Beverley has prepared the content of Bev's World irresponsibly and carelessly. She therefore disclaims all warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy, originality or completeness of the drivel presented on this blog or on other linked websites or on any subsequent links. She vehemently denies that the information may be relied upon for any reason. Beverley shall not be liable for inflicting laughter, shame, disgust, torrents of tears and the eventual desiccation or crashing boredom on readers.

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Sunday, 30 January 2011

30th January 2011

Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will. Norman Vincent Peale

It’s cold this morning, although I’m pleased cos I’ve managed a lie in, 6.30am! Yeah that’s a lie-in for me but even better because I took my lazy butt to bed at 8.30pm – whoop, whoop, loads of sleep, sometimes its just what you need. It’s important to give your body what it needs, even if sometimes that’s not what you’d prefer, especially when it comes to food!

Today after I’ve walked Alfie, I intend to plan my week, I want to have a super healthy week that includes lots of fruit and vegetables, so I’m going to sit down and actually plan the entire week to ensure I get those important 5 a day or more, and to make sure I’m getting my calcium and everything else my body needs. I’m going to do it by using all the food I already have in the cupboards so that I don’t need to go shopping too. That way it’ll save me a few pounds in my purse as well as on my waist hopefully!

I’ve already made a Rogan Josh (Patak’s jar) curry on Friday and frozen that, which is 7pp a portion, I added extra onion and diced carrot to that too, so that’s extra veggies that aren’t noticeable. I can serve that with rice, that’s one meal sorted. I may add spinach to the plate too to give me an extra of my 5 a day.

There’s also a leftover Nigella garlic chicken (13pp) I can have with butternut squash and carrots, so that’s two main meals sorted already. See how easy it is to plan your meals, I’ve done two meals just typing this email.

Okay so it’s Sunday and you’ve hopefully got a little time on your hands today, so why don’t you do the same and have a go at meal planning, why not share your plans on the group wall and give others ideas.

Anyway I’ve gotta cut it short today, I have very irate puppy who knows it’s time for his walk and is telling me it wasn’t him that slept in!!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

29th January 2011

You can only go halfway into the darkest forest, then you are coming out the other side. Chinese Proverb

After sending my daily email yesterday, I started reading through my own inbox and came across an email that suggested this website


The website challenges users to do just that. With a million things clamoring for our attention (i.e., Facebook, phone calls, IMs, text messages, etc.), this is an opportunity to pause for a hot second. And maybe even find some peace.

Says the site’s creator:

I had been thinking how we spend every waking minute of the day with access to an unlimited supply of information, to the point of information overload. I also read somewhere that there is evidence that our brains are being re-wired by the internet, because we get a little dopamine kick every time we check our e-mail or Twitter or Facebook and there’s a new update. So we’re all developing a bit of ADD – which is probably not great in terms of being productive.

Having so much to do I thought to myself, “I haven’t got time” but then realised how I’d just told everyone how I don’t have to rush on a Friday so I clicked on the link and did nothing for 2 minutes but listen to the waves on the computer.

So, give it a try. Can you do nothing for 2 minutes? It just might be the most important thing you do all day. I plan to keep it bookmarked for those days when I’m super stressed to remind me to slow down, everything can wait.

So it’s Saturday – YAY! Me and mom had a lovely short walk on Cannock Chase yesterday, you don’t have to walk miles to feel the benefit, half hour can be enough to blow away the cobwebs and by only doing half hour, mom will go again another time! Alfie on the other hand would walk for miles he’s sat by the side of me now whining and crying to go out and I’m saying, “in a minute when I’ve finished”, I’m sure he understands!

Chips from the chippy!

Now there’s a debate, after a question on my wall last night I’ve just looked it up and it all depends how big the bag is and how many you eat, in the pocket guide on page 54 it says a standard portion 210g = 14pp and a large portion 350g = 24pp, now I once weighed a standard bag of chips from over our local chippy and it weighed two and a half pound which is roughly 1,125g which is according to the above numbers a staggering 77pp! If the same bag was full of McCains oven chips they would have been 42pp. I personally only really like those orange chips and am guessing they would be even more. So I’ll stick to mashed potato I think.

The only true way you can know how much you’re eating is to weigh it. And the only 100% way to know what you’re eating is to cook it yourself from scratch. The later isn’t always what you want to do so you just have to be realistic and as accurate as possible over points.

However you’re spending your day, and whatever you decide to eat, enjoy it. I’m planning a quite one, going to walk Alfie, cook a nice meal, read my new Weight Watcher magazine and watch the TV. My idea of Heaven!


Friday, 28 January 2011

28th January 2011 facebook email

Success comes in CANS not CAN'TS!

Well I’ve just watched Gino cook naked on this morning! It’s on playback on Iplayer, you don’t see anything tho, it’s all very tasteful ;-) But the dish he cooked was scrumptious even if it works out at 22pp a portion, I’m sure about 5pp could be shaved off that if I used half the amount of butter and olive oil.
A member last night had been to M&S for her lunch and picked up a can of butternut squash soup, got back to the office and after working it out, realised it had 12 ProPoints in! She didn’t eat it, especially after thinking a MacDonalds Big Mac is only 13 ProPoints, I know which I’d rather have!

Anyone who likes Pink & Whites, they’re only 59p in Home Bargains, 2 ProPoints per wafer, or indulge yourself and have 2 wafers for 3 ProPoints, one time when the rounding up/down works in your favour.

I love Fridays because I don’t have to rush to get to a meeting, I can do my paperwork at my leisure, walk the dog for as long as we both fancy and generally take my time with everything, which is lovely after the rushing round constantly all week. I fancy cooking something new today so will have a look through my books, something with chicken in though as I bought 4 of them yesterday reduced to £2.30 each in Co-op! I can feel some batch-cooking coming on! Co-op have also got the new Weight Watchers ProPoint products on half price, pizza for £1.40, yogurts 4 for 79p not bad eh.

So it’s Friday, almost the weekend and most of us get to chill out a bit, and the majority of you struggle to stay on track because you have more time on your hands, you want to have a drink, maybe a takeaway. Personally I’ve realised the takeaway thing isn’t that great, it’s something we desire because we relate it to a treat, but when I had a Chinese two weeks ago and actually sat, focused and tasted the food, it wasn’t that great. The Nigella’s 40 garlic chicken recipe I made yesterday and served with mashed butternut squash & julienne carrots was much more tastier, and it all took exactly 30 minutes to prepare then I just left it in oven for 90 minutes. My mate had a portion for her tea instead of her weekly weigh night Chinese and she agreed, her actual words on my facebook wall were;

“Ohhh marr goshhh
That chicken was superb!!!! Better than any dodgy china !!! Thankyou x

So if you’re tempted by the take away, ask yourself why, is it really the convenience of not having to prepare food (microwave ready meals can be just as quick, as tasty, cheaper and lower in ProPoints) or is it that you want a treat, again ask yourself is it really a treat wasting a tenner on something that isn’t that tasty or that good for you, could you make your own better version at home. I just shared this recipe on facebook with a member, it’s so quick (ready in 15 minutes), huge (Makes lots, plenty for 2, enough for 4!) and super tasty plus the entire dish is only ProPoints which means you have some left for something else, a drink or a bar of chocolate

Keema Concoction serves 4 at 5pp each

2 sprays of ww oil spray (2pp)
350g pack of quorn mince (9pp)
1 bunch spring onion(s), chopped
250g chopped mushrooms
1 yellow pepper, chopped
125 g cooked frozen peas (3pp)
3 cloves garlic
1 piece ginger, 2cm, fresh and grated
2 tbsp curry powder (2pp)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
300ml vegetable stock using 1 oxo cube
2 tbsp chutney, mango (4pp)

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and add the mince, add the garlic, ginger and onion and stir, then add mushrooms, and peas stirring well. Continue frying gently for approx 5 mins. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a further minute, then mix in the cinnamon. Add the stock or water & chutney. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 5- 10 minutes until cooked.

Why not serve with 100g oven chips each for an additional 5pp.

So this weekend before you indulge in something whether it be a takeaway or a Greggs steak bake, or a bar of galaxy, ask yourself why you really want it, is it about the flavour or is it for another reason, such as “because its not fair that I can’t have it”, “because it’s a treat”, whatever your reason.

I know when I was at my heaviest, my favourite excuse was, “I just like food”, that wasn’t actually true, the truth was, “I just ate food often”, I didn’t really taste it, I just ate it. These days, I enjoy flavours, I focus on my food and I really, really enjoy food.

Have a Foody Friday xx

Thursday, 27 January 2011

27th January 2011 facebook email

What is Success?
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded.

I had a really good day yesterday, I had a phone conversation with a lady named Brenda who made me feel really special (thank you Brenda), so if you want to brighten someone’s day today, tell them what you think of them (obviously only if its something nice!). Also members were generous with their £1 coins and I was able to send homeless man some money to keep him fed and watered for a week or two hopefully, if I collect some more I’ll send him it next month to help him out again. He plans to write a book about his journey when he’s finished and all the money will go to homeless charities, now that’s admirable I’m sure you’ll agree.

January is a dark, cold month, which seems to be made worse because there’s been so much celebrating in December, and I think it’s probably the worse month for catching the “Curse of the Winter Hungries”

Some days I want to eat non-stop all day. One winter morning started with my

usual bowl of cereal, then onto fruit collecting from the kitchen. First a banana, a little later an apple, then a yogurt sprinkled with cereal for crunch. You'd think I'd be okay by now, but next came a pear, then a Weight Watchers toffee bar.

I thought about having some soup but I don't think I did. At that point I was pretty much over the morning hungries. For whatever reason, that morning I kept wanting, needing more.

I mentioned this to a friend and she said she'd experienced the same thing that day, so she too was trying to fill something.

Is it the cold winter air driving this urge to "stock up”? I think it's perfectly normal to experience this, so if you've been fighting the January eating frenzy, take heart. It's okay; you're not flawed. You can combat it by making healthier choices of what to eat.

