Where creative writing and general rambling go hand in hand :)

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Hopes and Dreams

The last few years I have posted my hopes for the coming year.
These were my hopes for 2015.

1.To complete my book
2.To enjoy my holiday
3.To get a new job 
4.To continue on my weight loss journey and get to target by my birthday in July
5.To read more
6.To socialise more
7.To update my blog more

On the negative side I failed on points 1 and 7
On the positive side I was successful on all other points!
I had a great holiday in Scotland and even got myself harnessed up and jumped off a 50ft platform.
I finished my diet by my birthday and while a bit of new year healthy eating will likely be in order, I'm at a size I am happy with for the first time in years.
I've read more books this year than I have over the last few years and I've met lot's of new people. The highlight from this list has to be point 3, in the summer I left my job of nearly 9 years and started a brand new career. Just over 4 months in I am absolutely loving it and at this time of year in particular I am definitely not missing the world of retail.

The overall highlight of my year though has to be meeting the man who will next year become my husband.
I have had an amazing 2015, there is so much more in my life than this time last year I often wonder if it's all a dream. For the first time in years I am looking forward to Christmas and I am very excited for what 2016 has in store for us.
I'm not going to post hopes for the year as I'm pretty sure there are a few things that will likely keep me busy throughout the year.

Merry Christmas to you all.
Thanks for being a part of my fabulous 2015 and I hope 2016 is even more fantastic for everyone. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

What a difference a year makes!

This time last year I was about to attend my graduation ceremony, 4 years of hard work and all worth it in the end.

So much has changed since then that it feels longer than a year.

Just after my graduation ceremony I started the Cambridge plan and lost just over 7 and a half stone, apart from a couple of pounds I'm also managing to maintain this weight.

In March I went on a date (Not with the pirate in the photo).

In June we got engaged and are currently planning our wedding for May next year.

In July I left my job of nearly 9 years and could not be happier to be out of the retail industry.
I also gave up my flat and moved in with my fiance.

In August I started my new job which I love.

This October I went to my first live rugby match (Bath lost in case you're wondering)

This week on the anniversary of my graduation ceremony I am going to my first ever Metal gig!

And as we've started looking for our own house there will hopefully be more good news before this year is over.

Keep Smiling everyone. You all deserve to be happy. 


Sunday, 16 August 2015

I'm still here!

I've neglected my blog again. I challenged myself at the beginning of the year to write one post per week (or the equivalent of this) which means I'm 4 posts behind for the year now.
In my defense though I have been busy. In the last four weeks I have left my job of nearly 9 years, moved out of my flat, moved in with my fiance and started a brand new job.
Moving out of my flat involved decorating as well as packing, deciding on things to keep and things to get rid of and trying to fit as much as possible in to a very small storage unit (think Tetris with furniture). The new job is very different to the last one and there's lot's to learn but I'm confident I will get there.
I've also had a pretty busy social life (for me anyway); I've visited 2 castles, a zoo, hunted Shaun the sheep statues on 3 separate occasions and attended a wedding.
So, those are my reasons for missing the last few weeks on my blog, but I'm back now and hoping to update more often.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

On Reflection

Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror?
While walking through town the other day I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a shop window, it's not unusual I know and mostly I take no notice of it but I liked what I saw. Because I am so much happier with myself now I tend to look at myself more and I have to say, more often than not, I do like what I see.
There is a full length mirror in the locker room at work and I no longer avoid taking a quick peek before heading back to work. I don't look away from my reflection in a shop window anymore and I don't hate changing room mirrors.
I haven't become vain, there are still lot's of things I don't like about myself which I think is human nature.While I am still overweight I am happy with the way I look; there will always be improvements to be made and I will never be someone who can eat whatever they like without putting on weight. I know from the past week or so that life after Cambridge is not going to be easy with regards to eating but I'm determined that my size 14's will fit for a long time to come.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Confidence matters, thank you Cambridge

I know I've written about confidence before but lately it seems to be more important. When you're used to being overweight with very little confidence you tend to see the negative side of things so everything that's happened to me recently has been even more exciting as I can now focus on the positives.

