For the majority of my adult life I have been fighting a never ending battle with a stray stone. Since the age of 18 I have fluctuated anywhere from a size 8 to a size 16. Due to my love of all things sweet and lack of self control I find it hard to maintain a steady weight. So here I am with jeans pinching on my hips and a wobble in my stride walking back into the lairs of Slimming World.
I have attempted and failed many diets, Slimming World is the only one I have not only committed to and achieved desired results with but also enjoyed. There is nothing worse than feeling miserable and hungry when trying to lose weight. However, with Slimming World, you are encouraged to have those occasional treats although in moderation.
As in all aspects of life there are a number of wonderful and peculiar behaviours and the world of Slimming World and dieting is no different. Join me on my musings and observations from a serial slimmer.
Personality Pick n Mix
Slimming world is a complicated jumble of people across every social group and walks of life. Old, young, posh, working class, mothers, lorry drivers all are welcome and indeed attend group. I love meeting new people so this has always been a positive for me as I can talk for England and love a nose into other people’s lives.
If you are part of any social media aspect of Slimming World e.g. Facebook groups/Instagram you will be inundated with before and after photos, tracking a slimmer’s progress. Some are unbelievably motivational and inspiring. Others are slightly concerning due to a number of contributing factors:
- Outfit of choice – no one wants to see a hairy belly button/bum cheek while eating your breakfast and scrolling your Facebook feed.
- Location – a bathroom is fine but festering toilets with the lids up in the background can distract from the purpose of the post.
- Continuity – if your skin colour, birth marks, tattoos, body piercings are not consistent in both photos you are not fooling anybody!
I have been both the Supermarket Squirel and observed other Supermarket Squirrels in action. Picture yourself a budding, new Slimming World member, a trolley bursting with speed food and goodness, enthusiastically ticking off your shopping list. Then picture yourself at the other end of the spectrum…months into your diet, sick of the sight of skimmed milk, artifical sweetener and Ryvita. Your trolley is ladened with full fat coke, cream cakes and wonderful, mouth watering, fresh white bread. Suddenly you see her – the newbie and there you are like a squirrel up a tree, hidden behind the toilet roll on aisle three.
* Super Supermarket Squirrels occur during that horrific, inevitable occasion when the other Slimming World attendee is in fact your consultant. Get hiding!
Weigh – Day Woes
The day each week builds up to. Emotions range from happiness, frustration, upset and relief. However, as I’m sure many serial slimmers will tell you, they each have their own personal rituals to perform before the weigh in. These may include:
- Wearing the lightest clothes possible including unpadded bras, removing watches and jewelery and anything else that may possibly add to body weight.
- Trying everything as humanely possible to rid the body of that stubborn number 2 before the weigh in.
- Shaving legs, arms anything else with excess hair and clipping all toe nails.
- Eating a light meal the night before.
- Frequent trips to the toilet to drain the last drop of wee.
I love this particular group of slimmers I have observed. They come each week with a slight tinge of red wine trailing behind them. They eat like a Saint all week, until the weekend, where alcohol conquers all and leaves them back at square one on the scales. They never seem too bothered and simply vow to just have that “one small glass” next week.
The Endless Line Drawing
There are a few phrases which you will here frequently in relation to falling off the wagon and getting back on. “Drawing a line” seeming to be one of the most popular. Some members, I have observed, have drawn more lines than lost pounds but still continue to “start a fresh,” “wipe the slate clean” “pull up their big girl pants” and “get back on it! ”
Is it or is it not Vom?
Food photos are the bain of my life. I cannot open my Insta feed without being bombarded with photos of spinach and boiled eggs “layered on a bed” of hash tags – #cleanEats #healthyEating. Admittedly some of these food photos look Michelin star standard, which makes me wonder where they are able to create these gourmet looking breakfasts. I can barely cut my toast (wholemeal with low fat spread obviously), into symmetrical triangles let alone spiralise smoked salmon.
However the flip side of the food photo is the photos which leave you wondering – is that or is it not vomit? There are certain standards you need to adhere to before snapping the food pic:
1. The food is still actually on the plate. Not a photo of a scraped, greasy plate with the caption “was so good forgot to take a photo”
2. Forks and spoons with residue from your mouth on them should be out of sight.
3. Food should have good lighting and presented in a half appetising way before photographed.
4. Certain foods are just never going to look appetising no matter how they are presented e.g.cabbage soup
When moving to the countryside I found myself quite lonely as I have previously mentioned in my post sirens-vs-birds . It was when I joined my local Slimming World group that I met some amazing people and friends that will stay with me for life. Many people I observed may not lose weight from week to week but nevertheless arrive every week for a cup of tea and a chat with other members. I joined Slimming World at one of my darkest times, yet the support and warmth of Sarah’s group spurred me on and helped me gain confidence and finally grasp control of my eating habits.
Although I may be back at the start of yet another slimming episode in my life, I am always inspired and in awe of anybody who wants to change their eating habits and lifestyle for the better. So whether social media groups, food photos or simply sharing recipes is your way of keeping you on track just keep going! You’ve got this!