A week lighter…

Well hello there.

I’ll just cut straight to the chase and tell you I lost 7lbs this week. Finally a result!! After all that working my arse off for nothing, I can now feel some sort of benefit and motivation.

It’s not been easy. For anyone who tells you that this is a cheat’s way or easy way out let me tell you they could not be more wrong!! On paper it should be a breeze, no doubt, but in reality it’s hard work.

Why is this, you ask? You should be having 3 sachets and a restricted meal a day, no exercise in the first two weeks so what’s the problem? The problem is your body adapting to fewer calories and carbs and going into ketosis (the term used to describe your body burning your own fat stores for energy as it’s getting nowt else to burn (i.e. glucose or carbs).

They say that day three and four of the plan are the hardest but that once you go into ketosis you should feel great. What they don’t tell you is that even after you are in ketosis you can have some serious off days. Symptoms include an upset stomach (the big D), light-headedness/dizziness and seriously rank breath due to your body releasing toxins and ketones as a byproduct of burning it’s own fat. This is one sexy diet.

These are all the symptoms I’ve had so far. The upset stomach was self-inflicted as one day I didn’t leave too much time in between having my shakes. The shakes are incredibly concentrated with vitamins and minerals so if you don’t drink enough water or space them out, you could suffer with nausea and the runs…lovely.

Once I had spaced out the shakes, I was still suffering. I then concluded that it was down to the fact that I had been having chickpeas for all but one day of the diet so far. Two reasons for that – I’ve always liked chickpeas and I love that something that feels so carby is allowed on this diet. Secondly, you can only have 225g (tinned) chickpeas (and 80g of dried chickpeas) so once I’ve opened a tin, I always have some left over which I need to use the next day. Well let me tell you I am no longer in love with chickpeas and I will not be going near them for a long, long time!

The bloating, indigestion, nausea and general ‘out of it’ feeling it gave me was really something else and I really considered coming off the diet even after my initial 7lb loss. I’m glad I stuck to it and tried something else in terms of meal. Yesterday I had a Quorn and green pepper dry curry which was much more easygoing on my stomach and I had no after effects! The only thing I will say about that is that I found it impossible to have the recommended portion of the meal in one sitting so I split it into two. Even towards the end of the second sitting, I found the meal very hard to finish off.

Let me be honest and not blame my whole feeling of crapness on this diet though. Unfortunately the timing of the diet appears to have coincided with my the worsening of my Bruxism (subconscious tooth-grinding/clenching in one’s sleep) symptoms so that’s part of the reason for the headaches and it’s made my vision go a little shaky at times but I am in the process of getting a mouthguard for that.

The light-headedness is somewhat of a pain and that is definitely down to the diet. I’ve been informed that it’s either my blood pressure being low due to the lack of carbs or having low blood sugar. I just need to make sure I take it super easy and not stand, turn or move too quickly, keep well hydrated (am well on the 4l fluids a day) and I need to ensure I space my shakes out evenly.

I invested in some very expensive matcha tea from Teapigs and wish I hadn’t now. Day 2 of having a shot of the stuff and I never want to see it again, it’s health benefits are amazing but it tastes and smells rank!

Another awful side-effect of the diet (I’m simply too lazy to refer to it as a weight plan) is bad breath. The worst thing is usually you are aware when you need to chew some gum etc but on this one I actually had to be told by my dad that my breath smells like a sewer (I can’t believe I’m admitting this) and I had no idea whatsoever. Again this is due to the lack of carbs and your body is not only getting rid of toxins and ketones through your urine but also through your mouth, hence the monkey breath. My consultant advises against sugar-free gum as she said it can trick you into feeling hungry so I’ve been using peppermint mouth spray and lots of Listerine! They also say to brush more than twice a day if you can but I haven’t had the time as yet. I’m considering buying a travel pack of Listerine to take out with me or that CB12 mouthwash that has recently been advertised. It’s absolutely mortifying and especially the fact that I don’t even know when I have it so constantly have to keep spraying! At least gum would have been more subtle!

The prices we pay for wanting to be healthy eh…?

I know I promised a review of the Fitbit today but I just haven’t had the time. Will try and get that done in the next couple of weeks.