In the past week I've been invited to 3 job interviews which in itself is fantastic, as of today I've been offered 2 of those jobs. This has made me feel even more confident about myself but also makes me realise that I must be appearing more confident in interviews in order to be that successful. Obviously I can only accept one of the positions but even the offer is a good thing.

Even more exciting though is the news that my boyfriend proposed to me at the weekend, so officially he is now my fiance! I know for certain that the confidence gained from my weight loss has helped this come about; not the proposal itself but even just the first date. This time last year I would never have been confident enough to agree to go on a date let alone actually go through with it.

I'm not saying you can't be overweight and confident but for me I've gained a great deal from losing weight and for that I will forever be thankful that I found the right diet for me.
This ribbon measures the same as my waist used to, I've lost just over 12 inches from my waist alone. If that sort of thing doesn't help you grow in confidence then I don't think anything will.
Thank you Cambridge plan for helping me lose weight and gain so much from life.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Exceeding expectations

I love it when you think something is going to be good and it turns out even better than expected. I went to watch Spy at the cinema this week. I was expecting it to be funny especially with Melissa McCarthy and Miranda Hart starting in it; turns out it was hilarious. It's easy to focus on the bad things on a daily basis, we complain about bad service more than we compliment good service. If something turns out to be worse than expected we have a good moan.
Therefore I am using this blog post to celebrate things that exceed expectation. So if you've received good service tell someone, if you've enjoyed something more than you expected to, tell someone. Enjoy the good things that happen to you and focus on the positives rather than dwelling on the negatives.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Quality over quantity

Last night I went to watch Take That in London. Having watched them as a four piece as well as a five piece group I wondered how different they would be with only three of them left.
They undoubtedly always put on a good show, not just the group themselves but also the dancers, band and everyone else involved in the production.
I wasn't disappointed with this tour at all. They have adapted well to only having three of them, the performance didn't suffer and they still put everything they had into the show. I do hope in the future that Jason decides to return and they once again perform as a foursome but for now the Take That trio are still keeping us fans entertained. Proving that it's quality not quantity that counts.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Oops!

I fell off the diet wagon last week!
After nearly 7 months of following plan 100% I stepped up to the next level and had a bit of a wobbly day. My weigh in today (2 weeks worth on new step) saw me lose 2 1/2lb which brings my total to 7 stone 8 1/2lb. This doesn't mean I'm looking at it as having got away with my bad day, believe me I felt quite ill the following day. I am however trying to focus on the positives from it.
I felt ill enough not to want to do it again.
By previous standards this was not a blowout (I still consumed less than 2000 calories for the day)
It wasn't worth it which means I'm less likely to do it again.
It has made me more aware of calorie content and that in moderation I can introduce other things in to my diet in future as long as I am aware of what I am eating.
The final positive is that this proves I am actually human! We all make mistakes, we all have bad days and slip up. What counts though is how you deal with them. I am focused on finishing the Cambridge plan on July 6th so I have 1 more week on step 3 followed by two weeks each on steps 4 and 5. I know that I am happy with how I look right now and if I maintain my weight from now until July 6th I will still be happy, I also know that should I want to return to the plan in the future to lose a bit more then I can. The most important thing with dieting is finding your own happy place not what someone else (or any form of chart) deems to be the place you will be happy.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Stepping Up

This week I have stepped up to the next level on the Cambridge plan which means I'm eating more calories a day. I have re introduced fruit to my diet (amazing what you miss) and a selection of carbohydrates are making their way back in too. A couple of months ago I would have been worried about this stage but so far it's going well. While I am not near my original weight target I am very close to my clothes size target having got into size 14 trousers, just the top to go now.
I'm planning on going up the steps over the next few weeks with a view to completing the plan by my birthday in July. I'm pretty happy where I am size wise now and can't see myself ever having a 'normal' BMI so while I'll always carry extra pounds I know I can be in control of my weight.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Post holiday weigh in!

