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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Thought you were on a diet - I AM!

30th April 2013
Being defeated is often a temporary condition…… Giving up is what makes it permanent!
A 3 egg omelette with chorizo, spring onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and a slice of seeded bread spread with laughing cow light, burger with fried mushrooms topped with St Agur and square fries.  Pineapple, banana and grapes, finished off with a delicious prawn salad and more seeded bread with laughing cow!  That was my day yesterday and it made me smile because it reminded me of how well you can eat and still lose weight!  I remember when I used to work in an office and my colleagues would walk past my desk at lunchtime and say, “thought you were on a diet?” or “Oh fell off your diet have you?”  My answer was always “No!” I just always made the most of my ProPoints allowance and that’s the beauty of the plan, it works because you can eat good amounts of excellent, delicious food.  I like to make my food look good too, if it looks pretty I’m happy to eat less, personally I eat with my eyes just as much as my belly, food is very important to me.
All it takes is a bit of thought to save you from the usual “diet” food, weight loss doesn’t have to look like this; bowl of weetabix, ham salad sandwich, Weight Watcher ready meal!   Don’t get me wrong if that’s what floats your boat or it’s convenient for you and you’re happy with it then continue on as long as you’re enjoying it and losing weight – that’s the most important thing, you have to be able to do this for the rest of your life!  Oh by the way the ProPoints in that little lot I ate yesterday was 30pp!
I do love to eat and I enjoy the thinking about eating part too, so I’m always thinking “what can I have for my next meal”, if others mention foods I like, I’ll add them to my to eat list and I regularly look for inspiration in the supermarkets. 
I do have to admit though some foods test me, I do struggle with temptation and have realised this weekend that some foods can’t live in my house for long!  For the majority of people that would be chocolate and crisps but I’m not the norm am I, for me it’s KrackerWheat crackers, oh my word they are the perfect snack and don’t look back food.  Before you know it you’ve opened the tin, taken on out and it’s gone leaving you wanting another one almost immediately!  They have the perfect combination of crunch and saltiness, way too tempting for me!  So lesson learned, I shan’t be buying them again for a while, they’re my ‘special treat’ foods for holidays and Christmas and the like or for when I’m having visitors so they get shared!  Do you have a food or foods that you would rather not have within your reach?  Cheese and onion crisps that’s another one!
I don’t usually bother with fruit I have to admit but that bowl I made up yesterday was so filling I may have to rethink that behaviour and start adding some in, I think I’ll start by bulking my breakfast out with a banana and with Summer on it’s way (honest!) fresh fruit should start to taste better too, although I can live with tinned pineapples and bananas.
Anyway busy day ahead, crazy what can happen in a week, Tuesday turned out not to be such a good day last week, that won’t be happening today, I’m looking forward to seeing my members tonight – I missed them.
Have a Great EatGorgeous day and take care of you because you’re worth it.  BeYouTiful. xx

Monday, 29 April 2013

Who we trying to kid! How healthy are we really?

29th April 2013
You are what you eat so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake!

If you keep saying tomorrow you’ll run out of time! How true is that, think about it for a moment your body is a result of the choices you make and that is why you should refuse to give up on yourself!  When you feel like quitting – think about why you started!
I’ve just made my mom a cup of tea and listening to her talk about her aches, pains and problems really makes me think about what I’m playing at with my behaviour.  Some of the ailments she has to live with now are caused because of the way she ate earlier on in her life, my dad too who has now passed didn’t help himself with his drinking exploits!  So why when we see our parents’ health suffer because of their behaviour do we not sort our own out?  Mmm well I’m no shrink but I’m guessing it’s because we think it’ll never happen to us, I bet my parents thought that to!  When we young we think we’re indestructible and as we get older we think it’s too late.  And I’ve just asked mom if she’d known how she’d end up would she have eaten/drunk differently over the years and her answer was “no”, she wouldn’t change a thing!  So there’s some food for thought are we just creatures on self-destruct or do we just enjoy the good so much we’re willing to take the bad?  I honestly don’t know the answer to that and I’m guessing everyone is different so their response would be different too.
Having said all that, I do what I can to keep me at a weight I’m comfortable with because those problems are almost instant, whereas the stuff that’s going on inside the body we can’t see.  I’ve just realised this all sounds a bit doom and gloom for a Monday morning – it’s not meant to be, I’m just sharing what I’m thinking and when someone in your family gets ill, you do think strange things.  I’ve realised I need to take care of myself so I can take care of my mom, which has got me on track (not perfectly but improved), I’ve actually filled a week in my journal, 100% honest tracking, some of it makes better reading than others pages.  If I start with the 100% tracking, then work on the improving it, this is my plan;
Walk more
Eat Gorgeous
It all makes a difference
Glasses not bottles!  
Healthy is where it’s at
Think before you eat
Little tweaks make a difference
Only eat when you’re hungry
Step by step towards
(if you’re not a drink you could use “Gain confidence” for the G ;-) )
I’m going to print that off and stick it on the fridge, I know it’ll take time to do all of those things all of the time but I’m trying and that’s the main thing.  I have also written my reasons down and I’m going to make a bookmark with them on to put in my journal to remind me of why it’s important for me to eat healthily, drink sensibly and move more because even when I’m in “Sod it” mode, I know it’s not really helping me at all.
So here goes, week 2 of my Journal, let’s see if I can improve on week 1’s entries!
Have a fab day, remembers it’s Marvellous Monday so Eat Gorgeous & BeYouTiful. xx

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Accentuate the positive – eliminate the negative!

