Monday, 28 December 2009


I said in my last post that I thought I was coming down with some sort of virus. The fever I developed yesterday confirmed it.

Sharp stomach pains. Headaches. Fatigue. And a fever.

So today, with my weigh-in later tonight, when I would normally be spending a lot of time exercising, I'm taking a break. I think I've lost weight this week anyway, so bringing some more water-weight off through exercise today isn't as important as healing.

Robert and I are thinking of going to see a movie today, and it would mean walking to and from the cinema. And our ride to our Slimming World group had to ancel, so we are walking there too. That'll be enough exercise for me today.

And Robert stayed up with our baby last night because the baby seems to have the same virus I have. He also got up with the kids this morning so I could lie in a bit.

I don't feel as awful today as I did yesterday and the day before, so hopefully this virus is on its way out.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Holiday Slump

I absolutely HATED going up in weight last week, especially two whole pounds, but it was that time of month and I always seem to go up during it. *sigh*

This week, it looks like I'll be having a loss at my weigh-in. I don't know yet if it will be the whole 2 pounds I went up or more or less.

I am so close to my target weight, and I really want to reach it by my birthday on February 27th, but it's going to be close. It doesn't help that between now and then I have to get through our New Year's celebration and dh's and my 8th anniversary celebration. We probably won't have any money left to go out with though; we rarely do since our anniversary falls right after Christmas and our oldest daughter's birthday (she turned 18 yesterday - Boxing Day). Cooking in should help keep it from causing too much problems with my weight loss.

I've been really, really tired lately, and I've been getting stomach aches and headaches for a few days now. I think I'm coming down with a virus. But the fatigue is what is really getting to me. I'm really having to push myself to do any of my exercise.

I can't take a break yet though; not so close to my goal weight and my birthday target for it! Tuesday is my normal day to take a break from exercising, so I'll rest up as much as I can this Tuesday and see if it helps.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Girls & Body Image

I'm trying so hard for my girls not to see me with a "diet mentality." But no matter what I do, they are imagining it anyway!

I still eat chocolate. I believe in allowing for treats, but limiting them, so that I don't feel deprived. And the kids have seen me eating chocolate and other treats.

Yet today, as I carved up some brownies to give to them, Gabby kept saying, "You can't have it, Mommy, because you're not allowed to have chocolate." I have never said anything like it around her. If I am not letting myself have a treat when everyone else is, I just say I will be having it later.

I want my girls to be confident about themselves and their bodies no matter what size they end up being, and I want them to have healthy attitudes towards food, not the messed up attitude I had for so many years.

It's such a difficult line to tread when you're trying to lose weight!

I'm trying to lead my daughters by example. I don't talk about my "diet." (I believe that diet is just a word, and one that refers to whatever food we happen to be eating, not any special "plan.") I talk about eating foods that will keep me healthy and strong.

I don't talk about my body in a negative way in front of my kids. How can I expect them to feel confident about their own bodies if I let them see me being insecure about my own?

I fit a reasonable amount of exercise into my day, and I eat large, healthy meals. I snack on fruits and vegetables. Occasionally, I even have chocolate, because I really, really enjoy eating chocolate. And when I have it, my kids see me eating it. They see me eating all kinds of food.

I don't center any occasions around food. Sometimes I provide snacks and meals for guest when we have visitors. Sometimes I just have drinks ready. I don't want the kids to think that every social occasion requires food to complete it.

There are other small things I do to try and lead by example. It doesn't always seem to be working though.

So hit me up in the comments with what you do to try and instill body image confidence in your kids and a healthy attitude towards food. And if you don't have kids, how would you do this if you did?

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Mini Goals Revisited

I've spoken before about mini goals and how important they are in achieving weight loss when you have a lot of weight to lose. Weight loss mini goals can be anything from smaller amounts of weight to lose to non-scale victories like fitting into your wedding dress again.

Here are my weight lodd mini goals again, from the beginning of my journey until now.

May 12th Starting Weight: 272.5 Weight Now - 145

June 16th: 1st mini goal - 257.5 - 1st stone lost - REACHED (257)
June 30th: 2nd mini goal - 252.5 - 1st 20 lbs. lost - REACHED (252)
July 28th: 3rd mini goal - 245 - 10% body weight lost - REACHED (244.5)
July 28th: 4th mini goal - 244.5 - 2nd stone lost - REACHED (244.5)
Aug. 18th: 5th mini goal - 240 - Weight on wedding day - REACHED (238.5)
Sep. 29th: 6th mini goal - 234.5 - less than 100 pounds left to lose - REACHED (234)
Nov. 3rd: 7th mini goal - 230.5 - 3rd stone lost - REACHED (229)
Dec. 1st: 8th mini goal - 222.5 - 50 pounds lost - REACHED (220)
Dec. 1st: 9th mini goal - 220 - weight after Gabby's birth - REACHED (220)
Dec. 8th: 10th mini goal - 216.5 - 4th stone lost - REACHED (209.5)
Jan. 26th: 11th mini goal - 204 - 25% body weight lost - REACHED (203)
Feb. 2nd: 12th mini goal - 202.5 - 5th stone lost - REACHED (202)
Feb. 16th: 13th mini goal - 199.5 - ONEDERLAND!!!! - REACHED (199)
Mar. 16th: 14th mini goal - 190 - weight when met Robert - REACHED (190)
Mar. 30th: 15th mini goal - 188.5 - 6th stone lost - REACHED (188)
May 11th: 16th mini goal - 177 - weight after Kayla's birth & 35% body weight lost - REACHED (177)
May 18th: 17th mini goal - 174.5 - 7th stone lost - REACHED (174)
June 1st: 18th mini goal - 172.5 - 100 pounds lost!!! - REACHED (171)
June 29th: 19th mini goal - 166 - weight after Angelica's birth - REACHED (166)
July 27th: 20th mini goal - 160.5 - 8th stone lost - REACHED (160.5)
Oct. 19th: 21st mini goal - 155 - weight after Victoria's birth - REACHED (152.5)
Nov. 30th: 22nd mini goal - 148 - high weight in high school - REACHED (148)
Dec. 14th: 23rd mini goal - 146.5 - 9th stone lost - REACHED (145)
: 24th mini goal - 140 - average weight in high school -
: 25th mini goal - 137 - healthy BMI reached
: 26th mini goal - 136.25 - 50% body weight lost
: GOAL WEIGHT - 135 (9 stone 11.5 lbs. lost/9 stone 9 pounds weight reached) - healthy BMI of 24.7 -

27 mini goals altogether and I've already reached 23 of them!

If I can do it, so can you!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

I Almost Passed Out!

My doctor thinks I might be anemic.

Yesterday, not feeling well, I walked the 3/4-mile to go pick Connor up from school while pushing Cameron in the stoller. We were out of diapers and formula, so, on the way home, I had to stop at the shops. My stomach kept cramping up badly, but I was doing okay, if moving a bit slowly. I got to the shops and went to the ATM to draw some money out. That's where everything went screwy on me.

Everything started to spin and go dark on me. I felt my legs giving way under me, but I fought it. (I had both small boys with me, so I COULD NOT pass out!) I grabbed onto the ledge at the bottom of the ATM machine to hold myself up thinking I just have to get home, then I can collapse. I turned around, leaning my back on the machine and gripping onto the stroller to hold myself up, but it was a losing battle. I couldn't see anything as everything was swirling around in front of me.

Some ladies walking towards me noticed something was wrong, asked if I was okay, and I answered "no." They helped me inside (one of the shop employees came out to help too, because I could barely stand up). One of them pushed the stroller inside and made sure Connor came in with us too. The must have gotten me a chair because, just as they let go of me and I thought I was falling, I felt a chair underneath me. I could feel sweat on my face and I was breathing hard, but I didn't feel like I was having any trouble breathing.

After about ten minutes or so of sitting, everything started to clear up. By then, the paramedics had arrived. They were going to call an ambulance, but I became steady enough to get up and walk again. Robert, because he's been home sick, came to the shops and brought our teenager who was also at home sick. She took the little ones and went to pick up my other two girls from their school. Robert stayed with me.

As my condition was improving, the paramedics agreed to let me go home. They drove me home, and did some more tests while I was there. Both at the shops and at home, my blood pressure was really, really low. Other than that, everything was fine. No fever. Blood sugars were normal and so on. They called and spoke to one of the doctors at my practice, and got me an appointment to be seen at 5:00pm (an hour later). I took a taxi there and back. My blood pressure had returned to a normal range, if still a tad on the low side. The doctor thinks I'm anemic, so I have to go in for more blood tests later this month.

Because my 1 year old and 3 year old were with me, that was one of the scariest moments I've been through. And it was so sudden!

I pretty much slept from getting home from the doctor appointment until about 6:30am this morning. Other than a splitting headache and the same tummy troubles, I feel okay today.