Keep lots of ready-made snacks, such as cut up vegetables, but do eat them. It's not smart to buy apples and let them rot. Try a bite now and then; you may find those green peppers are actually quite tasty. A cucumber is a different kind of snack; cut them up and soak in vinegar and they're instant pickles.

Expect your appetite to change occasionally and don't let it rattle you. We don't hibernate but it doesn't stop us from wanting to eat a bit more this time of year.

Experiencing real hunger is a good thing, even a learning experience. By really getting hungry you can learn your degrees of hunger.

Degrees of Hunger:

* There's the slight idea of hunger
* The "maybe I should eat something" hunger
* The vague, not really hunger, but hey, I'll probably be hungry soon hunger
* All the way to the "I better eat something quick or there's going to be trouble" hunger.

We all have an entire range of hungers, just sit with your stomach rumbling and notice which it is this time.

Start by choosing a day, or time when you'll experiment with hunger. Weekends can be good, but if you're brave, go ahead on a workday and do a little homework on company time. The decision to do an exercise comes first, so first you plan ahead that when you notice you're getting hungry or thinking about eating, that's when you pull out your notepad and begin to take some notes.

What do you notice first about the sensation of hunger? Write it down. Is it a feeling, like a rumbling, gurgling, tingling or some other sensation in your stomach or some other part of your body? Notice where you feel it. Is it a sensation of emptiness or lightness, is it deep or shallow? Describe it in as much detail as you can.

Does the feeling cause other emotions such as fear or anxiety, danger, foreboding? What is hunger like for you, right now?

It could also be you see the clock, think it's nearly lunchtime and suddenly, yes, you're hungry. Then the "I'll never make it until noon" hunger pangs start, and the dips into the biscuit tin might begin.

Note the level of your hunger on a scale of 1 to 5, then the level of fullness from 6 to 10. Here's a scale you can use, but you can design any type you like.

Hungry Scale

1) Ravenous
2) Too hungry
3) Getting ready to eat, can wait but want to eat soon
4) Not hungry, but could eat.
5) No hunger

Overfull Scale

6) Eaten perhaps a bit more than I needed
7) Ate past full, but not uncomfortable
8) Uncomfortably too full
9) Way past too full, probably thinking about lying down
10) Holding my stomach and making sounds of a sick animal

On this scale, you want to stay around a 3 to 6, ideally, letting yourself become hungry, then stopping before you've eat past too full. It's a good training ground. There's no reason to think you won't experience hunger, since that's how you know when to eat, so playing with learning your levels of hunger helps to calm the hungries.

It's a tricky scale because you are obviously really hungry sometimes and other times you're sorta hungry, while other times you are way too hungry and should have eaten sooner. Only you know. This isn't scientific, just gauge your hunger so you know the difference between the idea of hunger and real "feed me" hunger.

Now, if you first notice your hunger and decide it's a four, you wait a bit. The idea is to learn to experience hunger, live with it for a minute; you won't expire. You're just going to wait a bit to see what the bigger hunger is like, remember?

Take this one step further if you are able, so you know you have truly reached real hunger, because anything above a 3 on the type scale I suggest above is likely a false hunger you could ride out. You don't have to rush to feed every hunger, it's not a pit you must fill. It's a normal thing, but sometimes it becomes bigger than us, or we let it seem as if it's bigger than us, and that's when hunger rules you, instead of you choosing when to eat.

Try this at least twice this week -decide in advance that you won't eat until you are hungry at least twice this week. Let me know what happens...

Have a fabulous day xx

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

January 26th 2011

"He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger." Japanese Proverb

Midweek already, can’t believe how quickly this weeks going nor that it’s the last week in January already! Soon be Easter, how much would you like to have lost before the Chocolate Eggs descend on us again?

Yesterday morning whilst walking the dog I realised that some of us may miscalculate activity ProPoints earnt, as the pocket guide explains Activity ProPoints for length of time, whilst I walked Alfie for the same length of time as the day before we didn’t cover as much ground as he was mostly sniffing lampposts and walls etc, luckily I had my Weight Watchers pedometer on which was counting my steps rather than the time (although there is an active setting on it for such as an exercise class), also because I didn’t get to have the second walk with Alfie, I chose to cook a meal instead (don’t worry mom took him so he didn’t lose out), I only earnt 6pp yesterday instead of the 8pp the day before.

This week we’re asking how can you do just a little bit more than you do now, to get a bit more active? I’m well aware lots of you either dislike the idea intensely or have lots of reasons for not doing more! The thing is adding activity into your day can not only help with your weight loss goals, but it can help you to keep the weight off for good, and can make you feel great! Why do many of us find it difficult to fit in exercise? "Too busy" is often the answer. So how about some tips for breaking down activity into achievable chunks.

We are all aware that we should be moving our bodies more to stay fit and healthy. A major study shows that 90% of successful weight maintainers are active for around an hour every day. The latest recommendations from the British Heart Foundation is that for good health, we should all be getting active for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity for 5 days or more per week. This may seem like a lot of time when you're juggling work, home and family, but the good news is that you can break this hour or 30 minutes down into smaller, more manageable chunks, and still get great results.

The cumulative effect of exercise

Performing three, ten-minute sessions of activity in a day will give similar (and significant) health benefits when compared to performing a continuous activity session of 30 minutes. The crucial factor is the total time spent being active, not whether it is continuous. The minimum time should be 10 minutes, and remember – you don’t have to sweat it out at the gym!

Here are some examples of 10 minute activities to build into your day:

· Walk a mile before breakfast
· Cycle to and from work
· Walk the kids to school
· Perform 3 different lower body exercises in the evening (if you have a monthly pass check out Weight Watchers website for exercise ideas & demos)
· Perform 10 minutes of an exercise DVD (The Y Plan DVD has 6 x 10 minute routines) also apparently Sainsbury’s sell solution dvds that have 10m sessions on them too.
· Get off the bus or train one stop early and walk the rest.
· Walk to the shops and carry shopping home.
· Try skipping – one minute on and one minute off x 5, I had a member who could only manage 1 minute when she bought a skipping rope after winning on the raffle, she eventually worked her way up to 30 minutes and lost pounds and pounds!
· Clean the car by hand, this saves money too.
· Sweep the drive or rake up leaves.
· Walk up and down stairs. Don’t leave things at the bottom of the stairs until you have a pile that need to go upstairs!
· Turn the radio up and dance around the lounge or the kitchen, I did this whilst cooking my meal yesterday, Alfie thought it was a new game.
· Take the kids over the park and actually play with them on the roundabouts and seesaws – be careful of those slides though we can get wedged at the top us ladies ;-)

Set yourself a goal to increase the activity in your life, and build up those ten minute chunks from 3 times per day to 4, 5 and eventually 6. When time allows, try to change things around, so perhaps go for 2 x 15 minutes one day, and build up to 2 x 20 minutes.

Remember that you will earn activity ProPoints values too – check out the ProPoints pocket guide to see what your activity can earn you.

Why not have a Walking Wednesday! xx

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

25th January 2011

You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. Christopher Robin to Pooh

Yesterday I was listening to Pooh, you can beat the old bear for a bit of wisdom, and of course my favourite Pooh story is Pooh in a hole! If you’re not a Pooh fan or you don’t know the story, I’ll copy it at the bottom of this page – Pooh Rocks!

I also found an article on how to save money and lose weight, cos lets be honest everyone’s a bit skint in January, and most people are a bit skint just before payday, I often have members say they couldn’t afford to buy fresh fruit the week before they get paid because they’d run out of cash, my answer here would be buy some tinned or frozen when you get paid in anticipation of being short of cash.

So the articles first tip was to cook up a curry, An average Indian takeaway meal Chicken Madras (27pp) with rice (12pp plain rice), naan (12pp minimum) and poppadoms (4pp each) contains lots of ProPoints as you can see and costs around £10 per person. Switching to a home cooked version instead is far kinder to your wallet and your waistline. It doesn’t have to be difficult either, tandoori and tikka is so simple you just leave it all day to marinate in the fridge.

For a delicious, super fast, low calorie chicken curry simply sauté 1 chopped onion in a non-stick pan with little water and a tablespoon of Worcester sauce until soft. Add 400g of diced chicken (10pp), sauté for 5 minutes until browned on all sides then pour over a jar of Sainsbury’s basic curry sauce (only costs about 16pence a jar) (8pp), cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with 100g of boiled rice (4pp). Serves 4.

Money and calories saved
345 Kcals per person
Total cost p/p: £1.25
£’s saved over 8 weeks: £10 - £1.25 = £8.75 x 8 weeks = £70
Kcals saved over 8 weeks: 1500kcal – 345 kcal = 1,155 kcal x 8 weeks = 9,240 Kcal* (Over 2 1/2 pounds!)
(*Based on swapping 1 takeaway a week for home cooked version)

The next idea was to make a souper saving!

According to the British Sandwich Association we buy approximately 1.8 billion sandwiches every year. The average sandwich costs £1.66 and contains approximately 400 calories. A Weight Watchers BLT Sandwich is 6pp, whereas The Co-Operative Truly Irresistible Chicken & Sweetcure Bacon Sandwich is 15pp. However, a recent report by the National Consumer Council has found that many leading chains are selling sandwiches that contain more calories, salt and fat than a Big Mac (13pp) with some containing well over 700 calories per pack. Eaten every working day for a week, both the cost and the calories can mount up.

For a far cheaper, healthier option make a large pan of your own healthy, veggie based soups such as carrot and coriander, leek and potato or tomato and fresh basil. Freeze individual portions then simply remove from the freezer before you go to bed, heat in the microwave the next morning and pop in a flask to take with you to work. It’s a great way to get your five-a-day and with most home-made, low fat vegetable soups containing no more than 140 calories per serving and costing less than 50p per portion your waistline and your wallet will be much better off.

