Last Monday, I joined our local Slimming World group. After years of swearing I’d never do another diet ever, ever, again (and, I’m sure, putting on a pound in weight every time I said it), I decided to give Slimming World another go. I think I’ve been motivated by a number of things – like the cold, hard slap of reality brought on by seeing myself on video; feeling energised by the beautiful surroundings we live in and wanting to be fit enough to make the most of it; and being able to buy clothes somewhere other than Evans; but most of all, I just had the feeling that enough was enough, and it was time to do something about it.
I took a deep breath, put all my preconceptions about slimming groups behind me, walked in to the church hall and met my new guardian angel – the Consultant – who goes by the name of Frankie. I paid for six weeks up front, walked towards the scales and prepared to meet my doom. Gah. It wasn’t pleasant. But, at least I had made the important step of going in there, paying my money and joining the group. The other ladies in the group are all very nice and friendly. I sat next to a lady who works in a coffee shop near work, who knows us two well enough to know that if Michael’s there, he’s having a cheeseburger.
One of the reasons I had been against doing this sort of thing for so long is that I know what I’m like. If I get into something like this, it consumes almost every single waking thought, and this plan does that with bells on (give or take a thought or two for squee and screaming “I’m going to see VR in June!”) It’s a corker of a system to get your head around, it’s like GTD for food.
There are two versions – Original and Green. And Mix 2 Max. Wait, there are three versions. Original, Green, Mix 2 Max and Success Express. Hang on, I’ll go out and come in again…
Choose which version of the plan to do. On Original you can have lots of meat, on Green you can have lots of rice, pasta, potatoes etc. Although there are the other two variations, I’m sticking with Original and Green until I get the hang of it.
Eat loads of free food. Free foods can be eaten in unlimited amounts. So if I’m in the mood for a big plateful of pasta, I’ll go for Green. While we’re playing with our new George Foreman Grill I’ll stick with Original for a couple of days, I think.
Choose options from the Healthy Choices bit. These include milk and cheese, and limited amounts of meat on the Green plan.
Then choose to sin. Sorry, syn. All the foods that would be considered off-limits in conventional ‘diet’ thinking are rated by ‘Syns’, and you get so many a day. I found out at my first meeting just how many syns a pint of lager is, and it was suggested I consider switching to spirits instead, because it’s possible to enjoy more drinks that way. So the following day I reconciled with a long lost friend, my old buddy, Mr. Daniel. Lovely.
To make sure I get off my butt and get moving, they have this thing called Body Magic, which basically is motivational tool to increase activity, and to be more aware of how much time is spent being active. My new job is very sedentary, but this has inspired me to go for walks at breaks and generally try to be more active. Increased amounts of activity are rewarded in the group with certificates and stickers, and as daft as it sounds, it works, because I really want a certificate and a sticker! Obviously this part of the plan appeals to my inner child. It’s like going to the dentist. It’s worth going through the pain if there’s a sticker at the end of it.
So, yes, I’m afraid I’m going to be a bit of a diet bore. Sorry about that. It’s really going to be worth it, though. If you’re interested in tracking my progress, keep an eye on here and also on my Adventures at Slimming World flickr set.