The doctor thiks it might be anemia. My husband thinks it might be a combination of the same illness he had and walking all the way to pick up Connor form school. A nurse friend of mine thinks I should also have my thyroid checked because losing a lot of weight can cauuse the thyroid to go into hyperdrive on rare occasions.

I just hope it never happens again!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Trying for 1 1/2 Pounds

My weigh-in is tonight. I was hoping to lose 1.5 pounds. I don't think I have. I should have, if clean eating and getting plenty of exercise were factors, but apparently, it wasn't enough this week. The good news is, I believe I have lost some weight, just not the amount I was hoping for. And I'm happy to have lost weight no matter what amount. I won't know the exact amount until I weigh-in tonight.

The reason I wanted to lose 1 1/2 pounds this week is because, here in England, a person's weight is measured in stone. And while I, being from California, still think in pounds, everyone here thinks in stone. A stone is 14 pounds. I have lost, in total, 126.5 pounds, which is 8 stone 12.5 pounds. So when I lose another 1.5 pounds, I will have reached 9 stone lost. I've been setting up each stone as another mini goal of mine.

And I really wanted to get to that mini goal today! As of yesterday, it looked like I would make it. But then my body's wildly swinging poundage went up overnight for no discernible reason. It happens. *shrug*

Whatever weight I've lost this week will just be another step towards that next mini goal, and I will get there next week. As long as I get there eventually, I'm happy enough taking my time.

And looking at the big picture, I am only 5'2" tall, and I used to weigh 272.5 pounds with a BMI around 50. I was morbidly obese, and that meant I was at risk of dying at any time. I now weigh only 148 pounds, and my BMI is around 27.1. I will get to a healthy BMI and a healthy weight very soon!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Still Losing!

I lost 2 pounds this week. I now have lost 124.5 pounds total, and I weigh 148 pounds. 148 was my average weight in high school!

I have 11 pounds left to lose until I reach a healthy BMI, and only 13 pounds left to lose until I reach my goal weight! Yay!

Robert lost 4.5 pounds this week! Wish I could have a week like that! I think it's great that he can still have weeks like that! He won this weeks Slimmer of the Week.

And it was Thanksgiving week, so I think we've both done really well. Eating healthy sure makes me feel better all around.

Friday, 27 November 2009

A Week Of Gratitude

I can't believe it's already been a week since I've posted here!

I've been keeping up with my writing for National Novel Writing Month, and I am going to make the 50,000 words for the month that NaNoWriMo had challenged me to write.

I started a new business creating awesome gifts for people which help inspire their kids' creativity and build their confidence and at the same time make wonderful gifts for grandparents, teachers and parents. Your Kids' Creations (You can also check out my husband's on-line business which is in making beautiful fairies out of your photos, each one totally unique. Check out the woman fairy wearing green. That was made out of her "after" photo once she's lost a bunch of weight. Fairy Magic Photos)

I lost 2 1/2 pounds at my last weigh-in, and I behaved myself for Thanksgiving Day, so I am hoping I will see another loss this month.

I now weigh 150 pounds, and I am only 15 pounds away from my goal weight! I've lost 122.5 pounds total so far.

My family has all been suffering with different stages of a really bad cold, and it appears that I have it too. At the moment, my little 3 year old Connor seems to have the worst case out of all of us.

And because yesterday was Thanksgiving, I thought I'd list some of the things I am thankful for.

1 - My loving and wonderful husband (who cooked Thanksgiving dinner for me and our family and guests and also did most of the cleaning up afterwards).

2 - My adorable, kind-hearted, creative and clever kids who amaze me with their wit, charm and creativity every day.

3 - My friends, both on-line and off-line, who all have my love and gratitude.

4 - My parents and siblings who, although they live thousands of miles away, are always in my thoughts.

5 - My pets who make me smile each day with their antics and need for cuddles.

And I am thankful for so many other things that I can't even begin to list them all. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

I'll check in after Monday night's weigh-in.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Slimming World's Miss Slinky

Today we had the competition for Miss Slinky in our Slimming World group. Andrea, who achieved her target weight and a healthy BMI also tonight, won the award.
Andrea Slimmining World Miss Slinky 16 Nov 09
Andrea has lost a total of 51.5 pounds! (I think. Hopefully, she'll set me straight if I got that number wrong.)

She's beautiful, isn't she?

Here's a photo of the two of us together.
Becky & Andrea Slimmining World Miss Slinky 16 Nov 09

It was also another "Bring & Try" night with the theme being baked goods. Robert made his Gingerbread Squares, but this time, instead of adding chocolate chips or candied ginger, he added flaked almonds. All of the food was delicious!

I made Cheesy Garlic Breakfast Potatoes. I made the recipe up the night before, and I'm happy to say that the dish was a success at the meeting. I will definitely be making this again!

Cheesy Garlic Breakfast Potatoes
Cheesy Garlic Breakfast Potatoes1

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

When Weight Loss Slows

I lost another pound at my last weight loss. I'd have liked to have lost two, but one works for me.

I keep saying that my weight loss has slowed down because I'm lighter now and closer to my goal. But, although that does have an effect on my weight loss, it's not the only reason.

My friend Helen and I were recently talking about this. She only has three pounds to lose left until she reaches her goal weight. And she's been at around that point for a couple of months now. The way she explained it was that, now that she's so close to her goal, it's not as important or as urgent to lose weight. She feels like she can "play" a bit. She's only 3 pounds above her ideal weight, so I can understand that. If she'd already reached "target" at Slimming World and then gone up three pounds to where she is now, she would still be considered at target.

And I think a little bit of that is creeping in with my weight loss too. When I had over 100 pounds to lose, it was obvious to anyone looking at me that I needed to lose weight, and my health was being affected by my weight, so I knew that it was really important that I get myself fitter and healthier as soon as possible.

But now I'm just 17 pounds from my ideal weight. And I feel like a normal person. I feel healthy. I feel fit. And I don't feel like people are looking at me and judging me because of my weight anymore. So I'm not trying as hard to get those last pounds off.

I nibble at things. Sharon, our Slimming World consultant, was talking a little about this last night. Those "syns" (or calories if that is what you keep tabs on) really creep up when you aren't counting the little things.

When I make my daughter a peanut butter and honey sandwich, I always get a bit on my fingers, and I always lick my fingers when I am done before washing my hands. I don't count the syns or the calories from that. I don't measure my food as often as I was doing. So what if my portion of cereal in the morning is actually slightly higher than the amount I am counting? Or maybe I am giving myself a bigger portion of grated cheese with my lunch because I'm just eyeing the amount instead of weighing it. I may be adding syns (calories) without realizing it (and I probably am) and I'm not writing those extra calories/syns down in my food journal. It's little things that add up without us even realizing it, and those little things can sabotage our weight loss efforts.

So this week, I'm going to be very careful about measuring and weighing my portions, make more healthy choices in my food, do no indescriminate nibbling, and keep my syns (or treats as some of you would call them) in check.

And I'll let the scale at the end of the week tell me whether I've done a good job.

No more complacency. I will reach my goal weight by my birthday on February 27th.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

A Good Week So Far

I have no idea if this Monday's weigh-in will show a loss, but it should. I've had a really good week.

And as far as my NaNoWriMo challenge, things are going well and I am ahead of schedule! The writing itself isn't very good, but as far as quantity goes, I'm right on target. And I've been getting lots of new ideas for my story's plot along the way.

I love that I am sticking to my goals in both my health and in other areas in my life!

What goals do you have in addition to health and fitness? Are you taking steps to achieve them?

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Half Pound Down

I only lost half a pound this week, but at least I'm heading in the right direction.

I may have some Internet connection problems this week, but if that happens, I'll send my posts in with my husband and he can post for me from his work when he's on his lunch break.

Want to see a current photo of me? I posted my family's Halloween photos in my family blog. And I even allowed a photo of me to be taken. (Scroll down the post. My photo's at the end.)

I'm still working on my NaNoWriMo goals and , so far, I'm reaching my daily goals.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Reaching For The Stars

My weight went up a pound last week, but it was a certain time of month for me that normally goes up, so I'm not overly worried. Hopefully, tomorrow's weigh-in will show a weight loss again.

Losing so much weight has shown me that I can do things which I once thought impossible. And because of this, it has encouraged me to try and reach for other goals that are important to me.

So this year, I'm all about reaching for the stars!

That's why I have signed up for NaNoWriMo this year (National Novel Writing Month). The goal is to write 50,000 words of my novel in the 30 days that make up November. Today is day one. To reach 50,000 words in 30 days, I need to write a minimum of 1,667 words a day. Today, I wrote 1,788 words!

I can do this!

Monday, 19 October 2009

120 Pounds Lost So Far!

I lost three pounds tonight. I was expecting to lose some weight this week, but three pounds was more than I expected. I'm really pleased!