28th April 2013
Our background and circumstances may influence who we are, but we are responsible for who we become!
Sunday slow day coming up, I will mostly be spending it with my mom chilling, she’s much better in herself, back to normal I’d say nearly, her mind and memory has took another bashing but at 75 she doesn’t have to remember much at all, she’s fortunate I suppose because she can do as much or as little as she wants, not many people get that choice later on in life do they.  Take care of your older relatives folks, you’ll be one too someday!
I went shopping to Sainsbury’s yesterday morning and bought crusty cobs, I should have bought a couple of loose ones but I made the mistake of going for the “6 for 70p” offer because two would have cost me more than half that so my brains saying it’s cheaper!  Well spending the day at home and being tired whilst surrounded by a new food shop which included 6 crusty cobs meant my diet wasn’t fabulous, I got led astray by the idea of cheese and onion cobs, however on the positive I tracked it all, and had it been a 72 hour day I’d have been within my allowance but as it was a 24 hour day – oops!  So do I think ‘sod it’ and make a weekend of it – erm NO, I thank the universe there’s only 2 crusty cobs left to be tempted by and get a grip is what I do, because the truth is if you’re tired of starting over you need to stop giving up!
It’s important to focus on the positives, so here’s one to get you started, my members last week lost thirty five and a half stone – awesome I’m sure you’d agree.  Where they all perfect and 100% on track all week, were the heck, but they did their best.
Give yourself credit where credits due, so many of my members give themselves a really hard time when they slip up slightly but the don’t put as much energy into giving themselves credit every time they do something that’ll support their weight loss.  They seem to find it easier to tell themselves how weak, useless, hopeless they are or how the are disgusted with their own behaviour – this makes me cringe I have to say, it hurts me to hear someone say they are disgusted with themselves for eating, saddens me actually because it’s not cause for such strong emotions, we’re only human!   No if you only bigged yourself up so easily I’d be thrilled, can you imagine creating a ‘credit account’ having a little money box or positive pocket pad for you to record and acknowledge all the positive things you did to help your weight loss, or drop a coin in your money box (you’d have a tidy stash in no time at all).  But I prefer the pocket pad because you can re-read it when you think you’ve slipped up and done irretrievable damage.  What kind of things would you write in this book, anything, everything, all the little things you do that make a difference, such as carrying a water bottle around, making time to cook a healthy meal, finding time to sit down to eat, tracking, resisting the bread basket in a restaurant, leaving food on your plate because you were full.  The list is endless and every small thing you do adds up over time and means eventually you will get to your goal.
If you are one of those people who has a tendency to give yourself a hard time, focusing on the negative and berating yourself every time you slip up, a pocket positive pad is a great idea because if all you ever do is criticise yourself you are just undermining your own self confidence and that will not help and is likely to lead to sabotaging thoughts and actions.
What did you do yesterday that you’re proud of?  Write it down NOW, I bet it makes you smile, imagine having an entire book full of things you did good, I like the idea of that a lot.
SO here’s to a positive day full of eating gorgeous ;) because you hopefully realise by now – YOU’RE WORTH IT!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Weight loss takes time!

27th April 2013
"When you're at peace with yourself and love yourself, it is virtually impossible to do things to yourself that are destructive." Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Weight loss takes time!

And I don't just mean how long it will take for you to lose the weight, I mean you'll need to make time to succeed. You need to find the time to think about and plan meals, to go shopping, to exercise - that kind of thing! I spend lots of time thinking about what I'm going to eat, looking for new ideas to make my eating experience enjoyable. I make the time to walk my dog because that's my exercise, although he's got a little lazy lately I have to say, which has meant I've resorted to walking alone occasionally. Even sitting down to eat my meals takes time because I'm no longer multitasking and doing two things at once like I was when I used to eat my lunch at my desk.

What was that I heard you say? You don't have time! Maybe that's one of the reasons you have a weight problem because you're so rushed and busy. Maybe it's time to rethink your days? Could you get up a little earlier and spend ten minutes planning your day? What was that - no you're too tired already! Maybe if you went to bed half hour earlier instead of sitting in front of the goggle box watching the same old trash you wouldn't be quite so tired. Maybe if you drank more water instead of caffeine you wouldn’t feel so drained! Maybe if you took some time to go for a walk or do some kind of activity you'd feel more energised!  Maybe…..

Crikey I sound opinionated this morning don't I! Nah, I'm not honest, I totally understand the realities of modern life - I'm just suggesting if you're not happy or you don't feel good, that maybe something needs to change because life's too precious to just survive, life needs to be lived!

