Slimming World: Week 1

I blogged last week about taking the first step on my weight loss expedition, writing about what had made me fall off the bus the last time, and thinking about the things that affect my ability to sustain my commitment in the longer term. Well, it’s been a week now since I jumped back on the SW bus, and I have to say it’s been a good one. With all the enthusiasm of the weight loss evangelist, I have fully embraced the eating plan, filled in my food diaries and followed it to the letter. And I’m pleased to reveal that I’ve lost 4lbs! Even after a small blip with choosing the wrong sausages on Sunday, and having to bolt down my dinner tonight and then, literally ten minutes later get on the scales, I don’t think that’s too bad a start.

So, what have I learned from week 1? Well, although I winced inwardly when Sally, the group’s consultant, made clear that for the first four weeks we were all expected to fill in the Food Diary logs, actually, the process of filling in the log really made me think about what I was putting in my mouth. I’ll admit, being told to do this brought out my inner recalcitrant 14 year old (which, actually, is quite a leap because I was never a rebellious teen at all!), the actual practise of it made a huge difference to my commitment to the eating plan. So, yes, I will concur that Sally’s dead right on this one!

Secondly, I’ve learnt that if I am going to keep to the plan, the best place to keep my SW books is in the kitchen. This might sound obvious, but when I was attending in the earlier part of this year, I kept my books on the book shelf in the lounge, and the very fact of having them in front of me this time,  where the food is kept, reinforced my desire to stay on plan. It’s no coincidence, either, that they’re on the microwave, directly underneath the cupboard where the biscuits are!! So yes, keep them somewhere where they’re within reach!

Thirdly, I had a lovely surprise when I started to read the October SW magazine and found a member’s story. It was inspirational, the member looked great, and she seemed so much happier in her own skin. So far, so obvious, right? Well, this member’s story resonated with me for all of those reasons, but also because she happened to be a former student of mine. And her transformation was amazing; so much so that I barely recognised her. Now, apart from the fact that I suddenly felt terribly old (she’s 25 now and I taught her GCSE English, so you do the maths!), I was so pleased to see that she had taken control of what she perceived to be a big issue in her life and dealt with it with such determination. So, Emily, if you’re reading this, well done; I was immensely proud of you as a student, and I’m equally proud of you now! And I want your wardrobe…

Food wise, I’ve been playing safe this week; bolognese, baked potatoes, the usual hefty comfort food, although I did go wild and try the indian spiced omelette recipe from the Everyday Extra Easy booklet on Saturday morning for breakfast, which is definitely something I’ll try again. That particular morning I was eating heartily as I took my elder daughter to a birthday party and I didn’t want to be tempted by the party food, so I curbed the temptation by eating big beforehand!

I’d like to try to be a bit more adventurous food wise  in the next week, but as I cook for The Husband as well (who has an aversion to Fry Light so I have to slip it in when he’s not looking!), I’m adapting my usual repertoire and using syns for cooking when I can’t tweak. He likes to cook, so I have to use a fair few syns for his glugs of olive oil and buttery sauces! But the pork recipe in the October magazine does look rather scrummy so I’ll see if I can get that in somewhere next week! I did, however, cook my weeknight staple, jambalaya, which is great for SW as it’s limited syns. Here’s the recipe:

Jambalaya

Serves 4

IMG_1002

2 chicken thighs, chopped into pieces

1 onion

1 stick celery

1 pepper, colour of your choice

3 cloves garlic

250g long grain rice

1 can tomatoes

1 bay leaf

1tbsp Cajun spices

350ml boiling water (you can use the can from the tomatoes to measure this out – just fill it up!)

80g chorizo (8 syns)

1 chicken stock pot

A handful of Parsley/Coriander

Fry light

2 syns per serving

Method:

Spray a wok or large saucepan with fry light and cook the chicken thighs until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside. Fry the chopped onion and celery until slightly softened, then add the chopped red pepper, garlic and bay leaf until also softened. Add the chorizo and cajun seasoning and wait until the chorizo has yielded some of its juices. Then, add the chicken back to the pan and stir. Put the rice into the pan and stir to coat with the juices from the meat and vegetables.

Add the tinned tomatoes, stock and water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Simmer for 25 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all of the fluid. Serve with sprinkled parsley or coriander. If you want, make some syn free hummus and add a 25g packet of Doritos (6.5 syns) to accompany it. It freezes well, too, and microwaves nicely for lunch the next day!

So, that’s Week 1 summed up. I’m trying to set myself the target of staying away from sparkling wine until Christmas, as this will certainly help me to lose some pounds, but at the moment I’m not sure how realistic that’s going to be. However, I’ve done the first week, so hopefully it won’t be too tricky! Drink wise, I’ve been drinking gallons of water this week, too, which must be a side effect of better eating habits. I’m feeling lighter, more energised, and more like I can actually do this, so let’s see what Week 2 will bring :).

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