Sunday 24 March 2013

The Only Way is Essex!

Recently I weighed myself and to my horror I saw a number I didn’t want to see. You see I had been on the Cambridge Diet before Christmas and lost a stone in weight. For those not familiar with Cambridge, it’s a shake based diet, for the first week I had no actual food at all, just 3 shakes a day. Then for the other few weeks I had one small lean meal of a piece of chicken with salad and shakes for the rest. Only water to drink too. It was very hard and I went through some horrendous side effects making me very unwell. I powered through and saw results but of course I didn’t enjoy it at all. It was all done very bad timing as it was just before Christmas and the festive season so of course all the weight just came back on!
My other half left for Africa in January and it was my last working month before being made redundant. January is also the time of year nobody likes as its bill time so money was tight. I just couldn’t afford £45 a week on top of everything else to continue with the diet.
Recently me and my friend Jemma decided to tackle our personal weight goals head on.  Firstly we needed a goal…not a weight goal but something to look forward to! So we decided to book a long weekend away. We have both wanted to go to Essex for a long time now and for one reason or another it just hasn’t happened. We decided to bite the bullet, book the hotel and start planning. We are going Friday 31st May until the Sunday, two nights 3 days! Now this weekend is basically a treat, there will be lots of beauty treatments at a few different salons, lots of time spent pampering and getting ready for the night ahead, lots of shopping, cocktails, meals out and partying…what’s not to like! And all taking place in the county where there is no such thing as too much make up, too much glitter, heals too high, tans too dark, hair to big! This isn’t just for Essex though, it will basically be the beginning of summer so if we can be on track and heading in the right direction by this point we will be in a good place for summer and maybe have reached our goals by the fall and can book a second trip to celebrate!
Girls night out!
Now we have a goal to keep us focused we have put the following plans into action and for the last two weeks we have been working very hard! My scales are now showing ½ stone loss, I feel better in myself and I’m enjoying doing it so a much better approach. We need each other though; it has really helped having each other there to support one another!
Here’s what we have been doing:
·         Thinking about food – You may think you shouldn’t think about food when trying to loose weight but it is a constant for us! Everything from planning every meal, this way you are not in any tricky situations with food, there is no drama after the gym trying to decide what to eat, no surprise problems and no waste either which helps with money. Writing shopping lists to ensure again, no waste, healthy options etc.
·         Clear out the kitchen – I cleared out my fridge and cupboards, I now know exactly what I have, I can see where everything is, everything is healthy, everything is in date, everything is ready to use!
·         Keep a food diary – We have been keeping a food diary every day for the last 2 weeks and this will continue. The power of the food diary is huge! Nobody wants to write down that they have eaten sweets, crisps etc. You want the meals to look amazing and all healthy options. I highlight any areas I think I could improve on so I know what to work on and highlight any days I am proud of to follow again. Me and Jemma also swap them weekly and analyse so another reason to keep doing it well! The key is you have to be honest or it wont work!
·         Food shop together when you can – This helps you to ensure you are really sticking to the shopping lists, being careful what goes in the trolley, swaping snack/meal ideas etc as you go around and makes the whole chore slightly easier!
·         I joined the gym – Jemma attends the local Sports Centre and I decided to join too. They have a huge ‘ladies only’ gym as well as a mixed so you can decide what you prefer to go to. There are loads of classes to choose from which we have been having fun trying out different ones. You can go to the pool too if you wish. It’s in a central location for us both and close to work. We have been going 3-4 times a week and really enjoying it.
·         Give other exercise options – I have also bought a few exercise DVD’s and I have an exercise bike in my living room and the Wii for dance programmes etc. I have these for some at home exercise when the weather may not be too inviting, transport issues, timing, bank holidays, etc and these have proven already to be a good option, you just need to find the motivation to do them yourself!
·         Generally move more – Going to walks at lunch just to get some fresh air, parking a bit further away to walk more, taking stairs etc.
·         Dinner Club – Once a week on one of our rest days we meet up at my house and cook a healthy meal together. This helps us to swap dinner ideas, cook something we normally wouldn’t have much time in the week to do/prepare etc. We can have a nice evening off from exercise knowing we are being healthy still, using the time to read each other’s food diaries and watch a bit of trashy TV, read magazines, or even get out the work out DVDs!
·         Set Targets – Not in weight as such as we are trying to not focus on the scales this time around, more on how we feel etc. But we would set targets like, this week, no cheese, no bread, no chocolate! Or a mini weight goal, or a target on how many classes we will attend or how many times to get the DVD done, or how many pieces of fruit to have each day!
·         Support – Having each other for support is very important. Just knowing if you crave something you can text or call each other to shout for help, if you’re stuck for a meal idea again you have the help, when you can’t be bothered to get to the gym you have someone to nag at you, when you’re at the gym you have someone making you work harder! It’s great just having someone you can share the pain, the achievement etc with and your both working towards the same end goal!
·         Mini treats – Not as in food but for example, this bank holiday weekend we are going out. I haven’t been out in our town for about a year! We are going to dress up, make the effort and in one of the local bars we are going to be having a meet and greet with…Rylan Clarke! It will be hilarious and definitely help us get in the Essex mood! Also things like getting you hair done, eyebrows, nails etc helps boost confidence. I personally have a few events before the Essex trip to help keep me focused!
So I think we are on the right track, both focused and on it! After all we want to look reem, feel reem, be reem! Hopefully this will work and set us on the right path and drop a few dress sizes! We are very much looking forward to the trip and to our new bodies! The Only Way is Essex!

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