Money and calories saved
£’s saved over 8 weeks: £1.66 – 50p = £1.06 x 5 = 5.30 per week x 8 weeks = £42.40
Kcals saved over 8 weeks: 400 kcal – 140 kcal = 260 kcal x 5 = 1,300 Kcals x 8 weeks = 10,400 Kcal* (almost 3 pounds!)
(*Based on swapping shop bought sandwiches for home-made soup 5 days a week for 8 weeks)

Save wine for the weekends

Winding down each evening with a glass or two of wine may seem harmless enough but apart from the extra calories (approximately 140 Kcals per glass) and the health dangers associated with regular drinking, alcohol actually increases your appetite which can lead to an even greater calorie intake. The financial cost of relying on a glass of wine to relax can soon mount up too as even a relatively cheap wine consumed at home costs approximately £1.50 per glass.

Money and calories saved
£’s saved over 8 weeks*: £1.50 x 5 = 7.50 per week x 8 weeks = £60.00
Kcals saved over 8 weeks: 140 kcal x 5 = 700 Kcals per week x 8 weeks = 5,600 Kcal* (over 1 and a half pounds!)
(*Based on consuming one glass of wine a night, five nights a week.)

OUCH that ones just hurt me!!!

Ditch the sugary drinks

If you’re partial to quenching your thirst with sugary drinks you could be doing more harm than good to your budget and your body. Just one small bottle of lemonade, cola or Ribena can contain over 200 calories and cost up to £1. Save cash and calories by switching to drinking water instead.

Money and calories saved
£’s saved over 8 weeks*: £1 x 4 per week = £4 x 8 weeks = £32.00
Kcals saved over 8 weeks: 200 Kcals per bottle x 4 = 800 Kcals per week x 8 weeks = 6,400Kcal* (almost 2 pounds!)
(* Based on swapping 4 bottles or cans of soft drinks a week for tap water.)

Sack the snacks
We are a nation of snack lovers munching our way through 6,000 million bags of crisps, 4,400 million packs of savoury snacks and spending a whopping £6 billion on sweets and chocolate every year. Cutting back on just some of your favourite high fat, high sugar snacks is a great way to save cash and cut calories. Just eating 1 packet of biscuits, a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar less a week can save £2 and reduce your weekly calorie intake by approximately 2,400 calories!

Money and calories saved
£’s saved over 8 weeks: £2 per week x 8 weeks = £16.00
Kcals saved over 8 weeks: 2,400 kcal per week x 8 weeks = 19,200 Kcal (almost 5 ½ pounds!)
Total Kcals saved = 50,840 - just over a stone in body fat!
Total cash saved = £220

Mmm food for thought I think you’ll agree, so I promised you the Pooh Story to make you smile;

Pooh always liked a little something at eleven o’clock in the morning, and he was very glad to see Rabbit getting out the plates and mugs; and when Rabbit said, “Honey or condensed milk with your bread?” he was so excited that he said, “Both,” and then, so as not to see greedy, he added, “But don’t bother about the bread, please.” And for a long time after that he said nothing… until at least, humming to himself in a rather sticky voice, he got up, shook Rabbit lovingly by the paw, and said that he must be going on. “Must you?” said Rabbit politely.

“Well” said Pooh, “I could stay a little longer if it – if you –“ and he tried very hard to look in the direction of the larder.

“As a matter of fact,” said Rabbit, “I was going out myself directly.”

“Oh well, then, I’ll be going on. Good-bye”

“Well, good-bye, if you’re sure you won’t have any more.”

“Is there any more?” asked Pooh quickly.

Rabbit took the covers off the dishes, and said, “No, there wasn’t.”

“I thought not,” said Pooh, nodding to himself. “Well, good-bye, I must be going on.”

So he started to climb out of the hole. He pulled with his front paws, and pushed with his back paws, and in a little while his nose was out in the open again… and then his ear… and then his front paws… and then his shoulders… and then –

“Oh help!” said Pooh, “I’d better go back.”

“Oh bother!” said Pooh. “I shall have to go on.”

“I can’t do either!” said Pooh. “Oh, help and bother!”

Now, by this time Rabbit wanted to go for a walk too, and finding the front door full, he went out by the back door, and came round to Pooh, and look at him.

“Hallo, are you stuck?” he asked.

“N-no,” said Pooh carelessly. “Just resting and thinking and humming to myself.”

“Here, give us a paw.”

Pooh Bear stretched out a paw, and Rabbit pulled and pulled and pulled….

“Ow!” cried Pooh. “You’re hurting!”

“The fact is,” said Rabbit, “you’re stuck.”

“It all comes,” said Pooh crossly, “of not having front doors big enough.”

“It all comes,” said Rabbit sternly, “of eating too much. I thought at the time,” said Rabbit, “only I didn’t like to say anything,” Said Rabbit, “that one of us was eating too much,” said Rabbit, “and I knew it wasn’t me,” he said. “Well, well I shall go and fetch Christopher Robin.”

Christopher Robin lived at the other end of the Forest, and when he came back with Rabbit, and saw the front half of Pooh, he said, “Silly old Bear,” in such a loving voice that everybody felt quite hopeful again.

“I was just beginning to think,” said Bear, sniffling slightly, “that Rabbit might never be able to use his front door again. And I should hate that,” he said.

“So should I,” said Rabbit.

“If we can’t pull you out, Pooh, we might push you back.”

Rabbit scratched his whiskers thoughtfully, and pointed out that, when once Pooh was pushed back, he was back, and of course nobody was more glad to see Pooh than he was, still there it was, some lived in trees and some lived underground, and –

“You mean I’d never get out?” said Pooh.

“I mean,” said Rabbit, “that having got so far, it seems a pity to waste it.”

Christopher Robin nodded.

“Then there’s only one thing to be done,” he said. “We shall have to wait for you to get thin again.”

“How long does getting thin take?” asked Pooh anxiously.

“About a week, I should think.”

“But I can’t stay here for a week!”

“You can stay here all right, silly old Bear. It’s getting you out which is so difficult.”

“Well read to you,” said Rabbit cheerfully.

“And I hope it won’t snow,” he added. “And I say, old fellow, you’re taking up a good deal of room in my house – do you mind if I use your back legs as a towel-horse? Because, I mean, there they are – doing nothing – and it would be very convenient just to hang the towels on them.”

“A week!” said Pooh gloomily. “What about meals?”

“I’m afraid no meals,” said Christopher Robin, because of getting thin quicker. But we will read to you.”

Monday, 24 January 2011

24th January 2011 facebook email

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. Michael Jordan
Well where did that weekend go? I can’t believe it’s Monday morning already, it’s just gone by in a flash, we had my brother and his wife stay Saturday night and the whole weekend has just gone by in a blur!

I’d made a beef stew for them but they’d already eaten so it was still there when they left, I’ve frozen it, but it did get me thinking about how some people hate to waste food, you’ve heard all the reasons, “good food is expensive”, “there are starving children in Africa”, “It’s just wrong to throw good food away”. If you’re on of those people, think about the belief you have regarding waste and ask yourself the following questions;

Now for each belief, go through the questions below.
  • How does believing this impact the way you eat?
  • Would eating the food help?
  • Where did you get this belief from?
  • Is it out of date?
  • Do you want to keep it or let it go?

 Which of these beliefs do you want to let go of. Read each belief out loud and ‘symbolically’ throw them in the bin.


These beliefs can take time to really let go of. So be patient with yourself and notice as much as you can about how these beliefs impact your willingness to STOP eating when you’ve had enough. And always remember you will get there when your ready.


It is important to acknowledge to yourself that WASTING food is not ideal nor is it something I’m encouraging. What I’m saying is that:


Eating it doesn’t mean it’s NOT wasted! If your body doesn’t need it because you have had enough, then it’s already wasted – inside or out!


If you are eating it because you don’t want it to go to waste, you are saying that it’s WRONG to throw it in the bin to rot, but it’s OK to throw it in your body where it will not be doing you any good as you don’t need it!

What you are saying is that it’s OK to treat yourself as a dustbin!



If you want to avoid wasting food… experiment with:

- Buying less or shopping more frequently for perishable foods.

- Cooking less.

- Using serving dishes rather than plating up (so that everyone decides how much they want based on appetite).

 - HONEST shopping (buying what you WANT to eat rather than what you think you should eat!).

 - And finding suitable ways to deal with leftovers.

After my visitors had left yesterday afternoon though I decided to do a bit of cooking as I already had the meat in the fridge and I’m so glad I did because it was delicious, A Nigella recipe for Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, I love garlic and cooking them in their skins makes them sweet and caramelly as they cook, like savoury bonbons in their sticky wrappers as Nigella says.

Serve it with some steamed or boiled potatoes alongside if you wish, or a huge portion of green cabbage or Kale would work really well or some fine beans or baby peas or a plain green salad. The flavoursome juices really do scream out for a chunk of bread dipped in them though so if you do have any spare ProPoints that’s definitely an option.

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic,


2 tbsp regular olive oil

8 chicken thighs (with skin on and bone in), preferably organic

1 bunch (about 6) spring onions

small bunch fresh thyme

40 garlic cloves (approx 3-4 bulbs), unpeeled

2 tbsp dry white wine

1½ tsp sea salt flakes or ¾ tsp pouring salt

good grinding pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Heat the oil on the hob over a high heat in a wide, shallow, ovenproof and flameproof casserole (that will ultimately fit all the chicken in one layer, and that has a lid). Sear the chicken, skin-side down. This may take two batches, so transfer the browned pieces to a bowl as you go. Once the chicken pieces are seared, transfer them all to the bowl.

Finely slice the spring onions, put them into the casserole and quickly stir-fry them with the leaves torn from a few sprigs of thyme.

Put 20 of the unpeeled cloves of garlic (papery excess removed) into the casserole, top with the chicken pieces, skin-side up, then cover with the remaining 20 cloves of garlic.

Add the vermouth (or white wine) to any oily chicken juices left in the bowl. Swill it around and pour this into the casserole.

Sprinkle with the salt, grind over the pepper, and add a few more sprigs of thyme. Put on the lid and cook in the oven for 1½ hours.

Mmm, it was absolutely delicious. Have a Marvellous Monday everyone – remember it’s a choice you make in your head!


Sunday, 23 January 2011

23rd January 2011 facebook email

Let your freak flag fly!
This week we looked at TRACKING, the ProPoints of some BASIC FOODS and how these are miscalculated on trackers.

