Category: Baby & Me

The WW Flex Effect – 3 reasons why I love it

Weight Watchers have announced some changes to their plan and if you’re already a member like me, you don’t have to look far to find a mixed bag of reactions to the announcement. I’m for one am over the moon to learn about the Weight Watchers Flex programme and here are 3 reasons why I already love the improved Weight Watchers plan and the flex effect!

1. More food, less guilt, healthier choices
The beauty of Weight Watchers is that you can eat anything you like, but with the expertise of Weight Watchers there is a wealth of material at your fingertips to help guide on what foods are best for healthy living and weight loss. The recent changes to the plan include a wider range of foods, mostly protein, that you no longer need to be count as part of your daily allowance. I love this because once again it will steer me towards foods that are healthy, will fill me up properly and (I hope) will stop me from overindulging on chocolate when I’m in one of those moods…

An example;
If I have 2 SmartPoints remaining at the end of the day and I’m hungry, I more often than not opt for a low calorie chocolate bar. I know this won’t fill me up but i’m a sugar addict (i’m working on that) and I think it will at least take the edge off my hunger and give me my sweet fix. Only problem is that one bar often leads to more (if I’m having an off day) and then I get myself in a vicious cycle, as I’m annoyed with myself for having eaten multiple chocolate bars then i’m like “well I’ve done it now so i’ll keep going”! However with more zero foods on the list, and foods that I tend to have around or i’m intrigued to try, I can now fill myself up on good things and i’m hoping this will help me to still enjoy a sweet treat but not go crazy on them as i’ll genuinely be full. I hope that makes some kind of sense!

2. Increase fuel for exercising
As my fitness improves and I’m exercising more, I’ve struggled to satisfy my post-workout hunger. I’ve read a lot about eating protein after working out (and in general) but I couldn’t quite get my numbers right when it came fitting in the extra protein into my Weight Watchers SmartPoints allowance; not that it couldn’t be done, I just needed the professionals (aka Weight Watchers) to spell it out for me!

3. Change can be good to get past a plateau
Completely my own doing, but I have been losing and gaining the same few pounds for last few months. I’m so excited to see if the Weight Watchers Flexible programme will help me get past those same pesky pounds and into the next stone down.

I’ll keep you posted!

An active day out at RHS Garden Wisley

Half term just gone me, my daughter and our besties headed off to Wisley Gardens in Surrey. Over the years I’ve heard of it but I hadn’t really thought of it as a place for young children, which I’ve come to learn was very foolish. This gorgeous setting is a great place to take kids and if you’re a Fitbit fan like me, you will definitely earn yourself some steps exploring all that the gardens have to offer. If you’ve not been before and you’re interested in heading somewhere new this weekend over the festive period, here’s a bit about our day out at RHS Garden, Wisley.

The Gardens
You can’t help but be impressed with these grounds and this post probably won’t do it any justice. Just believe me when I say that it is simply stunning and extremely varied. For example, there’s a Glasshouse which is home to tropical plants and a waterfall; a whole garden filled with unusual wood carved seats and statues; a large dinosaur that my daughter was fascinated with; and a kids park.

Park and soft play
The park for little ones is huge and surrounded by picnic benches, which is where we enjoyed our lunch. There’s also an indoor soft play and throughout the year you can find plenty of events on just for children.

Special events
This half term there was pumpkin carving, storytelling, a puppet show and lots of other activities for children to get involved with; and I’ve just seen there’s lots on at RHS Wisley over Christmas too – including stories with Santa!

Food and drink
There are several cafes were you can pick up lunch, cakes, coffees and so on. There are also plenty of places dotted around to sit and enjoy your own food if you fancy taking a picnic with you. That does keep costs down and saves on queuing during busy lunch periods. That said, the coffee and cake I had was delicious!

See you soon Wisley!
www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

Why you’ve not seen how much I’ve lost lately

I’ve been a little quiet lately when it comes to sharing my weight loss stats and that’s because i’ve been slowly gaining weight (well losing and then gaining what I lost) – since I got to my weight loss goal in March. Whilst I feel slimmer in some ways and definitely fitter, that pesky number on the scales has been rising and we all know I’m a little bit obsessed with the scales. So, here’s what i’m struggling with and how I hope to turn it around. Plus, should I hide my scales?

My trouble zones

Evening snacking: When it’s dark and my daughter is in bed I seem to snack like there’s no tomorrow. It feels like it’s a bit of me time and for whatever reason, my hands and mouth seem to constantly want food in them! But, i’ve got a couple of strategies…

I used to snack on frozen grapes. Because they’re frozen they take longer to eat and being grapes you get that satisfaction of going back for more. Does that make any sense? I kind of got out of the habit of eating them, especially when it’s a little colder, but i’m bringing grapes back! Also, when colouring with my daughter the other day I found it surprising therapeutic and kept my snacking hands busy, so I may actually get some of those adult colouring books and pencils which I used to think were a bit gimmicky – you win, i’m buying you!

