Wednesday 31 March 2010

Maintenance Mode

As some of you, having read previous blog posts, know, I reached my target weight in February. Since then, I have been doing really well at maintaining my weight. But there is one thing I am still having to work on.

I can't seem to get my mind out of the "I need to lose weight" mentality. Gaining a pound here or there and then dropping back down only to go up and down again is NORMAL when maintaining. As long as my average weight stays the same, it should be okay and even expected. Slimming World allows for my weight to fluctuate up and down 3 pounds either way from my target weight, so I have SIX WHOLE POUNDS that I can play with.

And yet, I get upset when my weight fluctuates up even the tiniest bit, even when it is still a bit BELOW my target weight, as it is now. It's as if, having worked so hard to get here, I just can't let go and let myself relax about it all now. And yet, I NEED to relax. I need to get my mind into a place that can treat this whole thing as a part of my day to day life, rather than allowing for the stressful worrying about Monday's weigh-ins.

I still intend to GO to my Monday weigh-ins, as I see those weigh-ins as a way of keeping myself accountable and not letting any gains get out of hand. But I need to be able to relax a bit throughout the rest of the week.

I'm working on it.

Thursday 25 March 2010


Over on Jack Sh*t's blog, he posed a sort of challenge. He explained the reason for it as this:

The posts that I find the most interesting, the ones that I seem to get the most out of are the ones where the writer explores the why's of this whole deal: why did I get the way I was? why did I make the change? why is this time going to be different?

Everyone's got their own "how", but the "why's" always seem to be singular and unique.

So he posed the question:

I’ll say it to you: tell me “Why”…

Why do you suppose you let your life be less than you imagined it to be?
I like the way this question is phrased, because that is exactly what those of us who've let ourselves gain too much weight and become unhappy with our bodies and unhealthy have done to ourselves. We've "let" our body be less. When I was younger, I had never imagined myself as ever letting myself become as overweight as I eventually became.

And my answer has to be, "I don't know." I really don't. There are lots of reasons in my life that my weight may have crept up. My genetic make-up played a factor, surely, but it wasn't the only reason; in fact, it was probably only a tiny fraction of the reason. I struggled with my weight as a teenager, but only within a 20 pound range that I kept going up and back down within. It was nothing like the struggle and the weight gain I later suffered.

I know that when I was ten, my dad said offhandedly, "You're starting to look a little chubby." That was the first time I became aware of my weight. I was already 5'2" tall back then (and still am today), and I weighed around 115 pounds, so I definitely was NOT chubby in the slightest. But of course, I believed I was chubby from that point on. I'll never know what prompted my dad to say that. I love him dearly, but no parent is perfect, and I doubt he even remembers saying it.

Later, I married young (19), and I was very unhappy in my marriage. I was not treated with respect and my partner was usually angry. I believe that I began eating for comfort back then. The marriage didn't last long, and, three children later, we divorced. Life got better for me in some ways, but worse in others. I was a single parent and my finances were a constant struggle. On top of that, I returned to my university education. This brought new stress into my life, so food remained my way of comforting myself.

Eventually, I met the love of my life and remarried. Life was and is so much better for me, but the bad habits of eating junky, unhealthy food and eating too often, plus my occasional binge-eating was all too much for me to break away from. I was used to eating the way I did, so I continued eating the same way.

Why do you stumble so often despite all your good intentions?

Old habits are so hard to break, and sometimes the memory of a certain food that I used to love eating with abandon is almost too much to resist.

Why do you sabotage yourself?

There are days when I am tired and can't be bothered to do the right thing, to make the right choices. Maybe, in the past, it was because I lacked the confidence in myself that I could achieve a slimmer body and healthier lifestyle.

Why are you here anyway?
I have seven beautiful, amazing, intelligent, creative children and a wonderful husband. They love me, and because of their love and my love for them, I owe it to them to keep myself healthy and to prove to myself and to them that anything can be achieved with hard work.

If you’re making it, if you’re succeeding on this weight-loss journey, tell me why this time is different than all the others. Why are you going to make it this time when you’ve fallen short before. Why are you going to keep it off this time when you’ve gained it back before.
I'm not sure why this time is different. I've made it to my goal weight, and just the act of getting to this place has instilled a greater confidence in myself and my abilities. There was a time when I doubted I could lose the huge amount of weight I needed to lose, but now, almost 140 pounds lighter, I know that I am capable of amazing things. And I am not going to let go of that feeling, ever!

Why are you a different person now than you were before?
Pick one: confidence, belief in myself, a feeling of accomplishment. Somehow, the light finally went off in my head and I know that this healthier, slimmer me is the outside appearance of who I am on the inside, not the frumpy, overweight, lethargic person I used to be. I have a belief in my capabilities now when I used to always be filled with nothing but doubt. I've learned to tune out that doubtful, negative inner voice now, and I've started listening to the positive, cheerful, inspirational inner voice instead.

So, I hope that answering these questions posed by Jack Sh*t helps you feel like you know me just a tiny bit better than before you read my answers.

If there's anything else you'd like to know, feel free to ask me in the comments.

