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16/08/2018

Half a stone down in two weeks

Last night I had my second weigh-in since being back at Slimming World and lost 4lb - meaning I've lost half a stone in two weeks. I also got Slimmer of the Week for my group!


I am now just 2lb heavier than I was when I first joined Slimming World back in 2016... But, I am also three to four stone lighter than I was nine weeks ago, before Peyton was born.

I had a really good week last week, food wise, and managed to prepare my meals much better than the week previously. I also managed to get more speed on my plate, usually in the form of spinach.

When I did Slimming World the first time around, spinach was my go-to. I'd always fill at least a third of my plate with it and put it in almost everything.

This is a Lean in 15 recipe and worked out about 8-9 syns - totally worth it!
I've tried to try some new recipes this last week, too, so that it kept things interesting. That's what I love most about Slimming World, that you can still eat normally and not deprive yourself of good meals.

My breakfasts have been the same everyday - overnight oats - but that's because it's so hard to eat breakfast. Because Peyton sleeps so long at night time she feeds like a trooper on a mooring, making up for all the milk she missed out on during the night, so I very rarely get chance to eat my breakfast with both hands/in less than half an hour/before midday.

Lunch has depending, again, on how she has been. Some days I had leftovers from the previous night and others I'd just make a quick sandwich.

As I am breastfeeding I get more healthy extras. This is a godsend for me because it means I get oats at breakfast, bread at dinnertime and still have one HEB left for snacks/more bread before bed/a bowl of cereal.

Sticky five spice gammon with my trusty side of spinach.
I haven't really been spending my syns, either. Rather than spend 15 syns on one bar of chocolate, like I did before, I've been having meals that use a few syns. If I've been feeling completely full and satisfied after my tea I don't need anything else. Which, often, is a good job because I don't usually get time to eat it anyway!

What I have been really struggling with is syn free snacks during the day. When I was pregnant I was reaching for the biscuits and easily troffing half a packet, at least, in just one sitting.

Fruit is easy to snack on but it gets a bit tiring reaching for an apple, or some blueberries, every single day.

I got the new Slimming World magazine when I was at group last week and there were some picnic recipes in there that I thought would make great snacks/lunchtime options. I tried the sticky sausages first, which also included a recipe for a nice sounding relish.

The not-so-sticky looking 'sticky sausages'.
I made these one night, when Peyton had gone to bed, and snacked on them during the days that followed.

While they didn't look like the picture in the magazine, and weren't exactly 'sticky', they were still really, really tasty.

Other meals I have enjoyed have included pork and apple burgers, from the Pinch of Nom website, and a chicken kebab and spicy rice, also from the same website.

It definitely didn't taste as 'charred' as it looks - my pork and apple burger with the best Slimming World chips I think I've ever made!
I also finally got to try the 1 syn cod and chorizo burgers from Morrisons and, boy, they were worth the wait. Days when I am really hungry, I'd definitely have two. For one syn each - why not?!

They reminded me, actually, of a dish my mum used to make which was cod in a chorizo crumb. The recipe for that was from a Hairy Dieters book which she had dug out for me, so I'll give that a whirl one night.

The chicken kebab that everyone raves about - and I can see why!
Served with the syn free Nando's spicy rice
I love looking through recipe books that aren't Slimming World sometimes, just to get new ideas and inspiration for meals. It's so easy to adapt most things to be Slimming World friendly - whether it be low syn or syn free.

The cod and chorizo burger was worth the wait - so much so that I tucked in before taking a picture!
I have all the Lean in 15 books so went through them the other night and picked out a few things to do this next week. One of which is a firm favourite of mine, his beef pie.

I'm planning to do that Sunday and it'll be just 5.5 syns per portion (just syns for the pastry) once I've tweaked the original recipe and made it friendly for Slimming World.

I'm also going to make a prawn tagliatelle, something with salmon (not sure what yet, I just really fancied it!), the cod and chorizo burgers again, and the rest of the pork and apple burgers that I have left in the freezer from last week.

I was so, so happy this week to have lost 4lbs. I felt, this week, like I had lost weight.

I managed to get back into a pair of non-maternity, pre-pregnancy jeans this week.


Granted, when I wore them before I was pregnant it was with a belt - as they were a bit big - and they're VERY snug now, but I was still able to fasten them and sit down without feeling like my circulation was going to be cut off. I wore them all day and I felt absolutely fabulous!!


It's a shame the same couldn't be said for my top.

Since getting pregnant, and breastfeeding Peyton, my boobs have grown an insane amount. I've gone from my dinky, little B/C cups to huge, ginormous F cups! While this is great, to an extent, as I have always wanted bigger boobs, it is annoying because none of my nice, pre-pregnancy tops fit me.