Events: I’m guilty of admitting defeat before an event has begun. “Oh I’ve got a party and I know i’m going to be terrible so i’m going to be a massive piggy”. Instead of creating a game plan and making healthy choices during said event, I don’t track (and I usually track everything I eat and drink) and get carried away with the old prosecco, which eventually leads to drunken munchies. My strategy for this one is…

I must plan ahead and track what I’m eating and drinking during the moment. So that I feel better about those occasions where I will eat and drink more (but could do it more sensibly), I could go for a buggy run before the event to hopefully balance out any extra indulgences.

Tiredness:
Like many people, I tend to eat more when I’m tired, I just need to go to bed earlier!

To weigh or not to weigh: that is the question
While all of this has been going on, I’ve had more compliments lately on looking slimmer (people probably just being nice, but I’m taken those compliments vey seriously haha) and my stomach does feel flatter. Being able to complete a 10k run in a decent time I hope is evidence too that my fitness levels are ok, so why do I care about the number on the scales? I don’t know. It’s been my marker of good health for so long, I guess it’s tricky to abandon them.

Sometimes I think ‘should I just hide the scales’, as they can really get me down if I put on weight on when I feel like I should of lost a few pounds. Plus, I do love my Weight Watchers group, so perhaps I should bin my home scales so that I only weigh once a week at my meeting (as opposed to several times a week). That said I’d really like some Fitbit scales for Christmas!

My plan of attack
So that’s where i’m struggling and this is my successful weight loss plan in a nutshell…

  • Eat frozen grapes during evening snack attack
  • Get my adult colouring on to distract my hands during evening snack attack
  • Plan and track what I’m eating during special occasions to prevent massive binge on booze or food
  • Go for a buggy run the day before or morning of a special event as a damage limitation strategy
  • Go to bed earlier when possible
  • Weigh only once a week at my Weight Watchers meeting
  • Start taking my measurements to see if I am losing inches
  • Ask for some Fitbit scales for Christmas

Thanks for reading this brain dump, I really appreciate it.
Chloe x

How do I stop my daughter having food hang-ups?

I have a ‘challenging’ relationship with food, hence why I have this blog. I’m constantly trying to lose weight and see that number on the scales drop; even though I know I should be focussing on being fit and healthy.

I use food as a treat when I’m happy, to comfort myself when I’m sad, to fill a void when i’m bored, or to calm my nerves when I’m anxious or even angry. So basically I’m always eating or thinking about food.

That said I thought I’d be able to hide all of this from my toddler. As time goes on however, I’ve been noticing just how much I use food as a solution to a tantrum, tiredness or to just get her in the buggy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t this is awful behaviour here and there but I do it all the time. Keeping in mind my food history, I’m worried I use food as a tool rather than for fuel far more than I realised.

Thankfully my daughter doesn’t seem to be mimicking my behaviour and gorging on food, she’s actually the opposite and eats little and often when she’s hungry, but if I don’t change something soon I fear it will only be a matter on time until she follows me in my footsteps. So what’s the answer?

I don’t know, but I’m doing the following and I hope it helps me to build a healthy relationship with food that I can pass on to my daughter, without feeling ashamed.

7 steps to conquering my poor relationship with food

1. Acknowledge unhealthy food behaviours
My first step is to acknowledge when I’m reaching for food for reasons other than hunger and immediately devise an alternative solution. For example, instead of cheering my daughter up if she’s being a bit grumpy with a packet of quavers, we’ll play dressing up instead. Or if it’s me, I’ll write down how I’m feeling and why – try to deal with the real reason why I’m in the kitchen or distract myself with a herbal tea!

2. Think of food as fuel not as a treat or solution
Learn to think of other activities as treats if something good as happened or if i’m reaching for food out of boredom. For example, enjoy a relaxing bath, get my nails done, call a friend, plan a night out. That kind of thing.

3. A day is not just about breakfast, lunch and dinner
Plan my day around fun things to do with my daughter, work, events, seeing friends and family… not around breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks!

4. Surround myself with healthy foods
I’d like to make it easier for myself and healthier for my daughter by not buying or keeping unhealthy snacks in the house. She loves cucumber these days and as just started to eat humous – I feel very chuffed with that! Plus, I can have some of that too without feeling guilty, which brings me onto my next step…

5. Healthy portions 
I must stop finishing my daughters’ food! Poor girl, I really don’t give her long to finish her plate and before we both know it i’ve woofed down the lot! So, we either have a healthy plate to share or I eat at the same time and sit on my hands once i’ve finished my portion.

