Friday, 30 March 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In

Hello my lovelies!

Sorry for the delay in updating, life is a nightmare of essay deadlines and job applications at the moment. I'm 5000 words away from the end of term, and only 5000 words and two exams away from the end of my university career. SCARY. Things are manic at the moment and I go back to work in the city the day after my essays are handed in, so there really is no rest for the wicked!

Anyway - on to weigh-in! I weighed in at my meeting yesterday morning and had stayed the same. At first I was a little miffed but then I realised that all things considered a STS is nothing to grumble about. If I had lost 2lb last week and 1.5lb this week I would have been chuffed, so whats the difference between that and having a 3.5lb loss followed by a STS? Hopefully I will drop a lb or so this week to put me into that elusive -7st bracket! I'm also only 2.5lbs away from having lost 100lbs...its all so exciting!

I've had some very exciting news today but I will have to update you with that another time because I am absolutely SHATTERED. Before I go I wanted to share with you my outfit this evening. We went out for cocktails for a friends 21st and as my wardrobe is looking rather pathetic at the moment I raided the girls wardrobes!

Shirt: River Island (Emma's)
Skirt: Primark (Sophie's)
Shoes: Dorothy Perkins - and they're actually mine!
Mess: Courtesy of my inability to keep anything tidy.

How cool is it that I can borrow clothes from my friends now!? That shirt is a size 10 by the way...just saying.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week!

Lauren xxx

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Picture Perfect

Hi lovelies!

This week I have been at home in Essex. Normally this is a cause for much despair when it comes to Weight Watchers, because my mother's house is always filled with untold amounts of rubbish food - not to mention huuuuuge portions for dinner! However my mum joined Weight Watchers in January, so it hasn't been too traumatic this week. Admittedly the presence of a jar of Nutella, a fresh loaf of bread and various other chocolatey goodies have posed a bit of a problem, and I can't hand-on-heart say that I've been 100% on track all week, but despite all that I managed a loss of 3.5lbs this week - bringing me to a total of 6st 13.5lbs lost. I AM NOW OFFICIALLY IN THE 12S! I will never be 13st again! I am absolutely made up with this, especially as I wasn't expecting a loss of more than 1-2lbs this week. Planning to stay on track this week and get back in the gym after I return to Canterbury tomorrow!

This is just a quick one from me this evening, as I'm off out tonight. Before I go I just wanted to share this mini-collage that I made over the weekend. I was feeling a bit glum and having a 'fat day', but making this really cheered me up. Its the simple things!

The first photo was taken in March last year, at my friend Sophie's 20th birthday night out. The second was taken last week at her 21st birthday night out. In the first picture I was -3st 4lbs, and in the second my total loss is 6st 10lbs. Even though I have people telling me all the time how different I look, its not until I see something like this that it actually feels real. Does that make sense?

Hope everyone is having a glorious week and for those of you weighing in - good luck!

Lauren xxx

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Weight Watchers Product Reviews

First of all, a big shout out to the lovely people at Weight Watchers for hooking me up with these goodies. Now if they would just give me a job in their magazine/PR department (with a sideline as a leader), that'd be swelllllll.

Weight Watchers Original Breakfast Oats

I was pleasantly surprised by the Original Breakfast Oats. When they first surfaced in my meeting I was dubious, mainly because the instructions say to make them with water, and whenever I've had porridge made with water before its been really grainy and unappetizing. The Weight Watchers ones actually have quite a nice consistency and they're really sweet as well. My one criticism would be that they don't thicken very well, and I found myself either decreasing the amount of water used, or increasing the time I microwaved it for. My other qualm is the price - £2.25 for five sachets on the Weight Watchers website. While this isn't exactly expensive, you don't get much for your money and supermarkets brands do tend to be cheaper - although they are slightly higher in points.

