Friday, 30 September 2011

Sore Feets!

Ahhh- today was the first day at my new job. It was only 5 hours, but boy did all the standing up hurt! But the girl I work with (Abbie her name is- lovely girl- a year younger than me and a Maths graduate!) was really understanding. So I was sitting down every 20 minutes or so for a minute just to get the pain to stop. I even called my dad to get me some painkillers!

Oh well- all in all a good shift- and just under £30 earned- woo! I still hope that I get back in uni- and that I get funded....I need the money! 

Anyway- talking of money- I went the job centre today- to speak to my advisor and to sign on. There were 2 issues. 1) My advisor wasn't even there- only 1 person knew that he disappeared and no one told me until I had been there for 15 minutes and 2) my claim hasn't even come up on the system! So I have to call a stupid number to chase it up! The guy I did manage to see couldn't even answer some simple questions for me either, about getting jobs and tax and stuff *sigh*. But deep breaths- I just need to keep calm and accept it. I'll get money when I'm meant to get money.

On a positive *omg* note- I have another job interview, on wednesday! It's sandwich maker in a cafe in Liverpool - so about half an hour away. 17.5 hours a week, which is 12-3.30pm 5 days a week. I hope that I wow them at the interview,enough to get a trial or something! Crossing fingers

Okies- the promised Paella recipe- it is worth it, if you like rice and stuff- I enjoyed it- with a lot of soy sauce. Mum and I felt it was missing something- and soy sauce (the light stuff we used) really did the job!

We basically halved the ingredients- and should in theory serve 2- it doesnt- it serves about 3, and that's big portions too!

1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 green and red pepper, chopped
1 carrot,diced into small cubes
280g basmati rice
1 bay leaf
pinch of saffron threads
1 1/2 pints of chicken stock
handful of peeled and cooked prawns
200g chicken breast, diced
50g frozen peas
1 handful of fresh parsley 

1) Brown the chicken in a large wok/frying pan. add the onion, garlic and pepper and dry fry until soft
2) while they are cooking, boil carrots and peas in a saucepan of water for about 5-10 minutes. drain and add to the wok
3) Add the rice, bay leaf and saffron to the pan. stir in the stock, bring to the boil and cook over a gentle heat for 15 minutes
4) add the prawns and simmer for a further 5 minutes. until the veggies are soft and the rice is cooked thoroughly. 
5) remove from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 10 minutes. stir in the chopped parsley just before serving

Serve with lotsa soy sauce, black pepper and salad! (apologies for taking the not most appealing picture- i was too hungry and was rushing around!)

Tomorrow I'm meeting my friend Chris for coffee, like I do most Saturdays. Then off to my second shift. I love that I'm actually working- not sure how long the good feeling will last for though!! 

Much Love,
Tanya x

Thursday, 29 September 2011

I Got a Job!!

Oh yes!!! I do- my first proper job in over 5 years! I got a phone call at about 1pm off the lady who owns the off license. She asked if I could go in for 4pm. I had just left the house to go for a walk with my friend Kate, who I know from Slimming World. Well, of course I said yes. I went for a long walk around the park first and came home to get ready. 

I don't have many "interview" clothes. Mum said that I shouldn't get a pair of black pants because if I do, it'll jinx it- I won't get an interview or when I do the pants will be too big! What mum did do while I was out- she got my black skirt- which was a size 24 and took it in by 4 inches!! It's still got a lot of stretch but it definitely fits better! I wore a lovely size 22 shirt that I had put in a draw for months because when I bought it, the size 24 that I bought with it was really tight. 

Mum gave me a lift to New Brighton and waited for me. The interview went well. The boss asked me a few questions- about retail experience and stuff. She seemed to like what I said because I got offered the job! Ok it's 10 hours a week- 5-10pm Fridays and Saturdays, but it's extra pennies!

So I'm really chuffed- and nervous about my first day tomorrow!

Anyhoo- I know that I promised the paella recipe- but I am so tired, so I am going to leave it for tonight (sorry guys!) watch for it tomorrow! I'll find time for sure!

Crossing fingers for a really positive blog tomorrow night after my first shift!!! Watch this space!

Much Love,
Tanya x

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

What a Mess!

Eton Mess that is! Well, my take on it anyway.

I realised that I haven't put up a dessert recipe. that would be because a lot of recipes that I've tried (scan bran cake being one of them) have been just gross! 

Anyway- so Eton Mess is pretty awesome and low syn. You need:

1 200-ish gram tub Quark (fat free soft cheese)
2 tbsp Canderel (maybe a bit more depending on your tastes)
4-5 large strawberries (cut into quarters)
10 raspberries
6 mini meringue shells (or 2 meringue nests) **the asda shells are 2 for 1.5 syns, nests are 2.5syns each. If you are unsure of syn values- with things like this, they are 1 syn per 20 calories**

1) Put the Quark in a mixing bowl and stir in the Candarel
2) mix in the strawberries, raspberries until the mixture goes a little pink
3) crumble the meringue into different sized pieces (however big or small you want) and mix it up.

That's it! it looks messy (must be where they got the name from!) But it tastes so nice :)

I made Paella for dinner- the recipe will go up tomorrow- promise :) Dessert was more important!!

I applied for a job today- an off license not far from my dad's. Just put my CV in. It's part time, weekend shifts-- so I'm hoping to get an interview *crosses fingers*

Walked for an hour today- feet are ACHING! But I feel good. Want to do some dancing in a bit- will see how I go. After a cup of green tea!

