Tabytha's Universe

…somewhere for my thoughts, loves, rants, interests & inspirations


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Weight Loss Wednesday – Final Week of Countdown! Eek!

Hello Everyone and hello May,

This is the first Weight Loss Wednesday post of a new month. This year seems to be flying, why do I always seem to be playing catch up?! Lol! So, how has your week been? I’m loving the light mornings and evenings – not that I’m cramming the extra daylight hours with stuff but it’s still nice. 🙂

After last week’s 0.5lbs gain I decided to reduce those food triggers by keeping busier which would hopefully cut down (or out) those moments when I grab a high-syn snack or munch on more than my HE b breakfast cereal allowance of 40g. I am blaming the menopause for many of my physical ailments and my fluctuating emotional state. Before my latest slump, I was regularly attending my local Parkrun every Saturday morning AND using the NHS Couch to 5k running podcasts but I stopped. Slimming World says that exercise isn’t necessary to lose weight – I’ve copied and pasted their article below so that you can read it yourself – but I know that I felt better in myself when I was running; I felt proud that I’d moved off the sofa, I was enjoying trying to improve my PBs and I think I was happier. Don’t people talk about the happy endorphins when you exercise?

What do they say about best laid plans? Well, this week I’ve been no more or less active than last week but I must have snacked more than I thought because when I stepped on the scales tonight I had a 1lbs gain.

I would love to hear from you if you’re struggling on your weight loss journey or if you’ve found some successful strategies that work for you. What do you do to motivate yourself to get up of that sofa?

I hope you have a good week and make the most of the extra daylight hours.

x

How often have you thought ‘I only lose weight when I do Body Magic too’, or ‘I’ll lose weight next week because I’ll exercise more’? Not exercising often gets the blame when we don’t lose weight – it can be all too easy to assume that’s it’s our exercise (or lack of) that’s made the difference. Well it might surprise you to hear that if you Food Optimise without exercise – you WILL lose weight.

Misconceptions about activity and its effect on weight loss can often start to weaken our belief in Food Optimising – and we’re here to put the record straight, bust those myths and ensure you’re on the path to weight loss success.

Food Optimising and Body Magic, the facts:

  • If you Food Optimise without exercise – you WILL lose weight.
  • If you exercise without Food Optimising – you WON’T lose weight (at least, not much and not without a lot of hard work!).
  • If you’ve gained or maintained one week it won’t be because you haven’t done any or enough exercise.
  • By Food Optimising 100%, we naturally reduce our calorie intake to give us at least a 1-2lb weight loss each week – even if we are close to our personal target. If you still have some way to go, those weekly weight losses will be even greater.

To achieve that 1-2lb weekly loss by exercise alone, we’d have to jog for more than one hour every single day!

Food Optimising is absolutely what’s going to get you to your personal target weight. So why is activity important at all? Body Magic brings long-term benefits – and it’s important that, over time, we build it into our daily routines.

Activity can help maintain successful weight loss. Our research shows that 90% of successful weight loss maintainers have made activity as much a part of their routine as healthy eating.

Food Optimising benefits

Body Magic benefits

  • Lose weight without ever feeling hungry or deprived
  • Get the results you want quickly and healthily
  • Discover more energy and vitality
  • Help protect yourself from serious illness
  • Build long-lasting, healthy eating habits to maintain your target weight forever!
  • Tone up arms, legs, tummy and bottom
  • Maintain lean muscle which helps burn more energy – even when you’re resting!
  • Feel more relaxed and enjoy more restful sleep
  • Strengthen bones and joints
  • Build long-lasting, active habits to maintain your target weight forever!

Food Optimising + Body Magic = amazing life-long success

So how does Body Magic affect weight loss?

“I lost a lot of weight this week – it’ll be because I’ve done a lot of Body Magic”.

The great news is… your fabulous weight loss this week will be because you’ve been Food Optimising brilliantly. And by doing 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week in addition to Food Optimising, it will help you lose an additional 12-24lbs across a year. That’s an average of around ¼lb a week extra!

“I know what I’m going to do to lose weight: I’m going to go to Zumba three times this week!”

That’s real determination, and those three sessions will set you on your way to your silver Body Magic award, and all of those health benefits.

Without Food Optimising though you might not see the result you want on the scales. Is there anything that might get in the way of you Food Optimising 100%?

