Friday, 31 August 2012

Shaking It Up.

I had so many good blogging intentions for this week, and they just don't seem to have happened. I worked on Saturday at the Tower of London but then I was off Sunday-Wednesday and I had grand plans of recipe posts and witty anecdotes (because we all know I love a witty anecdote) and lots of other fun stuff, but with the exception of a little insight into my wardrobe it just didn't happen! I vividly remember thinking to myself on Tuesday morning 'I'll blog tonight' - next time I looked it was Thursday afternoon, my extra-super-duper-long-weekend was over and I was back at work. Even though I didn't do anything particularly exciting or different I had a lovely few days - particularly since a good proportion of them was spent with one of my best friends Caitlan who has been away travelling for the last ten months. Hearing her stories about skydiving in New Zealand and bathing with the elephants in Thailand has definitely put my life in perspective...she's heading back to Australia on Sunday for another year or so (at least!) so tomorrow night will be spent seeing her off in style, and probably weeping like a baby because I'll miss her A LOT.

Anyway, enough about that, before I get emotional and start crying at my desk. 

As you are all painfully aware, the last few weeks has been a bit of a struggle for me food-and-exercise wise. I know right, not like I've mentioned it a bazillion times. I've also just realised that I didn't post a weigh-in update on here last week - naughty of me! Those of you who also follow Where Are My Knees? (which had better be all of you, by the way!!) will know that I just about managed to lose 1lb despite eating out pretty much all week - 100% down to the fact that I finally got a gym membership sorted out and so I was going balls to the wall on the cross-trainer pretty hard four of the days. But see, the fact that I had managed to lose 1lb despite eating rubbish just annoyed me more than if I'd have gained. I know for a fact that if I'd had a week of pointing and tracking AND going to the gym then I probably would have dropped 3lb+ without even blinking. I was enjoying the gym sessions, and then coming out and eating whatever was easiest. I was comfort eating, I wasn't boredom eating. I wasn't eating overly large amounts or drinking a bottle of wine a night (although I totally could do that). It was just for convenience. I wasn't organised enough to plan and make meals in advance so I was just grabbing whatever was handy. Just so happens that what was handy was stupendously high in fat and calories and god knows what else. And to be honest, most of the time it wasn't even that nice. So yeah, the point of that little rant is that I was pissed.

This week, I decided to make a change. I was extremely intrigued after reading my fellow team member Sarah's review of Slimfast on WAMK, and after doing a little more research I decided to give it a go. Now before you all turn into shrieking harpies and curse me for deserting Weight Watchers - I haven't. Weight Watchers is and always will be my first love - I lost over 7st with Weight Watchers and I genuinely believe that it is the best plan out there for losing weight and keeping it off (NOW PLEASE GIVE ME A JOB IN YOUR PR DEPARTMENT, THANKS). That being said, at this moment in time its not working for me. Thats not the plan's fault - its mine. My head isn't in the right place at the moment. There is such a thing as 'too much flexibility' and thats what I was finding with Weight Watchers. At the moment I need structure and discipline and for my body to become re-accustomed to a lower calorie intake and smaller volume of food. And I could either have stayed with Weight Watchers, continued having half-good-half-bad weeks, making bad decisions, and fluctuating within the same 3lb margin. Or I could try something different and see where it got me. By last Sunday, after another bad food day, I figured I had nothing to lose - so I stocked up on Slimfast stuff and got on with it.

And since Sunday I've lost 5.5lbs.

And I know, I know, that that isn't a realistic rate of weight loss. I couldn't - nor would I want to - lose that amount of weight every week. But as a kickstart to my body and to get my head back into a routine when it comes to eating, you can't really say fairer than that. I won't pretend that I've followed the plan to the letter because I haven't - I ate out twice on Tuesday, thus blowing that day completely out of the water, and if I've been feeling peckish in-between meals and snacks then I've snacked on fruit. My calorie average has probably been somewhere between 1350 and 1500 a day.