I've been away for 2 weeks in the Scottish Highlands, I took all my Cambridge products with me and followed the plan the entire time. I found it easier than I thought I would, I'm not saying there weren't points I didn't feel like cheating. When you're used to using the phrase 'I'm on holiday, it doesn't count' it's a big change to go to 'no thanks I'm on a diet'. There was one day in particular that I really wanted cake but I didn't give in, safe to say I'm really proud of myself.
Because I weigh in on a Monday it's been 3 weeks since my last weigh in, since that weigh in I have lost another 7&1/2lb bringing my total loss to 7 stone 3&1/2lb. I'm in a new stone zone and have lost a total of 39 inches.
Next week I'm moving up to the next step on the plan and introducing more foods, I'm mostly looking forward to being able to eat fruit again. While I still have more weight to lose I feel ready to move on to the next stage and am confident I will lose more pounds and inches.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Whatever the weather

When you choose to holiday in the UK you take your chance with the weather, in the past we've had some brilliant weather while holidaying in the Scottish Highlands; this year it seems we missed the good weather.
Before leaving home we'd already planned an overnight trip to Edinburgh while we were in Scotland so we could spend the day at the zoo. Monday was a beautiful day and having arrived just after lunchtime we spent the afternoon shopping or seeing the sights, something you need longer than a few hours to do. We stayed overnight at a B&B close to the zoo and woke in the morning to rain, lot's and lot's of rain.
You have to make the best of things though, so off we went to the zoo. By the end of the day we were soaked, well exercised (it's all uphill) and a bit chilly. However we had a brilliant day, the zoo is fantastic we were able to see both pandas, the koalas woke up when we visited and despite looking like he'd had enough of the weather we even saw the lion. It is a great day out and I would highly recommend it regardless of the weather, I'm now looking forward to visiting Bristol zoo later in the year. Fingers crossed the rain stays away that day though.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Feeling adventurous

Confidence in yourself brings new opportunities. My new found confidence has resulted in me trying new and different things recently which helps to boost that confidence even more.
I'm currently on holiday and have already been adventurous this week, I mentioned last week that I plan on doing a skydive later in the year; the advantage to not wanting to jump on a skydive is the instructor that you're strapped to will give you little choice.
On sunday I jumped from a 50ft platform, described as a simulated parachute jump. I'm not afraid of heights but standing on that platform attached to just a wire was a little bit scary, it took me a couple of minutes and a few deep breaths before I was brave enough to step off. Having closed my eyes almost straight away the landing took me by surprise, although my feet hit the ground first I did end up on my backside.
I'm really glad I went through with it and it felt great to know I'd done it while watching others hesitating at the top.
Hoping there are more adventures in my future.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

All numbers!

12 weeks ago I wrote a blog post counting down to my holiday, at the time I had 12 weeks to lose 30lb in order to reach my holiday target of 6 stone loss.
Well I'm over the moon to be going on holiday on Saturday carrying 6 stone 10lb less than I was in November last year. I'm also very excited that I have size 16 jeans packed in my case and I'm pretty sure all the walking we have planned while away will be much easier this time around.
I'm hoping that when I come back I will be closer to my 8 stone loss which will make the race for life 10K even easier too (still not running though), and will be looking in to booking a sky dive for charity later in the year.

If anyone would like to sponsor myself and my mum for Race for life you can do so here.
https://www.justgiving.com/sharleenerawlings

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Exploring home

Sometimes it's easy to think that a holiday in a foreign country is what you need to relax and forget about work. Sun, sea, sand and language barriers!
We often forget though that we live in a beautiful country. It's been a while since I went for a proper walk and I do miss my old walk to work through the countryside, particularly now the nicer weather has arrived.
At the weekend my boyfriend and I went for a lovely walk along an old railway line leading to Jack and Jill hill in Kilmersdon.
Thankfully it was a lovely day weather wise and the views were gorgeous, this was from the top of the hill. 
Since it's been a while since I walked very far (it was only a 4 & 1/2 mile walk though) I'm surprised my legs got me up the hill; it's not actually a bad hill though and the views make up for it anyway. 
So if you're looking for a way to relax and unwind go for a walk, explore the area around you, get lost if you need to (I do quite often), enjoy the views. 
Fresh air and exercise is never a bad thing and the West Country views are most definitely a good thing.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Unfortunate timing?