I love thinking positive. Some days I love my weight loss journey- days like today where the sun is shining and I am feeling energetic. I am slightly worried about the winter, because I do suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder, it seems. I just need to push through it! Right now, I am feeling good and I am going to make the most of it!

Hope everyone has had an awesome day!
Much Love
Tanya x

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Shiny Stickers and Noodles

I had a lovely day today. 

I went to the job centre and the appointment went well- have a few jobs to apply for and I'll do that tomorrow. Then walked to my dads (I was tempted to get the bus but it's only a 20 minute walk).

Then I went home and mooched and waited for my visitor- a lovely woman who I met on a weightloss forum ( and amazing site!) We sat out back with a glass of juice and chatted. Then went for a long walk around the park on the way to weigh in. She had already been weighed so it was just me

Oh- I was not expecting to do well at all. It's my last week of the current 12 week countdown, not that it makes much difference.... I hopped on the scales **1.5lb off** That takes me to 4 stone 1lb lost- I got a lovely green certificate! I also got Slimmer of the Month for the 4th month running with 10lb total- I was over the moon!

 I worked out that in my first 12 weeks on Slimming World I lost 24.5lb. In my second 12 weeks I have lost 32.5lb. Yeah I did mess about a bit in my first 12 weeks- I had my birthday "week" (2 parties, 2 meals and a night out) and in 3 weeks I only lost 1lb.  I also had 1 gain in the first 12 weeks. This time I have lost every time. Which is awesome. This time I'm going to stick at it more. The next 12 weeks is the run up to Christmas (eeks! sorry- naughty word!) and my target for then is 20.5lb....but of course I would like more! 

I'm feeling very positive right now- looking forward to a great week. New month weigh in next week- October- wow- this year is flying. 19th October will be the 6 month mark. It would be awesome to get to the half way mark by then (5stone lost). Even though I know that 13lb in 22 days is rather unrealistic- I hope that I will be well on my way to it- so crossing fingers I will have my 4 1/2 stone award! The only person to get in the way of that is myself. So got to maintain a positive mental attitude. Yes! I can and I will do it!!

Now- on to dinner! I made Singapore noodles. This is in the Extra Easy cookbook (aka my bible!) I didn't include a couple of things- beansprouts and mangetout. But it was still awesome ;)

Serves 4

250g dry egg noodles
150g diced chicken breast
1 handful of cooked and peeled prawns
1 red/green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp turmeric
2tsp curry powder
6tbsp dark soy sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1) Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Cook the chicken in a non-stick frying pan add the prawns and dry fry until the chicken is lightly browned. Transfer onto a plate
2) Add the onion, peppers, garlic and spices to the frying pan. Cook until peppers and onion begin to soften. Add the drained noodles and 4 tbsp water and toss together. Add the soy sauce and stir for another minute
3) Push the noodles to 1 side of the pan and stir in the eggs. Cook, stirring for 1 minute then stir through the noodles. Add the chicken and prawns and toss to mix well

Serve with salad (my choice being tomatoes and rocket salad)

Not sure on dinner tomorrow- going to give it some thought. Something with chicken. Maybe a curry- who knows?

Hope you enjoy the recipes I've put up!

Much Love
Tanya x

Monday, 26 September 2011

My name is Tanya and I am a yogoholic!

No- not a yoga addict- more a yoghurt addict! I think I need to curb this addiction at some point! 3 today. I mean, I'm telling myself that it could be worse- I could be going for the kitkats that are on the kitchen table, but I feel bad for eating lots of them....

I'm eating a bit better though- and I'm a bit more active. I walked to work and back, and mum and I walked around Liscard for a bit- I had to go to Iceland to get some prawns and onions for dinner tomorrow.

Today has been rather boring, for the most part. I did go to work- it was quiet and there wasn't much that needed sorting. 

Productive-wise, I typed up my appeal statement, filled out the forms and emailed them to the woman in charge of the paperwork. I've looked on the job centre website- nothing that I can apply for- and I'm not expecting the cafe or Home Bargains to call back. 

I enjoyed a nice phone call with my friend Marg this afternoon. I always enjoy our chats. I appreciate that she spends more or less her whole lunch break chatting to me, rather than relaxing before going back to work. Usually we just chat about nothing, sometimes it's nice for me to wind down and chat to her. The joys of cheap international calls!

Anyway- as promised- the recipe for today- spicy vegetable pakoras. They have been on the Slimming World website all week and I decided to just go for it and make some. 

(serves 2)
1 large potato (mashed with no butter/milk added)
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 large bag of frozen chopped vegetable mix (mine had sweetcorn, peas and green beans in), defrosted
1 tbsp curry powder (use mild, medium or hot to suit your own taste)
2 tbsp fat free yogurt
1 egg, beaten
Fry Light

1) Place potato, onion, defrosted veggies into a bowl and mix thoroughly
2) Stir curry powder into the yoghurt. Add to the bowl and stir
3) Beat egg and add into the mixture
4) Line a large baking tray with baking paper- to stop the pakoras from sticking. Spoon the mixture on to the tray in tablespoon sized "dollops"
5) Spray with frylight (1-2 sprays each) and stick in the oven for 30-40 mins (gas mark 6) until the outside of the pakoras are crisp and golden brown
6) Allow to cool for a bit so they become firmer

This recipe serves 2- and makes 10 pakoras. They are very tasty- I definitely recommend them!!!

I can't seem to upload the picture of them- so that'll have to wait I'm afraid- sorry about that!

