So I’d taken the plunge to change my life, not diet but change my life. As with most new things, it was all so exciting and fresh. I set about buying things to help me. Notebooks were my first purchase. This turned out to be one of my best buys. I used them to write down my daily meal plans, keep a record of the food I ate, my exercise and body measurements. My diary continues to be my favourite tool to plan my meals and I look back through previous years to refresh my memory about meals I haven’t made for a while.
Planning really puts me in control, it only takes a few minutes and takes the daily guess work out of what I’m going to eat according to my daily schedule. Once I know what I’m going to eat, I make my shopping list, so I can make sure I have the right food at hand. Even when I’m not doing a supermarket shop, I plan my meals around the food I already have at home. Apart from the practicality of meal planning what I enjoy most is, knowing that it’s all food that I love and I really look forward to what I’m going to be eating next. That way I didn’t feel like I was on a diet.
In those early days I started to become more aware of my unhealthy habits. Most nights I would buy takeaways, Chinese, chip shop, kebabs and chicken shop. There were regular trips to the local shop for a couple of chocolate bars and crisps to snack on before and after meals. I ate cakes, ice cream, biscuits, etc in large quantities on a regular basis rather than the occasional treat. In fact since I stopped buying takeaways, my favourite local Chinese takeaway restaurant has shut down!
Making unhealthy choices is easy and we are constantly bombarded with opportunities to do this. That’s not to say that making healthier choices is hard, once it become part of my daily diet and life, it’s second nature and I’m far more aware of overindulging.
I’m not a nutritional expert but I’ve learnt from my experiences that I can’t eat unlimited amounts of high fat or sugary foods every day without gaining weight or even maintain a healthy weight.
Now I was never really much of a fan of cooking, in fact I pretty much avoided it. To follow the Weight Watchers plan I switched takeaways for low fat ready meals. Weighed my food out to get the right portion size, increased my vegetable/fruit intake and cut down the amount of snacks I ate. When I did cook, I changed my cooking method, baking, grilling and steaming instead of frying. The pounds continued to come off at a slow and steady pace. As Weight Watchers highlight that no food is off limits I found ways to save points (that WW attribute to all foods) from my daily allowance to indulge in treats. I would still fit in my fast food favourites, McDonalds and KFC at lunch times.
Over the years I’ve come to realise that for me personally this was not a sustainable way to lose weight. Now I think more about the types of food I eat and how they work with my body. Everyone is different, it is important to find out what works for you and learn as you go along.
Getting to grips with food is an on-going process, next it was time to start thinking about moving my body and do some exercise.
Soli Deo Gloria