Saturday, January 30, 2016

How To Stick To Your Weight Loss Programme (and Why I Quit Weight Watchers)

Long-time readers of this blog will know that way back in 2011 I started Weight Watchers for the first time. I lost successfully with it, to the tune of almost two stone (28lbs) in three months. Over the years I gained a bit back, then lost a bit more, lather, rinse repeat. Which brings me to now. I am at my lightest weight since I don’t know when, and have come to the realisation that to stay at this point I need to track my food. Sure, I can have the odd day off for a special occasion, even a week here and there to enjoy a holiday, but 80-90% of the time I need to track.

So why have I quit Weight Watchers (WW)? Well, as you may or may not know, Weight Watchers completely revamped their programme just before Christmas 2015 and introduced a whole new system of counting points. Basically it now heavily penalises foods high in sugar and fat, and encourages you to eat foods high in protein. This is all well and good and I’m sure it’s much better for you than the previous system, but for me, in order to stay on plan in the long term I need flexibility. I need to be able to have a little bit of chocolate if I want it. I need to be able to enjoy a meal out and not worry about going over my points. (In fact, going over my points is likely to make me think ‘why bother?’ and write the whole week off.) To that end, I have quit WW and am now following the old plan by myself. I have an app that tracks the points and it’s like nothing has changed. It’s great.

I have been thinking recently about what helps me to stay (mostly) on track and have compiled a list of my top tips.

How to stick to your weight loss programme

Have a late breakfast

I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but as I have a desk job I can eat breakfast pretty much anytime I like. I’ve found that if I wait until around 9am I am far less likely to want a mid-morning snack (although I will have some fruit if I fancy it). My lunch break is usually around 12.30pm so by having a later breakfast I can easily make it through until then.

Have a good lunch

Since I started adding half a can of soup to my usual sandwich and fruit lunch I find I don’t crave chocolate (so much) mid-afternoon. I will still have a snack – usually an apple or some sultanas, but I don’t feel the temptation of the vending machine nearly so much.

Drink plenty of water

The app I’m using now to track my WW points also has a section to record your healthy choices and one of those is how much water you’ve drunk. I aim for 8 glasses a day (or 4 refills of the pint glass I keep on my desk) to know I’ve had enough. You’ve probably heard that if you feel hungry, more often than not you are actually thirsty. Turns out, this is true.

Wear a pedometer

You can now enter the number of steps you’ve walked per day on the official WW app (and on the pro points one I’m using), either by syncing up your Fitbit or, if you have a cheapo tracker band like I do, manually. The app then converts the steps to WW points. Which you can eat, if you need/want to do so. I find wearing a wristband pedometer encourages me to move more in general. I’m keen not to break my run of days that I’ve achieved my 10,000 steps so you’ll often find me marching on the spot whilst watching TV or You Tube (which has to be better than sitting on my butt, right?) to get my total number of steps up.

These are all things that help me to stay on track so I hope you find them useful too. Whatever you choose to do though, just stick at it and the results will come. Don’t beat yourself up about any gains or plateaus and remember to enjoy yourself along the way.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Outfit: January 25th – Orange Jacket and Jeans





Priceless Navy

The past weekend was almost spring-like. The temperature got up to a balmy 14˚C on Sunday afternoon, which was perfect for a trip to the park with my niece. (Sorry North East USA, yes I have seen the snowfall you got over the weekend. We’re about to get it as rain this week.) By Monday it was still around 12˚C meaning I didn’t need a sweater – just a long sleeve t shirt and jacket for the office.

Jacket – c/o TM Lewin
Top – Long Tall Sally
Jeans – Zara (charity shop)
Boots – Priceless Shoes
Belt – gifted
Necklace – vintage

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Outfit: How To Wear Over The Knee Boots




As you may have noticed, I’m a big fan of over the knee boots. When you’re as tall as I am, finding a pair of boots to even reach your knees is a challenge, so a pair that come right up over your knees is a wondrous thing indeed!


