Oct 24, 2014

A Better Christmas with A Better Me! ... Weigh-in 3!

Week 3! Its coming a lot faster than you realised isn't it?! 


This weeks guest post is by a Weight Watchers leader who has 'been-there-done-that-and -has-the-tshirt' ... her website is just brilliant and if you follow her on Facebook you already ready know that the recipes and food pics she posts are delicious! She is one of the most motivational people out there... and when you're stuck or struggling she's got the right words and the right shoes to kick you in the butt! She's just brilliant! 


For those lucky enough to live near her, she runs cookery classes... check out her site link below or better yet drool like the rest of us on a Monday when all the pics go live... 
Verette can be found here... 



Twitter - >>> HERE <<<
Facebook - >>> HERE <<<

Website - >>> HERE <<< 




Christmas... Before & After 

By Verette from A Better Me

I was chuffed to be asked by Skinny Doll to write a little blog post for her Christmas Challenge and of course I immediately said yes count me in. I had a think long and hard about what to write and given that it’s a Christmas theme I thought I might as well tell you about a really bad Christmas party that I attended in my “heavier” life and how I view Christmas now in my “slimmer” life!

My before! 



11 years ago I was almost 15 stone weight, not good when you’re only 5 foot 3 and as with most overweight people I’m sure, I used to break out in a sweat when I would get an invitation to something as the first thought was always “I have nothing to wear”. Truth was I had tons of clothes but nothing fit and all the tents I did wear were definitely not suitable for the Christmas party that I had just been invited to. So rather than decline yet another invitation because of my weight, I decided to borrow a dress and attend that party, even though it was the last thing I wanted to do. Best decision I ever made actually because that night was the turning point for me. 



I arrived at the party where of course everyone in the room looked sparkly and beautiful and there was me in my borrowed dress and not alone was that too tight for me but for some insane reason I decided to wear a choker too (Trust me they were a thing at the time) but trust me too when I tell you, that you should never ever wear a choker when you have more than one chin! All I wanted to do that night was hide but obviously in a room full of people that’s not easy, so I did what I did a lot then and focused on the food. When was it going to be served and how much could I eat without bursting out of that dress?

While I was shoving down my emotions with food that evening I overheard a lady beside me (gorgeous figure, beautiful dress, no choker) talking about how busy her life was. Two kids same as me, working part-time same as me, straight hair same as me, only thing it seemed she had that I didn’t was a slim body. While I sat there and listened, I had my light bulb moment. That lady had a very similar life to mine but she obviously worked hard at staying a healthy weight where as I used my busy life as an excuse not to. I decided there and then that I would not be in a borrowed dress for the Christmas party the following year and at the beginning of January I joined Weight Watchers.

My after!



I lost 4 and a half stone that year, it took me 51 weeks to do that , I always say I took the scenic route as I felt it was a slow burn , a pound here a pound there, but would I change that? Hell no! I’ve maintained that weight loss bar a few pounds up or down for almost 11 years now. I can say hand on my heart that I will never be that girl again that sat at a party and was more interested in the food then the company. Christmas is very different for me now. I’m still busy, busier than ever actually but the difference now is that I’ve learned how to manage my life better , how to prioritise my health and eating habits , how to know when enough is enough and still in all of that how to enjoy the magic that is Christmas. I love all the sparkle, I love the twinkly lights, I love coming home to a big fire after a long walk on a cold and crispy day. I still love the food but its cooked in a much healthier way and even then it’s not nearly as important as the people in my life. Family and not food is what Christmas is, and should always be, about. 




Thanks for reading and I hope you get your Christmas wish this year!

Verette x


See what I mean about AMAZING inspirational people out there!?! Verette asked me to choose one of the after pics but I just couldn't, she looks so fabulous in both of them! 



Rocking around the Christmas tree is exactly what will be happening with you lot... as this went to post there's a group loss of 163.5lbs! 3 people hitting the half stone loss already and many others really REALLY close to it! Christmas crackers on the way!!! Chart below!!! 

Remember if I've missed your weigh-in, just let me know, some slip through the cracks and I think I'm very organised and I've done them and I haven't! eek!!! 