Anyhoo- so if you try them- I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!!

That's me for tonight! Tuesday is nearly upon us- so weigh in in less than 24 hours! And I have a visitor coming tomorrow! Hopefully good things to report in my next blog- watch this space!!

Much Love,
Tanya x

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Late Night Cookery

Usually I write up my blog in the comfort of my half-dead armchair. Tonight, something slightly different! Yes boys and girls- I actually moved and I am sitting in the kitchen!

Why is this? Well, I think that the title gives it away. It is 12.20am and I am cooking! I decided, since I was going to make them earlier but got waylaid, I'll make my new food now. It's something I've never made before but the recipe seems rather appealing

I am making Vegetable Pakoras. I've had them before, just not SW friendly ones, because usually they are deep fried. They won't be done by the time I finish this- so you will have to wait until tomorrow for the recipe (aww!)

Today I have been a bit more energetic. I went for a walk along the promenade to Seacombe (which is about a mile away- the route I take anyway!) and stopped off at a local pub on the way back. A friend of mine owns it, so thought I would pop in and say "hi". I had a quick diet coke then walked home.  All in all about a 2- 2 1/2 mile walk, not bad really.

I have eaten better today. I need to curb my yoghurt addiction- but at least the 3 yoghurts I had, 2 were little ones. I've eaten fruit today (going to have an apple after I've written this actually) 

For dinner today, we had chilli and rice. I had syn free chips and mum had her own made garlic bread (she had some fresh bread left over) I love chilli- one of those quick and easy meals that is lovely and filling. And you can never go wrong with chips. I always put something on mine before putting them in the oven. Either mixed herbs or something with a bit of a kick to it. My personal favourite is paprika. just gives it a nice edge

Anyway so the chilli- really basic chilli- but here's the recipe just in case you haven't made it before

1lb extra lean mince
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tin mexican style mixed beans-drained (or kidney beans if you wanna be boring!)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 large tomato
1/2 large green or red pepper
150ml pasatta
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp paprika
1-2 tsp hot chilli powder
pinch of crushed chillis
5 drops of tabasco sauce (we used mild just for the taste)

1) brown mince. add onion and garlic.
2) add the beans, tomatoes (tinned and fresh), pasatta, pepper. bring to the boil
3) turn down heat a bit and add the Worcestershire sauce, paprike, chilli powder, chillis and tabasco sauce
4) leave to simmer for 20 minutes or so

Serve with rice/chips (or if you're not on a weight loss program- garlic bread!)

Actually- i need to find a low syn alternative to garlic bread.....I think that can be my homework for this week. 

Anyway- tomorrow I have to hand in my university appeal (thanks to my best Canadian friend in the whole world, I only need to write it up- I have a draft saved) and I have work too. So I'm going to be all go. Hopefully this will show on the scales on Tuesday. Because of my lack of energy and a bit of boredom eating (which is what happened yesterday) I may struggle a bit- and I am a bit nervous. But I have 2 days before then- I can make a change

I'd better rescue the potatoes and make my pakoras! Hope they turn out ok!

Until well!
Much Love,
Tanya x

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Overeating and Underexercing!

That kinda sums me up for today. I haven't fallen off the bandwagon- but lately I have just been rather....*blah*

The weather is changing- it's dark, miserable and a bit grotty. So yeah, I've not had as much energy as usual. I'm hoping that my levels increase and I can get my exercise on!

I am eating a TON. I've had about 3-4 yoghurts, an apple, 2 plums, 4 meringue shells and a mini milk, just for snacks, as well as lotsa meals.(and between writing the first bit and now- i had another yoghurt and a spoon of jam.....dammit!)

Ok that's it- wiping the slate clean for today. I may not have gone over my syns but i have picked too much. So tomorrow is another day- back on plan 100%- watching what rubbish stuff I'm eating and hoping for that last 1/2lb to get my 4 stone award!!!

Ok- on to the rest of my day....

I saw my brother today- he came over for a bit- and we went shopping. Boy do I HATE Asda- seriously- mad people shop there- I don't like it. But I survived.

I then went for coffee with a good friend of mine- had a bit of a whine and a moan about one thing and another. Everyone should have one friend who will give the tough love without making you feel like a bag of poo- that's what my friend Chris does. I don't know how she manages it- but even if she is just telling me to "get over it"- I don't feel like rubbish after. It's not something everyone can do- there are only a few people in the world that can manage it perfectly!

After that I ate dinner with mum. It wasn't anything major tonight. We had poached haddock, spring onion mash and mushy peas, with green beans. A nice simple dish that is pretty tasty- and totally syn free.

Then I made a huge pan of superspeed soup- which i plan on having for lunch a few days next week! I'm going to freeze a lot too- for emergency meals!

Thinking positive- because I hate going to bed on a negative....I'm trying my best not to do that- I haven't gone over my 15 syns today. I have managed half an hour of walking (before Slimming World I would have just caught the bus for the whole 3 stops!) and I have updated my CV- it doesn't look like total rubbish! 

Tomorrow- planning ahead. I am going to text a fellow SW member and see if she fancies going for a walk around the park or something. I am going to write up some cover letters for jobs and, most importantly, I am going to work on my appeal statement for uni!I want to get it right- because I really want to go back!

Ok that's it for tonight. Not the most positive one tonight- but as a friend mentioned to me, sometimes it's good to write about my bad days too- I'm not perfect- I don't claim to be, so I'm going to have the odd *off* day. Today was one of them- and tomorrow is a brand spanking new day!!

