Losing weight is never as easy as gaining it unfortunately. The last year or so have been a bit of a downhill spiral for me and my weight is a long way from where I want it to be.
Whilst I have attempted in the last year a few times to lose weight there have been obstacles in my way. I admit some of these obstacles I have placed there myself but we have all done it haven’t we? There was my lump and operation which really took a few months of my life in worry, being uncomfortable and then of course recovering from quite major surgery. For those who do not follow me on social media or who are new to Just Average Jen my thyroid lump turned out to be benign which of course is good news, especially as the lump was 14cm by 9cm when removed from my neck and upper chest cavity.
Now I thought I would share with you my plan to get the weight off!
How did it happen?
As you are likely to know if you have been following my blog for a while I to share my weight loss story. I lost 10 stone 4lb following Slimming World and got to my target weight in June 2015 which I maintained for over a year. I then in September 2016 ran the Great North Run and surprised myself by completing all 13.1 miles of it in 2hrs 24 minutes.
At this weight I was happy. Not just with myself physically but mentally too. I was everything I wanted to be and had never imagined being so happy in so many ways. I guess in some ways I was so happy I was complacent. I let things slip. A period of problems with my asthma stopped me running and then I just didn’t get back into it. In hindsight some of these problems could have been linked to the growing lump in my neck and chest I wasn’t aware of at the time. The weight crept on and then 2018 was the year the lump appeared and all the stress, tests and operation that brought with it.
So, where are we now in 2019?
Now I have had my surgery, and pretty much recovered from it. I have a bit of a chest infection I think but I am sure that will soon be gone when I drag myself to the doctors. I have no excuses, It is New Year and almost Monday so that is all the boxes ticked.
I am still struggling a little with my depression but I am determined to not use that as an excuse and I am determined to get into my size 6/8 skinny jeans again. To some people I may have been too thin but to me it was where I felt happy with my body. I was fit, healthy and happy. At the moment I am happy but I am missing the other two!
How I intend to do it
Whilst I followed Slimming World successfully before there are a few things I was never really happy with in the plan and didn’t feel like they fit a healthy lifestyle for me so now I am following my own plan. There of course are some similarities to other plans because lets face it healthy eating is at the basis of them all. I am not planning on anything silly, any fads where everything is blended into smoothies or shakes. I am not fasting or counting things. I am following my own plan which is a healthy sensible diet with a simple rules. I wont be cutting out things as such just seeing them as occasional treats if they don’t fit with my plan. I will still be having my morning coffee with my fantastic new Russell Hobbs Brita kettle which I love (photo above) and is available here if you like it too! I love that it reduces limescale and because it filters the water it takes all the impurities out meaning the cuppa is even better! The Brita filters are easy to change too so I have no excuse to not keep enjoying my drinks with filtered water.
My diet, my way, the plan
The plan I have devised to follow is pretty straight forward and in my eyes sensible and ensures I have all the nutrients I need. I am no expert though I do know my own body. If you chose to follow this too please do bear that in mind.All meals must be 1/2 to 3/4 vegetables with the rest of the meal made up of wholegrain carbohydrates eg wholemeal pasta, brown rice etc.
- xePotatoes limited to once or twice a week.
- Only 1-2 fruit portions a day focussing more on snacks of vegetables.
- Cereals to be All bran, shredded wheat, Weetabix or similar which is 100% or close to that of whole grain. Not measured just a sensible portion that fills me up until lunchtime.
- Milk predominantly semi skimmed where possible and not measured when in cereal or hot drinks.
- Limit caffeine based drinks to 2 per day.
- Drink a water based drink approximately every hour throughout the day.
- Cheese limited to a small handful of 50% less fat cheddar or smaller if full fat cheese eg when eating out.
- Unhealthy snacks eg chocolate, cakes, crisps etc limited to 4 standard sized bites per day.
- Alcohol limited to special occasions when weight loss not a priority.
- Everything to be made from scratch, if it doesn’t grow or come in a dried packet then it should be a treat. So nothing processed (except minimal eg frozen vegetables, tinned tomatoes etc) and nothing cooked in fat.
- Sweetener to be used if needed in hot drinks and on cereal but as small quantity as possible.
- Extras such as sauces, dressings and spreads to be avoided as much as possible and herbs and spices to be used instead with lemon juice etc for dressings. When using any dressings keep it to a rare treat and the healthiest available.
What about exercise?
I am still suffering with some pains in my neck from the operation and the scar healing but once that subsides a little more and the chest infection I seem to have is sorted then I am going to walk much more and hopefully get back into running too. I am under no illusion that it wont be easy and I wont be at the same level of fitness I was for the Great North Run for quite some time but I do hope to get there eventually.
I am going to focus on just moving more and doing simple exercises at home like the ones I shared in this post. This means I can do it around working, cooking and generally my day to day life. It will hopefully improve my fitness before I start running again and is a good habit to get into.
Will your plan work for me?
I am no expert so I can not tell you that. What I can say though is I have built my plan on the basics of healthy eating so I am hopeful it should be a great way to get me to lose weight and still get all the vitamins and minerals I need. I have no idea if it is perfect and I can not guarantee what will happen if you follow it but I think it will work for me and I like the simplicity of it which I think will be perfect for me. Unlike some plans it doesn’t encourage me to eat processed foods that pay for advertising etc. IF I work with any food companies it will be those with basic staple foods as above or looking at these as items to have as a treat if they are not in fitting with my healthy plan.
I will of course share all my meals which are likely to all be also suitable for Slimming World, Weight Watchers and other healthy eating plans, on my social media, particularly Instagram. Do pop over and follow me @justaveragejen to keep up to date with what I am eating and how I am doing. I will try to keep updating my blog with this too as well as lots of other family lifestyle subjects as usual! If there is anything particular you want to see just let me know. Recipes can be found here and it is a great place to start if you are looking for filling tasty and nutritious meals that are easy to cook.
I have set myself some targets and aim to lose at least 4 stone by July when Ben breaks up for the school holidays. I wont be discussing my exact weights until I feel comfortable in myself to share that again but will share the changes both positive and negative!
I will get back to the Jen who was fit and healthy as well as happy. Right now I am happy I love my life but hate my body. I know I am not alone in this so if you are looking to lose weight this year do comment below and say hello and don’t forget to join my Facebook group for people who want to lose weight and eat cake! Together we can do it and get to whatever weight makes us feel fit and healthy. Everyone will have different goals and find that comfortable happy place at a different point but we can all support each other.