Have an amazing week! x

Oct 22, 2014

Snuggly Drinks...

Its that time of year when we get all warm and fuzzy watching the tellybox and start raiding the kitchen for goodies... and halloween and Christmas bring nothing but chocolate treats all shiny and pretty!

Hot Chocolate is a great quick fix, even chucking in a few marshmallows helps the sugar cravingly adding 1 PP!

So my personal fav is the Aldi Hot Chocolate.. but here's some of the hot chocs out there at the moment... 


Wispa Hot Choccy - 3PP per serving 


Weight Watchers Hot Chocolate - 1PP per serving 


Nescafe Gingerbread Latte - 2PP per serving 




Aero Hot Choc - 3PP per serving 



Weight Watchers Hot Chocolate with Caramel - 1PP per serving 


Aldi Hot Choc light - 1PP per serving 
My personal fav... 


Marks & Spencer 1PP per serving


Marks & Spencer 4PP per 35g serving


Marks & Spencer 2PP per 18g serving


Marks & Spencer 2PP per 15g serving


If you've got a favourite low PP drink add it to the comments below!



Oct 20, 2014

Get yourself an attitude problem!!!


You are worth it.
You can do it.
There's nothing to stop you but yourself! 

That. Is. All! 


Have a great week! 

Oct 17, 2014

Where is the finish line? ... Weigh in 2!

So week two... all still on the wagon?! I'm down 1 this week... another step closer! This weeks guest post is from one of my all time fav weight watcher people... he is a massive inspiration to so many... The first time I saw his post about walking up Croagh Patrick I welled up... he was talking about me... and his honesty is SO refreshing... we have been following each other over two years now, not literally... well not yet! and hand on heart I'd be lost without him... *totally fan-girl-ing* ...  If running is your thing and have no clue of how or where to start... get to his blog and follow his progress... You can find him in all these places... 

check out his blog 19st to 10K >>> HERE <<<



Also spotted ... Twitter >>> HERE <<<  

FACEBOOK >>> HERE <<<

INSTAGRAM >>> HERE <<<


Where is the Finish Line?

by John Quinlivan


They say if you change your perspective, you change your world. One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn over the past year has come from my inability to cross the finish line. I can see it, sitting out there on the horizon staring straight at me. My finish line is a bouncy castle, I can see it in my head – one giant inflatable bouncy castle just waiting to be boarded. I’ve had it within grasping distance - I was 1lb off goal weight this time last year. I wanted it so badly back then, I still want it so badly right now. Today I am 20lbs off goal (I’ll let you do the maths there), so even if I had a lasso, a stallion and a grapple hook I wouldn’t be able get a grip on the finish line without seriously damaging my bouncy castle.

Right now I have two options – Work towards it or throw in the towel.

Thinking about it, these two options have always been available. I just didn’t see it this way when the journey was “plain sailing”. It’s the challenges and difficulties that have really shown me who I am and helped me grow as a person. You see, on one hand I have crossed so many other finish lines in the past twelve months on personal & professional levels yet this one seems to mean the most to me. Recently I was talking to someone who asked what difference today would it have made had I hit Goal last year and the only answer I keep coming up with is… None whatsoever!

In order to stay motivated, I always think about the following: 1) Why do I want this? 2) What does it mean to me to be keep going? 3) How would I feel if I stopped? Giving up will always be the easier option rather than working for it, but just because it’s easier doesn’t make it right. Without a shadow of doubt, I believe that weight & fitness are not destinations and they have no finish line. You don’t lose weight and that’s it, it’s not coming back (if only). Similarly once you run a 5K doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to unless you keep working at it. I recently came across this quote which actually blew my mind. Just think about this:





All any one of us can do is try. No one is watching or taking notes so what does it matter if there are mistakes or bumps along the way. If your weight loss isn’t going as fast as you’d like or if it feels like you are going round in circles, as long as you want to move in the right direction (the direction of your finish line), then I believe things will be fine. That is why I’ve signed up to The Skinny Doll’s 12 Week Challenge. Hopefully it’ll bring me closer to my finish line and even if it doesn’t – I haven’t lost anything by taking part!

