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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Friday, 29 April 2011

29th April 2011

Love is an ideal thing, marriage is a real thing. A confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.

Well another Bank Holiday weekend is upon us, I couldn’t believe how busy Asda was yesterday when I nipped in! I’m away thanks to a very generous friend so you may or may not hear from me again till Tuesday depending on how I feel and internet connection.

This is gonna be short and sweet as I haven’t packed anything yet either and I’d like to get off early before the roads get busy, although I’m hoping they won’t because everyone’s gonna be watching the wedding!

Speaking of weddings, you may not be able to go, but I’ve just found this wedding cake recipe on the Weight Watchers website, when was the last time you baked a cake? That’s something you could do with the kids, here’s the recipes, and it looks delicious;

Try this rich, indulgent chocolate cake as a treat or for a very special occasion, like a wedding. This flourless sponge is almost soufflé-like. It may seem small but it’s very rich, so only a tiny square per person is needed. If the quantities are doubled, it can be stacked up and decorated to make an impressive wedding cake.

Celebration Chocolate Cake

Serves 12 – 5 ProPoints values per serving – 15 minutes to prepare & cool – 15 minutes to cook.

1/2 tsp sunflower oil
6 large eggs, separated
150g (5 1/2oz) caster sugar
50g (1 3/4oz) cocoa powder, sifted

For the chocolate icing:
125g (4 1/2oz) plain chocolate (60% cocoa solids)
25g (1oz) milk chocolate
4 tbsp half fat crème fraiche
Edible gold glitter or gold leaf to decorate (optional)

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/ 160OC. Grease 2 x 18cm (7in) non-stick, loose-bottomed square tins with the sunflower oil and line the bases with baking parchment.

Place the eggs yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until think, pale and the mixture leave a trail when you lift out the beaters (about 3 minutes). Fold in the cocoa with a metal spoon.

Place egg whites in a separate bowl and, usig clean beater, whisk until firm peaks form. Fold a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then add the remaining whites and fold in gently.

Pour into the prepared tins and bakes for 15 minutes. The cakes will be risen and still wobbly when you remove them for the over. Leave them to cool completely in the tins – they will sink down and come away from the sides of the tins.

Turn the cakes out and remove the parchment paper. Place one cake top-side-down on a serving plate or board.

Melt the chocolate for the filling in a bowl over a pan of just simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Leave to cool slightly, then gradually fold in the crème fraiche, a little at a time, until smooth and glossy. Spread a very thin layer of chocolate over the bottom cake, then top with the other sponge. Spread the remaining mixture neatly over the whole cake and smooth the edges. Store in the fridge until 1 hour before serving. For a real flourish, top with edible gold glitter or gold leaf (available from cake shops and some supermarkets).

Have a fabulous bank holiday, hopefully the sun will stay around to make it really good. xx

Thursday, 28 April 2011

28th April 2011

He who knows he has enough is rich. Lao-tzu, Tao-te Ching

“I can’t afford to buy all this healthy food”

Now there’s another sentence I hear often! Do I agree with it? Is it a true statement?

No personally I don’t agree but at the same time you can make weight loss cost a fortune if you buy all the ‘special diet’ food. Baked beans on toast, cheap and healthy.

Lot’s of people worry that losing weight is going to be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Firstly always buy fruit and vegetables that are in season and if they aren’t in season look for frozen. Make use of the markets too, you can get some real bargains there.

Soup is really healthy and cheap to make and if you make it in bulk you can freeze it. Opt for cheaper cuts of meat to make filling and satisfying meals.

I don’t buy special food, I buy the food I’ve always eaten and just watch those portion sizes, it was the takeaways and snacking that was costing me a fortune, have you seen the price of fish and chips lately or a donor kebab!

http://www.happyowls.co.uk/recipes.html there are some recipes on here that are economical to make, the corned beef hash is great and really easy. As is the

Chicken Fricassee
Serves 2, 9pp each

100g brown rice (10pp)
low fat cooking spray
2 x 125g skinless boneless chicken breasts
300ml chicken stock (use 1½ chicken oxo cubes)
110g carrots, peeled and cut into thick chunks.
150g button mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
75g low fat soft cheese

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Drain well and leave to cool. Meanwhile, lightly coat a deep, lidded, non stick frying pan with low fat cooking spray and heat until hot. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes until browned all over. Add the stock and carrots. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, lightly coat another small non-stick frying pan with low fat cooking spray. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until the juices have been released and evaporated. Add the garlic and rice and cook for a further minute, until hot. Divide between two plates. Remove the chicken and carrots with a slotted spoon, reserving the stock. Place the chicken and carrots on top of the rice. Keep warm. Return the pan with the stock to the hob. Boil quickly for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the soft cheese. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

If you have a cheap meal that you cook why not share it on the facebook wall, https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Bevs-Weight-Watchers/133361767350 so others can benefit too.

As for exercise, walking doesn’t cost a thing and it is on of the best forms of exercise there is.

Well I’m off for my daily free walk with Alfie, and I’m gonna have beans with garlic bread for lunch as they were free with the pizza I bought mom!

Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

27th April 2011

Do or do not...there is no try. Yoda (Star Wars)

“I’m okay in the day, it’s night time that gets me!”

How many times have I heard that sentence and I have to admit I’m guilty of it too. Why do we do it? ‘Tiredness’, 'Boredom' and 'nothing to do' are just three of the many reasons for mindless nibbling.

Some snack foods can help you stay on the straight and narrow whilst others can cause huge damage! Different things work for different people.

I personally find not having the foods in the house helps me enormously; I can’t eat what isn’t there. I also find going to bed works a treat, I’m usually tired and I won’t find my mattress in my fridge!

But if it really is a habit you want to continue with, look for healthy snacks that you can still enjoy without denting your ProPoints budget. The first thing you must to is ensure you save the ProPoints to do it! Don’t pretend it isn’t happening, then look surprised when you don’t get a weight loss.

There are of course always the bars and bakes in your meeting which are on offer this week, bars are 3 for £5, bakes are 5 for £2, they’re already ProPointed so easy to track.

You can of course always find zero ProPoint foods to help you avoid dipping into your allowance.

• Weight Watchers Sugar Free Jelly Crystals
• Fruit - go exotic with kiwis, lycheese and mangoes.
• Soup made with zero ProPoints value fresh vegetables.
• Cauliflower, carrot and celery crudités with tomato salsa made from fresh chopped tomatoes, red onion and fresh coriander.
• Rocket leaves, cucumber cubes and sugar snap peas with a splash of zingy balsamic vinegar.
• Baby sweetcorn and asparagus tips.
• Crudités, cherry tomatoes, celery and even raw mushrooms!
• Pickled onions and gherkins.

What's Your Snacking Personality?

I want A LOT
If you're a volume eater, think small and low in fat: Try cheese-flavoured Snack-a-Jacks, popcorn, baby carrots and salsa, or cherry tomatoes.

I need some quick energy!
Complex carbohydrates are your best bet. They will give you an energy boost and keep you going for longer than just a high sugar food. Try some wholewheat crackers or a small tub of wholewheat pasta, a banana, or one slice of wholemeal toast with marmite.

I need a longer lasting snack
You can gobble down a chocolate in seconds, but ice lollies, hard sweets or frozen grapes take longer to eat. As an alternative, a piping hot cappuccino or steaming mug of tea can also do the trick.

What will tide me over for hours?
A lollipop may take a while to eat but its high sugar dose can be used up in a flash. High-fibre snacks, on the other hand, that contain some protein can stave off hunger for the long haul. Great options include Ryvitas and light soft cheese, peanut butter and apple slices, or a small handful of nuts and dried fruit.

Just keep my hands busy
When emotional eating kicks in and a non-food activity like a walk just won't cut it, (try it, first!) opt for snacks that take some time to prepare: pistachios in the shell, fruit you have to peel (try a whole mango) or a sundae made with yogurt, chopped fruit and cereal. By the time you're finished preparing and eating them, your emotions may well be on the upswing.

Need More Ideas?

Here's what some WeightWatchers.co.uk users say best nips their snack attacks in the bud.

Salty Snacks
• Weight Watchers Savoury Snacks: "Great alternative to normal crisps."
• Laughing Cow Cheese and Ryvitas: "Creamy and crunchy."
• Butternut Squash Chips: "Put tiny bit of oil over the top, lots of salt and pepper, chilli powder - and pop in oven for about 40 mins - like real chips."
• Popcorn: "The smell alone gives you that excited feeling of going to the movies!"
• Carrot batons and salsa: "Carrots are crunchy so it feels like you're eating crisps."

Sweet Snacks
• Low fat hot chocolate: "A sweet fix."
• Sugar-free jelly: "Can't tell the difference."
• Grapes cold from the fridge: "My boyfriend now buys me grapes when he gets his chocolate!"
• Low fat yogurt frozen in the freezer: "Feels like you're eating ice cream!"

