A bit of a Personal Update

IMG_7705.JPGFor more instagram updates, follow me @stephisays

It’s been awhile since I wrote a blog post. I gave myself a little break because there been so much going on in my personal life, so I thought it would be a good idea to get back into the swing of blogging with a personal update –

Planning a Wedding – probably one of the main reasons for not blogging so much lately. Any spare time I get in the evenings, I’m trying to put my concentration to wedding planning. I have been really laid back about the whole wedding planning thing – much to my family and friend’s frustration! If I have a pound for every time someone said “haven’t you sorted that yet?” or “you should really get on a sort that out”, I would be able to pay for the entire wedding, no problem! We get married in April, and admittedly we are a bit behind and getting everything sorted, but it’s because we have had so much going on with our changing jobs. I’m going go into more detail about my wedding planning thoughts and updates on a future blog post, but what I can say is that I honestly didn’t realise how much detail goes into planning a wedding!

New Job – As some readers may know I have been working in London for the past year, and although I loved my job the commute was a little too stressful for my liking. I then found a great opportunity a little closer to home, right in the middle of Brighton and I changed my job about 6 weeks ago. I now currently work in a fantastic digital agency called Net Natives, working as their new Direct Media Buyer and Planner. As all new jobs go, it does take awhile to get settled into a new routine which is also been why I’ve been a little preoccupied. Everything is going well though and working closer to home means I get more spare time in the evening to enjoy life again – no more 4hrs a day spent on a train for me!

Got some new wheels – My amazing fiancé, surprised me by getting me my own little Smart car. Ash, my fiancé works for Mercedes and he began his role selling Smart cars which meant he got to drive around a variety of Smart cars for his company car. I fell in love with them and kept saying, as soon as I start working closer to home I would treat myself by getting a little Smart car so it would be easier to get around. Knowing full well I wouldn’t bite the bullet and get one (I struggle to treat myself to anything that costs a lot of money because I always think it can go to something more practical) he ordered me one and I’m so glad he did. I love my little car now and it means I can go out and do so much more for myself. I love her so much, I’ve called her Suzie 🙂

Slimming World – as you know if you’ve read any of my Slimming World Sunday posts, I’ve been doing Slimming World now for just over 4 months. I’ve currently lost 1 stone but it’s been a very, very slow process with a lot of ups and downs. With the new job and a better routine with more time in the evenings, I’m finding slimming world a little more easier to stick to. Fingers crossed, I can get a bit closer to my target over the next couple of months. I’ll keep you updated!

Concentrating on me! – Overall there has been a lot going on in my life at the moment, and rather than feeling overwhelmed to try and doing everything half heartedly, I’ve decided I need to put myself first. Take some time to truly think about what I want to do and achieve. For example with blogging, I didn’t want to write anything for the sake of it just to get a post live – at the end of the day ,why would anyone want to read something I didn’t feel passionate about! Which is why I took the conscious decision to take things one step at a time and make sure I’m doing things that make me feel happy!

Hopefully that gives you a little update about me, but what have you guys been up too? Hope you have all been well and I’ll see you very soon with another blog post soon!

Slimming World Sundays #4​

FullSizeRender (2)

I thought it was about time for another Slimming World update. I’ve been doing Slimming World now for 12 weeks, and there has been many ups and down along my journey. As you know, I started Slimming World again to help lose weight before my wedding next year and I wanted to give myself plenty of time to make sure I didn’t put myself under too much pressure. From experience, if I become too strict with myself on sticking to a diet (or should I say healthy eating), I generally end up giving up quite quickly and putting the weight back on with interest…!!

So how am I doing? Well, I got my 1 stone award!!

Like I said before, I’ve had lots of ups and downs to get here but I am over the moon that I have reached my first stone lost! The ups are mainly down to how easy the plan is – if you’re organised. I have found on my successful weeks, I’ve manged to stick to plan because I have done some prep at the beginning of my week; writing a meal plan, doing a weekly food shop and prepping my breakfast and lunch for work the night before. Sounds simple, right? Well, my downs are generally due the weeks where I’ve been very hectic with life or work (which is more of a regular occurrence at the moment) and my organising/prep goes out the window! But there is another reason I’ve had my down weeks too that I thought it was important to share….