I also won Slimmer Of The Week again (tied with Eve), and achieved my "8 1/2 Stone" award.

I've now lost a total of 120 pounds (8 stone 8 pounds)!

Only 17.5 pounds left until I reach my target weight and a healthy BMI!

You Are Beautiful NOW!

My friend Barb, over at Barb's Bookshelf, recently posted on a topic
that I, too, feel strongly about. Her post about true beauty reminded me that I had intended to write on this topic too.

As a mother of seven children, five of whom are girls, I find myself horrified by the images that the media portrays as "normal." The idea of one of my children trying to achieve the size of a fashion model is actually horrifying. I point out to them often where the pictures have been airbrushed and digitally manipulated so they can know that the perfect skin, bright eyes, and shiny hair is not what the model really looks like. I worry that they will see these models or tv actresses as some ideal to try and attain, so I make sure they know that what they are seeing isn't even REAL.

I encourage my kids and praise them regularly. It's easy to do as they are all so clever, creative and kind. I tell them how beautiful they are and how much they are loved. Sometimes, as our kids get older, we assume they know that we love them, but they need to hear it, and hear it often. If they know that, at home, they are loved, then it helps them find the courage to face the rest of the world. Loving your kids and making sure they know it is like dressing them in protective armour against any negativity they may encounter out in the world.

In the world of weight loss, feeling beautiful can often be a tricky subject. I've lost 117 pounds so far. In 18.5 more pounds, I will reach a healthy BMI. That's how I chose the amount of weight I wanted to lose, by aiming for what should be a healthy weight. But having lost so much weight, I have first-hand experience on how difficult it can be to feel confident and sexy when carrying around so much extra weight. Sometimes people say cruel things, but far crueler are the things we tell ourselves.

That inner voice can really be an enemy to your self-confidence. But, with a little effort, you can make that same inner voice your friend. Catch yourself when you are being negative and change the negative thought to something positive. It is likewise with the things we say about ourselves around our kids. Do you want your daughter to hear you saying things like, "I'm too fat," "I can't do that," "It's too hard," "I have no control," "I can't eat that," "I'm stupid" and other comments along this vein, or would you rather they hear you saying things like "I feel great today," "Doesn't this dress look great on me?" "I can do anything," "Yummy! That looks great," "Nothing is too hard," "Let's go play outside today" and things along that vein? Change what you say inside and change what you say outside. Your children will emulate you. Give them someone confident and happy in herself to emulate.

There's a wonderful movement called Operation Beautiful. According to the site,
The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other women to find. The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough... just the way you are!
Women from all over the world are posting notes in random places with encouraging statements for others to find. I love this idea!

My body has changed a lot since my early 20s, and not all of it for the better. My belly has a lot of loose, hanging skin and is covered in stretch marks that cover it in fine lines that branch out resembling a roadmap. I have a huge scar reaching diagonally just below my ribs from a surgery I had after one of my pregnancies. But each of these visual attributes is a gift. My belly stretched out in order to carry my many babies. It developed those stretch marks in its attempt to make room for the cradling of all seven of my children individually. It housed them and nourished them each for nine months. It did it's job, and it did it well. They are marks of love.

My friend Barb talks about her laugh lines and states possessively that she "earned" them. I agree with her. Laugh lines are wonderful to see. They are a sign that a life has been a happy one, full of laughter and smiles. I'm earning some laugh lines of my own, and I'm glad to do so!

Everyone carries some insecurities. Wouldn't it be a great world if others bolstered our egos instead of tearing them down? Or the media decided to use real models with healthy-sized bodies and leave any airbrushing or digital manipulation out? We need to be each others' strength. We need to be the person who says to others,"You're beautiful." Because everyone IS beautiful. Everyone has their own form of beauty, and the important beauty, the beauty that can make the world a better place, is the beauty we find inside.

Everyone should get the chance to feel beautiful right now and not wait until they've reached some ideal in their head of what they want to look like.

In Barb's True Beauty post, she says,
True beauty is not simply what’s on the surface. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, when you carry yourself with confidence and self-acceptance, that makes you beautiful. Beauty is in the mind, not in the body.
I couldn't say that any better!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Down Two Pounds This Week

I lost two pounds this week, so I've lost a total of 116 pounds again. Maybe next week I can get myself finally lower.

I have a neighbor who asked me how I lost so much weight, and she came with Robert and me to our Slimming World meeting to join. She says she kept seeing me walking past her house for the past year or so and I kept getting skinnier and skinner, so she just had to ask how I did it. Now I'll get to watch her get skinnier and skinner.

We had to walk there and back since we usually get a lift from our friend Hellen, but she was not going tonight. Coming back, it was all uphill, so it really felt like a workout.

I am getting so close to my goal weight! The end is in sight! But it's now taking a lot longer to lose the pounds. I'm going to have to be really patient and just keep at it.

Thursday, 1 October 2009


This is for those of you who look at the task ahead of you to lose weight and get fit and feel overwhelmed. Feel like it's an insurmountable task?

Think again.

I and many others are proof that it can be done!

You are strong and capable. You can do this! You just have to believe in yourself!
Believe that you are strong enough emotionally to say "no" to unhealthy habits.
Believe that you are strong enough physically to start some simple exercises, and
believe that you will become stronger and stronger as you do them.
Believe that you are deserving of feeling beautiful and confident and strong.
Believe that you are capable of achieving great things!

I believe in you.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Okay, this is the first time I've had a gain that nearly put me into tears. Mainly because I wasn't expecting it. My Wii Fit, up until three weigh-ins ago, always weighed me pretty close to spot on with the scales at my Slimming World meeting. So I always knew ahead of time what the scales would say once I went for my weigh-in.

Then three weigh-ins ago, the scales at the meeting started weighing me lower than my Wii Fit was weighing me. Well, I had no problem with being weighed lower, and since the second time it did it again in the same amount difference, I was able to still look at how much the Wii Fit had said I lost from my Wii Fit weigh-in the week before to see how much I had lost on the Slimming World scales.

Well, this week, it seems the Wii Fit and the Slimming World scales have synced back up again. When I stepped on the Wii Fit, it showed that I had lost half a pound. Considering that I had just started my period (a week EARLY), I was pleased to see this, because lately, starting my period usually means a gain on the scales for me.

But when I weighed in at Slimming World, the scale said the exact same weight as the Wii Fit, which meant a TWO POUND GAIN for me. I literally felt tears pricking at my eyes. I was THAT disappointed!

But I've decided not to let it get me down. I'm still eating healthily. I'm still getting a healthy amount of exercise in each day. I'm happy with my progress so far.

And it's not like this week has been easy. On top of my period starting, I've had some very sick young children to deal with and very little sleep. I have learned in the past that when I'm not getting enough sleep, my body retains more water. I don't know why this is, just that it is.

And, for the month of September, I still finished at the end down 3 pounds from the beginning, despite having my period TWICE. And today starts a new week and a new month of weigh-ins. And this month, I should only have my period once instead of twice (hopefully), so I am going to plan for at least 5 pounds off by the end of October.

Five pounds is a reasonable goal that will not push me into extreme behavior.

Besides, I've been noticing other signs that I'm losing. In just this one week, despite my weight going up two pounds, my shirts have become looser on me. And I'm still down a total of 114 pounds overall, which is still really good progress! A little temporary water retention can't take that away from me.

So what do you do to stay positive when your weight loss or fitness goals hit a roadblock, however temporary it may be?

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Lost Another 2.5 Pounds!

I lost another 2.5 pounds this week. My total loss today is 116 pounds (8 stone 4 pounds).

I love that I am doing this in such a healthy and laid back way. I eat lots of food. It's all healthy, except for the occasional treat that I allow myself. And I am getting some moderate exercise each day without over-doing it.

I am able to enjoy the process of making my lifestyle healthier, but not be consumed by it. And I still get to lose the extra weight I am carrying. What could be better?

At next week's Slimming World meeting, we will be bringing food again. It's another Bring & Try night, so we'll also get to try other members' low-syn dishes. It's a Bring & Try party night in honor of Slimming World's 40th birthday.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Beautiful Day

Today was sunny and not too cold. Robert and I took the dog for his usual Saturday morning two-hour walk to a local park near us with a lake. Usually we just walk along pastures full of sheep, but today there was one full of cows, and the cows (mostly bulls) loved coming up to the fence to have their ears scratched. We brought some bread and fed the ducks. The swans were eating out of our hands.

For some reason, our dog Mercury decided that the cows were a threat and growled menacingly at them, so most of them eventually moved away from the fence. He wanted to jump into the lake after the ducks but fortunately, he restrained himself.

Later in the day, Robert and I went for a bike ride. There were a lot of bugs, but other than that, it was a beautiful ride. We rode along a park path full of trees. Occassionally, we would see squirrels dashing up trees and leaping from one tree to another.

