You may have missed me mention on Boxing Day that I’ve set myself a new challenge. I’ve signed up for Slim.Fast’s 3-2-1 Challenge and you can read a little more about that here.
This is my first week’s diary but first, a little background.
This post may surprise my regular readers. After all, I’ve always been a real advocate of plus size women, plus size fashion and have always been very confident about who I am and what I look like. I guess you could say that I’m a pro ‘wearing what you like/whatever your size/as long as you’re happy’ kinda person!
Which begs the question … why have I chosen to take part in a project with Slim.Fast?
A week before I started Slim.Fast, I began cycling. I’ve written about that here and it was all predominantly with a view to getting Dexter fitter and introducing more exercise into both of our lives. What happened, however, was that I found I really enjoyed it (which took me a little by surprise), and we’ve decided that it should become a regular part of our daily routine. We now cycle to school a few times a week and I often cycle 11 miles a day which, for someone who was extremely sedentary before, is no mean feat.
I never weigh myself. In fact, up until recently, I didn’t even own a set of scales, but thought, as an experiment more than anything, that I should weigh myself now that I had started cycling, just to see if it had any positive impact on my body. Because I didn’t own scales myself, I had to go to the doctor’s surgery and well, I was in for a shock. I thought I knew roughly how much I weighed, but it turns out I weighed a lot more. Being tall, I think I can probably carry the extra weight better than, say, a shorter person, but still … this was NOT good news.
I’d always suffered from crunchy knees and the extra weight just seemed to be creating more problems the older I got. I was, and am, acutely aware that my Mum died extremely young (aged 60 – although she was a heavy smoker) and I think I just needed that ‘wake-up call’ to make me realise I really should start taking more care of myself.
So that’s just a little background as to why I’ve done this.
I’ve kept a diary of how I’ve found the programme and, you know me, these are all my own thoughts. So, if you are curious, please read on …
Monday – Day 1
(Week 1 – in my defence, this photo was taken early in the morning and by Dexter.)
I’m in a positive frame of mind but I wasn’t sure how I was going to cope with just eating a Slim.Fast Meal Bar or having a shake for breakfast – but there’s only one way to find out. We cycled to school this morning and so I made sure I packed my allowance of fruit, snacks and bars for the day. I dropped Dexter off, went to the café to do some writing and was faced with the usual array of temptations – muffins, croissants, toasted sandwiches. I was surrounded by them but was determined that I wouldn’t give in. (I didn’t – go me!)
I had a Chocolate and Peanut Meal Bar for breakfast, together with an apple. The texture of the bar is really crunchy and chewy, and so it actually took me quite a while to eat it, which meant breakfast ended up lasting an hour! It tasted nice and even though it’s obviously very different to two slices of peanut butter on toast, I still got that peanut hit and so I was happy.
I’ve been given the entire range of products to try out so it’s been useful finding out what products suit my palette more. It’s definitely worth trying them all out and finding out what works best for you.
I went home for lunch, which was another Meal Bar, but found myself daydreaming about dinnertime when I could have a 600-calorie meal. Because there are only two of us at home, dinnertime isn’t a big deal for us and Dexter usually just eats what I eat. Except today of course! He stubbornly said he didn’t want the Tesco Healthy Eating jacket potato with cheese, chicken in tomato sauce and salad that I was having so made a toasted cheese sandwich instead. Top parenting right there!
Day 1 was hard, but not impossible. I didn’t cheat but always thought today would be difficult.
Tuesday – Day 2
I woke hungry having dreamt of bacon. I often become infatuated with the things that I can’t have, rather than focus on the things I can. Most annoying! I’m hoping that will pass.
Breakfast again is a Chocolate & Peanut Meal Bar and an apple. I don’t exactly feel full up afterwards, but it definitely takes away any hunger pangs I have. It’s funny actually, because my body has become used to not feeling hungry, because I always just eat what I want to eat, this ‘hungry’ feeling I’m now getting is a reminder that a) I was eating more than I should have been eating before (even though I thought I wasn’t and b) because I’m allowed three snacks a day (either the Slim.Fast snacks or a piece of fruit) they are always on hand for when I do feel hungry.
I’m still cycling and am surprising myself by having enough energy to cycle either five or eleven miles most days. Already, I can feel a slight spring to my step again and I’m beginning to feel less bloated – not eating bread again is also definitely a good thing for me.
Wednesday – Day 3
I’ve now started having a banana as a snack (it’s about 100 calories) instead of an apple to ensure that my sugar/energy levels remain topped up. I can see some physical differences in my body already which I think is down to a combination of cycling and Slim.Fasting – I’m surprised how much difference I can see already bearing in mind it’s so early on. My cheeks are slimming down a lot – my face is definitely the first place I always notice any weight loss.
I’m all about quick dinners, which has been a bit of a downfall in the past – microwave dinners and takeaways have featured heavily in our diet because time always seems so limited. But because my evening meal is a fixed 600 calories, it’s making me re-evaluate what we eat at home. I’m cooking fresh food more and thinking about what I’m not only putting in my body, but Dexter’s.