Much love,
Tanya x

Friday, 23 September 2011

A Waiting Game

I want a job!!!!! I am totally impatient. The realistic side of me is saying to myself "Right, my brother waited an age before he got a job and most of the time, when he applied for somewhere he got no response. Mine will be no different" But I am still shouting at my phone saying "Ring dammit!" Actually- I did do that before, and the phone did ring....but it was my mum asking me what flavour mugshots I wanted!

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day, and another chance to get a phone call with an interview offer!

Today was pretty pleasant. I went into Birkenhead with Mum, to Netto (where she works....for the next 3 days, before moving to Asda) and I saw one or 2 people who I haven't seen in a while. I did get one "ohhhh- you look skinny" comment- which was just lovely- made me smile. The woman who said that also thought I was a size 14-16, which made me smile even more. I wish! I'm a 20, but I will be a 14-16 eventually- and hopefully a tad bit smaller- not by much though

After that, Mum gave me a lift to work. It was so quiet. So I decided to stay on the shop floor and sort out the mess that was under the till (seriously- the rubbish people stick under there!) I left a bit early but it was really quiet anyway. My boss is off next week, so I have to work with someone else. I only usually work with 2 people (through choice) 1 is my boss and the other is a woman called Ann- who is pretty awesome- but boy does she talk a lot! We talk about politics when we work together (we both support the same political party- but she is actually a member of the party I support). Anyway- so yes, I'll be working with someone else on Monday! A little nervous but that's ok- I'm sure I'll be fine!

I had a lovely dinner today (because really- this is why you're here- you want another recipe- I can tell!). I made syn-free quiche, with savoury rice and salad.

How to make syn free quiche. Well- you need:
2 large eggs
1 tub of fat free (or virtually fat free) cottage cheese (i use about a 250g tub)
50g wafer thin ham (chopped into small pieces)
2 medium mushrooms
1/2 large orange or red pepper
1 medium onion
6-7 cherry tomatoes (halved)

1) chop the mushrooms, pepper, onion and tomatoes into smallish pieces and dry fry them for 2-3 minutes, until they go soft. Leave to cool for a bit
2) beat the eggs in a mixing bowl and mix in the cottage cheese. If you don't like lumpy bits you can use a blender to make it smooth- i personally don't mind
3) add everything else to the bowl and mix everything together
4) stick in an oven proof dish and bake in the oven (gas mark 6) for 25-30 minutes- or until its cooked in the middle (do the knife test to check)

Serve with salad, rice, pasta- whatever you want really. Can be eaten hot or cold

I had mine with Batchelor's chicken savoury rice (which is syn free on Extra Easy or Green days), spinach, watercress and rocket salad, and left over peppers and onions

For this you can basically put most things in. Just use the eggs/cottage cheese as a base. so if you want....chicken and broccoli for example, that could work- just add them instead of the veggies and ham!

Ok that's me for today- off to watch Celebrity Masterchef (my current vice at the moment)

Much Love
Tanya x

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Long Distance Chats and Superspeed Soup

Today I had a lovely time chatting to a friend of mine who lives in Canada, who I haven't properly chatted to since I met her in Montreal. She's a lovely lady and it's just wrong that it's been so long! It really perked me up.

I'm still full of cold, but I'm sure it'll get better in the next few days.It's a bit of a pain really, because I can't exercise as much as I'd like to. I'm planning on catching up on my exercise over the weekend. 

I went to the Job Centre today. It was a bit frustrating- since the appointment was basically pointless. But stuff are getting sorted- I have another appointment on Tuesday- the first appointment with my advisor....hopefully he'll help me find a job!

Still no news on the jobs that I applied for- but there is still time- so keeping the fingers crossed!

I went to see my doctor. I have decided that I am going to appeal against the decision that uni made about my studies. If they change their decision- I will have to do the failed modules again, and hope to go onto the next year in September of next year. I'm working on getting my case ready. My doctor wrote a note about how I have gotten a lot better in the last 5 months, how my anxiety has lessened and I have a more positive outlook. Hopefully they will take into consideration that I wasn't in a great way last year, but that things have changed a lot. But like I said yesterday- if they decide that I shouldn't go back- that's ok

Now- food!

I had a lovely super speed soup today. Something I made a while back but stuck in the freezer. It's something that I was told helped aid weight loss. That would be because it is really filling- but it's full of veggies and more veggies! What I like to put in it:

2 carrots
1 leek
1 turnip
1 onion
handful of frozen broccoli 
1 tin mixed beans
1 tin baked beans
2 tins chopped tomatoes
handful lentils
1 1/2 pints beef stock

It's really easy to make- just chop up the veggies- throw them in a big pan with the beans/tomatoes and stock. add more water- to cover all veggies and bring to the boil
Boil the lentils in a seperate pan for about 5-10 mins, until soft, and add to the soup pan. 
Leave to simmer until the veggies are soft.

It does make a lot- and it's freezer friendly. You can leave it chunky or blend to a smoother consistency.

I like to add a teaspoon of philly light to a bowl of soup, heat up and mix in- to make it a bit creamier.

Ok its time for a cup of tea and possibly an early night. I have work tomorrow and I'm hoping to get rid of these sniffles!

Until tomorrow.... be well!
Much love
Tanya x

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Past Stuff and Looking Forward

Just after I wrote last night's blog, I was speaking to a woman that I met on a weight loss forum. I got quite emotional, thinking back to how I was just over a year ago, when I was living at my dads.