We have booked to go to Center Parcs next month so I need to invest in some swimwear that will

1. cover my stretch marks sufficiently
2. fit my melons in
3. be easy to breastfeed in (incase P has a milk-related meltdown poolside)

I have found a few options on ASOS so will order them and try narrow it down over the weekend.

I am also hoping to have lost a stone by the time we go. It's optimistic, as it's just over four weeks away, but I believe it is do-able.

So, here goes, another week and, hopefully, another nice loss at the end of it!

You may also like: I'm back at Slimming World now

13/08/2018

Pain relief or not, we should be proud of every woman who gives birth

There's been a big debate this week (when isn't there?!) after Harry Kane tweeted about the arrival of his new baby girl.

Photo from @HKane on Twitter.
Quite innocently, and rightly so, Harry tweeted the message saying how proud he was of his fiancée for bringing their new baby daughter into the world. It was the last bit that seems to have got everyone's back up.

"So proud of you @KateGoodlandx for having the most amazing water birth with no pain relief at all."

Dun dun dunnnnnn.

Yes, apparently the society that we live in today means that everyone is so easily offended by everything, that Harry Kane is now in the wrong for being proud of his amazing baby mama.

WHO'D HAVE THOUGHT!!!

Apparently, by expressing his pride, Harry Kane was 'shaming' those who use pain relief during labour. I know, I had to read between the lines an awful lot to get that, too.



He was then forced to defend himself, after receiving so much backlash, and reassured the easily offended that "women can give birth however they would like" explaining how they had done hypnobirthing.

Can we just take a second, though, to notice the best thing about this tweet? The fact that it looks like our England captain is sporting a very sexy grey nightie. 

Hypnobirthing, as I've previously said, teaches you to keep calm and relaxed throughout your labour. It reminds you that your body is capable of more than you realise and puts you in a positive state of mind about your labour, removing that element of fear and the 'fight or flight' response.

Hypnobirthing works as well as your labour lets it. I know people who have practiced hypnobirthing throughout their pregnancy but their labours haven't been straightforward and have meant it's not been as effective.

For me, it worked like a dream. I had a bit of gas and air while in the pool when my contractions started coming thick and fast, but soon had to give it up soon after as I couldn't focus on my breathing while inhaling the gas and air.

Having a lovely time in the birth pool with my LED tea lights and my deep breathing.
Other than that, I had no pain relief at all. When it came to pushing her out, I did it all by myself - focusing on my breathing and keeping a calm, relaxed, positive mindset; even when things started to go wrong.

I was so proud of myself for managing to put into practice everything we learnt. I was proud of being able to channel that positivity and not let myself be scared or worried about what was happening.

But just because I was proud of myself for doing it without any pain relief, and for being able to put into practice everything we learnt during our hypnobirthing classes, doesn't mean that women who opt for pain relief shouldn't be proud, too.

It doesn't mean that women who have to have emergency caesareans shouldn't be proud. Or those who opt for elective caesareans.

Every single woman who brings a child into this world should be proud, and their partners should share that pride. Childbirth, whether natural or not, is bloody hard work.

Pregnancy is hard work, too. Our bodies go through the biggest change in such a short time - I've talked openly with how I struggled with that. Just as I am struggling with getting used to my post-baby body. Our personalities change as the hormones begin to rage; we start to dislike foods, drinks and smells that we previously loved; we swell; we cry... It's just such a glam time...!

So after going through all of that, to bring a baby into this world is something to be shouted about. It doesn't matter how that little bundle of joy enters the world - whether it's in the water, on the bed, on a stool, via surgery, or in the back of a car - the woman who birthed them is amazing.

Our bodies can do incredible things - women are incredible.

Nobody should bash anybody for how they decide to birth their child. Everyone should be rewarded and praised for doing it at all.

Shout it from the rooftops, take a full page ad in your local paper, let everyone know that you survived nine months of pregnancy and birthing the child at the end.

Women are judged enough in this life for every decision they make as a mother. Whether it's the breastfeeding vs formula debate, the dummy brigade or those who judge you for not co-sleeping with your little one, everyone has an opinion.

Nobody should feel judged in their role as a mum. Every child is different - what works for one won't work for another. I hate this society we live in where the media make everything into a competition between people. They make us judge each other without us even realising and that's not on.

Like Mean Girls says: "I wish that I could bake a cake made out of rainbows and smiles and we'd all eat it and be happy".

It's time everyone was kinder to each other, and I really wish the media would start setting a better example of that.


09/08/2018

I'm back at Slimming World now

I went back to Slimming World last week, as I alluded to in another post.

I know some might say it's too early, but I need to nip the bad habits I have picked up while pregnant in the bud sooner rather than later. I don't want to get to her crawling and walking and me not be able to get up from the floor with ease, or run around after her and play with her without getting out of breath.

