I’ve started a diet


I have started a diet and I thought it would be good to have somewhere to write down my thoughts on it (and this blog is just sitting here collecting digital dust so, may as well use it). I’m not going to say which diet it is* as my intention is not to try and recruit anyone (although I do have a referral code but I’ll save that until I’ve seen some results). I just want to have somewhere to write down my thoughts on it. Although while I said I’m not going to mention the brand, you might end up seeing it if I share photos. Oh well, I’ll worry about that later.

*I have now added a link at the bottom of this post.

So why have I decided to start a diet?

Well, I’ve not been happy with my weight for a long time. I think a couple of years ago I decided that I would just be fat and happy. However, as time has gone by, and particularly in the last year during Lockdown, the weight has piled on even more. I struggle to fit into my size 18 clothes. My food habits have got worse and worse. Whereas I used to only very rarely have a takeaway, I’d got into the habit of having one every other week, sometimes every week. Sometimes with the kids too, which ends up being pretty damn expensive. Even when I cook it was always heavy things (like spaghetti bolognese or homemade pizza) or something easy (a ready meal or pizza) from the local shop. My drinking had also increased over the last year. Because we’ve been dealing with home-schooling and stress, and mental health issues – so why not have a glass of wine a night. But that turned into 2 glasses most nights. More at weekends. I was going through 4 or 5 bottles per week.

And as time has gone by, I’ve felt more and more negatively about my body. I don’t like my face anymore either. I used to be pretty (and I know I can be pretty when I do myself up – but it’s “fat pretty” as I call it). And I don’t feel confident in a pretty dress. I feel like mutton dressed as lamb. I try to avoid having my photo taken and avoid mirrors especially from the side when I’m sat down. I have a double chin which I HATE. I tried to convince myself that I was happy being bigger. That I it was just part of life moving on. Life is about kids now, not about me, so it’s okay to be a bit fat. But the problem is a bit fat because a bit more fat and a bit more…. before I know it I’m 16 stone…. creeping up, up and up.

I also have been struggling with physical things. Going up and down the stairs. I took myself on a 4 mile walk the other day and injured my hip. I had to use a crutch (well, I used one of my hiking poles as a crutch) for about a week after that. I certainly couldn’t run and get painful knees sometimes. My parents are fitter than me and they are in their 70’s. I said to myself (whenever I felt bad about my weight) “when the kids leave home maybe it will be my time. Maybe I can focus on me then. But I don’t want to wait another 8-10 years (the kids are 12 and 10 right now). And who knows what other stresses I’ll have in my life then. What other excuses I will have to put off putting me first.

So, one night I was thinking of what I could do. I’ve tried Weight Watchers many times over the past few years and failed every time. I didn’t feel like I could do that. I needed something easier to follow. I considered doing Slim Fast and actually bought a box with the idea of having one for breakfast and one for lunch and then a main meal (although my choices for main meals were probably more of an issue than what I had for breakfast or lunch). But then, after having searched Google for Slim Fast, I found this other company advertised on Facebook. I read the comments and had a look on their website and it looked good. I didn’t do anything straight away, but the adverts for this company kept popping up on my Facebook feed and I looked into it a bit more over a few days and in the end decided to go for it.

So what is it?

The type of diet I’m doing is a Total Meal Replacement diet. This means that they provide all your meals. So a bit like slimfast but they have a much bigger range of products. I’m allowed 4 meal packs every day plus one snack. And I have to try to drink 4 litres of water every day. So far I’ve stuck to it to the letter (I’m now on day 6 – I started on Monday). The only day I’ve not managed to drink 4 litres of water is Thursday but I’ve been ill as well – I’ve got a bit of a nasty cold – and I went back to bed for a few hours so lost a few hour’s sipping time and failed to catch up when I got up.

The reason this type of diet appeals to me is that it’s quite simple. You know what you’re allowed. The only decisions you have to make are which packs to have and when to have them. Another reason is that as it is what is called a Very Low Calorie Diet, the weight loss is supposed to be quite fast. Obviously, that’s only as long as you stick to it, and everybody is different. I haven’t had my first weigh in yet so I don’t know how much I’ve lost.