Since my Cambridge journey began I have lost weight every week except for 2 weeks. Considering I have been following the plan now for 22 weeks I'm sure most would agree that's quite an accomplishment especially with my track record for diets!
Anyway the first time I maintained was following Christmas week which was frustrating due to the fact I didn't stray off plan at all, no Christmas goodies passed my lips, not even a sliver of cake. And in true unfortunate timing style I have maintained following Easter weekend.
While I don't want this to sound like I'm trying to convince anyone, I absolutely did not eat any Easter eggs, or anything else that isn't on plan.
Obviously a maintain is better than a gain but it is still frustrating when you know you've done everything right, previously I would see this as an excuse to buy an Easter egg (or 2 as they're now reduced) and eat it just for the sake of it.
The reason I'm not? because it doesn't matter that it was Easter when I maintained, or Christmas; or if it happens again around someones birthday or a holiday. It doesn't matter because I know I'm doing everything right and I know I can get through these days/weeks in a different way to how I did in the past. It doesn't matter because I'm still down over 6 stone and it's not going back on!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Writing about writing

Having challenged myself at the start of the year to write a blog every week, I realise I'm at the end of this week and haven't written one!
As last weeks was about reading I thought I'd write a quick blog about writing.
I've had quite a few ideas recently for children's stories, one of which involves a character who really wants her story told. So that's what I'm doing.
It's slow progress and I'm hoping that while on holiday I can further her story and see where it goes. However long it takes though I am determined to see this one through. I'm as excited to get back in to writing as I am about reading.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Oh for the love of books!

I love reading, have done for as long as I can remember.
Books are amazing, they teach you things; new words that you didn't know, a snippet of history, maybe even give you a trip down memory lane. Your own imagination brings the story out of the book the way you see it, coupled with the brilliant imagination of the author and you can lose yourself in a whole different world. You fall in love with characters, hate others, cry for them, laugh with them and if it's a really good book you get to the end and really wish you knew what happened next.
I get sad when I see an unread book in a charity shop, which is why there are quite a few on my bookshelves because I can't leave them behind.
Since I finished studying I have really struggled with reading, perhaps having the option to choose any book for the first time in a few years was too overwhelming. Whatever the reason though, I had several books around my home that I had started and just couldn't get in to, different genres so I wasn't limiting myself. I didn't want to force myself through a book and was quite disappointed to not be getting anywhere, at least 6 months have passed since I finished a book which for me is unheard of. I usually get through 2 or 3 on my holiday and with that coming up I knew I needed to get reading again.
Maybe I'm back in the right frame of mind now because I have successfully finished a book within a few days. It was by no means a hard going book, very enjoyable to read in fact. It felt great to get to the point where you can't put it down and even better to get to the end. It may not seem like that big a deal but to me it was. Happy to report that I'm now half way through a second book too, definitely back in the zone and it feels good.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Gaining from losing

When you're dieting you generally focus on what you're losing, the pounds, the inches, the will to live (joking), what about what you're gaining from it though?
Confidence is what you're gaining and self-belief along with a more positive outlook on things.
I've always swayed more to the negative side of things even when it's something positive I'm usually full of what-if's. Thankfully I'm getting away from that now. As of this week my weight loss stands at 5 stone 10 1/2lb which happens to be how much my goddaughter weighs so clearly this means a photo opportunity.

There is a year between these two photo's. While I still think the first photo is awful I am now more focused on the positive side, that's not who I am now or particularly it's not what I look like.
I've noticed the change in confidence myself as have others, while I've always been a fairly loud person (around people I know) I've never been overly confident in my abilities whether it be study related, work or even meeting new people. This week though I have been confident enough to do several things that I never would have done a few months ago and it feels great.
When I posted this photo on facebook today I got quite a few likes and comments, all of which adds to the confidence boost; knowing that your friends and in some cases people you've never even met, are proud of you and pleased for you keeps that confidence growing. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Why is this time different?