Weight Watchers Cappuccino

I was really quite disappointed by the Cappuccino Sachets. It looks better than I thought it would - most sachet cappuccinos I've tried have a bizarre vaguely frothy topping that sort of floats around before disintegrating into the coffee, but this one didn't do that. Unfortunately it didn't taste as good as it looked! Now, this may just be because I like my coffee extremely strong and sweet, but I found this to be a little bland. It also has quite a bitter after-taste - although, again, this could just be because I normally take 2-3 sugars/sweeteners in my coffee! I know quite a few people who love this product and buy a box from their meetings every week, but it definitely didn't do it for me.

Weight Watchers Garlic & Herb Bag 'n' Bake

(Like an idiot, I didn't get any photos of the finished product. Woops!)

I love this product! I've been wanting to try roasting bags for a while after seeing my housemates use them, but I was always dubious about how many points the coating would be in bags bought from the supermarket. This is great for a low-ProPoint meal because you can cook the chicken and veg with adding any oil. I cooked mine with peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, baby corn and courgette. The seasoning is full of flavour without being overwhelming (as some garlic products can be) and the chicken came out amazingly tender and moist. I served mine with 150g baby new potatoes and 2tsp of low-fat spread for a ProPoints value of 8. Yum!

I just want to say thanks again to Weight Watchers, and particularly to Lucy who initially contacted me. All opinions expressed here are my own, and I'm looking forward to trialing more products for Weight Watchers soon.

Lauren xxx

Sunday, 18 March 2012

No Sound But The Wind.

Its no secret that I'm something of a Twi-hard (and have subsequently become a bit of a Truebie - more on that another time). I'm more than a little obsessed with all things Twilight and R-Pattz.

I originally read Twilight in 2004 and fell completely in love with the (admittedly fictional) character of Edward. I eagerly awaited the release of New Moon, and then Eclipse, and then Breaking Dawn, and was first in line to buy them when they were released. To give some context, this was before the Twilight phenomenon had even been thought about. Twilight was still a relatively unknown series in the Young Adult section in Waterstone's. It wasn't until the film came out in late 2008 that things really went mental.

Now, first of all, I don't just like Robert Pattinson because he is Edward - in fact I have thought he was beautiful since his big-film debut in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005.

Ahh, baby R-Pattz!

Not only is he effing gorgeous, I also genuinely think he's a talented actor. Anybody who has seen Bel Ami (as I recently have) will agree with me. Granted, he's no Tom Hanks and he delivers plenty of dud lines, but he's not terrible. He's at least as good as the equally lovely Daniel Radcliffe! (Its such a shame D-Rad is short though. He'd be huge man-candy if he was 6ft tall.)

Anyway, the point of this post appears to have been lost in a gush of R-Pattz related affection. What I was originally getting at was that when the films first came out, I was dubious at best. I wasn't a huge fan of the first few Harry Potter movies and I was worried that the producers would make a similar hash of Twilight. I also didn't see how a film could capture the magic of Twilight. For those of you who haven't read the books, they are written in the first person from Bella's perspective. There is a lot of Bella's internal monologue and so on and so forth. This sounds tedious and depressing because film Bella is a miserable bint, but book Bella has a much better sense of humour. And granted, the films aren't as good as the books. How could they ever be? But they are good. Not amazing or Oscar-worthy, but for a bit of good old fashioned escapism, they do the trick. Twilight was a bit of a dud, but they have been getting progressively better since then and Breaking Dawn part 1 is awesome. Wedding scene = sobbing uncontrollably and lamenting the fact that I will never have an Edward or a Jacob. Woe. Woe woe woe.

One of the best things about the films, other than all the hunky vampires and werewolves running around, is the soundtracks. Some of my favourite songs have been discovered through the Twilight films. I'm by no means a music expert, in fact most of the time I can take or leave it. I'd rather read a book or watch a film than listen to music. Its not something that bothers me all that much. But every now and again I fall totally in love with a song, and it joins my (admittedly limited) repertoire of tracks that I can listen to over and over again. Which brings me back to the point of this post! I wanted to share with you some of my favourite Twilight-y songs, for no reason other than that they are gorgeous and I think everyone should have them in their life - whether they're Twi-hards or not!

