Thursday, 18 December 2014

My First Weight Watchers Class Alone

Image: Pixabay

I feel I need to apologize right now. This blog has been left on its own for a while. I’ve had so much going on between my freelance writing and Weight Watchers leader training. It’s left little time to write on the blogs that I love.

This is one of those blogs. I have wanted to share so much with you, but had so little time.

But I’m sitting down and writing out this post for you all. You see, last night I took my first Weight Watchers class all alone.

Up until now I’ve always had another leader around to get answers and support me. I’ve had someone there to help when I’ve completely lost the plot. That wasn’t the case last night.

I covered for another leader—in fact, my own leader!—because she was ill. I got the chance to meet new members and hear all about their success stories. It is always inspirational to hear about the success stories in classes, no matter how big or small they are. It was nerve-wracking at first, but I had so much fun doing it. This is something that I can see myself enjoying forever.

After that, I’m really looking forward to having my own classes. They start on January 6th in Blackwood, South Lanarkshire. Yes, Weight Watchers is coming to Blackwood! Those who want to lose weight after Christmas come along to my Tuesday morning class at 10am at Our Lady and St. John’s Church.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Setting Small Goals for Christmas

Image: Pixabay

At Weight Watchers, this week marks the countdown to Christmas. With seven weeks to go, there is still time to lose half a stone or even a whole stone of weight!

The whole point of this first week of the challenge is to set small goals for Christmas. Goal setting is a great way to stay motivated, but they have to be realistic.

What Are Your Christmas Weight Loss Goals?

There’s no point saying that you will lose three stone by Christmas. That’s extremely ambitious, not very healthy and setting you up for failure. Setting a small goal like 7lbs or 14lbs is much more realistic and achievable. Even with a bad week, you can still get back on track to reach the goal.
So, what are your small goals for Christmas? Where do you see yourself in seven weeks time?

There are lots of small goal ideas, and not all are scales related. You may want to:

  • Fit in that sparkly dress a size down
  • See inches off your waist
  • Fit into that top that has been sitting in your closet for months
  • Feel happier this Christmas
  • Feel more confident

Write Your Small Goals for Christmas Down!

Did you know that research shows that if you write your goals down, you’re 33% more likely to achieve them? Putting them in writing is like setting them in stone. They appear real, and you can keep looking back at them. You can also stay accountable to someone if you write it somewhere for others to see.

You can write your goals down anyway. Make it a Facebook post, or just have a post-it not on your computer. You could even write it in your journal.

Reward Yourself for Reaching Your Goals

It’s really important to reward yourself for reaching your goals. This marks the fact that you reached the one task you set yourself, and keeps you motivated for the next reward for reaching your next goal.

When you reach your small goals for Christmas, how are you going to reward yourself? Will you have a day at a spa, or get your nails done for the New Year parties? Will you finally buy that sparkly dress for the Christmas parties?

This is your time to lose weight. You have seven weeks, and you can lose half a stone in that time. That’s just a pound a week, and certainly realistic.

What’s your small goals for Christmas, and how are you going to achieve them?

Mine is to lose just 5lbs to get me back to my goal weight. I want to do it by December 10 because that’s when my one-year anniversary is for being at my goal weight and I need to lose a little. I want that star!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

What Could Losing 5% of Your Body Weight Mean to Your Health?

Image: Pixabay

At Weight Watchers we like to focus on small targets before that big one. While Silver 7s are handed out for each half stone (7lbs) a person loses, there is also the focus on losing a certain percentage of your body weight. 5% and 10% are the two that you get small awards for.

They sound like small goals, but they do so much for your health. 5% could be 7-14lbs, but you gain a lot of benefits from that small weight loss. Of course, it could be a lot more if your starting weight is higher.

Working Out 5% of Your Body Weight

To start with, you need to know what 5% of your starting weight is. I like to work in pounds, but you could work in kilos. When I started, I was 14 stone 4 lbs. That works out to be 200lbs in total. Five percent of that is 10lbs. So my 5% target was to lose 10lbs of weight. That would take me down to 13 stone 8lbs.

It was so much better as an initial weight loss goal than saying I needed to lose over 3 stone.

But What Does 5% of Your Body Weight Mean to Your Health?

I’ve mentioned there are health benefits.

By losing 10lbs, I was getting to the point where everyday activities no longer seemed too much of a hassle. I was also in a dress size smaller!

There are health benefits that you don’t see by losing 5% of your body weight. One of those is your blood pressure. That decreases as you lose more weight. You could just need that 5% or 10% to get to a healthy blood pressure so the doctors are no longer on at you about it.

You also reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to weight. This is one of the fastest growing health problems around the world, especially the Western World. While it isn’t always linked to weight, being overweight can lead to being at a higher risk of developing it. If you already have type 2 diabetes, losing weight can help with the managing of it.