Snacking for Success

Whatever your snacking style happens to be, you don't have to change it. Just make sure that the munching is mindful, measure the portion sizes of all your snacks and track the ProPoints values, whatever they were. If you can plan your snacking, so much the better.

Remember, joining a Weight Watcher meeting or reading the programme material doesn't mean you’re following the plan, tracking your ProPoints and sticking within your allowance DOES!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

26th April 2011

Nothing arouses more hope than the first four hours of a diet! Marsha Coleman

Forgiveness: a key ingredient to getting over the Easter indulgence!

Lot’s of us have eaten one chocolate egg or drunk one can of lager too many this weekend, in the past when doing this overindulging I would bean myself up, feel awful and then have another bar of chocolate or glass of wine to make myself feel better. This used to cause my weight to increase and my clothes to shrink, and then I’d feel even worse and so the self-punishing would continue.

NOT ANY MORE! No these day’s I’ve realised that what I used to call bad days are actually really, really enjoyable and holiday a grudge against myself wasn’t really productive and didn’t help my long term goal of being healthy and happy. A large slice of cake or a large glass of wine is much more enjoyable than a large portion of guilt. So if you’ve had one of those weekends where you did everything you think you shouldn’t, confess if you really feel the need to, forgive and move on. Remember that one fab weekend does not a fat bird/bloke make and get back on your ‘weight loss wagon’, or in my case it’s a ‘healthy HGV’!

If it makes you feel better, blame the diet devil, tell everyone ‘the diet devil made me do it!”

Start today by repeating after me, “I can, I can, I can”, you’re feeling more positive already aren’t you.

If you still have lots of chocolate in the house that you know you can’t resist maybe it’s time to give it away, bring it to the meeting, I’ll get rid of it for you.

You could work on counteracting some of the damage by getting active!

Did you know the average person only does 3-4,000 steps a day, by 7am most mornings I’ve already done 7,000 and I enjoy every step of it, I’ve finally found a way to be active that I enjoy at I time that suits me (I know most people would think it crazy but then I think dancing round a hall full of women to latino music a bit weird!)

Exercise for pleasure not because you think it will get you thin! When I walk my dog in the morning I’m not thinking about the effect it’s going to have on my waistline or the muscle it might be building in my thighs, I’m enjoying the peace and quiet, the sunrise, the conversation with the other dog owners on the park. I do it because I enjoy it, not because I’m burning calories.

Because you don’t purposefully put aside 30mins five times a week, you might think you don’t exercise at all but think about it if you have a night out dancing with your friends which would include a few hours dancing, that would get your heart rate elevated and all your muscles working whilst your having fun. This is exercise, you just didn’t need to do a Zhumba session to get the results nor punish yourself on a treadmill.

If you walk the dog you’re getting exercise, if you push a pushchair you’re toning your arms, if you climb steps at work you’re getting exercise. If you chase a kid round the house, you’re getting lots of exercise. Taking the kids ten pin bowling is exercise and gives the kids something to do too! Give yourself credit for what you already do; housework is exercise if you put some effort into it.

Find an activity you enjoy and do it because it’s fun, you may have to try lots to find the right one but hey you’ll have fun trying them all out. And remember you don’t have to find one exercise and do that forever, mix and match if you like.

I’m smiling because it’s a short 3 day week for me just hope I can motivate myself this weekend to get a little more active as I’ve been a bit lazy this weekend gone ;)

Have a great day. xx

Monday, 25 April 2011

25th April 2011

One cannot be what one should be merely by closing one's eyes to what one is. Sangharakshita

Bank Holiday Monday and I’ve got to admit I’m a bit cold! Don’t think salad will be on the menu today, I’m more likely to do a big plate of mashed potato! We’re just back from our morning walk and I’ve been taking some photos of my Alfie, he’s such a cutie and I realised it’s been a while since I used my camera. Yesterday I did some scrapbooking, it’s been great having this long weekend and I’ve got another one to look forward to next week too. Can’t decide what to do with my day today, although I think I might carry on with the scrapbooking, I’ve finished the book I was planning to read, so will start another. And I’ve just decided I’m going to make minced beef and onions with mash or chunky chips and veg, ooo I could just eat that right now!

I’m probably one of the few people who haven’t had chocolate this weekend, but that wasn’t a conscious decision, I’m just not a big fan of chocolate, rather have a glass of wine. So if you have had it I hope you remember the chocolate wisdom guidelines! No guilt either I hope. Xx

If you’re feeling a bit deflated because you’ve eaten what you think was too much chocolate or you’ve just consumed more than you’d planned, don’t worry about it, enjoy today and remember you’re gorgeous. It could be worse you could be a life sized Barbie doll and believe me, that wouldn’t be good. Unfortunately there are a lot of young girls believe that Barbie is how a woman is supposed to look (i.e. no fat anywhere on your body, but large breasts). But, if Barbie was a real person, she would be 5’9” tall, have a neck twice the length of a normal human's neck, and weigh 110 pounds, only 76% of her healthy weight. Her measurements would be 39-18-33, and she likely would not be able to menstruate due to being underweight. On top of that, her feet would be too small to support her when she walks.

Similarly, young boys are given the impression that men are supposed to have muscles bulging all over their bodies. Take a look at their plastic action-figures like GI Joe Extreme. If GI Joe Extreme were life-size, he would have a 55 inch chest and a 27 inch bicep. In other words, his bicep would be almost as big as his waist and bigger than most competitive body builders. In comparison, the average real-life man of the same height, even a guy who’s fairly athletic, will have biceps that are only about 11.5 inches around.

In 1998, The Body Shop debuted its self-esteem campaign, featuring the generously proportioned doll named "Ruby." Her rubenesque figure graced windows in The Body Shop windows in the UK that year, along with the slogan, "There are 3 billion women who don't look like supermodels and only 8 who do." She went on to appear in stores in Australia, Asia, and the United States. Ruby was a fun idea, but she carried a serious message. She was intended to challenge stereotypes of beauty and counter the pervasive influence of the cosmetics industry.

In the United States, the toy company Mattel (the makers of Barbie) demanded that The Body Shop pull the images of Ruby from American shop windows and sued The Body Shop for this ad. Then, in Hong Kong, posters of Ruby were banned on the Mass Transit Railway because authorities said she would offend passengers. Of course, the much more seriously offensive images of silicone-enhanced blondes in other ads were permitted to stay on the trains!

I’ve not got a Barbie body and I wouldn’t want one, I have curves and I have lumps and bumps and I love every inch of me, you can choose to feel the same way about yourself too. Remember YOU’RE GORGEOUS!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

24th April 2011

There are 3 billion women in the world who don't look like supermodels, and only 8 who do! (Body shop commercial)

Remember your gorgeous too!

Okay so it’s Easter and hopefully you’re enjoying yourself, I know I’m having a well deserved rest and enjoying every moment of it. Some of you are struggling to stay on track because of the sunshine, the holiday, and possibly lots of other reasons. I need you to remember mental health is just as important as physical health. You definitely don’t want to trade your mental welling being by beating yourself up about what you might be thinking are dieting ‘failures’ or exercise ‘failures’ this weekend or any other time.

Think about this for a minute who do you think you treat better – your best friend or your worst enemy? Hopefully that question is a no=brainer, and it’s your best friend. Shame and self-loathing will not make you want to take better care of your body, if you constantly treat yourself badly then your body will suffer. Treat yourself with a little more love, kindness and respect and your body and mind will thank you for it.

Surround yourself with positive people to who appreciate you, don’t spend time with people who say negative things about your body! Do you remember coming home crying from school because someone said something mean to you, hopefully your mom told you that people who say nasty things to you aren’t your friend. Well it’s just the same now; a person who constantly has digs at you or makes snide comments is not your friend. Friends are meant to support each other and help build each other up. Someone asking, “Should you be eating that!” is just the grown up version of that kid at school saying, “you’re a poo poo bum!” You don’t need anyone but you to tell you what and when you should be eating!

Take care of you, you wouldn’t let some say nasty things to your best mate, so be your own bestie and don’t let people say these things to you either!

So if you are struggling with staying on track this Easter, maybe make the conscious decision NOT TO! Decide that you’re going to enjoy the weekend, eat intuitively, before having something ask yourself if you really want it, do you fancy something sweet, would just a mouthful be enough and then you’d be satisfied. Don’t opt for the salad because you think you should, choose it because you’re craving something fresh and light so that you can enjoy the sweetness of the pudding later.

If you’re panicking now and thinking but if I give myself permission to eat anything I want even for just the weekend I’ll do loads of damage because I want to eat everything! Maybe the best way to stop feeling as if you’re going to try and eat everything is to actually go ahead and try to eat everything Because the first thing you’ll realise is that you can’t. And the next thing you’ll realise is that you don’t really want to. And once you get to that point, you might actually have a chance of understanding your own internal hunger signals and start to eat as and when you’re hungry rather than because you can’t or because everyone else it.

