So, about four and a half months ago, I gave birth to Daisy. And why I appreciate it takes nine months to make a baby, and I should give myself some credit and time to get back in shape, I also have to be honest with myself and you and say that I am slowly gaining weight because I’m not looking after myself.
Having a baby in special care, directly after giving birth, is one of the hardest experiences I think you can go through. At least from my perspective. My body was sore. I was exhausted. I was disorientated. And my heart was breaking.
But she is home now, and I am four months postpartum (you can see my postpartum update here if you like). I need to start looking after myself so I can keep looking after her, and her big brother, as best as I can, with a smile on my face.
My Auntie Debbie, and my Grandma both joined Slimming World a few weeks back. And I made excuses. Blaming the cost. Or the fact that Daisy was poorly at the time. And they were valid excuses, I suppose. But I was so curious. And I was getting increasingly less confident and more miserable with my body and the way I was feeling. So, I told myself that we’d get our holiday to Centre Parcs out of the way, and then I would join.
And I did. And I have decided to share my journey every week, as I think it will give me an extra push to keep going, and it’s also going to be a big part of my life for the time being too.
So this week I thought I would tell you what the first session was like for me, and what my first impressions are, should you be sat on the fence just like I was a couple of weeks ago.
That first session
The first session was so nerve-wracking. Even though I went with my family I was jittery. But I needn’t of worried at all. It was so welcoming and I almost felt like someone should make a film about it. It was a bit like a Calendar Girls meet Bridget Jones in a way. Did make me chuckle. Lots of older ladies with lots to say and I loved it.
I was welcomed on to a table initially to have an explanation of the diet, and receive my pack, which you can see above. I found this bit so helpful as I needed to get my head around the ‘rules’ of syns, free and speed foods. And it made so much more sense when the team leader went through everything. There was also the option of a tea or coffee for anyone that fancied one and I was all over that like a bad rash as Daisy was up the night before.
In the pack, you get four booklets – one is a general overview with a big list of syns, another includes recipes, another is about fitness, and another is about inspiration and the power of the group. I love my pack and I carry it about everywhere with me already. Whether round the house, or in my changing bag when I’m out. With the membership, and the pack, I also have access to the Slimming World app, which I love, as I can check syns when I’m on the go and I just find it really useful.
Sign-up for me that day was £5, and my fee for that session was £4.95. I think I will probably buy in bulk in the future, as it works out a bit cheaper. Plus – no one wants to pay money for someone else to tell them they have put on weight that week, so I’ve got even more of an incentive to lose some pounds.
After my introduction, I joined the rest of the group for some chat about foods and ideas, along with a raffle. The raffle happens every week and is a nice thing to look forward to as you could win a few goodies. There’s also a chance to buy some Hi-Fi bars or any of the recipe books if you’d like to as well. And we also cheered on the Slimmer of the Week. I’d love that to be me one day, won’t lie. Will have to get my Gwynnie speech ready. I’m joking – don’t worry. Kind of.
Normally, you would do some IMAGE (Individual Motivation And Group Experience) Therapy. But our team leader was actually unable to make it, so the lady holding the session (the team lead for our whole area), decided to have a relaxed chat and we shared meal ideas and got lots of advice.
Then I was weighed.
And that was hard. I was nervous and didn’t really feel comfortable with anyone knowing my weight. And I will share it one day on here, when I see progress happening and my confidence is up, but let’s just say that I weigh a lot. And more so than you’d think. I saw the numbers on the scales and swallowed. And I looked across to the lady who was filling my details and she didn’t bat an eyelid. She smiled at me warmly and asked me what I’d like my target to be. And I said “three stone”.
She asked if I was sure, because it was a lot, but said I could always revisit it too. But I nodded and said that I felt like I should at least try.
Now, even with a three stone loss, if I was to be a healthy BMI, I’d need to lose another stone on top of that. But then I’m not sure how I feel about BMI sometimes – I’ve always weighed more than I should, and it doesn’t factor in a lot of things like fitness, or the size of your boobs, or your body shape. And I’ve been a size 12 before and still been ‘overweight’.
For me, my goal would be to go from a tight size 14, (my jeans are cutting me in half at the moment) to a size 12. I daren’t hope for more than that yet.
How I’ve found it so far
I’ve found it far easier than I expected to. I really have. Of course I have had to cut back on things, but I have found it so insightful because I’ve realised that of course I wasn’t losing weight. I was eating way too much of the wrong stuff and not enough of the right stuff. I was eating chocolate and cake as treats. Having way too many iced coffees that are laden with milk and sugar. Tanking the wine at the weekends. And I wasn’t even thinking about it.
The whole concept of Slimming World makes sense. And I’m loving that it is pushing me to try new foods and rethink the way I am eating and cooking again.
I’ve had syn-free fry-ups for breakfast. I cut the fat off the bacon, and have a poached egg (you could have fried if you fancied it, just use Fry Light), beans and then a pile of ‘Speed Foods’ which are mushrooms, spring onions and tomatoes (there’s loads more too). I was stuffed. Beats a bowl of sugary cereal any day.
My snacks mainly tend to be fruit and yoghurt as I love them at the moment. That may change, but I’ve loved half a pot of a Muller Light yoghurt with some berries and some passion fruit. Passion fruit makes it zingy and different and feels like a real treat to me.
I’ve saved my healthy extras for things like sandwiches – two slices of Nimble bread count as your HexB. And that means I get a nice free lunch too. I love that I can fill up on proteins like ham and chicken and eat my fill. I just have to remember to make sure a third of my plate is full of speed food at all times.
Even when I snack. As the more speed food I eat, the less I will fill up on things that aren’t as good for me.
Meals have included a butternut squash risotto, which was syn free, and a roast chicken salad, as well as Diet Coke Chicken (below) which was bloody amazing. All sweet and sticky and BBQ-y and very, very worth making. I had mine with some broccoli and some syn free chips. Yes. CHIPS.
I have found I need a bit of extra willpower not to grab biscuits or chocolate or cake when I want a snack, but I’ve managed the last four days on 0.5 syns. And that’s it. I’m not forgoing them completely. I’d like to try saving my syns up for the weekend so I can have a glass of wine or two and not feel worried. But if I do find I don’t lose much, I will use about 5-10 syns a day. The maximum you can use is 15.
I’ll be sharing my pros and cons, my weight loss journey, my favourite recipes, food buys, and snack ideas as I go. And I hope you’ll enjoy following my journey.
Think of it this way – on Sunday, it will be 15 weeks until Christmas. And even if I only lost a pound a week, that would be a stone. If I lost anymore than that I could even hit my target. But I’ll just be happy to lose whatever I can.
I’m sharing my food diary over on a new Instagram account @CharlTaylorSW, and I hope you’ll come and say hello. You can also find me at @CharlTaylor too, if you fancy more of a nosey at my day-to-day as well.
Wish me luck!