“I know why I’ve maintained this week, it will be because I haven’t been out walking so much”

The good news is… if you’re still near the beginning of your journey, by Food Optimising 100% you could lose 2-3lbs or more in a single week. And if you’re close to target, you could still lose at least 1-2lbs each week – even if you miss out on your walking again.


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Menopause Monday – Baby Steps to Improve my Wellbeing

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Menopause Monday post, can you believe this is the final one in April!

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies. I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born. If you are interested in reading any of my previous post, just search the tag #Menopause Monday or click here.

I have been on HRT for almost a month now and although my menopausal symptoms have seen various degrees of improvement, I’m still feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious all too frequently for my liking.

Last week, I re-blogged a very helpful post by the lovely Shaz about how to deal with stress and anxiety. I loved the advice that she included in her post so much that I started her Mindfulness Challenge the very next day! Shaz created a daily task check-list in the form of a calendar that can be downloaded from her blog; I downloaded it, printed off a copy and stuck it on our fridge.

What I like, is that none of the tasks are daunting – apart maybe no.8 Turn your phone off for 2 hours which I have to do tomorrow and no.26 No gadgets for at least 2 hours (and I don’t think switching it off when I’m asleep counts)- eek!!

I’m hoping that Shaz’s daily tasks will help eliminate my anxiety, stress and feelings of being overwhelmed; I will let you know if I notice a change.

Have you tried any mindfulness techniques? Have they worked for you? At school we use mindfulness colouring sheets to give the children periods of calm. I used to love colouring when I was young; perhaps I should allow myself time to do a bit of colouring down the week…

x


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Weight Loss Wednesday – The Clock is Ticking

Hello Everyone,

This is the last Weight Loss Wednesday post for April. Goodness me, this year seems to be flying! So, how has your week been? Did you have a nice Easter Easter weekend? I’ve got to be honest and say although I loved spending time with my family, I didn’t do a great job of avoiding all the yumminess that surrounded me. 😦

My weight loss has definitely got a recurring theme at the moment; last week 1lbs loss and then when I stepped on the scales tonight I had a 0.5lbs gain. Why is it so difficult to recapture that initial focus and drive?!

I came away feeling even more low and depressed. I know that I haven’t been on plan for a number of weeks now and although I always come home from Image Therapy feeling positive, I know that I have to do better to see the losses that I am looking for. Once again this week, I am blaming the menopause for my emotional state and the subsequent high-syn foods that I’ve been grabbing. When I stepped on the scales tonight I had a ?lbs gain/maintain/loss. *sigh*

I need to get out of the funk I’m currently in; I said last week that I needed to have a plan and stick to it. I only have two weeks left in the 12-week Countdown I bought; my target is ?lbs away but realistically a 2-4lb loss is not unachievable if I follow Food Optimising 100% like I did in those first few months after joining.

I would love to hear from you if you’re struggling on your weight loss journey or if you’ve found some successful strategies that work for you. What do you do to stop yourself reaching for those high syn foods?

I hope you have a good week.

x


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Menopause Monday – The Demons of Stress and Anxiety

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Menopause Monday post.

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (you can read it here). I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born. If you are interested in reading any of my previous post, just search the tag #Menopause Monday or click here.

I have been on HRT for almost three weeks now but it hasn’t stopped my feelings of  being overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. Do you believe in fate? Well I was having a particularly bad day today – Easter goodies surrounded me while I’m trying (and failing) to stick to the Slimming World plan – but while I was checking my email and visiting some blogs I follow, I saw a wonderfully helpful post by Shaz talking about stress and anxiety. How did she know I needed this, now? I wanted to share it with you, so I’ve copied & pasted the whole thing, including her links which will open in a new tab.

I love the advice that Shaz includes and although I haven’t read all of her related posts that she mentions (yet), I’m already feeling more positive that I’ll be able to find a range of strategies to help with these blasted menopausal symptoms. I’ll let you know next week.

x

Source: How to deal with stress and anxiety – Jera’s Jamboree

 

How to deal with stress and anxiety

Stress is an important part of life.  We do need it! However, it becomes a problem if we’re continually on high alert and we perceive a threat where there isn’t one.  There are different ways to deal with stress and anxiety and, in my experience, we all have favourite activities that help us to unwind and step away, giving us time to look at a problem logically (rather than our primal instinct to survive).