I guess when you're putting weight on you just don't realise how bad it's getting- same with drug or alcohol addiction- it just creeps on you in such a way that you don't notice- very very sly.

I was thinking about what, and how much, I ate when I was at dads- and how active (or how not active!) I was.

Basically I would crawl out of my bed at something silly like 2pm, and crawl downstairs to my spec- which was in the corner of the front room on the couch- with my laptop perched on the arm of one of the armchairs. and there i would stay for about 12-15 hours- unless I needed the loo or needed some food. I was even more lazy when dad was home really- because he would make coffee (tea for me) or go to the chippy. But my binge eating was worse when he was away at work for 3 weeks. Then, I used to go to the bakery just across the road and get cakes, pasties, sausage rolls and *always* a cheese, onion and mayo baguette. Then I would go to the corner shop at the bottom of the road and buy bread, butter, chocolate, fizzy drinks and tins of stuff like corned beef hash.

Sometimes too, I went for pizza in the evenings (the pizza place was about a 2 minute walk, if that, up the hill- but i always asked them to delive) and I'd have pizza, a double cheeseburger and onion rings....or, I would order an Indian meal- which would be a large fatty curry, rice, naan bread, poppadums and extra onion bahjis and samosas. 

It got worse- I found out about asda doing food deliveries. The first time I did it (and this was when I got emotional) I ordered pizzas, and meaning well, fruit, veg, pasta, etc. In this first order, I bought a Hello Kitty celebration cake (you know- one of those sponge cakes with icing on the top- serves about a dozen-15 people?) I ate that- by myself- in one night. as well as 2 pizzas, and a 2 litre bottle of coke. I'm sure there was more too- but I can't remember

It's sickening to think- that I thought that much food would make me feel better. That somehow, eating lots of sugar and fatty stuff, would get me out of my depression and make me a happy person. I thought, that doing that would make me not miss the people that I missed, and stop regretting the things I regretted.

Of course- food never helped- it did initially- but then I got that little voice of guilt (that everyone gets at one time or another) that goes "Why the hell did you do that you muppet?". But to shut it up, I'd plan to diet the next day- as soon as I finished eating the crap food in the house. Of course- I would start off well, but by the time the cravings came in, I was off to the bakery again....

Now- I'm saying this- because it was something that was on my mind- and thought I would share. It's scary to think where I was- at 23 years of age- eating myself into a deeper depression and, basically, an early grave.

Even when I moved in with my Mum- I still binged on occasion. I know she's going to read this, but she probably know's anyway (because she's my mum and she seems to know everything- scary!) but I snuck food into the house and hid it in my room, or ate it when she was at work. My mum tried hard to get me to lose weight, but  I was sabotaging it, because I didn't see the point of it.

I'm so glad that things have changed now. In the last 5 months, I don't have that compelling urge to binge eat, ok I have the odd moment where I have a few sweets, or an extra cereal bar, but it's nothing compared to where I have been. Also- I am honest with my eating. If I am bad- I *will* admit it, to mum, my SW consultant, or my best friend. (totally off topic- well- not really- but it's been bugging me that I couldn't think of a word- which was to describe one reason why I like going to SW group- ACCOUNTABILITY. whew- that took about 8 hours! anyhoo....) 

I'm not scared around food anymore- I have other things that make me feel better- going out with my friends, watching telly, knitting, listening to music, exercise- not food!!! It's great because I am actually happier now than I have been in years. I smile and mean it, I feel comfortable going out and being around people (not all the time- but I'm getting there!) I take pride in my appearance a bit more. I actually (and if you tell anyone I said this I'll deny it!) am beginning to like myself!

So yes- I was in a bad way once upon a time. I was emotional, depressed, practically agoraphobic and the only things keeping me going (or so I thought) were my msn conversations with my friend, and binge eating. Live is so much better than that and I have a whole new level of gratitude

Someone on a forum posted a thread asking if anyone had any regrets that they didn't start their weight loss journey sooner. I replied that I don't regret it in the slightest. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and up until April of this year, I was not ready to pursue my weight loss journey. It was the same with my drinking, I sought help when it was the best time for me, when I was meant to. Someone reading this might have different beliefs and that is ok. But in my book- when it comes to any addiction or issue, sometimes we aren't meant to "get it" until the time is right. And we don't know when that time is, until it actually gets here.

Really- I think, everyone goes through some hardships to grow and help others when they're ready. Me? I struggled with food, alcohol and drugs. I now don't and I am taking steps to live a healthy, happy, sane life. and maybe, one day, someone will cross my path that struggles in the same way that I have, and I can possibly help them. So no- I have no regrets, not today anyway!

So- looking forward. 

I got a letter off the University- asking if I would like to appeal against my decision. After talking to my best friend and talking to my Mum- I've decided to go ahead and appeal. My logic- the worst thing they can say is "no". So I might as well go for it. I thought I was ok last year, clearly I wasn't. Same with the last few years actually. But I feel now, that I am grown up, more confident and more energetic...if they give me another chance, great- if they don't- that's ok too. I will take whatever decision they make on the chin and put it down as experience. But I'm not going to give up just yet

Today- I visited my dad- he came home today after 3 weeks away and I liked spending a couple of hours with him. I also enjoyed the walking there and back (about 40 minutes in total) I have twinged my back though- and I still have the sniffles. But I'll get better eventually! Then it's back on the exercise wagon and working off those pounds!