We realised…

- People forget to put MILK on their tracker, or underestimate the amount they use, ‘’it’s only a drop’’

- We forget to measure butter/margarine ‘’it’s only a scraping’’

- Cheese can be swapped for lower ProPointed options, i.e. ½ fat or Cheese triangles.

- Bread, is often miscalculated, some thick slices are 3pp (that’s 1 slice, not 2)

- AND finally EGGS, check the size. YES ‘size does matter’.

We all agreed that

· TRACKING does work.


· And honest TRACKERS has SUCCESS written all over it.


When it comes to food, I like it best when its delicious, low in calories, high in nutrients, and (not to sound shallow, but) looks good too. For me Butternut squash hits all of those points and more. Make fries with it, mash it, put it in a stew... JUST EAT IT. Today, butternut squash, I salute you!

What Is It?

Butternut Squash is most importantly zero ProPoints, its shaped like a large pear, has cream-colored skin, deep orange-colored flesh and a sweet flavor. Technically a fruit, the butternut is a winter squash with a nice long shelf life and a thick skin (so feel free to mock it). It's mostly solid with a bulbous end that contains seeds and strings to be scooped out.

Why Do I Love It?

It’s similar to Sweet Potato, but better! This orange guy tastes a lot like a sweet potato, but it's lighter and lower in starchy carbs. Use it pretty much anywhere you would use a sugary spud.

Delicious AND Nutritious. Sure, it's full of fibre, and is also good sources of vitamins A and C, several B vitamins, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids?

Once you learn the easiest ways to skin and slice the things, working with them becomes a lot simpler. I don’t bother to skin it most of the time especially if I’m roasting it, and I eat the skin. If however I do skin it, I have found a peeler the best option, the one I have is green and it slides on your finger (had it from Sainsburys), but otherwise use a nice and be careful, slice away from you always!

Make chips!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice the ends off the squash, and then cut it in half widthwise. Peel squash with a vegetable peeler or carefully with a knife. Cut the round bottom piece in half lengthwise and remove seeds.

Using a crinkle cutter or a knife, carefully cut squash into chip shapes. Pat chips firmly with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Sprinkle evenly with salt.

Lay chips out on a layer of paper towels, and let stand for at least 5 minutes, to allow the salt to draw out any excess moisture. Then pat with paper towels again. If you like, sprinkle with additional salt.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray, and then lay chips flat on it. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, and then carefully flip chip. Bake for about 20 minutes longer, until tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Enjoy!

Here’s to a lazy Sunday xx

Saturday, 22 January 2011

22nd January 2011 facebook email

Don’t sweat the small stuff and trust me it’s all small stuff!
It’s Saturday – YAY! A full day off and I’m really looking forward to it, I’m going to take Alfie on a super long walk first, then I have a massage booked as my treat, then I’m going to pick my brother and his wife up who I haven’t seen since last Easter as they live in Corfu. So yes today is going to be good. Hope you’ve all got a great one planned too.

Yesterday in the spare hour I had, I sat and went through the Seriously Satisfying cookbook and some of my other cookbooks and planned out some meals, breakfasts, lunch and dinner so that I know what I plan to be eating for the forthcoming week. This mornings breakfast is the Oaty smoothie on page 12 (3pp), spiced carrot and butternut squash on page 54 for lunch (1pp) and dinner is beef and ale pot pies on page 120 (10pp), that leaves me some spare for anything else that happens along the way!

Last night I attended a business meeting with the other leaders, who I hadn’t seen for a few months and it was lovely to meet up and we had a real good laugh, o yeah and I got weighed by my boss which actually wasn’t too bad ;-)

Truth be told – I don’t really need a reason to smile. I think happiness can be our natural state, and that we learn the unhappiness that so many of us experience. But if you do need a reason to smile this weekend, here are six of them:

1. You are loved. If you’re not loved by yourself, you are at least loved by me. And probably a whole bunch of other people to which you mean the world. Best of all, you have the ability to reciprocate that love – and doing so is guaranteed to make you smile.

2. Smiles make new friends. There’s no better way to open up yourself to other people than by smiling at strangers. Smiles attract attention, and your smile may spark a new and fulfilling friendship.

3. Because you’re worth it. There are over 7 billion humans on this planet – and not a single one of them is more deserving of love, more beautiful, or more magical than you. Knowing that, how can’t you smile?

4. A smile looks good on you. In fact, smiling is my best-kept beauty secret. A radiant smile works with any outfit, any season and any combination of colors or prints. Wear it proud!

5. It’s good for you. Smiling doesn’t just make you more attractive; it reduces stress, boosts your immune system, lowers blood pressure and releases endorphins.

6. Because it’s contagious. Your smile lights up a room – and other people take notice. Your smile helps others connect with their happiness. If you won’t smile for yourself, do it for others.

And I know what you’re thinking, there are certainly a number of reasons not to smile today. You don’t need me to remind you of those. But by focusing on the negative, you’re probably only ensuring a negative mood, attitude and experience.

Why not focus on those things that will lift you up, and align yourself with a more loving and positive energy? The choice, as always, is yours.

Have any more reasons to smile? Share them on our facebook wall ;-)

So have a smiley Saturday, share them out too, they cost nothing xx

Friday, 21 January 2011

21st January 2011 facebook email

Life is short, forgive sooner and always keep smiling.
Well I’m truly inspired by all my members this week, I’ve never seen such positivity even from those who haven’t lost. The week ended with a staggering weight loss of 84½ stone (average weight loss of 1.97lb per person), which is just incredible, the meeting with the best overall average for the week was Monday morning meeting at Bloxwich, with an average of 2.41lb so well done all of you.

Sometimes however we don’t get the results we expect and why that is I can’t always explain, I can empathise and check trackers, offer suggestions, but real answers sometimes just aren’t there. Yesterday morning when one of my helpers told me she’d ate everyone of her daily and weekly allowance and that she’d also earnt 50 ProPoints doing exercise and she’d ate them too, I sort of gulped and thought omg she’s not gonna get a weight loss and she’s not gonna be happy, but when she stepped on the scales she’d lost 1.5lb, I was both amazed and pleased, especially as she’d also gone over by 18pp because she thought chick peas were zero ProPoints and they’re not!

At the other end of the scale, I’ve got her mate who has stuck to it 100% over the last two weeks, hasn’t eaten all her weekly ProPoints, has also been running 2½ miles every night and hasn’t lost an ounce! Go figure, why is this? Honestly I’m not sure, it could be that because she’s running she needs a little more food, but it might just be her body going through some changes and the weight loss will show in time. In these cases you just to be patient and stay with it. Easier said than done I know but worth it.

It’s also worth going back to basics and checking everything, when I shouted across my meeting room yesterday, “how many ProPoints in Walkers lites” most members replied 2, the answer was 3! Check, check and check again! Make sure you’re ProPointing everything correctly, check the portion sizes – weigh the food where possible. Be honest about your Activity ProPoints and most importantly has we’ve talked about in meetings this week – TRACK! And track everything and everyday, not just the good days.

Also attend your meeting, especially if you’ve had a bad week, that’s when you need your meeting more than ever.

I get weighed today by my boss and I know it’s not going to be good, but I also know the next time she weighs me it will be better and that’s what we all need to focus on, the good and the future.

One last thing, it’s great that you’re all using the wall to communicate, can I just say if you have a specific question for me to send it to me directly by text or email as I don’t always get to check the pages as regularly as I’d like.

Have a fabulous Friday – here comes the weekend, hope you’ve still got your 49pp!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

January 20th 2011

Whatever you are, be a good one. Abraham Lincoln
Another fab day on the weight loss front yesterday, bringing this weeks total up to 59 stone, can we beat our record, can Bloxwich lose 11 stone today – I think they can!

Well as I was walking Alfie yesterday morning my phone beeped to wish me happy birthday and I walked round thinking about what had happened in my life over the last 41 years, some amazing things, some not so good and some life changing things. All in all I’ve had a good life so far and long may it continue. Then I started to smile to myself as I thought about the diets! O my word, someone asked me yesterday how long it took me to lose my weight, my reply was 22 years, and joking aside that’s probably right, I’ve lost weight more times than I care to remember, I’ve got 5 or 6 gold Weight Watcher cards with different dates and different weights on. Dieting has on occasion consumed me over the years, it’s even stopped me enjoying myself sometimes because I’ve refused a night out. I’m glad to say now though that since I got to goal in August 2004 I’ve finally got this dieting sussed. It didn’t automatically happen the day I got to goal, it’s more kind of slowly happened since. I still have the odd blip where I let it affect my mood but that’s very occasionally, yesterday I put my dress on for work and thought how it felt tighter than the last time I wore it, I had a little emotional wobble but soon talked myself round by saying to myself, “a dress that’s got a little tighter does not define you, it does not have the power to ruin your day, you are still as happy as you were two minutes ago, so get a grip and smile”. And you know what it worked! Yep, don’t get me wrong, I still gain weight and lose it again, never gain as much as I was which is a bonus, and I think the reason for that is because I no longer give myself a hard time about my size. I never deny myself anything, if I fancy it; I have it and move on. All day yesterday I promised myself I could have a donor kebab from the chippy for my birthday tea after I finally finished my meetings, then when I’d finished I didn’t want one ;-) things become less appealing when you’re allowed them!

Didn’t manage to cook anything yesterday so was very relieved to have a freezer full of home made ready meals, I had chicken casserole for lunch and curried carrot soup for tea. But I’ve just seen this recipe on esource (esource is free for monthly pass subscribers, please always buy your monthly pass in your meeting, it’s the same price, and I will get paid also) and think I may make it at the weekend.

Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds

ProPoints® Value per serving: 7
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Liven up some chicken breasts with this easy stove-top recipe, with its spicy Moroccan overtones.