Until then folks, have a good one :-)

The Cambridge Eating Plan…Revisited

Hello guys and girls,

I need to ask a favour of you…right…erm…(this is where a Men In Black style memory eraser would come in handy!)…I need you to forget my last few posts about eating healthily and exercising and my determination to stick to it because I gave up.

Hold up….I didn’t fall off the wagon this time (I know that’s what you were thinking ;-)), I just realised that the weight I was losing (or lack of) did not justify the time and effort I spent putting into it and that it would be better as a weight mainetance plan (with a couple of hundred more calories of course) than a weight loss plan. Anyway, I panicked. I had spent the best part of the month trying to adjust to a healthy lifestyle and apart from my glowing skin (which I think was actually down to taking a daily vitamin tablet), I was not seeing any benefits.

So what should I do? I know what the ‘easiest’ way to lose weight is and I know what has worked in the past but do I revisit it when I have failed so badly at it before? And what about all the things I didn’t like about it? Of course I am talking about the Cambridge Weight Plan – you may remember me discussing it in my list of failed diets.

As soon as the thought entered my mind I could not help but Google it and start reading success stories. About half an hour (and some before and after photos later) I was convinced that this was the only way I could lose a reasonable amount of weight. Aren’t I an easy sell?

The next morning I contacted some local Cambridge Weight Plan consultants and within half an hour I had made an appointment to see someone for the same day.

My new consultant is absolutely lovely. There was nothing wrong with the one I had when I first attempted the diet but the one I have now is a lot more approachable and treats you more like a friend which is always going to be a positive thing. She went through the plan with me and I filled out the paperwork.

A couple of things have changed since I first went on it – firstly the packaging has been revamped. As for the other things I’m not actually sure if they have changed or that I just didn’t remember them from the first time around! There are a few more products and I don’t remember there being so many steps to the plan which is actually a huge positive and I really like the way that they try and re-educate you about food so that you don’t go back to your old eating habits.

The first step is called ‘Sole Source’ and consists of having 3 sachets a day (this is what I did the first time around). However, as my BMI is over 40, my consultant recommended I start off on Step 2 (also known as ’810′ – reflective of your daily intake of calories). This involves having the three sachets but also a 230 calorie meal and you have a milk allowance (which you can also fully or part subsitute for low fat yoghurt if milk isn’t your thing or if, like me, you want to use yoghurt in your cooking). For the 230 calorie meal, you are given a list of proteins you can choose from and also a list of certain vegetables. You can mix and match as long as you don’t go over the weight it gives you – as some foods are different weights – you may need to either use half the amount of 2 or start calculating percentages!). So far I have made a Quorn, basil and mushroom stirfry (never again), chickpea and kale soup (not bad), chick pea and kale patties with a raita (not bad), chick pea, mushroom and spring onion broth (best out of the lot) and as it’s pancake day today, I have attempted to make a savoury pancake from chickpeas and 1 egg with some coriander, mint and other seasonings to also serve with a cucumber raita later. At the moment it looks more like scrambled egg but it’s all about the taste…right?! And if you’re thinking I must look and feel like a walking chickpea right now, you are correct!

You need to drink bucket loads of water on the Cambridge Weight Plan, no matter what step you are on. I thought I was really good in drinking 2 litres a day but my consultant told me that I should be drinking 4 litres on this plan….how do I have time for that?! Well I’ve just had to make time, one encouraging reason is that apparently the more water you drink…the more you shrink! Also the sachets and other products are so concentrated in minerals that you most likely aren’t used to having that the sudden influx could cause side effects such as nausea and diarrhoea so it’s best that you have a glass of water before you consume the shake and loads afterwards so that the minerals are diluted and easier on your system.

I’m not going to bore you with my first and second day too much – mainly because they felt like the longest days of my life! Neither am I going to sugar-coat the info you need to know – days 1 to 3 are HARD! You are hungry, you don’t have energy, I kept feeling dizzy (another dieter told me it was likely that I had gone into ketosis already which is notorious for lowering bloody pressure – hence the dizziness) and I just felt impatient more than anything.