First of all, let me say this - I have not felt hungry. At least not beyond the normal 'its time for my lunch' hunger. This has been a huge surprise to me as I am a BIG eater. I've always had a big appetite and even I didn't think that I'd be able to manage on a shake, a meal bar and a couple of snacks a day - so to find out that I can without too much drama has been a pleasant surprise, and has reminded me that staying within a daily ProPoints allowance actually is completely do-able. Secondly, all of the products are delicious. I know a few people who have done Slimfast in the past and complained about the artificial taste and whatnot, but I they seem to have really picked their game up since then. I even tweeted yesterday about their Raspberry Crush shake (omnomnom) and was kindly offered another weeks worth of products for an official review! I'll be following the plan for another week or so - basically until I run out of products, and then I'll be returning to Weight Watchers and pointing. I know that I'm going to have to be super careful when it comes to going back to 'eating normally', but I really think I'll be in a much better mindset by then - not only will my body be accustomed to a lower calorie intake and smaller volume of food, but I'll also know in myself that I can be strict on myself and not be miserable or go hungry. I think if Slimfast has conquered one thing (other than the muffin top on my new jeans), its my pathological fear of being hungry.

Has anyone else tried the Slimfast 3-2-1 plan? What are your thoughts? As I said I'll be reviewing the plan properly within the next couple of weeks, but if you have any burning questions in the meantime please do check out Sarah's post on Where Are My Knees? - she's got most of it covered!

I hope you've all had a fabulous week and will be having an even more fabulous weekend! I will admit now to the fact that I won't be following Slimfast over the weekend, particularly tomorrow as I plan to drink my calories - and I'm not talking about in milkshake form! ;)

Love,
Lauren xxx


Monday, 27 August 2012

Pay Day, Pay Day, Gotta Get Down On Pay Day.

My wages finally arrived in my account on Friday morning after nine days of being MIA. Needless to say this makes me extremely happy. Between paying rent, fares, car insurance, phone bill, credit card bill and lord knows what else, a considerable chunk was already spoken for - but I still found room in my budget for a little splurge at Westfield on Friday afternoon! I had originally said I wasn't going to buy anymore clothes until I'm at or near my goal weight, but after examining my autumn/winter wardrobe I realised that wasn't really an option - this time last year I was wearing size 16-18 and even having gained some weight recently I'm now a 12-14 (and even a 10 on top in some places). So I took one for the team and went shopping. It was a chore, let me tell you...




The boots are definitely my favourite purchase - possibly of all time. AREN'T THEY FABULOUS!? I love that they're sensible enough to wear to work but the glitter adds that bit of glam to make them work in the evening as well. The price tag is a little steeper than I'd normally pay for New Look shoes but they're real leather and super comfortable (and awesome) so they're definitely worth it. I also picked up a huge chunky grey jumper and a really cute black-and-cream stripey fit and flare dress from Primark. With the exception of the Topshop vest everything I got is work-friendly but still casual enough to wear out and about as well.



I had sadly also reached that stage where everything in my make-up bag was running out or drying up, so I paid Boots a little visit too. I was sorely tempted to splurge on a few Nails Inc and O.P.I nail polishes but I resisted as I knew I'd regret it at the end of the month when I ran out of money and had £30 worth of nail polishes sitting around doing nothing.

  1. Revlon Colourstay Foundation in 150 Buff (my A/W colour as opposed 180 Sand Beige in summer when I've got a bit more of a tan going on!)
  2. Bourjois Little Round Pot Blusher in 95 Rose De Jaspe
  3. Maybelline Falsies Volum' Express Flared
  4. Rimmel Glam'eyes Liquid Liner in Black Glamour
  5. L'Oreal True Match Powder in Golden Beige - a new purchase for me! I'm hoping it doesn't break at the slightest tap like all the other powders I've tried over the years!
  6. Eylure Naturalites Intense in 140 - for my unofficial school reunion at the weekend, because if I go on a night out without lashes on then I might as well forego clothes as well.
All in all I had a joyous little spend up - it was exactly what I needed after living in abject poverty since I left university in June!

What are you all spending your pennies on at the moment? Have any of you had any bank-holiday weekend spending sprees?

