My New Year resolution invariably has something to do with losing weight and it usually goes along the lines of the imaginative…’I’m going to lose weight’. Sometimes there’s a supplementary resolution to ‘eat more healthily’. I can’t say that I fail in the first because I do lose it. Unfortunately I also put it back on. The pattern of lose/gain/lose/gain repeats throughout the year and come January, I’m generally not far from where I started. So far as the second resolution goes, I eat pretty healthily most of the time but whether it’s as healthy as it could be is questionable.
I had decided not to bother making a resolution at all, but then I got to thinking that perhaps the reason I don’t really achieve what I want is because my aims are too vague. Maybe I need to treat the issue as a work problem and make them SMART. I believe this acronym is now considered a little ‘old hat’ (meaning ‘out of date’ for my readers who are unfamiliar with our quaint English turns of phrase) but it’s fine for my needs.
Specific: I want to lose 28 pounds.
Measurable: I’ll weigh in at Slimming World every Monday at 5.30pm.
Achievable: Yes, if I plan my meals, shop accordingly and stay on the SW plan.
Realistic: I’d love to lose 5lb a week but that’s unrealistic. One pound per week is not.
Timebound: Six months i.e. by 30th June 2018.
Without going into the fine detail, Slimming World advocates eating regular, balanced meals made from good sources of protein, unrefined carbohydrates, vegetables and fruit in reasonably unlimited quantities. The plan also includes two ‘healthy extras’ which ensure sufficient quantities of fibre and calcium, and allows from between five and fifteen ‘syns’ per day (each syn equating to roughly 20 calories though this is dependent on the fat and sugar content of the individual items which are ‘synned’). When I’m in the right zone (i.e. on plan) I tend to use these to enhance meals rather than choose chocolate or biscuits, for example. I just need to be in that zone more often! The medical profession considers the Slimming World plan as one of the most sensible eating plans around.
At the group I attend there are around one hundred members including several life-members. These are people who have achieved their target weight and continue to say withing the range of 3lb either side of it. We have members who have lost six stones plus and continue to attend classes. The classes are termed IMAGE therapy (individual motivation and group experience) and they are key to staying motivated. Not everyone stays (usually around half) which is their loss, I reckon. A group may not be for everyone but Slimming World works, even though some people like myself are not very good at it. I know that when I really put my mind to it I can do well, but goodness, do I need that weekly shot of motivation! Our group also has a private Facebook page which is great for mutual support.
I weighed in on 1st January and had gained 3lb over Christmas. I weighed in again today, and despite the cherry scone I ate when out with my daughter (which I counted as my syns for the whole day, I lost 4lb.
It’s a good start.