Day 192; Some interesting news…

The last week has been a bit odd if I’m honest. Since getting back from holiday I’ve been much better with my eating and I have lost 3lbs! Just goes to show that you can get back onto healthy eating despite eating copious amounts of ice-cream and cake the week before. Mom has been experimenting with some ideas on recipes to try, so I’m having heaps of veg and lovely meat in new and interesting ways. As always, delicious. Here are a few of my meals from this week; an egg salad (lettuce, cucumber, mushrooms, ham, carrots, peppers…), an egg and butterbean stew with loads of veg (courgettes, broccoli etc) and then my favourite of them all; pepper and ham salad with chickpeas and a garlic and basil dressing. Continue to be jealous, go on.

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Plus, I am a happy bunny because the tennis is on! Who doesn’t love Wimbledon? I went about 6 years ago and had the best day, so watching it on TV isn’t quite as spectacular but I do love watching it nonetheless. As always, I’ll be cheering on Federer and Murray – I can’t STAND Djokovic. Not sure why, maybe it’s because he comes off arrogant but I just can’t bring myself to support the guy.

I went to Snobs [nightclub in Birmingham, FYI] last weekend with my friends from school. We used the first letters of our names (well, L for me because nobody actually calls me Olivia unless I’m being told off!) so we refer to our little group as LAMA. We made it up a few years ago and it just stuck. We also invited our friend Nishith who is moving to Melbourne today to study abroad for a year! So it was nice to see him before he disappeared to the other side of the world for a while. An odd coincidence too was that we saw some people who went to our school/sixth form in Snobs, one of which is an old best friend of mine. I haven’t seen him for about 2 years other than the occasional snapchat which really doesn’t count, so it was great to see him too. I went to my local gym on Sunday but I didn’t work out, I had a nice swim instead. I did about 25 lengths in the end, and the pool was reasonably quiet so I nabbed the ‘quick lane’ for some proper swimming. I didn’t have to dodge around the slow people that way, or splash anyone in the face.

So given the title of this post you can guess that this week has been more eventful than just watching TV, eating, swimming and going out. Well, a woman from the Slimming World press office got in contact with me about my application for my story to feature on their website. Unfortunately, it didn’t get picked to go on their official website but she did refer me to the major student online newspaper called The Tab. It’s a pretty big deal, a lot of students read it! They ran my story which you can read here:

http://tab.co.uk/2015/07/03/i-put-on-five-stone-at-uni-by-going-out-and-eating-in-secret/

Yes, I know. Not the catchiest headline. He did make some exaggerations about my story, but I’ve just accepted that it’s just journalism! Oh, and I didn’t gain 5 stone in one term (IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE!?), it was one year + one term. So about 16-17 months.

At first I was really upset about the article, given that he’d twisted my words and made some pretty big exaggerations in the name of entertainment. But I realised that my story is out there now, and I’d heard back that a lot of other people had got the courage to tell their stories too! That made me feel a lot better about it all, and I haven’t had any negativity towards my story either. Not long after the story got published, I got offers from TWO other NATIONAL MAGAZINES wanting to run my story as well! Who’d have thought I’d be sought after? I am still considering it rather than jumping at it because, although it’s all out there now, I don’t want to feel like I’m selling my soul or something! Haha, now who’s exaggerating?

That’s not even the best bit – I got some flowers delivered to my house. I didn’t think that they were for me originally, I thought maybe my sister’s boyfriend had been adorable and sent them but noooooo, they were for me from the Slimming World Press Office! They were sent in congratulations about my weight loss and my article in The Tab. I was so happy when I got them, all my worries/nervousness about the story being in the public eye went away and it felt like I’d got recognition for my achievements. I didn’t think I’d get this much attention whatsoever. Oh, here’s me posing awkwardly (makeup free too) with my flowers.

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I may be going shopping to Merry Hill later on today if all goes to plan. I was meant to be going to a pub quiz but it was later than I originally thought, so I may struggle to get home. The joys of living somewhere with no public transport within a reasonable walking distance!