So enjoy your Easter whether your egg has a yolk or is made of chocolate . xx

Saturday, 23 April 2011

23rd April 201

There's an important difference between giving up and letting go. Jessica Hatchigan

Well I had a productive morning yesterday 2hr walk with Alfie, followed by all my ironing done and enough clothes for a month ;), then I sat on my backside for the rest of the day and chilled out, which is more or less what I think I’ll do today too, might be a little productive this morning, then relaxation later. Mom’s on the mend which is great news but she’s not well enough to take anywhere so I’ll hang round here with her.

I had a delicious breakfast yesterday of fruit, strawberries, banana, pineapple, Greek yogurt and honey, the strawberries are on offer at the Co-op at the moment and they really are delicious.

Looks like it’s going to be a fabulous Bank Holiday weekend and one thing that’s bound to be popular this weekend is having a BBQ! For some it’s great to get outside and eat up the garden in the sunshine, maybe invite a few friends round. Don’t worry, you can still stay on track and enjoy yourself, whether you’re the one hosting or the guest.

If you’re the host you can be more in control of what you cook, remember it’s not just burgers that cook well on the barbeque, meat, poultry and fish all taste fabulous and all the fat drips off as they’re cooking. Why not make a healthy marinade to get juicy results, here’s one you could use on chicken or fish;

2 tsp olive oil (2pp)
juice of ½ a lime
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp water
2 medium garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp coriander
1tsp salt
2tsp ground cumin
1 small onion chopped

Just puree all ingredients until smooth, pour over 4 servings of meat and let marinade for 20 minutes. There are many healthy marinades and dry rubs available in shops too, just have a look at the labels to make sure you're making wise choices.

Barbeques make veggies taste great too, make your own mushroom burgers. Simply brush a large, open mushroom with a teaspoon of olive oil (1pp), rub it with rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, turning half way through and serve just like a burger with your favourite toppings - very satisfying! Or put a selection of vegetables on a skewer like butternut squash cubes, courgette, red onion, cherry tomatoes, potato chunks. The natural juices will keep them moist, but you can always brush them with oyster sauce or a mixture of soy sauce, ginger and garlic for a tasty marinade.

Then there’s corn on the cob which is perfect on the barbeque and here are a couple of ways for you to try. Firstly, boil the cleaned cobs for five minutes in salted water, then place directly on the rack, turning regularly, for another five minutes until they're tender and browned. Another method is to wrap them tightly in foil then put on the barbeque. Try rubbing them lightly with a low calorie spread, or marinade them in a soy sauce, chilli and ginger mixture before sealing the foil for a lovely, steamed result.

Don’t forget the salad either, and if you’re the guest take some with you. If you’re buying burgers, look for low ProPointed ones, there’s always a lower choice if you take your calculator with you.

Let’s not forget pudding, of course my idea of pudding is a glass of red wine, but for others why this, take a medium banana (unpeeled) and make a slit down the length. Fill the split with two squares of chocolate cut into small pieces, push the banana back together and then wrap the whole thing in foil. Leave it on the barbeque rack for 20-30 minutes (depending on the heat), unwrap and enjoy! Even the simplest of fruit will give you a great result. Try halving a pear, peach, nectarine or plum and cut out the pip or core. Brush the halves lightly with a mixture of demerara sugar and juice or with runny honey. Barbeque until tender and tuck in.

We’ve even barbequed pink & whites in the past, take one of the wafers off and bbq that side.

As for booze, be careful as too much in the sunshine not only makes you dehydrated and poorly, but also makes you forget what you’re eating!
ProPoints in booze
250ml wine = 6pp (the bottle 19pp)
½ lager = 3pp (3 pints = 18pp)
½ cider = 4pp (3 pints = 21pp)
Jacques Fruit Des Bois Cider 250ml glass = 5pp (750ml bottle = 14pp)
Vintage cider = 20pp per pint!!!!!!
Spirits vary 2-3pp per 25ml

Whatever you’re doing today, enjoy yourself and the sunshine.

Friday, 22 April 2011

22nd April 2011

Joy is the feeling of grinning on the inside.Dr. Melba Colgrove

WOW, it’s quiet out there this morning, me and Alfie have been out 2 hours enjoying the peace and early cool sunshine, the little chap doesn’t know I’m taking him for his booster injections in half hour! I’ll treat him to something nice afterwards ;-)

So I’m committed and motivated to staying on track this weekend so I get a loss on the scales next week, there may be an opportunity for some PR in the press over the next few weeks so that’s the incentive I need to stay focused. I only had 5pp left for my tea last night and I managed to eat and be full on 3pp, I had 2 slices of nimble bread toasted (weighed on scales till I found two that weight 2pp) with tinned tomatoes and mushrooms stir fried in a bit of water then I added 1pp of Philadelphia light sun dried tomato flavour and I have to say I really enjoyed it and it filled me up.

I’ve got a four day long weekend because of the bank holiday so I’ve decided I’m going to be productive, I’m full of energy and we’re not off anywhere as moms recuperating, so I’m going to sort the house, do the ironing, read a good book and plan all my meals for the forthcoming week using mainly foods I already have and just buying fresh stuff if needed. Yeah I mean business, which will include extra long walks for Alfie to earn bonus propoints, and I’m even gonna cut down on the wine!

I’ve been really inspired this week by all the members achieving their goal, and all the members that are continuing to lose continually, so far this year my members have lost a staggering 970 stone! That’s just amazing, and here’s just one example of a success story that’s still continuing, so far Debbie has lost an awesome 99lb since last June.Doesn’t she look fabulous and is on course for goal which she knows she will achieve.

This week we’ve talked about motivation in the meetings and it’s really helped remind us why we’re doing all this, we all helped to ‘MOTIVATE MIRANDA’ and hopefully recognised how MOTIVATION promotes weight loss.

We realised…
• We all occasionally feel like Miranda, the key is to snap out of it and reclaim the POSITIVE thoughts
• We have to motivate ourselves or ask for help from friends, family and STAY TO YOUR ‘WeightWatchers’ MEETING, they are all there to help
• Motivation & positivity improves weight loss.

We decided…

• START IMMEDIATELY, one good day leads to another good day and the motivation continues.
• BE ORGANISED - plan for a good day. Track and ProPoint everything, knowing you are in control promotes positivity.
• FEEL GOOD FACTOR - Wear your favourite clothes, makeup & do your hair.
• REMEMBER your GOALS and why you want to lose weight.
• Find a ‘MAGIC TRICK’ - put a photo on the fridge, set a small goal, buy a smaller outfit and aim for it to fit.
• THINK POSITIVE – always remember how well you are doing.

When you are in the ‘positive zone’, losing weight is easy and when you lose weight, you feel positive and so the circle continues, THIS IS MOTIVATION.

The long weekends are ideal for planning, organising and being prepared to KICK START a ‘SLIMMER SUMMER’

Use the long weekend to your advantage and ENJOY!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

21st April 2011

Even though they are paid differently, everyone has to feel appreciated. Roger Staubach

Why is it that changing rooms can make us cry and salad tastes better with a dressing!

One of my members went into meltdown in a changing room yesterday, and I’m guessing the majority of members, me included, have been there, you’re desperate to find something that fits for a specific event and it’s not happening. What makes it worse is you’ve already lost weight so should be feeling great but instead you feel deformed because the one size is too big, but the next size down is too small and you’ve gone from flying to crying. I remember the last time I tried to buy a pair of jeans, by the end of the day I decided I didn’t suit jeans as there wasn’t a pair that had been made that fit.

It happens all the time doesn’t it, you’re feeling great and you see an amazing outfit, better still it’s reduced, so you take it to the fitting room and it doesn’t fit properly, the cuts all wrong, it clings to your stomach, the straps are too long, the boobs are too small or too big, or it’s the wrong length. Who designs these damn clothes anyway and who for!!!!

In situations like this it’s easy to get angry with your body, if only you weren’t this stupid shape, if you just had a normal body, clothes would fit you properly. If only you had bigger or smaller boobs, why are your legs so short and your arms so fat? Why oh why oh why?

Your body isn’t a mannequin dummy, thank goodness otherwise you wouldn’t be able to move! You body changes and it’s different from the body of every other woman, so how the hell can the same size 14 pair of trousers possibly fit any size 14 woman. They can’t and that’s why shopping sucks! Every BODY is different, your body is never the problem - the clothes are.

So next time you go shopping remember that, and remind yourself you’re trying to find the lucky pair of jeans that were designed for your butt not that bird who’s the same size as you but a foot taller/smaller!