What I will say to you is that it’s not the end of the world and if you can get through those three hard days, you will really reap the rewards. Some people find day 4 tough too but I felt a lot better by then and had more energy and less dizziness. My body is also getting used to the reduced calorie intake and I barely notice any hunger pangs even if I do get them (I am on day 6 at the moment) and I feel so much more lighter and energetic, I just cannot weight until my weigh in tomorrow to see what the results are!

One thing I do find hard is planning for going out and about and it is really beneficial if you can plan your meals and shakes ahead. It’s not just a case of mixing your shake and taking it out with you as you have to consume each shake within 15 mins of mixing it otherwise it loses the nutrients. Luckily I have a shaker left over from my Celebrity Slim days which I can use but I think the Cambridge guys sell their own too.

I also try and make my meals the night before and pack them into an insulated Bento Box in the morning. I’ve also saved a couple of family-sized Innocent juice bottles which hold 1.35 litres and fill one up with water and a 1 litre flask up with tea.

I have also invested in an amazing little gadget called a Fitbit, I absolutely love it! It tracks your activity (calories burned, steps walked, number of flights of stairs climbed) and also tracks your sleep…this was a huge shock for me as I found that despite being in bed for 9 hours, I’m never actually asleep for more than 5 so I’ve been sleep-deprived all this time without realising it!!

You can also sync it up to your computer, download the corresponding app on your phone and log your water and calorie intake and it provides you with some pretty funky little graphs. I am living by this thing at the moment!

I will put up some pictures of all the little things that I’m finding really useful at the moment when I let you know my weigh in results tomorrow – keep your fingers crossed for me!

 

Ciao x

A Somewhat Sheepish Return…

 

 
Well hello there. Whilst I am sure this blog has a grand total of zero readers, I am going to indulge myself in assuming that somebody out there does click on this link…whether it is by accident or out of pure curiosity.
 
I have an unsurprising confession to make: I abandoned ship. With the lack of seeing any significant results despite working my arse off for longer than I have ever done before, I just lost all motivation. Logically, it’s crazy – I have a wedding coming up in less than 6 months…surely that should be motivation enough? Of course my subconscious kept on telling me this but my self-pitying conscious just pushed it aside and focused on how to make me happier….this was of course by only being semi-careful about what I was eating and a complete break from exercise.
 
This lasted for about 2 weeks and don’t ask me why but the motivation all of a sudden came back on 1st February.
So here’s what I’ve been doing to make sure I don’t fall off the wagon again:
 
1. Add skimmed milk to my porridge as well as maple syrup so I actually enjoy eating it. I’ve also purchased porridge oats with wheat bran from Waitrose as it adds a little more fibre to my diet and should help me keep fuller for a bit longer.
 
2. Ditch the planned times for my smoothie and/or vegetable concoction. If I have any smoothie in the house I will have it before my porridge. As for the vegetable juice, I found a consumable recipe from Men’s Health of all places! It consists of blood oranges, spinach, kale, purple-sprouting broccoli and raspberries. I just tweak is according to what’s available in the shops – I couldn’t find any blood oranges so I use 150ml orange juice and when I can’t find the broccoli I replace it with blackberries. That way I still have orange, red, purple and green in my smoothie…and they do say a colourful diet is beneficial to your health!
Personally I think as long as you have the orange and raspberry, you can add any veg of your choice as the citrus and tanginess of the fruits will mask the majority of the leafy/gardeny taste of the veg.
 
3. Reduce planned exercise times AND reduce the intensity. This ,at sound absurd and it’s not something I want to do permanently but I was getting so stressed out trying to fit exercise into my daily routine that it just became too much.
When I was at Uni, I lost a few pounds simply because I had to walk everywhere and I can’t say my eating (or drinking) habits were at all healthy! By that logic I thought it would be best to have a long walk on the treadmill whenever I can – not at an extremely brisk pace but at a manageable pace that also gets me lightly sweating. I thought 2 miles a session would be best and walk slow enough for this to take about an hour! As I am not walking so fast I cannot do anything else, I place the iPad on the control panel shelf of the treadmill and either read a book or check Twitter – this makes the time pass too.
I’m even considering turning into one of this walking desks and do a bit of work while I’m walking…this would have to be at snail’s pace though!!
I decided I’m not going to pressure myself to work out on specific days and to do a specific amount. If I have time to exercise then I will, if I don’t, I won’t! Simple as that. 
As I said, this is not something I would do on a permanent basis and would look to incorporate 150 mins cardio into my lifestyle but at the moment I have work, studying and a wedding to plan so until that’s over with, it’s just not feasible. 
 