If you’re not familiar with how Slimming World works (aside from the food plan), it’s a weekly meeting where you get weighed and then you can stay for a group meeting lead by the SW group leader where everyone can discuss how their week was, sharing tips or recipes to generally make you feel inspired for the week ahead. Well, my other downs on my SW journey have actually come from feeling like a bit of failure after the weekly groups…!

I’m not going to take this time to put down my SW group leader because she is great but I just feel her approach to motivating people isn’t for me. There was a period of time when I would have either stayed the same weight or gained either ½ or 1lb generally because I was having such a tough time in my personal life so it was hard to stick to plan. Her reaction would either “you do know this is a weight lost class, don’t you” in a jokey fashion, or if I had lost 1lb one week which I was pleased with but she would say “that’s good, but your weekly target was to lose 2lbs…”. I completely understand this is just her way to push you to success but I’ve found I don’t work well with the almost ‘tough love’ approach. If you’ve had a bad week it takes a LOT of courage to stay to group (especially if you’ve been going through a tough time outside of SW) and by staying it means you are trying to do your best rather than just quitting. Unfortunately, this is something I think my SW leader sometimes forgets.

And the reason as to why I’m sharing this is not to put my SW leader down, it’s to acknowledge that you need to do what work’s best for you. There is always a huge importance to stay to group but if your group doesn’t make you feel good or inspired then its ok to not always attend, or find another group. There are massive success stories in my SW group, so her approach does work for some people but it’s important to remember its a personal preference. It might be sometimes worth visiting another group and see what another SW leader is like because they each have their own different ways.

Personally, this is the only group I can attend so I won’t be swapping groups but I have decided to only attend group if I’m in a good head space. If I’ve been having a crappy, low week, I know that’s it’s probably not a good idea to attend to group because I will take everything that is said very personally. My advice is, listen to yourself and do what feels right for you. Just don’t give up, because you can do it 🙂

Have you been in a similar situation? What did you do?

Slimming World Sundays #3

BeFunky Collage

This week I thought I would share you with you some of my favourite meals I’ve had over the past couple of weeks. Seven weeks on plan and I’ve currently lost 11lbs. I’ll be honest, my progress is a little slower than I had hoped however I have had a couple of disaster weeks with festivals or weekends away which meant I’ve either stayed the same on the scales or put on 1/2 lb one week.Nevertheless, I am still enjoying the plans and fingers crossed in a couple of weeks I can make it to my stone award!

My top favourite meals of this week have been –

Steak salad from Singer Tavern, London (top left hand corner) – We all went to the local pub at work for a colleagues leaving do and they had some really nice salad choices on the menu, which meant it was easy to stick to plan. My biggest tip when you know you are eating out is to check the menu online before you go, that way you know exactly what to order when you get there without panicking. I also said no to having croutons on my salad – how good was I?!

Subway Salad (centre photo) – Sticking on the salad train, this is always a firm favourite of mine and will feature in my weekly food diary at least once a week. Subway is great when you need something for lunch. All the salad is free and its all about the double chicken portion, which is also free! Its then topped out with the Sweet Onion sauce which is 1.5 syns per serving – simple!

Overnight Oats (bottom left hand corner) – I love overnight oats for breakfast! I make mine with 30g oats (healthy extra B), a Mullerlight vanilla yogurt (free) topped off with strawberries and blueberries (free).This week however I made my pots up with frozen berries the night before and it worked just as well. Using frozen berries means I don’t have to worry about buying fresh fruit every 2-3days, plus it does work out cheaper too.