Flightless Bird, American Mouth - Iron and Wine. (From Twilight and Breaking Dawn.)

No Sound But The Wind - Editors. (From New Moon.)

Life on Earth - Band of Horses. (From Eclipse.)

And without a doubt, my favourite song of the moment:

Turning Page - Sleeping At Last. (From Breaking Dawn part 1)

Can I walk down the aisle to that as well please?

Lauren xxx

Friday, 16 March 2012


A quick shout out to those who are following me on Twitter - I now have a direct twitter for the blog!! Hop on over and follow me @LessOfLauren for bloggy and Weight Watchers type updates. Feel free to carry on following my LaurenJ_90 account as well, I'm sure there'll still be plenty of ramblings to keep you entertained!

Lots of love!
Lauren xxx

Thursday, 15 March 2012

The Results Are In

Yesterday morning I weighed in with a loss of 1.5lbs - bringing me back down to my lowest weight for a long long long time! While I wanted a slightly bigger loss, I really shouldn't grumble about 1.5lbs off - I had a pretty heavy night out on Friday, dinner with the girls on Saturday night (there was wine and 14pt chocolate pudding - say no more) and a trip to the varsity rugby match on Monday, which involved hot chocolate, a burger from the burger van (vom) and a bag of peanut M&Ms. Oh, how I love M&Ms.....*drools*. So yeah, all being said and done, a 1.5lb loss is quite an achievement!

I was hoping to share with you some progress/outfit snaps this week - alas, I managed to go the whole night last without getting any decent full-length shots of myself. There were a few cameras floating around, so hopefully a decent picture will surface over the next couple of days. In the meantime, you'll have to piece together what you can from these pictures!

I've just realised that I didn't even get any shots of my shoes or clutch - disaster! For those of you who are interested the skirt (one of those fake leather jobs) and top are both from H&M - as is the hot pink clutch bag, which for reasons best known by itself is no longer on the website. I paired the outfit with A LOT of fake tan and a pair of black platform strappy sandals from New Look. I've had them for ages and probably worn them once because they used to hurt me too much - nothing like losing 6.5st to ease the pain of wearing heels! I was also wearing the most amazing fake eyelashes I've ever seen - they were huuuuuge! I'm considering wearing them every day, just because they were that cool. And no, I'm not joking right now!

I will love you and leave you now my pretties - I'm going to have a bit more spare time over the next week or so, so keep an eye out for some recipes/product reviews/general ramblings!

Muchos Amor 
Lauren xxx

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

In Five Years Time

A few weeks ago, my wonderful friend Rosie asked me what I would say to my 16-year-old self, if I had the chance. This of course got me thinking about all the things that have happened in the last five years, and all the things I could have done differently. My first thought is that there is so much that I would change, but then I realised that actually, there isn't. I have regrets, the same as everybody else. I've made plenty of mistakes, and there are things that I wish I'd handled differently. But all of the things that have happened have led me to where I am now. If I had done something differently, would I still be where I am today? Possibly not. If I could go back in time and change things and risk not having the life I have now, I'm not entirely sure I'd risk it. So if there's nothing I'd want to completely change, what would I say to my sixteen year old self?

Me and my best friend Danielle, aged 16.

Dear sixteen year old Lauren

Erase the image of 'a perfect life' from your head, because it doesn't exist. Don't feel too bad about the  parts of your life that aren't what you want them to be, because the people who you believe to be living a perfect life have just as many struggles as you do. Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there.

Know that no matter how much grief you give him, no man will ever love you as much as your dad does. Enjoy picking on your little brother while you can, because in a few years time he's going to be bigger, stronger and quicker than you are. Appreciate him while he's still little, because before you know it he'll be 6'2 and use words like 'peng'.

Sadly, your boobs are not going to grow. Make the most of what you've got until you're old enough and rich enough to get them fixed. M&S padded bras are a godsend.