Lots of love,
Lauren xxx


Thursday, 23 August 2012

'These are the battles that we must lose in order to win the war.'

The above was published in a comment on yesterdays post from one of my best friends Nicole - who happens to also be one of my Weight Watchers buddies who I'm struggling so much without. Her words put a lot of things in perspective for me (as did all the other comments, tweets and emails I've received - you guys blow my f***ing mind time and time again) and I've realised that I've been being far too hard on myself.  A lot has changed over the last few weeks and months. Not only moving back home but also starting a new job and all the issues that come along with that, like subsidized goodies in the office cafe and restaurant. 55p for a chocolate muffin and yet a fruit cup is £1.91 - how the hell does that work!? On top of the stress that comes with that there's been plenty of other stuff going on as well - boy troubles, money woes. You know, REAL LIFE. This shit happens, and I'm not the first person to go through it, nor will I be the last. Hell, I'm sure - no, I know - that there are plenty of people out there who are going through upheaval thats a hell of a lot worse than mine. If I get myself in this much of a state over leaving university what am I going to be like when I'm getting married or buying my own house or having a baby!? It doesn't bear thinking about. Luckily there is no chance of me doing any of those things within the next six or seven years so I have some time to figure it out.

The point I'm trying to make here is that I'm not perfect. In terms of my life, my world, my weight loss is extremely high profile. Its on this blog, its on Where Are My Knees?, its on facebook and twitter. It was even in The Sun! I've been contacted directly by Weight Watchers PR representatives and health and fitness blogs asking me to share my story. I'm not saying that I get stopped on the street, but the people who are in my life know about my weight loss. So at the times that I'm not doing so well I feel like COLOSSAL failure. Which is ridiculous, because I'm not. I know I'm not. I lost 7st 2lbs during two years and five months at university - thats 100lbs. And yes, in the last few months I've gained around a stone of that back. 

So what?

I'm still over 6st lighter than I used to be, and I still have every intention of getting to my goal weight. I haven't given up - not by a long shot. This isn't a failure on my part. Its merely a blip - a bump in the road that I'm going to be travelling down for the rest of my life. I can't expect myself to be perfect every single day for the rest of time just because I believe that other people expect it of me - because the thing is, they don't. Every person who responded to yesterdays post said the same thing. They pointed out how far I've come from the Fat Lauren of 2009, how much I've achieved, and what a difficult time this transition period can be. If the response to yesterdays post has done anything, its reminded me that I'm still just a normal twenty-something girl, and that I need to stop setting myself superhuman targets. The disappointment that I feel at not achieving them is a large part of what drives me to sabotage myself food and exercise wise.

I started afresh today - like I have so many other times. Like I will every time I mess up and fall off the wagon. I've had a crap few months and I've regained some weight. I wouldn't want to bore you all with an easy ride anyway, so its probably a good thing. This is the hardest part of losing weight that I've experienced since I stepped onto the scales at 10am on Saturday 23rd of January 2010 - but then I said that when I started my second year at university, and when I changed to ProPoints, and when I hit the 15st mark and the damned scales just refused to drop any lower. I got through all those times, and I'll get through this one as well.

Fat Lauren of 2009 might have won a few battles recently, but Skinny Lauren just launched a counter-attack. The fact that I'm still here means that I'm still winning the war, and I'm not about surrender. I did not spend two years at university boozing, eating junk food and still losing weight just to be thwarted by my mother's portion sizes and my own neuroses. If it takes another two and half years to get to goal, then thats how long it takes. It doesn't matter really - once I'm there I'll be there for life, so I might as well enjoy the ride while it lasts. 


Screw you Lauren of 2009. I'm coming for you. You better be ready.

With love, as ever,
Lauren xxxxx

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

'A (wo)man's homeland is wherever (s)he prospers.' - Aristaphanes

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time...months really. Ever since I left university in June. I've just never really had the right words for it.

Here's the deal - I don't lose weight when I'm at 'home'. Because I'm the product of a broken home (I know right, irreparably damaged, multiple mummy-and-daddy-don't-love-me scars - its definitely their fault I'm fat) I have two homes.