Nothing major to report eating wise- big breakfast (bacon, sausage,egg, mushrooms and tomatoes) in the morning and I polished off chicken spears (Iceland bbq range- curry flavour- yum) with salad and left over low-syn coleslaw. 

I'm going to have a bath and enjoy some cheese on toast before bed (to eat my healthy extras)

So- that's my little bit of headspace. 
I'm checking out new recipes for this next week- so I'm hoping to make some lovely meals and of course, share them with you lot!

Much Love
Tanya x

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Fridge Magnets

So today was dreaded weigh day! You know- This is week 23 for me, and it does NOT get any easier!! My consultant said once it was because of the passion I have for my weight loss journey- and while I have that, I will always be nervous!

I got to weigh in a bit earlier than I have done recently- about 4.50. I gave my consultant my SW card and took heavy layers off- like I always do lol. Took my shoes off and stood on the scales. It was hovering between 18st 7 and 18st 7.5...... of course it stayed on 18st 7.5!!! haha. That's still a 3.5lb loss in a week- considering I've not been terribly active- I think that's pretty awesome. Initially I was a bit peeved- just because I am now 1/2lb off my 4 stone award. But- there is always next week :)

Also- I got slimmer of the week! That's 3 out of 3 this month- chuffed to bits. Even more so because I now have all the different kinds of SoTW fridge magnets (10 in a pack) I still have 2 slimmer of the month magnets to get (I've got 3- for June, July and August!) Hoping to do well this month (so far I'm hoping I'm well on my way- 8.5lb in 3 weeks!) 

What else have I done today? Well- I went to my Job Centre appointment- only just got there on time- after running half the way. I have another appointment on Thursday afternoon. 

After the appointment- I called into work (my voluntary job) to see my boss- I needed confirmation of my hours. She did that and gave me an awesome report- saying that i was honest, reliable etcetc. So sweet of her- I didn't even have to bribe!

I didn't really do much else- I have the sniffles- I must have caught the lurgy! But it's ok- I'm dosing up on flu tablets and drinking lots of tea (which reminds me- mum wants a cup of tea- will do that now)

Dinner was left over cottage pie (with broccoli and broad beans- yum!)- so no new recipes today- but have a picture of my pretty fridge magnets! (above- obviously lol)

That's it for today- I'm going to have this cup of green tea then get the Wii on! I was going to do it the last few nights but just not been feeling up to it- kick up bum time! I want to get as close to 5 stone lost by 18th October. "Why's that?" I hear you ask. Well- October 19th will be 6 months since i started SW- and 5 stone is half way to it's just a bit of a challenge- I would love to be near target by my birthday next year (May 4th)

Hopefully I'll have a new recipe for you lot tomorrow.
Much Love
Tanya x

Monday, 19 September 2011

Progress and Being Proactive

That's what today has been about, mostly.

I was up earlier than usual, to call the Cafe i want to work at to see about the job. They have taken my details and I'm hoping for a call in the next few days for an interview- they might not, but at least I have looked  into it. Also- I have reserved a place on the Food Hygiene course which is on October 4th. My Mum and Dad are helping with the cost of the course, since I'm skint, I'm really grateful to them, because I think that this qualification may help me get a job in the long run.

Anyway- so I went shopping after, with Mum and her friend Pam. While we were in town, Mum (or Pam, I can't remember) noticed that there was a notice in the window of Home Bargains looking for Christmas staff- 16 hours a week. So I went in, spoke to one of the managers and left my details! So hoping for them to get back to me too :)

I had some left over risotto for lunch, and power walked  my voluntary job. Oh it was mental there today! For every bag of donations we sorted, another 3 came in! Never seen anything like it! But it was good- did a lot of lifting and exercise! I was so tired though, I had to get mum to pick me up. 

My first "first" challenge- I made syn free cottage pie. With a few little tweaks from the originial recipe. How I made it:

1lb lean mince (same as the burgers- if you don't have a good butchers that has awesome mince- get extra lean)
1 large carrot, chopped into cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup of frozen peas
400ml beef stock
200ml Passata
2 garlic cloves
1tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Sprinkle of Thyme

600g white potatoes
200g butternut squash (both peeled and chopped into cubes)
1 egg

1) Put butternut squash and potatoes in a pan of water and boil until soft
2) While they are cooking, brown mince, peas, onion and garlic in a large frying pan 
3) Add the stock, passata and Worcestershire sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes
4) Drain the potatoes and butternut squash. Add the egg and mash until smooth
5) Put the meat mixture in an ovenproof dish. Top with potato/bns and roughly smooth with a fork
6) Bake in the oven (gas mark 6) for 30 minutes, until mash is slightly golden on top

Serve with vegetables. I had rocket salad, tomatoes and cucumbers

Ok that's it for tonight. I'm planning on an early night- I have weigh in tomorrow- I'm doubting that I've lost a lot, due to not doing much exercise. But I have been good eating-wise. So I shall update tomorrow with hopefully some good news!!!

Much Love
Tanya x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Family Outings

I had a lovely day today. My mum and I went to visit my brother and his boyfriend. They live in their own little caravan about 20 minutes drive away from us. 

We had a nice lunch in a pub by them- I had a chicken and bacon salad with baked potato (even better there was no fat on the bacon- woo!) Then we went for a walk with the dog in the countryside. I really enjoyed myself- I wouldn't have done 5 months ago- I hated walking- or any kind of exercise for that matter. Now, I love getting out and about, enjoying the fresh air and good company!

