Wednesday 27 November 2019

Getting Serious about Weight Loss - Starting My Slim and Save Journey

{Post in collaboration with Slim & Save, I received gifted products. 
This post may also contain affiliate links - as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, any affiliate links will be marked with #ad}

My Journey so Far

Regular readers will know I have been very overweight for a long, long time. It really is the bane of my life but much of the time I seem powerless to do anything about it. I know that sounds a bit pathetic but we all have our demons to conquer and overeating is mine.

I went on my first diet when I was about 14 (if my memory serves me well). It was my doctor who put me on it and thinking back, I'm sure I was only about a size 10/12, so it seems outrageous to me now, that he thought it was OK to confirm my worries about my size and ask me to keep a food diary and then just half everything I ate. 

Over the years I have tried many, many diets. I tend to go for the more mainstream and less extreme diets in general. I know the general principle of eat less and move more, but truly I do love food and as much as anything, I know I am an emotional eater and I love the comfort of food, and that's not healthy for me.

I'm now at the heaviest I have ever been, I am classed as morbidly obese and I can feel myself falling apart. I have around six different health/ pain issues that I am convinced would all benefit from me being between 2 - 8 stone lighter. So, no longer can I ignore my issues, I have to take steps to make a difference. 

Over the last four years I have started (and stopped) Slimming World about four or five times as I recognise this as a good plan for long term weight loss and maintenance. However, it hasn't been working for me and I think my body needs a literal kick up the backside and that is why I have decided to try Slim & Save, which is a VLCD (that's very low calorie diet).

Back in 2006 I lost around three stone in three months following a VLCD, and if my memory serves me right I didn't find it that difficult. I've been avoiding it for the last few years as I didn't want my girls to see me doing a meal replacement diet. I wouldn't want them to think that replacing your meals with shakes, soups, bars or even meal replacement dinners is a good idea for a young woman, or something that is sustainable long term. 

Should I do a VLCD?

However, it also isn't good for my girls to see me at this size and whilst they know it isn't bad to be a larger person, they also know it is not my ideal and that it is not healthy for me. So I made the decision that I would undertake a VLCD and explain to them that this is something quite drastic that I need to do for a period of time to help shrink my stomach and set me on the path towards a much healthier lifestyle. 

There are a number of providers of VLCD's out there and (#ad) Slim & Save isn't one I had heard of before they contacted me.  They have two plan options, and an additional one if you are over 17 stone. You can choose to just have meal replacement packs (4) to make up your nutritionally complete diet of around 650 calories a day, they call this Simplicity. Or you can choose the Lifestyle plan, which is 3 packs and one low carb, high protein meal a day. (The additional plan if you are over 17 stone, is Simplicity Plus and this is 5 meal packs a day as a nutritionally complete diet).

I've opted for the Lifestyle plan as I wish to maintain having real food in my diet. I admit that I am scared of how the re-feeding process may go if I opt for meal replacements packs only. 

Slim & Save maintain that as long as you are following either plan 100% you should lose the same amount on either plan, and this will be roughly one stone for each month you are 100% on plan. Of course there can be differences between people, as we all have our own unique make-up.

How is it going?

I've been doing the diet for a week now and I have to say it is going well.  I have enjoyed all the shakes I've had, I love the pancake mix and porridge, the bars I've tried have been find, but I admit the meal replacement packs I've tried have not hit the mark for me. You get a shaker free when you first buy a taster pack, but I prefer to use my blender to mix the shakes and that ensures they are smooth. They are by far the bets powdered (#ad) shakes I've ever had before and you only have to mix them with regular tap water, so they are very easy. 

The meals also get mixed with tap water and then are microwaved. I haven't tried too many as yet, but I hadn't realised they wouldn't resemble any kind of meal I've ever had before. The are nutritionally complete, but they are tiny and they lack any real texture. I know some people mix them in with their main meal or their 200g cooked vegetable allowance for the day, but to be honest as I'm having one meal a day I'll probably stick to the shakes, porridge and (#ad) pancakes. But I have many more meal packs to try yet, so you never know I might find some I love. There is certainly a good variety there.

One of the things I have been loving about Slim & Save so far is their closed facebook group. They have really active moderators who are there throughout the day encouraging people, starting conversations and answering questions and it is the same people time and time again, so you feel as if you get to know them. I haven't needed to use the service but I've also seen them tell people to switch to live chat if they need more personal support.

I'll leave it there for today, I just wanted to introduce Slim & Save and what I am doing and I'll do an update in the next couple of weeks, letting you know how much I have lost and more about the programme.

Mich x