A couple of weeks ago my Cambridge Consultant asked me that very question. As I'm not weighing in this week I thought I would focus on the answer.
Like I've said before, I'm no stranger to diets and I've always been that person that loses weight and then gets bored and puts it all back on again and more.
I've cheated on all of the previous diets I've been on, having a 'treat' after weigh in because calories don't count after weigh in! Or deciding a little naughty meal won't hurt (which ultimately turns in to a naughty week).
So while discussing cheating/falling off the wagon (which I haven't) Andy asked me why I thought I was getting on better on Cambridge than any of my previous attempts.
Before I get in to my answer I would like to point out that I am not saying anything against any other diet plan, different things work for different people. This is just my opinion.

Cambridge is a low calorie diet (or very low if you start on step 1)
          On most of my previous attempts I've chosen diets that let me eat lot's of food, as long as it's in a certain category you can eat as much as you like. For someone who has always loved quantity when it comes to food this seems like a dream, eat loads and lose weight. Yes you can lose weight I managed 4 and 1/2 stone on one such diet, however it wasn't teaching me anything. The current step I'm on with Cambridge though (and from what I've read of the next stages) restricts what you can have but in a good way. I've eaten Curly Kale this week (never had it before) I have a new found love for cauliflower, neither of which I would have tried if I was just allowed to eat whatever veg I wanted. The smaller number of options makes people more inventive when it comes to making a meal and the smaller portion (I think) makes you appreciate it more when you're eating. Even though the list is small compared to other diets there are so many variations of things you can have for a meal and the Cambridge products come in lot's of different flavours. Personally I am yet to get bored with any of it.
One to One Consultations
          Group support is important when losing weight, but I have that with my friends and family and the small facebook group with some of Andy's other clients. I'm all for celebrating people's success, believe me recent compliments are making me really happy. However I also think there is a downside to the group consultations. It's hard to bring up any issues you have in front of other people, it's also really hard when you've maintained for a week or gained when you know you've been really good; this becomes even harder when someone else in group has lost weight despite not sticking to plan, not getting at anybody here, I have been that person who felt a sigh of relief at 'getting away' with the pizza/crisps/pudding (delete as appropriate) but it's difficult to be on the other side of that too. If I've got questions I'll send a text or ask on facebook (it usually involves tea), I'm never made to feel like I'm bothering anyone and have never had to wait long for a reply. It's not just about the diet though, Andy asks about other aspects of your life and is supportive when I'm grumpy (which is a lot). Plus who doesn't want to wake up on a Monday morning to a message telling you you're amazing accompanied by your latest progress picture?
State of mind
          This is obviously a big thing for any diet, your mind has to be in the right place for it to work otherwise there is no point. Before I graduated I wanted to be slim for my graduation photos which didn't happen. In fact I struggled to diet through the whole of my degree making excuses for needing sugar while essay writing, getting takeaways as had no time to cook or shoving a pizza in the oven as it was quick and easy, not forgetting the McDonalds breakfast before most of my tutorials! Now though I have nothing in particular to lose the weight for other than myself so there is no pressure. I have set a target to reach before I go on holiday but if I'm not quite there I'm not worried. The diet has completely changed my way of thinking, so much so that when I started I planned on having two 'naughty' days while on holiday, now though I don't want to. I want to be able to get to my target weight by sticking to plan 100% (so far so good). I don't foresee anything getting in my way but you never know. For now though I make no plans to go off track because each time I get into smaller clothes I feel better about myself and can only imagine how good I will feel at target.
When I get there I want to be proud of how I got there.

Monday, 2 March 2015

After 4 comes 5

I've done it! I've actually managed to stick to a diet 100% and lost over 5 stone.
I'm now almost halfway to my target and nothing is going to get in the way of getting there. I've also dropped 10 points off of my BMI which I'm sure my doctor would be pleased with too.
My treat for 5 stone is a full body massage followed by a full facial, which I am very much looking forward to. I also need to have a think about the next couple of treats, while I have 6 stone sorted I think I need to make a new list now for the remaining few stone.
I don't want this to sound like an Oscar speech but I do know that I would never have got this far if my friends and family weren't supportive and of course my fantastic consultant.
So here's to the next 5 stone, I'm off to celebrate with a mug of fruit tea.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Injecting a little colour

