Saturday 28th April 2018
I've done a lot of reflecting since I've been maintaining and this past month has been no different. It's really struck home how much my way of life has changed in the past two years and maybe that's why I'm able to maintain successfully for the first time after 30 years of yo-yo dieting. In the past, I've usually lost weight because I have a holiday or special occasion coming up, or I'm fed up with having nothing to wear as the majority of my clothes won't fit me. I've then dieted, lost weight, reached goal and then gradually gone back to my old way of eating and piled the pounds back on again.
When I joined Weight Watchers in October 2015, I had a different approach. I knew that if I wanted to lose weight and then maintain that weight loss, I'd have to find a way of eating that I was happy with and could do forever. I suppose it helped that I'm now in my 50's and it felt like a last chance to do this. I just didn't want to have dieted for my whole life, and my only regret is that I didn't have the willpower and determination to do this sooner.
So what has changed?
Cooking is now a love, not a chore, and I only wish I had even more time to do it:-) I enjoy trying new recipes and aim to have as much variety in my food as I can. I've enjoyed the challenge of creating No Count recipes, especially the desserts: and I now look forward to the monthly Weight Watchers magazine so that I can adapt the recipes in there to No Count too. I plan my meals on a weekly basis which I haven't done in the past. I've found that weekly planning is one the best things for staying on track during the week. No waking up in the morning and wondering what is for dinner that day, or returning home from work too tired to cook and ordering a takeaway in. If I know I've got a busy day coming up, I'll plan a slow cooker meal or make enough the night before to warm up the next day.
A lot of the food that we are eating at home is different now: I am using far more fresh ingredients and far fewer processed foods. There are foods that I'm eating now that I've not tended to buy before, such as: celeriac, olives (4 are free on NC), butternut squash, sweet potatoes, gherkins, chickpeas, black-eyed-beans, quinoa, couscous and lentils. Gone are the days when I'd have a cupboard full of biscuits and cakes - instead they're now overflowing with herbs and spices:-)
I now walk every day, as much as I can: aiming to reach my 10K step goal, and some days I'll do more. There are times in the past when I've had a membership at a gym: I'd go three times a week - using the treadmill, cross trainer, weights etc... or attend a spinning class - this was great exercise, but that was it. Three hours a week. I'd drive everywhere and just exercise on those three days - it was mainly Ian taking the dogs out for a walk. Now I walk the dogs with him and, if I'm not working, I'll take them out three times a day. I also try to take a walk during the lunchtime at work: my favourite day is a Tuesday when a colleague and I have an hour's long walk to the local Starbucks and back. I love walking the half hour into town most Saturdays: I'd never have thought this was possible as I was the person who'd always drive to a shop a couple of minutes away just to pick up a pint of milk:-)
My willpower is also a lot stronger than it used to be. Now that I have reached my dream weight, there is no way I am going back and if that means I no longer eat some of the foods I used to eat a lot of, then so be it. I've replaced takeaways with 'fakeaways' and have managed to adapt a lot of my favourite meals to No Count ones: I really love the food that I'm eating and don't feel like I'm missing out at all. There have still been a few of times over the past year when I've felt like eating the contents of the kitchen cupboards but instead of devouring Ian's packet of biscuits, I've eaten a packet of Aldi pea snacks, an Alpen light bar and a pack of WW sweets. It feels like a binge but at just 7sp, I'm not racked with guilty feelings afterwards.
Even though I may make maintaining look easy, there is always that little niggle at the back of my mind that one day it might all fall to pieces and I'll be back to where I started. However, I'm staying positive and telling myself that I can do this - and that's what I'll do. I'll continue doing what I'm doing now: enjoying NC food, enjoying exercise, enjoying being part of the Weight Watchers community on Connect and Instagram and enjoying sharing my love of No Count with you.
And finally, my life is certainly all the more richer for the friends I've made and the people I chat to each week through the website, Connect or Instagram. Thank you so much for your support, and may you all have a very successful month ahead!
Some of you might be interested in these two offers which are currently available:
There is an offer at: www.myprotein.com - if you buy 2 of their sugar-free syrups, you get one free. I'm not sure how long this promotion is going to last.
There is another offer at: www.spicentice.com - if you make a purchase, before 7th May, you will receive one of their new Meatball Marinara spice kits for free. You can also get 20% off with the code HH20 at the checkout.