Tonight- I had a very tasty Bacon and Butternut Squash Risotto. Something that i got from the SW extra easy cookbook, but i made a couple of changes. It's great comfort food! Here is the recipe:

(serves 4 people)
  • 198g/7oz lean bacon (cut into bitesize pieces)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 255g/9oz dried risotto rice
  • 397g/14oz butternut squash (chopped into small chunks)
  • 852ml/1 1/2pt boiling hot chicken stock (I used 2 chicken stockpots) 
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)

1. Stir fry the onion and bacon for 3-4 minutes

2. Add the garlic, rice and butternut squash and stir-fry for 2-3 mins. Add a ladleful of the boiling stock and stir and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat, adding a ladleful at a time, until half the stock is used up.

3. Continue to cook in this way until the stock is used up and the rice is creamy and al dente, and the squash is tender. This should take about 20-25 mins 

4.Remove from the heat, season well  and stir in the chopped chives. Serve ladled into warmed bowls and eat immediately.

I served mine with rocket salad and cucumber. Mum liked it so much she had another bowl of it!

So- I've typed this while watching Winnie the Pooh with mum, and now, after I've had a cup of tea, I'm going to stick the Wii on and I'm going to do some dancing! Dancing, in my opinion, is one of the best forms of exercise. Even if you just stick the radio on and shake your hips in time to the music- it's uplifting and also great exercise! You should try it! One day I hope to join a class, like a Zumba one- but right now I'm perfectly happy doing it in the comfort of my own home

So- until next time, be happy. Any feedback or comments are always appreciated!

Much Love
Tanya x

Evil Toasties of Temptation!

So I went to a party last night- a group of friends meeting up in Birmingham for a night of socialising. It was great! There was a fancy dress theme- Heroes and Villains Of course we did have a Superman- but there were some interesting outfits. Minnie the Minx, Satan and (my personal favourite) Dick Dastardly! 

Actually it makes me laugh. When we got half way home- we realised that Mr Dastardly's fake moustache was stuck to my friend's bag! omg- it was so funny. So it is currently sitting in my front room. I do collect the most random things!

Anyhoo. So yes- evil toasties! There are always toasties at this party (as good a food as any). If you don't now what a toastie is- it's basically a sandwich that has been toasted in a machine. So they have ham, cheese and onion toasties.Yum! There were also lots of sweets! But i decided to be good- since i've not been very active this week (not as active as usual anyway). So i took my mugshot and an alpen light bar- that did me for the night

I wore my custom made lace dress for the first time, with a corset- and i got a friend to take a picture- since the last 2 times i've been there i've had my pictures taken. The last time was in July, so i have lost quite a bit of weight since then. So- I have an update picture- the 3 times i've been to the party- June, July and yesterday. 

I'm glad that i'm starting to see the difference now- finally! I'm about 3 stone lighter in the right picture than the left. Can't wait to see what i look like when i've lost another 3 stone!!

Ok- i'll update more later- Dinner time- and I will have a lovely tasty recipe (and an update on what I've been up to today!)

Much love

Friday, 16 September 2011

Positive Mental Attitude!

Ok so today didn't start off great at all. I got my exam results- I didn't pass any outright- which I was genuinely shocked about. So my chances of going back to uni in 2 weeks went down the drain.

But instead of crying and curling up in my duvet, I decided to become proactive. I sent an email to a friend of mine to proofread (and she gave me some awesome pointers). I called up the benefits people to make a new claim for Job Seekers Allowance.

My mum sent me a message (from all the way upstairs lol) with a link to a job opening in a Sandwich Bar/Cafe place in Liverpool. It said it was preferred if the applicant had experience in healthy eating plans, like Weight Watchers and Slimming World. i was like "woo! fab!" But I then read that you need a food hygiene certificate...oh no! I don't have one of them!

Anyhoo- my dad is a cook, so I asked him about it- apparently they do them at my local college, so I shall call them and ask- hopefully it's free if you're on benefits....since i'm about £650 in debt. I would love to work there. It might be too late by the time i am "qualified" but that's ok. I can always apply for future jobs there, right? Also- a lot of places that are looking for waitresses/ kitchen workers want the same certificate- so at least I'll have it when I'm looking for such a job. *And* it's something to put on my CV, which is something I desperately need!!!

Okay- so! Dinner today was very yummy. I had syn free burger and chips, with salad and mushy peas. What? Yes! syn free burger and chips- how cool is that?

So- the recipe- if you haven't tried it before:


1 lb lean mince (extra lean if you're getting it from asda- but our butchers is awesome)
about 6tsp finely chopped onion or shallots
3tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1-2tsp garlic granules (depending how much you like garlic)
1/2 beaten egg (optional- i've done it with both, I personally prefer it with)

Basically- put all the ingredients (apart from the egg) in a big bowl. mix with your hands, so everything is nicely mixed together.
Put in the 1/2 egg and mix again
Separate into about 6 bits and rub each bit until it's burger shaped.
If you have a tray with a griddle thing, use that and put it in the oven. Gas Mark 6 for about 20 minutes. If not- use your grill (we don't because our grill sucks!) Or a George Foreman grill machine

Now- you can either serve it on a wholemeal bun (6 syns or 1 for Healthy Extra B- if you're on SW) or have it without (i do)

On to the chips (of course- you would be multi tasking- but I'm giving you 2 seperate recipes so you can do it how you want)

4 large potatoes
mixed herbs (optional)
frylight (or any other 1 cal spray)

Peel the spuds and cut into chip shapes. Put in a pan of boiling water, and leave on a med-high heat for 10-15 minutes. Drain, and put them back in the pan, place the lid on top and shake the pan to "rough up the edges" of the chips
Place on a baking tray. I then sprinkle the mixed herbs on them- if you don't then (obviously ) skip that bit.
Spray them with frylight (4-5 sprays is more than enough i think)
Bake in the oven at gas mark 6 for about 25-30 minutes, until brown.