Almost all of my wardrobe is, and has always been, dark colours black and navy blue mostly. When people say black is a slimming colour I'm sure they actually mean if you have a little pot belly because when you're much larger I don't think it actually makes much difference what colour you wear.
Except for the fact that bright colours obviously make you stand out in a crowd! As someone who tends to walk with my eyes to the ground and would rather shrink in to the background bright colours just don't appeal.
I've been known to wear a pink T-shirt once a year for race for life and anything more colourful than black is usually covered up with a black cardigan.
However, the more weight I lose the more adventurous I seem to be becoming. Today I bought a replacement Uni Hoody in Red! I've also purchased a pair of purple trousers which will need maybe another stone off before wearing in public but still, they've made it in to my wardrobe. In case anyone is worried about my fashion sense I won't be wearing these items together.
Before I go on holiday I'm going to need a new swimming costume. Again these have always been black except for when I was little I had a lovely red one with fish on it. I'm leaning towards turquoise this time or maybe even multicoloured.

Monday, 23 February 2015

It's the little things

When you're trying to achieve something it's normal to focus on the bigger picture; sometimes though it's the little things that can help keep you going.
When applying for jobs for instance your focus is on getting that job and it's disappointing when you don't. If you think of it in smaller chunks though; each application gives you an opportunity to improve on the last, each interview is experience which will help with the next one and when you do get offered the position you're likely to appreciate it more following the effort you've put in.
Similar could be said for weight loss, sometimes you don't even notice things you couldn't do before (or not as easily) until you get to a point when you find it normal.
Recently I was pleased to be able to properly wrap myself in a towel after a shower. For anyone who has always been able to do so it may seem trivial but when you've had to hold together the ends of a towel to get from the one room to another without flashing it's actually a pretty good feeling. I've also noticed it's easy to sit with my legs crossed now. I never really noticed before that it was difficult, perhaps I just avoided doing it but I can definitely tell the difference now.
While the bigger picture is focusing on your target weight, taking note of the little things will help keep you motivated. Following weigh in today I have now lost a total of 4 stone 11lb and am hoping for my 5 stone next week. There are now 8 weeks left until my holiday and a total of 17lb to lose to get to my 6 stone before I go, that's just over 2lb a week so any loss over that will get me there and that's what I'm focusing on.

Focus on the little things and the bigger things will come in time. 

Friday, 20 February 2015

Mixed feelings

Weight loss is a journey in itself and like any journey it has its twists and turns. I've been on The Cambridge plan now for over 100 days and have stuck to it 100% which for me on a diet is the first time ever!
I'm loving the diet and the weight loss it is bringing, over the last few days though I've been feeling a little overwhelmed.
Everything up to now I've done before; sorting out the clothes that fit/don't fit, enjoying the feeling of having lost over 4 stone, having compliments from people about my weight loss, walking further before being tired, having more energy......I could go on.
Now though I am at a point that I've never been at before; clothes that have been in my wardrobe for years and have NEVER been too big for me are getting baggy, I'm looking at clothes in much smaller sizes than I have worn since I was at school and I'm thinking ahead to a much slimmer me.
And you know what? It's scary!
It may sound really silly to some people but I'm sure others will understand. While the thought of being slimmer and healthier makes me happy it also scares me. It is a big change, after all I am planning on losing almost half my body weight.
I'm not giving up, far from it. I know that I will still be the same person, just a slimmer version with different ideas on how to deal with what life throws at me (food is not the answer).
I am positive that I can get to target without going off track but I am also realistic that my feelings along the way may at times look similar to this.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Does my bum look big in this?