Day 184; Gran Canaria

So the holiday finally came around and it has been and gone. I have had an AMAZING week (I haven’t blogged in a few weeks now, I will probably only blog once a week tops during summer) and I have to admit that the diet has gone completely off track. Who wants to stay on a diet when they’re on an all inclusive holiday? Nobody. Nobody is the answer. So, considering I’d paid for it all, I just ate it all. I won’t lie, at times I thought I should stop, or I got a wave of guilt for getting another piece of cake. But a holiday is a holiday and I just wanted to enjoy myself. I’ve already got back on track today though, not on the Slimming World track but on the ‘healthy eating’ track. My slimming world subscription ends today and I’ve made the decision not to renew my membership. I have learnt a lot from doing Slimming World but a low-fat diet with unlimited portion sizes isn’t for me.

Whilst I think Slimming World is a perfect option for people with big appetites and a need to lose a lot of weight, it no longer suits me. I’m not going to revert back to my old ways by any means, but I want to just eat well without being under a brand name. Know what I mean? I’ll keep eating my vegetables, I promise! So to anyone reading this who is a slimming world worshipper, keep going. You WILL get results and you WILL lose weight if you stick to the plan. I’ve been on it for 6 months now and I couldn’t be happier, but I think I need to break away from the support of SW if I can realistically keep the weight off indefinitely.

From now on I won’t weigh in every week (publicly anyway) but I will continue posting pictures of my meals, even writing the recipes if I’m feeling particularly ambitious. Plus I’ll keep this blog updated with pictures and my life in general.

Right, now that all the boring stuff is over I can tell you about the holiday! I have, for the first time, not burned my whole body to a crisp and I have actually tanned. Turns out all you need to do is lotion up and not sit in the sun for too long. Who knew, eh? 😉 It was a very relaxed holiday, with most days spent either on the beach or by the pool. The hotel was lovely and clean, the food was good and I had the best week with my cousin. And the irony of it is that I’ve arrived back in England in the early hours of this morning and I am in a bikini yet again – the weather here is not too far off the temperature there! I did eat an obscenely large amount of bread, ice-cream, cake, muffins and I drank a fair share of cocktails etc etc whilst I was away but I am determined to get some of that weight off before I go to Spain in exactly a months’ time.

I’ll add on a few of my holiday snaps for good measure.

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Day 163-167; Breaking the silence… finally!