My first week back has been good, but hard. Slimming World is all about preparation and organisation, something that's difficult with a newborn baby!

I have managed to make breakfast the night before, opting for overnight oats because I can eat them gradually (my record this week was 90 minutes!) and they won't get cold/set like concrete like the Weetabix did I was having before.

Lunch has been a bit more difficult and has ranged from a ham and lettuce sandwich in wholemeal bread to a bowl of pasta with chicken and grated cheese. Depending how much time I have had, or how many hands I have to eat it with, depends on what I make.

Tea has been a bit more difficult. It's had to be something relatively quick that I can start cooking, Tom can take over when, inevitably, Peyton needs feeding halfway through. It also needs to be something that can potentially be eaten lukewarm/cold. I've been eating a lot of salad, as that can be eaten over a longer period of time. I've found chicken curry not to be so good lukewarm!

When I went back last week and was weighed I was the exact same weight as the last time I was weighed, back in January. This pleased me, to a degree, but also depressed me a bit - as I was four months pregnant then!

I'm 9lbs heavier than my original starting weight, when I joined Slimming World back in November 2016. Then, I lost two and a half stone in just under three months. My aim is to be back to my target by New Year. Which means losing just over three stone.

At the moment, I'm not on plan 100 per cent. It's hard to get all the speed in my meals when they are quick grab and go ones. I do my best at every meal, but I know I need more speed.

My first weigh-in saw me lose three pounds! And I was really pleased with that, especially considering I've been unable to be 'on plan' completely.

It's a step in the right direction, and I am already organised in terms of meals for the next week (once my shopping arrives on Friday!) My mum told me about these pork and apple burgers from the Pinch of Nom website which I am going to try, I've found some low syn chicken meatballs on Morrisons, too, that will be a nice, quick and easy tea to throw together with loads of veg and pasta. I'm also going to do the chicken kebab, also from Pinch of Nom, and the Nando's spicy rice from there, too.

So, fingers crossed, if I know what we will be eating I'll be able to actually get that on our plates and in our bellies!

This last week hasn't been too bad. I've lived off overnight oats for breakfast, as mentioned.


Some nights I've also been making the grape nut cheesecake for when that sweet craving hits on an afternoon.

The one pictured had passionfruit mixed in with the Quark, blueberries on top and more passionfruit scattered over it.



I also grabbed a lasagne from the freezer, from the stash of meals I made before having Peyton. It wasn't completely syn free, as I used a jar of white sauce to make it. I re-downloaded the Slimming World app this week and found out that it worked out about 3.5 syns for a serving of lasagne, so I was happy with that.

I also made my own chips, for the first time in ages, and had a big pile of salad (which got buried by the huge wedge of lasagne!)


It was the first meal we managed to eat at the table, without one of us holding Peyton, since she came home! She was quite happy, though, in her rocker watching the football!

Another quick and easy tea was the Morrisons fishcakes (they're salmon, cod and haddock - I think - with a cheesy, melt in the middle centre) and work out at 2 syns each.

If I'm really hungry, sometimes I'll have two!

The night in question, though, I just had the one with some new potatoes and asparagus.


They're soooo nice, they are definitely worth the syns!

When I did Slimming World before I was always reluctant to have syns in my meals, always preferring to save them for snacks and sweet treats etc. However, I have very little time to snack now, so don't mind having them on my plate at meal time!

Morrisons also do cod and chorizo burgers, but I have a tale about these!

A lady in my group posted them on our Facebook group and I thought how nice they sounded, so ordered some for my shopping that week. When it was delivered, they'd been substituted for salmon and cod (these were also very nice, but not what I wanted!)

I ordered them again on last week's shopping, hoping they'd be in stock this time - and they were! I set about making them for tea on Saturday night very excited. They smelt amazing as they were cooking. I was going to have them with broccoli, asparagus and new potatoes.

As I was turning them in the frying pan, one flew out and landed flat on the floor, smashing into pieces. The air in our kitchen turned blue - I was absolutely fuming. Then I was gutted - I'd waited two weeks for these bloody burgers. I'm not ashamed to admit I cried as I scooped it up in kitchen roll and threw it in the bin.

Being the loving wife that I am, I let Tom have the in tact, not-dropped-on-the-floor burger. Instead, I had cold pieces of chicken that I'd bought to snack on and a hard boiled egg that was leftover in the fridge from when I'd made egg mayo the previous day; still with my broccoli, asparagus and potatoes. It was the most random tea ever.

So, kitchen mishaps, bad planning, and not being able to eat a hot meal aside, I'm very pleased with a 3lb loss. I'm hoping for the same, or more, again next week.

I'm sure I'll be back to update you all on my progress!
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