My long-time favourite de-stressor is reading in bed.  I can’t just slip into bed and fall asleep straight away.  Thoughts whirl round in my head and make me restless.  I’ve tried making notes before going to bed but that just seems to focus me on the problems I want to solve!  We all know that a good night’s sleep goes a long way towards functioning appropriately the next day and reading is my panacea.  The good thing is that I step into another world.  Not so good is when I tell myself ‘one more chapter’ and before you know it you’ve lost a couple of hours of sleep 🙂

Crochet is another activity that helps me wind down.  The rhythm and movement are meditative and often a solution will just pop into my mind (even when I think I’m not focused on an issue).  Walking does that too!

Resilience is something we talk about a lot in my team at school.  We share different strategies with children helping them to build a tool kit in the hope that when life throws them challenges in the future, instead of reacting with fight or flight they can be in control of how they view the challenges and react in a different way.  Resilience is not innate, we’re not born with it but we can improve it.

April is National Stress Awareness Month so I thought I would take the opportunity of gathering together the articles I’ve already written on the blog.

A mixture of tips and resources on how to deal with stress and anxiety (mostly for adults but a couple for children too) I hope you’ll find something useful to help you.

How to deal with stress and anxiety

Articles on Jera’s Jamboree

Gratitude Challenge : Journal a positive mind

30 day Mindfulness Challenge


How to identify emotions and make a change

How to find your silver lining

How to turn a negative into a positive

How to find peace in a frantic world

How to take control of your life


Natural Mood Booster

5 tips to relieve stress and anxiety

Mindfulness Resources


Children and Emotional Health

How to help a child with anxiety


I recommend you check out the National Stress Awareness website.  It’s a fabulous resource for:

  • Explaining stress
  • Resources and guides
  • 10 step stress solution
  • Stress at work

What do you do to de-stress?

Do you have any tips to share?


Giveaway

Last summer I gave a shout out to my blogging buddy Kate’s new venture, Book Spot Box, a subscription box which has gone from strength to strength.

With reading being one of my favourite ways to de-stress, I’m giving away to one of my UK readers the April Book Spot Box.

Rivals theme from Book Spot Box giveaway in the article how to deal with stress and anxiety

The ‘Rivals’ box features some of Kate’s favourite fictional rivalries and is perfect for fans of ACOTAR, Shakespeare and The Wicked King. Each box contains 6 items (5 of which are exclusive to the April box), a paperback book, signed bookplate and a bonus item from the publisher.

The featured paperback was published in 2018 and is the first in a series. Set in a dangerous broken world, it represents the ‘Rivals’ theme beautifully with its split narrative and tension of all kinds. Kate literally could not put this book down! (Please note, this book is not suitable for younger readers)

Easy entry on the Rafflecopter below.  Please read the Terms and Conditions before entering.

Good Luck!

 


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Weight Loss Wednesday – Easter, Chocolate, Oh My!

Hello Everyone,

Here we are again, another Weight Loss Wednesday post. So, how has your week been? Are you looking forward to the extended Easter weekend? I’ve got to be honest and say although I’m looking forward to spending time with the family, I am very anxious about all the yummy treats that will be surrounding me. 😦

Following on from last week’s 2lbs gain, I came away feeling even more low and depressed. I know that I haven’t been on plan for a number of weeks now and although I always come home from Image Therapy feeling positive, I know that I have to do better to see the losses that I am looking for. Once again this week, I am blaming the menopause for my emotional state and the subsequent high-syn foods that I’ve been grabbing. When I stepped on the scales tonight I had a surprising 1lbs loss.

I need to have a plan and stick to it. I have three weeks left in the 12-week Countdown I bought; my target is 8.5lbs away but realistically a 3-6lb loss is not unachievable if I follow Food Optimising 100% like I did in those first few months after joining.

I would love to hear from you if you struggle, especially during holidays too. What do you do to stop yourself reaching for those high syn foods? If you haven’t got any tips, I hope you find this Slimming World article as helpful as I did.

Food is a huge part of Easter celebrations, and it’s super easy to make a Food Optimising version of the traditional lamb lunch.

When it comes to sweet treats and a special Easter breakfast, we’ve also got it covered! Enjoy them this weekend, safe in the knowledge that your weight loss will stay on track.