If you run a house, have kids and work too, I appreciate the last thing you want to be doing on a Friday night is cooking a meal from scratch but does takeaway have to be the only alternative? No, you could buy a healthy prepared meal to serve up that just needs popping in the oven whilst you go and get washed and changed out your work clothes. That way you'll have more energy to enjoy your weekend because you'll have eaten better quality food which nourishes your body rather than a plate of greasy chips.

Finding the time to exercise - mmm that's tough when you're already time poor isn’t it, so is there some way you can combine it with something else that needs to be done, such as housework, gardening, walking to the shop rather than driving or spending time with the kids over the park, playing ball games - having fun, that makes exercise less of a task for sure, could you all go for a nice long walk together, you’ll be relaxing, spending time together and getting exercise.

What about delegating? Do you do stuff someone else could do instead, so many people do everything themselves for different reasons, maybe it's just less hassle than asking and showing them how to do it, maybe no one does it quite as well as you or maybe you don't like to put on others, mmm I'm a bit like that but I'm getting better, I'm letting people help me more when they offer – I’ve realised stubborn pride can be a foolish trait.  Why don’t you get the kids to do the washing up after dinner, show someone else in the house how the hoover works!  Have the shopping delivered perhaps rather than spending a hour doing that every week?

Do some of the things you do, need doing that often or need doing at all? Do you vacuum too regularly, could it go a bit longer, are all those jobs you do as often as you do really necessary?   

Are you the fool who can't say no when asked to do things even if you don’t want to or you don’t have the time to - well maybe it's time you learnt to say no, it's not selfish - it's self care!
Yes weight loss takes time and if it’s something you really want then you’ll think about what I’ve just wrote and see if you can make any changes to take care of you.
Eat Gorgeous always and BeYouTiful because you count too. xx

Friday, 26 April 2013

What an amazing woman!

26th April 2013
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” - Mark Twain
Today I’m beyond proud, all my members weight loss journey’s are inspirational but Denise’s is just amazing, losing 299lb (21st 5lb) is just a scary amount of weight to comprehend, can you imagine walking into a Weight Watchers meeting knowing you have that journey in front of you, realising it won’t take weeks, or months but years to get where you want to be.  To try to motivate yourself enough week in, week out to continue that journey, to face with all the things that life throws and you and yet continue on your way towards your goal, that takes so much courage and determination and if she can do it then we have no excuse at all really do we!  Here are some photos Denise has allowed me to share of her over the last four years, she will be getting me some more after photos taken but she’s a little busy smiling at the moment to care I’m sure.
Now we all know how difficult weight loss is, life gets in the way sometimes doesn’t it, some of you will have read the poem, “there’s an angel on your shoulder and a devil on your back” I’m sure, I’ve talked about the ‘voices’ in my head in previous blogs (don’t pretend you don’t have them too!) it’s also known as your subconscious but I like to call it my diet demon!  Well she was loud on Tuesday and took some silencing I can tell you and I’m guessing quite a few of you have had similar conversations with yourself – silently I’m hoping!   Let me talk you through my day, I have a magic number that when I hit it on the scales, I pay a little more attention to my eating and lose a few pounds, I may be a Happy Owl but I don’t want to be an uncomfortable one carrying anymore weight than my magic number.  Anyway I’d hit that number on Sunday so I decided to reign it in, I managed to resist the amazing cake in the cafĂ© in Ironbridge, then on Monday I’d made it through the day without snacking or going overboard, so on Tuesday morning at my meeting I treated myself to a nice new pink journal (because I’m worth it!) and when I got back home, I sat and filled in Monday and Tuesday mornings food entries, I measured myself and filled that bit in, I took a before photo, I’m guessing I’m not the only one that does this, all in my best hand-writing and the same colour ink because it’s a new journal (give it a week or so and it’ll be scrawl!).  So then I go downstairs to eat lunch and my moms having a funny turn of some sort, I rush over doctors (lucky that its on the corner of our street) he told me to take her across, did some tests, rang the hospital and sent us straight to A&E, we then spent the rest of the day there, and mom had to stay overnight which neither of us were happy about.   So have you guessed what’s coming next?  I’m driving home thinking I need to eat, it’s 9pm and I’m shattered, my diet devil says “we could have chips or a takeaway”, I remind myself I’m trying to get away from that magic number on the scales, my devil says, “oh come on, it’s been an horrendous day, no one would judge you for going of track today of all days, you’re upset, you’re tired, you’re hungry and you’re a bit scared for your mom too, anyone you explained the situation to would totally understand your justifications for going to the chip shop”.  I didn’t have a takeaway, I went home and knocked up some microwave rice and had a rice sandwich – really don’t judge me it was delicious!  I don’t know what made me strong enough to resist on Tuesday but I did, I don’t always obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have hit my magic number.  Maybe it was because I’d just bought a nice, new pretty journal and I didn’t want to mess it up on day 2, or maybe the magic number scared me enough to stop me, or maybe I was just too exhausted to stop and I wanted to get back to my dog.  I’m guessing you all can relate to the ‘talking yourself out of staying on track’ conversations and justifications though, we all do it don’t we, and sometimes it’s okay to do it, but all the time it isn’t because then you will never get to your goal!
So I’m still on track because I don’t like that magic number, I want to get back to my Happy Owl digits ;-) where do you want to get to and are you strong enough to realise sometimes you have to silence the diet demon’s chatter and stay on track.  Why?  Because it’s worth it and because you must want to lose weight or you wouldn’t join a slimming group.  I want to be healthy and happy and what I consume affects that, so for now I’m tracking everything and cutting down a bit, not massively because I can’t handle that approach, I’m in no rush.
So here’s to a day of Eating Gorgeous, spending time with my mom and taking care of us because we’re worth it!  Remember you are too!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The sun might not be shining but my worlds brighter