You're going to get really fat, and you're going to hate what you see in the mirror. But you're also going to find the strength to completely turn your life around. Maybe it will take more than five years for you to learn to love yourself, but I have every faith that you'll get there in the end.

No matter what your Nan tells you, the crazy hair dye won't make you go bald. Make the most of having red, purple, pink, blonde and black hair while you're still young enough to pull it off.

You're going to fall hopelessly in love with unsuitable men, and you're going to get your heart broken. Don't worry, it'll fix itself. 

Don't be afraid of high heels. So what if you're 6'4 on a night out? At least you'll never get lost in a crowd.

Above all else - stick to your instincts. They're normally spot on. Do what you feel is right, and don't let anybody else convince you otherwise. 

Love from, 
twenty-one year old Lauren 

Slightly more intoxicated, 5 years later - to the day!

P.S Weigh-in post to follow tomorrow!!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Seven Deadly Sins

I'm stealing this from the gorgeous Stephanie!

'Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.'

Most money spent in one purchase? Definitely my Tiffany charm bracelet. I asked for money for my 21st birthday from my dad, nans and aunties, and used it to buy myself a bracelet with a classic Tiffany Heart charm when I went to New York in October. $290 well spent.

Do you have any love/hate relationships? I have a pretty intense love/hate relationship with myself actually! I go through phases of loving my life and loving what I do and who I am, to phases of crippling self-doubt and chastisement. I often compare myself to other people and find myself lacking, not necessarily just in terms of physicality but also as a person as well. I would give anything to be one of those happy, funny, bubbly, flirty girls that all men seem to fall hopelessly in love with - alas, I will forever remain a 'dark and twisty' cynic!

What do you overindulge in? Chocolate is definitely my biggest indulgence! If I've gone over my ProPoints allowance, it will be because of chocolate. I used to massively overindulge in peanut butter, bread and ice cream as well (not all in one sitting, I hasten to add!) but I seem to have a better control on those now! Chocolate is still an issue!

What is your lazy habit? Like Steph said, definitely procrastination! I am a chronic procrastinator, it literally takes me an age to get anything done.

What gives you confidence and makes you proud? I always feel more confident when I look and feel nice - when my nails are painted, or I'm having a good hair day, or my make-up went just perfect that morning. But then, I think that is probably true of most people! What makes me proud of myself is accomplishing a weight loss that even I didn't think I've ever manage, doing well at university and generally living a good life. So many people from a similar background took the easy way out and ended up pregnant, on benefits and living in a council flat. It was definitely an option for me as well, and it makes me proud that I had the drive and ambition not to choose it.

What or who do you lust over? In terms of who I lust over - it tends to be wildly inappropriate/unattainable men. My best friend Danielle has spent the last five years telling me that I need help, because the only time I'm ever interested in a man is when he isn't interested in me. As soon as they show an interest I get bored and move on. Definitely going to die alone! As for what I lust over...the same things every other 21 year old girl on a student budget lusts over! Clothes, shoes, bags, make-up, jewellery, more clothes...

What are you envious of? I'm generally not a very jealous person, but when I do get envious of something I get very envious. I'm normally envious of other people for all sorts of different reasons. They have more money than I do, a nicer car, better skin, slimmer legs, nicer clothes, higher essay marks, a better job. Its not that I resent these people personally, its more that I resent myself for not having the same things that they do - even if these aren't things that could be achieved by working harder on my essays or putting in an extra 30 minutes at the gym.

What are you seven deadly sins? I'd love to see some more of these appearing soon! And don't forget to check out Steph's post either!

Lauren xxx

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Weigh-In and a few other treats

Hi guys!

Well first and foremost lets get the bad news out of the way! I weighed in this morning with a gain of 1.5lbs - taking me back up to 13st 3lbs. Nowhere near as bad as I was expecting so I'm thrilled, and 100% ready to get back down to it and get rid of this last 19.5lbs! It can only have been fate that my box of freebies (mentioned in this post) arrived from Weight Watchers this morning, so I am well and truly armed for the week ahead! I got lots of lovely stuff in my goody bag, some of which I will be reviewing over the next few weeks.