Basically, we enjoyed a lovely day and got some exercise in that was fun and pleasant enough that it didn't really feel like exercise at all.

What did you do today? What are you doing to incorporate FUN exercise into your life?

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Cookbook Giveaway Winner!


The winner of the "100 Comfort Foods" cookbook is Caitlin! Congratulations! Since posting this cookbook in the giveaway, I have found out that Slimming World will be discontinuing it. It's a terrific cookbook, and I hope you make lots of healthy meals from it.

(E-mail me with your mailing address within two weeks or a new winner will be selected. A "contact me" link is in the blog's sidebar.))

Dreams Unbound

Lyn over at Escape From Obesity recently wrote these words,
"It is in our power to conceive and generate the life we want." What an amazing quote! It is so true and it speaks to the heart of so many things, including but not limited to weight loss and fitness.

Recently, I've heard so many people complain about wanting to lose weight but not being able to find the motivation. I just want to say to them, "The only thing getting in your way is you!" but I hold my tongue lest I offend. Why does everyone think they have to wait for this elusive motivation?

When I started this weight loss journey, it was because I knew I was not living the life I wanted. I was unhealthy and unhappy with my weight, and I knew that it was in my power to change it. So I did. Seriously. We all have the power to live our dreams. All we have to do is start stepping towards them.

Lyn also wrote, "I am not chained to THIS life. You are not chained to yours."

Again, this is so true and such a simple concept that people seem to often forget. We have CHOICES, and it is our choices that lead us either in the direction we want or further away from what we want.

And this is true in every area of our lives. For instance, I keep making up excuses for not writing my stories. Sometimes, I blame my fear of failure. (What if my writing isn't good enough?) Sometimes, I blame my family. (It's never quiet enough to write,and the kids need my attention too much.) Sometimes I just blame my state of mind. (I'm too tired to write.) And sometimes I even blame my own personality.(I've always had a problem with procrastination. It's just who I am.)

But the truth is that I am not happy with this state of affairs. I have always wanted to be a writer, to work towards publication, to take the stories I have in my head and get them out there for the world to read. The only shackles keeping me from doing this are of my own making. The phrase I want to say to others who complain about lack of motivation also applies to me. The only person getting in my way is me!

So no more chains. The chains keeping me from living my dreams are completely of my own making, so it is up to me to remove the chains. And I'm going to, even if I have to do it one link at a time.

The one thing I have learned from losing over 100 pounds is that I am capable of achieving anything and everything.

I can make my dreams a reality, and I will. What about you?

Monday, 14 September 2009

Four Pounds Down!

I lost 4 pounds this week!

The really great thing about this loss is that I was really relaxed about it this week. I ate lots of healthy food and did not go hungry once. I added a little bit of exercise back into my daily routine, but only a reasonable amount. I varied my exercise to keep it fun.

And I lost 4 pounds!

Exercise this week was fun. I still went with my husband to walk the dog late at night, usually for an hour. And this week, I added in bicycling, the elliptical crosstrainer and the Wii Fit (with handweights). On one day, I would go for an hour-long bike ride with Robert. On another day, I would spend 45 minutes on the elliptical crosstrainer. On another day, I would spend an hour on the Wii Fit with the first 30 minutes on the stepper using handweights and varied arm lifts. On Saturday, Robert and I took the dog for a two-hour morning walk to and around a nearby lake. And so on.

Now, I know I won't see a 4 pound loss every week, but if I can continue in this manner and still lose weight, whether its four pounds or half a pound each week, I'll be pleased. I only have 24 pounds left to reach my goal weight!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Doing This The Right Way

I'm eating healthy and making sure I eat enough food, and I'm limiting my exercise to a reasonable daily amount. I feel good, relaxed and fit. Hopefully, my body will let me lose some weight this week.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Need Weight Loss Support?

I frequent a terrific on-line weight loss forum for women where the ladies are all really supportive and full of great ideas. There are women there from all walks of life, all ages, all different weights and all with different goals and achievements in regards to weight loss. They have weight loss challenges, exercise challenges and other challenges to participate in to help keep yourself motivated.

I just thought I should give everyone the chance to visit and find out more about them by giving a shout out about them here. It's called Body Boot Camp, and if you decide to check them out, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Listen To My Interview With Skinny Scoopers!

The lovely ladies at Skinny Scoopers interviewed me in a podcast which you can listen to here. Ever wonder what I sound like? Well, now you can find out! They also have my story up in the Scooper Stars section here.

I was a bit self-conscious during the interview.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Weight Gain

I had my weigh-in yestreday, and my official weight gain is 5.5 pounds for the week. I'm okay with that, because 5 pounds is actually what I expected. This week's weight gain was PLANNED. (I'm also okay with it because the scale was showing a FIFTEEN POUND weight gain last Friday. Thank goodness a lot of it was just water weight!)

Now, my body should be completely out of starvation mode, and I am going to have to make sure that I don't over-exercise and that I eat plenty of good, healthy food from now on. I lost my weight in a healthy manner all the way up until about a month ago, and I want to go back to doing this the right way.

The idea is to be healthy and strong, not just slimmer.

Robert's body wasn't in starvation mode like mine was, but he used the past week to splurge a bit with his eating and put on 8.5 pounds. He's not overly worried about it though as he takes weight off quite quickly and easily when he wants to. He's decided to try and get at least half of it off by the next weigh-in.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Quark & Scan Bran

Just for a little help for anyone wanting to cook with some of the recipes in my recipe blog that use the ingredients Quark and Scan Bran (also many recipes in the cookbook in my give-away use it), I looked up some information to help you understand what those ingredients are and how you can either make them or find them to buy.

Scan Bran
Most bigger Holland and Barretts sell it at about £1.05 per pack here in the UK. It is called GG Scandinavian Bran crispbread. Here's a link to it at a shop in the UK. I'm guessing it can be ordered in the US from health food stores. It can also be bought on-line here in the US.

To me, Scan Bran tastes awful as it is, but I turn it into a powder and add it to chilli and curries for added fiber or make low carb cakes and muffins using it. At first, I had to get used to the grainy texture it produces when used to make cakes, but the cakes are very filling, and I enjoy them now. Robert actually likes to eat Scan Bran like a cracker just as they are. Sometimes he adds some tomatoes and lunch meat on top of them too.

Low Carb Banana Blueberry Muffins

Quark: Wikepedia entry about Quark (cheese)
and how to make Quark and another recipe for making Quark cheese and here's where you can buy Quark on-line in the US

Quark is a very soft, fat-free, high protein cheese that can be used to make cheesecakes, or as filling for things like ravioli. I find it tastes a little bitter by itself, but I love using it in a variety of recipes. I even use it as a healthier substitute for frosting by adding artificial sweetener and either cocoa powder or vanilla extract to it.

No Bake, Mini Lemon, Lime & Ginger Cheesecakes

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Cookbook Give-away!


I decided to have another give-away in honor of today being my son's 3rd birthday.

"Slimming World's 100 Comfort Foods" is a book Robert and I have enjoyed cooking from, so we bought a new one for this give-away. Anyone can enter, as I'll be shipping this myself, but the recipes are from the United Kingdom, so it might be difficult to find some of the ingredients in the US or other places. (I can help with telling you the closest substitute ingredients for some of it.)

100 Comfort Foods book

The way to enter is to comment on this blog post AND one other post in my blog. Everyone gets one entry. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator, and I will announce the winner on September 15th. Entries can be recieved up until September 14th.

Nine Pound Gain?

I won't have my official weigh-in until tomorrow, but as of today I'm up NINE POUNDS! I could cry! On Friday, that number was FIFTEEN! I'm hoping some more water weight will come off by my weigh-in tomorrow and I'll give you the number, no matter how much I dread it.

I knew it was going to happen. My weight loss kept slowing down, and I'd respond by doing more exercise and eating less, until I was eating way too little and exercising for too many hours in a day. So my body was effectively in starvation mode.

This was my week to try and get my body back in a normal mode. I spent the first four days eating lots of junk. I weighed myself Friday morning and cried for a while when I saw how much my weight had gone up in just four days, and then started eating healthy again but without limiting the amount of healthy food. I've also barely exercised this week.

I'm hoping that, in the coming weeks, my body will allow me to lose weight without starving myself and killing myself with exercise. It's okay to exercise, but I really was doing way too much.

But yah, even though I knew I was going to gain this week, I had no clue how MUCH it was going to be. *sigh*

My goal is to be HEALTHY, not just to lose weight.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Eating Sugar Makes Me Feel Sick

I've spent two days indulging in "treats" from the US. It adds up to a lot more sugar than my body is used to. I have not weighed myself, but I'm sure Monday's weigh-in will be a bad one.

What has eating all of that sugar done? The effects of all that sugar on my body are not good. I feel bloated, crampy, a bit sick to my stomach, really tired and sluggish, and the irony is that all that sugar just makes me crave more of the same!

