Monthly Archives: September 2018

*RWT Import* – Disappointing Weekly Weigh-in

I was only down 1lb at yesterdays weigh-in.

It’s weird being happy and unhappy about this. I’m happy that I was down but I honestly expected to be down more. I don’t mean that I was expecting a five or six pound loss but a two would have been nice, especially after last week four.

The Weight Watchers programme is designed so you lose 1-2lb a week with the use of nutritional cleansing Products. I tracked everything I ate last week, and I mean everything, so in my head I wanted to be down 2lb at the very minimum, not 1lb.

Because I tracked EVERYTHING I was able to spend some time looking back at what I’d eaten and I think I’ve discovered the problem.

The way the Weight Watchers system works it assigns a SmartPoint value to all food, starting at zero. Foods with a low GI count get a get a lower SmartPoint value. GI stands for ‘Glycemic Index’ and it’s number given to food based on how that food reacts with your blood sugar two hours after eating it. The lower the GI the longer you feel full after having eaten. Anything below 55GI is consider low. A lot of the low GI foods are given zero SmartPoints by Weight Watchers because, obviously, if you’re eating low GI foods you’re going to feel full longer on a standard portion and not eat as much throughout the day.

And in that paragraph are the two words that revealed exactly why I was only down 1lb.

Standard. Portion.

A standard portion size is something I need to get used to. Chicken is zero SmartPoints but if I ate twenty chicken breasts in one night I’m not going to lose weight. If eat one, with healthy accompaniments, then I’m going to lose weight. My tracking revealed that although I’d eaten a lot of zero SmartPointed foods I’d eaten too much of them.

A lesson in portion size is something we could all do with because sometimes it’s quite shocking just what constitutes one portion.

For example I love Chinese food and before Weight Watchers would get a takeaway from the local restaurant at least once a week. A “portion” of boiled rice comes in at an average 360grams and approximately 14 SmartPoints. The box you get from the Chinese is not one portion of rice. It’s four! 90grams of rice is considered a standard healthy portion. Recently, when cooking rice at home, I’ve been having 75g which works out to 3 SmartPoints and is plenty to make a nice meal with everything else that goes with it.

So, from now on I’m going to monitor my portion sizes a lot better and also use my points better. Rather than saying “Oh I can have this because it’s zero points!” I will use the points I have and not be excited about getting through the day having only used half my points.

And with regard to my 1lb loss, well Phil, my WW leader/coach, always says to monitor your weight loss over four weeks. So we’ll see how I’ve done in two weeks time and be happy with a loss this week, no matter how small.

*RWT Import* – Overnight Oats

Planning is key to a successful weight loss programme and that doesn’t mean just writing out a shopping list. Sometimes some foods need prepping in advance. As the name suggests Overnight Oats are made the day before and left in the fridge overnight. You can make a few in advance depending on your ingrideients.

Ovenights oats with stewed rhubarb and strawberries

There are so many different ways of making this dish from throwing all the ingredients into a blender to firing them in to a jar raw. Also, the different foods you can use can really change the consistency, thickness and enjoyment.

The most common variety I make is as follows:

– 50g Porridge Oats
– 90ml 0% Fat Greek Yogurt
– Some fruit

I know saying ‘some fruit’ is quite ambiguous but I change what I use every time I make it. The fruit used in the picture is rhubarb and strawberries which I stewed at home a day before hand. You can used tinned fruit (go for the ones in natural juices, not in syrup) or packs of the frozen berries.

The way it’s layered varies from recipe to recipe and from who makes it. My preference, as shown in the picture, is just three layers. Oats in first, then yoghurt, then the fruit. Some people do more layers and use some of the ingredients twice. It’s very much an each to their own. Try it different ways until you find the version you like.

Here’s three of my favourite recipes.