25th April 2013
“You are my friend when you can guard my failure, challenge my thought and celebrate my success.” - Unknown
So moms home which is great, they let her come home yesterday afternoon and I got my brother to sit with her last night whilst I was at work, she wasn’t impressed with that idea, doesn’t like being babysat!  She’s a stubborn old bird but it makes her a tough one too which is what I want as that attitude will keep her around for a very long time!
I don’t know how but I’ve managed to stay on track the last few days despite all the rushing around, luckily my house is full of good food so I was able to knock something together quickly, yesterday was leftover omelette, a tin of soup and for my tea I had a packet of Tilda microwave rice, not my normal choices but fast and easy and hit the spot, I might’ve had a sandwich for tea If I’d got any bread left, a visit to the shop sometime today hopefully.
I have to say the only good thing about what’s happened over the last couple of days, other than mom being ok of course, is that you realise how many wonderful people you know, my mate drove a 60 mile round trip with only an hours notice to cover my meeting, my helper drove to the hospital to collect the venue keys from me and she also helped out last night when she wouldn’t normally.  I’ve had so many offers of help and kindness that it just makes me grateful for everyone I know.  I am considering letting all those that have said “if there’s anything I can do, let me know” come round and give my house a good clean and tidy, I could get a couple painting that fence up the garden too, ooo I’m liking this idea ;-)
One of my members posted a photo of her tea last night, homemade chicken kiev, it looked nice and this is the recipe she posted;
For Tracey’s chicken Kiev she had 120g chicken breast (flattened by putting in a bag and hitting with rolling pin) 3pp 20g light soft cheese (Aldi own Philadelphia) 1pp beaten egg flour and breadcrumbs (1/2 piece white bread) 1pp each (3pp) Roll chicken round soft cheese pull together with cocktail sticks dip in egg flour and breadcrumbs bake in oven for 35-50 mins - Lovely
She weighed and measured hers & it came to 7pp but will depend on chicken breast and amount of cheese ;)
Might be worth a try for something different, another one I keep meaning to try which is supposed to be tasty is ‘condom chicken’!
Dinner - Condom Chicken, Serves 1, 5pp
165g Chicken breast (4pp)
1tbsp (28g) low fat soft cheese (1pp)
Place a medium chicken breast between two pieces of cling film and batten out with a rolling pin until it is the same thickness all the way along the breast.  Season with salt & pepper.   Keeping the meat on the cling film spread the centre of the flattened out chicken breast with a tablespoon of low fat soft cheese (e.g. Philadelphia Light with garlic & herbs or use plain & add your own garlic and a few pinches of mixed dried herbs).
Using the cling film tuck in the ends of the chicken and roll up the chicken along its length to form a long sausage shape so that the cream cheese filling is completely sealed in. Tightly roll up both ends of the cling film (like a Christmas cracker) so that the chicken is completely sealed and water tight.   Poach the condom in gently boiling water for 10 mins or until the chicken is cooked through.  Carefully remove from the water and drain, and then open up the condom to reveal your condom chicken. You can brown the chicken at this stage if you wish using a calorie controlled oil spray in a frying pan until the condom chicken takes on some colour. When cut through the creamy garlic filling should ooze out.   You could serve with 60g dried rice, cooked as per instructions. (6pp)
Right I’m off, busy day today, need to get myself, Alfie and mom sorted first, I’m thinking a freezer meal at lunchtime as I’m not going to have time to cook today!
Did you sit down to eat yesterday like I suggested?  Yes well done, try and continue again today.  NO? Why not, try to do it today then, I still managed to sit for my food yesterday, despite work and rushing to the hospital.  Give yourself that bit of time to really enjoy you food and of course always Eat Gorgeous. xx

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast!