Remember a lot of clothing can be altered too, so learn to sew or make friends with someone who can. My personal solution to the jean problem is I now wear dresses, much simpler and I only one item to buy. Xx

Also whilst you’re losing weight why not shop in charity shops or on ebay then your outlay isn’t so high as you lose. Also the best bit of advice I can offer, try stuff on, don’t assume it won’t suit you or won’t fit you, I have outfits in my wardrobe that range from size 8 – 20! And yes they all fit. I also have clothes I wouldn’t have dreamt of picking up but because I was shopping with friends they suggested them and they’re my favourite items now.

NOW moving onto salad with dressing, I can’t remember when it was but a while ago I was pouring some salad dressing on my salad and someone said, “do you know how many calories are in that salad dressing”, my reply was “do you know how boring the salad tastes without it!” Just because you’re trying to lose weight doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to enjoy the food you eat, salad dressing is fine, it makes me eat more salad to start with, I’m much more likely to eat a huge plate of salad leaves if there’s someone adding some flavour to it.

If I indulge in a hot cross bun this Easter, it will need to be best butter I spread on it, that in some dieting circles would make me a rebel ;) I can live with that, can you? Xx

Here’s to another sunny day. xx

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

20th April 2011

Remember that what you believe will depend very much on what you are. Noah Porter
What an amazing day yesterday, 5 of my members achieved the goal and became a Weight Watchers gold member, absolutely brilliant and well deserved.

I’m trying to find a balance between doing the things I usually do and the tasks mom usually does, i.e. washing up (my hands are so dry!), washing clothes and this morning I must remember to do the bins! Oh the life of a domestic goddess is never done, I slept well though, I can tell you ;-)

I was almost caught out by a bargain  yesterday! I picked up a reduced pizza to tempt mom with as she hasn’t been eating (it worked by the way) and when I got to the till the lady informed me that I get 2 free garlic breads with the pizza, one half of me is thinking ‘o no, I’ll eat them’ and the other half of me’s thinking, ‘o yes, I’ll eat them’. I wasn’t not going to have free food, I’m sorry that’s just the logical me. So I did at least pick up the lower fat version, and for my lunch I had beef slices (3pp) (also reduced), with lots of salad and 10pp worth of the garlic bread, absolutely delicious and worth 13pp.

As I’m a bit rushed this morning, it’s bin day ;), I’m going to finish my blog early, I will leave you with this little tale that dropped into my email inbox yesterday and made me nod in agreement.

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.
"What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning:
"There is a mousetrap in the house!
There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him,
"There is a mousetrap in the house!
There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray.. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said,
"There is a mousetrap in the house!
There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose." So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap .. Alone...

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house - the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.
The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it. It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital. 

When she returned home she still had a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient – chicken!

But his wife's sickness continued.

Friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

But, alas, the farmer's wife did not get well... She died.

So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon.

And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and you think it doesn't concern you, remember - When one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.



One of the best things to hold onto in this world is a FRIEND.

Today, go out and realise we all need each other, and maybe even tell a friend or loved one how important they are in your life. xx

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

19th April 2011

If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Mom’s finally on the mend I think, well she was out of bed and moaning yesterday so that’s a relief, she still isn’t right but it’s a vast improvement on how she was, thank goodness.

I was really impressed by on of my member last night, well done to Judith for achieving her goal proving that age is nothing but a number and that with a strong mind you can still take care of yourself even when there are lots of other things in your life causing you stress. Xx

When I drove home last night it was great to see so many people out walking, enjoying the fresh air and making the most of the lighter nights.

Standing at the scales weighing people can sometimes have a bad influence on my diet, how? Well you all tell me what you’ve eaten, especially the stuff you think you shouldn’t have! I then stand there think, ‘ooo I could just eat that’ and sometimes I actually have it! Last night it was chips, I just fancied yellow chips, but instead of buying a bag on the way home, I went for oven chips from the freezer instead and I had them with backed beans. Now normally I would have had about 200g worth for 7pp but I emptied the bag thinking mom might be tempted when she saw them – she wasn’t, so I ended up eating 14pp worth and 5pp of beans, hey ho, that’s what the weekly allowance is for, plus I earned 9pp on my pedometer.

It’s a good thing allowing myself to eat anything I want, when I want, it sometimes means I eat odd meals at strange times, for example I had a chicken dinner Saturday morning at 9.30am! But it has helped me to regulate my weight over the last 12 months, rather than the constant yo-yo dieting of the past that I was trapped in, I’d gain a stone, and then lose a stone. Now my guidelines to myself are as below and if you think you would like to have a go at following them, why not either print them off and sign it, to make a promise to yourself, better still go and log onto my website and sign the guestbook on there to say you agree to give it your best shot http://www.happyowls.co.uk/promise.html;

Are you ready to start being a truly Happy Owl, to stop judging yourself for what you weigh? Below are the promises I've made to myself and so far they've helped me keep smiling and doing what I feel is best for me. Have a read and if you think you would like to try a new approach, then sign then below to seal your promise. xx

As a Happy Owl (OverWeight Lady (or Lad)) I will always do my best to;
- Eat when I’m hungry
- Choose the foods my body & mind ask for
- Give the food the attention it deserves whilst I’m eating
- Enjoy everything I eat
- Stop when I’m satisfied and full
- Find a way to get my body moving that I enjoy
- Love, respect and take care of my body



Don’t get me wrong the above is not a license to binge or overindulge all the time, because by doing that you wouldn’t be doing the last point,” love, respect and take care of my body”. If you feed your body well with foods that are good for you and foods that you enjoy, you’re body starts to work better which encourages you to start moving more in a way that you enjoy. With me that’s walking my dog every morning and sometimes in the afternoons too. It’s my ‘me time’, I know it’s not high impact activity, but it’s enough for me.

So here’s something for you to think about, do you want to spend the rest of your life at war with your body, refusing to give it what it craves and needs because you are striving to be a certain weight or is it time to get to know your body and to start to love, nourish and take care of it. If you do the latter, weight loss usually becomes a side-effect!

Have a tremendous tasty Tuesday xx

Monday, 18 April 2011

18th April 2011

No matter how bad the situation looks at the moment, remember, the truth is, everything is temporary.

This has to be one of the longest weekends I've known. It took me 72hrs to get mom to eat something and when I finally managed to get her to eat some soup last night, I smiled, and it made me think about how in my line of work 'food' in general is made out to be the baddy, the evil stuff that makes us fat, the stuff we must resist at all costs or at best limit.

We forget that without it we can't function and watching mom go downhill in front of my eyes affirmed that to me.

No food is 'bad', some food is healthier and more filling but all foods are allowed in moderation. This weekend has reminded me of that. The better the quality of the food is that you put into your body, the better your body functions.

This weekend also reminded me that certain things don't really matter, some things just aren't that important. My brother came round and bought with him a pizza which we cooked, I looked for the pizza wheel, couldn't find it so I used a knife. Then my brother asks, "haven't you got a pizza wheel". I explained I had but mom doesn't put things back in the same place twice. He ignored me and starting talking about how I could get a magnetised one or how I should hang it on one of the hooks I have in the kitchen. I smiled to myself as I remembered buying those hooks in the hope it would stop mom hiding things - it didn't. So now I just cut my pizza with a knife and if she hides all of them I'll rip it with my hands. Having my mom well is far more important than kitchen utensils!

The final thing this weekend drew to my attention is I still haven’t got my emotional eating under control, but it has changed it’s appearance! I didn’t find myself binging or sitting down with loads of crisps or chocolate, instead I found that I just ‘couldn’t be bothered’, as in instead of thinking what can I have that’s good for me, I just grabbed the easiest thing to make. I can’t even blame that on not having the time because I’ve had nothing but time this weekend sitting round.

So today, I wipe the slate clean, get weighed, face the music on the scales and thank the universe that unlike my mom I was able to eat this weekend. Then I shall come home and look in the fridge and cupboards and ProPoint whatever I eat, I plan to stick within my 29 daily allowance and save my weeklies for the weekend. What’s my motivation?

My motivation is looking after my body so it can keep me going for many more years and so those years are spent feeling fit and well!

I hope your weekend was more fun than mine and that you managed to stay within your ProPoints allowance ;) On the bright side at least I got to work on my website – www.happyowls.co.uk which I’ve been getting around to for weeks.

Here’s to a fabulous week, I’ve just realised it’s Easter this weekend and May day the weekend after, which means two long weekends and two short weeks at work, I plan to make them count! Do you?

Have a great day xx

Sunday, 17 April 2011

17th April 2011

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not. Oprah Winfrey

I had a lie in this morning 6.30am, then me and Alfie have just down a mammoth 90 minute walk earning me my first ProPoint activity point, already done 8,000 steps this morning. Yesterday was the longest day ever! Mom’s still poorly so I spent the day keeping my eye on her and watching films. I also finally got round to working on my new website, http://www.happyowls.co.uk/ where I hope to add over time lots of things that can help you get happy with your body and life in general. So far I’ve uploaded some recipes and a few other bits. If there’s anything you think would be helpful to be on the website, let me know your suggestions.