Strawberry Cheesecake

Banana Chocolate Chip

Carrot Cake

80ml cup 0% Fat Plain Greek yogurt
50g oats
160ml cup skimmed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
40 cup chopped fresh strawberries
50g tablespoons softened cream cheese

80ml cup 0% Fat Plain Greek yogurt
50g oats
160ml cup skimmed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 ripe banana, chopped or mashed
2 tablespoons chocolate chips

80ml cup 0% Fat Plain Greek yogurt
50g oats
160ml cup skimmed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoons honey
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
2 tablespoons softened light cream cheese
40g cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Putting them together

Option One

  1. Throw all the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until at the consistency you desire.
  3. Dish up into two jars
  4. Refrigerate over night or for at least four hours.

Option Two

  1. Throw all the ingredients in a bowl
  2. Mix by hand vigorously until everything is well mixed together.
  3. Dish up into two jars
  4. Refrigerate over night or for at least four hours.

Each recipe serves two and making these is simple and quick and they’re incredibly tasty.  I know the Carrot Cake one is high in SmartPoints but use it as a treat or use your weeklies.  It’s worth it!  Well I think it is.  Try experimenting with different flavours.  Look at the list of zero pointed stuff.  There’s so much you can do.

If you make any of these let me know what you think.  I’d be interested to hear about it and if you’ve any of your own versions.

Every day is a school day!

I made a discovery at work the other day.

For those of you that don’t know I’m currently work a night shift rotation. They last three months and mine will be over in mid-October. As much as I love nights I can’t wait for them to finish as my sleep pattern is screwed and while dieting I’m struggling to eat properly.

And eating properly was part of the lesson I had!

I have my dinner before I leave for work and my next planned meal is breakfast sometime between 8am and 9.30am. Obviously that means I”m going nearly twelve hours without food while being awake and working. Not a good idea!

I don’t want to take food with me so I take healthy snacks to keep me going. Well it turns out I take too many!

I took so many as I wanted a choice but the problem is while I’m still dieting and addicted to food (yes it is an addiction) if the food is there I’ll eat it. It may have been healthy – or at least Weight Watchers friendly – but if it hadn’t been there I wouldn’t have eaten it! Which sounds really obvious doesn’t it?

This night I took:

– 4 small snack carrots – 0 points
– 2 packets of Weight Watchers crips – 5 points in total
– A pot of overnight oats – 4 points
– A boiled egg (I love eggs!) – 0 points
– Weight Watchers Chocolate Brownie Bar – 2 points
– Some grapes – 0 points
– An apple – 0 points
– Weight Watchers Orange Crips bar – 2 points
– A banana – 0 points

HOW MUCH FOOD? Yes some of it was healthy and zero points and those that weren’t zero were Weight Watchers friendly but holy hell did I really need to eat that much? No I didn’t. I only did it because it was there.

I’m back at work on the evening of Monday 17th and my lunchbox will be smaller!

Great-granny and her rules.

Looking through old files on my computer I found this speech that I gave at Toastmasters.  It was my fourth ever speech.

My great-grandmother was a formidable women who was the typical matriarch of her family.  Up until the day she got married she lead a double life.  Her parents thought she was a paid travelling companion for a dowager they’d met in Africa.  In reality she was actress in the theatre and few silent movies.

She lived her life by four simple rules and given that she lived into her hundreds, I’m guessing she must have been doing something right.

This evening I’d like to talk to you about those rules but concentrate on the last one as it’s the one I’ve had the most use of.

So, rule number oneLearn how to make a proper cup of tea. Great granny would tell tales of how arguments were settled over a pot of tea and a how a good tea can comfort even the bleakest soul, so there had to be some healing powers in it somewhere. “Look at the Chinese!” she’d say. “They live to ripe old ages and they ceremonies for drinking tea!  Do it and do it right!”

Rule number twoNever trust a man who can’t play cards or pair socks.  I honestly have no idea where she was going with this one but the day she discovered my cousin wearing odd socks was the last day she spoke to him.

Rule number three was a simple rule and one I’ve no doubt many of you will have heard of and possibly used.  Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.  It was a simple rule and one many people use but great-granny would swear by it.  So much so that she exactly what the people she disliked were up to but couldn’t tell you what her nearest and dearest were doing.

