Sunday, 29 April 2012

Looks like we made it (Tales from April: Final Chapter)

Tomorrow is April 30th. The date by which all previous diets have long past crashed and burned. It appears though that my wish to still be here has been granted. Without checking my book I am not sure how many pounds I have lost in total this month, but I do know I got my 2 stone award on April 4th and I am hoping for my 2.5 stone award this coming Wednesday. I won Slimmer of the Month last Wednesday too. Not bad for a month in which I seem to have been celebrating one thing or another all the freaking time.

The fact that I am still losing and haven't fallen off the wagon is a major achievement for me. On my home scales I am 1lb off my All Time Low which I achieved in the Great Diet of 2004 (when I lost 4st) and I plan to cruise past that weight onto Skinnier times very soon on the SW scales too. Richy is also at an All Time Low. He isn't "counting" syns quite the same as I am but is more aware and is having the same healthy dinners as me. He has also lost almost 2st as well!

Apart from the week away we had which I told you about, my food has been under control for most of the month. Somehow as my journey continues I am more strict in some ways than week one. Even at weekends I'd still rather cook and syn some wine than get a takeaway for the most part. The bonus is, it's better on the pocket too. Really my problem is alcohol. (I say problem, I'm not an alcoholic, but I really do enjoy it, as does Mr Bee). I have come to the conclusion that setting my syns at 10 a day (70 for the week) is really working for me just now. SW guidelines say 5-15 syns a day and I know loads of people work on 15. I keep to 10 but usually use no more than 4 or 5 a day. This means on Fridays and Saturdays I can let my hair down a bit and mostly I am within the maximum syns.

There will probably come a time when I can't be so flexible, but as I see it so long as I can do what I'm doing and keep losing I'll be sticking to it. This is a lifestyle change, not a diet and for the first time my goals seem achievable, and I really think that belief is the first hurdle. My next mini target is to get my 3st award, hopefully by the end of next month - I really think I should be able to do it.

See you in May!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Roasted Skinny

There are some things in this life I am happy to compromise on and some I am not. Since having children I have scaled down my make up purchases for example, both brands and quantity. I still like quality though so shopping around is key, and one area I am super picky is my cooking. I don't like using processed foods for the most part and would rather not make certain things than do them badly or compromise on my way. Pigheaded, maybe, but it's the way I am.

Take a traditional Sunday roast for example. It certainly is possible to cook a Roast and make it low syn, but it really is an area I don't like to budge on. My way of dealing with this is to cook it "properly", but rarely - in the 12 weeks I have been doing SW I have had two roasts. Both with my mum and dad - to be honest were it just me I might not have bothered at all but when we get together with my family it's the family meal my mum most enjoys.

A roast for me contains the main event joint (obviously), minimum two veg (usually steamed broccoli and carrots chez Bee), roast potatoes, creamy mashed potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and lashings of thick gravy (made with the meat juices).

As long as you don't add fat to the joint the meat is free. So far so good. See also the veg - that's a no-brainer, presuming of course you don't toss your freshly steamed veg in melted butter that is. Again the roast potatoes are manageable - using frylight instead of oil or lard you will still get lovely crisp potatoes. I do think plenty of seasoning is needed though when using frylight because what is does lack is taste.

It gets more difficult now.

I like my mash creamy and smooth with plenty of butter and salt. Yorkshire puddings are full of flour and milk and cooked in fat (frylight won't do here). Gravy is not the same without the meat juices and gravy granules for me are a no-go. It's worth pointing put that these aren't things we ate a lot before anyway so not having them weekly is no major problem. These are all high syn ingredients and i would rather not have mash than use smash, or ready made Yorkies. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with using these ready mades, but it's not my way.

This afternoon I served a roast chicken, cooked with the cavity stuffed with half a lemon, half a dozen garlic cloves and a small bunch of thyme. The skin is off limits (apart from a little nibble) so frylight and a bit of seasoning sealed the deal there. I served it up as a gravy free spring/summer roast, alongside baby potatoes roasted with garlic and frylight, and a large side salad of mixed leaves, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, feta cheese (my healthy extra for the day) and dressed with a red pepper a chilli fat free dressing with pickles on the side. Definitely a win for us, and sure to continue being a family favourite.

Ps the wine was Banrock Station Light. Slightly sweeter than my usual taste but slightly skinnier too.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

If its edible, eat it (Tales from April Part 2)

The title of this post is inspired and supplied by my very old friend, Tom. "You should put that in your blog", he said "if it's edible, eat it". And here we are, since that's what I've done this week.

Let's start at the beginning. Weigh in in Wednesday went well, as I told you. Thursday was my birthday. Lunch was a mayonnaisey salad which wasn't low syn but since it was my birthday I wasn't caring! Dinner was a chicken chow mein (7 syns) and couple of glasses of wine. Now, a day like that is easy recover from, back to plan the next day, straight back on it. But I went away for a few days.

We left on the Friday morning, taking on a 300 mile journey (5-6 hours) to start. From there the plan was a further 350 mile round trip on the Sunday for Tom's baby boy's christening, then home Tuesday. About 1000 miles of road travel in all, and Mr Bee has done the lot (although he did get 2 long lies as "payment" whilst we were away).