My diet went totally out of the window, I ate a 200g packet of peanuts which I’ve just worked out was 34pp! At least that was the only thing I had for my tea ;D. I was too concerned about mom to care about what I was eating, although I have to say I was greatly impressed with the NHS Direct line, they were very helpful.

I noticed this too yesterday when I was on facebook, https://www.facebook.com/notes/weight-watchers-uk/weight-watchers-facebook-page-cookalong-challenge-tuesday-19th-april/166061076783800 it’s about a cookalong challenge next Tuesday.

How have you spent this weekend? Have you been outside and enjoyed the sunshine?

I haven’t really had much choice this weekend with my plans but that couldn’t be helped, but what about the other weekends?

How are you spending your life? Are you enjoying it, doing things with it, having fun, experiencing life?

Zig Ziglar once said, ‘At the end of your days do not be the kind of person who says I wish I had, I wish I had, I wish I had. Be the kind of person who says, I’m glad I did, I’m glad I did, I’m glad I did”

I can sit here and say that ‘I’m glad I did’ about so many things, I had a ‘to do’ list that I ticked almost everything off, the last of which I’m doing this year, that’s going to New York. Not all the things are that list were so expensive of course, some didn’t involve money at all.

What’s on your list? Do you even have a list?

Think for a minute then write down ten things you’d like to do before you leave this earth!

Then spend some time thinking how you can achieve those ten things. Now there’s something to get your old grey matter working on a Sunday morning.

I’ve just realised I need a new list as I’ve completed my old one.

Enjoy the sunshine xx

Saturday, 16 April 2011

16th April 2011

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. Albert Schweitzer

Big day yesterday mom had her cataracts done so she’s a bit of an invalid at the moment because she’s poorly anyway, we were at the doctors on the morning getting a third set of antibiotics before we even went to the hospital for her eye op, which went very well I add, she said she didn’t feel a thing so that’s a bonus! She’s quite poorly and in bed at the moment so I’m playing nursemaid this weekend I think.

Anyhow the reason I’m actually telling you, besides the fact a lot of you have asked me how she got on is that some days just stop you staying on track, it happens to us all. We get out of bed with the best of intentions, I got up yesterday deciding yes I’m going to start tracking today, I even reset my start date on Weight Watchers esource tracker to start Friday. I made this decision after eating my breakfast which was 2 Wall’s Micro Sausage (7pp) and mushrooms with 2 Weight Watcher nann breads (6)! I still thought no I’m fine I can do this, that’s brunch and I won’t eat again till later today, I’ll just do two meals. So I was doing fabulous, took mom to doctors, then to the hospital and dropped her off for three hours then came back and did housework – yes me, I tidied and cleaned, and earned 3pp in the process, strangely I actually enjoyed doing it! When I got mom back home I tried to make her eat something, so made her a sandwich but she wouldn’t and went to bed instead, so of course I ate it! Then I opened a bottle of wine and a bag of wotsits and a handful of boiled ham later, I ended the day having used 52pp! I did earn 6pp on my pedometer so that’s a bonus. Anyway I’m still going to still with the tracking even though I did start too brilliantly, I have that weekly allowance of 49 to play with which will keep me going. I’ve nothing planned for the weekend so should be able to spend some time cooking good food. I did make one thing yesterday that was good on PP, a Dolmio stir-in sauce for pasta, creamy carbonara, it was 5pp and I just warmed in up in the microwave and served in on top of a pile of steamed vegetables and it was delicious, who needs pasta!

Well this blogs taking a long time to write, cos mom’s playing the patient to perfection, I’ve just made her second cup of tea since I started typing ;D

Moving onto a totally different subject altogether, we were talking about that voice in your head that says nasty things to you in the meeting this week and that also led onto the nasty things that other people say! Which reminded me of a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”, even though someone’s words may be ugly, either intentional or unintentional, no one can make you feel bad about yourself unless there is some par t of you that agrees with what they’re saying. No matter what anybody says to you or about you if you know better then there’s no reason to take it to heart. When you know who you really are, the opinions of others remain just that, OPINIONS and remember everyone has an opinion – just ask them! But opinions are opinions not facts and when you really understand this you stop giving your power away to other people.

I’m gonna sign off early today, because guess what, mom wants something ;D

Have a great weekend and go tell someone you love them, don’t wait till it’s too late. Whether your moms poorly or well, call her and say hi xx

Friday, 15 April 2011

15th April 2011

They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world. Someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.

8am and only just starting my blog, that’s very late for me, I had a bit of a lie in then Alfie’s walked my legs off and as it’s a year today since I took ownership on the crazy little dog, I thought I’d let him have his way. Yeah I’m not rushing at all today, I’ve decided everything’s going to be done at one pace and that’s SLOW!

We’ve had some fantastic results this week at the scales, lots of 5 and 10% achieved and a few members achieving goal too which is awesome. A couple of members also achieving over 50lb weight loss which is just inspirational and it all helps to motivate the rest of us I’m sure you’ll agree. Motivation is the theme of next weeks meeting, so make sure you don’t miss it.

I was prescribed glasses for driving at night last week and I collected them on Monday and although it hasn’t really been dark when I’m driving home after my meetings, I’ve been wearing them to see if they make a difference and also to get used to them. What I did notice is as soon as I put them on was that I felt different! That’s true of so many things isn’t it, as soon as we put on certain clothes they make us feel differently, so our layers of fat we wear are definitely making us feel differently, which means as we lose them we must go through major transitions in how we feel about ourselves and how we look, that’s not easy to handle sometimes is it?

Losing weight is hard, but losing an old image of yourself can be even harder. When you look in the mirror, what do you see? The person you were before you began your weight loss efforts? Or the actual image reflected back in the glass? For many of us, it takes a while for our self-image to catch up to the reality of our new, slimmer selves. When we look in the mirror, do any of us see ourselves as we really are? So as we’re losing weight it takes time to get used to our new shape.

Rachel on our facebook group came up with a good idea yesterday which is worth trying she wrote;

“I took a picture or myself yesterday in a full length mirror and then looked at it against pictures from my friends wedding in Aug last year, it made me feel sooo good!! Sometimes just looking in a mirror isn’t enough! Thats the motivation I need to keep on going :)”

Great idea, take regular photos, may every few weeks as your losing and compare them to older photos, that can help you see you progress.

Another suggestion made on the facebook group page wall yesterday was that gold members share their before and after photos, I think this is another fabulous idea but you don’t have to wait until your at goal, I mean I have members who’ve lost 50lb and still have a way to go but the transformation already is staggering, even ½ stone makes you look different, so share your success.

So get sorting out that camera or use your phone and get snappy ;)

Also today if there’s someone in your life that you love and/or appreciate, tell them, don’t leave it until its too late. You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world's happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who you love, or someone who is lonely or discouraged, perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.

Have a wonderful day and remember – You’re GORGEOUS xx

Thursday, 14 April 2011

14th April 2011

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. Jimmie Johnson

My day was made yesterday by a cat! Yep all through the winter there has been a stray cat in the street and it wouldn’t come down off the fences, it’s sat there even when the temperature dropped to minus 20 at night, I’d feel really awful seeing it through my bedroom window. So I had a kennel made with 2 storeys hoping it would go in the top storey and our other stray could use the bottom but he/she didn’t. However yesterday there it was fast asleep in the top kennel and I was happy ;0) I have no idea where that cat appeared from but at least now it’s got shelter if it chooses to sleep there and food.

Speaking of food! This week we’ve been discussing emotional eating and overeating, and yesterday I realised sometimes you just carry on eating purely because it tastes good! Yep for me it was chocolate, I always say I don’t really like chocolate which is true and yesterday after eating some I remembered why, it’s because it makes me feel sick but it wasn’t until after I realised that, I’d continued to eat it because it was tasting good, there wasn’t any emotional eating going on, I wasn’t hungry, I was just being plain greedy because it was tasting so nice and 15 ProPoints later I felt sick and it took four hours for that feeling to wear off, so I’m cured again for a good while, chocolate will not be on my “I want to eat” list.

Having said that if you’re going to eat chocolate, dark chocolate is your better choice. The flavonoids in a 1.6 ounce serving of dark chocolate (that’s tiny!) for a two week period can help make your blood less sticky, dark chocolate keeps your arteries supple. It helps heal injuries inside the blood vessels apparently. It therefore reduces the risk of a heart attack. Don’t forget it still has ProPoints in though!

Over Easter you may find your house full of chocolate and if you believe it a sin to throw it away, you need to be careful because what doesn’t get thrown away or given away usually gets eaten!

I read an interesting article yesterday about how the bmi chart is considered flawed, I have to agree with this as it makes me at least a stone overweight and I don’t feel it, you can read it here;


It suggests that this is an alternative way to measure whether your overweight,


and this explains how the results work


I like this idea because it tells me I’m not at risk ;), that’s sounds much nicer than being officially overweight!

