10 articles Tag weight loss

Rebuilding My Wardrobe

wardrobeSince making changes to my diet and activity levels, I’ve not only lost weight but also changed shape (although the summer holidays has done a good job of undoing some of that, unfortunately!), which means that there’s a LOT of stuff in my wardrobe which no longer fits me. There are a few bits which I’ll hang onto, like t-shirts which still look okay, just a little looser than before, but so much stuff is now too big that I need to have a major overhaul of my wardrobe. I thought I’d tackle it bit by bit and focus on main areas which need replacing:

Jeans

While I don’t want to invest too much money on expensive jeans before I’ve hit my target weight, there’s little more unflattering than ill-fitting jeans, so this is something I’ll need to replace sooner rather than later. It’ll be a while before I go for Levis or something with a label, but a few pairs from a High Street store should see me through the winter.

Nightwear

Being a co-sleeping Mama means that nightwear is a priority, especially with winter coming – I cannot BEGIN to tell you how often I get woken up by my own shivering because a duvet-hogging toddler has left me without a cover! I like to wear high-quality nightwear such as soft jersey pyjamas which will keep me warm but allow me to also breathe.

Undies

Being a big-busted lady means that I’m all too aware of the importance of a good bra, and changing shape has meant that many of my old bras are now too big around the band. My bras are generally expensive, no matter where I buy them from, but it’s something that I need to just suck up and deal with so that I can maintain good support.

Basics

This is a pretty general category, but I tend to keep a lot of basics like plain vests and t-shirts which I can use to layer up in the colder months. Being in and out of the car all day means that I HATE wearing coats and thick clothes, so wearing a few thinner layers keeps me warm without making me feel too bulky and uncomfortable. Most of my current basics are either too big or have holes/bleach stains on them (hands up who else ruins EVERYTHING whilst cleaning?!) so replacing them is something that I need to do on a fairly regular basis.

Woollies

I do love a good woolly, and as I said above, they’re an Autumn/Winter staple for me so that I can use them for layering. As with jeans, ill-fitting woollies can be super unflattering (I threw a jumper away in 2013 purely because it clung in ALL the wrong places and I got asked three times if I was pregnant while wearing it!), so I need to invest in some jumpers and cardies in smaller sizes now.

Choosing New Bras with Simply Be

It has to be said, I’m not very good at shopping. Being uncomfortable about my size means that shopping for clothes is rarely a pleasure and I often come away from shops unhappy with having tried on a bunch of stuff that doesn’t fit properly or look right on me. One thing that I’ve ALWAYS made sure I spend money on, though, is underwear. Having a massive bust means that buying proper bras is an absolute necessity, especially if I want to avoid back problems and shoulder pain. My bust is also an area which isn’t really affected by my weight; even at my biggest and smallest, my cup size has barely changed, although my band size has recently got smaller with my weight loss.

Just recently, I’ve been doing some online browsing to find new undies, and I’ve noticed that there are some really fun, sexy styles out there at the moment. For years, it seemed as though anyone over a certain size was confined to really frumpy bra styles, but things have come along leaps and bounds and suddenly everything is far more fun! Here are a few of my favourites:

FIGLEAVES CURVE PEARL FRONT FASTENER PLUNGE BRA

I absolutely love the look of harness bras, and although they might not be hugely practical, they definitely look good. Lots of my friends have separate harnesses that they attach to any bra, but I love the fact that this bra has one attached already. The matching knickers are really pretty too!

FIGLEAVES CRISS CROSS BIKINI TOP

Okay, so technically this one isn’t a bra, it’s a bikini, but just look how pretty it is! I adore the colour, I adore the shape of the cup and I adore the pretty straps. It’s absolutely gorgeous and as soon as I;m confident enough to wear a bikini again, I’ll be choosing something just like this.

THE FLORAL TATTOO BALCONY BRA

This bra does a stunning job of proving that white underwear doesn’t have to be boring! The delicate flowers across the cups are embroidered and the combination of the rose-gold accents and the small keyhole detail on the front make this style look smoking hot!