I stopped taking the XLS pills when I fell off the bandwagon but am back on them again so will write up a review in a month or so.
 
Interestingly, my weight yesterday was pretty much the same as when I started. As I said I was religiously good for two weeks but caved in for the next week and a half despite not going fully back to my old habits. I’ve always felt that 2000 calories a day is way too much for me to maintain my weight and even if I ate this much now, I would put on. When I reach my goal I’m definitely going to try and consume around 1,800 calories and see how that works out.
 
I’ve told myself that I’m not going to weigh myself until 14th February so am going to try and be really strict with that this time! I’ve also conjured up a very crude pound-loss chart which I shall be using to keep a visual track of how much I’ve lost for motivation – if I’ve lost anything by then I’ll post a copy of it on here!
 
Right, that’s me done until Valentine’s Day, enjoy your week!

End of Week 1…

 

 

Friday is finally here…..and yet the weather has decided to make it impossible for anything productive to be done at the weekend. I hope you’re all keeping safe and staying in the warmth. I’m not budging from this house for as long as necessary!  Following on from my panic-fuelled post on Monday, I have managed to successfully up my calorie intake to 1200 calories a day and increase my exercise. I also started taking the XLS tablets last night so here’s hoping they have a significant impact as I’m still pulling my hair out over here! In a week and a half I have lost just under a kilo (around 2lbs), I say a week and a half but in the first week I didn’t lose anything. After of this hard work I could not have felt more demoralised, especially seeing as you tend to lose more weight in the first couple of weeks.   As stated in my previous post I think the lack of weight-loss was due to my body going into starvation mode after being on 800 calories a day. I also did a bit of research on the Internet and found that consuming under 1000 calories without speaking to your GP first is very dangerous and can have a negative effect on your brain and cognitive functions too so I couldn’t wait to increase my calories!

 

Here is an example of my daily food plan:

Breakfast: Porridge cooked with water (180 calories) followed by 1 XLS tablet.

Mid-morning: Innocent super smoothie (171 calories)  Lunch: Warburton’s sandwich thins (100 cals) with Quorn filling. I give myself 300 calories allowance for lunch, followed by 2 XLS tablets.

Mid-afternoon: Vegetable juice (bleurgh!) 69 calories.

Dinner: I allow myself 500 calories for dinner so either a ready meal (with reasonable salt content and no additives etc) or I will cook. Whilst I can’t cut carbs out completely, I will ensure it’s not carb-heavy for the majority of the week. This is followed by 3 XLS tablets.

The XLS guidelines states that you should take 1-3 tablets after a meal hence the reason I take 3 after dinner as it is likely to contain the highest amount of fat compared to breakfast and lunch.

I try and have 8-10 glasses of water throughout

the day. This mostly consists of tea and one cup of coffee in the morning, and bottled of water when I exercise.  I read on the NHS website that you should be doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week and on top of that, do two sessions of muscle building activity a week (e.g. Weight-lifting or yoga). This is just to stay healthy! To lose weight you need to do even more! So now my weekly exercise plan is as follows:  Monday: 30 mins on X-trainer followed by 30 mins moderate to brisk walk on treadmill. Tuesday: Rest Wednesday: 30 mins on X-trainer followed by 30 mins moderate to brisk walk on treadmill. Thursday: Rest Friday: 30 mins on X-trainer followed by 30 mins moderate to brisk walk on treadmill. Saturday: 30 mins on X-trainer followed by 30 mins yoga. Sunday: 30 mins on X-trainer followed by 30 mins yoga.  For me this is pretty gruelling and I’m a little concerned that I’ll build muscle before I start burning fat so we shall have to weight and see!  I’m checking in now at 16 stones and 10lbs so we shall see if that changes in a week’s time!  Have a great weekend folks x

 

Emergency Post!! Help!!

Happy (or not so) Monday fellow fat-fighters!