6. Encourage mindful eating not mindless eating
My daughter can be slower than others to eat her food, or she needs a bit of encouraging to start before she gets hangry, and for that reason i’ve got into the habit of having a TV show on when we eat. Distracting her into eating/ bribing her to keep still. So, I’m trying to talk more about our food and have her help me prep food to engage her over mealtimes. That said, I’m not stopping TV altogether when we eat… because sometimes I like it too and I think that’s ok!

7. Keep active
I feel so much better for being active, it curbs my overeating and I’m setting a good example for my little one. I genuinely love running and I love my phil&teds running buggy. It also makes me feel proud that my daughter recognises when I’m getting ready for a run and seems excited to come with me and have a little sprint herself. We’ve also been swimming more and about to try out some dance lessons. I was always a bit nervous about sport when I was younger and I would love my daughter to grow up feeling excited to try a new activity and not shy away from it like I did for so many years.

September Goals

Hello September! How did you get here so fast? Although I’m clearly not at school and my little one is too young to be affected by term times, I still view September as a great month to embark on new challenges or to finally conquer ones set earlier in the year – and for me, that means focusing on the 10k fun run I have coming up in just a week’s time!

With the big run just around the corner, I feel the need to create a little checklist for myself so that I’m full prepared for the event. So, here are a few things I’ve realised during training that are pretty essential for me to have a successful run, alongside some goals I’d like to achieve this month.

1. New music
On days when I’ve been flagging in energy my playlist has kept me going. I love Spotify (or anything similar) for creating a playlist and the suggested songs that are often thrown up based on what I’ve listened too previously are usually pretty good. So, this month I must create my final event day playlist! Any recommendations?

2. Food for fuel
More than ever before, I’ve really noticed that eating properly before a run can make a huge difference to how well I jog. I’ve mainly been running in the morning, after porridge and banana or a protein shake with lots of fruit and veg in – plus, giving myself a hour or so after eating before heading out. It’s also helped to eat protein and carbs fairly soon after a run, so that I don’t feel completely fatigued. Eggs, rye bread, chicken and some veggies has been a good post-run lunch for me. On days when my inner piggy has dictated the menu (chocolate), I’ve not only felt rubbish in myself but I’ve not run as well either. So, this month I’d like to (again) focus on food as fuel and to enjoy treats here and there – not to finish the day having eaten just sugar!

3. Posture perfect
Running with a buggy is super easy and fun to do, however I’ve learnt through training that is worth spending a bit of time to look at your posture. Since I’ve upped how often I run with my buggy, I noticed my shoulders aching a little more than usual. I was recommended this video to watch and it’s got some great tips, so here is a little link to it. www.runningbuggies.com.

4. Run 10k with my running buggy
The above goals aside, my ultimate achievement for the month will be to run 10k. I’ve been training with my Phil&Teds Sport running buggy all summer and I absolutely love it. Before having a baby, I had no idea that running buggies existed, and thank goodness they do. Without mine, I wouldn’t be able to run as nearly as much, due to childcare not being that easy of an option for me. My daughter genuinely loves going in the buggy too and she gets so excited when I say lets go for a run. The sense of freedom I get from it all is simply amazing, plus its helped me regain my fitness and confidence (for several reasons, I really thought I wouldn’t be able to run again again having my little one).

So, here’s to September goals!

Side notes – I was asked recently If I recommend the Phil&Teds Sport buggy and I definitely would. It’s really lightweight, easy to fold down if you want to take it in the car to explore new routes, has a quick and reliable brake system (which you can use in two ways) and great wheels that make it easy to go between pavements and off-road terrains.

Photo is a little pic from a recent buggy run, I spotted one of those outdoor gyms!

 

 

Pinch, punch, it’s the first of the month!

Hello!

It’s the first of the month and it feels like a good time to reflect on my weight loss and my current fitness routine. So here’s what I’m thinking…

I’ve really enjoyed upping my exercise lately and for August I definitely want to continue with that. Running with my buggy is simply brilliant, trying new classes has been fun and being active more regularly throughout the week as made me feel stronger and has been an achievement in itself.

That said you can’t outrun a poor diet, and my food choices have been pretty pants lately. Although i’ve had a few good days (if you follow me on instragram you’ll recognise these days, as I get cocky and post all my healthy eats), I seem to fall off the wagon hard come the weekend – and by weekend I mean Thursday to Monday. A long weekend. So, I’m in need a month being stricter with myself when it comes to my food choices and (for all you Weight Watchers out there) I will be doing the blue dot challenge.*

Wish me luck!
Chloe x

P.S Photo includes my new food diary from Fox and Moon!

*If you follow Weight Watchers and track what you eat using the app, a ‘blue dot’ appears in your weight loss process chart if you’ve stayed within your allowance in a day. The idea of the blue dot challenge is to get as many of those dots as possible, which would mean you’ve stayed within your Weight Watchers allowance regularly. 

10 things you should know about my weight loss right now

So, I thought I’d share a little update about my weight loss journey.