I'm especially excited about the Member's Favourites cookbook and the Garlic and Herb Bag 'n' Bake! The people at Weight Watchers have also very kindly sent me a code for six months free access to eSource. I love eSource. I have always loved eSource. The only reason I don't have it is because I help out at the meetings and don't have a monthly pass - ergo, no eSource. Since my mum signed up in January I've been using her account to look things up on eSource whenever I've needed it, but I'm so excited about having my own account again, and being able to track online and try out all the new recipes. Big love to the wonderful folks at Weight Watchers for hooking me up, it is greatly appreciated! If any of you have monthly pass and don't use the online tools, then you definitely need to get on that! eSource helps you learn how to get the most out of your points, you can track more accurately and there are literally thousands of different recipes to try out as well - not to mention access to the forums for support from like-minded Weight Watchers all over the country. Have I sold it to you yet? Yeah, thought so.

Despite gaining at weigh-in this morning, I've been feeling surprisingly positive all day. After the meeting my friend Nikki and I went for a peruse of the shops in town, and I came home with a new outfit that has been earmarked for my friends 21st next week. Not only did I buy a (fake) leather skirt, something that I never ever thought I would be able to buy, but I also purchased a size 10 top. Thats right folks, size 10. My first ever size 10 item was purchased today! Granted its in a baggy style so it doesn't really count - but still! IT IS A SIZE FREAKING TEN! I have never been a size 10 in my life, and here I am, casually buying size 10 tops. Seriously, who am I!? I also had the mop that I call hair de-frizzed and de-gingered today - I am now back to being a brunette with no split ends! Oh, and I have a yummy beef stew in the slow cooker ready for tomorrow evening's dinner. All in all its been a very good day!

I think that is it for now - I just wanted to stop by and update you on this morning!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous well!

Lauren xxx

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Back In The Game

I have lost count of the amount of 'back on track' posts that I have written over the last two years - suffice it to say that it is far too many. I suppose the fact that I keep coming back for more shows that I am dedicated to this thing, and I am determined to get there. I really have changed since I started all the way back in January 2010. Back then, I never thought I'd come this far. I thought it would be like all my other fleeting interests over the years - brownies, karate, kickboxing, drama school. I thought I'd stick with it for a few weeks and then I'd get bored and forget all about it. And yet, here I am, two years later and over six and a half stones lighter. I guess that counts for something.

That being said, I have got to stop falling spectacularly off the wagon every other week. The last five days has been horrendous - both in terms of eating and (a lack of) exercise. For some reason my weigh-in post didn't publish last Wednesday, but I lost 3.5lbs - bringing me to a total weight loss of 6st 10lbs and my lowest weight since I was 16. This week I wouldn't be surprised if I have regained all that and then some. I have a whole host of excuses lined up for you - not only have I been ill (don't get the mumps, by the way. It is tedious and extremely painful - not to mention unflattering) but I have also been visiting family in the West Country of all places! Cream teas, ice cream, fish and chips, more cream teas, steak dinners, and that is without mentioning all the service station stops on the way there and back. I'm also extremely hormonal and have been stressing hugely about essay deadlines and presentations. All these excuses I present to you, and they are all valid excuses, but they are just not good enough.

The truth of it is, I took my eyes off the prize. Two undeserved gains, albeit only totaling 1lb, completely threw me off my game. I have never had an undeserved gain before that and while I know that it shouldn't have had that effect on me, it knocked me for six. I was focused and ready for it before that, and although I got my groove back last week it still just felt like I was going through the motions. 

