So, this fat veggie thought it was time to have a go at not being such a fat veggie. I’d steered clear of slimming groups after a very unsatisfactory couple of visits to Weight Watchers, where my parting shot to the terminally patronising group leader was that I might be overweight, but it didn’t mean I was educationally sub-normal (and you can tell by the thoroughly unsound terminology how long ago it was!)
Then my partner in crime Anth suggested giving Slimming World a go – she’d lost five stone with them a while back. “You’ll hate the ra-ra, but the eating plan works,” was her view. And to date she’s been right.
Tammi, who runs the group, is lovely and welcoming, and also positive that being a strict vegetarian (almost vegan) wasn’t going to be a problem. I felt comfortable with her immediately.
Slimming World claim that you’re more likely to lose weight if you stay to the whole meeting because of the supportive, friendly atmosphere. I gave it two weeks and decided I’d manage on my own, thanks very much. An hour and a half of plodding around the group while each person mumbled about how they’d be back on target next week didn’t seem like a good use of my time. So now I turn up to be weighed, chat to the handful of people who are friendly, then go.
As for the eating plan, Anth’s right. It is do-able. I lost a stone quickly, did OK over Christmas and New Year, but have yo-yo’d ever since. That’s down to me and private life crap, though, and not Slimming World. Zoe, a friend of mine who started after Christmas, has done fabulously and isn’t far off losing three stone.
But it’s a tricky plan sometimes for vegetarians, as everything is so focused on meat and eggs. I’ve never seen an eating pattern that advocates so many eggs. Even if I liked the damned things, I could never eat that many. And even the ‘green’ recipe book has dishes with meat in. Yes, I could probably adapt them, but I kind of resent having to.
And I still can’t get the hang of the ‘syns’ – the extra treats they let you have. They often don’t bear much resemblance to how low in fat or calories something is (and nuts and seeds come in horribly high). And trying to find out the syn value of stuff can be a hassle if the item isn’t in the little book they sell you – I’m buggered if I’m phoning Slimming World’s premium rate phone line to ask. Yes, I know it’s a business. But sod that for a game of soldiers.
So I’m building my eating plan around baked potatoes, pasta and rice – all ‘free’ food. And the reason they claim you’ll never be hungry on a Slimming World regime is because these certainly fill you up. I’ve got in the habit of buying the tubs of M&S tropical fruit as well. Yes, it’s probably an indulgence. But at two for £5, there isn’t any waste.
Where I’m doing less well, though, is finding other snacks. Slimming World sell a range of cereal-type bars which aren’t bad, but seem to be jammed full of artificial sweeteners, which I don’t much like. So I’ve gone for Weight Watchers’ chocolate biscuits for a one a day treat. The jury is still out on savoury snacks, though …
I’m going to stick with it, because I think it does work, and I get the feeling I’m more likely to keep the weight off on this plan – they call it a lifestyle change rather than a diet. And if it comes off slowly, so be it – I’ll settle for that.