How it’s been going

So I’m on day 5 now.

Day 1 was easy. I didn’t feel hungry. I was sipping water all day and I was on the loo every 30 mins or so!

Day 2 was harder. I didn’t feel hungry as such but I felt weak and tired and had a bit of a headache. I put this down to my body getting used to the lack of calories and also the fact that I had not had any coffee. The reason being that I don’t like black coffee and (while I am allowed 250ml of skimmed milk) and don’t like skimmed milk. I think it tastes watery and doesn’t do much to make a coffee milky. So I decided to switch to tea instead in the morning.

Day 3 I felt even worse. My daughter was off school with a cold and I started to wonder if I had it too.

Day 4 and I woke up even more full of cold. My daughter was still off school with hers and after I’d dropped my son off to school I checked she was alright and went back to bed myself for a few hours.

Day 5 – yesterday. I still felt grotty with cold. Running nose, sneezing etc. I’ve stuck to the 4 packs a day plus snack. Discovered the energy drink thing that this company sells (it’s a powder and you add it to water) and it was a game changer. Instant energy boost! Having one of those every day with my morning tea.

Day 6. Today. I had planned to go for a walk with my parents. I got up this morning and sat drinking my tea trying to decide if I was feeling well enough. In the end I decided to go anyway. The worst that could happen is I felt crappy and had to sit down for a while. But I managed it. We did about 3 miles. Just under. And now I’m home and enjoying being back in my PJ’s, under a blanket on the sofa in front of a scary movie.

Reflections on day 6

Overall, I haven’t felt hungry much. Drinking as much water as I am every day fills you up pretty well. While the meals are very small portions and the hot meals are rehydrated type meals, they are actually very tasty and pretty filling. And the selection is varied enough that you could pretty much have a different thing every day.

As I’ve had the kids this week, my day has gone like this: shake or porridge for breakfast around 10am after dropping the kids off, with a cup of tea. Lots of water. A meal bar maybe around 2pm or if I can hold off until the kids come home around 3.30pm as they always come home wanting food and it helps for me to have something to eat while I’m making them food or watching them eat. Then I have a soup around 5pm when I’m making their dinner or while they eat. Then I have my main meal (a hot meal pack) around 8pm once they’ve gone upstairs either to have their baths/showers or to get ready for bed. I’ve found that this routine really works. It helps to have my diet food ready when I’m doing theirs. The biggest challenge for me has been not to pick at their food while I’m making or serving it up. I’ve had to literally talk to myself saying “DON’T EAT THE PASTA, DON’T EAT THE PASTA”. The only slip I had is licking a tiny bit of ketchup off my finger when I was loading the dinner things into the dishwasher. I don’t even like ketchup! It’s all just habit! It takes a lot of focus to just not put things in my mouth!

So, I’m so proud I’ve managed to stick to it for 6 days even though I felt really really rough with this cold. I think it’s quite an achievement.

My go to thing when I’m feeling under the weather is to eat. Order takeaway, buy some chocolates. But I haven’t done that.

I’m actually thinking that I can do this. I can see myself being back to my old slim self. Imagining fitting back into those clothes again. I have one dress that I have in mind to fit back into. Here it is:

I felt so good about myself when I wore this dress. I can’t wait to feel that way again. I mean, yes, I was a few years younger, but I think I can still rock it at 43 (nearly 44).

I’m not going to share my BEFORE photos with you now because I’ll be honest, I’m a little bit ashamed.

But here is the old me that I want to get back to (I might even go blonde again!).

Me as a size 12-14 and roughly 12 stone I’m guessing.

So I have about 4 stone to lose.

I haven’t felt so confident about being able to do something for a very long time.

Watch this space.

If you are interested in knowing some more about what I’m doing this is the plan: The New You Plan. I get a little treat of £10 if you sign up through the link. You might need my email too which is abishepherd@gmail.com.

Please comment so I know I'm not alone out here!

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