24th April 2013
For fast-acting relief – try slowing down! Lily Tomlin
You really just don’t know where you day can take you do you, yesterday  morning I’m in my meeting with my mom and my members having a laugh, buy 2 I’m at the doctors, then A&E because my moms had some kind of stroke!  The most horrible feeling in the world was having to leave my mom in that ward last night and come home not knowing much at all.  Hopefully they’ll do tests today and I’ll have her back as soon as.
Funnily enough I’ve been very aware of everyone rushing just lately and how busy we all seem to be, never slowing down to actually experience the normalness of life.  It’s all just busy, busy, busy, yet we’re only here once 80 or so years if you’re lucky, I’m slowing down, I want to enjoy the really important things in my life like my mom, my family and my friends and loved ones.  Yes it means I have less money but we don’t have to pay for giggles and love and as long as I can pay my bills we’ll be ok. 
There are so many things round my house need repairing or replacing, my dvd player/recorder has broke, both my front door and porch door needs replacing, the fence at the front has blown down and the gates hanging off, the fence panels at the back are saying they’ll be on their way soon too, oh yes it really is like the house that Jack built at the moment, but honestly these things are all things that aren’t at all important in the grand scheme.  I’d rather take my mom to Ironbridge and spend my spare cash on making her smile whilst she eats cake, or the holiday we have booked, yep the falling off door will still be there even when we’re not.
I weighed almost 40 people before 9.30am yesterday morning because they’re so busy, they have to be at work, or look after their childrens, children so they can go to work, or other reasons all of which are valid.  It’s such a shame that everything is so damn expensive that we all have to work so very, very hard and that so many don’t have the time in their 168 hours week to find themselves an 30 minutes to sit and enjoy their meeting.
We rush our food too, what do all these things have in common;
·         Grab a sandwich whilst filling up with petrol.
·         Have a steak bake from Greggs.
·         Drive through Mac D’s.
·         Sneak bits of food from someone's plate as you clear the table.
·         Taste food as you prepare meals.
·         Eat a free sample of food at the grocery store.
·         Spoon ice cream out of the tub or reach into a bag of crisps while you're walking around talking on the phone.
·         Take a piece of chocolate or a sweet as you walk past a colleagues desk.
·         Nibble on something you see when you open the fridge door to get something else out. 
These are all things we do when we’re rushing, distracted and usually standing up!  When we eat in these situations, you tend not to notice how much you’ve eaten, and the calories will soon mount up and so will the weight problem. 
Not only is it important to slow down a little in for your sheer enjoyment of your time here, it’s also important to slow down and sit down when you eat too, because you become more conscious of everything you put in your mouth.  You need to pay complete attention to what you are eating so you don’t end up thinking, “I’m still hungry….I want more”.
If you think about it, most of the eating you do when you’re standing up is impulse eating, not food that has been planned, whereas when you sit down to eat, if possible at a table, you’ve made a conscious decision to eat, you know that these meals count, you’ve probably worked the ProPoints out in the too, and its easier for you to track what you’ve had, and it will help to avoid overeating.
So just for today, even better for always, sit down whenever you eat, it really does make a difference.    I even managed it yesterday with the awful day I had, so the least you can do is try.
Slow down – BeYouTiful and enjoy each day you have, cos you never know how many of them you’re going to get. xx

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

"I FEEL FAT" What's that really all about?

