I decided to join my local Slimming World group six weeks ago in a bid to shift some unwanted weight in time for my holidays this coming July. Feeling confident and happy in my bikini wasn’t the only reason that encouraged me to join, I also wanted to shed a few pounds to boost my overall body confidence levels as I have countless memories of crying in shop dressing-rooms because clothes didn’t feel comfortable or didn’t look as nice as I wished they did on me.
I am a genuine lover of fashion. From a very young age, I have always bought dozens of fashion magazines each week solely to keep up to date with the latest clothing trends however, throughout my teenage years my self-confidence was knocked completely. (Entirely due to weight gain). I never felt comfortable in any of my clothes and thought everything I wore looked hideous on me, so in turn I opted to wearing black baggy clothing, thinking it would hide all my lumps and bumps from everyone around me..including myself. And on bad days when I felt really low, I would ‘pig out’ on junk food to comfort myself which in reality made matters a lot worse. I was trapped in a vicious circle and this crazy mentality about my body continued until very recently.
After the madness of the Christmas Holidays, I welcomed 2015 with open arms. I made a heartfelt promise with myself on New Years Eve that I would change this crazy way of thinking and get up and do something to make that change happen before things spiralled out of my own control. As ‘cheesy’ as this sounds, I vowed to myself that I would make 2015 my year!
The thoughts of joining Slimming World alone felt a little daunting to me so I asked my sister and two friends of mine if they would like to come along. The girls were more than happy to join me as they all shared a similar mentality to mine! I was delighted when they agreed as taking on this new healthy lifestyle as a team would encourage motivation.
The first night we arrived at the group we were greeted by our lovely team leader Helen.
We were each given a full introduction of the eating plan and we also each received a welcome folder of books containing all aspects of the plan. As it was only early January when we joined, that evenings topic of discussion was about a couple of new additions to the eating plan. (A different topic is discussed each week at the group meetings).
The Slimming World eating plan is based on eating foods that are low in energy density which in turn are lower in calories for their weight. These foods are generally bulky which means they will also fill you up for longer periods of time.
We were encouraged to eat as many ‘Free Foods’ (that are listed) as much as possible each day. (Free Foods are allowed to be eaten in abundance! No counting calories, weighing or measuring required!) In addition to the ‘Free Foods’, we also have to pick two ‘Healthy Extras’ which are a choice of a portion of dairy and fibre each day. On top of all that, any foods that are not listed as ‘free’ have what they call a ‘Syn’ value. We are allowed to enjoy between five and fifteen ‘Syns’ a day on the plan. This means that you never have to deprive yourself of your favourite naughty treats!
As we were taking on this new healthy eating plan as a team, the four of us decided to create a private Facebook Group to keep in touch with each others progress. We named it ‘The Skinny Bitch Club’. Each week we use it to keep in touch by posting photo’s of different Slimming World recipes, queries and questions. Since creating the group I feel it has really helped to keep us all focused on our own weight loss goals.
So far, the plan has been working out extremely well for me. I am currently down seven pounds since joining which I am delighted with. I am also happy that I am losing the weight at a slow pace because I feel it’s easier to maintain in the long run. I am also happy to admit that I never go hungry. I am beginning to really believe the saying, “Eat yourself slim”.
The Slimming World joining fee in Ireland is €20 and after that there is a weekly fee of €9.
I have set myself a weight loss goal of two stone however, I have put no time limit on it as I am only human and “there can never be a rainbow without a little rain!”. I am taking things one pound at a time.