Well it has been almost a week since I posted on this blog! And for good reason – I have had the busiest week ever since I started this blog up in January. If you’ve been keeping up to date with my previous posts then you will know that my cousin Bella came down to see me on Tuesday. She arrived in the morning so I met her at the train station. We had a wonderful day shopping in town followed by dinner at a restaurant called Giraffe. Now, as a side note for all of the slimming world readers out there, I wasn’t on plan this week. I wanted to live a little – I had nights out and meals with friends so it was difficult to not go a bit wild. But from today (i.e. Sunday) onwards I will be back on track. Anyway, it was absolutely delicious; I had a prawn linguine and Bella had a risotto. We both had our eyes on several dishes on the menu so we agreed to go to Giraffe again at some point together! We’re off on our holiday on the 22nd and we conveniently found out that there is a Giraffe restaurant at the airport! So we are planning on having lunch there before we fly. Here is what our meal looked like; IMG_0742 After our meal we went to the cinema. We went to see that new film called Spy. Yep the one with Jude Law in (ahhhh so dreamy) and it was actually hilarious. Highly recommend it – I laughed so hard at parts. We then headed home to get some sleep for our festival the next day…. Well it didn’t quite go as smoothly as we planned. The festival was ran by a company called Entourage Project which, in essence, host all of the big nights out in Reading. Me and Bells didn’t want to arrive early as it was meant to be an all-nighter and the drinks were very expensive so we planned on getting there at last entry. However, we started hearing from people who were there early and everyone was saying how awful it was. Gross toilets, expensive food and drink, no grass to sit on, you weren’t allowed in the water (it was a lake festival….) so we just made the decision to not go. My housemates still went but they got back at 11 apparently, so it was a bit of a flop. It didn’t matter anyway because me and Bella and one of my course friends called Imogen went to the Union on campus. We actually had a good night! The only problem was that we didn’t start drinking until half an hour before we had to leave so we got a bit silly and started downing drinks. I handled it reasonably well, I just got happy drunk. Unfortunately for Bella she had quite a bit of gin so she spent a fair portion of the night with her head in the toilet bowl. Oh well, we all said we had a better time on the toilet floor than at that Waterworks Festival! Here are a few photos from before we all got a bit too…. messy. IMG_0750 IMG_0760 IMG_0768 IMG_0772 The next day was the Thursday when Bells was meant to be getting a train home. When we were out Bella had booked a train for Friday instead so we had another day together! We went shopping yet again – is that all I do?! I bought quite a few bits and pieces, like shorts and new tops. The tops were crop tops as well, I would never have dreamed of buying a crop top before now! We went out for an early dinner too at around 5 o’clock to Jamie’s Italian. In Reading, the restaurant overlooks the canal so we asked for an outdoor table on the upstairs terrace. The weather on Thursday was absolutely stunning too so we didn’t regret it. I was in a vest and shorts and was still too hot. Given how delicious my linguine was at Giraffe I opted for it in Jamie’s Italian too! I don’t know which I preferred; Jamie’s was a hotter garlic kick which I love but Giraffe’s had a nicer sauce. I still enjoyed the meal all the same. IMG_0775 So that brought us to Thursday evening. We’d decided to use our extra night together in yet another club because why not! We went to one in town though this time. We managed to convince Joe and James to join us so we had fun with drinking games before we left. It was a shame that it was a bit dead in the club, presumably because a lot of people were tired after Waterworks the day before. We had a good boogie regardless. I wore a crop top too and I was confident, what a dramatic change from just a few months ago. 11391647_386387568238752_7472331170445479768_n We left quite early in the end, probably at around 2am. Friday came around all too soon and it was a shame that the weather took a turn for the worse. We’d decided to go to the cinema (again) as it would be a good time waster before Bella had to catch her evening train back to Birmingham. We went to see Jurassic World this time. It was a good film, I just was expecting something amazing because it had been so hyped up! I think the boys in my house want to go and see it so I may just go and watch it again, contemplating 3D this time too. Dinosaurs running out of the screen at you? Sounds like a laugh, doesn’t it? After the cinema I took Bella to the station and we said our goodbyes, but it wasn’t too sad because I’m going back to Birmingham on Tuesday! When I got back, I started packing up my room in preparation for move out day. All of my life is now in a pile of boxes and suitcases – only to move 2 doors down the road! *sigh* Bella, if you are reading this, I just wanted to let you know that it was a pleasure to have you and you are welcome to Reading whenever you please! Next time I will have to come visit you at Cardiff Uni!! And that brings me to the biggest event of any student’s year at Reading Uni….. The Summer Ball!! We had pre drinks at our house with some friends down the road as well as our neighbours so we ended up with quite a full house! All of the boys were dressed up in their suits and all the girls were dolled up to the 9s in dresses and makeup and curly hair and nice shoes…. It was definitely a photo occasion! James has a proper camera so he got most of the pictures. When I get hold of them I will post them because they will have turned out lovely. I got a really nice one of me with all of the lads who came (maybe 8 or so) and I must look like I stick out being the only girl in their with them! I wore a dress I bought a while ago from New Look, and I actually felt really pretty. You know one of those days where your makeup just seems to go on perfectly? My tights didn’t rip all night either! When we first arrived at about half 10 everyone seemed to run off in separate directions. The queues for the toilets were absolutely ridiculous so it felt like I spent the first few hours just waiting to pee. But once that was all done with I went and danced in the main tent and had a great time with my friends. It was a shame that so many of the group left really early. The whole event went on until 6am but all of my housemates had left by about 3am. I still had fun without them, and I wasn’t left on my own so it was all good. There were fairground-type rides there too but the queues were too long so I just didn’t bother. I do regret one thing though, I had chips and a beef burger from a shack whilst I was there! But I was quite drunk (sorry Mom) and it was a one off so I let loose. I walked home at 6am in the rain, it was light outside and I even saw some people leaving their houses to go to work. All in all, the summer ball was amazing and I had a fabulous time. I wouldn’t change even one bit of it! I even managed to wake up this morning earlier than some of my housemates which just shows how lazy them lot are! IMG_0837 IMG_0843IMG_0822IMG_0827 Apologies for this obscenely long blog post but like I said it was a very busy few days and I have loved every second of it. I am now going to finish off watching the new series of Orange Is The New Black, curl up with my cup of tea and maybe have a nap.