23rd April 2013
Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won't have to hunt for happiness. William E. Gladstone
I stuck to my ‘tweak’ and carried water with me yesterday, I’m even sitting here with my first pint, and I have to say when I had my main meal I felt fuller afterwards than I normally do, whether that was relevant or not I’m unsure. 
Ate well yesterday had beans & laughing cow on toast for breakfast (5pp), a nice chicken dinner for my main meal (12pp) and an oven omelette for tea (8pp).  I also earned 8pp on my pedometer, the weather makes such a massive difference to how I feel, it was still windy yesterday but at least it was dry.  I took mom to Chase Water as she’d never been before and she loved watched the swans and other ducks.
My oven omelette was very tasty, I wanted to use up the last of the Mozzarella (12pp) and the courgette from the fridge, so I fried the courgette with some mushrooms and spring onions in a tablespoon of oil (4pp), then I linked a dish and add 6 beaten eggs to it, poured in the veggies and topped with cheese before baking for about half hour on gas mark 4.  It was delicious with a bit of salt and pepper.
Yes I’m loving have Monday free, I managed to get a load of ironing done yesterday and gave the kitchen a good clean too, it’s lovely having that balance.
Oh I just want to give a bit of a plug for a friends daughter who realised her first single yesterday, Rose Redd is her name and ‘Perfectly Useless’ is the song, she is very good, and I downloaded my copy from itunes, I particularly love her acoustic version.
She’s a local girl, so it would be nice to see her succeed ;-) go have a listen.
Have you ever noticed how you wake up some mornings feeling really good about yourself and about how you look (regardless of your weight!) and then the next day you wake up feeling unhappy with your appearance, this is usually because our body has not changed our mind has.  This isn’t about your actual body shape nor size, this is your body image and whether you’ve got a positive or negative one going on.  This also shows that can change on a daily basis, sometimes when the negative thoughts about your body surface, you maybe are having negative thoughts about some aspect of your life too.  Most people want their body to be different in some way, to maybe fit what is considered ‘the perfect body’.  And even if you’ve got a perfect body you can still have the negative body image, because we are rarely completely satisfied with what we have because our true physical appearance has very little to do with our body image. Who we truly are inside and how content we are is what really decides how much we accept the skin we’re in!  From a personal point of view I’ve been 2-3stone lighter and less satisfied with my body than I am now, I’ve exercised and worked out daily, I’ve eaten a extremely strict diet and achieved that ‘ideal weight’ and still been unhappy with it because then I had no curves or shape, I didn’t have the long blond hair of the really attractive girl in the office, nor the boobs of another, etc, etc, etc – you just can’t please a 20-something can you ;)  You can change your body without changing your body image you see and then you’re still no happier.
This last week I’ve had a bit of a peak back into that world, I think it’s mainly been because I’ve felt run down and poorly and if you throw in a few hormones too well that can make you think all sorts of things!  Now I know I’ve gained a few pounds over the last few weeks but how I’ve felt about my body had massively changed since the previous week, month or even year – this Happy Owl has felt FAT!  What’s that all about ay?  Now my friend told me she read somewhere than when we say we ‘feel fat’ that’s not really what we mean, we mean ‘we feel……’ something but it isn’t fat, its just that we can’t actually put a word to how we feel.  That’s possibly true in this case, because today I feel just fine, yeah I want to lose those few pounds but I don’t feel fat anymore, I just feel that I need to be extra careful in my consumption of food for a bit as I do like fitting in the jeans I’ve already got and I don’t wanna be buying the next size up.
But that flashback to the old days of ‘feeling fat’ SUCKED!  I didn’t like it and I don’t know how anyone puts up with feeling that way because it really drags you down doesn’t it. If you feel that way, did you know not many people see their body as it really is, a lot of people imagine what it will (could) be like, this dream of that ideal body (heck in my old dream of that body I had blonde hair!) and usually with that dream comes a false belief of happiness and the perfect life!
Now here’s food for thought, what if how you think about your body determines how you take care of it?  If you think of your body as excess baggage that you have to carry around with you but you don’t want too, then you are like to look at your diet in a similar way, you will maybe treat it like something that has to be done (like the ironing) not a pleasant task so many subconsciously you’ll reach for foods that reflect how you’re feeling, food that will enhance your condition of feeling sluggish and heavy, these would of course be high fat and high sugar foods – just a thought?  Just throwing that idea out there!
What if you decided to give yourself a break and think of your body in a more positive light, instead of imagining wanting the ‘perfect diet’ , why not imagine having YOUR PERFECT BODY, individual to you, it would of course be healthy, taken care off and loved, ooo I feel better just typing that idea.  You are much more likely, I believe, to feed that body in a more positive manner with healthier choices, you’d take the time to prepare a meal with love rather than slap dash.  Have you ever notice how a meal that has been lovingly prepared for you always tastes better, even if it’s a sandwich?
So I’m glad to say today I’m back to being a ‘Happy Owl’, I’ve lost that ‘’FAT’ feeling and I’m sure it was down to me feeling a bit run down and I’m so glad my mate reminded me that it wasn’t my body I had the problem with because she was right.  I love me whatever size I am, I spent way too many years not loving me enough to ever go back to that state of mind.  If you’re not there yet, if you haven’t quite reached the ‘Happy Owl’ state of mind, work on it because your body, whatever its size – is the only one you’re ever going to get, so show it some respect, give it a bit of love and feed it good healthy food, and not forgetting ensure you give it the odd treat too.
Cheers (with a pint of water in my hand) here’s to you, BeYouTiful because you are. Xxx

Monday, 22 April 2013

One tweak each week...

22nd April 2013
“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing that's why we recommend it daily.”  Zig Ziglar
Feeling human again, woke at 4ish and lay there enjoying the bird song before finally getting up to make a drink, it’s nice not having to rush on a Monday morning now, up until this month, I’d be up and getting ready for work but now I only work tues-fri morning it’s a bit less rushed.  I’m enjoying slowing down to the speed of life, we had a smashing day yesterday, took mom out for a drive over to Ironbridge where we had a little bit of a walk and then sat and watched the world go buy, she ate cake and Alfie watched her!  It still needs to get a little warmer but at least the sun shone a bit and it was dry, that’ll do for now.
So as I was just lying in bed I thought rather than trying to make lots of massive changes it’s much easier to focus on a ‘tweak each week’ and this week it’s going to be drinking more water, it gets easier to do so now as the weather is warming up.  I’m going to carry a small water bottle around with me, as even minor dehydration can make you feel sluggish.  It’s great how the universe has a way of reminding you of these things, firstly mom packed a bottle for Alfie and another for us in the car yesterday, it was the only thing she put in her bag which goes to show she realises how important it is!  Then when I fetched the Sunday papers I bought the Express for a change and an article in there about ways to feel energised suggested you drink every hour because by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already partially dehydrated.  So there you go I’ve had the messages, no to listen and do!
Change is so much easier if the changes aren’t so drastic, if you try to change everything at once, you are likely to find it difficult.  It’s like very low calorie diets, they don’t work because you are almost always hungry, your body and brain will fight against that and then you’ll eat which you think is because you lack the ‘willpower’ when really it’s because you’re hungry!  You body needs food, it needs calories and energy in order to function properly and burn fat.  You will never find long term success from a diet that leaves you hungry, losing weight is hard enough without adding hunger into the equation!
Yes you will lose weight on a very low calorie diet but will you be able to maintain it – I know I couldn’t plus when I’m hungry – I’m narky!  Being hungry affects you in more ways than a rumbling stomach; it can cause mood changes and affect your concentration levels, not forgetting that it also causes you to become a little obsessed with food! 
Healthy eating, sensible portion sizes and finding ways to move that you enjoy sounds much more fun than the above! 
Slow and steady wins the race I reckon, so this week is all about the water and of course tracking absolutely everything consumed (that kinda goes without saying – it’s the one sure way of knowing what you’ve had!)
Today I shall mostly be getting on top of my ironing and my housework – boo!  It’s a dirty job but someones got to do it, yesterday was too nice to stay home and be a domestic goddess!
Have a magical Monday, EatGorgeous, BeYouTiful and never let anyone dull your sparkle. xx

