For years and years I have battled with my weight. I have always been the biggest one out of my group of friends and my family. It's something I merely accepted on some level. I convinced myself I was happy and had a totally different picture of how I looked in my head. The reality was very different. I realize it is also very much about health and not a vanity parade. Feeling healthy and being good to my body was also a massive factor. Heck, my body grew and birthed a baby for God sake. I owed it something back in return. A little TLC at the very least.
I've dieted before. Tried them all. I had some success over the years but would always fall off the wagon after a couple of months and end up heavier than I was before. The reality is that I love food. I look at it as a joy in life. I love cookery shows, eating out and scrolling through Instagram to see what others are creating. I am a bit of a "foody" as they say. I'm highlighting this because I truly believe that there are some people who do not see food that way. There are people who instead feel that passion towards the gym, exercise or fashion for example. They see food as fuel. They enjoy clean eating and do not associate food as something emotive. I on the other hand do. I'm not saying that people cannot eat clean, go to the gym and really enjoy and love food. Not at all. But the world is a wonderfully diverse place and we are all different. That's my point.
In July 2015 I made a life change. I re-joined Slimming World and decided to give it a good bash. Funnily enough it wasn't a massive "moment" in my life. It was actually a bit of an inconvenience at the time if I am honest. Trying to find a class that suited myself and my sister was not as straight forward as I thought. I didn't have the money, didn't want to "give up" an evening where I could be relaxing for the brief time my son slept and I was just full of excuses after excuses. We decided to join the Slimming World class close to my house (we have since moved) and my sister was willing to make the trek. It was the only thing that worked at the time between our schedules and access to bus routes etc. I can honestly say we have never looked back. We still attend that group. It is brilliant!
From the beginning it has been a slow and steady process. I am genuinely happy if I lose a pound a week. Even half a pound. A loss is a loss and it is a "forever loss" now rather than a quick sprint to get to the finish line. I have found a balance where I can lose weight, eat gorgeous food and still have the treats that I want. This is the part where the title comes in. Pretty quickly in to our Slimming World journey we found that we had developed a bit of a ritual whereby we were being extremely "good" from Sunday- Thursday and allowing ourselves some wiggle room on Fridays and Saturdays. Essentially we were having less syns (a Slimming World terms for how you can have extra things outside of "free foods". They can be used for anything extra like sauces, crisps, sweets etc) five days a week and then having extra on a Friday and Saturday.
Disclaimer - This is not something that Slimming World advocate or recommend but it is what has worked for us. "Saving Syns" every day may not work for everyone.
When we looked at our food diaries we noticed that we were having about 5 syns a day between Sunday and Thursday (weigh in day) and then going all out on a Friday and Saturday. It was still resulting in a loss at the end of the week and it felt like a totally liveable plan. To this day it still does. Every single time I have started a weightloss plan I have given up eventually. I felt somewhat deprived in that on a bad day I felt sorry for myself for not being able to have what my friend or sibling was eating. Silly I know, but I didn't put on weight magically! Had we finally found something that meant we could have a life and then still lose weight? Yes we had. I am now down 30.5 pounds since the day we joined.
Holidays and Christmas came and went. I had a weight gain following a week's all-inclusive holiday as was expected. The difference this time was that I was able to get straight back on the plan when I got home. In previous years I would have thrown the towel in when I saw a gain on the scales. I had a "well I've ruined it now" attitude and that vicious cycle leads to being heavier than ever before. It never has a good result. This time round I knew that if I really wanted a treat it was never too far away. If I wanted a take-away, a certain treat or to eat out I would plan it for the following weekend. The difference again being that I could get straight back on plan after the weekend. And I always do. I wake up on Sunday mornings and look forward to jumping straight back on the wagon. Parties, events and take-aways are usually things that occur at the weekend for me. This has been a way of giving myself permission to enjoy those things. If it's the weekend and I want it, I have it. Some of my treats have included....
So what have I been eating? Here are some examples of my day to day foods! "On Plan" treats too.
There are some people who like to give out about Slimming World. One blogger recently claimed that it "wasn't sustainable" and that "nobody ever gets to their target weight". Well safe to say I look forward to continuing to prove them wrong. Yes clean eating and cutting out all processed food is healthier for your body. But you know what's not healthy? Starting and Stopping diets constantly. Yo-Yoing. Attempting, failing and repeating the same cycle over and over again. Yes I do eat some processed foods and allow myself treats but 90% of what I eat is really healthy nutritious food. I have never eaten healthier. So this is the best choice for me, my body and my health. It is sustainable for me and I am happy to commit to this for life. In fact, I look forward to it.
This is the same dress, three years apart. The photo on the right was me a couple of days ago.
I had no idea that weightloss would have such an affect on the appearance of my face.
I hope this has inspired some of you. I will keep you all informed and will be sharing my favourite Slimming World recipes, tips and tricks. Thinking of making a positive change yourself? DO IT TODAY. The right time is now, not tomorrow. I promise you that you will never ever look back. At the end of the day it's all about how you feel and for the first time in years I feel confident in myself.
Follow my daily journey on my Snapchat to see exactly what I eat each day - traceyquinn89
Thanks For Reading,