Things you should know…

1. I’m “officially” 3lbs away from goal.
2. I say the above with quotes as I missed my Weight Watchers meeting this week – the scales at home (prior to leaving for the meeting) said I had gained 3lbs. That would make me 6lbs away from goal.
3. The above sent me into a slight rage as I couldn’t understand how that happened, then I got upset with myself. I soon calmed down but missed my meeting as a result.
4. I’m not proud of what happened above but I did stay on track that day; and even went out for a buggy run. So that anger made me quite productive!
5. My daughter likes bringing me the biscuit tin.
6. Today I ate a biscuit and I liked it.
7. Weekends seem to be my downfall these days when it comes to staying on track.
8. I’m hoping to break the above habit this weekend.
9. I really hope I lose some pounds this week coming.
10. Any tips for healthy weight loss are, as always, very welcomed! How do I get to goal?!

Use the comments box below or post on my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

17 signs you’re seriously obsessed with the scales

  1. You want to weigh yourself after every big poo, just in case it’s a 2 pounder.
  2. The best time to step on the scales is after your morning wee and butt naked.
  3. You want to weight yourself once a week, but reality is several times a day.
  4. What the scales says can completely alter your mood.
  5. You get excited to see a new kind of scales on the market, but fear buying an expensive set will reveal how obsessed you are.
  6. Sometimes you hide your scales to stop yourself jumping on them, but you soon get them out again.
  7. Sometimes you ask someone else to hide the scales for you, then you lose your sh*t when you want them back and they won’t give in.
  8. You could talk about weight and scale fluctuations all day, every day. “One time I put on 10lbs in a day, but the next morning I was a 1lb down! Crazy”.
  9. If the number on the scales goes up your first thought is water retention or a big poo in your system, it’s hard to admit that maybe the curry and booze the night before had anything to do with the increase.
  10. When you’re in the zone you love that feeling of jumping on the scales and seeing the number go down.
  11. But the best feeling is seeing that number go down into a new stone.
  12. You stand up straight and hold your stomach in when you weigh yourself, just in case there’s some air trapped in there that might add a lb or two.
  13. If you’re not happy with the number you see, you weigh yourself again – best out of 3 eh?
  14. When you know you’ve been unhealthy you cross your fingers and pray to the scales god, before stepping on to see the damage – or if you’ve been lucky enough to get away with it.
  15. You take your Fitbit off or anything else that might weigh you down, like a hairband, before accepting the final number.
  16. You pray for the poo fairy to visit you before your ‘official’, weekly weigh in.
  17. You move the scales around the floor to find that sweet spot for success where the number is lowest – take that uneven floors.

 

Images courtesy of giphy.com and pixabay. 

Can you walk your way to weight loss?

In this post I’d like to pay homage to walking – yes, that free and simple thing you do to get from A to B. It’s the first form of exercise I did after having a baby and it definitely helped me build my fitness, lose weight and feel better (especially when I had no idea what I was doing as a new mum).

Plus, there are a lot of other benefits for you and baby…

Walking and weight loss
Like lots of women I really struggled to walk towards the end of my pregnancy. Walking was uncomfortable, awkward and terribly slow. Once my little one arrived I thought things would go back to normal fairly quickly but that wasn’t quite the case.

I had my recommended six week check up with a doctor and was given a thumbs up to start being more active. I thought I’d give running a go (as I used to jog pre-pregancy), but that really wasn’t a good idea. It hurt a lot and definitely didn’t resemble any kind of running style I’ve ever seen before! I had to start from the beginning – step by step – and that’s when I really became obsessed with my Fitbit. Walking was my main form of exercise and even now when my weight goes up a little or stays as the same, it’s often when I haven’t walked as much.

Is 10,000 steps achievable?
The recommended number of steps to walk each day is 10,000, which may sound like a crazy amount, especially if you desk bound with work and so on. That said, I’m often surprise at how many i’ll complete just getting ready to go out and about, or if Ii’ve given the house a clean the house. If you couple that with a ‘scheduled’ walk, it doesn’t take too long to reach that 10,000 step goal.

Walking with a baby
When my daughter was small, walking with the buggy was also a good way to encourage a nap if needed and she slept really well during our walks. She’s now 2-years-old and likes to walk (run) just as much as me. Nowadays we’ll take the buggy with us as she still gets tired after a few sprints, but it’s a great excuse to get out, feel as though I’m exercising and I’m sure it helps her sleep through the night. (Which has taken us a long time to achieve!).

Plus…
Walking often can dramatically decrease how at risk you are from type 2 diabetes, a stroke and even certain types of cancers. So it really is pretty amazing. For a full list of the benefits take a peak at the NHS website.

Can you walk your way to weight loss?
Yes! I strongly believe you can and walking is definitely an underrated form of exercise. With that in mind, let’s go for a walk!

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