Sunday, 21 April 2013

losing weight is totally mental!

20th April 2013
Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.  Wayne W Dyer
What a beautiful morning it looks out there, I’ve just got up – late for me but I’m trying to rid myself of this cold so I took night nurse again to knock me out and guarantee sleep.
Wasn’t particularly productive yesterday, did do a meal plan for the week ahead although I don’t think I’ll be able to stick to it as I have to fancy what I’m going to eat, I have however made a list of potential meals for the next few weeks which will stop me over shopping in the supermarket when I go for the few things that I do need.  I also cooked a whole chicken in the slow cooker which came out delicious, I added a chopped onion, about 3 bulbs of garlic didn’t peel them so they were still sweet in their cases, and about 150ml of pale sherry, wow it was a bit like Nigellas 40 clove of garlic recipe without all the hassle and extras, will be enjoying some of it today with rice I think.
I also took mom to McDonalds for her lunch yesterday and met Lynne for a coffee, I did some major people watching, one kid ate approx 1,800 calories worth of food in less than ten minutes, it took another lad 3 minutes to eat a big mac, then he had another!  It’s okay for some kids to do that occasionally because they’ll burn it off, the lad with the two burgers had his scooter with him and he’ll be burning it off playing with his mates.  The woman I watched eating, big mac, large fries and chicken nuggets whilst talking on the phone is unlikely to burn off the calories she just ate in less than ten minutes, no attention was being paid to her food at all and if you think it takes twenty minutes for the brain to realise the stomachs full, it’s no wonder she had room for the chocolate muffin afterwards!  It is very difficult to eat slowly and relax in McDonalds, it isn’t designed for you to stay really is it being a ‘fast food’ restaurant.  I had a big mac and large fries and a carton of milk (I didn’t track nor count ProPoints at all yesterday, I was poorly and beyond caring) which added up to 1113 calories or 29pp however you prefer to think about these things – that’s a lot!  Especially as because of my cold, I wasn’t really tasting much and I didn’t burn it off with movement later because we went home to chill out!  It really is scary how little attention we pay to our food when we’re eating but how easily we can consume vast quantities of food without realising.  If you don’t at the moment, start trying to pay attention to your food, enjoy and taste the flavours, it’s amazing what you learn about your tastebuds, it really is.
So I’ve got a cold and I’ve used it as an excuse/reason to not bother with my tracking, any old excuse ay!  But seriously I talked in my blog the other day about ‘the ideal perfect diet world’ and there really isn’t on, I talk to so many people who have troubles, struggles, hard times and ‘stuff’ going on in their lives that at that time the last thing they’re thinking about is themselves and what they’re eating – eating is just something that gets done eventually and whatever is to hand.  It’s easy for me to say “Make time” but in reality, it isn’t that easy to do is it.  I hear great lines from people occasionally and they stick with me and one of the better ones was “When life’s hard, weight loss is hard”, and that is so true, it’s still doable but it’s not as easy.  Another line I heard the other day when I was chatting with a friend about there being so much more to weight loss than the food we eat, we were discussing how our emotions, moods and life situations come into play and she said, “losing weight is totally mental”, a line of genius because it’s so true and has two meanings depending on which way you want to read it.
Life is never going to be ‘easy’ all the time, and when you’re struggling for whatever reason, you can only do your best and cope as best as you are able to, don’t put pressure on yourself for not being perfect.  A bit of self love will do you much more good than chastising yourself over your inability to stay on track!  When I feel like this, I eat as well as I possibly can and give myself a break when I don’t manage to. 
It’s easy for someone in a good place to offer you advise and direction but until you are ready, all the advice in the world won’t make a blind bit of difference.
So wherever you are, however you feel today, do your best and give yourself a break ;-)
If you’re lucky, life continues regardless, so embrace each day with gratitude.  There are certain things you can’t change but you can change how you react to them.
BeYouTiful and take care of you. xx

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Really short today!