Except their not. Not anymore. They stopped being 'home' the day I went to university.

I don't think anyone really goes home after they've been to university - or lived away from home for an extended period of time in any capacity. When you move out of and then return to the parental home something just changes. There's a shift in the dynamic, because both you and your parents know that you don't depend on them in the same way that you used to. The threat of having to sort your own dinner out and do your own washing and tidy your room doesn't carry quite the same weight as it once did, because you've just spent three years doing all those things anyway. While I like not having to do the washing and enjoy the fact that my dinner is on the table when I get home from work, it wouldn't be the end of the world if I had to do those things for myself. I mean, I'd rather not...but if it came to it, I could. Does that make sense? Probably not.

The point I'm trying to get at here is that 'home' - the houses in which my respective parents, step-parents and siblings reside - isn't home anymore. My home is in Canterbury, on Glen Iris Avenue, or Longmeadow Way, or in Tyler Court C. People say that home is where the heart is, and as much as I love my family (both of them, in fact) my heart is still in Canterbury. And that is due in no small way to the fact that Canterbury is where I 'prospered' - and by prosper I mean lost weight the most effectively.

The truth of it is, I can't lose weight when I'm at my parents house/houses. The parental houses is where I was when my size started snowballing. I always tend to skip over that part in my mind as something not important - blaming it on driving, boozing, my contraception...you know, the usual. The truth is, its not quite that cut and dry. I gained weight living in these houses, and in the three years since I moved out nothing has really changed. There's no reason to think that the homes in which my weight first started rapidly increasing should have suddenly become productive to my weight loss.

Firstly, I come from a family of big eaters. Neither my mum nor my stepmum are shy when it comes to portion sizes. Dinners are never particularly unhealthy but there's a lot of them, and if its on my plate I'll eat it. Simple as that. A problem easily remedied when living away from home, because it was never on my plate to start with.

Then of course there's the contents of the cupboards. The house - both houses - were, and still are, heaving with chocolate, crisps, cakes, thick-cut white bread, ice cream, sweets and god knows what else. And despite not one of my younger siblings caring a jot about their weight, the bananas always get finished before the chocolate does. So I go into the kitchen for a snack - no fruit, but f*** me sideways there's sure to be six different types of chocolate bar in the cupboard. And what can I say? 'Don't buy chocolate for the kids anymore parents, because your disgusting fat oldest child can't keep her chubby little fingers out of the biscuit tin'? Sadly it doesn't quite work like that. How can I expect seven other people to go without just because I have no self-control. Again, not a problem in my own place because I just didn't buy the stuff (most of the time).

But perhaps the biggest issue is the support. I was surrounded by support in Canterbury. I had the best Weight Watchers meeting in existence to attend, a fabulous leader and three fellow student/Weight Watchers to talk to/go to the gym with/send semi-hysterical texts to when a cheesecake inadvertently ended up on the table in front of you. We bolstered each other. We shared in each others victories and we suffered the setbacks together. If one of us had a bad week the rest of us were gutted too. I had people from my course or old housemates or just completely random people who I'd met along the way telling me how great I looked and how much I'd achieved. I also had a social life - and let me tell you that nothing is a bigger motivator to put down the tub of Ben and Jerry's and get your arse to the gym than the prospect of not fitting into your outfit on a Vensday. Even my third year housemates were a support and an encouragement in their own way - nothing like having a parade of scantily clad skinny girls going through your house to keep your own shortcomings at the front and center of your mind. I'm kidding! Well, sort of...

Now I have none of that. I have no meeting to attend, no tight-knit group of supporters, no housemates to encourage/insult me, and no real social life to speak of (because I still haven't been bloody paid!). I miss Canterbury. I miss university. I miss my housemates and my friends and my meeting and my gym. Most of all I miss feeling like I'm in control. The fact that I'm not going back to university is finally really sinking in - up until this point it had just felt the same as the previous two summers, when I was home for a few months before heading back. Now September is fast-approaching and its hitting me that this is it. Real life. Living in this house, going to work at this job (or one similar), every day for the forseeable future. I like my job, and I don't hate living at home...I just hate the fact that I've turned back into the Lauren of 2009, as opposed to the healthy, happy, outgoing Lauren of the last couple of years. I like 2012 Lauren. She's much more fun. And she's got a smokin' body for an ex-fatty. I want her to come back.