5 spray(s) Cooking Spray, Calorie Controlled
4 medium Chicken, Breast, Skinless, Raw, each cut into four pieces
1 medium Onion, All Types,
1 tbsp Ras el hanout seasoning (from the spice racks)
2 teaspoons (grated) Ginger, Root, fresh
1/4 teaspoons Turmeric, or saffron
100 g Apricots, Ready-to-Eat, roughly chopped
400 g Carrots, Old, Raw, sliced
600 ml Chicken Stock, Fresh
4 sprig(s) (fresh) Parsley, fresh, roughly chopped
20 g Almonds, flaked

· Heat a large flameproof casserole dish on the hob and spray with low fat cooking spray. Add the chicken pieces, cooking them for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat without moving them, then turn them over to cook for a further 2 minutes. (This will brown them nicely).

· Add the onion, Ras el hanout seasoning, ginger, saffron or turmeric, apricots, carrots and stock. Stir in half the parsley. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 30-40 minutes.

· Check the seasoning, then serve, sprinkled with the almonds and remaining parsley.

Cook’s tip: Couscous would be the ideal accompaniment to this tagine.

Have a great day xx

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

19th January 2011

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down. Mary Pickford

It’s easy to write a list of reasons why you want to lose weight; it’s not so easy to remember those reasons when you’re about to eat something that you know will stop that weight loss! We need to remind ourselves daily, whether you use a paper tracker, a tracker journal or online, each day before you start writing what you eat, write a reason why you’d like to lose weight. Keep reminding yourself of all the benefits. It’s so much easier to succeed when you know why you want to.

At Christmas, I bought a container of Haagen-Dazs Tiramisu Ice Cream. To say that it’s delicious is to say that Brad Pitt is cute. Yummy doesn’t even begin to cut it.

Last night, when I got in, although I was tired, I wasn’t particularly hungry I contemplated having some. I glanced at the nutrition information, only to discover that each 100g serving had 7pp in, and I also realised that it was a tub of empty calories. Yikes! Clearly, it’s a dessert for very special occasions – and not something to be consumed every day.

For a few minutes, I was a bit disappointed. But then I realized that there were plenty of delicious alternatives that I could eat – putting into practice one of the best-kept nutrition secrets: Don’t focus on what you can’t eat. Focus on what you can eat.

If you focus on the foods that you can’t eat, making healthy choices could be unnecessarily painful. You’ll feel deprived, and by thinking about unhealthy foods – you’ll develop cravings from them. If you think about cheesecake long enough, you’re probably going to get a hankering for some. Don’t mourn over what you can’t eat; rejoice in the foods that you can! Take a glass half-full approach.

Indeed, a boring ice-lolly might not make the cut – but many other refreshing options like frozen smoothies or fruit salad are viable alternatives. And healthy foods can be delicious and satisfying, so put your energy and attention there.

And there you have it – the best-kept nutrition secret ever. EVER!

Focus on what you can eat!

By doing this you’ll start to enjoy losing weight and rewarding yourself in different ways. When you believe in yourself, you radiate a positive energy that people find irresistible. So get the positive vibe. Get rid of the ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ set yourself free to enjoy the moment.

Replace every negative thought with a positive one. Instead of ‘I hate my hips’, try ‘I really like my eyes’

Say thank you to compliments, instead of putting yourself down in response.

Your mission today is to have a good one ;-) Go out, smile and be nice to others. Pay someone a compliment, do something nice for some. Let’s make today ‘National Be Nice Day’. Why? Why not!?

If you really need a reason, do it for me, call it my Birthday present xx

Happy ‘National Be Nice Day’ everybody ;-)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

18th January 2011 facebook email

Silence is golden, but farts are funnier!
Apparently yesterday was officially the gloomiest day of the year! Christmas bills looming, it was cold outside and 70% of us have apparently already given up on our new year resolutions. I had a lovely day yesterday so they got it wrong I reckon ;-) The sun even managed to shine a little as I was having a lovely afternoon walk with Alfie.

I bought a book from Asda yesterday called ‘the handbag book of inspirations’ by Weight Watchers! It’s not bad, full of tips, advice and affirmations, of which I will share the odd one with you all now and then I think.

When Joyce my helper told me she made her smoothies with squash I thought it was odd! But it actually tasted good, she made me some yesterday, her ingredients were;

1 banana, 1 handful strawberries, 1 handful melon, 1 handful blueberries, 1 pint of summer fruits squash and blend together. She also gave me a straw to drink it with to protect my teeth, now that’s taking care of someone ;-)

Have you noticed how suddenly ProPoints become like currency, you eat something and think, “that wasn’t worth spending that many ProPoints on” or of course the opposite, “that was worth every ProPoint”. I made Cauliflower Cheese soup yesterday and although it was nice, I don’t think I’d want to spend 4 or 5pp on a bowl again, I’d rather spend more and have a proper plate of cauliflower cheese.

I did manage to track 100% though and I’m totally shocked because I managed to stick to my 29 when I thought I’d gone over! Thrilled is the word. This is what I had;

30g branflakes – 3pp
1/2pt milk for cereal & 3 cups of tea/coffee throughout day - 3pp

Morning Snack
Smoothie – 0pp

Curried carrot soup – 0pp
2 pears – 0pp

Afternoon Snack
Big mug of Cauliflower cheese soup – 5pp

Grey peas & bacon – 12pp

Late Snack
Wafer thin ham sandwich on 2 slices WW bread & low fat mayo – 6pp

All that adds up perfectly to 29pp and I got to each 6 times! I even earned 9pp on my pedometer and as I’m not drinking alcohol this week, I think I may be having a Chinese at the weekend with those ProPoints or I may just cook something special like the Nigella 29pp pasta dish I fancy making!

Okay, now it’s your turn, get on my facebook group or page and share your trackers, let’s inspire each other and give each other meal ideas. I know all my measurements are correct on my tracker because everything is weighed, how do you know that you’re ProPoints are correct, do you weigh, do you check portion sizes?

If you don’t weigh or measure, why not spend a week measuring out your portions to get used to what a sensible serving looks like – I was gobsmacked as I weighed my bran flakes yesterday, I’d forgot how few you get!

- Your fist is about the same size as one portion of fruit – just because they’re zero ProPoints doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be sensible about sizes.
- Your thump (tip to base) is the size of one portion of cheese.
- Your palm (minus fingers) equals a portion of meat, fish or poultry.
- Your cupped hand equals one portion of nuts or pretzels.

Also keep a track of how many portions of fruit and veg your having, remember you’re aiming for 5, I had 6 or 7 yesterday. Track fluids too, I’m not drinking so many cups of tea/coffee these days so I could how many cups of how water or glasses of cold I have, aim for 8 a day. And finally Calcium, try to include it in some form, whether milk, yogurts or even green vegetables.

Let’s all aim get healthy this week xx

Monday, 17 January 2011

17th January 2011

I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think. Rumi

Well I had a productive morning yesterday, cooked four things, which means I’ve got a full freezer again. I did grey peas and bacon, Weight Watchers don’t have grey peas on their food list but I weigh them as if they were a pulse such as chick peas which are 9 pp for 100g, or 41pp for a pound when dried before soaking or cooking. So mine with the bacon and I added a couple of onions fried with the bacon beforehand work out at 12 pp a portion. I christened my new slow cooker (£15 from Sainsbury’s) by concocting a Moroccan veggie dish with chick peas and butternut squash which is only 5pp a serving, I started off by frying 2 onions in a pump of oil from my Weight Watchers spray, and added 4tsp of Schwartz Moroccan spice mix, and about 100ml of water. Then put this into the slow cooker with, a butternut squash (peeled & diced into small cubes), tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 diced orange pepper, tsp ginger puree, 2 garlic cloves diced, can chick peas drained, 2tbsp honey & 2tbsps raisins.

I also made a delicious curried carrot soup which will cost me zero points a bowl as I only used a spray from my oil spray, 1 chopped onion, 1 tablespoon curry powder 1kg (2¼ lb) chopped carrots, 1 litre (1¾ pints) vegetable stock, 500ml (17 fl oz) water, or as needed.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion until tender and translucent. Stir in the curry powder. Add the chopped carrots and stir until the carrots are well coated. Pour in the vegetable stock, and simmer until the carrots are soft, about 20 minutes. Transfer soup to a blender, and purée until smooth (or use a hand held blender). Pour back into the pot, and thin with water to your preferred consistency.

In front of my is my Weight Watchers Track, and I’m just about to plan my day, breakfast is going to be bran flakes haven’t had them for a week or two, 30g = 3pp, I’m using the online tracker to find the points but I like to have it hand written for me to carry in my handbag so I can see at a glance. Lunch = curried carrot soup (0pp), dinner = grey peas (12pp), 1pint skimmed milk for cereal and drinks. This leaves me 9pp for anything else I fancy along the way. I need to pop to Asda this morning for fruit and some salad. Yeah this week I mean business; I’m on a proper diet. It isn’t until you start writing it down that you realise how quickly those 29pp can disappear if not budgeted well - bit like the money in your purse I suppose!

I’ve managed to lose a pound this week so I’m pleased, but I’d like to have a really focused week to get my energy back and feel healthy and lose another pound next week.

So if you do one thing this year…

“Have three alcohol-free days a week”, says Dr Nick Sheron, consultant hepatologist at Southampton University: “Also, have three alcohol-free weeks, spread throughout the year. This dramatically reduces all alcohol-associated health risks by giving your liver a chance to rest while testing your dependency.”

Having just typed today’s ‘one thing this year’ suggestion I’ve decided to make this week my alcohol rest, I finished the last bottle of wine from Christmas last night so the house is bare therefore I’ll take that as a sign ;-) I think we have family coming to stay this weekend so I’ll need to have my wits about me to cope!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

16th January 2011

If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun. Katherine Hepburn

Well I had a laidback Saturday, walked Alfie for longer than usual, the chilled out with the papers and watched some tv. Cooked Bobotie from the Seriously Satisfying cookbook, then ate it ;-) And watched more tv before having an early night, that is my idea of a perfect weekend at this time of year!

Sticking to a diet and an exercise regime is never easy, so here are some suggestions to make it a little easier!

Only eat food you adore - you may not be able to eat whatever you like all the time, but dieting will never work if you force yourself to eat food you dislike.