PRETTY SECRETS IVY LACE CAMI BRA BLACK

I’m no prude, but when you have a big chest you have no choice but to show your cleavage even a bit, unless everything you wear has a roll-neck! I absolutely love the lace detailing across the tops of the cups on this style, which you could wear under almost anything and you’d get an extra bit of modesty in the bargain – plus, a little bit of lace peeking out always looks pretty!

PRETTY SECRETS NAVY FLORAL PIPPA HIGH NECK PRINTED LACE BALCONY BRA

Another style which would keep the girls well and truly in-check is this high-neck style from Pretty Secrets. It’s probably both the sturdiest AND the prettiest bra I’ve seen in a long time, a combination which rarely ever goes together. I really, really love this bra!

Taking Weight Loss to the Next Level

Your diet and exercise program may not be enough to help you lose the weight you want to. Maybe you aren’t losing the weight as quickly as you would like or every time you get rid of the fat, it comes back a few weeks or months later. Your problem is likely that your methods of weight loss simply are not effective enough. You need something more serious to combat this problem.

Major Diet Change

What a lot of people will do when they try to lose weight is just cut back on the amount of food they eat. That’s not going to be enough, in most cases, since the body may alter the rate at which it absorbs and retains fat to compensate for dietary changes. Instead, you may need to drastically change what you are eating.
The biggest culprits for weight gain are fat, sugar and carbohydrates. If you can just about eliminate them from your diet, then you are going to make some serious progress on your weight loss. Consciously cut out foods that contain these ingredients from your diet, or at least seriously reduce them, and you will have no problem shedding the fatty weight.

HIIT Workouts

One of the most effective exercise routines for fast weight loss is the HIIT workout. That stands for high-intensity interval training. These exercises get your heart pumping and jump start your metabolism, forcing your body to burn fat. By doing them in short intervals, you not only give yourself some breathing room and make the exercising easier on yourself, but you also get the body used to the idea of burning up fat instead of storing it. There are lots of different maneuvers you can use as part of these exercises, so if something seems too hard for you to do, just move on to a different exercise until you find the right fit for you.

Orlistat

Out of all the medications, supplements and weight loss pills you could take, Orlistat is one of the safest and most effective. The treatment method ensures that your body doesn’t hold onto as much fat as it used to, burning it off instead of storing it up. That’s great for shedding pounds, but it needs to be used in connection with a low carb diet and exercise. That way, you can reap the most benefits. If all you do is take Orlistat and you don’t change anything else about the way you live, then you won’t see hardly any results. It needs the power of an effective metabolism behind it, and it needs to have less work to do and less fat to get rid of, which comes from eating a healthier diet.
All of these methods will only work if you stick with them, go through the effort required to pull them off and be cautious about how hard you are pushing yourself. You want to get results, but not at the risk of losing your health, so if you have any medical issues, you should talk to your doctor first before you begin any of these extreme weight loss methods.

Ignoring the Scales (For Now…)

Ignoring the ScalesAs most of you probably know by now, I’m on YET another weight loss mission having failed about a million times in the past, but I’m doing something a lot more enjoyable and sustainable this time in the hope that I can stick to it. I’m following a low sugar, high fat (ketogenic) diet as it’s been proven to reverse type 2 diabetes, something which is hugely appealing to me. I’ve got a family history of type 2, so theres still a chance I’ll need to be medicated even when I’m down to a healthy weight, but there’s also a good chance that it will reverse altogether.

Willpower is something I’ve struggled with in the past because food is as much of an emotional crutch to me as just simple nutrients but I’m at a point where I’m just so bloody bored of gorging on junk food all the time and the prospect of dying in my sixties (if I’m lucky…) because of a lifetime of greed is enough to make me get off of my arse.

One thing that I’m trying not to do is micro-manage my weight. Every time I’ve ever ‘dieted’ (I put that in inverted commas because I don’t actually see keto as a diet, it’s an eating plan that we should probably all be following on a much more regular basis for optimum health benefits), I tend to get fixated with the scales and weigh myself on a daily basis. This is negative for two reasons – firstly, not all victories happen on the scales. I’ve also started weight lifting, and this usually adds muscle and makes changes to the shape of your body, things which aren’t always positively reflected in terms of “weight”. Secondly, it puts me into a downward spiral of demoralisation.