Tonight’s dinner was salmon in a sweet chilli sauce, together with half a packet of microwave rice and salad. I calculated this to be 500 calories (ish) and I always make sure I have enough calories to have some tinned fruit and a small pot of low-fat custard for dessert. For me, having something sweet after my meal is the key to not snacking on sweets during the evening.
I’m absolutely shattered by 10pm and I find I’m going to bed earlier and sleeping a lot harder than usual.
Thursday – Day 4
I looked in the mirror today and thought, “Where’s my double chin gone?” Honestly, it was the weirdest thing. I’m not one for checking myself out in the mirror all the time (what?? I’m not! Well, sometimes …) but today was the first day I could really really see a difference.
My jeans don’t feel loose yet but they’re definitely less ‘snug’. I’m not cycling today and I’m conscious that by doing no exercise I could be jeopardising the whole programme – but then realised I shouldn’t be quite so dramatic and that when it balances itself across the week, I’m doing well!
It feels like new habits are starting to be formed. I know that I prefer a Meal Bar to a shake, and, especially if I’m cycling, I make sure I pack a small bag of snacks, Meal Bars, fruit and water to take out with me for the day. I’m working out what I like … and what I don’t from the Slim.Fast range, but with everything, it’s just personal preference. We all have different tastes! But it’s a good reason not to bulk buy when you’re starting out – just try everything once and you’ll soon realise what you prefer.
Surprisingly, I’m not thinking about food ALL the time like I thought I would be. It’s one of the things that has always put me off starting diets – I always ended up thinking about food ALL the time, which just made me even hungrier! But I know what I’m going to eat every day and it just takes out the ‘difficult’ thought process of working out what to choose for every meal. Does that make sense? Because I know I’m going to have a Meal Bar for breakfast and lunch, I don’t have to think about how many calories could be in a cheese sandwich.
Evening meals are restricted to circa 600 calories and it’s been a real revelation looking on the backs of packets for once and finding out how many calories I’ve been consuming! I had worried that 600 calories wouldn’t be a lot but I’m actually eating really well. Here are a few photos of some meals I’ve been eating (above.)
Friday – Day 5
I realised today that I’m not drinking enough water, so went out and bought a fancy water bottle (above) so that I can take it around with me everywhere. It has a built-in straw so that when I buy a holder for the bike I can pop it in there and drink whilst out cycling.
I have got into the habit of having the same Meal Bar for breakfast and lunch. It’s just all so easy! I’ve never really been a fan of milk (always have black coffee!) so have decided to have the bar over the shakes. As each day passes, and I feel better about myself, this routine isn’t really a hardship. I can see it working and the positives outweigh everything.
Saturday – Day 6
I’ve been worried about how I was going to cope on a weekend because that’s when food becomes more pleasurable for me – dinners out, takeaways whilst watching X Factor, snacks in bed. So I wasn’t sure how I’d fair.
All in all, I did well. I started the day with half a Meal bar, but followed it up with a fruit scone and butter in my local café. Having said that, I then had a Meal Bar for lunch, snacked on fruit AND, my biggest achievement, I DIDN’T have a takeaway for dinner. I made a chicken stirfry (in lemongrass, coconut and chilli sauce) with vegetables and rice. I find I’m now always absolutely starving by 5pm so dinner is wolfed down – but it was delicious! Instead of having fruit and custard for pudding I ended up having four Cadbury chocolate eclairs in bed. Naughty naughty. However, I still stayed in my calorie allowance of 1400 calories.
Sunday – Day 7
Strangely, the thought of a fry-up didn’t even enter my head this morning which, for someone who always has at least something fried on a Sunday morning, is rather strange. I had another Meal Bar and three cups of coffee to get me going.
Now here is where it went a little awry. Dexter and I had planned to have a long bike ride down to our local cinema, but we arrived at lunchtime, hadn’t eaten before we left and so by the time we arrived, we were starving. We went for the least fattening option and went to a famous Peri Peri chicken restaurant and I devoured half a chicken and chips. I ‘may’ have also had popcorn at the cinema. BUT … I stayed under 2,000 calories for the whole day (not great, but not awful) AND … we did end up cycling/walking for 90 minutes.
I didn’t have anything else to eat all day when we got home but did find I felt bloated, full up and a little annoyed with myself in the evening.
I made a video diary of my first week and I hope you find it interesting. Warning: I don’t wear make-up often so be prepared for my early morning face!
Monday – Day 8 (WEIGH IN)
Today is weigh-in day and I went to my Doctor’s for an official weigh-in so everything is really accurate.
*Drum roll* …. I lost 9lbs!
Can’t believe it, especially after last night, but overall I have worked really hard this week. It’s given me a real boost to carry on. Stay tuned for my next instalment, which will be published on the 9th January.
Slim.Fast is dieting made easy and is scientifically proven to help dieters lose weight and then maintain their target weight.*
Slim.Fast 3•2•1 Plan is designed to deliver a total intake of approximately 1,400 calories a day for women (1,600 calories for men). This should result in 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss a week.
*Substituting two daily meals with meal replacements helps to lose weight in the context of energy restricted diets.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Slim.Fast via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Slim.Fast.