Not being where you’d like to be is tough, we’ve all been there. I reckon however being back at the start line would be tougher! If I was talking to myself (and I wasn’t me if you get me), I know the advice I’d give: C’mon stick with it, put in 10 good weeks between now and Christmas, you know it’s worth it. Don’t leave it until January to re-start. Even if it’s ½ a pound a week between now and Christmas, you’ll be nearly half a stone lighter come the Christmas Party.

So what advice would you give a friend who is in your exact situation? Change your perspective, change your world!



That was then but this is now…

John Q



Johns' Xmas song for the Challenge is 'Stay another day!' 
a Christmas no 1 by East 17 about never giving up! 



Now if THAT doesn't motivate you... I don't know what will! 

Weigh in chart below everyones doing great... many additions last week too! I've put the names in alphabetical order (roughly, don't start getting picky!!!) let me know if I've missed you or your weigh in... Have a FAB-U-LOSS week! 






Oct 15, 2014

Breakfast bars from M&S!

My quest for the 'What's-the-fastest-breakfast-on-the-go-ever' continues....  
All from the Eat Well range in Marks & Spencers! 



2PP for a pack of 2
These are the only ones I've tried and they're lovely, I love my oats!
BUT I definitely needed my yoghurt and fruit to keep me going all morning!



2PP for a pack of 2



2PP for a pack of 2



4PP per 40g bar


5PP per 45g bar



Oct 13, 2014

Some common sense... Monday Motivation!

Just a little FYI this cold Monday morning...



 

You didn't go to bed last night and wake up 2 stone heavier... You won't wake up tomorrow 2 stone lighter, damn it... So be realistic! 1-2 lbs a week is a healthy way to lose weight, any more is a bonus... add in a little extra walk into your day, take the stairs, have a boogie in the kitchen, do squats when you're doing laundry... a little exercise here and there all adds up! 

Have a great week x 



Oct 10, 2014

Last Christmas, I gave you my ... WEEK 1!

And we're off!!! Week 1! How did we all do? 

This first post is a bit of a personal rant ... it's all about how weight loss is between the ears and not always your gob! It's about inspiration... Everyone losing weight lacks motivation along the way... I can't count how many times have I posted my mojo was 'missing / AWOL / Hi-jacked' ... and within minutes people give me the push I need and the kick in the pants I deserved! Surrounding yourself with inspirational people is a must when you're working hard at something that's not easy... 





Last weekend I was privileged enough to be a finalist in the Irish Blog Awards and it was amazing! But the journey to get to the event wasn't! You see, I had a ticket for the Leinster V Munster game in AVIVA... my nearest and dearest know how much I love my rugby but I handed over my ticket to a friend because there will be many games this season and how often do you get to be finalist right?!?! RIGHT!?! This is my first time in all the years of blogging... I regularly judge the blog awards, so I know what's involved and whilst I'll never win because my blog doesn't fit certain criteria, I'm not changing the way I do things round here, but I was SO thrilled to get to the final stage! Long time shortlister first time finalist... only chuffed I was! 





But Saturday afternoon there were tears, proper tears, and even a little tantrum... I was going alone, I didn't know anyone else ... in my head, people would just look at me and think 'Really?!?! SHE blogs about weight loss!!! The size of her!!!' The bad voices were running amok between my ears and rather that just power through, I dissolved, by 5pm I was standing, yes standing, on my bed wondering where my 'bestest' black dress was under the pile of 'I have NOTHING to wear' clothes... Of course, I needed to find the first dress I tried on and could wear with two pairs of spanx so I might look half decent... The plan was if I left home by 6:30pm I could be in Clane for 7pm-ish... and if everyone was already gone into dinner, I could turn around, hit McDs for a McFlurry and head home to follow the awards on twitter and watch the game on TG4! I KNOW... I KNOW!!! and because I pride myself on honesty in here... I googled how many ProPoints in a McFlurry and it brought me to my own blog! See what I mean! OH it's not lost on me AT ALL! 