Hot cross baked oats

Traditional hot cross buns are a huge 9½ Syns each – and that’s without the butter!

The good news is there’s a way to enjoy that spiced flavour for as little as 4 Syns (using your Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice). Enjoy Easter breakfast in bed with these hot cross baked oats.

Soft-boiled eggs and dippers

This is a stunning Easter breakfast and a great way to enjoy tasty Speed Free Foods – you’ll never go back to plain old toast soldiers!

Serves 1
Free (or using Healthy Extras)

2 eggs

For the Free dippers:
Cooked asparagus spears
Cooked lean bacon or ham, trimmed of visible fat
Roasted sweet potato wedges
Cooked sugar snap peas
Cooked baby sweetcorn
Griddled courgette strips

For the Healthy Extra dippers:

35g halloumi cheese (Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice), sliced into ‘soldiers’ and griddled
50g rye bread (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice), sliced into ‘soldiers’ and topped with plain quark, smoked salmon and black pepper
2 Ryvita Original crispbreads (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice), spread with Marmite

How to make:
Place the eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Pop into egg cups and remove the tops, then serve with your choice of dippers.

Tip: Duck eggs make a fab alternative to regular hen’s eggs – there’s lots more yolk for your dippers! Boil them for 6 minutes (depending how large they are).

Fruit flowers

The kids will love to help you make this impressive fruity centrepiece. Who needs chocolate eggs?

You’ll need:
Any colourful melon, e.g., cantaloupe, watermelon
Kiwi fruit
A whole pineapple
Blueberries or redcurrants
Strawberries
Green grapes

Flower-shaped cookie cutters
Wooden skewers, carefully cut to different lengths

  • Slice the melon, pineapple and kiwi into rounds, then carefully cut out flower shapes using the cookie cutters. Thread onto the skewers, adding ‘petal’ layers with the different fruits, and a centre with a blueberry or redcurrant.
  • Thread the strawberries onto skewers with the leaves facing downwards.
  • Create ‘stems’ by threading 4 or 5 grapes onto skewers.
  • Place the skewered fruit flowers into a vase or container and serve!

Chocolate choices at Easter

There are loads of options for getting that chocolate fix at Easter – without piling up the Syns!

  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with our Chocolate Orange, Rocky Road or Fruit and Nut Hi-fi bars. Enjoy two bars as a Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice or 3 Syns each.
  • Swirling a Cadbury Highlights 11g sachet into plain quark gives you a delicious dessert for only 2 Syns. Top with chopped fresh apple, raspberries or strawberries.
  • These Easter chocolate cornflake cakes are 4 Syns each

More egg-cellent low Syn options

  • Cadbury Mini Egg Nest Cakes – 9 Syns each
  • Lindt Bunny Paw, 20g – 5½ Syns
  • Cadbury Creme Egg Minis, 89g bag – 2½ Syns per egg
  • Kinder Mini Eggs, 75g bag – 1½ Syns each
  • Lindt Mini Gold Bunny, 10g – 3 Syns
  • Tesco Milk Chocolate Easter Lollies – 2½ Syns per 10g lolly
  • Galaxy Caramel Mini Eggs, 80g bag – 3 Syns per 12g egg
  • Cadbury Oreo Egg, 31g – 8½ Syns
  • MaltEaster Milk Chocolate Bunny, 29g – 8 Syns
  • Asda Free From Hot Cross Buns, 75g – 10 Syns
  • Maynards Bassetts Jelly Babies Chicks – 1 Syn each


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Menopause Monday – A New Beginning

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Menopause Monday post.

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (you can read it here). I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born.

You may remember last week I told you about my adventures to get the HRT prescription that my GP had written – read about it here. My GP prescribed a daily tablet of 1mg of Femoston to help with my menopausal symptoms.

Before I started taking it, I read through the leaflet inside the box to check whether I needed to take it before or after food and whether I needed to take it at a specific time of day. You all do that, right?! Read the small print.

Anyway, I was shocked when I came to section 4 – Possible side effects.

Most of the stuff listed was what I was hoping these tablets were going to get rid of; headaches, migraines, vaginal thrush, nervousness, feeling sick, feeling unwell, weak and tired, unscheduled bleeding or spotting!! OMG! These potential side effects are confirmed on the NHS website too if you want to check them out. Could it get any worse?!