I’m not with it this morning, don’t think I’ve woken up properly yet, even Alfies still snoring, so I better get on as I think everythings going to take me a little longer to do!
Have a great day, enjoy it xx

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

13th April 2011

Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.

Occasionally I meet someone and they surprise me, I love when that happens and yesterday after such an experience I received an email from a blogger I follow which said “If you could switch lives with someone for one day, who would it be and why?”

Of course immediately you start to think of famous people but just at that moment Alfie come running upstairs upon hearing my mom swear, I’m sure he thinks that’s his name because he gets called it so often! Anyhow, that made me wander what would it be like to spend 24 hours inside his mind, swap places with my crazy little dog, after all he has so much of how we’d love to be, he is full of unconditional love, and never judgmental, Alfie doesn’t care what size he is or his friends come to that, nor how they look – he’ll play with anybody, dog, cat, man or woman, he just wants to play! ;D

Alfie is entertained by the simplest of things, his bones or his toys, they all offer him huge entertainment and when she tires of them he has a nap. He welcomes me home with so much excitement and love, who wouldn’t want to be like Alfie, plus he gets his belly rubbed every day and someone else makes his meals and scoops his poop!

Yeah 24-hours, I’d enjoy seeing the world through Alfies gorgeous eyes. How about you? With whom would you switch lives for just one day? Let me know, I’m intrigued to see who’d you like to be!

When we’re losing weight, we’re all striving to be someone different or at least change in some way, but have you noticed when we’re eating something we actually know we shouldn’t be because it’s over our allowance and we really want to lose that next pound, we forget that fact! Well I’ve got a fun idea, it’ll either make you laugh or cry, I’m hoping it’ll do the former as that will show you are making progress and changing your thoughts xx

Okay this is what I want you to do, the next time you want to overeat and it’s outside your allowance and you know it’s going to take you off track and possibly even mean a gain at the scales (you’re only going to be able to do this if your at home really), I wand you to get that cake or chocolate or whatever it is your about to eat and go sit on the floor in front of a mirror and watch yourself eating it! If anyone asks what you’re doing, answer, “I’m watching myself get fat”.

You may be able to ignore the fact you overate on your tracker or when you get on the scales but if you sit watching yourself actually overeating then you can’t blame it on anyone or anything else. You weren’t abducted by aliens and force fed aboard their mother ship, nor can you say you think it might be because you ate too much fruit. No, you’ll know exactly why it was you haven’t lost weight that week because you watched yourself eat it!

Interesting idea and I’m actually going to do it myself too next time I decide to overeat.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever overeat again but if you’re going to do it, enjoy it and do it honestly, don’t pretend your not, don’t plead ignorance at the scales, give yourself permission to be human and indulge occasionally because as soon as you tell yourself you can’t do something the more you want to do it.

To help you keep your overeating under control maybe make sure your trigger foods aren’t within arms reach all the time, if it’s not there you can’t automatically eat it without thinking about it, you have to make a conscious decision to go to the shop and buy it, if you think you’re likely to eat it before you get home, take a hand mirror with you ;0)

Have a great day, go look at your reflection in the mirror right now and say, “WOW, I love you, you’re gorgeous”. Xx

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

12th April 2011

To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. Buddha

Great day yesterday despite the rain, it almost caught me out but not quite, I managed to stay dry. I also enjoyed all my meals too, had egg and spinach on a toasted muffin for breakfast, salmon and rice with steamed veg for lunch and finished the day with bbq chicken pieces from Asda and butternut squash cooked with onions, smoked paprika, vermouth and water, nice.

I went to Asda with the intention of doing a menu planner for members, a “can’t cook, won’t cook”, style of thing, but then something I read the weekend came to mind about people asking “what shall I do with my life”, and the doctor said “I will tell you exactly what you should with your life as long as you promise to do it!” No one ever took him up on his offer, because ultimately we all know what we want to do with our life, deep down we always know what we want to do with every situation, it’s just being brave enough to admit it.

The same goes for food, there is so much choice if only we stop to look, I could tell you exactly what to eat but you won’t follow it 100% because we are all so different and have such different tastes which change day on day and that’s why most diets fail because people try to follow what other people would eat or do! So instead I’m going to show people how to do their own menu plans. I’ll share ideas of course but not entire weekly plans because the choices are just vast. Even just looking at the chiller counter in Asda you could choose the majority of items and fit them within your daily allowance it’s just working it out and the best way to do that is with a Weight Watcher calculator, I was stood there with mine, I can’t be doing with that cardboard thing, it’s not accurate enough and I like accuracy when I’m ProPoint budgeting just like I do when I’m spending my money! Actually more so, my food intake is more important to me than my money ;D

Back to the vast amount of choice, I think we can get a little carried away, or I suppose it could just be me but I doubt it. Yesterday in Asda I felt like a kid in a sweet shop surrounded by so much choice, I hadn’t been there for a while so the layout and choices were different to my local supermarket and I was in food heaven of the week. I had to reign myself in and remind myself I only have one fridge with a 3 drawer freezer and there are only 2 or us in the house, 3 if you include Alfie which of course I do.

So I opted for the choices that came in at the lower ProPoint options and I even managed a few snacks, there are new Pork Farms branston pickle sausage roll snacks on offer for £1 and they worked out at 3pp each so I treated myself to them and I was so impressed with myself because in the car on the way home I only ate 1 and I ate it slowly, then I resisted the other 5, I don’t think I’ve ever managed that before in my 41 years on the planet.

I also picked up a couple of Feasters Fish Finger Cobs, they’re microwaveable, and only 6pp great when I’m in a rush or can’t be bothered to cook. I’ll have one tonight with a huge side salad I think. They also did others in that range such as a breakfast bap, chicken sandwich, ham and cheese also for 6pp, the burgers were higher so check yourself before you buy.

Anyhow I’m starting to waffle and its Tuesday so early start, I better get ready to walk Alfie.

Tip of the day, when cooking salmon in hot oven don’t lean your arm on the tray after you remove it and place it on top of cooker – it burns and hurts ;) yes I did!

Here’s hoping for a dry day, if it isn’t, play in the puddles xx

Monday, 11 April 2011

11th April 2011

Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.

Every Monday morning rather than thinking “O no the weekends over”, I thank the universe that I’ve lived to see the start of another week. How do you start your Mondays?

I ate really well yesterday, had 2 poached eggs and spinach on a toasted muffin for breakfast, scampi and chips for lunch although that wasn’t so clever as apparently it’s not just prawns I’m allergic to now! For tea we had smoked salmon and salad leaves with phili light on a wrap and it was delicious, followed by % Greek yogurt, honey and a banana. Total for the day was 32pp and it was all delicious. The scampi was on half price in Tesco and 6pp for half the packet (120g), I can’t eat it again but you may be able to ;D

I also spent some time reading yesterday, an interesting book on the psychology of eating, how and why we emotionally eat and how to control it, the books called Shrink Yourself: Break Free from Emotional Eating Forever by Roger Gould, he reinforces my beliefs that if you don’t sort out your head and address your emotional eating then dieting alone will never work long term. He’s a doctor so he obviously makes it more complicated and gives you exercises to help deal but the two paragraphs that I feel would help anyone the most are;

“Focus on finding a pause right before you’re about to overeat. Ask yourself what you’re feeling. Did something bother you? Where are you when it happens? What time of day is it, and who are you with at the time? The more information you can gather about what happens for you right before you overeat, the better you’ll be able to change.”

Later in the book he says;

“You have to demonstrate to yourself that you can quiet your own mind, that you can rise above the moment to get a perspective on yourself and see that you have other options besides eating. You have within yourself a mature response to handling the stressors in life with wisdom. If you can prove to yourself that intense feelings aren’t going to destroy you, then you won’t panic every time you begin to feel something.”

This is so true, don’t be afraid to feel, boredom, stress, anger, feel it and move on or deal with it but don’t deter it by eating.
I’m much better regarding my emotional eating these days, it’s taken me a long time to get here and I’m still on the journey, but my weight has regulated over the last 12 months regardless of what’s happening in my life, the one thing that I still struggle with or rather the one thing I’m still working on is appetite v greed or emotional eating? I still find it very difficult to identify if I’m hungry or just being greedy or if it’s an emotional reason I want more. For example last night after we ate our smoked salmon wrap, mom said she was stuffed and I’m sat thinking I could eat another, mom then asked me to get her a yogurt so I thought instead of having another wrap for 9pp, I’ll have a banana, yogurt and honey for 2pp and after eating that I was stuffed! I’m still not sure if I wanted another wrap because it was nice or because I was still hungry, but at least I found a solution that cost my 7pp less.