Nando’s (top right hand corner) – If you’re a big fan of Nando’s you will be glad you know it’s a great place when your eating on the SW plan. I had butterfly chicken without the skin which I count as 2 syns for any oil/marinate they use, spicy rice (1.5 syns) with corn on the cob (free as long as you don’t use that butter!). I love this meal as it means you can still go out for dinner and socialise with friend whilst not damaging your weight lost.

If you are interested in keeping up to date with what I eat on Slimming World or want to know more about some of the other meals I’ve had this week, I have a separate Slimming World Instagram account you can follow – search ‘stephi_sw

What are you favourite healthy meals?

 

Slimming World Sundays #2

 So it’s been a 3 or 4 weeks since I checked in with my progress with Slimming World, so wanted to give you a bit of an update and share with you the one tip that’s been keeping me on track this past week. It was weigh day yesterday morning and in total I have now lost 9.5lbs. The first couple of weeks were great, losing 7.5lbs and gaining my half stone award however the following weeks were a little less good. The week after I got my half stone award, I maintained on the scales and the week after I had as holiday and I went back home to Southampton to catch up with friends and family – let’s just say there was a lot of coffee and cakes….opps! Once I got back home on the Monday, I pushed myself to get back into the swing of things and stick to plan. Turns out it worked as this week I lost a further 2lbs! To be honest after my week off I was shocked at this result and was adamant I would have put on, but from Monday to Friday I made one change which I think really helped with my loss – I kept a food diary!

From day one at Slimming World they urge you to write down everything you eat and keep a food diary, and I’ll admit I did it the first week and then stopped. Reason I stopped writing my food intake down? I got lazy and quite honestly I thought it was a way of the SW instructor keeping an eye of you (which it is kinda, but just so they can help if you are struggling) but I think I thought I could just do it by myself. This week however I realised however powerful a food diary could actually be…!

I started writing my food diary again because I knew I had to be extra good this week to counter act how badly I ate the previous week. This is something I didn’t fill in every time I ate something but something I filled in after my dinner at home. Each day, this gave me 5 minutes to myself to reflect on my day and check in on how many syns I had during the day. My biggest downfall tends to be the evenings after dinner, generally chilling out on the sofa as this is the time I want sweet treats so by writing my food diary straight after dinner this allows me to see if I can allow myself a treat or not. A degree of planning the week ahead also helps with staying on track too but writing everything down really confirms how you are doing day by day.

So if you’re doing Slimming World too, or just trying to eat healthy, try writing everything down in a food diary. It’s amazing how much we can mindless eat throughout the day – that biscuit with your coffee in the afternoon or just grabbing a snack on for the commute home – it all adds up and its these things we tend to forget if we don’t write them down. Whether you write it on the notes app on our phones, or in a little diary like mine that you can keep in your handbag – write it down.

Do you keep a food diary when you are trying to eat well? Does it help?

Slimming World Sundays #1

sw2

I write this post not really as a blog post but more of a diary entry following my slimming world journey. I’ve stopped and started slimming world a couple of times now and each time I stop, I put the weight I lost back on…with interest! Now with less than a year till a get married, I’ve decided it’s time to stop making excuses, go back and work hard to lose the weight! These posts will be my way of sharing my tips, meals ideas and progress. 

I went back to Slimming World last week and this week on Saturday was my first weigh-in. I found my first week back at Slimming World refreshing, it was nice to get back eating healthy and trying to be more organised with eating meals. Although I’ll admit I had a couple of bad days, with unexpected events I had to attend for work but I did mange to stick on plans for the majority of the week, and it paid off with losing 4.5 lbs! I’ll admit the first week will always be the best for weight lost as it’s a shock to the system, however it’s a nice feeling of the hard work paying off and it’s encouraged me to continue going.

Today is just a small intro into my new series and I won’t be writing a SW post every week but as I said, it’s mainly a chance for me to track my journey and maybe help others in the process, giving some inspiration and tips. 

To follow my Slimming World journey and check out what I’m eating, I have a separate slimming world account. Follow me over at – @stephi_sw

Have a great week everyone x