 

This has turned into an emergency post. I had hoped to be writing to you towards the end of the week, marking the beginning of my second week of low calorie intake combined with healthier living. I’ve failed.
Noooo I haven’t succumbed to the powers of delicious carbs or baked goods (which is what my partner thought), I weighed myself after promising that I would not until the end of the month. Why did I do this? I was feeling relatively good (physically, not so much mentally!) and thought I’d just take a peek to see how I was doing. BIG mistake! To my horror, I had lost absolutely NOTHING. Zero, zilch, nada, nil.
Let’s rewind back a bit to last night. I was messing around on the Internet, as one does in the silly hours of the morning, and came across an eating plan named LighterLife after seeing some success stories on forums.
The first thing that amazed me was the amount of weight people were losing on a weekly basis on this plan, on average it was about 4lbs (and significantly more in the first week). Once I had overcome my initial shock and delight, I realised that it shared a few similarities with the Cambridge Diet in that it consisted of meal replacements which ensured your daily calorie intake was very low. After having been on the Cambridge Diet, this put me off a little and I wondered was it worth paying money to go on something very similar.
Then I considered the facts. I am in a very different place of my life as I was then, I am older and wiser (some would debate this) and I am much more serious about losing the weight this time around so I would be more likely to stick to it. Plus there weren’t many complaints about the actual shakes and soups so they couldn’t be that bad, surely?
What really won me over was the fact that the weight could be lost so quickly and in a convenient way. I know I have mentioned this before in my evaluation of the Cambridge Diet but when you have just spent the past week weighing and calculating the calories for everything you put in your mouth, your whole life just revolves around food and exercise and I am sick of it already. I am meeting some friends tomorrow evening, they are going out for a meal and I will be joining them for a drink. A nice, simple social outing you say? For me it’s been nothing but something to worry about. Is the meeting time going to fit in with my meals? What if I get hungry and give in while I’m there? What can I eat beforehand to ensure I don’t get tempted? What if I can’t stay that long in case I get hungry and have to go back home to eat?
My job is also on the road so I have the same worry when arranging meetings and thinking about what I can make that will be transportable, filling and easy to eat.
What a nice feeling it would be to have this taken away by knowing that all you have to do is to take your 3/4 sachets out with you along with a couple of bottles of water? This was a huge point scored for LighterLife.
The downsides: Money. It costs around £70 a week to go on this plan and the £15 to attend a weekly Group Counselling Session is included in this. No thanks.
Side-effects: Temporary ‘hair-shedding’ was my main worry aside from the usual side-effects of Ketosis. It does grow back after you come off the plan but very slowly, and with a wedding coming up, I didn’t want to take that risk.
Maintenance: Quick weight-loss resulting in you putting it all back on again afterwards.
Despite these negatives, I found a way to convince myself that I was still interested. I looked on the NHS website which reviews many popular diets and read that you should never be on one of these plans for more than 12 weeks. My thought process: I could be on it for 2 months, still lose weight quickly but not be on it for long enough to experience hair-loss.
I also thought that if I ended it in March, that would give me enough time to go back on the plan I am on now and have leeway for any potential plateauing or gaining weight.
I still haven’t got over the money aspect, but I managed to shunt that thought to the back of my head quite quickly.
Within minutes I had registered for a free consultation.
Fast-forward to this morning. Scales still read 16st 12lbs and I could not feel more disheartened. I was very, very close to falling off the wagon and just going for a bowl of cereal without having to worry about my smoothie or calories or grams. Somehow I managed to fight it, I have no idea how but there was some sort of subconscious intervention going on there. All day I fantasised about how I would look in 3 months’ time (yes, I added an extra month during this period) after being on LighterLife.
I spoke to my mum who was quite encouraging as she knew I had lost a little on the Cambridge Diet. I then rang my partner…..
He managed to reserve his opinion until I mentioned the cost and then he just said, “no, nobody should have to pay £70 to lose weight” amongst other concerns about it not being healthy and the ‘cheat’s option’. Whilst I disagree with the latter, I could not help but agree about the money, it’s simply too much and will stop even someone as desperate as myself to join this plan.
I then poured out all of my frustrations about the last few days to him (as mentioned above) and he made a couple of good points, such as spending just one evening sorting out my meal plans and time for the week. I could separate certain items based on their weight and calories, put them in a zip-loc back and just grab them when I need them.
He also confirmed something I had suspected since my experience with the scales this morning – my body had gone into starvation mode. My calorie limit and eating pattern has slowed my metabolism down and my body is clinging onto any fat it can as it does not know when it’s next supply will arrive. Ugh. Crap. We then agreed that I needed to up my calorie intake and in turn, my exercise intake (I could have cried at this point, exercise is such a chore for me as it is).
One more thing he recommended I look at was the XLS ‘fat-binding’ pill which I shall blog about properly a couple of weeks after I have received my pack. It’s about £32 on Amazon and claims that you can lose up to 3x more weight as part of a healthy diet. There are very split views on this product but it was actually the lack of constructive information on the negative reviews that encouraged me to buy this product! Hopefully if I up my calories by about 300-400 a day, make my exercise routines more intense and start taking this pill (presuming it works), in theory I should still be losing around 3lbs per week. A huge note that should be spoken about more – you cannot expect this pill to work if you are eating a diet laden with carbs. It only binds fat, NOT carbs…boohoo :-(
Thank you for reading my panicked rant and have a great week!