Sorry about the slightly random and miserable post these evening guys...its just been one of those days. In fact, its been one of those weeks...

Love,
Lauren xxx

Friday, 17 August 2012

Week 2 Belated Weigh-In

Last week: 13st 6.4lbs

This week: 13st 7.6lbs

Thats right chaps - I gained 1.2lbs! Too much booze and BBQ food over the weekend and it caught up with me too. I'm not surprised, nor am I too upset, because I know exactly where its come from. Onwards and upwards (or downwards, depending on how you look at it) this week.

What I am upset about, on the other hand, is the fact that I haven't been paid. Well technically I have, but as the payment was made to the wrong account number I am yet to receive it. That means that there is about £1700 of MY MONEY floating around in cyberspace waiting to be spent on shoes. Part of me thinks this is a bit of a blessing in disguise, because I literally would have blown it all on rubbish, but most of me is really f***ing pissed because its completely screwed ALL my plans for the whole week. I was desperate to get out and catch up with people but there's not much fun to be had when you have 21p left of your overdraft! So instead I will be spending the weekend brooding. And sulking. And whinging. And whining. And moaning. And any other pseudonyms for 'being a miserable bitch' that I can think of.

I might go for a couple of runs just to alleviate the sheer boredom!!

Yes, you did just read that right.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Final Push Week 2

Hi guys!

As some of you might have seen on Twitter yesterday, I won't be weighing in until Friday this week due to an unfortunate mishap with the bathroom scales! Rest assured though that after a booze and BBQ filled weekend I haven't lost hope - we can't be good every day for the rest of our lives, am I right!? I know that I definitely went over the top on Sunday at the family BBQ but today (well rather yesterday) was a new day and I finished it bang on points. I also got myself a gym membership sorted so I will be getting that up and running tomorrow and am eagerly anticipating getting some form of regular exercise again - this last 15lbs needs to be gone, and soon - and I have no doubt that Spin classes will be a great help in that ;)

I am considering changing my WI day to a Friday though...I like the poetry of Monday being a new week, but I'm finding that by the time the weekend rolls round I tend to have taken quite a chunk out of my weekly points. I don't need to use them during the week, and the only reason I do is 'because they're there'. Weighing in on a Friday would mean that I start the weekend with my 49 weeklies intact, and as the weekend is the time that I'm mostly to use them I feel like this could work better for me - as opposed to using them in the week and then not having enough to cover any social events at the weekend. Thoughts?

In other news, I was finally reunited with the girls last weekend!! (You might remember them from this post.) We headed out for dinner at Prezzo and then drinks at the local followed by dancing (and more drinks) at the Ivory Rooms (of The Only Way Is Essex fame). It was great to see the three of them and catch up, although its made me miss being at university a million times more than I already did!

I know you can't exactly see my outfit to its full potential, but...
Dress and Denim Waistcoat - New Look
Espadrille Wedges - Dorothy Perkins
Clutch - River Island
Sun-kissed skin - c/o St. Moriz @ Wilkos ;)

Its pay day tomorrow, which means lots more socialising with people that I've been forced to neglect in my poverty ridden state over the last couple of months - including dinner and drinks with Sonia, who I haven't seen in forever,  more drinks with my uni pals and fellow Modernist experts Siobhan and Jack, even more drinks with my darling ex-housemates who I miss like I would my right hand, and then shopping and MORE drinks with Emma. I suspect I will be eating a lot of 0pt soup and fruit this week to atone for all the boozing, and then living in poverty for the rest of the month having spent all my money on London-priced alcohol.

Ah well, you only live once right!?

Hope you're all enjoying your week!!

Love,
Lauren xxx

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

McWorthIt


Yesterday I used 9 of my Weekly Points on one of these. 
I don't even feel bad about it.
Three words for you, folks -

Om nom nom.