Rule four.  Now this was another one I followed and didn’t realise I had until after she’d died. Rule four is this:  Learn to play an instrument and you’ll never be hungry or homeless.  Because I was a terror as a child as soon as I was told I had to learn an instrument I decided to pick the most awkward instrument ever.  The triple keyboard church organ.  There’s no way I’d be able to practice other than at the weekly lesson so wasn’t going to missing out playing outside with my friends.  Well great granny was a resourceful woman and arrange for the delivery of a triple keyboard church organ to my parents house.  In the end I actually really enjoyed it and decided to try other instruments.  I moved on to the piano, then the guitar, and then the drums, the trombone, the oboe and the saxophone.  I wasn’t great at all of them, in fact I’m not sure I got a tune out of some of them, but I loved the piano and guitar.

Due to reasons I’ll cover in another speech one day I left home when I was 16 and moved in to a tiny bedsit.  I still had school to finish and planned on going to college or university afterwards so had to find someway of making money.  I’d get about thirty pounds busking on a Saturday outside the shops but my weekly rent was twenty so it didn’t leave me much to spend on other bills and necessities.   Walking past a restaurant one day I noticed they’d got a piano and not being the shyest of people I asked to speak to the owner.

“Would you pay me to play the piano?”
“I might, if you’re good!” he said
“I’ll tell you what, I’ll play for tips alone and if I get over thirty quid in tips you pay double what I’ve got, if I don’t I just get the tips?”

He laughed but agreed.

So my first night I got about twenty quid in tips. The second night I got about thirty-five.  Of course what I’d forgotten to tell the owner was that I’d also forgotten to empty jar from the night before.  He paid me seventy quid and I went home happy.

This arrangement went on a for few weeks and sometimes I “accidentally” left some money in the tip jar which would bring me over the £30. Eventually he decided to offer me three regular nights in his restaurant playing the piano or waiting tables. No singing, just some light background music.  Fifty quid a night was my regular wage and I was still getting the odd thirty for busking on a Saturday day.  £180 a week at 16 was amazing to me and double what I earned the day I start my first proper tax playing job years later.  A few years ago I had the honour of playing the piano at the seventieth birthday party of that restaurant owner and as he shook my hand and thanked me I confessed everything.  He pulled me in closer to him and said two words that I’ll never forget and that made me cry.  He said “I know!”

Looking back at all four rules.  I can make a proper cup of tea.  I can’t say its ever been used to fix problems but you could give me any loose leaf and a teapot and I’ll brew you the perfect tea.  I can pair sock and often play cards.  I know what most of enemies are up to, not that I have many (that I know of!) and I’ve never been homeless or hungry.

Looks like great-granny was right.

*RWT Import* – The first…

Welcome to my first post.

I have decided to ‘out’ myself and body image issues. Some people might say, given my size, it’s understandable I have body image issues but that’s bullshit. I know plenty of people who are bigger than me who love their size. Good for them. I don’t like my size.

My size isn’t the extent of my body image issues. I don’t like how hairy I am. This gets to me more than my weight. Some people don’t mind being hairy, some people seek out hairy men, good for them. I don’t like being so hairy.

There are other things but those are the main two.

So why go public with all this? Why parade my hatred of my own body around like I’m actually proud of it?

Because to be happy and healthy I need to make changes. To make changes I need support. This is something I only I can change but I cannot do it alone. This journey will be very public.

I’ve been on it a while. Don’t for one second think this is the first time I’ve tried this. Be rest assured this is the last. Why the last? Because my headspace has changed. And as stupid as it sounds I felt it change. I felt it happen. And put it this way, this has to be the last time I try because if I don’t succeed with this I’ll be dead. No, I’m not being dramatic, I’m being realistic. My blood pressure is high, so high that it took the doctor three attempts to get the right level of medication to bring it down, each time increasing the dosage. I’ve been told by four different doctors that I’m dangerously close to a stoke and type two diabetes. My knees are screwed because they’re carrying so much weight.

So here we have it. I’ll do the work, you just help me along.

Oh and by the way, Brad is going to kill me when he finds out I’ve bought another domain.