The mushy peas, just make up as directed.
Serve with some nice salad.

My plate wasn't quite 1/3 superfree like guidelines state. But my SW consultant advises to have 1/3 superfree in your day. (for those who don't know what superfree is- it's most fruit and vegetables- something outlined in the slimming world literature, if you want to read up on it :) ) so i had a banana and apple with some greek yoghurt

Anyhoo- so- there's another recipe for you
Tomorrow I'm going to a party with some friends, and won't be back until silly o'clock- so there might be no update from me (aww) but rest assured- there will be a post on Sunday- with a recipe! Possibly a risotto dish (which is seriously yummy!) Watch this space

Much Love
Tanya x

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Summer Days

Or should that be "daze"? Oh I have been sleepy today!

My mum and I went into Town to get some shopping, and the sun was cracking the pavements! I don't know what the temps are like, but it must have been pretty high! Well, that's half an hour of exercise today! Ok so i didn't go the gym *sigh* but i need to start making up for having a case of the lazies! More body magic- from tomorrow (lol- of course!)

Ahh tomorrow- when i find out my fate. Will i be going back to uni or not? If i do- i'll be over the moon- if not, well, i'll be pretty gutted- and will have a lot to work out- benefits- potentially a job, if i can find one.. lack of money is scary!

Anyhoo- on a nice, tasty note, i just had dinner. Nothing new- but something i "just threw together"- one of my favourite comfort foods.

It's a creamy ham pasta. The recipe is:


100g pasta (i had shells but any will do really)
70g wafer thin ham (70g because i like the little packets from asda- they're great- serves one hungry person)
7 cherry tomatoes
71g philadelphia light
salt and pepper

rocket salad and a few pieces of cucumber

ok it's really simple

1) boil up pasta
2) cut ham into little-ish squares and chop the tomatoes in half
3) drain pasta when it's cooked
4) put the philadelphia, ham and tomatoes in with the pasta and heat through
5) serve immediately with rocket salad and cucumber (or really any salad you like with any salad veggies you like)

It's great- filling and feels fattening because it's creamy! But it isn't, muahaha

So that's all from me today- i'm going out tonight for a bit of socialising (on the soda water tonight- too poor for anything else!)

Let me know what you think of the pasta! Or if you have variations :)

Much Love
Tanya x

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Oh Shiny!

Yay- a shiny new blog!

Ok- so who am I? Why am I doing this? 

I'm Tanya- I'm 23 years old and I am fat. Not as fat as I used to be, but still fat nonetheless. Of course, I don't like being fat and I am doing something about that

I joined Slimming World in April of this year- a staggering 22 stone 7lb (315lb if you're American) That is the heaviest I have ever been, and I don't want to go there again.

Nearly 5 months on, I am at 18 stone 11lb~ that's a 3 stone 10lb (52lb) loss, in 21 weeks. Which is pretty awesome in my opinion.

I never used to manage to stick to diets. I'd wake up totally meaning well. By 2pm I'd be waddling to the shops to get some chocolate and crisps. Then I'd be depressed, so I'd eat more to feel better- that vicious circle.

This time, I really meant it. A friend paid for half of a Slimming World countdown (12 weeks and you have to go for the 12 weeks) and off I went. I chose a group that was about a 10 minute walk from me- a bit of extra exercise is always good! The consultant there, Julie, sat me down (and 2 other newbies) and told us what SW was all about. Talked about different days (Extra Easy, Green and Original) and about what we can eat (ohhh the variety!) Then we paid and got weighed. Even though they don't talk about weight, i was ashamed at how heavy I was. I sat down and looked at everyone thinking "I have to be the fattest here"....which is something I feel often to be fair.

But yeah- I've kept going- I got inspiration and determination at my first group- there was a woman there that stood out for me- lost about 6 stone, I felt great then- because someone can lose a lot of weight on this- something I wanted to know since I had 10 stone to target!

So I've gone every week. It took about a month to really get into it- maybe a bit longer. I did have a big loss the first week (6lb) but the following weeks it was the odd 1/2lb here and there. But after a while, i really got into the plan and my weight has dropped off. I'm averaging just under 2 1/2lb a week which is great

I eat like a pig- really. Lots of carbs and protein and fruit and veggies. But I am still able to lose it :)

So- that's how my journey started....

Why do i want to do this? Well- I want to keep tabs on my journey- a written account so I can't forget. Also, hopefully it will keep me motivated. I would love too, one day, to be able to inspire one or 2 people who are struggling with their weight to bite the bullet and go for it. It's a scary thing to admit and to do- but it *is* doable. 

I'm also setting myself a challenge- to eat one thing every week that I've not eaten before. Try a new recipe, eat a new food, something! I do eat a lot of stuff- but not often really new stuff. Variety is good, and i want to try more things!

I also plan on posting recipes and pictures up on here- so if someone does see this- they can possibly try it for themselves 

Ok- if you have read this- thanks- it's nice to see you on here. Feel free to stalk me, comment, give me ideas, suggestions- anything really. I've never done a proper blog before- it's scary and new!

Much Love
Tanya x