Sunday 14 March 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day in the UK. Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there!

My 16 year old daughter decided she wanted me to get dressed up today and go to the park so she could take photos of me. I think it was just payback for all of the times I have made her and the other kids do the same!

Mothers Day 2010

I actually wore a red dress too. I rarely wear red because, in general, I don't think it is a good color with my red hair and freckles. But I think it looked okay this time. The wind was blowing my hair all over the place making it look really messy, and it was really, really cold. Not to mention I did not have a red bra to wear underneath, so my black bra showed up a bit. And yes, I am very, very pale.

Mothers Day1 2010

Mothers Day2 2010

Before all of that though, my younger kids woke me up in bed to bring me their gifts and cards and to bring me breakfast in bed (cereal). Gabby bought me a notebook with a matching pen. Isabella bought me a little figurine of a blonde girl which had a cute saying about mothers on it, and Connor bought me the same but the figurine was of a little boy. Victoria showed up with a tiny stuffed beanie Eeyore that was wearing a dinosaur costume. I got cards from everyone.

Not one person bought me chocolates. I wonder why that is. ;)

Actually, Connor made me a little paper purse at school that had two Thornton's chocolates in it. The problem with it was that he brought it home last Wednesday and, between Wednesday and today, he ate the chocolates.

So far, remaining at my goal weight has not been easy, but it's manageable. I'm still hoping for the day when it all comes more naturally to me.

Saturday 13 March 2010

Fairy Magic Photos Opportunity! Possible Freebie!

Fairy Magic Photos

Fairy Magic Photos is giving a few people an opportunity that can't be beat! If you'd like a Fairy Magic Photo of your own, now is your chance as they are looking for 10 models for advertising. Please go to the discussion board at Fairy Magic Photos' Facebook page and let them know if you would like to be considered. Remember moms these pictures could be of your children. Or you could have a fairy photo created of you!

My husband is the artist that creates these photos, and when he decided to offer this chance, I had to share it with my readers, because these pictures are a $75 to $150 value! There are some conditions, but it's still a really great chance for a Fairy Magic photo of your own!

Friday 12 March 2010

Photos From Our Visit At Slimming World Headquarters

Slimming World sent Robert and me a wonderful photo of the two of us from the finals for the Slimming World Couple Of The Year 2010 competition. We received the photo on Wednesday, and we received the jpeg image today, along with a picture of us with our consultant Sharon Painter and a photo of the winning couple.

I thought it would be fun to share our photos with you.
Slimming World Couple Of The Year Finalists 2010
Slimming World COTY Finalists with Consultant 2010

This is the winning couple:
Slimming world Couple Of The Year Winners 2010
I'd share their names and amount of weight loss with you, but I am having trouble finding anything about them on the web at the moment. Maybe Slimming World is waiting for the magazine featuring them to come out?

If my memory is correct, all of their children are grown and they were suffering with some very serious health issues before they lost the weight. And they had lost over 15 stone (over 154 lbs) together. They have really done well and should definitely be proud of their accomplishment!

Monday 8 March 2010

Slimming World's Couple Of The Year 2010 Finals!

Slimming World Couple Of The Year 2010

Robert and I just got back from Slimming World's Couple Of the Year semifinals. We sat in a group of 6 couples and all told our stories. There were three groups of six couples.

Six couples were chosen from those to go on to the finals. Robert and I made it to the finals. We didn't win. (Darn it!) But the woman in charge of today came over to us and told us how much she had wanted us to win too and that we were a VERY close second. She said it was extremely close.

The winners won £3,000 and an appearance on GMTV's morning show. They also will be doing other interviews and tv appearances throughout the year and will be featured in the Slimming World magazine. The couple who won had lost a combined weight of over 15 stone (over 210 lbs) together!

I wish we'd won (especially knowing how close it was), but it was still a really fun experience, and we heard lots of inspiring stories. We got to stay in a lovely hotel overnight, and we used their gym facilities to get in a really intense workout last night.

After taking a train ride to get there yesterday, our Slimming World consultant Sharon drove us home today after the event. And when we got home, our kids had surprised us by cleaning the house! They all said how proud of us they were despite our not having won.

Monday 1 March 2010

Slimming World's Greatest Loser Competition

I won the Greatest Loser competion for my group again this year. I've still lost more weight than anyone else in our group. I even lost another half pound this week.

We just had a Bring & Try at our last meeting, so we were given the option of bringing food to share tonight or not. Most of the members of our group didn't want to do it again so soon. Helen, Sarah, Robert and I all made dishes to bring and shared them amongst the four of us. I made Mexican Pasta. Robert made High Fiber Scotch Eggs (with lean bacon mixed in). Sarah made quiche. And Helen made Cinnamon Raisin Muffins. All the food was delicious.

Even more fun than winning though: I wasn't sure if I had anything nice to wear that would fit, so I went into my 15 year old daughter's room and tried on one of her dresses. I'm wearing it in the photo!

Here are some photos of me taken tonight at the meeting.
Slimming World Greatest Loser 2010 1
Slimming World Greatest Loser 2010