In January I wrote a post about measuring yourself when on a diet! I certainly still stick by that, some of the results can be really amazing.
I lost 2&1/2lb this week which brings my total loss to 4 stone 6lb, this by itself is fantastic but tonight I was measured again and the results are great.
I've lost a total of 21 inches since starting the plan, across the 5 different measurements everything has got smaller but my hips have dropped the most - 7 inches. You know what this means? My bum is getting smaller! Obviously everything else is too but for this week I am most overjoyed about the hip measurement.
I now have 9 more weeks until my holiday and 22lb to lose to get to my 6 stone before I go. Having tried out some new recipes this week I think I'm going to smash that target.
Oh and if you're wondering, the cauliflower bread turned out great.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Expanding the taste buds

Since I started the Cambridge diet I've pretty much stuck to the same meals, I'm on step 2 so I have a choice of protein along with 80g of vegetables or salad from a list. I've had quite a lot of salads with either tuna, chicken or prawns and many mushroom omelettes. I'm not bored, far from it!
The other day though I joined the facebook group for recipe ideas and discovered there are many things you can do with a cauliflower. Initially I wasn't that excited as I really dislike cauliflower but thought I'd give cauliflower rice a try.
So, armed with the ingredients I decided I would make a chicken curry to go with it, I'm a bit of a guesser when it comes to cooking and tend to just throw spices and herbs in until it looks right. My curry was rather hot but very tasty and as for the rice? Well who would have thought that grated cauliflower mixed with some paprika and dry fried would be so tasty?
Clearly it's not a substitute for rice and doesn't taste like rice but it was an exceptionally tasty meal and one that I will definitely be repeating.
Next on the list will be cauliflower bread, let's hope that's just as successful.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Feed a cold?

Years ago I heard the phrase 'starve a fever, feed a cold' I used to take this literally. Not that I ever really needed an excuse to overeat but if I was feeling a bit 'flu-like' I'd eat rubbish in the hope the extra calories would make me better quicker. When people say they lose their appetite when they feel under the weather I always think they're lying, I genuinely don't think I've ever lost my appetite; my ability or desire to stand and cook something may vanish when ill but never my appetite.
I woke up Saturday with a cold and have felt really crappy since then, however I have not strayed off plan at all. Despite not being able to sleep properly I've spent the weekend either at work or in bed, I've still managed to get in all my products and my meal each day and am determined it won't set me back.
I weighed in today and am now at my lowest ever weight (apart from obviously on the way up!). My total loss now stands at 4 stone 3&1/2lb and with just 10 more weigh-ins until my holiday I'm still on track to get to my 6 stone target before I go.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Go on, treat yourself

I've always believed that to succeed on a weight loss journey you have to treat yourself now and again. I'm not talking food treats, although this would have been the case in the past (calories don't count after weigh in right?), I'm talking about anything other than food really. Not long after I started Cambridge weight plan I made myself a treat list so for every stone I lose I get something I want, so far I've made the list up to 7 stone, partly because I didn't want to be too ambitious and partly because I ran out of ideas.
This week I got to my 4 stone loss so I thought I would share some photo's with you.
Stone 1 treat = goodies from Lush,

Stone 2 = New bag (which just happened to come with a matching purse)  
Stone 3 = Necklace from Buttonsy jewellery
And stone 4 = New boots
My next treat for getting to 5 stone will be a massage and/or a facial (not quite decided yet) when I get there this will be the most weight I've ever lost so it's a pretty big deal for me. After that I have trainers and a new tattoo on my list, just need to get my thinking cap on for the rest of them now. 

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Not even just a little bit?

Someone offered me a sweet the other day, this is not a rare offer and a while ago there was no way you'd catch me saying no thanks! Now though when I say 'No thanks I'm on a diet' I tend to get 2 different responses, the first being 'Oh sorry' not that there's any need to be. The second usually, 'what not even one/a little bit?' Erm no that's kind of the point of telling you I'm on a diet.
I know many people will think that one sweet or a tiny piece of cake or one biscuit won't harm your diet, maybe for some people it won't. I say no thanks though, not because I think that one thing will put on a pound or 2, but because one is never enough. If I have something off plan, or a treat day and still lose weight it makes it more tempting to have more next time and that's where it all goes pear shaped.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with people offering, after all they're just being polite; for me though I have to say no thanks.
With my 13th weigh-in due tomorrow I am proud to say that for all those weeks I have been 100% on plan.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Holiday countdown!