However after getting sidetracked in Sallins (which, FYI, is right beside feckin Clane, if anyone ever needs THAT information!) I got there, decided to go to reception and follow through with my 'Run Away' plan... before I even got to reception someone stopped me on the way up the stairs and asked me if I was 'The Skinny Doll!' ... my inner voice was screaming 'WTF!?!' ... Blushing I said 'yes' and stared at my shoes (not the good heels cause I was doing a runner right, they were in the car... I had my cheapy flats on for driving! In fact I was nearly in my tatty Converse!) ... She said she knew me from my instagram pics and followed me on twitter and spotted my Paul Hollywood tweet! (cue more staring at shoes...) we then both walked to the check in desk and she mingled with some others...  I stood waiting for my name badge (which FYI wasn't in the plan!), which I then boldly put in my pocket to avoid any inquisition... before I knew it, 2 more had spotted who I was... BUSTED by three people who write blogs that I LOVE... next thing I knew I was sitting at a table chatting with some fabulous bloggers like the mountain of clothes and the tears never happened... and it was a great night... to be sitting in a room full of talented people who decided one day to write their thoughts, dreams, journeys, recipes, health tips, beauty tips, political rants and raves, as a hobby and have such a passion for it, was just brilliant! All winners in my book! 



Many people do not realise my self esteem is still on the floor... I break out in a sweat when asked how much weight I've lost... yes, I'm very proud of all my hard work, but I'm not at the stage where I can stand up put my hands on my hips and shout 'hell yeah!'... so I mumble it through a smile ... my leader knows about my blog but I'm in total denial and stare at my shoes when she mentions it in class... (usually my converse cause I've weighed my winter boots... 3 lbs people, THREE pounds!!! but that's for another post!)... slowly but surely I'm getting better... slowly but surely I'm realising what I've been missing out on... and I am incredibly proud of this little hobby of mine and, hand on heart, never in a million years did I think it would grow into something so wonderful and bring me in contact with so many talented and inspirational people and the many readers who keep me on track... But as I'm all about honesty, you get the good with the bad... you get the 'feck off I'm having a bun!' posts to the 'Look at me, I'm so on track it's ridiculous!' posts ... because I'm just a normal gal trying to lose it like the rest of you... 



SO... every week, for this Christmas challenge, there will be a guest post from someone who inspires me! Someone who has struggled, cried with anger and joy over a silver seven, some who are at goal, some who do weight watchers, some who do slimming world, some who are just awesome and just seeing their instagram feed in the morning stops me buying a scone on the way to work... People I can relate to, who struggle like me... but who never give up... and because they never give up... I won't! 

These are all people who make me realise I'm not the only one in the weigh loss boat and it's not the Titanic... Losing weight isn't easy, especially when the journey is long, I'm over half way through mine but if someone had told me I'd be 4lbs away from losing 8 stone, I'd have laughed hysterically at them and asked them what drugs they were on! But here I am, 4 lbs away... and whilst I still have a way to go, every pound is a step closer and every day someone or something keeps me on track, my leader in weight watchers who is AMAZING, sends us off into the world every Thursday with a pep in our step... Someone posting their loss on Facebook/Twitter or getting to goal... a recipe from the Sunday Cook Off that makes me drool and I know I can make ProPoint friendly... and more often than not, one of the guest posters, will have written a blog post that just hits a nerve that makes me go 'FOR GAWDS SAKE DOLL... JUST GET ON WITH IT!'


Just think of Last Christmas... 

If you need any inspiration just look at where you were 'Last Christmas' (geddit!?) and think of how you felt and how miserable you were, when you were SO annoyed with yourself for NOT doing it sooner and using every excuse in the book to NOT do it and then lost the plot only to face a tougher journey in January... We've all been there... I know the excuses better than anyone, don't let this be another year when you say 'next year I'll be happier!'  You could be 10 lbs lighter this year if you pull your socks up! 1 lb a week is doable for everyone! 

AND over 40 people taking part!!! How cool is that!?! YAY! A few weigh ins have come at me already ... 

If I missed you, let me know, there's an ANON who needs a name if you could comment again with a handle, I'll add you in! 

Right!!! Lets be having you!





One to download and stick on your fridge if you're doing it at home