And So It Begins…Week 1

Bleurgh. Have stuck to the plan perfectly so far and I couldn’t feel more miserable!

Here’s an example of my meal structure throughout the day:

Breakfast: Remember how I said I hate fruit and vegetables? Well the only way I could ever successfully manage my 5-a-day is to drink them. I put 1 x 250ml serving of the Innocent Special Fruit Smoothie in the blender and add 80g of 3 other fruits/veg, whizz I’m the blender and add a bit of water to make it ‘drinkable’. As the fruit smoothie already contains 2 of your 5 a day, I prefer using veg for the other 3 portions as they are lower in calories. Today I used spinach, broccoli and cauliflower, all raw. It was disgusting but it was over within a matter of minutes and I love knowing that I am getting the most nutrients out of the veg by consuming them raw.

This is the first thing I have in the morning. One reason for this is definitely so I can get it out of the way and not have to worry about it for the rest of the day. Another reason is that it’s supposed to be a good, energising, kick-start to the day although I honestly feel no more energised than usual. “Now here comes the science”: The main, and best reason is that my partner told me that he had heard an authoritative figure in the world of health state that having fruits/veg before anything else is when your body benefits most from the nutrients they contain. This is because it can get straight to work processing and digesting the food whereas if you had cereal/toast first, your body would spend so long processing the carbs that the fruit/veg wouldn’t be as in a good state after having spent hours in your body waiting to be digested. That works for me.

With this I also have 50g porridge cooked in water and seasoned with saffron and cardamom. It’s nice but still a little bitter without the addition of something to sweeten it. If you really need to sweeten it then try adding a squeeze of maple syrup.
This works out at 180 calories along with approximately 239 calories for the smoothie, totalling at 419 calories.

This is pretty calorific as far as a breakfast goes and limits your calorie choices for the rest of the day but they do say breakfast is supposed to be the most calorific meal of the day, or something like that.
I’m looking forward to trying this breakfast on the weekend where I have more time to spread out the consummation of the smoothie and porridge. I’ve found that I’ve not had enough time before work in the mornings to consume the two without feeling really bloated and uncomfortable for a while.

Lunch: For the past 2 days I have sampled Quinoa after hearing rave reviews about it. I can’t say I’m a fan. I cooked a serving, added a little passata, some cheese and mixed herbs to make it more interesting but it does nothing for me. Not only that, I’m hungry again less than an hour later!
This is supposed to be a super pseudograin packed with fibre and protein. One serving only contains about 4.4g of protein which is not much at all considering it is labelled as a high protein product. It’s fibre content isn’t much more either so no wonder it’s not that filling, I can only think that it is higher in protein than other grains and is a ‘complete protein’ food which apparently means it contains all the necessary amino acids and whatnot.
Anyway, sod that, I’ll be having porridge for lunch until I find something more suitable, at least that will keep me going until dinner time. It’s only 30 calories more than the disappointing Quinoa.