I haven't felt this awful in a really long time!

The worst part is that I am also forcing myself not to exercise. I am CRAVING exercise.

Why am I living in an unhealthy manner, you ask? Basically, I put my body into starvation mode by being overly strict with my eating in the past seven weeks and over-exercising. (I spent all of last week consuming less than 1,000 calories daily and exercising 3 to 4 hours a day.) This is also unhealthy, and my goal is to be healthy, not just to lose more weight.

So this week, I am eating a lot of food (although the rest of the week, the food I will be eating will be healthy food, even if I eat a lot of it), and I am laying off of the exercise (except for an hour or so of walking).

Next week, I will be eating healthy, but not limiting the amount of food I eat. (With Slimming World, you can eat as much as you want of the good stuff.) And I will add in a bit of exercise, but not the crazy amount of exercise I have been doing.

I expect a gain on the scales this week. I'm terrified it is going to be some huge amount, but whatever it is, I'll deal with it. And hopefully, the following week or the week after, I will be able to see my weight start moving down again without my having to over-do anything.

I'm having to retrain my thinking. Putting my body into starvation mode where it fights to hang on to every ounce of food I consume, and then increasing my efforts continuously, is not a healthy way for me to lose weight. It's counterintuitive to eat more and exercise less in order to lose weight, but, in my situation, it really is the right thing to do.

Eating the junk food these past couple of days was just an experiment of mine though, and I can honestly say that it is not something I want to repeat. Bleh!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Weigh-In & Squishiness

I lost one pound this week despite being very strict with my eating and exercising tons. (I've now lost 116.5 pounds.) I'm being told over and over that I am doing too much exercise. This coming week will probably see me gaining weight, hopefully not too much though. I am going to lay off the exercise for this one week only (except for a few bike rides which I'll be doing because it's fun). I am even going to let myself indulge in a few of the treats my parents sent back with my teenage daughters from their trip to the US.

I am hoping that my body will decide, with this week "off," that it doesn't need to hang on to my body's stores of fat and then the following week, I can start losing again without overdoing the exercise.

It might not work, but I am hoping it will, and either way, I know I can lose whatever weight I put on this week.

Our Slimming World group had its Woman Of The Year Competition. It was between me and a woman named Eve. Eve had been in the competition in a previous year and had lost to her sister. This year, she won. She has lost a total of 53 pounds, and she looks great! This is her second time losing the weight because she had a child after the first time she lost it and put the weight back on. However, she was determined to lose it again and did. Congratulations to Eve!
SW Woman Of The Year 2009 SW Woman Of The Year 2009 1

It was a "Bring & Share" night, so we got to try lots of different dishes. I brought Chocolate Nest Buns, my own variation on a recipe in my Slimming World's 100 Best Desserts book. Robert brought High Fiber Scotch Eggs and Chocolate Gingerbread Squares. He also made some healthy homemade Potato Chips ("crisps" of you live in the UK), but he forgot to pack them to bring with us. There were a lot of desserts brought and a few savory dishes too. It was a fun evening.

I brought along some before pictures to show people. (I still can't believe how big I had gotten and how fat my face was just a little over a year ago.) When I was printing the photos up from my computer, Gabby (my 6 year old) walked in, looked at the photos on the computer screen, and asked, "Mommy, are those pictures from when you were squishy?"

So I've now decided that I was never "fat" or "morbidly obese." I was just squishy.

For those of you who still have a lot of weight to lose and are still squishy, and you feel you need a little inspiration to get you losing, let me just say that I can't even describe to you, but I wish I could, how wonderful it is to feel like a normal person again. I still have 21 pounds to lose, but I already feel like a normal-weight person. I'm no longer lumbering along, tired and energy-less, encased in over 100 pounds of fat. And it feels fabulous!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Like Riding A Bicycle

Robert took my 16 year old daughter's bike which was not being used and fixed it up for me to use. I hadn't ridden a bike in about 20 years. I used to love riding my bike. As a teenager, I rode my bike everywhere. But it had been so many years since riding a bicycle that I was a little nervous.

Fortunately, bicycling is something you never forget how to do. And I loved it! We rode around our park near our house just for me to get back into the swing of things, and then we went for a proper bicycle ride. It was really fun!

Maybe next time I get on my bike, I'll be brave enough to let Robert take a picture or short video clip to share with you all. (When I weighed a lot more, I hated having my photo taken, and it's really hard to get out of that mindset, but I'm working on it.)

Friday, 21 August 2009

Trouble On The Horizon

Two of my teenage daughters just spent a month in the USA with my parents, cousins, siblings and their families. They just got back today. I have really missed them, and I am so glad they are home!

They left with 2 big suitcases and 1 small suitcase. They came home with 2 big suitcases, 2 small suitcases, 3 HUGE suitcases and a large box - all full of goodies from the US that cannot be found here in the UK.

Yep, my diet is in trouble.

All I'm allowing myself until Monday's weigh-in is the Diet Mug Root Beer they brought for me (my favorite). After that, I'll have to figure out how to work a treat into my daily menu on occassion without destroying all of my healthy-eating efforts. (The urge to binge is strong, but I am stronger than it!)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

I've Been Interviewed For A Podcast

Skinny Scoopers interviewed me about my weight loss for a podcast. You can find it here, and the written story in their Scooper Stars section. It was fun to do! They have a great site and they are two really likeable ladies.

Sigg Bottle Winner!!!!


Summer Flowers Sigg Bottle

I had 141 entries to go through and add to a numbered list before I ran the random number generator. Thank you all so much for commenting and entering the contest! If I was rich, I'd send you all a Sigg bottle, but I'm not so the winner is limited to one. The winner is DieselMonkey!


DieselMonkey, you now have 2 weeks to contact me with a mailing address for your Sigg Bottle or the random number generator will be used again and the prize will go to someone else.

Because the winner announcement was delayed, I've had the random number generator pick two more winners who will win inspirational magnets. Those two winners are: Barbara and Lyn. Please e-mail me (my e-mail link can be found on the right sidebar of this blog) with your mailing addresses so I can send you your magnets! (A couple of the choices are below, but go to the link for inspirational magnets above to choose the one you would like sent to you, and let me know in your e-mail which one you have chosen.)
Inspirational Magnet
Inspirational Magnet1

Monday, 10 August 2009

A Meager Weigh-in Victory

I lost half a pound this week. I know I should be happy that I lost any weight at all, but I worked so hard this week that I had really been hoping for a better loss than just half a pound.
I’m going to give up coffee this week. Actually, I will still have one coffee a day, but I won’t have the other three or four coffees I would normally have. I’m still having the one coffee a day in order to, hopefully, prevent the headaches I usually get when I give up caffeine. I don’t have any diet sodas in the house so there isn’t anything else for me to replace the caffeine from the coffees with during the week. I just want to see whether or not, if I still drink the right amount of fluids while not drinking any coffee, it will have any effect on my weight loss.
I am still unable to get on-line. My husband is posting my posts for me by cutting and pasting while he is on his lunch break at work. I am still unable to get to my e-mail and do the random number generator to choose the winner of the Sigg water bottle, but it won’t take more than a week before things are back up and running and I will be able to announce the winner. Thanks for being so patient with me!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Sigg Bottle Give-Away Glitch

I am having difficulty in accessing my e-mail, which is where I have everyone who posted during the give-away time period saved so I can run a random number generator to decide the winner. Because of this, I am unable to select the winner today as planned. The give-away is now closed, and there will still be a winner, but the winner will have to wait to be announced once I get my e-mail problems sorted. Hopefully this won’t take long. The Sigg bottle will still be mailed to the winner this month. So sorry for the delay!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Weigh-In & Inches

I had my official weigh-in tonight. I lost another 1.5 pounds for a total loss so far of 113.5 pounds (8 stone 1.5 lbs)! I now weigh 159 lbs. I have 24 pounds left to lose to hit my goal weight.
Because I started this healthy lifestyle while I was pregnant, I didn’t take my measurements until I had been living it for 8 months already. In late January, I took my first measurements, and a week ago, I took my measurements again. In just the past 6 months, I lost:
4 inches from measuring just under my breasts
6.5 inches from around the smallest part of my waist
7.5 inches from around my belly button area
9.5 inches from around my hips
2.5 inches from mu upper arms
4 inches from my upper thighs
I can’t wait to see how many more inches come off with the next 24 pounds lost!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Another Weigh-in & Teaching A Dog To Run

I lost 1.5 pounds this week for a total loss of 112 pounds (8 stone) so far! Only 25.5 pounds to go until I reach my target!

Robert wasn't able to come to the meeting with me because we didn't have anyone to babysit the kids. He might go to one of our Slimming World consultant's other meetings this week though.