I think the one thing I’ve learnt that’s done me more good than anything regarding my weight is that it’s a continual journey, if you recall last week I had my first “fat day”, in a very long time, it didn’t even last the day because I realised I hadn’t changed from the day before when I felt ok, so it had to be the clothes I was wearing or the mood I was in. Yesterday still in that exact same body when I walked the dog on the afternoon in my jeans and tshirt I felt great, so that just proves your mind has more to do with how fat you think you are than your actual size.

It’s Monday morning, so decide to make this week count and have a positive one. xx

Sunday, 10 April 2011

10th April 2011

If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call to make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting? Stephen Levine

What a lovely day it was yesterday, doesn’t the sunshine make you feel better, me and Alfie enjoyed our 90 minute walk before it came out but I took him out a little later for a ten minute walk to post some letters. I enjoyed yesterday because I hadn’t planned to do anything, don’t get me wrong I did things just didn’t plan what they would be, I just went with the flow and surprisingly it was 2pm before I knew it, so then I went and watched a movie, and if you haven’t seen ‘The Blind Side’, it’s brilliant and it made both me and mom cry.

Do you ever feel like you’ve got so much to do, you don’t know where to start, that’s how I’ve felt the last few weeks, so I’m prioritising, I’m starting with the things that I have to do for work, then the ones that’s most important to me, and taking each thing one at a time, and of course the ironing is at the bottom of the list ;D

So yesterday morning was mostly took up with work and also a couple of hours spent looking at menu planning and meal ideas, something that my members have shown a lot of interest in, so I’m trying to put something together, and we also might have a menu planning workshop if anyone’s interested.

When it comes to time we all seem to agree, we don’t have enough of it, for some “time is money”, for other “time is precious”, maybe even both, but time management is a misnomer. How can we manage or be in charge of time – time just exists. The most that we can hope to do is manage ourselves, our attitudes and our behaviours surrounding time. Perhaps a better name for ‘time management’ would be ‘time aware’.

I find making lists helps, lists of what needs to be, and how I plan to do it. It’s the same for anything, if you have a goal that you’d like to achieve and hopefully all of you have one regarding your weight in additional to other goals you may have, the goal doesn’t just happen you have to work towards it. When the goal is large, it can seem difficult to ‘see the wood from the trees’. An action plan will help you to think and see more clearly what you have to do.

It will guide you towards your goal, and help you to monitor progress and to gain a sense of achievement.

Here’s an example of a simple action plan consisting of seven questions.

Q1 What is my current situation? A I am overweight.
Q2 How would I like it to be different? A I would like to be one stone lighter.
Q3 How am I going to achieve this? A By giving up biscuits. I eat a huge amount.
Q4 What or who could help me to achieve this? A Joining Weight Watchers.
Q5 What should I do in order to organise this? A Look on the internet for a local group, go along and join.
Q6 What or who could stand in the way of what I want to achieve? A I have a child and so have biscuits in the house.
Q7 How could I reduce these factors? A I could ask my partner to put the biscuits up on the top shelf so that I could not reach them.

Are you on course to achieve your goal? If not what needs to happen for you to get on course?

Understanding what motivates you will help you achieve your goals; motivation gets us going, energises and moves us towards goals. It is what gets us out of bed on a cold January morning when the day ahead does not exactly fill us with joy. Acknowledge why you want to achieve your goal and that is the foundation of your motivation.

Remember you have to believe to achieve. xx

Saturday, 9 April 2011

9th April 2011

Problems are to the mind what exercise is to the muscles, they toughen and make strong. Norman Vincent Peale

I’ve just had a great walk with Alfie, we were out for over an hour and a half, it’s lovely out there so I hope you’re not going to spend today indoors, I hope you’ll get to enjoy some of this sunshine.

When I’m walking on my own, I think and today I was thinking about a conversation I’d had and it got me thinking about ‘change’, how many things we’d like to change if only we could, I hear it from so many people so often. I actually feel very fortunate that I wouldn’t really change anything about my life, apart from giving myself more hours in my day to do everything I’d like to and of course the energy to do it. I’d quite like an over-active metabolism too, so I could eat more ;) but that’s not gonna happen so hey ho!

Are you one of those people who say, if only I could change …. or if only he would change… or they would change… then everything would be so much better. Sometimes the easiest way to get other people to change their behaviour is to start by changing yours, you can’t make another person behave how you’d like them too, but you can change how you react. At the same time if you’re not happy with a situation that person won’t know unless you tell them!

You could take inspiration from the Michael Jackson song,

"I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror, I'm asking him to change his ways and no message could have been any clearer, If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself then make a change"

Ok so you might not care about changing ‘the world’ just interested about changing ‘YOUR WORLD’ either way, the only way you’re going to start that process is by you “being the change”.

Is it that you have too many changes you want to make, or have you tried and it just hasn’t helped? You could try doing something different, I’m sat here at my desk, it’s almost silent apart from a small fly burning out the last of its short life’s energies in a futile attempt to fly through the glass windowpane. The whining wings tell the poignant story of the fly’s strategy: TRY HARDER. But it’s not working.

The frenzied effort offers no hope of survival. Ironically, the struggle is part of the trap. It is impossible for the fly to try hard enough to succeed at breaking through the glass. Nevertheless, this little insect has staked its life on reaching its goal through effort and determination. The fly’s doomed, it’s gonna die there on my windowsill.

Six inches away, the other window is open. A few seconds of flying time and the fly could reach the outside world it seeks. With only a fraction of the effort now being wasted, it could be free of this self-imposed trap. The breakthrough possibility is there. It would be so easy.

Why doesn’t the fly try another approach, something dramatically different? How did it get so locked in on the idea that this particular route and determined effort offer the most promise of success? What logic is there in continuing, until death, to seek a breakthrough with more of the same?

No doubt this approach makes sense to the fly, unfortunately it’s an idea that will kill.

Trying HARDER isn’t necessarily the solution to achieving more. It may not offer any real promise for getting what you want out of life. Sometimes, in fact, it’s a big part of the problem. If you stake your hopes for a breakthrough on trying hard than ever, you may kill yourself chances for success.

If you’re not getting anywhere, what could you try doing different?
If you want to see a change, how can you change to help that situation?

And don’t worry I’ve helped the fly find the open window, maybe I can help you find your open window too. xx

Friday, 8 April 2011

8th April 2011

Worrying is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere. Unknown

Well I finally think my month long cold has gone, I wasn’t exhausted last night like I have been the last 3 Thursdays, so yay, I can get back on with my life with my usual levels of energy. Having said that, I had my first, “fat mirror moment” yesterday that I’ve had in a very, very long time, but don’t worry I soon recovered and realised I was the same size as I have been for the past year so it was obviously the outfit that was wrong not my body ;-) so I gave my tummy a cuddle and walked away smiling!

The way we think is so important because it affects us so much, always remember the most important person you will ever talk to is yourself, whether you do it out loud or silently in your head! The thing with thinking is it’s a lot like breathing we do it without even realising we’re doing it most of the time.

Yesterday, my inner critic was at work, I thought I’d smothered her a long time ago but obviously she managed to remove her gag long enough yesterday to give me a bit of faulty thinking going on, to try and undermine my confidence and point out that I’m not quite as slim as I used to be. Well I soon put her gag straight back on and I’ve tied her hands behind her back so she can’t remove it again! If you have an inner critic who constantly nags and you and highlights your weaknesses, trying to make you feel bad, you know her, she’s the bitch who constantly reminds you of your mistakes you’ve made and faults you have, because of course she’s trying to convince you that you need to be perfect, give her a name if it helps before you work on gagging her, I’ll call her Aggy for now. Unfortunately our Aggy’s take root in our subconscious from early childhood, and she gets fed and watered by four factors, your personal background, your previous experiences, the company you keep and the media, she usually starts her sentences with,

“I ought to…”
“I must…”
“I should…”
“I’m always getting in wrong”
“How could I have been so stupid?”

Recognising her yet? The thing is we are all very complex individuals, no one is ever going to be perfect, so Aggy’s just a bit of a nasty cow who doesn’t realise that mistakes happen, it’s all part of life. Instead she questions you and asks questions like;

“Why didn’t you….”
“That’s typical of you.”
“You always get that wrong”
“Don’t get ideas above your station”
“I knew you wouldn’t be able to lose weight, you can’t stop eating”

The real danger comes from whether you continue to believe what she says or not, you need to silence her, or start to have more conversations with our inner coach rather than our inner critic, I’m calling my inner coach Anne, that’s my sisters name, we get on now but we didn’t when I was young and we used to call her Aggy then ;D

Anne your inner coach has your best interests at heart, whereas Aggy your inner critic condemns you, your inner critic is trying to make you believe that you lack value and that your only worth comes through your performance or how you look and what other people think of you. She also wants you to feel that you should punish yourself if you fail to reach a particular standard.


If you want to improve yourself, that’s fabulous, get your inner coach to give you a hand, but don’t beat yourself up because it’s not constructive.