My plan is to do 30 minutes of exercise every day of the week except for Tuesdays and Thursdays. As a 30 min workout burns just over 200 calories for me on the x-trainer, I will increase my calorie intake to 1000 on the days that I exercise, so my total intake will still be 800 calories once the exercise has been factored in.
Obviously this has an impact on what I can have for dinner. 

Dinner: I have had a ready meal for dinner for the last 3 days, I am happy to do so for convenience and calorie counting but only if the product does not have a high salt content or contain any additives/preservatives.
Yesterday I had Quorn Chicken Tikka Masala which was 260 calories and left a horrible aftertaste in my mouth. I won’t be having that again.
Today I had Tesco’s Jerk Chicken and Coconut Rice which was 425 calories, it was ok but nothing special.
At the weekend I want to make a Quorn biryani, at 365 per serving it’s not too bad at all. Having said that I will use Fry-Light and no oil or butter as the recipe states and I will use brown rice instead of Basmati.

I’ve made a conscious decision not to weigh myself again until the end of January. In the past I have become obsessed with weighing myself on a daily basis and for once I just want to see a considerable deficit that will give me a huge boost! Also it will give me an indication of how well this is working for me and whether I need to make any tweaks for next month.

That’s all until next week, have a great weekend folks. Ciao!

So What Now?

I’m getting married this July. I weigh just under 17 stones and at 5’3 I have no hope of reaching a healthy BMI by the time I get married (time of writing this is January 2013). I should be around 9 stone, that’s an 8 stone loss in 6 months and is frankly not only impossible but I’m guessing it would be pretty unhealthy to even attempt it. I wouldn’t even know how to. So what’s the next best thing?

I’ve worked out that if I lose around 3lbs a week, I could lose a maximum of 5 stones by the time my wedding comes around. That’s just under 12 stone. From going to wanting to be a healthy BMI when I get married, I will not only be overweight…I will still be obese! I know I will feel great but I will still be in the same risk category for serious diseases as I am now, wow. That’s some reality check but perhaps that’s what I need to stick to it this time around. I know that the recommended weight loss is 1-2lbs a week but I want to see how far I can get by really pushing myself.

One thing you should probably know about me is that I suffer from Health Anxiety, which I would define as the very worst degree of Hypochondria. If I notice any strange feeling, mark, rash, lump, bump, pain on my body I am straight on Google trying to find out what is wrong with me, which is the worst thing one can probably do. My intention of going on there is to make myself feel better by eliminating the possibility of it being down to anything sinister. However it is so common for the same symptom to be down to a number of things, and the top possibility at the top of my screen is always the ‘C’ word so not only does it send me into a blind panic and state of high and prolonged anxiety (some reassurance!) but it has caused me to have a huge phobia of any form of cancer and I have pretty much diagnosed myself with the majority of cancers to exist….only to have tests and find out said symptoms are down to the most minor of ailments. 
Why am I sharing this craziness with you? Well, it’s my biggest enemy but could also be one of my biggest motivations for weight loss and that is why you may have noticed that I keep referring to having a healthy BMI as opposed to wanting to be slim.
I’m hoping that being a healthy BMI will reduce my risk of developing such diseases to the point that I will stop worrying about them so inherently and obsessively and that would be better than any form of anti-anxiety tablets or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Another reason that I am focussing on being healthy as opposed to thin is that I know I will never be what we define as ‘thin’. I have inherited big hips and a huge arse from my dad’s side of the family, there’s nothing for me to do but to accept this.

I received an even bigger shock today. I found a fantastic website which consists of a height and weight chart. For every different height and weight, there is a picture submitted by different individuals of how they look at that height and weight. It won’t let me copy and paste the link into this box so I will try and upload it at a later time!

First I looked at the heaviest of the 5’3 row and accepted that I must look like that (nobody had submitted any pictures over 17 stone). I went back and forth on that row, first looking at the second lightest of individuals who had a figure most of us would dream of and how I always thought I might look at my optimum weight had I not been graced with the Hips and Arse. To my shock, this girl was actually a stone underweight, weighing 7 stones. I know the media give us an unrealistic view of what ‘healthy’ is but I had never realised it was quite so skewed and actually it’s a pretty huge indication of how easily conned we can be.