Day 163; There’s no shame in a gain

Bella will be arriving in a few hours! I just crashed last night after staying up and chatting with my housemates so my room is in a bit of a state. I will have to run around now and tidy it up and get myself sorted for when she’s here. If you read yesterday’s blog you are probably aware that I was very nervous about weighing in today. I have a very guilty conscience which I am trying to shake; once you’ve made a mistake involving a choice in food there is generally not much you can do about it other than get back on track and try to not do it again. My problem is that I get very hung up on any mistake I make – I want to be perfect and make no mistakes!

I think my issue stems from when I lost a bit of weight a few years ago. I probably lost about 2 stone going from low 13s into the low 11s. Looking back at pictures , I had gotten SO slim. Like, so slim that I wouldn’t even want to get to that point again. But I didn’t see a slim girl in the mirror, I saw every flaw and blemish. I dwelled on every problem area rather than praising myself for my achievements. However, I lost weight that time by a very calorie-restricted diet (notice how I said restricted and not ‘controlled’, as I denied myself food and weighed absolutely everything to eat about 1,200 cals a day maximum). I also religiously went to the gym for hours at a time. So to be going through weight loss all over again I want to be better so to make mistakes that I didn’t make back then gives me those feelings of failure.

For me to actually weigh in this morning took a bit stern words with myself! Last week I was at home for weigh in on different scales and so a part of me doesn’t rely on what the scales said. But I hit target and I entered the weight onto SW so I made the decision to use it as my weight! So last week I weighed 12st 6lbs. This week I weigh….

12st 7lbs!

Now I bet you’ll be confused as to why I would celebrate a gain of 1lb. Crazy isn’t it? Well, I thought it would be a much bigger gain than that! Plus, it still puts me at my original SW target and I am still happy with my physical appearance so what is there not to celebrate. Sometimes, to take steps forward you may have to take one step back. If I’d had this gain a few weeks ago I probably would have thrown in the towel and given up. My self esteem wasn’t quite where it is now and I wouldn’t have been able to handle it! And whilst my graph may not be ‘kinkless’ and my legs remain a bit wobblier than I want, I will complete my journey at the pace that me (and my body) wants!

I’d also like to point out that I have still lost 65lbs overall, which is 4 stone 9 lbs! 

Last night I made the diet coke chicken AGAIN like I planned to. It was slightly different than the first batch – but certainly not  worse! It was slightly less liquidy so my plate wasn’t swimming. Flavour-wise it tasted great again too. I did brown rice with it again.

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I think I got the portion size a bit better this time too! I always try to get several colours on my chopping board but focus on green veg. I added the sweetcorn once it was in the pan but all the other veg are speed foods (mushrooms, mangetout, courgettes, green beans, peppers, broccoli, onions, garlic….)

Now to get my room spick and span in less than 2 hours…. wish me luck!!! 🙂

Day 162; Netflix bingeing and shopping

I went shopping into town today to grab some bits and bobs for Bella’s arrival tomorrow, as well as useful things to go towards my holiday. Knowing me, I had in the back of my mind that I could buy a dress or two if I saw a nice one, but nothing seemed to grab my attention today unfortunately! 😦 The only one I was close to buying was in H&M, and I even texted my mom a picture of me in it for her opinion. I instinctively picked up a large because I’ve been so used to having that size now for a while but it was a bit loose on me around the shoulders, waist and chest area. I went back to see if they had a medium and they only had XS and L. That was a shame. I’ll show you guys what it looked like anyway:

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I have a weird thing about not taking my socks off when trying clothes on, and it drives my mom mad because she thinks you can’t get a proper understanding of what a dress looks like if you wear socks. But here’s me being a rebel and keeping them on. The dress was black and had purple pineapples on – don’t ask me why but the pattern was really funky. Shame, though.

The whole trip wasn’t in vain though. I got a giant beach-style bag from primark which will be good for Wednesday. We have to take towels and stuff for the lake festival and considering me and Bella will be together I thought we may as well share a bag. I even got some new pjs (who doesn’t love a good pair of pjs….?) and a film. Maybe if we end up having a night in tomorrow we can watch it then. I also bought some new bed sheets as I probably won’t get mine through the washer and dryer in time for tomorrow considering there is already a queue of laundry baskets from my housemates in the kitchen as we speak.