It's 12 weeks this weekend until I go away which means I have 12 more weigh-ins to get to my 6 stone target (not my final target). Having lost 5lb this week my loss now stands at 3 stone 12lb, fingers crossed this means I can have my boots next week (4 stone treat) but it also means I have 30lb to lose in 12 weeks. I'm ahead of schedule now to do this and it now means I need to lose 2.5lb a week to get there, judging by my losses so far I don't envisage a problem with this. I need to start walking as well to get in some practice for The Race for life after my holiday at which I'll hopefully be at my 7 stone loss; I'll be whizzing round the course at this rate (still not running though).
Here's hoping I'll be back next week to show you a picture of my new boots.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Pounds, inches and denial!

Last week when I got to my 3 stone loss my consultant sent me a comparison photo of before and after. While I can see a big difference in my size I also found it slightly amusing that I am wearing the same trousers in both photos.
When I started the plan my most recent clothes purchase was a size 26 so I can only assume that the reason I wore size 20 trousers to weigh in was from denial at actually being that size. I remember buying the size 26 (my graduation outfit) and telling my mum at the time that there was no way I was that size, couldn't possibly be! Well obviously I was or I would have fitted in to a smaller dress!
At the weekend I had a sort through my wardrobe and only put back in the clothes that fit me now, and a few smaller ones that will fit soon (positive thinking is good for you). I was a bit gutted that my favourite trousers no longer fit but found a pair of brand new trousers that I forgot I had bought that now fit. I will however be overjoyed when my 'weigh in' trousers are too big to wear.
So this weeks weigh in brought in a loss of 4 1/2 lb bringing my total to 3 stone 7 lb. I was also measured today and in total I've lost 16 1/2 inches, 6 of which have come off my hips AMAZING!
I would definitely recommend measuring yourself regularly particularly if you have no loss one week as it makes you feel better that you are still changing shape.
I'm no longer in denial about my clothes size, there are in fact a mix of sizes in my wardrobe now that all fit me but I'm happy to say that a 26 is not one of them.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Happy days....Cambridge weigh in

After last weeks weigh in I was 2lb away from my 3 stone target, so my fingers were firmly crossed as I stood on the scales this morning. Result, 5lb off giving me a total loss of 3 stone 3lb in just 10 weeks; to say I'm happy would be an understatement. I am now not only in a different stone zone but my BMI has reduced a lot too. I know I still have more to do but the results so far are really helping me see that I can get there.
I'm seeing the difference now myself too, the photo's my consultant has taken (no I'm not sharing yet) really show a change in shape, and obviously size, very much looking forward to the 5 stone photo as that will be the most weight I have ever lost.
I also got my 3 stone treat today, a Buttonsy necklace which I bought in their sale before reaching target and has been hidden at my parents house.
I'm now looking forward to my 4 stone target treat which is a pair of trainers. I have also set myself a target of getting to 6 stone loss by the time I go on holiday in April (14 more weigh ins). Totally do-able judging by my current rate of loss, so fingers crossed that a much slimmer me will be winging my way to Scotland.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Persistence pays off

Have you ever started something that became a bit too difficult so you gave up? I'm sure if I was asked to write a list of things I've decided were too hard to continue I would need a big piece of paper.
Tonight though I persisted and it paid off! Of course I'm only talking about an ear piercing here but bear with me.
Years ago I had the top of my ear pierced twice, for work I'm not supposed to wear them (shhhh) and so for some reason I took one out and left the other in. For a good couple of years now I've been trying to get an earring back in to the second piercing but it always stopped halfway. Every now and again I'd give it another go, it would make my arms ache and my ear hurt so each time I would give up when it wouldn't go through. Tonight I changed my other earrings to new ones and decided to try again with that piercing, this time I was determined to get an earring in there. I kept going despite it hurting; my arms ache and my ear is now quite hot, but I did it. I now have an earring back in the piercing, and a cold compress on it to cool it down.
I know what some people may be thinking, big deal you got an earring in so what? This isn't about the earring though.
It's about not giving up.
It's about perservering when things get tough.
It's about running through the pain.
It's about focusing on the end result.
It's not just about an earring it's about whatever you want it to be about.

Persevere and you will get there!