Put yourself first – nothing is more important than eating well and exercising, because if you don’t have good health you can’t make the most of everything life has to offer – or be there for the people who need you. Ask yourself daily “what do I need to do to stay on track?” and make that your first priority.

Eat slowly and stop when full – those that eat quickly are twice as likely to be overweight – and eating slowly is a great way to give your body time to register that you’re full and give you change to enjoy the eating!

Ask what you really need – every time you feel an urge to eat (outside of the 3 meals and 2 snacks you’ve planned into your day) ask yourself this question – you may be surprised by the answer – do you really need food, or does your body need a break? A glass of water? A hug?

Watch portion sizes – losing weight isn’t just about what you eat, but how much. And that counts for salads too. Instead of eating huge portions, eat smaller amounts and promise yourself you can have second helpings should this mini meal not be enough. You will find yourself feeling pleasantly full on a lot less food.

Every little helps – you didn’t become overweight in a day and you won’t slim down in one either. It took thousands of tiny lifestyle decisions to get where you are today and, by the same token, many life style decisions are going to help you slim. Think about every bite of food you take, every move you make and, little by little those calories you shave off and those extra bits of energy expenditure will add up to a new slim you.

Remember your goal – psychologists have found that focusing on things rather than just appearance will make you more likely to be successful in your slimming quest. So make sure your diet goals are enticing and worthwhile.

Forgive and forget – don’t punish that one biscuit indulgence by feeling a failure for the rest of the week – that’s a certain way to sabotage your weight loss. Instead, forgive and get back on track.

Plan everything – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Go shopping for the weeks salad and vegetables on a Monday to reduce the risk of the empty fridge sending you off track. Put your exercise sessions in your diary and fit other commitments around them, not the other way around.

Relax! Studies show stress can make you fat, but rest, sleep and exercise can ease your stress and help you shed those pounds.

So if you do one thing this year…

Give your eyes a computer screen break – staring at a screen can cause sore or tired eyes, headaches and even blurred vision. Follow the 20/20 rule: look up from your screen every 20 minutes and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Check out www.screensmart.co.uk

Saturday, 15 January 2011

15th January 2011 facebook email

Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed. Mia Hamm
I had a break from the computer yesterday, facebook wasn’t working so once I’d done my paperwork I shut everything down and turned my phone onto silent too! It was bliss ;-)

Why do you wanna be slimmer? Why do you wanna lose weight? Will it make a difference to your life?

Why don’t you start today by setting your slimming goals -find a quiet place where you are unlikely to be disturbed and make yourself comfortable. Relax.

Now focus all your attention on the reasons why you want to lose weight. Think about how you’ll feel when you’re slimmer, what you’ll look like, what outfits you’ll wear and the activities you’ll be participating in. Draw up a list of your short-term goals (to buy gorgeous new clothes for the summer, for example), medium-term goals (to look better at 40 than you did at 25), and the lifelong reasons why you’d like to be slimmer and healthier (to look good and feel great).

Let’s make it easier to lose weight by adoring ourselves slim. Now that you know why you want to be slim, choose the rewards that will help spur you on to achieving those goals. Why not promise yourself daily treats for sticking to your plan such as a 15-minute break reading a good magazine, or a long soak in the bath. Promise yourself weight loss rewards like pedicures, manicures, massages or facials, a new lipstick, or a new outfit in a smaller size.

The road to weight loss has its ups and downs, but you’ll sail through if you can keep your self-belief high. Super charge it before you start by incorporating the following tricks into your life:

- Spend the first precious minute of every day praising yourself. That way, even if no one else does (though they will, once the weight starts falling off), it matters less.

- Stop striving to be perfect – you don’t have to do everything right in order to love yourself and for others to love you. Instead of berating yourself if things don’t go to plan (the chocolate biscuit that jumped into your mouth, the day without exercise), start practicing a bit of unconditional self-acceptance.

- Get in touch with your body – show it how much you adore it (rolls and all) by lavishing it with care and attention. Treat yourself to a scented body lotion and massage in it after a shower as a way of saying thank you for what your body does (carries you around, allows you to enjoy all the wonderful things life has to offer), not just for the way it looks.

- Banish evil thoughts – most women are plagued by a negative inner voice, belittling, sneering and criticising everything they do. But every time you catch yourself thinking something unhelpful (such as I’ll always be overweight), just imagine a giant STOP sign in front of your face. Then consciously turn that thought into a positive (every day in every way I’m becoming slimmer and fitter).

- Act like a Girl Guide – it’s far easier to believe you are a good person if you behave like one, so start committing acts of kindness and get in the habit of doing a daily good deed.

- Be grateful – every time you brush your teeth at night think of three things you’re happy to be (funny, determined, enthusiastic), three things you’ve done well that day (not lost your temper with the kids, cooked a healthy meal, made others feel good about themselves) and three things you’re grateful to have (your health, a loving partner, a comfy bed).

- Fake it to make it – think of the most confident and successful person you know and analyse how they dress, look and behave, and then start copying them.

What you really feel inside doesn’t count because what you’ll be telling the world is that you have self-belief.

And guess what? With nothing better to go on than what you tell them, other people will soon start treating you like a person who’s confident and successful, which will boost your real confidence.

So if you do one thing this year…
Make time for a quiet bedtime routine

Some quiet time, maybe a warm bath and a warm milky or chamomile drink will allow even those who don’t sleep well to have a deep, restorative night’s sleep. Remember, going straight from the computer or TV to bed – or exercising too late – makes it much harder to drop off.

Personally I don’t have this problem falling asleep is something I do really easily! Having said that I’ve been awake since 4am so maybe I need to work on staying asleep ;)

Have a super Saturday xx

Friday, 14 January 2011

14th January 2011 facebook email

“People say money is not the key to happiness, but I figure if you have money, you can have a key made.” Joan Rivers

Alfie (my dog) is one year old today, yep it’s his birthday, and so an extended walk is on the cards for sure.

67½ stone was lost in my meetings this week, I think you’ll agree that’s fabulous, especially as Monday members were at their first meeting of the year so they had their Christmas gains to be acknowledged. I think next week if we try hard enough we could beat that and maybe beat the 69 stone that we lost the first week the plan was launched to my members! Are you up for the challenge? So let’s get a little competitive my meeting with the best average weight loss was Bloxwich, Thursday 10.45am, they lost an average of 3.62lb, and the average lost overall from all my members this week was a fabulous 1.82lb. So well done to everyone of you that lost weight, and remember never let success go to your head and never let failure go to your heart. If you didn’t get a weight loss this week, that’s okay, because there’s always next week. xx

I know a good few of us struggled to get back into the plan last week, Christmas has only just past, we’ve still got rubbish in the house, the weathers rotten, etc, etc, etc. This is a post that was written by a member last night on our fb wall;

“I'm really struggling with this new propoints, not that its hard to work out points, just I can't get motivated. I want so much to be able to fit in my old clothes again but everyday I start again and every day it takes just 1 thing to knock me down. I just don't care and yet I hate the way it makes me feel. guilty! stupid that i can't stop eating. Fat!!!! Am I the only one who gets like this??? I wanted this to be a new year, new start. To be able to look at myself in the mirror without avoiding my own eye contact. but all I'm doing is avoiding mirrors!!”

Does this sound familiar, do any of you feel like this, I know a lot of you do. I think the first thing to do is realise it’s not about the ProPoints plan, hell, it’s not even about food. This is about how you’re feeling about yourself and your life. This is about low self-esteem and that can be worked on and improved. Everyone needs to realise that what you weigh does not define you as a person; it does not make you beautiful. We are all gorgeous, everyone can look fantastic if they dress in the right clothing, a skinny bird can look terrible if she has no dress sense! If you constantly punish yourself, you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, fluctuating weight and self-hatred. Some people fall into the trap of such severe denial that by the time they do eat, they do so obsessively. The answer isn’t constant denial; it’s balance and sensible choices.

These days I enjoy food, I used to say that when I was a size 20, but it wasn’t true, back then, I just ATE food, it’s not the same thing. I didn’t enjoy the eating, I didn’t even acknowledge or notice the taste of the food. I didn’t eat good food; I just ate lots of food. I didn’t like my life very much, I didn’t like anything or anyone very much either! It wasn’t until I stopped and realised my life sucked and then started to do something about it that my attitude to food changed. Until then I had used food to block out my emotions; I was unhappy in my work but terrified to leave because it was so well paid. I was a single woman with bills to pay and a mom to take care of, I couldn’t afford to leave my job - it wasn’t feasible. But in the end that’s exactly what I did, I walked away from £30k a year and a company car, not knowing what I’d do, all I had was 5 Weight Watcher meetings a week and a promise that I could have more when they became available. I was terrified and excited all at the same time. I just kept saying to myself, we can shop at Kwik Save and eat baked beans, it’ll help the weight loss ;-)

The trick is not to give yourself a hard time, accept that its not easy and that you are doing your best. Hell life’s not easy full stop, but you can make it even more difficult by approaching it negatively! Take each day at a time, heck take each meal one at a time if necessary. Before you eat, ask yourself why you’re about to eat. Are you hungry? Are you bored? Are you just plain miserable? Is eating going to help the way you feel, will it make you feel better? Short-term maybe, long term – NO!

Instead of avoiding your reflection in the mirror, have a good look at yourself, you’re gorgeous – learn to appreciate that! Get a pad and write down a list of all the things in your life that you are grateful for, do you have wonderful friends/children/parents. Write a list of things you like about yourself, this may seem difficult at first but it will get easier as you start. I always start my list with “good teeth” (hey if its good enough when selling camels!) Don’t think or say anything negative or horrid to yourself that you wouldn’t dream of saying to a friend! Start being your own best friend and make time for yourself.

Yesterday was very busy for me but I still made time to cook my lunch (which is my main meal), I got in at 12.30pm and it was in the oven for 12.50pm, twenty minutes was all it took to prepare stuffed mushrooms and get them in the oven. So remember you’re always worth finding the time and making the effort. If you don’t look after yourself you can’t look after anyone else.

Anyhow, I went off on one then didn’t I so I better stop now and get some work done!

