I joined Slimming World at the beginning of the year in an effort to get rid of some blubber I have managed to accumulate over the last year. I like to call it “chemo fat”. My medical team told me that chemotherapy, and other medication they would be doping me up with, would affect my weight. I struggled to understand why this would be the case. Surely what you put in your mouth is what affects your weight. Apparently the medication makes you hungrier and you end up eating more. In my case I just ate what I wanted for energy rather than considering a healthy balanced diet. I had other things to be concerned about.
When the Christmas and New Year celebrations were over I decided it was time to act and that’s where Slimming World came in. I have to be honest, I wasn’t 100% convinced it was going to do the trick but thought I would give it a whirl anyway. I had been a Slimming World member before but did it a bit half arsed. This time around I was going to make the most of it. If I learned anything during my treatment it was to make the most of opportunities.
Along I went to my local meeting in the first week of the new year, ready to embrace the challenge ahead of me. I had no idea how much I weighed so when I stepped on the scales I was rather shocked, the heaviest I have ever been. I wasn’t too down about it, after all, I had just survived cancer treatment. A smile creeped on my lips as I imagined that Peter Kaye joke in my head (watch the video here). The group leader was very motivational and the members were great fun and everyone took part. That first evening I realised that this group could really help me if I let it.
After class I spent a lot of time reading the material provided and researching online. There was also a group Facebook page for local members which provided lots of inspiration for recipes. This proved to be a great way to obtain moral support during the week. My first week as a member was about understanding the plan and getting my head around the speed food and free food.
It’s been great rediscovering food. The recipes are delicious and there are lost of ideas to ensure you are eating a healthy balanced diet. A lot of it is about substituting ingredients, for example using 1 calorie cooking spray instead of oil or fat free natural yogurt instead of mayonnaise.
Slimming World tag their plan “Food Optimising”. You have free food, healthy extras and syns. Free foods are fruit and vegetables, meat (fat removed), fish, eggs, fat free/low fat cottage cheese, quern, pasta and potatoes. Each day you have two measured Healthy Extras like cheese, milk, bread and cereals. To ensure you don’t feel deprived, there are also syns. These are foods that we eat for pleasure or comfort and includes alcohol. You are allowed between 5 and 15 syns per day and Slimming World provides the syn value for almost everything. Speed free foods are certain fruits and vegetables that are very low in energy density helping with that weight loss. Its good to have at least a third of your plate filled with speed free foods.
In my first week I lost half a pound. Now I know what you are thinking and I thought it many times too……half a pound, I could poo half a pound (or more)!! I was very disappointed but I reached out to the group to help me. I posted on the Facebook page how disappointed I was and received many replies offering support and tips. The following week I lost 2 1/2 pounds. My weight loss has been slow over the weeks but I have only had one week where I have put on. I didn’t even put on over my birthday week which is amazing considering the number of syns I had. I lost count myself.
Since I started I have lost 12 1/2 pounds which I am really pleased with. I am aiming for my 1 stone award this week, I need a shiny sticker for my book. My target weight is still some way off but I am making progress and I know I will get there. Slimming World has given me some control back and some confidence. Turning up to class on my own on that first night took me out of my comfort zone but thanks to the group I now look forward to stepping on those scales!!
If you are interested in joining Slimming World please click here to find your local group.