My heart sank when I read that increase in weight was also a possible common side effect (in less than 1 in 10 but more than 1 in 100 patients treated). Although in the next paragraph it warned that less than 1 in 100 but more than 1 in 1,000 patients treated experienced a decrease in weight. I’m hoping I’m one of them! Lol!

So since taking Femoston have I noticed a change in my menopausal symptoms?

Migraines have reduced but i still get headaches almost daily, some of which are painful ice-pick ones.

Hot flushes do seem to have reduced during the day and they definitely don’t go on for as long as they did but I’m still getting them regularily at night.

Mood swings have improved. I still cry at the drop of a hat but I don’t seem to get as angry.

I am still feeling completely overwhelmed and unable to cope with demands. I have a new sympathy with kids/adults with PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance).

Menstrual symptoms haven’t improved yet, all day Friday I suffered with stomach crampIt’s and headache.

I’m going to end on a positive and say that I’m generally sleeping better. Last Wednesday night I had a glorious 6hrs of sleep for the first time in I don’t know how long. I know I’m on Easter holidays but I plan to celebrate every little success!

It’s still early days but I will continue to post my thoughts and symptoms while on this menopausal rollercoaster.


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Weight Loss Wednesday – School Holidays: My Kryptonite

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Weight Loss Wednesday post. So, how has your week been? Do you have a spring in your step? I seem to have lost mine for the moment. 😦

Following on from last week’s 0.5lbs loss, I came away relieved once again that my inconsistent eating habits hadn’t caused a weight gain. Each week I come home from Image Therapy knowing that I have to do better to see the losses that I am looking for. Once again this week, although I’ve been better at cutting down on the high-syn snack foods when I needed an emotional boost I’ve been far from “on plan“; pizza last Wednesday evening then a Chinese takeaway last Friday. When I stepped on the scales tonight I had a 2lbs gain. Upsetting but not unexpected.

Having a plan and sticking to it is the not-so-secret secret that we all talk about at group. Being on Slimming World means that you are never on your own when faced with food triggers or situations that can be detrimental to the success of your weight loss journey. School holidays are always a tricky time for me; no routines, close to trigger foods, reduced activity. It looks like I’m not alone, Slimming World have already thought of how they can help their members during school holidays and following on from chatting to others at group tonight, I thought I’d share the following article from the SW site.

I would love to hear from you if you struggle during holidays too. What do you do to stop yourself reaching for those high syn foods? If you haven’t got any tips, I hope you find this article as helpful as I did.

A break from school doesn’t have to mean taking a break from your weight-loss campaign. Here’s how to breeze through the hols and be slimmer at the school gates!

‘My daily routine’s gone right out of the window!’

Holiday help The holidays are a great opportunity to get children involved with meal prep – they’ll love grating, weighing out ingredients, cracking eggs and so on. Get your Slimming World magazines and recipe books out, or visit our recipe section and ask the kids to pick their favourites. Older children might like to help with the shopping and cooking, too.

Child-friendly meals

‘I’m tempted by the kids’ treats’

Holiday help Save yourself from the children’s chocolate stash by preparing your own treats, such as Speed Free Food fruits like melon, strawberries and raspberries piled high on your favourite fat-free yogurt.

chicken and bacon salad

Prepare lots of Free snacks, like chopped fresh fruit and veg sticks, Slimming World quiche or houmous, so you always have something ready in the fridge.

It might help to label your own treats with Syn values, so you can see at a glance how they’ll fit into your 5-15 Syn daily allowance:

• Lotus Biscoff The Original Caramelised Biscuit = 2 Syns per biscuit

• Cadbury Caramel Freddo = 4.5 Syns per 19g bar

• Walkers Crisps Pops = 4 Syns per 19g bag

‘I’m a working mum and want to make the most of the few days I do have off with the kids’

Holiday help If you’re going out for the day, hang on to your money and Syns by taking a bumper Food Optimising picnic with you. Tuck into home-made pasta and potato salads, cooked chicken drumsticks (skin and visible fat removed), frittata, cooked lean meats, Quorn fajita strips (Free), hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit and fat-free natural yogurt while everyone else joins the long food queues.