Please be gentle on yourselves – you’re all so lovely xx

So if you do one thing this year…

Get a DOG! Yep according to Dr Anna Dominiczak, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Glasgow University: “This will make you get out for a walk every day, no matter what the weather. Not only is a dog great exercise, it clears your head, relieves stress and maintains your weight”

Anyone for Walkies?

Yay it’s Friday and I’m off over Bantock Park for my walkies…

Thursday, 13 January 2011

13th January 2011 facebook email

“I have at times been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” Agatha Christie

Morning all, we I’ve just finished the paperwork from last nights meetings = Tired.com already this morning ;-) and I haven’t even got to work yet lol. And even though I’ve been really busy all week, I’m making time for me, so that I can cook descent meals, that way I’ve got the energy and motivation to cope. Yesterday I experimented without a recipe and it turn out really tasty I was so impressed and pleased. I diced 2 onions and put them in a large frying pan with a spray from my WW oil spray, when they started to cook I added a teaspoon of paprika and stirred, then added half buttersquash diced, & 2 carrots diced, 1 stock cube, approx 200ml water and a 100ml of vermouth and brought to boil, then left for about 30m until almost cooked. I then threw in 2 pepper (1 orange / 1 yellow) and a courgette and cooked for a bit longer. Meanwhile I boiled 20pp worth of potatoes and 25pp worth of cheese (sorry not sure of weights as I used the Weight Watcher scales and was only looking at the ProPoints values. I added the vegetables from the pan to ovenproof bowls (made 5 portions) and then mashed the potatoes adding some of the cheese. I then made up a packet of Schwartz garlic, mushroom & cream sauce with ½ pint milk (6pp made up) and shared this between the bowls spooning it over the vegetables. I finally topped the bowls with the potato mixture and sprinkled cheese on top. I reheated mine later in the oven for half hour which browned off the cheese but if you were eating immediately you’d brown off under the grill. They worked out at 10 or 11pp each. Fabulous, you could really taste the cheese too. Mmm check me out!!!!

Staying with the cooking theme as I’m too much in a rush to be deep and meaningful this morning – it’s all about the food! If you remember the other day I made a tart which was tasty, but the next time I make the onion mixture I won’t put it on pastry I shall use it as a filling for roasted butternut squash, just cut in half, scoop out the seeds and cook the squash in oven until cooked, then top with the mixture and crumble the Stilton (or cheddar) on top and bake for another 15 minutes. Alternatively, you could use it as a filling for a jacket potato or maybe mix it into some pasta. Or if you like the idea of the tart, (pastry is only £1 in asda at the minute) You can top a 375g ready-rolled piece of puff pastry with it to make a tart for 7pp a portion, serves 8. Place pastry on a baking tray, just leave a border of about 1cm and spread the mixture inside, bake for 15-20m on gas mark 6/200oC

Red Onion and Cheese (12pp total)

5 medium red onions, sliced
2 tbsp cranberry sauce
350ml hot vegetable stock (made with 2 oxo cubes)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
80g Stilton (or cheddar)

Place onions in a non-stick frying with the cranberry sauce and stock. Season. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and increase the heat. Add the balsamic and cook for a further 10 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

So if you do one thing this year…

Walk around the house with bare feet! According to experts, it’s vital to let our feet air and stretch out, as they spend the majority of their time cramped up in footwear. Walking barefoot is natural and what our feet were designed for.

Mmm here’s to a truly scrumptious Thursday xx

One last thought, I was chuffed to see my group went over 400 members yesterday and I just wanted to say if you have a friend who goes to Weight Watchers (even if it's not my meeting) and you know they'd benefit from the emails, tell them they can request to join. xx Let's get everyone losing weight for the last time!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

12th January 2011 facebook email

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go!” Oscar Wilde

My members lost 245lb yesterday – wow and it was great to see so many new and returning members so we should have another great weight loss next week. Some of us have found it a little difficult getting back into it as there is still junk in the cupboards, but we’ve managed to maintain and are looking forward to a loss next week. Sometimes you’ve just got to be realistic. It’s great to see you starting to use the facebook page to share success and other things, Anita’s posted on there – she’s looking for a fold up exercise bike, can anyone help out?! Please go onto the facebook page and tell others how well you’re doing and any ideas you have, anything that will help others.

Well my fridge is obviously turned up too high because the chicken casserole didn’t defrost totally so I had a tuna toastie for my tea last night, the Ginger Beer Pork that I made at lunchtime was truly scrumptious though, it’s a sweet dish and went great with mashed potatoes. What I would say is if you are a can’t cook, won’t cook, start trying the odd thing. You don’t have to cook everyday, but once you give it a try and see how easy it is you can do a little as and when. The Ginger Beer Pork meant me spending 20 minutes maximum in the kitchen and I just left it cooking and popped back a couple of times. It’s definitely a dish I’d want again.

Here’s the recipe;

Ginger Beer Pork total 30pp, Serves 4 @ 8pp each.

450g pork fillet (17pp) (I used pork chops and removed bone & sliced)
2 tbsp flour (4pp)
Salt & pepper
½ pint / 250ml ginger beer (4pp)
½ pint pork or vegetable stock
1 onion
2 tsp brown sugar (1pp)
1 clove garlic
1tsp caraway seeds
1 tbsp Oil (4pp)

Warm oil in large saucepan while you cut pork into thin strips and coat in the seasoned flour.

Quick fry the pork and strain the old oil if its a bit dirty and add fresh, with the onion and garlic.

Stir in the stock and the ginger beef with the sugar and caraway seeds. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 45 minutes - 1 hour, until the pork is tender.

Serve with any combination of winter vegetables and 200g mashed potatoes each (4pp per person)

So if you do one thing this year…

Ditch the fizzy! Apparently we may think diet fizzy drinks are better for our teeth as they’re sugar-free, this isn’t true as the phosphoric acid in these drinks causes calcium in our teeth to be released, leaving them weaker. If you must have a fizzy drink, use a straw then neutralise your mouth with a few sips of milk!

Mmm interesting….

Have a wicked Wednesday xx

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

11th January 2011 facebook email

“The talent for being happy is liking and appreciating what you have, instead of what you don’t have.” Woody Allen
Well I had my first member get to goal last night, she lost 2½lb over Christmas making it a total weight loss of 60lb so well done Tiff. Someone stood behind her when she was getting ready to get weighed and said, “What you doing here, you don’t need to be here!” Whether said in jest or not, no one should ever say that to another member, I had that said to me when I went to my very first Weight Watcher meeting when I was 18. We never know someone else’s story, and that member didn’t know Tiff had lost a staggering 60lb to achieve her goal, that’s over four stone by the way!

I cooked the most delicious tart yesterday, red onion, chestnut and stilton, (photo on group page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bevs-Weight-Watchers/133361767350) recipe in week 49 Your Week, you can find which one that is by looking at the back cover, its printed with an SKU number and then the number underneath is the week number. It was divine, and I’m thinking that I could cook the topping another time and rather than have it with pastry (which was were the points were), I might do it as a topping for a jacket potato, or put it in a wrap! Nice.

Tea last night was almost a Chinese because I was driving home thinking how tired I was but instead I made a scrumptious cheese 3 egg omelette, now 1 egg is 2pp, 2 eggs are 4pp, but 3 medium eggs is only 5pp so it would be silly not to have the three! I also used a tablespoon of oil and got that really hot in the pan first, then dropped the egg mixture (added a drop of skimmed milk) in and let it cook, half way through sprinkled 30g cheese on top and I’m proud to say it was the first time I’ve ever cooked a perfect omelette in my life! It was extremely filling too; I even left some, so maybe a 2 egg omelette would have been enough!

Today, I’ve put out a tub chicken casserole to defrost that I made last week, my own version of a ready meal, but tastier, healthier and bigger portion! And I’m also defrosting some smoked haddock, which I’m planning to make a fish pie type thing I think.

I also bought some pork chops on offer which I’m going to defrost and make Ginger Beer Pork, if I cut the meat off the chops that’ll be similar to pork fillet, I’ll just cook if really slowly. I’ll give you the recipe for them tomorrow.

So if you do one thing this year…

Breathe correctly. It doesn’t matter how much you exercise; if you don’t breathe correctly, you can’t reduce tension or get nutrients around your body. So, take three deep breathes three times a day. Sit in a quiet place and breathe in slowly through your nose and out through your mouth.

Try it now.

Have a tremendous Tuesday xx

Monday, 10 January 2011

10th January 2011

“Each morning I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today… Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it” Groucho Marx

Did you know that 14% is how much you can reduce your diabetes risk by eating one portion of green veg a day, so another good reason to get your five a day! I read that in a magazine yesterday. I know some of you aren’t massive fans of vegetables but you can include them in meals without really knowing they are there. Yesterday I had stuffed mushrooms and I grated carrot and courgettes and mixed them with the low fat soft cheese so once it was cooked you weren’t even aware that they were there.

I’ve got to admit I’ve struggled with the first week back on the plan, not only have I been busy so struggled to think about cooking and what to eat but I got to hear everyday what you’d all eaten over Christmas which kept reminding me I hadn’t had half of those things so felt I’d missed out ;-) I have to admit I succumbed to shortbread, after about the 8th person told me they’d eaten loads, I went in the co-op and there was a box reduced to 40p! Well before I know it, I’d put it in my basket! Did you realise there’s as many ProPoints in shortbread as there is in chocolate, 15pp per 100g! and just for the record 1 biscuit = 3, but no one eats one biscuit!

I’ve been on the scales and I’ve managed to maintain, some of you might not think that’s good but I’m chuffed to bits, yeah I gained 5lb over Christmas but I’m happy to let it hang around for a couple more weeks whilst my head gets straight. It’s not a race, I’m more interested in making life changes that will stick with me forever, not short term solutions or quick fixes.

I was impressed with the bacon and cannellini beans on toast I made yesterday (recipe in this weeks YOUR WEEK), I hadn’t got passata so used chopped tomatoes but will use the passata next time to see if it makes much different.