Tomorrow I am weighing in and drawing a line over the last month or so - and the last week in particular. I am within touching distance of my goal weight now, and I can practically taste the -100lbs mark. I am so close to getting the thing that I've worked for for the last two years of my life. This has been my focus for so long now - its been at the forefront of everything I've done for such a long time that I don't remember who or what I was before it. Everything else has taken a backseat. I'm 6.5st lighter, to the detriment of pretty much every other aspect of my life. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Would I do it differently? Probably not. Do I need to get my backside back in the saddle and keep going until I get to the end? Hell yes I do. I've come too far to let it all slide away now. I'm not going to let that happen.

I am fully expecting to weigh in with a gain of up to 5lbs tomorrow - such has been the disgustingness of my eating habits over the last week. But whats done is done, and I can't undo it. Instead I'm drawing a line and getting back on the wagon. Back in the gym. Back into the frame of mind thats going to see me graduating from university in a size 12 dress, after arriving in 2009 in a size 22. I may have had a bit of a wobble over the last few weeks, but there is no way in hell that I'm going to let that stop me.

I will update tomorrow with the results of my weigh-in, and we'll take it from there. I'm planning a hardcore week of exercise and clean eating to get my head back in the game and hopefully repair whatever damage this week has done - wish me luck!

Lauren xxx

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Pet Peeves

How funny is this angry cat? Reminds me of my cat the time my little brother put him in the paddling pool, lolllsss.

A few days ago my friend Rosie posted some of her pet peeves, and somehow roped me into doing the same. As an exceptionally irritable person, I have a lot of pet peeves. Some of them I just find mildly irritating. Others make me absolutely murderous. As I am not willing to write a post that is roughly the same length and complexity as Anna Karenina, these are just some of the things that really grind my gears...

  • Smelly people. This is definitely one of my top annoyances. I'm not talking about people who have been out and about all day and may be smelling a little ripe by the time they get home - that is excusable. It happens to the best of us. I'm talking about people who actually stink. You can buy a bar of soap in Asda for 27p. There is no excuse for it.
  • People who use 'your' and 'you're' incorrectly. It actually makes me cringe when I see this on Facebook or the like - it is not that difficult!! If in doubt, say it separately and out loud. Would you ask someone 'is that you are phone?'. No, you wouldn't. So then its probably not going to be 'you're', is it!? Come on people!
  • PDA in inappropriate places. Maybe I am just bitter about the fact that I am perpetually single and am probably going to die alone, but I do not need to see your displays of love and sexual desire while I am in the library/the supermarket/a coffee shop. I know you're (see, not that hard) happy and in love and you want the world to know it, but straddling each other in the social section of the library does not constitute 'group study'. Get a room. Preferably one that doesn't have anyone else in it.
  • People who say 'eurghhh' at other peoples food. Yes, my meal probably does look like rabbit food to you - in which case it is a bloody good job that I'm not asking you to eat it! 
  • Girls who go to the gym with their hair and make-up done....and then proceed to walk (slowly) on the treadmill for half an hour while having a good old gossip with their equally made up friend. These are the girls who will also invariably wearing totes adorbs matching lycra shorts and sports bras and colour co-ordinated trainers. Firstly, while I am by no means an exercise expert, I'm pretty sure that a casual stroll on the treadmill is not burning many calories (although it does have the added benefit of not making you sweat that much and therefore there is no risk of make-up smudging or messy hair). Some of us are actually here to work out, and you're hogging the machines with your chitchat. And secondly, stop coming to the gym with perfect hair and make-up. You're showing the rest of us up.
  • The term 'fun-size'. Just because something is small, does not make it 'fun-size'. On the contrary, the fact that there is less of it makes it distinctly less fun. There is nothing fun about a bar of chocolate that is less than a mouthful. If I'm honest, I find it nothing less than extremely upsetting when I chew once and its gone. I propose that from now on the term 'fun-size' should be applied to food items that are jumbo in size. Because they are more fun.
  • A few other pet-peeves. See-through tops // People stripping off at the first sign of sunshine // People who allow their mood to be dictated by the outcome of a football/rugby/etc match - it is just a game!! // 
These are just a few of the things that make my blood boil - there are plenty of others but I thought I'd leave it at that for now!

What are your pet peeves?