If you’re going away for a few days self-catering, sit down and plan your meals beforehand. Pack some Food Optimising supplies, like sweetener, fat-free vinaigrette and low-calorie cooking spray, so you don’t waste precious family time shopping.

half term exercise

‘I’m having trouble fitting in my usual exercise’

Holiday help The secret is to find plenty of fun, child-friendly ways to keep fit instead. If you’re off to the beach, take a football, frisbee or a cricket set.

Dust off the bikes and go on a family bike ride, or do plenty of running around playing tag at the park. Even your back garden can help you keep active if you put up a badminton net, bounce on the trampoline or do some sports day-style races.

Anything that makes you feel warmer and speeds up your breathing and heart rate counts as Body Magic!


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Menopause Monday – Why Does Everything Have To Be An Epic Quest?

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Menopause Monday post.

You may remember a while back, I bit the bullet and made an appointment to see my GP about all the symptoms I was having; he booked me in for some blood tests and scheduled an ECG for me. Read about it here.

Last week he confirmed that I was going through the menopause. Well, I think we all knew that, right?! Lol! He prescribed HRT in the form of a daily 1mg tablet of Elleste Duet and even sent my prescription direct to the pharmacy of my choice. Now that’s service!

I elected to pick up my magic pills from the Boots in town as I was going in the next day anyway; perfect.

I paid for an hour parking and Child2 and I went around town working our way through our “to do” list. I had left picking up my Elleste from Boots till last and stood patiently in the queue waiting to be served. Imagine my disappointment when the lovely pharmacist told me that unfortunately, it was out of stock – problems at the manufacturers – and wouldn’t be available until 3rd May!

Boots kindly released my prescription back to me so that I could try another chemist. I did. They were all out. 😦

So I decided to go back to my medical practice, explain the situation to my GP and get a prescription for another brand – the pharmacist in Boots recommended Kliofem or Kliovance as a suitable alternative – as I said, she was lovely.

My GP was busy but I left a message at reception explaining what had happened. I wasn’t planning on going into town for another week, so I also asked that my replacement prescription be sent to a different pharmacy closer to my home – Tanday Pharmacy+. The receptionist said that was OK, tapped away on her computer and told me that my doctor was usually very efficient and to phone back either later that day before they closed or tomorrow to make sure it had been done. Again, another very helpful lady to assist me on, what was turning into, my epic quest to get menopause relief.

I dutifully phoned first thing the next morning and was told, sorry the doctor hasn’t written my new prescription yet. I must confess to have been rather disappointed but I am known for my patience, well, that was until the Menopause hit and now you just have to take your chances on my Russian Roulette of mood swings! Lol!

It seemed I was having a “I can be patient” moment. I left it until after lunch and called again – *phew* yes, my new prescription had been written and sent as requested. I was halfway there to getting my hands on my magic pills. I decided to give the pharmacy a few hours and phoned them while I was waiting to collect Child1 and Child2 from school.

When I phoned Tanday Pharmacy+ they confirmed that that had received my prescription and that it was ready to be collected! I almost jumped for joy, however,  I was sat in the car outside of school, so I thought better of it. 😉

Tanday Pharmacy+ is on my way home, so I parked outside and went in. I waited for less than 3 minutes before I was paying the £18.00 prescription charge for the 3 months supply of my new magic pills.

So, lovely peeps, I have my magic HRT pills and have been taking them each night before I go to sleep since I picked them up. Are they helping with my menopausal symptoms? Read my next Menopause Monday post to find out. 😉

 

 

 


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Weight Loss Wednesday – Why Am I Eating This?

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to Weight Loss Wednesday post. So, how was your week? Do you have a spring in your step?

If you are one on my lovely new followers, hello. I’d like to take a moment to explain to you what Weight Loss Wednesdays are all about. Back in August 2017 I was persuaded to join Slimming World by my mum (read my post here). I had done really well and achieved my two and a half stone lost certificate in December 2018 (that’s 35lbs for my American followers), however, over Christmas I put on half a stone (7lbs) and decided to start sharing my weight loss journey on this blog to help me keep focused. I attend my local group on Wednesday evenings to get weighed and get inspired, so when I get back home I post how I’ve got on; any tips we talked about and what my loss or gain is for the week, using the Weight Loss Wednesday tag.