Today is a prime example. Last week, I made a grand declaration that I wouldn’t be weighing myself until my birthday in mind-June, so that I got to see one big change rather than lots of little ones. However, curiosity after a week of eating well and exercising got the better of me and I stepped onto the scales and happily discovered that I’ve already lost half a stone since New Year’s Day ( YAY ME!). But this is where things go wrong – I weighed myself AGAIN this morning, only for the scales to show I’ve gained two pounds back again.

I can already feel the disappointment weighing heavy on me, even though the logical part of my brain is trying to tell me to chill the f*ck out. This is a marathon, not a sprint. SO many things can play a part in such tiny changes like hormones, water retention, even down to what clothes I’m wearing. But all of the logical explanations aren’t snapping me out of it.

There are various issues that I’ve had when it comes to weight loss, and keeping my head in the game after even the most minor of disappointments is one of the biggest. In the past, if things haven’t gone my way then it’s completely turned my head back around to the “screw it, I may as well binge again” mindset and that’s the demon I’m battling today, but battle it I shall. Instead of letting get the better of me, I’ve had coffee and biltong, I’m drinking water, I’ve taken my supplements and I’m going to the gym before I collect Sausage from school. As long as I stick to that plan and don’t wake up in an hour buried under 800 empty crisp packets, I reckon that’s a win…even if the scales ARE trying to sabotage me. Forgive me for tearing the arse out of the metaphor, but I think this is all about winning the little battles in order to win the overall war against my own laziness and greed.

I think i’ll start weighing myself either weekly or fortnightly – I need a little bit of feedback, just to motivate me and assure me that I’m moving in the right direction, but a six month wait will just be torture!

Tune in next week for “How to deal with toddlers who try to force feed you Quavers when you’re on Keto”. LOL. Not really.

Coconut and Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding (low sugar recipe)

Chia seeds are, in the world of food trends, pretty huge at the moment and it’s easy to see why. In terms of nutrition they’re quite a little power-house, containing more Omega-3 than salmon, pound for pound. The seeds come from a plant which is related to mint (although they don’t taste minty) and are high in fibre, protein and calcium amongst other things, and eating them has been proven to aid weight-loss. Some of us in the MTW house are a little iffy when it comes to dairy, which can make getting enough calcium hard, so adding chia will really help.

Chia Seeds

Getting seeds into your diet can be quite tricky if you don’t know how to prepare them, but luckily with chia seeds it’s really easy to make them into a pudding which uses just a few ingredients and is amazingly good for you. As you’ll know if you’ve gone through some of my slow cooker posts, we try to limit our sugar here in the Mum’s the Word house and instead opt for erythritol, which is actually a sugar alcohol which contains NO calories and none of the nasties of something like aspartame, and is zero-GI, making it completely safe for use by diabetics. If you also need Omega 3 supplements, this is our recommended site.

I’ve played around with a few chia seed pudding recipes, adapting as I go, and have ended up with something we all love…even Chuck likes it!!

Here’s how we make OUR chia seed pudding:

Coconut and Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding (low sugar recipe)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious pudding made from chia seeds and just a few other ingredients.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Healthy
Serves: 5x100ml portions
Ingredients
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • ½ a cup of chia seeds
  • 1½ tsp of vanilla extract
  • ½ a cup of erythritol
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Shaved coconut (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender
  2. Blend for 1-2 minutes until all of the ingredients are combined
  3. Pour into ramekins or individual serving bowls
  4. Top with a little shaved coconut (if you like it)
  5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 100ml Calories: 226 Fat: 19g Saturated fat: 13g Carbohydrates: 16g Sugar: 0.1g Sodium: 0 Fiber: 12g Protein: 4g

The thing that we love about this pudding is that it’s sweet enough to feel like a real treat for dessert, but not so sweet that it would feel overwhelming as a breakfast. A small 100ml portion is also incredibly filling and feels like a really nice alternative to porridge, especially if it’s a hot day and you don’t want to go off in the morning laden with a belly-full of hot oats!

chai seed pudding

Obviously, the flavour is very coconutty, which is great if you’re a fan of coconut, but not ideal if you aren’t, however you can also flavour it with other things. Husband uses protein powder as a supplement after weight-lifting and I’m thinking of adding a scoop of either chocolate or banana next time we make it (or maybe BOTH!) to see how it affects the flavour. I think people also add raw cacao powder to the mixture too, but I’ve not tried that yet.