If you want to try out the style but are a little afraid to do so, here are my tips:

How To Wear Over The Knee Boots

1. Suede, not leather, and certainly not patent! Over the knee boots can have Pretty Woman connotations, thanks to the famous shot of Julia Roberts in those patent leather thigh highs on the poster and the front of the video (yes, I had it on video long before DVDs were invented)/DVD case. The best way to disassociate with that image is to pick a pair of boots in a suede or faux suede fabric.

2. Jean rather than skirts. Whilst I love to wear my over the knee boots with dresses and skirts, if you’re just starting out with the style then the easiest way by far is to pair your boots with jeans. They will make your legs look fabulous and show off your skinny jeans to their best advantage.

3. Flats or a lower heel. Yes my pair of boots is a high stiletto, but you may prefer a flat boot or a lower heel to make them less daunting. There are some chunkier heels around at the moment too, which could be a good option.


Over the knee boots are definitely something to try though, whichever style you plump for. I have two pairs currently in my wardrobe and over the years I’ve had several other pairs. Don’t tell anyone, but my favourite reason to wear them is that they keep my knees warm!

Top – Long Tall Sally
Jeans – Zara (charity shop)
Boots – Primark (gifted)
Necklace – gifted
Scarf – TK Maxx
Belt – gifted

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Outfit: What to Wear in the Snow!




Hunter wellies black

Saturday night it started snowing around 5.30pm and didn’t let up before bedtime. By Sunday morning there was more than just a dusting on the ground so I headed out to take some pictures of it before it all melted away.  Although the pictures look like they are black and white, they're not: it was just a grey day.

My new coat (the one I got for Christmas) is proving to be super useful so far as it’s warm, toasty and waterproof. And when there’s snow on the ground wellies are the only sensible option. Mine are Hunters which I would definitely recommend – I’ve had them years and they are really comfortable and well made. Finally, put a hat on. Not to sound like your mother, but you lose 40% of your body heat through your head so a hat definitely makes a difference in cold weather.

Coat – Mountain Warehouse (gifted)
Hat – Primark
Scarf – H&M
Jeans – Zara (charity shop)
Wellies – Hunter (c/o Sarenza)
Gloves – Jasper Conran (Debenhams)

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Outfit: January 11th





Deichmann Graceland wedge boot

Winter hit the UK with a vengeance on Monday. It was frosty for the first time this winter (I think there was maybe one frost back in early November but that was technically still autumn). I paired the warmest item I own with the warmest boots I have. As long as it stays dry (or it snows) then I don’t mind the cold. It’s cold and rainy that I can’t abide.

Dress – Next Tall
Tights – Primark (fleece lined)
Boots – c/o Deichmann Shoes
Necklace – Scope
Earrings – Avon (gifted)

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Outfit: January 5th








Geox Mendi tan boots

Tuesday was grey and damp so brightening up my outfit with one of my favourite scarves seemed like a good idea. I have had this colourful number for years and it goes with everything because it contains pretty much every colour there is in the print.

Sweater – Long Tall Sally (eBay)
Jeans – Long Tall Sally (sale)
Boots – Geox (c/o Sarenza)
Necklace – Scope
Scarf – H&M
Earrings – gifted

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Saturday, January 09, 2016

Outfit: January 4th






It was back to work on January 4th and happy Monday to me! The weather was finally playing ball and actually being cold and January-like so my OTK boots weren’t overkill. I even wore my new waterproof padded coat to keep me warm and dry (because of course the forecast was for rain as well as cold).

Sweater – c/o TM Lewin
Jeans – Long Tall Sally (sale)
Boots – Primark (gifted)
Necklaces – gifted
Bracelet – gifted

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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Outfit: December 31st







Geox Mendi tan boots

New Year’s Eve was upon us and here’s what I wore during the day. It was lovely and sunny that day, but pretty chilly so I was glad of the fleece lined tights (Primark, you rock for introducing me to those!) and the scarf.

The skirt is the one I got for Christmas from my little sister. It has an exposed zip in back and I love it. My necklace was also a Christmas present – I told my mom that I would like to find a statement necklace in my stocking and this is what she came up with.

Top – Long Tall Sally (sale)
Skirt – Topshop Tall (gifted)
Tights – Primark
Boots – Geox (c/o Sarenza)
Necklace – Primark
Scarf – H&M

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