The 8 stone girl was by no means much bigger and looked a lot healthier but it still amazes me how what I thought was the ultimate acceptable size was actually underweight and how proud people are to show that off. I rarely see girls who are a stone overweight so eager to get their bodies out (apart from in this chart ;-)).

That was one hell of a long intro, wasn’t it? 

I started this losing 3lbs a week ‘plan’ 2 days ago so my intention is to now give you an update once or twice a week to let you know how I’m getting on. Wish me luck!

Diet Failures Part II Continued…

One more thing about Herbalife – I find the whole thing a bit too preachy and some of the people who use the product almost come across as cult members in the way that they speak about it and obsess over it. I’ve seen people on the Facebook distributor groups come to blows over debating whether other products may be better than Herbalife. It’s not a community I’d feel comfortable being part of.

Ultrasonic Cavitation 

When you first mention this to people they recoil as if you have just told them you are having intrusive liposuction, even after you’ve explained it’s completely external and very safe.
I’m not sure that this can be categorised under the ‘diet’ section but it’s another thing I’ve failed at and you do have to go on a strict eating regime when you are undergoing this treatment.

What it consists of is an ultrasound machine (similar to the ones used for baby ultrasound scans) but instead of producing visual images, it works by emitting low-frequency heat waves into your fat layer (under where the ultrasound machine is massaging you) and melts the fat. A lot of the melted fat will be processed through your liver and exit through your colon as if you’ve just had a really calorific meal, some fat will move to other parts of your body and there’s a chance some of it may stick around and solidify again. To get the maximum out of this treatment, you are advised to eat healthily (low-carbs, high protein), exercise regularly (to get the fat moving) and drink lots of cold water, especially during the same day of your treatment as that also gets the fat moving and helps flush it out.

You should go around every 3 days and no more frequently, and the treatment lasts for half an hour for a single session and an hour for a double (based on the company I used). 
You speak with your ‘consultant’ (usually a beautician with some training in this field) and decide what areas you want to work on and they will apply the gel and massage that area with the ultrasound gel for around 16 minutes on each side. It doesn’t hurt and main,y feels warm but can feel a bit prickly at times. I had it done on my stomach many times which was fine but also once on my upper arms which was pretty uncomfortable and I wouldn’t think of having it there again.

So why did I fail this one? I didn’t stick to the healthy eating and exercise regime, simple as that. I did for about a week and lost 7 inches altogether but that was leading up to my engagement ceremony so I had extra motivation. In total I lost 11 inches but ended up putting it all back on again!

This is more for people who have lost the weight and are struggling to shift fat from certain areas and is more about changing that shape of your body as opposed to weight-loss but I thought there would be no harm in trying it. 

What I do wonder is that because of the strict eating and exercise regime, would I have lost the same amount of weight just following the diet without actually having the treatment? I’m not actually sure the difference would be that great.

The big downside here is the cost. Let me make one thing clear to you, companies know how desperate people are for a ‘quick and easy fix’ and charge disgusting amounts of prices for these. You may find that once they have your money, their customer service becomes non -existent as I found when raising an issue with the ‘Technical Director’ of the company in regards to their session cancellation policy. There is no doubt that this company acts like a cowboy outfit despite being part of a chain, so I hope that the other companies offering this service are not as hell bent on taking advantage of people.


Another hilarious thing? You don’t even have to have a licence to own or to operate the ultrasound machine. I paid over £800 for 48 treatments (sale price!!) and when the beautician/consultant informed me she had purchased a machine for her own home business, I decided to check out the prices and found that these machines are available to any Tom, Dick and Harry at just over £700!! If only I’d have known before I gifted those idiots with my money.


My advice? If you’re as desperate as I was to spend that kind of money, go for a trial or consultation, see if you like it and how it works and buy your own machine.

WeightWatchers

The last but not least of this glorious list. Amazingly this is the most recent of my attempts but after all the diets and approaches I have looked into, WW does not tell me anything I do not already know so in that sense I felt it was a bit of a waste of money and actually then decided to embark on my own approach (I’m very aware that I sound like I am swimming in cash, unfortunately that is not the case, I’m just too careless when I have my heart set on something and become blind to practicality.)