Do let me know what you think if you give this a try, or if you have any alternative recipes for things to do with chia!

Lifestyle Change

I’ve resisted writing about this for a while, for two reasons. Firstly, I tend to have better success with weight loss and lifestyle change when I don’t make a big thing of it. Like, sneak up on myself with the healthiness. Secondly, I know hearing someone rambling on and on and on about their body issues can be a bit, um, dull, so I’m trying to hold back a bit. Having said that, there are a few little changes that I’ve made lately which have been fairly small but are making a big impact on not just me but the whole family.

Last week, we invested in Wii Fit and a balance board. It was a great buy actually, we went to a local shop looking for a new one and picked up a reconditioned unit for £15! We definitely need to invest in some rechargeable batteries as we’re using it every day, as a family, once Sausage gets home from school. It’s become a bit of a routine, I collect Sausage and then we spend an hour or two having a family session of yoga or competing against one another in golf, running, hula hooping, archery and loads else besides. It may not be intense cardio but it’s getting us all moving, instead of being sedentary, which is a great start.

Another thing that I’ve been doing is eating a lot less meat. I was very resistant to the idea of going entirely veggie as I worry that I’d get really bored of meals without meat but last week I went five days without eating any meat at all and I didn’t even realise! I’m finding that I can still enjoy meals I like, for instance, I had sausages, mash and peas but subbed out fatty pork for Quorn sausages, which reduced the caloric and fat content of the meal by LOADS.

My car has been spending a lot more time on the driveway this week. Because I’m not working now, I rarely need to go anywhere straight after dropping Sausage off at school, so we’ve been walking instead of driving. Actually, I’ve been walking, Sausage has been scooting, which is brilliant exercise for her and is doing wonders for her balance!

Last Thursday, I went swimming for the first time in about 20 years! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve taken Sausage swimming lots of times, but I mean proper swimming where I get in and swim lengths, not just splashing about in the kids pool. I managed 6 lengths of a 50m pool, which may not seem like a lot but it’s a huge achievement for me. The great thing about swimming is that it’s fantastic as a full-body workout but it’s very low impact, so I didn’t end up with painful joints afterwards, which is something that has stalled my interest in exercise in the past.

So, I’m taking it steady and making progress at my own pace and I’m really confident that I’m making changes for the better and changes that I can actually stick to. Wish me luck!

Commissioned Post

How A Natural Weight Loss Supplement Left Me Needing Medication for Life

Kelp

Apologies for the slightly sensationalist title, I felt like a Daily Fail reporter for a second there, but I needed to grab your attention. I know that for every post like this, there’ll be a post extolling the virtues of the very same product, or a person who thinks that we all worry too much and shouldn’t restrict ourselves, but I was asked to share this story by the lovely Lisa at The Mummy Whisperer as she thinks this might help others. She’s passionate about helping Mums to reach their weight goals through healthy living and this post totally backs up her ethos.

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Banana, Blueberry and Walnut Cake (It’s Healthy, Honest!)