I’ve really gotten into this programme on Netflix called Person of Interest. I really recommend it! The only problem is that I get so into it that hours fly by and I am still lying on the sofa 8 episodes in and I haven’t got any of the jobs done that I planned for the day! Tonight we are thinking about having a film night again but there are two contenders for the chosen film. I would quite like to watch The Hobbit (I think it’s called the Battle of the Five Armies, so the third film in the trilogy) as I haven’t watched it yet. But Joe fancies watching Back to the Future. I haven’t watched that either, and he thinks it is a right of passage to watch it.

I haven’t had dinner yet, or even decided what I am having. It may have to be a really easy meal as it is coming up to 8 o’clock now and I don’t like eating too late. If I eat at this kind of time I get the urge to snack afterwards and that’s a bad habit to get into. I will have a gander on the slimming world website for some inspiration. Knowing me though I’ll just throw things into a pan and hope it tastes good. Yesterday I had the rest of my diet coke chicken that I had saved. Although you can’t see it in the picture, I had some brown basmati rice with it to help soak up all the extra sauce I had. Turns out I hadn’t split the portions evenly so the second meal seemed much larger than the first; and with MUCH more sauce too! It tasted great though – I will definitely be cooking it again at some point! Speaking of, I still have some diet coke left over from Thursday come to think of it…..

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It’s weigh in tomorrow and I really don’t want to. I have eaten more this week than I usually would, and whilst it is all healthy things that are within the limits of Slimming World rules I know that I should’ve stopped eating. Now that exams are over and the days are less busy I find myself boredom eating. For me, that’s worse than emotional eating because it’s easier for me to tell when I am emotionally eating than when I am boredom eating. Not to mention that I had a massive night out this week, and there are several planned nights out this week (Waterworks festival and the university Summer Ball) which will be big nights for drinking. I need to just bite the bullet and weigh in – if I don’t own up to it I will just sit here in denial, won’t I?

Day 161; New blog layout…. again!

I generally don’t like change but the last month screams everything to the contrary. I’ve changed the theme and layout of this blog for a second time in a matter of weeks because I’m trying to make it more user friendly! It does have its issues though, which I will dedicate today to resolving as many of those issues as possible. I’m still a bit undecided as to whether I like it; it all looks a bit professional doesn’t it. Which is not very me at all! (Most of the issues at the moment are with the layout of the pages, and the organisation of menus, so feel free to have a nosy at stuff but it might not look pretty just yet!)

I’ve changed the way things are displayed and what-not, and I spent a bit of time making a collage of transformation pictures. Here is the one that you can find on the photos page, and you can see that I have added a photo for June! Feeling quite proud of myself for coming this far:FotorCreated

Just a side note, feel free to leave comments on my blog posts if you want to ask me any questions about Slimming World or just me in general, I’d be very happy to answer them.

Day 160; Diet coke chicken

I planned on doing a chicken tray bake but then I realised I had loads of spare diet coke from my night out on Thursday. So I thought it would be the perfect time to use some of it up in a slightly more…. productive way? I did alter the recipe from the slimming world website ever so slightly. I used tons of vegetables rather than just sugarsnap peas – I used courgettes, mushrooms, red peppers, asparagus, broccoli, green beans and petis pois. It really bulked it out and made it very filling (and really tasty). I don’t have any passata either so I used chopped tomatoes, but I suppose the main difference between the two would be the lumpiness of chopped tomatoes which I like! I used double the amount of garlic too….. I made my own wedges which (you guessed it) I smothered in garlic. I cooked enough for 2 portions so I am looking forward to dinner tomorrow! Maybe instead of wedges I will have a bit of rice, as that would soak up the extra sauce which I seemed to have. Here’s a picture of it: IMG_0725 Me and Joe are the only one’s in the house tonight so we are watching a film. We settled on the Karate Kid – the original one from the 80s! I’m missing bits of the film so I’ll stop blogging now 🙂

Here is the slimming world recipe: http://www.slimmingworld.com/recipes/diet-cola-chicken.aspx

Edit: I think I had the most ‘free foods’ in one day I’ve ever had! No syns either.

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