Monday, 6 August 2012

The Final Push - Week 1 Weigh In Results

Happy Monday everybody! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and is ready to face the week! Personally I don't ever think I'll ever like Mondays...particularly Monday mornings. Although to be perfectly honest I don't actually like any mornings. Particularly when they involve a 6am alarm. Being a grown-up SUCKS.

As promised last week, I am here to update you on this mornings weigh-in results......

 Last week's weight: 13st 8.8lb
(again, excuse the random crappy picture!)

This week's weight: 13st 6.4lb 

I am down 2.4lbs after just one week of being back on track! I won't lie, I was initially a little disappointed as I'd hoped for a loss of at least 3lbs, but after putting a few things into perspective I'm happy with my result. I tracked and pointed all week, but I went over my weeklies and used the majority of my exercise ProPoints which never ends in a great result for me. I had cocktails,  wine, McDonalds, Pizza, BBQ food and a heaving plate of lasagne between Thursday and Sunday - I definitely didn't go without! The main thing this week has done for me is reinforce the fact that you can enjoy life, go out, socialise, eat and drink yummy things, and still lose weight. More importantly, I have actually enjoyed pointing, tracking and exercising this week - I'm even looking forward to starting week 4 of C25K this evening! I think my love of Weight Watchers has been well and truly reignited - and long may it last!

How is everyone else getting on?

Lots of love,
Lauren xxx

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Guest Post: Catching up with Chris


Hi. My name’s Chris.

Remember me?

In October last year, I wrote on this very blog about my adventures in weight loss – at the time, I was 80lbs lighter than I was when I started my diet, and I’m back again to talk about how the last few months have treated me.

Well first off, I hit my target in November.

Chris, before Slimming World

After reaching goal in November 2011

One hundred pounds of weight, gone.
That’s seven stone.

That’s two adolescent Labradors; and in my case it was ten inches off my waist and two entire new wardrobes. It’s incredible.

And you know what the key was?

I was never on a diet. I’d changed how I live my life.

I hear a lot of people telling me about how they’re going to lose some weight. They have a wedding to go to and they want to make sure they look good in their dress, or they have to have a six-pack for their holiday. So, they spend six weeks desperately starving themselves and shredding their backsides off in the gym, the event that they absolutely had to lose the weight for passes… and then like Groundhog Day, everything reverts to how it was at the start again.

THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, guess what? You need to change how you live your life. It’s not easy, it’s not fun, but unfortunately it’s true, and I’m here to tell you that if I can do it, then you can too.
I hit my target of 199lbs back in November, and I’ve stayed a few pounds either side of it since. I’ve been down to 194 and up to 201, but on the whole I am now so comfortable with my lifestyle, I can live without worrying (too much) about my weight.

What do I do? Not too much. I don’t follow any crazy dietary plan (there is nowhere near enough Pic ‘n’ Mix involved in Paleo), and while I try and fit in some exercise at least three or four times a week, I’m talking a few rounds of  press-ups, dips and crunches while I’m watching TV, and a bike ride on the weekend – I’m never going to be one of those lycra wariors that do seven million miles before breakfast and do handstand press-ups on their way to work.

They say that if you go on a diet, you need to stay on one to make any changes stick – and that’s both true and false. Whilst it’s true that if you go back to how you were eating before, you will put weight on; it’s also false because you don’t ‘stay on a diet’ – eating healthily and exercising every so often just becomes your new way of living. Yes, there are people out there who never put on weight, who seem to burn through everything they eat and never put on a pound – but if you’re not one of those people you need to accept it and move on. I quite often have a fat day (or weekend!), but I do so in the knowledge that I will have to have a few good days afterwards to counteract them – it’s actually all about balance.

I’m aware that this piece has been somewhat confrontational in tone, but the message I’m trying to convey is unswervingly positive.

Don’t try and convince yourself that once you’ve hit your target you can stop trying. You’re better than that.
Don’t think of weightloss as a “diet”. Think of it as your access route to a whole new life, the key to unlocking a new world of health and fitness that makes every single difficult day, every worry and every quashed temptation worth it.

Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can. I used to be a famously lazy glutton (how do you think I ended up being 21 stone?) – but with a little motivation (and a huge amount of heartbreak that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone, I got there in the end. Yeah, I work in life insurance, so I'm surrounded by data and information on just how much being overweight can screw up your life, but I managed to ignore it for years before I decided I was going to stop making excuses and do it.

Part of where I'm going is knowing where I'm coming from.

Hi guys

Firstly, thank you so much for all the wonderful comments, emails and tweets I have received since my involvement in Where Are My Knees? was announced yesterday. I will never, ever get used to people telling me that I have inspired them. Its incredibly flattering and humbling to know that my words have affected others in that way, and to know that I have played a part, no matter how small, in helping someone else to achieve their dreams. I couldn't have got to where I am today without the love, support and encouragement of my friends, family, and you guys, so I know the importance of having people around you to keep pushing you on towards success. Nobody can lose weight and get healthy unless they want to, but that's not to say that having people around you who understand and care doesn't come in handy from time-to-time. It is an honour and a privilege to know that I've been able to help people who have been struggling with their weight loss, and an incredible source of motivation for me. I don't want to let you guys down.

In regards to my involvement with Where Are My Knees? - I can't thank Gem and Sarah enough for letting me get involved. I know that not all of my followers are weight loss bloggers, but for those of you who are I urge you to head over to WAMK and keep an eye on all thats going on. We're planning to really shake it up over the next few weeks and as its written from five different perspectives there will be something for everyone. So go - follow - be inspired and amused by four (soon to be five) hilarious, talented, beautiful bloggers. I'm not biased, honestly.

In terms of whats going on with me - The Final Push (kind of sounds like the end stages of childbirth, doesn't it!?) is still going strong. The last three days have been full of Weight Watchers minefields, but I feel like I've negotiated them quite well. On Thursday I met my lovely friends Emma and Nikki for drinks after work. We went to Brown's in Leicester Square and had some highly delicious cocktails! I went for a Cosmopolitan and  some yummy blackberry thing that I can't remember the name of. After we left we headed for McDonalds for some alcohol-absorbing junk food. Maccy D's is a huge weakness for me. There is no need for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal to be so excessively delicious. Though it pained me to do it, I opted for a normal cheeseburger for 8pps, as opposed to 13pps for the Quarter Pounder. Lauren: 1, McDonalds: 0. Of course I did proceed to wash the burger down with a McFlurry, meaning that McDonalds and I finished the evening at one all. Ah well. A small victory is still a victory. There has also been a pizza night (complete with BBQ wings and garlic doughballs) and a BBQ to tempt me off the straight and narrow. While I certainly haven't deprived myself - using up all of my weeklies and some of the exercise points C25K has earned me - I have pointed religiously and made the healthiest options possible.

Despite being as sensible as possible and keeping track of everything, I still feel the tiniest bit guilty. My guilt gene is hard-wired to the self-saboteur in me, and as soon as I realised I'd gone over my weekly points my immediate reaction was 'Well I've blown it now, might as well carry on eating and have another glass of wine.' I know full well that if I do it will make me feel even worse, but thats still my first thought. I am determined not to blow it for this week and I'd absolutely love to see a 3lb+ loss on the scales on Monday morning. So instead of gorging myself on the three bars of Galaxy that are sat in the kitchen cupboard positively screaming my name, I decided to have a little reminisce.


November 2009 | January 2010 | March 2011 | December 2009


September 2010 | September 2010 | March 2010 | November 2009


versus


March 2012 | January 2012 | July 2012 | March 2012


July 2012 | June 2012 | June 2012 | April 2012

Who is that girl with the chubby cheeks and no neck and huge thighs and three spare tyres?? Oh right, that was me. Weird that in some ways I barely remember the person I used to be, and yet in others its clear as day. I used to dread signing in to Facebook the day after a night out for fear of the horrendous photos that would have inevitably been uploaded (courtesy of Emma, normally!). I would avoid shopping with my friends at all costs because the only thing I could buy in shops like Topshop and Miss Selfridge were handbags and jewellery. I lived in the same leggings and stretchy black denim skirt, both size 20, for the first six months of university because nothing else fit me.