I start my new job tomorrow so I wanted to do something nice with Sausage  today, but while we were getting ready to go out, the sky went black and didn’t fill me with much of a desire to go out and get tiddled on, so I suggested we do some baking instead. The trouble is, I’m trying to lose weight, so I had to find something vaguely healthy for us to make. My friend Kerry (And Then All I Thought About Was You) mentioned that the Slimming World banana cake recipe was nice and low-fat, so I found it online and decided to experiment by adding a few things. It also uses sweetener rather than sugar which, as a diabetic, makes it perfect for me. Here’s the recipe:

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Pies: Running the Weight Loss Gauntlet

Yesterday, I posted this tweet:

Now, whilst I may have dealt with it in my usual glib, slightly self-deprecating way, the essence of what I was saying was true. I’ve lost weight by avoiding baked goods. You see, I work in an office that’s just off the high street and within a 2 minute walk of my desk there’s a Greggs, an M&S, a Subway, a Tesco, a fish and chip shop…you get my point, right?

I’ve blogged before about having a weight problem, for which the reasons are numerous. Not least of all the fact that I’m both greedy and lazy, a fatal combination when it comes to the size of my arse. But one of my main problems is that I have this enormous, insatiable, compulsive urge to fill my face with shit food. The shitter the better. So, when I pop out to do the banking at work and wander past not one but THREE branches of Greggs (yes, our high street really does have three branches of Greggs) I will inevitably buy not only a sandwich, but also a sausage roll, a steak bake and a bag of crisps. Oh, and a Coke Zero. Don’t forget the Coke Zero, that makes all the difference.

Anyway, the crux of all of this pastry-related rambling is that I thought the hard part of this dieting lark was going to be when I was at work and tempted by the meat-filled lovelies being created around the corner. But no, I’ve found it easy to avoid. In fact, this week’s weight-loss tally is now up to 5lb. Seems a lot in a week, but I’m sure a lot of it is water retention and whatnot.

No, the hard part is right now, sitting at home on my day off. Being busy at work has meant that my mind has been on other things, but as I sit here all I can think about is what there is in the fridge to eat. It’s like I’ve become scared of the cupboards, worried they’ll suck me in and Husband will walk into the kitchen in half an hour to find me laying on the floor in a food-induced coma, with bloody stumps for fingers where I’ve used my nails to open a can of hotdog sausages, face smeared with Nutella and the dog licking peanut butter and cheese off of my chest.

So you see, it is like running a gauntlet, ’cause that one thing I’m trying to avoid – you know, food – it’s FUCKING EVERYWHERE.

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Next week, tune in to find out how I join a gym and died in a pile of sweat. (Not really…)

Sausage roll picture courtesy of extrordinarypiemaster Flickr feed

Small Steps…

This is obviously not me....but it will be one day.

So, I’m not going to do what I’ve done before. I won’t put my vital statistics out here for all to see, it’s not productive so it’s pointless. But today, I made a small step toward my goal. I used our new treadmill for the first time, and not only did I do 15 minutes of brisk walking, but I did 5 whole minutes of actual jogging. Now, I’m sure all of you healthy, amazing people who run 5km every day are scoffing at my minor burst of energy, but this is a big deal to me. I am totally unfit, and I surprised myself by even managing to jog for five minutes, I thought I’d manage about 2 before my lungs exploded, but once I found my stride it was easier than I thought it would be.

I also wore my Zaggora HotPants for the first time and I noticed more than one benefit. Aside from the fact, and I’m sorry to have to share this, but I definitely, *ahem* sweated more in the areas that the HotPants covered, which just shows that the fat and cellulite burning magic is in action, one of the other things I liked is that they seem to hold everything in. If you’ve ever been overweight and tried to exercise, you’ll do that there’s an unpleasant and off-putting jiggle that tends to happen if you go over a gentle canter, but the HotPants really eliminated this and gave me the confidence to go for it.

Oh, and a little tip? The HotPants have very specific washing instructions, but if you take them in the shower with you after your workout, turn them inside out and rinse them out with some mild shampoo, then hang them over the shower curtain rail it makes keeping them clean super simple (That’s not endorsed by Zaggora by the way, just my own tip, I’ll probably find out that I’m perishing the material by doing that, when my hulking great ass bursts out of the seams, mid-workout!).

I’m hoping this is the start of something good, and you never know, if I start to see decent results I may just share my new stats with you! (Oh, and if you want some HotPants for yourself, I have a voucher for anyone who wants it giving you 10% off, just comment below and let me know)