I'd have liked to have lost at least two pounds this week, but I'm happy for any loss. Even though I only lost 1.5 pounds, I still won Slimmer Of The Week this week and got to bring a bunch of fruit home.

This week, on my daily hour-long walk with our dog, I've been adding in short bursts of running. The reason I'm not running for longer than a block at a time is because I need to work my way up to it, but another reason is that my dog, a beautiful border collie named Mercury, really doesn't have the hang of running with me yet. He no longer jumps around in front of me and nips at me. Now, he starts jumping around in front of me while grabbing his leash in his teeth and growling and pulling me faster. On rare occasions, I can get him to do a short run properly with me, but it really is a rare occurrence. I'm not sure how to train him in this. I need to teach him that I'm not trying to play games when I run.

If anyone has more experience with training dogs, particularly border collies, please do chime in in the comment section!

Mercury is only about 15 months old. Here's a couple of photos of our lovely pup.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


I've lost a lot of weight, and I've noticed a lot of changes in my body along the way.

I'm not as tired as I used to be. I get more done around the house, and, when I get enough sleep, I don't drift in and out of sleep every time I sit down during the day. Before I lost the weight, I used to get so sleepy throughout the day. It didn't make a difference if I had plenty of sleep at night, I was still tired. But now, as long as I've had a good night's sleep, I don't get sleepy during the day.

My memory is better. It's not perfect, because I am a mom and thus subject to mommy-brain. But before embarking on my healthy lifestyle, I was always forgetting things and finding it difficult to concentrate. Now, I have a much improved memory and ability to concentrate.

I'm more active with my kids. Just last weekend, Robert and I took our six year old daughter Gabriella with us for a long walk with the dog. I ran and played with both her and the dog, and it was a joy to see her smile and to hear her laughter. But, when I first started running with the two of them, the first thing she said was, "Mommy! You're running! I've never seen you run before!" And the sad thing is that she was right. I had never run with her before.

I'm physically stronger. I used to struggle to carry my children when they were babies. I'd get exhausted and my back and arms would ache after holding one of my babies for just minutes. Now that I exercise, eat healthy and even lift weights on occasion, I lift my two year old Connor (who will be three in August) without too much difficulty. We play "airplane" where I will lift him by one arm and one leg and spin him around until we're both too dizzy to go on. (Like most kids though, when I put him down, he starts asking me to spin him "again" even while he's still stumbling with dizziness.)

The other day, I took him walking with me to go and pick up his sister Isabella (who will be four in August) from preschool. On the way back, I asked him if he wanted me to pick him up. (Neither of them ask me to pick them up anymore, because they "know" from past experience that the answer will be "no.") He did, so I picked him up and carried him for a couple of blocks. I even ran on and off while carrying him just to hear his laughter Just as I had decided I should put him down and give my arms a rest, Isabella fell over and scraped her knee. So then I had to pick her up and carry her just after I put Connor down. And I had to do some running and bouncing of her in my arms to turn her tears into giggles. About a block later, she was ready to be put down, and then Connor wanted back up in my arms. It was only one block more before we got home. I would never have had the strength to have carried either of them a year ago, before working on my fitness and losing so much weight. (I would never have even offered to carry either one of them.

I'm stronger mentally. I have more confidence now. I believe in myself more. I have a more positive outlook on life. I'm less afraid to try new things or meet new people.

I just know now that I am stronger, more energetic and happier. The only question I have now that I ask myself is why did I take so long to decide to get fit in the first place? Why would anyone rather live their life feeling sluggish, unfocused, weak and unable to do something as simple as play with their children?

What are you doing today to make yourself stronger?

Monday, 20 July 2009

No Longer Obese!

I lost another 2.5 pounds, which means I have now lost 110.5 pounds total! (In UK measurements, that's 7 stone 12.5 pounds.)

I hate the word "obese." I have been classified as "obese" for many, many years now. As of today, I am no longer obese! My BMI is below 30, and I am now classified as "overweight." I have lost over 40% of my starting weight.

Some of you have asked how much I weighed at the start. My high weight was 272.5 pounds, and I am now 162 pounds. I am still 27 pounds away from my goal weight of 135 pounds.

There was a time when I thought that I had too far to go and that the amount I needed to lose was just too great and insurmountable to ever manage. But look at me now! It's like running a marathon; I keep taking it one step at a time, one small goal at a time, and now I am almost at the finish line!


Slimming World is looking for consultants from here to go and work in the US and set up Slimming World groups over there. I keep wondering if Robert and I should look into it as a way to move back to the US.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Coming Soon! Chocolate That Won't Hurt Your Waistline!

Think you can't ever enjoy the mouth-wateringly delicious taste of chocolate ever again? Think again!

Scientists for one of the world's largest chocolate company have created a new chocolate that contains 90% fewer calories than normal chocolate! They are calling it the Vulcano, because although it will melt in your mouth, it won't melt in the sun.

Belonging to the Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut, this chocolate is light and crispy. According to this article at, the Vulcano resulted from a mistake, the results of which were then developed further. This chocolate manufacturer has achieved something no other chocolate manufacturer has managed before.

"Developed in a laboratory under top-secret conditions by an international team of food engineers, it not only has 90% fewer calories than the average chocolate product, it is also heat-resistant to temperatures of up to 55C (131F). Most chocolate starts to melt at 30 degrees."

It's not expected to be available for purchase for another two years. The question is, can you wait that long?

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

10 Tips For Eating Healthy

1. Write everything down that you eat, keeping an ongoing total of your daily calories. Some days your calories will be a little higher than your maximum, and other days they will be lower, but try not to ever go below 1,200 calories.

2. If you're counting calories, don't count the calories in most fruit and vegetables, so you can eat as much of them as you want. (I love, love, love strawberries.)

3. Try and have 2-3 fat-free yogurts a day (not the layered kind), and at least one egg a day if not more.

4. Limit your breads and flour products, but when you do have bread or burrito shells, go for wholegrain ones. That also is true for pasta and rice.

5. Do have desserts, but get creative in cooking up healthy desserts, or buying low-cal versions of things you hate doing without.

6. If you're buying low fat products, check the ingredients. Sometimes "low fat" just means "high sugar."

7. Eating things like bacon, ham, beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, etc is fine as long as you go with lean versions or extra lean versions.

8. As often as possible, cook your food from scratch. This way you know what's in your food. The more processed something is, the less healthy it probably is.

9. Don't obsess. There will be times when you eat something bad for you. Do not see yourself as a failure because of it and then go on to eat more junk. See those times as a momentary blip in your healthy eatng plan and go right back to eating healthy.

10. One of the best tips: Fill your plate 2/3 full with vegetables/fruit, then add your meat & whatever else to the space that's left. If you are really hungry and need seconds, that's okay, but do the same thing again (filling plate 2/3 with vegetables).

Monday, 6 July 2009

Weigh-in & New Personal Challenge

I lost 2.5 pounds this week for a total loss of 109 pounds!

I also found out that there is a competition coming up at Slimming World. It's for Woman Of The Year, and the winner will be voted on from however many women fit the criteria. One of the criteria is that I have to have lost a minimum of 4 stone. Since I've lost almost 8 stone now (7 stone 10.5 pounds), I meet that qualification. But the other one is trickier. Based on my height of 5'2", I can only have a maximum weight of 10 stone 10 pounds to qualify. (That's 150 pounds.) Right now, I weigh 11 stone 9.5 pounds.

The competition is being held on August 24th. It only gives me 7 weeks to lose 13.5 lbs. Now that means losing about 2 pounds a week, which sounds reasonable, except that I am not losing that quickly anymore and I definitely am not able to lose that regularly anymore either.

Still, I'll give it a shot. Wish me luck?

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sigg Bottle Give-Away!


This summer has been a hot one for us here in England. I suspect it's been hot for a lot of places in the US and around the world too. When the weather gets this hot, it's important to remember to drink enough water. Are you drinking enough?

My on-line shop Fyfe Photography & Design recently aquired a partnership (through it's printing supplier) with Sigg bottles to sell designer versions of BPA-free Sigg water bottles. In honor of this, I've decided to have a give-away.
Win this Summer Flowers Sigg Water Bottle!

All you have to do to enter is comment on any post in this blog between now and August 5th. You can get up to 4 entries by commenting on 4 different posts. Winners will be selected by a random number generator on August 6th and announced in a new post at Skinny Dreaming. Contest NOT limited to just the USA. (The winner will then have one week to respond and e-mail a mailing address. If the winner is not heard from one week after he or she is announced as the winner, a new winner will be selected by the random number generator.)

I reserve the right not to publish or enter comments I deem as spam.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Slimming World's Top Target Member Award

Tonight, my Slimming World group was having a party. It was to honor the Top Target member of the group. Everyone who reached target would be up for the award and then we'd vote on the winner. There were no target members last week. Robert thought he had 5 pounds left to reach his target weight, but he must have put down a lower weight on his forms because Sharon told him he had 7 pounds left.