We were staying with family (my mum and dad) so it was possible to make some nods towards the diet. My mum had got in Weight Watchers Petit Pains in (HEB on EE) so I could have one of them either filled with lean bacon and a blob of ketchup for breakfast or stuffed with tuna one lunchtime. We ate at our local pub one night (nothing SW friendly there) and had a takeaway one night. It was Indian so I had a chicken biriyani (about 12.5 syns). I must confess to having had a poppadom with mango chutney and a bit of naan (much less than I usually would have though!) Saturday night we had chicken breasts stuffed with my HEA of Philly light, mushrooms, spring onions, garlic and black pepper, all wrapped in lean back bacon and served with corn on the cob and "funky veg" (the name given about 15 years ago by a school friend of mine to a mix of baby roasted potatoes, peppers, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes). All sounds nice and healthy, right? Well it was free apart from a bit of cheese sauce requested by my dad. I was good though and only had a dribble. Our final meal there was non SW roast lamb with Yorkshire puds, meat juice gravy and roasted potatoes (and veg obviously). Evil on every level. The Christening also saw cake, chocolate eggs and buffet consumed. In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

To be honest though, whilst the food has been far from angelic my real undoing is the alcohol. Richy and I have consumed more this weekend than in a good long while, and since neither of us are spirit drinkers its all the bad stuff - wine and beer. That said whilst I know I am heavier than last week (my guess is a 4lbs gain) a good bit of this is water retention and hopefully will pass as the wine leaves my system. I have a holiday booked for SW tomorrow night as I wasn't sure when I would be back but I may still go. If not I will be there net week, since I am back on plan as of TODAY. I've had a bacon petit pain for brekkie and a sushi pack for lunch (about 3 syns) and I've even planned tea for tonight when we get home: pasta with a Philly light sauce. I will starve tomorrow but if I can maintain or lose next Wednesday then it will all be worth it.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Tales from April Part 1

Today is my birthday. Happy birthday to MEEEEE! It's also the start of that really hard week I was telling you about. I got through the first 11 Days Of April pretty smoothly. Despite a family birthday last weekend plus Easter its been under control and I lost 2.5lbs last night (30.5lbs total in 11 weeks). I whooped. I hollered. I was happy. I will be lucky to not put that back on and more this week.

So far today I have chowed down on a delicious large mayonnaisey salad, a chicken chow mein,a piece of cake, half a bottle of wine and now I'm supping a cider. That's a lot of syns. Flexi syns day? I think so. I'll start again tomorrow, although with a long journey ahead, a long overdue visit to family and a Christening I can see a few flexisyn days coming up. Oops. Never mind, I'll be hoping for a maintain at absolute best on Wednesday if I make it or a small loss next week.

Of course, all the chocolate my kitchen is swimming in helps one bit. We have 15 Easter products in our kitchen. FIFTEEN!! Eggs of all sizes, Creme Eggs and chocolate chickens filled with buttons. It's overload - who else senses a lot of preschooler made rice crispie cakes coming up later in the year? Thats an activity right there. Thankfully Richy didn't add to the bundle for my birthday! (Thanks Mr Bee!!)

Anyway, i have a long day ahead so I will sign off, but you'll be hearing from me again next week with more Tales of April.


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Getting over April

So another week passes me by. And what's new this week, I hear you ask. Well lovely readers, what's new is that I am now the proud owner of my 2 stone award! I am more than a little thrilled about this. 28lbs in 10 weeks is a fantastic achievement. I've been here before though, and they key now is to get through April (always my most difficult diet month) and hopefully still be on the diet wagon, still losing, still feeling good.

April is always hard because it often includes Easter (ouch), always my birthday (wine anyone?) and finally always my wedding anniversary (more wine). It's a month of excess, celebrations and general good times. (Of course, this April has started the way March finished - with chicken pox children, but whatever). The thing is, this diet, this time feels different. I don't know if it's a new, improved 30-style me or if it's Slimming World but there is definitely something different. I am calmer and more rational. Less obsessive and less fanatical about the whole thing. I really think i can get through this month. And I like it.

I like that I don't have to eat "diet" food to lose weight and that the whole family can eat the same meal. With the exception of frylight (oil spray) all the ingredients I am using are the same as before. Flour and fat of any kind are out so that means bye bye to pastry and pizza but they are small sacrifices to make. (I have decided a big fat dominos pizza is going to be my 3 stone treat, and I'm hoping to get this by the end of May.) I use virtually nothing in the way of convenience foods which means eating syn free meals is pretty easy. Condiments are synned, obviously, but if you can't have a blob of ketchup or mayo it's a sad day.

Food wise this has been the Week of Kebabs. Mostly chicken, always peppers, mushrooms, onions, I have definitely rediscovered the humble kebab. Last weekend was cajun chicken, during the week we had a Greek inspired lemon, garlic and oregano marinade. Served up with some potato wedges and a big super free salad what is there to complain about? Ok there's no bread on my plate but you could use your Healthy B Choice for the day and chuck a whole meal pitta on the plate but to be honest, we didn't miss it.

Tonight we are going to have a Thai spiced steak and rice dish which I just hope is going to be as delicious as the recipe promises. Wish me luck...!