So following on from last week’s 0.5lbs loss, I was relieved that my inconsistent eating habits hadn’t caused a huge gain but I know that my weight doesn’t always reflect what I’ve been up to for that week, sometimes it shows on the scales the following week. So coming home from last week’s Image Therapy I knew that I’d have to do better this week to see the losses that I was looking for. I can’t say that I’ve been back on plan 100% but I’ve been cutting down on the high-syn foods when I needed an emotional boost this week. When I stepped on the scales tonight I had a 0.5lbs loss.

Being on Slimming World means that you should never feel hungry, but sometimes we don’t eat to fill a physical need but rather an emotional one. Slimming World have already thought of how they can hep their members with this tricky issue and following on from our discussion in group tonight, I thought I’d share the article from the SW site.

I would love to hear from you if you’re an emotional eater too. What do you do to stop yourself reaching for those high syn foods? If you haven’t got any tips, I hope you find this article as helpful as I did.

When it comes to weight loss, your desire to eat can be a friend, not an enemy. Discover how to satisfy your appetite, conquer your cravings and decode your hunger cues.

Looking forward to and really enjoying food is one of life’s great pleasures. And there’s a reason we talk about having a ‘healthy appetite’ – for many of us, going off food can be the first sign we’re coming down with something, and when we feel peckish again, we know we’re on the mend. When we’re trying to slim, though, we can have mixed feelings about our appetite, and even start to feel as if it’s sabotaging our weight loss plans. It’s great news, then, to know that having a healthy appetite is a good thing when you’re losing weight. In fact, satisfying it with generous portions of Free Food will help you stay on track, lose weight and keep it off, all while enjoying your meals and never needing to feel hungry.

More than hunger

It’s easy to think that hunger and appetite are the same thing, but there are some important differences. Hunger is a signal your body sends when it needs more fuel to keep it running effectively. Appetite is your overall desire to eat, and while being physically hungry is one reason you might reach for food, there are lots of other complex processes involved. To begin with, there are various chemicals in your body that influence your appetite, from hormones that encourage you to start and stop eating, to neurotransmitters that send signals inside your brain.

Then there are the physical aspects of eating, such as the taste, the action of chewing, and the stretching of your stomach as it fills with food. All of these play a part in how satisfied you feel after a meal. Even if all these signals are helping you to feel full, it’s possible to ignore them because you’re distracted – perhaps because you’re watching TV while eating, feeling ill or worrying about something.

Our senses – taste, sight, smell and even hearing – can also influence how much, when and what we want to eat. Have you ever suddenly felt your mouth water because you caught a whiff of freshly baked bread, or not felt hungry until you heard the rustle of a bag of crisps? Plus, sometimes what you drink can interfere with these signals. Alcohol, for example, stimulates your appetite, so the more you drink, the more you feel compelled to eat – that night, and the morning after.

It’s getting emotional…

On top of all those physical reasons why we might feel hungry, our emotions can affect our appetite, too. The gut is sometimes called the ‘second brain’, and it actually does send signals straight to our little grey cells. The pathways go both ways, too – which is why our stomachs might start churning when we’re nervous, or feel full of butterflies when we’re excited. And for many of us, the automatic response to any difficult emotion, whether it’s stress, worry, shame, guilt or disappointment, is to eat.

Because we often grow up associating food with comfort and distraction, it can feel like we really do need to eat when we’re upset,’ says clinical psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos. ‘You might initially feel better because you get a short serotonin spike when you eat. But that wears off quickly, leaving you with uncomfortable feelings, and often a new layer of guilt or frustration with yourself about what you’ve eaten.’

So when you’re not hungry yet still craving food, what you’re really craving could be an emotional boost, or a bit of assurance that you can cope, or that you are loved or appreciated. But the human brain likes to do things on autopilot, so, for example, if you get into the habit of reaching for food when you’re stressed, it won’t take long for the brain to make an association and trigger thoughts of food whenever you’re under pressure. ‘And every time you eat because you’re stressed, you reinforce the incorrect belief that you can’t cope without it,’ says Dr Papadopoulos. ‘If you haven’t developed any other ways of soothing yourself, you can’t think of them when you feel upset or under stress.

Eat more, lose more

Feeling deprived of food, which can happen when following a restrictive diet plan, may itself create uncomfortable emotions. ‘Hunger can make us feel agitated,’ says Dr Papadopoulos. And given that we need food to survive, it makes sense for the brain to send out ‘red alert’ signals when food seems to have become scarce. That’s why simply slashing the portion size of what you normally eat, or cutting out certain foods altogether, doesn’t work for many people.