I don't ever want to be scared of signing into Facebook again. I don't ever want to look at a photo of myself and hate my double chin, or bingo wings, or thunder thighs. I want to look at photos and see a small waist. Slim (though admittedly still in need of work) legs. Toned arms. Above all else, I want to look at photos and see someone who is happy, as opposed to a person who hates the way she looks. I've come to accept that I'll never be perfect. I will never have Jess Ennis's abs (come on Team GB!), or Jennifer Aniston's arms, or my friend Sophie's legs. I'm not going to wake up tomorrow looking like Stana Katic no matter how hard I wish for it. But that doesn't mean that I can't be happy with what I've got. After all, I've worked bloody hard for it!

I'm not ashamed or embarrassed of my 'fat' photos. You'll never catch me deleting them from Facebook (well, not now anyway). I cherish the memories of the person that I used to be, because it reminds me of what I never want to be again. Looking back on where I've come from makes me even more determined to get to where I'm going. And its that thought, that reminder of what life used to be like, thats stopping me from reaching for the chocolate.

Even though I could murder a Dairy Milk right now.

With love,
Lauren xxx

Friday, 3 August 2012

Where Are My Knees?

As some of you might know, Where Are My Knees? is a healthy eating, lifestyle and fitness blog, written by five different bloggers, each with their own aims and methods of losing weight. The blog launched in March 2011 and has enjoyed great success, including a commendation at the Cosmo Blog Awards. A couple of months ago three of the five girls decided that it was time to move on from Team WAMK, meaning that the gorgeous Gemma and Sarah have three vacancies to fill. Applications for a position on the team are now being accepted, so if you're interested in applying then head on over to the blog to check it out and see if you're right for the position.

I would do the same, but I've already been asked to take one of the other spots ;)


Thats right ladies and gentlemen - you are looking at the newest member of Team Where Are My Knees?! Joining alongside me is the lovely Rosie of A Rosie Outlook, and we will be deciding on our fifth and final member over the next few days. I could not be more excited to be part of the team and I can't wait to get things up and running and get Where Are My Knees? back on its feet. So if you don't already then head on over and give us a follow. Doesn't matter if you're trying to lose weight, already at goal, or just have a general interest in health and wellbeing - there's something for everyone!

Love,
Lauren xxx

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The Final Push, Day 4.

Its incredible the difference a few days can make! This is only day 4 of being 100% back on the wagon, and yet I already feel so much better. My skin is already clearer, I've got more energy, and the jun-food cravings are quickly subsiding - or at least getting easier to control! I'm also finding that I have new self-control that i have never, ever, experienced before. I was craving chocolate yesterday, so I bought a 35g of Green & Black's dark chocolate from our cafe at work (pre-pointed at 5). After eating half of it with a cup of coffee I realised that I didn't want anymore, so I popped it in my handbag for later, with the intention of eating it after dinner. But after dinner I thought to myself 'ya know, I'm really not hungry - not even for chocolate', so I gave it to my mum instead. Normally once something is in front of me and open I'll finish it without even thinking about it, particularly when I've already pointed for it. I'm not sure where that burst of restraint came from, but long may it last!

I also feel loads better for having squeezed in some exercise over the last few days. I'm back on track with the c25k program after a few weeks away from it. I had just completed week 2 when I stopped so I decided to redo it - but when I went for my run on Monday I found that it was feeling a bit easy. Yesterday I stepped it up to week 3 and I'm planning to run tomorrow and Saturday and move on to week 4 on Monday. I don't think I'll ever really love running like some people do, but I do get a great sense of achievement at the end of each run which spurs me on to finish and then get up and do it all again the next day. Plus its free, which is what my bank account loves about it. The only downside is that I don't really feel like I'm getting a good all-over body workout - my bingo wings and flabby tummy are feeling rather neglected! I really should start doing some sit-ups and press-ups at home, but...well....they hurt!


I have to dash now my lovelies, but keep your eyes peeled tomorrow for some exciting news from me!

Love to you all!
Lauren xxx