See what I did with the title there? Because the post is about carbs, and Barbie Dolls are really skinny, so they probably don't eat carbs. It's all very witty around here this evening isn't it?
So anyway. This is about that time I gave up carbs. If you read this post you'll see that I faced the music recently and accepted that my eating habits had become awful. I'd been eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and was generally feeling crap as a result. I needed to do something to turn things around and feel good about myself. I wanted to try Slimming World but found it quite difficult to transition from full blown off-the-rails terrible eating habits to something like Slimming World. The best thing about Slimming World is that it's so workable. Treats are allowed and can be encorperated in to the plan, as can take-aways, and carbs. It's a great diet that really does work if you stick to it. For a long time I kind of pretended to stick to it, followed half the rules, and naturally didn't lose any weight. Sure who was I codding but myself?
That said, while I knew I wanted to revert back to my good slimming world days (where I actually did follow it properly and lost two stone, a few years ago) I knew I needed a bit of help getting in to the right frame of my mind. I wanted to do some sort of a detox, eat loads of fruit and veg, drink tonnes of water and get my ass in gear basically. I randomly decided that giving up carbs was the way to go. It would be the "shock to the system" that I needed and the lack of carbs would mean that the fruit and vegetable consumption would sky-rocket by default.
Initially I set myself the goal to give up carbs for a week. No bread, pasta, rice, grains etc. Then I decided to try for a second week but didn't quite make it to the end. All in all I stuck to it for 9 days. Not that I "broke" it, because I didn't make a mistake or go on a bender (the kind with lots of pasta and bread). It was actually quite a mature adult decision (if I do say so myself). I got to day 9 and could feel myself getting bored, fed-up and generally lacking the enthusiasm that I had buckets of the week before. I decided that this was the right time to end that phase of my diet. It gave me the boost I needed, I got a decent weight loss result, and I actually really did feel detoxed, "cleaner", and healthier. It shook things up and put me back in to the right frame of mind. My body was craving and enjoying healthy foods again.
So that brings me to this point. I'm ready to get back to Slimming World. Everywhere I go lately I'm meeting people who have lost a lot of weight on the plan. It's a great plan if you follow it correctly. Things like bread, pasta, rice etc are "free" foods but only if they are included in your diet in the right ways (as a general rule, 1/3 of your plate should always be fruit or vegetables). It's a healthy diet that is recommended medically by doctors, and it is a plan that is suitable and safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
So I'm digging out the books, familiarising myself with some go-to recipes and following Instagram accounts like this one to provide inspiration for food ideas and general advice (not to mention amazing before and after photos. This girl is amazing, and now expecting her first baby boy, as a happy and healthy mama-to-be. Beautiful stuff!). It's all about planning and not codding yourself. I was always a divil for that. Piece of chocolate here, handful of crisps there, none of it accounted for. Well not this time. I plan to stick to this diet for a long time, just make it normal like I did before. It's a realistic plan for me because there is room for treats, eating out and take-aways IF you plan for them properly and make the right choices.
In light of this, I'm being proactive with the leftover Easter chocolate. I did my maths and researched the syn values of chocolate. I used to love sitting down to a cup of tea and a Freddo bar in the evenings when I followed the plan several years ago. So I grabbed my kitchen scales, smashed up the easter eggs and bunnies that were chilling out in the fridge, and separated the chocolate in to little 5 syn portions. Each portion is in it's own freezer bag and has been stashed away in the freezer. If I fancy some chocolate I can allow for it, use 5 of my daily syns, and enjoy the chocolate guilt-free knowing that I'm not fooling myself or anyone. This already feels liberating.
And finally, without a shadow of a doubt it's ALL about tracking for me. I shall be planning and recounting everything in this little book. Even the bad days (because I know there will be off days). I love an excuse to spend time with a bit of stationary anyway.
So that's it folks - 9 days of no-carbs and I got a five pound weightloss. Funnily enough the 5 pounds were gone by day 5 and I lost nothing from day 5-9. But I'm happy, got the boost I needed, and feel refreshed and ready to follow Slimming World. I'll keep you all posted. I'll mostly be posting pictures on my Instagram so feel free to follow me there. This isn't about to become a diet blog (been there, done that), but I do want to mention it from time to time because it's an important decision for me, both personally, and for my son. I want to set a good example for him, and your health is your wealth and all that.
I'll leave you with this, a look at my carb-free experiment. Here's what I ate, cooked, and enjoyed.
Home-made salads for friends who were calling over for lunch.
Tasty mid-week dinner - fish, sauteed veg and some mushy peas. It hit the spot.
Spicy apple-sausage cassarole. So tasty. A firm favourite in our house. Billy loves it too!
More friend lunching. This time I made Slimming World Onion Bhajis (and didn't touch the rice).
Another mid-weeker. Fish (Basa from Aldi, cheap and cheerful and quite delicious) with a warm salad.
Roast chicken salad with warm vegetables, cheddar, and balsamic dressing.
Lunch at a relatives. A big salad spread so I was spoiled for choice.
The night before I waved goodbye to the carb-free phase. Omelette and beans. Tasty!