As it’s the time for stews and casseroles I also put together a recipe sheet yesterday on how to make stew, it’s from Jamie’s Ministry of Cook book and on one side it has 4 stew recipes on the other the option to make it into a pie, hotpot, cottage pie or with dumplings, so as soon as I can get them printed out I will let you all have one in the meetings.

Hope everyone gets the results on the scales this week they’ve worked for and I’m hoping to welcome back those of you that didn’t make it last week!

I’m thinking a banana & pear smoothie for breakfast, or pineapple as they’re the only fruits I have in the house! Might as well start the week as I hope to go on.

So if you do one thing this year…

Drink more water. Most of us are dehydrated and water is vital for the normal functioning of our body cells. Dehydration also causes hunger, fatigue and headaches and is a common reason for feeling run down. Aim to drink six to eight glasses a day.

I drink boiled water and for me it’s replaced the numerous cups of tea and coffee I used to drink and I actually enjoy it! Don’t just sit there pulling a face try it, don’t try and drink it when it immediately comes out of the kettle, let it cool a little. I’ve just finished my first cup!

Here’s to just another Manic Monday! xx

Sunday, 9 January 2011

9th January 2011 facebook email

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

A few moments spent planning ahead can make such a difference to your success. You don’t have to spend hours planning, but taking time to think ahead will help you stay on track.

If you returned to the meeting last week, this week I will give you a booklet called LIVE which has lots of tips in the ‘plan ahead’ section, those of you that came before Christmas will already have the booklet so take another look at it.

I sat and prepared my meeting for this week yesterday morning and WOW there are some delicious breakfast ideas in Your Week including bacon & cannellini beans on toast which I plan to make today and it looks delicious and much healthier than baked beans which have a high sugar and salt content. It serves four, but I can make it up and it’ll keep for a few days or I could freeze the other three portions to eat another day. There’s a recipe in there for sticky sausage and mushroom muffins that I fancy too, although I might serve it in a wrap rather than on a muffin.

Ooo I love food - don’t you? And I love the ProPoints plan because it doesn’t matter whether you like to cook or not, the plan suits everyone; you can tailor it to suit your lifestyle. OMG I’ve just looked at the week after copy of Your Week and there’s a delicious recipe for Banoffee Mousse and it’s only 2pp a serving, and the week after there’s a delicious tagliatelle recipe. I’m absolutely loving the new Your Weeks, they are fabulous.

Apparently according to hypnotherapists Bijan Daneshmand, “it’s easy to find excuses to do nothing. But this can make us lazy and lead to depression. Even the smallest achievement helps, so tidying that messy drawer will give you a positive mental boost”. Try it and if it works, you might find yourself moving on to big and better things!

I found an article with suggestions of ways to improve your health that aren’t too painful or impossible to keep up, but at the same time make a big difference. So I shall start suggesting one a day for the next couple of weeks.

So if you do one thing this year…

Activate your abs. “Put your hands on your tummy and cough, as you expel air, your tummy muscles tighten in towards your body. Hold that position as you go about your day, breathing properly. You should be able to walk, talk, sit, shop and exercise like this. Over a few weeks, your tummy muscles will become stronger and tighter, protecting your back”. I know this works because I’ve been making a conscious effort over the past month when walking the dog to pull in my stomach muscles and already I have noticed a different.

Speaking of which that’s where I’m off to in an hour, I’m going to walk Alfie over Lickey Hills, meeting up with a friend for a chat, it’s healthier than meeting for lunch! Hope you enjoy your Sunday too xx

Saturday, 8 January 2011

8th January 2011 facebook email

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
Mmm Saturday morning and a bit of a lie in, I love them and I think I’m going to start my day with the “All day breakfast omelette” recipe in the blue ENJOY book in your ProPoints folder, it looks delicious for 5pp and there’s even a vegetarian option.

I’m looking forward to today because me and my friends are going to book a trip to New York, it will be the first time I’ve taken a week off from being a leader (other than xmas) in six years. It’s also the first time I’ve been away with girlfriends for longer than a couple of days so it’s a good job we all really get on well. We’re not going till November but that will soon be here, believe me!

Do you reward yourself when you lose weight? I don’t mean by having something to eat, that’s part of our problem is that some of us use food as a reward when we’ve done something good, or as a comforter when we’ve had a bad day. This is okay sometimes that’s why we’ve got that weekly allowance of 49, maybe instead though you could try and find something else to serve that purpose. It doesn’t have to cost the earth, it could be something as simple as buying a copy of the Weight Watchers monthly magazine and allowing yourself some time to sit and read it! You could put a pound in a jar every time you lose a pound and treat yourself to something really nice when you’ve lost a stone, maybe something to wear, or a bit of a pamper session, a manicure or whatever floats your boat. My indulgence is massage, it also helps my bad back, and I go to the Chi Rooms at Essington where she has magic hands ;)

I also enjoy spending half hour in a lovely bubble bath, which only costs the price of the bubbles!

So what will you treat yourself to if you make it through the first weekend in 2011 and stick to the plan? The first weekend is always the hardest isn’t it, especially if you remember back to last weekend when you were overindulging on everything and anything you could find ;) I’m going to cope by making sure what I do eat is absolutely delicious, I’ve treated myself to some lamb chops (half price in co-op) and I’m going to look for a recipe to use them with. I’m really enjoying butternut squash too and that’s zero ProPoints so I can do something with that. I might make a batch of soup too, if I use the soup to fill me up, I can use my ProPoints for something scrumptious! There’s a nice recipe on page 14 of the ENJOY booklet.

The Daily Mail have got a Weight Watchers supplement starting today, looks like it’s got a weeks menu planner in there, might be worth a look.

As we’re all starting afresh this week, it might be worth measuring yourself as well as your weigh in, one of my members text me yesterday to tell me she’d got her husband to take a photo of her (front, side & back), very brave but she will be so glad she did as she loses the weight and enjoys taking more photos of her every shrinking body ;-) Different things motivate us, some people are motivated by what they no longer want to look like, some people are motivated by what they want to look like, some are a bit of both. So think about what motivates you?

These days I’m more motivated by how I feel rather than how I look, the size tag in my clothes doesn’t concern me I can cut those out! I do however want to feel good and healthy, carrying extra weight makes my back and knees worse, therefore that is my motivation, to lose weight and be in less pain.

What motivates you? Do you want to look better, feel better, fit in smaller clothes, look better for an event, or have a fitter healthy future? All reasons are good reasons; you just need to acknowledge yours.

Then this weekend when you’re tempted by something you know will take you over your allowance, remember that motivation and use it to talk yourself out of it.

Here’s to a Super Saturday for all xx

Friday, 7 January 2011

7th January 2011 facebook email

Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of someone else. Judy Garland
Six years ago this week I started working as a Weight Watcher leader with my own meetings, I had all the training in the months before and I started with my own meetings in January. Best move I ever made, it started as a couple of meetings a week to help keep me at my own gold and a bit of extra cash and by the July it turned into my full time job when I realised how unhappy I was in my other job and how much happier I was being a leader. Best move I ever made and I’m still loving it, I couldn’t do any of it without my helpers I love them all dearly. (if anyone likes the idea of helping out in a meeting, let me know and I can tell you if I need any help in your meeting).

Anywho, how’s the getting back on track going folks? Isn’t it a challenge to get back into in after that Christmas break, especially if you stopped tracking altogether and gave yourself permission to eat anything and everything? One member actually told me if it hadn’t moved for 3 minutes she either ate it or licked it ;-)

Even though I was really busy yesterday I still managed to cook my main meal (I have it at lunchtime), it took ten minutes from when I walked in the door to getting it in the oven, we had Parma Ham Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Blue Cheese (recipe on Weight Watchers website for monthly pass holders) and it was 7 ProPoints of delicious, served it with butternut squash and peppers. Tea time was a different matter altogether, it was 8pm when I was on my way home, I’d been up since 4am, done 5 meetings and really had no intention of cooking, plus felt like I could’ve eaten the world. Luckily one of my helpers works in the chip shop at Stubby Lane so that made me realise I shouldn’t be having chips! Which meant the big red lights of Tesco Express were calling, it could have got ugly as I tend to turn into a truffle pig when I feel this hungry and tired after a week at work, and have been known to fill a basket full of all the reduced stuff (irrelevant of ProPoints value) and generally blow my diet) but luckily the wonder that will remain being the convenience of the Tesco garage have seen the light and ProPointed the light choices range, which includes their sandwiches – yay, all hail the Tesco dude! So my tea was Roast Chicken & Stuffing for 8 ProPoints and a sneaky glass of wine.

Have you noticed if you’ve been overeating for a while, that when you decide to cut back, you seem to feel that you’re hungry all the time? But is it really possible to be hungry all the time? No, it isn't possible to be hungry all the time – sorry I know that’s not the answer you want. If you're not sure when you're really hungry and when you're just emotionally hungry, read below.

Real hunger comes on slowly. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly. Real hunger can be satisfied with any food. Emotional hunger comes with a craving for a certain food. And it usually isn't carrots. When you get hungry look at the clock. Ask yourself a few questions. How long has it been since you've eaten? What was the last thing you ate? Was it something nourishing? If you suspect your hunger might be emotional, ask yourself what you could be really hungry for. Is it affection, nurturing, assistance or rest?

Can you ask to have the real need met by someone, or meet it yourself? It can even be helpful to simply write about what it feels like to have the need go unmet. Often times, we fear that our real needs can't or won't get met and so food becomes the one need that we feel like we can control. When you feed both your real hunger and your emotional hunger, your weight becomes unmanageable. But, when you feed only your real hunger your weight is easy to manage.

The beauty of the weekly allowance is you can use it to sometimes satisfy that emotional hunger because lets me honest I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t experience comfort eating at some time.

The weekend is almost here, let’s make it through to weigh day and start losing weight in 2011, for those of you who weren’t brave enough to grace me with your presence, do it next week, otherwise if you leave it hoping to 'pull back!' it makes things worse. One week becomes two and then you feel blue. Missed weeks become missed weight losses. Bite the bullet, face the music, we've had gains this week ranging from 1 to 15lb, they’re just numbers and we all know we can lose weight because we were doing it in 2010. xx