A smarter approach is to work with your appetite, by making food choices that will maintain or even increase the amount of food you’re eating to help you feel full and satisfied, while also cutting back on calories – exactly what you’re doing when you’re Food Optimising. The scientific name for foods that tick the magic boxes of filling and low calorie is ‘low energy dense’; technically, foods with the fewest calories per gram, and those we call Free Food at Slimming World. Plus, some foods are extra filling due to the protein and fibre they contain – you’ll find them marked ‘P’ and ‘F’ in your Food Optimising book. So there’s more to weight loss than simply calories in and calories out.

A lot of people give up on diets because they feel hungry between meals. Our research shows eating low energy-dense foods can help overcome that problem,’ says psychologist Dr Nicola Buckland. Take carrots, for instance – you would have to munch your way through a whole bag (around 250g) to consume 100 calories, whereas you can eat 100 calories-worth of chocolate (around four squares) in seconds! Or, compare two lunches: a baked potato with cottage cheese and a large mixed salad; or a plain ham sandwich on white bread. One is likely to leave you feeling full and satisfied, and one thinking: ‘What else can I eat?’ Yet both contain roughly the same amount of calories (around 300).

A new study* has found that people who base their weight loss on low energy dense foods feel more satisfied and lose significantly more weight than those who simply count calories. In a lab setting, women who’d eaten generous meals of low energy-dense foods based on Food Optimising felt less hungry, more full and had less desire to eat at the next meal than when they’d had smaller portions of higher energy-dense foods. The study also compared women following Slimming World’s Food Optimising plan and going to group once a week with women following a calorie counting-based programme. After 14 weeks, the Slimming World group had lost more weight than the calorie-counting group, and also felt more in control of their food choices, enjoyed their food more, and showed greater confidence in their ability to stick to their weight loss plans.

The pleasure principle

Have you ever eaten a meal that you didn’t really enjoy, then felt like having something else afterwards to compensate? That’s our appetite at work again. Alongside choosing Free Food with properties that help us feel full, our meals need to look, smell and taste good. ‘Being physically deprived of food creates hunger, but being emotionally deprived of food also has an effect,’ says Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World’s head of nutrition and research. ‘Meal satisfaction comes from a combination of fullness and enjoyment. So even if we have enough calories to keep us going, we will still want more if we’re not eating food we enjoy.

Making delicious and tempting recipes from low energy-dense foods helps you feel like you’re not missing out, especially when they’re lightened-up versions of your favourites, using herbs and spices to add flavour without Syns. ‘If you’re eating low energy-dense meals that keep you fuller for longer, with healthy snacks and a treat every day from your Syns, you’re less likely to crave unhealthy foods because you’ll have satisfied both your physical and your emotional hunger,’ Jacquie says.

Getting in tune with your true appetite takes a bit of practice. So, if you notice you’re eating when you’re not hungry, remember it’s just part of your journey to a happy relationship with your appetite, and you’ll learn a little more each time about what makes you reach for certain foods. And when you do feel like eating, embrace your appetite – keep Food Optimising and relish every mouthful! Because once you’ve got the balance right for you, you’ll be on track to reach target and stay there, while enjoying your food more than ever.

*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.
© Copyright Slimming World 2019


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Menopause Monday – Trying To See The Funny Side

Hello Lovely Followers,

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (you can read it here). I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born.

So on to this weeks post.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I had an appointment with my GP to discuss all these symptoms I’ve been having – read about it here. He booked some blood tests and scheduled an ECG which I have now had and tomorrow I find out my results and his diagnosis.

In the grand scheme of thing, I suppose I haven’t had to wait long but we all know that when you’re in that position, a couple of weeks feels like years! So tonight, to help pass the time, I thought I’d just share some funny memes that I’ve found…

That’s better, I’ve actually got a smile on my face now. 🙂 I’ll let you know next week how my discussion with my doctor went as well as what he and I have agreed to do next.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your experiences; I’m continuing to feel less of a freak after joining the Facebook group for women in the UK going through the menopause and it certainly helps to talk to others in the same boat or to just vent.

Hope you have a good week.