20th April 2013
It always seems impossible until it's done.  Nelson Mandela
Running late today, had a lie in thanks to Night Nurse, 7am, just been feeding mom and Lynne and now Alfie wants a walk so this is going to have to be short and sweet!
What to say? Mmm well yesterday I just wanted to stay in bed and get rid of my cold, add hormonal mood swings into the equation and getting up wasn’t appealing at all.  Instead I got all my work done, then had a nice bath before  going to enjoy afternoon tea with my bestie, then we meet up with a gang of Facebook friends later in Birmingham for Dinner, they were staying the weekend but me and Lynne just there for the meal and a catchup.  I’m too old for all that noise in those bars I have to say, and drunken blokes already off their heads by 7pm – WHY!  So as Lynne was working this morning and I was ready for my bed, we left them to it about nine and they no doubt had an amazing night.  It was still fab to have a good few hours catch up though and put voices and face to online photos J  I’m more of a sit round and natter in a quiet place myself, my head can’t cope with all that noise, I can’t make out what people are saying.
So Alfie’s now sitting on my lap trying to tell me I need to stop typing, it’s absolutely glorious out there this morning so our plan is a super long walk, then I’m going to spend the day meal planning and writing a shopping list, I am taking control of the Cheap Challenge, one meal I really fancy is hot dogs and onions in rolls mmm, I likes that a lot.  I need to not be too energetic today,  I want to rest and shift this cold, it’s time for it to go now!  I will be sorting through my clothes and having an ironing session at some point but that might be tomorrow as I fancy a nice chill out day, I’ve got some reading to do too.
The fence panels in my garden need painting at some stage but I’m really not in the mood, thought about turning them round as next doors painted there’s last week, wonder if they’d notice!
It’s no use I’m going to have to go, he’s getting impatient and it is his time, so have a fabulous day all and remember lifes for living, slow down enough to enjoy it. xx

Friday, 19 April 2013

The Cheap Challenge!

19th April 2013
These week in meetings we’ve been talking about meal planning and after receiving my credit card bill midweek I’ve realised I spent a ridiculous amount of money in supermarkets last month and I don’t earn that amount so I’m starting the ‘cheap challenge’ this morning to get my food bill under control both financially and ProPoint allowance wise.  Every now and again I have to stop, look round and realise things are starting to slide and I’m going back to my old ways – this isn’t just what happens with weight, for me it’s everything in my life.  What’s that saying “A leopard never changes its spots!” well I don’t entirely believe in the meaning of that saying, but I do think if you were born with a certain personality and you try to change elements of it for the better that your natural ways will do their best to resurface as often as they are able, if you don’t keep your eye on it.
I love to shop and spend money hence I have to keep an eye on myself to stop me from going crazy, it’s why I have a credit card to be honest because I can see exactly what I’ve spent money on, where as if I have cash it just goes.  So back to basics, and the cheap challenge has already begun, I was rather proud of myself walking in the co-op last night for 2 things and leaving with just 2 things despite the fact they had a load of reduced stuff, or “Whoopsies” as one of my lovely Thursday night ladies calls them.  I’ve picked up some fab tips from that lady last night in just a few minutes.  Each week she sits down with her folder of recipes and plans her meals, the entire week of meals and makes her shopping list, she has a list of everything she has in her freezer so she doesn’t forget and she saves herself a fortune – I love this!  Because if I’m honest I’m rubbish at knowing what’s in my freezer, I often forget, when I decided to start my ‘cheap challenge’ I went and looked through my freezer and cupboards and there was enough food to make at least 27 main meals for two people!  That’s ridiculous!
So if you fancy joining me here is a link to all my recipe booklets and individual recipes I’ve done in the past - http://www.happyowls.co.uk/recipes.html there’s some great meal ideas there.
Yesterday didn’t cost me much at all, my brekkie was eggs on toast which costs about 55p and that’s having good eggs (14pp), lunch was a ready meal which had been part of a meal deal from co-op and was delicious, about £1.60 a portion for wind pacific pink salmon & polllack gratin served with spinach (11pp).  Tea was chicken wings that had been in the freezer for ages, they’d been cut of chickens when I’d bought three for a tenner and portioned up, (12pp) maximum cost would be £2 I reckon.

So today I’m out and it’s all paid for except drinks, so I’m having cheese on toast for brekkie, then we have afternoon tea booked a Wowcher deal and I’m off for dinner with friends which should be fun, just wished I wasn’t full of a cold!
If you have any delicious cheap meal ideas let me know email them to me on info@happyowls.co.uk, have a fab day, YAY it’s Friday. 
If you haven’t already watched the beauty sketches video on my fb page (search for Bev’s Weight Watchers) I recommend you go watch it because you all need to realise how beautiful you truly are.  You can also find it here http://realbeautysketches.dove.com/
BeYOUtiful. xx