He decided to go all out this week to try and reach his target weight in time for the party. Halfway through the week, he weighed himself and told me that he didn't think there was any way he could reach it in time.

We weighed in. I lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 107 pounds! I only have 30.5 pounds left to reach my goal weight! I have gone from weighing 272.5 pounds at my highest weight to weighing 165.5 pounds.

Robert lost NINE POUNDS! He not only reached his target weight, but he passed it by two pounds! He now weighs, at 6'8" tall, 194 pounds! He was the only member at target, so he won the award! He got a sash, a paperweight and pen set and a certificate.

Robert at Target Party getting award 22 June 09

The theme of the party was a beach one. I wore a white summer dress that I had recently bought. This is significant because I have not worn the color white in many, many years. I tend to always wear black and other dark colors. Robert bought me a lei set which came with the neck lei, leis for my wrists and one for my head. He also bought me some really silly sunglasses. He wore his swimming trunks, a Hawaiian shirt, a lei and some equally silly sunglasses. We brought two beach balls and a giant inflatable shark to help add to the ambience.

Because this was a party, we were all supposed to bring some syn-free and low syn food to share. Robert brought some Herby Egg Pancake Wraps. I brought a Mexican Egg Casserole. There was a lot of other really nice food there tonight, and we had a fun time.

(I have other photos to post from the night, but I am still waiting on our Slimming World consultant to e-mail them to me as they were taken with her camera. When she sends them to me, I will add them to this post.)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Eat Eggs To Help Lose Weight

After writing about the connection between dairy and weight loss, I started thinking about the connection between eggs and weight loss. Eggs are another food that is “free” (meaning we can eat as much as we want of it) on the Slimming World plan.

So are eggs really good for weight loss or is Slimming World wrong and its members’ weight losses just unrelated flukes?

According to the studies, eggs are an excellent source to aid in fat loss. And this is great news mainly because I enjoy eating eggs, but also because eggs don’t cost much to buy. They are also, apparently, good for eye health.

According to this article in Medical News Today, eggs are helpful to weight loss because they contain an essential amino acid called leucine. The article references a study which found that leucine

“potentially provides a weight loss advantage during dieting by helping reduce loss of lean tissue, promote loss of body fat, and stabilize blood glucose levels.”

This article on the website Bio-Medicine references a study that promotes eggs eaten for breakfast as aiding in weight loss. It even mentions that the egg-eaters had higher reductions in their waist circumferences. (Loss of belly fat is always a good thing for those of us who need to lose weight!) There also seems to be connection between eating eggs and feeling full, as this article states,

“This study further substantiates the findings of a previous study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition,2 which found that an egg breakfast induced greater satiety and significantly reduced short-term food intake compared to a calorically equivalent bagel breakfast.”

This article on the website found a connection between eating eggs and satiety too,

“According to new research from the Rochester Centre for Obesity in America, eating eggs for breakfast could help to limit your calorie intake throughout the rest of the day, by more than 400 calories.”

A reduction in daily calorie consumption by 400 calories a day could result in a weight loss of a pound every 8 or 9 days. (Results, of course, vary for individuals.) If eggs make you feel fuller for longer, then it corresponds that you would find it easier to reduce your calories throughout the day after eating them for breakfast.

This article on Food Product Design states that not only do eggs aid in weight loss but they also help to increase energy levels. It states that this is because eggs are a good source of high quality protein. Too little high quality protein is bad for the body as this article states,

“In May 2008, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a special issue on the value of protein in the diet. A major finding was that getting too little high-quality protein may contribute to obesity, muscle loss and increased risk of chronic disease.”

This article by Feedstuffs Foodlink continues making the connection between egg consumption and weight loss and energy levels. It references a study done at the Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center with lead researcher Dr. Nikhil V. Dhurandhar,

“The women who consumed eggs as part of a diet plan lost "significantly" more weight and reported "significantly" higher energy levels, Dhurandhar said.”

The studies show that eggs really do aid in fat loss. This fact, in addition to all of the other health benefits to be gained by eating eggs, makes them an ideal choice of food for anyone trying to lose weight (barring any egg allergies).

Slimming World suggest having your eggs, boiled, scrambled, deviled, made into an omelette, poached or dry fried. (Dry frying eggs means spraying the pan lightly with a low calorie oil spray and frying the eggs in no more than that.) I enjoy my eggs in all of these forms, but my favorite way to eat eggs is to make an omelette stuffed with bell peppers, spring onions and sprinkled with a little low fat grated cheese.

What's your favorite way to eat eggs?

Monday, 15 June 2009


I had my weigh-in at Slimming World tonight. I lost 4 pounds! (I gained half a pound last week. I was adjusting the amount of exercise I was doing, so it was expected.) I have lost 105 pounds (7 1/2 stone) in total now, and I have gone from a weight of 272.5 pounds to 167.5 pounds. I only have 32.5 pounds left to lose to reach my goal weight! I got my 7 1/2 stone award.

Robert lost 4.5 pounds this week and is getting really close to his goal weight!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

What 100+ lbs Weight Loss Looks Like


After (with my youngest son):
Becky & Cameron2 14 June 09

I still have weight left to lose, but I'm starting to like what I see in the mirror more now than I used to.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Dairy & Weight Loss

A friend of mine wanted some tips for losing weight. I mentioned that, on my Slimming World plan, I am allowed to eat as much fat-free yogurt as I want. Another friend who is following a Weight Watcher’s plan, chimed in that some yogurts are really high in “points" and that she should be careful how much yogurt she eats.

As you know, following the Slimming World plan has been working quite well for me, so I decided to do a little on-line research to determine why Slimming World has decided that the benefits of eating yogurt to weight loss are worth any risk from the calories eating the yogurt brings into the body.

I actually found quite a lot about dairy and weight loss. According to an article on Virgin Media, calcium binds itself to fat which makes the fat less digestible, so the body excretes it. It is obvious how this can aid in weight loss.

A study done in 2003, according to an article on, people who consumed three servings of fat-free yogurt daily lost over 20% more weight than the dieters who consumed less dairy, despite similar calorie intakes. Even better, the yogurt consumers lost a significantly larger amount of belly fat. The article quotes a lead researcher, Dr. Michael Zemel about an added benefit for the subjects who consumed more yogurt.

“They were about twice as effective at maintaining lean muscle mass. This is a critical issue when dieting -- you want to lose fat, not muscle. Muscle helps burn calories, but it is often compromised during weight loss."

Another article on the website Peak Performance mentions another study done in 2001. According to them,

“The results of this study showed that the density of the diet was inversely linked to changes in body weight and body fat – ie a high calcium density predicted weight loss and body fat reductions, and vice versa.”

This article mentions several different studies which all support the idea that a high intake of calcium helps to increase fat loss, especially in the abdominal area. There was even one study done on rats who had high blood pressure. The rats with a higher calcium concentration in their diets didn’t just lose more weight than the control rats but they also improved their blood pressure.

According to another article at, researchers at Purdue University in Indiana conducted a study which had similar results to the other studies about calcium and weight loss. In most of these studies, the subjects with the higher density of calcium in their diets are either consuming 1,000mg daily of calcium or they are eating three helpings of fat-free yogurt daily.

Another great thing about yogurt is that it can sometimes be beneficial to healthy digestion, and it also tends to have a decent amount of protein which can help keep a person feeling full for longer.

So in light of all of the studies which have found a link between the consumption of dairy and an increase in fat loss, I am going to keep eating my fat free yogurts, as well as using them in my cooking. And most likely, I am going to continue losing fat.

Monday, 1 June 2009

100+ Pounds Lost!!!

I lost 3 pounds this week, and I now weigh 171.

My total loss so far: 101.5!!!!

reaching 100 pound slost was a huge interim goal for me, and I am so glad to have made it this far! I only have 36 pounds left to lose to reach my goal weight and a healthy BMI!

Friday, 22 May 2009

You Owe It To Your Loved Ones To Get Yourself Fit!

I'm tired of seeing parents who can't be bothered to get fit. These people have children who need and depend on them, yet they still complain that dieting is too hard, they don't want to give up their favorite foods, and they can't find the time to exercise.

Now, before one of these parents who can't be bothered gets up in arms about my saying this, I will state that I was one of those parents! I gained a bit more weight with each child and became so completely obese that it was a struggle to get off of my fat ass and do anything. Even worse, I have seven children who depend on me. And I like to think that my husband needs me too.

Yes, exercise is hard work. And resisting the opportunities to binge on sweets and junk food can be challenging. Losing weight and getting fit is definitely not easy! But it is worth it. I am doing this for myself, but I am also doing this for my family. Remaining fat and not doing anything about my deteriorating weight would just be selfish of me.

My kids did not choose to have me as their mom. They're stuck with me. I did, however, choose to have kids. So I owe it to them to make sure that I have energy to be an active parent for them and to keep myself healthy enough to stick around and be in their lives for a very long time.