Repeat after me;
“I am of worth because of who I am, not because of what I do.”
“I learn from the past but I do not remain rooted in it. I know when to let go and when to move on.”
“I am responsible. I have choices. No one else plays as big a role in determining my destiny as I do.”
“I choose to see the bigger picture, focus on what is important and see things in perspective.”

If you want different results in life, change your thinking, smother Aggy, hug Anne, stop looking at the past and decide to move forward. xx

Thursday, 7 April 2011

7th April 2011

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month!

Had an expensive day yesterday, went for an eye check because you’re supposed to go every two years, and apparently my distance vision is no longer 100% and I need glasses just for night driving, and even after I picked a cheapish pair of frames the bill still came to £142 with the cost of the eye test – ouch! Good job I didn’t have to have reading glasses too. Picking a pair was almost impossible as they all looked the same to me, too small, I wanted big glasses like shades but apparently the don’t do them ;D

After the meeting a few weeks ago about finding ‘time for me’, I’m trying to do just that, so yesterday, I took Alfie for a second walk to clear my head between meetings, and also sat down and had half hour reading my book, plus I turned my phone off about 8.15pm to stop me continuing to work on my emails and on facebook etc, and it’s helping me chill out before bedtime for sure.

Anyhow had chicken and chips with gravy and green beans for my lunch, you don’t get many chips do you, 200g of Aunt Bessies frozen chips are 7pp, I weighed them on my WW scales and did you know that Weight Watchers oven chips work out at 10pp for 200g and Aunt Bessie taste much nicer. The chicken in gravy was a microwave pack from Co-op which was 5pp for ½ pack, Alfie got to eat the other half with me, they’re on offer 2 for £7 at the moment.

I’m into fish at the moment because not only is it fabulous value for ProPoints, it’s really tasty too, and also very good for you. Today I’ve got cod to cook for my lunch, cod is so versatile, yet it usually ends up deep-fried in batter or covered in breadcrumbs, I do my best to avoid both of these methods. Instead look for the ways in which fresh white fish can be cooked without loading on more calories, these include baking, steaming or even microwaving. Cod is a particularly good source of the mineral magnesium, which regulates the adrenal glads and helps control metabolism. It also has very low salt levels compared to most other fish and of course it’s a great source of protein. This is how I plan to cook mine today;

Cod Steaks with Honey and Mustard

ProPoints® Value: 6
Servings: 2
Preparation Time: 14 min
Cooking Time: 6 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Brush this marinade on to your favourite fish to liven it up instantly. Serve with fresh green vegetables or a salad and jacket potatoes.

350 g Fish, Cod, Raw, 2 x 175g (6 oz each)
2 teaspoons Honey, clear (level)
1 tablespoons Mustard, Wholegrain (level)
30 ml Wine, White, Medium, (2 tbsp)
2 teaspoons Oil, Olive

• Preheat the grill to a moderate setting. Line the grill rack with a piece of kitchen foil. Mix the marinade ingredients (honey through olive oil) together.
• Brush the cod steaks with the marinade and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, basting them frequently.

Mmm, I’m hungry now, but first I need to walk Alfie and do some work.

Enjoy your day. xx

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

6th April 2011

Keep on going and chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you least expect it. I never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down. Charles F Kettering.

A much better day had food wise yesterday, used 31 and earned 4pp on my pedometer, I had a banana wrap (weird I know) for breakfast, 3 egg omelette and salad for lunch, and liver and bacon with mash, broccoli and green beans for tea which was delicious . I had a packet of Weight Watcher bakes too for a snack plus a smooth glass of red wine to lull me off to sleepland around 9ish. I know if I can eat healthier this week, which for me means including plenty of veg, then hopefully this headcold that’s lingered for almost a month may go, and even if it doesn’t I’ll feel well enough to cope with it!

Boredom seems to be a word that’s cropped up a lot this week, a word I used to use a lot but rarely these days, these days I have so much I want to do, it’s only time I’m lacking. I think if we’re not careful we all get so bogged down with the day to day things that we rarely make time for things we enjoy, the things that we find interesting. Unfortunately if you don’t find things to be passionate about in life, that creative energy that dwells within you will be forced into unproductive things like eating, arguing with your spouse, watching television constantly, and so on. Your life actually depends on you finding things that make your heart sing.

So what makes you’re heart sing? Maybe you don’t know, maybe it’s time to find out, is there something you’ve always tried to do but never got round too, or never been brave enough? Thomas Edison once said, “If we did all the things we are capable of we would truly astound ourselves”. Do you think you haven’t got time to do anything? If you ever get bored – you’ve got time. I love to read and rarely have time, so yesterday I made myself ‘make time’, I’ve started turning my phone off when I get back from my meeting in the even so that I’m not messing on it doing my emails, or reading your comments on face book page. Yes I have realised I need to get the work/life balance back as at the moment, work has been tipping the scales, and as much as I love what I do, I need the me time just as much to keep me alive.

Obviously your life will determine what hobbies/activities you can do, if you get bored at night when the kids have gone to bed, you can hardly go out to a dance class and leave them home alone, but you could get a dance dvd and do it at home.

Some hobbies are expensive but not all of them, scrapbooking can be real fun, it’s a great way to store memories and you can even do online scrapbooking on your computer, use your search engine to find out more.

I sometimes make cards, why not have a go at that, that way what you make you can use, if you start now, you’ll have plenty come Christmas.

Why not use those hours when you’re bored to learn something, again this is one of my big passions, learning is one of the things that makes my heart sing, I really love that light bulb moment when something makes sense, or when I learn something I can share with others to help them. Actually writing this paragraph has just helped me answer a question I’ve been undecided about, so maybe journaling would be another good pastime, a place to store your memories and thoughts.

Unfortunately so many of us have made eating almost a hobby and that’s just not healthy, so we need to replace it with something else, I’ve sort of kept eating as a hobby in that it now includes planning my meals, looking for recipes, watching cookery programmes, actually cooking the food and finally eating the finished product.

So whatever you have planned today, make sure you spare some ‘me time’ to give yourself a bit of space to breathe, don’t be bored – do something. xx

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

5th April 2011

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

Ooo Bread, it can be so very dangerous for me, I hear a lot of members say if I eat bread it stops me losing weight but if it’s within your allowance that shouldn’t be true according to the experts, unless you have a medical problem maybe. I’ve found it doesn’t help when I eat it purely because it doesn’t fill me up and I can eat quite a lot of it but it doesn’t look like much and that’s exactly what I did yesterday, I ate the following;

2 slices toast with spread - Quick-added food 10
1 sachet Oat So Simple Apple & Blueberry 4
1 serving Milk, Skimmed 3

smoked salmon salad wraps - 12

cheese and onion cobs with salad -  8

Any Time
2 cobs with spread - 8
1 bag(s) Cheese and; Onion Flavour Potato Crisps 4

Food ProPoints values total used 49

OUCH! Is the noise I made this morning when I decided to track it all, I started the day well with Oatso Simple but when I got to my meeting I was still hungry and they sell toast there so I indulged, this kept me satisfied until lunch time when I decided to eat the salmon I’d defrosted and have them on a couple of Weight Watcher wraps, which are 3pp each only because their smaller than other wraps in my opinion! Spent the afternoon at the hospital with mom, she had a pre-op appointment so didn’t have time to prepare my tea, which meant I went for the easy option of cobs, with the tiniest amount of cheese on, but the cob alone is 3pp, and 2 wasn’t enough so I had another two with a bag of crisps on! Just worked out crisps and nearly died when I realised a small bag is 4pp. Mmm more planning today I think, I can’t believe I wasted 49pp on bread based meals, what a waste, especially as the only thing that tasted good was the wraps at lunchtime.

Nevermind, onwards and upwards, at least on the scales I maintained this week which I’m pleased about as I haven’t been tracking at all, just eating and hoping, but yesterday has kinda proved that’s not a good idea.

The salad bag I’d bought yesterday had grated beetroot in it which wasn’t bad at all, did you know not only is beetroot low in calories but it’s also a powerful detoxifier, it’s one of the great cleansers, especially of the liver, intestines, kidneys and gall bladder. It also stimulates the circulatory system, apparently speeding up the metabolism. The high amount of fibre contained in beetroot improves digestive health, aiding the absorption of food and helping to regulate processes within the body. Why not try roasted beetroot,

4 medium beetroots, washed (unpeeled)
1 tbsp olive oil (4pp)
1tsp sea salt.

Brush the beetroots with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt & roast in a preheated oven at 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4 for about 1 hour (depending on size). When cooked, a skewer or knife tip will easily slice into the flesh. The roasted beetroots will serve 4 as a side dish for 1pp or 2 when sliced over a green salad for 2pp.

Nutritients in beetroot – Vitamins B3, B6, C, beta-carotent, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, fibre.

There’s your nutritional lesson for today, now go and enjoy the rest of your day. xx