What I’ve Learnt From Going Off Plan
Easter has been truly lovely! I spent it up in the Lake District with my family, enjoying muddy walks, looking at a lot of sheep and generally being super content with the world. I also spent it going completely off plan on the Slimming World front.
Now, in my defence I had planned to do this. It wasn’t like I had committed to no chocolate at Easter and found myself binging Bruce Bogtrotter style… I had made the calculated decision to forgo my weight loss for a few days in order to relax with my family.
I am well aware that I have always exhibited a very ‘all or nothing’ approach to life, which is something the Slimming World plan has been helping me with a lot. By using my syns I’ve begun to learn how to moderate my eating, giving myself little treats without reverting to old habits. As it turns out though, I’ve still got some learning to do and when I allow myself to go off plan for any extended period of time…boy do I go off plan! I probably wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t been Easter, but the chocolate temptation was all a little much and I did end up over indulging just a little.
Over four days I had possibly three meals on plan… then proceeded to eat about 8 Cream Eggs, half a bag of Malteasers, a medium sized Lindt bunny, chocolate cake, crumble and pavlova, not to mention my actual Easter egg and the three accompanying Malteaster bunnies! There were probably a few chocolates that I can’t remember too, and I indulged in a few gins, some wine and a hot chocolate as well as some higher syn meals…all in all ‘off plan’ is probably putting it lightly. Like I said though, I had planned to be off plan, so it’s not the end of the world.
What I have realised though, is that the way I ate over this bank holiday is not dissimilar to how I used to eat before I joined Slimming World. Thinking back to last year I genuinely can’t tell you how much chocolate I ate in the month or so leading up to Easter. I was in an unhappy place for various reasons and steadfastly ate my feelings, gained weight and stopped caring about myself. In fact, my eating habits used to be so much worse than they were this weekend. I still made some healthy decisions over this bank holiday, I went on some nice walks, but most importantly I was aware of what I was eating.
Before, when I used to stuff my face with chocolate, sweets, fast food and just about everything I could find, I didn’t even think about how unhealthy it was. I knew that I was unhealthy but I never even stopped to consider the impact of the individual things that I ate. This weekend though, not only did I restrain myself somewhat, but I was concious of the impact of each mouthful. So what difference does this make? Well, it’s what stopped me losing it completely, and most importantly it means that I can draw a line under what was a lovely little break from being healthy and start over this week without guilt or negativity. I don’t feel powerless to correct my mistakes, and I am not beating myself up over them either!
So, what was the impact of all this piggery? About 2.5llbs to be exact! I had to miss my weigh in last night as we didn’t get back from the lakes until late, but I weighed myself at home. Taking into account the 1llb difference between my scales and the scales at group, I’ve gained 2.5llbs (and that’s after a big pub lunch and 5 hours in the car!), which is totally manageable. If I’m honest, I did think that I’d gained more, so 2.5 was a bit of a relief!
Going forward into a new week I’m hoping to get all of that Easter weight off, but it may be a stretch. To give myself the best chance I’m going to stick to SP meals as much as possible, eat a lower level of syns (no more than 6 per day) and make an effort to walk to work every day even when the weather is a bit crap, which is when I’d normally take the bus! Hopefully a fully on plan week will at least get most of it off and I can be back on track to get my 3.5 stone award very soon!
As I tuck into my SP chicken salad this lunch time, I can however reflect on a lovely family holiday where for the first time I didn’t feel like a whale! I didn’t die on the walks, and I ate all of the rubbish I wanted without feeling powerless or guilty. It was so refreshing to actually be able to concentrate on having a nice time, instead of feeling out of place and miserable. Slimming World has given me all of that, and I’m proud to be on this journey!