And for older parents who's kids are grown, don't kid yourself into thinking that this doesn't apply to you. If you love your children, then remember this: There is never a time when your kids stop needing you to be there for them!

If you have anyone in your life who loves you, whether it's a brother, sister, spouse, child, parent, grandparent or a really close friend, you owe it to them to take care of yourself. So stop making excuses and do whatever it takes to make yourself as healthy as you can be.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Three More Pounds Lost!!!

I lost three pounds this week! I was so happy to see three pounds off on the scale!

I have now lost a total of 98.5 pounds. I hit another mini goal (losing 7 stone), and I am only 1.5 pounds away from my next one (losing 100 pounds).

I really hope I can reach it by my next weigh-in!

39 pounds left until target!

Robert lost half a pound this week and has now lost 49 pounds (3 1/2 stone) since joining Slimming World.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Needing A Break?

Ever feel like you need a break? Like, although you know this is a lifestyle change, and you have no intention of giving it up, you'd like just ONE WEEK when you could stop counting calories, eat what you like and not do any additional exercise?

Yah, I'm feeling that way. I know without a shadow of a doubt that if I give in to the urge, I'll gain some weight back. And right now at this point in my weight loss journey, I am having to work so hard for every pound lost that I cringe at the very thought of gaining even half a pound of it back.

I'm 4 1/2 pounds away from being able to say I've lost 100 pounds. Maybe when I get there, I'll give myself a 2-day vacation from my new lifestyle. I've always been able to recover from 2 days of bad choices in the past, so it shouldn't be too harmful if I don't go crazy with it and slip back into binge eating patterns during that time.

It's not so much the eating as the cardio I want a break from. I just want to take more than my one day a week to rest from having to do my cardio exercises. Maybe I feel this way because I have caught a cold that's making me feel rough and very tired. Or maybe I am feeling this way because I've been over-doing the cardio exercise lately.

Just musing out loud here.

What do you do when this feeling hits?

Monday, 11 May 2009

Weigh-In & Mississippi Mud Pie

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. I was having computer issues.

I went for my weigh-in tonight and I've lost another 2 pounds. That puts me at 95.5 pounds lost and weighing 177 pounds. I haven't weighed this low since a couple of weeks after my third child was born. (She'll be ,15 in September, so it's been a long time since my weight has been this low.)

It was the Slimming World's Man Of The Year contest, and Robert was up for it along with one other guy. The other guy won. It was based on votes from the group. Unfortunately, a lot of the friends we've made in group who would probably have voted for Robert did not make it to the meeting last night.

However, the man who won, Ian, was very deserving of the win too, and Robert and I were both happy for him. He's lost a bit over 42 pounds (46, I think?), and he's been at Slimming World since 2007.

Robert lost 4.5 pounds this week, and his total weight lost is now at 48.5 pounds (3 stone 6.5 pounds). (He's actually lost a lot more than that, but that is the amount he has lost since joining Slimming World.) He won Slimmer Of The Week this week!

Tonight was another "Bring & Try" night. Robert made his Scotch Eggs and also made a second batch of them that had chopped up bacon mixed with the sausage coating. I made a Mississippi Mud Pie. There were some delicious food brought, from quiches to sausage stuffing, and from Toffee Cream Dessert to a strawberry trifle type of dessert. The Potato Cheese Pie that our Slimming World consultant Sharon made was particularly filling.

Mississippi Mud Pie

It was a fun evening, and even though Robert didn't win Man Of The Year, he'll always be my "Man of A Lifetime."

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Down Another Three Pounds

Last week, I lost one pound. I was still very frustrated with only losing one pound a week. This week was better though. At my weigh-in last night, I lost two more pounds!

My total weight loss so far is 93.5 pounds. I've gone from weighing 272.5 pounds down to weighing 179 pounds.

Yesterday was Robert's birthday. I made him a healthy mandarin cheesecake for us to have at home. I also made two Banana Scan Bran cakes with chocolate "frosting" which we shared at the Slimming World meeting. Robert cooked our meal and made his favorite, Beef Madras. (Recipes will be added to my recipe blog later).)

Early in this weight loss journey, my husband lost his wedding ring due to losing so much weight. His birthday present from me was a new wedding ring. Despite him having gone into a jewelry store earlier in the week to find out his ring size, the ring was still too small. I returned it and am now waiting on the delivery of the new one.

I still wish we had found his original ring. It had a lot of sentimental value for us.

To top off his birthday fun, at his weigh-in, he found out he'd lost three pounds this week.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Yesterday's Weigh-in & My New Mini-Goal

I lost a pound this week and Robert lost half a pound. I've now lost 90.5 pounds.

On May 12th, I will have been on this weight-loss journey for a year. I'd like to reach 100 pounds lost by then. It will not be easy, because my body seems to be quite happy to be losing lately at the rate of a pound a week. But it can't hurt to try, so I'm going for it. I have three weeks to lose 9.5 pounds.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Winner of the "Do Something Different" T-shirt!

The random number generator picked a winner and the winner is MizFit! Please get back to me with a mailing address and size, so I can send you your shirt!

Do Something Different Tee

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Did You Do Something Different This Week?

Did you do something different this week? Share in the comments what you did for exercise that was different from your normal routine. How did it feel to do? Did you enjoy it or hate it? Will you be doing it again?

I mentioned in this post that I would be in-line skating this week. True to my word, Robert and I dug out some in-line skates from our closet and tried them out today.

It was fun despite the fact that I was a bit unsteady. I realized that I prefer roller skates to in-line skates, so I've decided to buy myself a pair of roller skates along with elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards and a helmet. Robert and I will definitey be doing more skating in the future!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Another Weigh-In

I got tired of losing only a pound a week for the past few weeks, so I increased my exercise just for this week, and it worked. I lost 4 pounds! :)

My total weight loss so far is 89.5 pounds. I only have 48 pounds to go to reach my target weight! :)

It's starting to look like I'll actually get there this year, and that is really exciting for me!

Robert made some delicious and healthy dishes for our dinner tonight. He made homemade scotch eggs and Breakfast Vindaloo.

Both recipes and others can be found in my recipe blog Skinny Dreaming Recipes.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Do Something Different! (and a Give-Away)

I've read many studies that show that it is helpful to weight loss to change the way you workout. Doing the same thing all of the time means your body gets used to it and stops burning calories as efficiently during that activity.

I am guilty of always doing the same thing. I get into a routine and find it very difficult to change it. I suspect a lot of people have this problem.

So this week, I am making a challenge to you. Do something different. For just two exercise sessions this week, do something that you don't normally do.

For example, this week, I am going to do some in-line skating. Something I have not done in many years.

Now for the give-away:

Do Something Different Tee

The prize: A value tee from my shop that says, "Do Something Different!"

Share in my comments what you plan on doing. Then come back after you've done it and
share in my comments again how it felt to do. You have until April 14th, 2009 to enter. A random number generator will pick the winner on April 15th.

Not limited to just the US. Anyone can participate.

Extra entry: You may get one extra entry by linking me to or e-mailing me a picture of you doing the activity. (Pictures may be used in a future blog post.)

One More Pound!

This week's weigh-in has me down another pound. It can be frustrating to lose only one pound each week, as I have done for the past three weeks, but at least my weight is still going in the right direction! I've now lost a total of 85.5 pounds (6 stone 1.5 pounds).

Robert lost 2 1/2 pounds this week and is now at his all-time lowest weight since starting our weight loss journey! We're both very focused on having terrific results this week too!

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Another Pound Down!

I lost another pound for a total loss in a little over ten months of 84.5 pounds.

At last night's weigh-in, we had another Bring & Try. There was some delicious food brought! I was particularly fond of the lemon cheesecake someone brought. I'll definitely be making it soon for my family to enjoy!

I got my 6 Stone award for having lost 6 stone. (6 stone = 84 pounds) I also won Slimmer Of The Month again for having lost 11 pounds this month.

Robert lost 1.5 pounds yesterday. Both of us want to lose 2 pounds or more this week.

I made extra desserts just for Robert, my friend Helen and me. They were No Bake Mini Latte Cheesecake Desserts. I haven't heard back from Helen yet (She took hers home with her.) However, Robert and I both enjoyed the dessert. I'll have to get it posted to Skinny Dreaming Recipes sometime this week.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

"Where Do you Find The Motivation?"

Lynn from The Hungry Little Caterpillar has a terrific post that puts into words what I've been trying to say about motivation.

Motivation Schmotivation

Seriously, don't wait for motivation. It's over-rated. If you wait for motivation to give you the kick in the pants you need, chances are you'll still be fat when this time next year rolls around. Just go and DO IT! Eat healthy. Exercise. Of course you won't feel like doing it. So what? You have a goal, so start working on it!