Sleep Better With a Lower Weight

One way that you can find losing 5% of your body weight helps is by sleeping better. You don’t feel all the aches and pains on a night, and it makes your breathing much more stable and easier. By getting a good night’s rest, you’ll feel more energetic the next day, and you can focus on a better diet and more exercise.

You’ll also want to do more exercise. Walking up the stairs won’t be as hard, and with each 5% you lose the easier it will become. That gives you the encouragement to do more and try harder, so you lose weight quicker while toning your body.

Isn’t it time you took care of your health? Losing 5% of your body weight can do so much for you, and it’s a great initial goal to focus on.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Weight Watchers Recipe: Curried Butternut Squash Soup

The cold weather is closing in. It’s at the point where we’re looking at soups, stews and dishes to make in the slow cooker. We need something hot when it comes to dinner time.

Image: Pixabay
We decided to do a curried butternut squash soup, and I’ve got to admit that it is absolutely delicious. It’s definitely one to try again. The best thing is that you can make it as mild or as spicy as you want. We used a mild curry powder because my husband isn’t a fan of very spicy food, and neither is my daughter, really.

If you’re on Weight Watchers, the recipe is zero points once split between six (the number it serves) and great for the Simple Start/Filling and Healthy plans.

The only downside is the cooking time. It takes an hour to cook because the butternut squash needs softening to get the good stuff out of it.

I’m making it again tonight, so I’ll make sure there is a photo of my efforts this time.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash, cut in half with seeds removed
2 onions, cut into four
2 veg stock cubes, making 2 pts water
1 ½ tsp curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/GM 7
  2. Place the butternut squash and onions onto a large baking dish and cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. The squash will be tender all the way through. There’s no need to worry about browning sections of the vegetables.
  3. Take the squash from the skin and place both into a saucepan.
  4. Use your veg cubes to make up 2 pts of veg broth. Use boiling water and pour it all straight into the saucepan with the vegetables.
  5. Boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer for 15 minutes and then allow to cool for another 15 minutes.
  6. Place the soup into a blender and blitz until smooth.
  7. Place the curry powder into a frying pan and toast for a couple of minutes. Watch out for this one because it’s really easy to burn it accidently.
  8. Stir into your soup and then season to taste.
Image: Alexandria Ingham
You can garnish your soup with spring onions if you want, and serve with delicious warm bread.
Enjoy your winter warmer with your curried butternut squash soup.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Halloween Party Ideas to Lose Weight

If you’re hosting a Halloween party this year, the idea of weight loss during this time can be daunting. Even if you’re not hosting the party, the thought of dealing with all the candy and chocolates can be terrifying when you’re losing weight. Here are a few Halloween party ideas to help you stay in control in the run-up and on the night.

Have Some Healthy but Fun Snacks

Image: Alexandria Ingham
You don’t just need to get chocolates, candies and cookies in. Why not have some fun with some healthy snacks? I loved making some of these last year, and did mini orange pumpkins and banana ghouls. 

I blogged about some fun Halloween party ideas last year, and you can find that blog post here.
If you’re hosting the party, put them out for your guests. Even if they don’t want to eat them, you have something to enjoy. If you’re attending a party, take a platter of your creations with you and share with your friends. That can be your hostess gift.

Set an Allowance for Unhealthy Snacks

Having a chocolate bar or a cookie every now and then isn’t going to harm you. In fact, a treat now and then is good for your mind and diet. You’re less likely to get cravings, and you’ll be in more control.

Set yourself an allowance for the night. It could be one unhealthy snack each hour of the party, or one for every 10 healthy Halloween party ideas you try.

Be realistic with yourself when setting your allowance, and think about your restraints on the night.

Let the Kids Go Away With More

One of the biggest problems I have is having the bowl of candy in the house on Halloween night. The best way of dealing with this is by getting the kids to go home with most of it.

I tell the kids that they can have two or three pieces each. This area doesn’t get that many trick or treaters. As it gets towards the end of the night, they can have more if there’s a lot left. Usually there isn’t.

It seems kids spread the word about the houses offering the best or most chocolate. By following this tip last year, our bowl was almost empty by the end of the night.

Freeze Your Halloween Party Ideas

If you’re hosting a party, you may have a lot left. You don’t want it to go to waste, but you know the food isn’t good for your diet.

Why not freeze everything? I find this really useful with chocolate, especially caramel or toffee candy. The candy gets so tough that it takes me longer to eat it. I savor more of it, and don’t want to eat as much.

You may also forget about it, too, since it will sit at the bottom of your freezer collecting ice. That will make it last longer!

Don’t Worry Too Much!

One little tip that I do want to give is to not worry too much. Yes, you can follow all these Halloween party ideas, but there is still the element of fear that you’ll overeat.

It is one night! One night isn’t going to ruin your whole diet. Get right back on track the next day and deal with it sensibly. Sometimes you just need that one night off.

Enjoy the night. It comes just once a year, there’s no point getting stressed over it. If you do need more Halloween party ideas and tips to deal with the season, here’s my post from last year to help you out.

Happy Halloween everyone!