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Thursday, 21 April 2016

I'm so excited...

21st  April 2016
Throw caution to the wind and just do it!

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!  I'm going back to where it all began, back in April 2004 I joined a meeting in Essington, I didn't want to go to the one over the road from my house, I don't even know why, but I ended up there, I'd gained 3 stone in 12 months and felt rubbish.  However by the August I felt fantastic, I was at goal and I'd also met someone who is still one of my dearest friends.  A few months after that, I was sulking in my meeting because I hadn't lost weight when I was expecting to and a woman I didn't know starting trying to 'help', I wasn't in the mood, proper stroppy bugga that night I was and I turned and told her there wasn't anything she could tell me about the plan, I'd been a Weight Watchers forever, I'd left school and went to Weight Watchers instead of college!  It turned out she was the area manager, whose name was Gerry, funnily enough my area manager now is also called Gerry, anyway I digress.  Gerry asked me if I'd thought about being a leader, my reply I don't have time, I work full-time.  The truth was I'd always fancied the idea but thought I hadn't been big enough or lost enough to have the experience or knowledge, I wonder if that's why the universe helped me gain that three stone and go up to a size 20/22, so I knew how others felt? Mmm, easier ways I'm sure!  So she said, have a think about it and I did, I decided I could give the training a go, I didn't have to do it if I changed my mind, if I got the job and felt it was too much for me I could change my mind and resign.  Oh I didn't, training went well and I ran my first meeting at Essington Community Centre in the December, the rest as they say is history.  Twelve years later to the month, I've decided to go back to the community centre and open a meeting on a Friday tea time, I can't wait.  It's going to be great for the local Essington community who haven't got a Weight Watchers class there and also for my members who can't make their regular meeting in the week or that want a weekend away so will miss their Saturday meeting.  And it all starts on Friday 13th May at 5.30pm, I have no superstition in me, I believe we make our own luck and I know with the help of my members, we'll have a fantastic, successful, friendly meeting on a Friday teatime, where we can all have a cuppa and a giggle and get healthy and happy together whilst losing some weight.

It's only 3 weeks away!

I've got so much to do to get ready, need to get lots of flyers out there, it's the only Friday night meeting this side of Wolverhampton too, so should appeal to quite a few, especially those who have "treat night", then also struggle at the weekend, at least '"treat night" and the weekend will be the same thing if they're being weighed on a Friday.

And to prove you can have treat night, I had two great ladies join last week, who when they realised they got a weekly allowance, said "Yay, we can still have cob club!", this got my attention, I asked what cob club was and was told on a Friday night they shared 3 bottles of wine and a dozen cheese cobs, they followed that up with "but we're happy to change the cheese to ham", love my members I do ;).  When I text them earlier in the week to ask how cob club had gone, I had the reply, "I'm texting you from my chaps phone because I didn't top my phone up this week to stop me calling for a Chinese on Friday when I was drunk, we still had cob club but had fruit salad instead of cobs, but we still had the wine". 
I loved that, pre-planning and knowing your own habits and behaviours, she knew she would try to order a Chinese and put a plan in place to stop her - AWESOME.  They also did amazing at the scales, one lost 7lb and the other 8lb - now that's a great success and a Smart plan!

And that is why I'm happy to open another meeting, I love my job, I get paid to go to work and help people get healthy and happy whilst we all have a giggle - it don't get no better than that.  So please help me share the news, if you see my post on Facebook, share it on your timeline, tell your friends, ask me for a poster to stick in your window if you live in Essington or in your car if you don't (even if it's only on your dashboard when you go in the supermarket)!   Maybe you have a noticeboard where you can put one up.  I'll be getting them printed asap, flyers too, so if you feel like getting energetic, they'll be plenty to deliver.

But for now, I'm off to get ready for my Bloxwich Babes and Blokes and a terrific Thursday, a beautiful sunrise is going on out there, it's lovely to come home in the daylight after my evening meetings too.  Life is good isn't it BeYOUtiful. xx

Here's your recipe for today, nom nom, sounds good and easily adaptable to be No Count friendly.

Herby Beef Crisp
SERVES 4 ~ Prep time 10 mins ~ Cook time 1 hour 45 mins ~ SmartPoints 5 per serving

Lean beef helps to keep the SmartPoints low

Calorie controlled cooking spray
400g lean braising steak, cut into bite-size chunks
2 onions, finely chopped 300g leeks, trimmed
and sliced 350g carrots, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150ml Weight Watchers Fruity White Wine
450ml hot beef stock, made with 1 stock cube
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves 1 fresh bay leaf
3 slices Weight Watchers White Danish bread, torn
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Mist a large frying pan with cooking spray, add the steak and brown all over.   Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Mist the pan again, add the onions, leeks, carrots and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 10 mins or until softened.

Return the steak to the pan, and then pour in the wine. Simmer for 5 mins.  Stir in the stock and the herbs, then cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas mark 4. Divide the stew between 4 x 200ml ovenproof dishes. Scatter
the bread over the top, mist with cooking spray and bake for 25 mins until the bread is crisp and golden, and
the beef is tender.

Serve garnished with the flat-leaf parsley.

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