: Portion of cereal, pasta, potatoes, chickpeas, beans, bread etc.
Plus up to 15 syns which can be spent on anything, favourites of mine include:
Curly Wurly x 6 syns
Vodka x 2.5 syns
Glass of wine x 5.5 syns
Butter or marg to spread on toast x 2-3 syns
Green days are similar but it's the pasta, potatoes and beans that you can eat unlimited and the Healthy Extra B choices are a portion of mince, or chicken for example so you could still have a bolognese without using any syns!
For the first few weeks, the consultant advises you to write everything down on a food tracker and this really helps me. It's easy to forget little things that have passed your lips but logging it all, especially in the early stages really helps in making sure you keep within your syns.
I was very happy at my first weigh in to have lost 3.5lbs! It spurred me on and within 3 weeks I'd got my half stone sticker. I tended to do 80-90% green days as it fitted it with my lifestyle - being able to take pasta to work for example, plus I'm not a big meat eater in general. Although it was good to have a red day on a weekend for a 'fry up'. Low fat sausages are 1 syn each so a I'd have a couple of sausages, loads of lean bacon, a couple of eggs fried in Fry Light, mushrooms, tomatoes and a small portion of beans as my healthy extra B (or 2 slices toast from a 400g loaf as an alternative B choice, or both if I didn't want to save a B choice for the rest of the day!) Another point worth mentioning here is that Quorn sausages are free on both days so if you wanted to save your syns, swap the low fat sausages for the Quorn alternatives.
I went to group pretty much every Wednesday for the next year; there were a couple of exceptions - holidays of course. I think you get 4 holiday weeks which you don't have to pay for as long as you let the consultant know in advance. Also I had a couple of bad, bad weeks and I couldn't face the humiliation of getting on the scales so I skipped class. Terrible I know and I could have quite easily gone of the rails if it wasn't for the upcoming wedding. I wouldn't advise this, it would have been much better to go to group, face the music and discuss with the others where I went wrong and why but hey ho, you live and learn.
In terms of the group, in the 14 months I was losing weight, I think I stayed to class twice! The group I went to was large and therefore slightly impersonal. The consultant was pleasant enough, but at the age of 20, the last thing I wanted to do was sit around clapping for an hour and half!
I got to target a couple of months before my wedding and bought my wedding dress in the longed for size 12! In total I'd lost 3 stone 10 lbs and I kept it off (give or take 5lbs or so) for the next year until....
I got pregnant. Need I say more?
I think I saw being pregnant as a chance to eat what I wanted again. Having been following Slimming World for such a long time, I felt I deserved 9 months of 'eating for 2'... 'eating for 4' more like!
I put on almost 4.5 stone whilst pregnant, lost 2 stone after the birth and another stone or so in the months that came. I couldn't, however shift the last stone and a half and my son is 3 in January, so I think it's about time I did something about it.
As I touched on earlier, I had a fling with Weight Watchers (lost a bit but was hungry all the time) and the aptly named Pig 2 Twig (Basically Atkins with a bit extra veg) This worked in the short term - I think I lost about 10lbs in a month but the diet wasn't sustainable for me - too much double cream and oil, my skin was a mess and I was knackered all the time. Needless to say, the 10lbs returned as quickly as it had left once I stopped that way of eating.
So, that brings me to the here and now and I've decided it's back to Slimming World for me and this time I'll succeed. I've done it before and I know I can sustain it long term without going hungry or feeling deprived. I decided to try a different group this time and I'm glad I did as I'm now feeling the benefits of staying to class.
The group I go to now is much smaller, and I was made to feel really welcome at the first session and motivated to stay each week. The consultant told me about the new method Slimming World have designed called Extra Easy. It's basically a combination of the unlimited food on red and green, with the same amount of syns but only 1 a & b choice from the health extras. It seems too goo to be true, all that unlimited food! All they ask is that 1/3 of your plate is full of super free food (veg, salad etc.)
The first weigh in was a success and I lost 5.5lbs! Amazing! Next weigh in is Thursday 10th and I hope to achieve my half stone award which would be fantastic for 2 weeks. I'm so glad I started before Xmas rather than in the new year at current weight + half a stone!
I will definitely be staying to group every week now. After being weighed, I grab a free coffee and sit down until everyone is done, then the leader talks about everyone in turn and announces how much they have lost (if it's a gain, the actual amount is not discussed.) It's really interesting to hear what people are doing differently to you and how others are finding the plan. If people have put on, it's useful to know why and how they are going to rectify it. Everyone takes a piece of fruit for Slimmer of the Week (whoever has lost the most, but you can't be included if it's your first week.) There are various other raffles taking place and plans for a Christmas do! I wasl glad to see a few younger members at this group also so I don't feel so out of it. 3 or 4 of the members have lost about 4 stone and are at target but still coming to group which is inspirational! The consultant also gives out the password for the website which is another great tool I didn't use last time. You can track your own progress with a graph which projects when you will be at target give your current loss rate. The most useful feature for me is the on-line syns calculator - no guestimating this time around!
It makes me wonder how I succeeded last time without all this additional support; I've got no excuse but to do well this time. To ensure this, I've bought a 12 week countdown on my first session (you get 12 weeks for the price of 10) so I'll be there 'til March for sure as I'd hate to lose money! This in itself is very motivational. Prices go up in January so I've also saved a bit by purchasing the countdown now at the existing price.
So that's my Slimming World journey to date. Wish me luck for the next few months! I have a hen do in the South of France to look forward to in May and as it stands I would be the biggest there by a mile at my current weight, I'm determine that won't be the case. The wedding is the following month were I'll be seeing people I have seen since school or college, and I want to feel confident with myself and wear a fab dress. Also, we have our holiday to Turkey in June which is my ultimate target date. I will be back into a size 12 bikini by then (maybe less?! Dare I think that far ahead?!) As an aside, I'm 'only' a 14-16 now. I'm one of those people that has to lose loads before dropping a dress size, grrr!
Before I finish, I'd like to give you an idea of how the diet works in reality and the following is what I ate yesteryda and I came in under syns (just) at 14.5.
Breakfast (got up late) - handful of grapes and cup of tea with sweetner and skimmed milk
Lunch - 2 low fat sausages, 2 eggs fried in Fry Light, 1/2 tin of baked beans, mushrooms, loads of lean bacon
Snack - Mullerlight toffee yoghurt
Dinner (was still full from lunch) - 2 cheese oatcakes, dollop of houmous and loads of carrot, pepper and cucumber batons
Snack - Curly Wurly and vodka and slimline tonic whilst watching X Factor!
Breakfast - Porridge made with skimmed milk and sweetener
Snack - Apple, Banana
Lunch - Chicken curry made with carrots, peppers, onions, courgettes, chopped tomatoes, various spices and natural yoghurt with heaps of boiled rice.
Snack - 2 jaffa cakes
Dinner - Mushroom omellete with sweet potato chips (roasted in Fry Light) and salad dressed with balsamic. Small glass of sparkling wine.
I was so full on friday and only used 9.5 syns!
Anyway, well done if you got this far! What a lot of words! But to sum up, if you're looking for a diet that won't leave you hungry and dwelling on what you can't have, then give Slimming World a go!
Summary: Here's to a slimmer you!
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