Saturday, 4 October 2014

Blogtober // Post your favourite recipe

So following the Slimming World plan, I have been making a lot of meals from scratch. One of my favourite for taste is the Diet Cola Chicken. OMG it was amazing. I tweaked the recipe and added chinese five spice from Schwartz. I had tagliatelle with mine but obviously it has a curry like consistency which you could have a jacket potatoe, rice, pasta, chips, wedges, the list goes on. I've linked the recipe from the Slimming World site above. Even if you don't follow the plan, try this recipe. It's lush.

When following the recipe, use a large frying pan or wok and don't freak out about the amount of the liquid, I did but once it's on high, it boils down to the lovely sticky sauce, and it was delicious. I only had green peppers in so I'm keen to try again with red and yellow peppers and maybe leave out the spices so I can taste it as it is written.

I will update you when I've made this again with added peppers and without the spices.

I'm loving this plan at the moment. I hope the momemtum keeps me going.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Blogtober // Instagram Roundup

Not sure what I want to put on here.
I mostly use Instagram to view other pics for inspiration for crafts and meal ideas. I love interior design as well, not that I am allowed to express my ideas due to landlord imposed restrictions. I am so ready to move!

Anyway so at the moment my pictures have consisted of Slimming World meals I have created or recent buys of make-up etc. Another thing I like to do - watch reviews of make-up or readup on them so I know I'm spending my money wisely on a product that I am going to get the use out of.

So here are some screenshots of my recent pictures I have posted over the past 2 months:

My username is @ruths_joy so if you're not following me, why not give us a follow.
The people I usually follow are fellow crafters - knitters, crocheters and furniture painters. I love painting furniture, turning into something else, especially if like my coffee table, they are pretty battered and in need of some TLC.

I have a few real-life friends on there, but they don't post similar or as frequent as I do and always comment on my pictures and that they didn't know I craft etc. I don't try boast about it, I more post it on Instagram to remind myself to craft more.
I follow a few make-up artists or fellow cosmetic lovers, like I said I like to spend money on quality products that I know I am going to use and love.

I mainly use my Samsung S4 phone as the camera of choice. I would love a pro camera. Hubby has a Sony Xpedia Z2 and the camera on that is Ah. Ma. Zing! So crisp and I love the features, so I would love to get that type of camera but as a standalone. I love taking pictures, I'm just not very good at printing them off! And my phone needs clearing of pictures as I have 8gb of memory and half of that is pictures and videos which I should move to the pc and free up the space on my phone.

So that is my Instagram round up.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Slimming World week 2 weigh-in update

So weigh-in was last night and I lost 1lb. I was expecting to stay the same it was a surprise, a bittersweet surprise. Bittersweet because I found out I could've done the Success Express program and helped my weightloss further.
So with it today being my birthday I decided that I would just eat what I wanted then tomorrow - the 2nd, I will do the Success Express for the rest of the week. I think I understand the principles of it. I need to print off the diary sheet for it so I can keep track of it. I'm hoping to lose another 3lb - optimistic but I really want my 1/2 stone award!

Thanks for reading,

Blogtober 2014 // Introduction

I'm still here, sorry for the silence. I find it difficult to get time to unto the computer to blog and had decided to use my tablet, alas the keyboard onscreen does my head in and I much prefer to type away on a keyboard so, my birthday is tomorrow!!! And hubby has ordered me a keyboard to help, but fingers crossed I'll be getting a laptop for Christmas which will help blogging furthermore. I'm excited for that, I may be patient enough to wait for the January sales so we can get a good deal. Any laptop recommendations, let me in the comments?

Anyway, I am an avid Instagram fan. I try post one picture everyday but I'm more into browsing, liking and commenting on my online friends pictures. Yesterday as I was browsing through, one of the people I follow and who also has a blog Natty Nikki (check out has come up with a list of blog themes in order to blog everyday for October.
Here's the list in it's original form:

original source and creator
I'm excited for this, I feel like this is going to get me into planning my blog more, I'm already thinking about November and doing Blogmas! I have a lot of note books, it's time I put them to use and plan things, I feel better when I plan and know more or less what is happening.

So expect more blogs, going to set up a schedule so I don't need to remember to post them, cos I'm cool like that. Haha. I will probably try post every day to cover the themes but I'll plan more for November regarding everyday life. I've recently rejoined Slimming World and will do food posts and weigh-in posts (weighing in tonight) if that's what you'd be interested in, let me know in the comments.

Look forward to talking soon,

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Slimming World week 2 weigh-in

So i rejoined Slimming World 3 Tuesdays ago after a 4 1/2 year hiatus.
I originally joined in June 2010, 3 months after my wedding (I didn't want to lose weight) and when K was 10 months old. What pushed me to go then and again now was health, in fact I have my old book and I was lighter than I was when I started, OK only by 3lb but I was heading in the wrong direction.
In five months, I lost nearly 3 stone or 41lbs. I had 2 weeks when I stayed the same and 4 where I put on, those 4 happening in the weeks leading to my exit out of the meetings and trying to do it at home.
I did lose 2 1/2 stone last year with the help of the My Fitness Pal app but I guess I again went off track.

So what's different this time?

Well I am turning 30 and this is significant for me. I have spent my entire adult life being overweight and I'm starting to notice my knees and ankle aching more and more. I need to be more active, eat healthier - I am a throw it in the oven kind of cook for quickness but I do prefer made from scratch meals as they do taste better and fill you up longer. That's what I love about Slimming World, they encourage you to make meals, snacks etc from scratch using leaner meats, vegetables and less or no sugar/sweeteners. I'm trying to steer clear of adding sweetener but I am having Muller yogurts and drink sugar free squash daily so not avoiding it 100%.

Interim goal

So I have decided to set an interim goal at losing 4 st 3lbs which will take me to exactly 16st. I was around this weight wehen I met my husband and I have a suitcase full of clothes that fit me at this weight. I'm more doing this for the clothes size rather than the weight and at this weight I am around a UK size 20. I like this size, it will mean I can buy tops in 22/24 that will be baggier as I do like the baggier look. Being a size 24/26 in clothes means you have to buy massive clothes which I cannot find usually and if I do they can be quite expensive and not always stylish, again I am just about to turn 30 and still want to look stylish as a mum of two.

Which plan?

Extra Easy. No question. I did follow another weight loss group plan ten years ago and I felt like I was starving as EVERYTHING had a value and you got so many values to have a day and had to spend them wisely. It was horrible, I weighed 16 1/2 st then and lost 3st and looked amazing but for personal reasons, I had to leave and to be honest as soon as I left I went back to my old eating habits and put the weight back on. Over time and babies, I have put on the additional weight and there it is where I am now. I find Extra Easy exactly that, easy to stick too, I don't mind seeking out free or low syn foods so but I am looking forward to trying out some more recipes and finding more free or low syn snacks to help me fill up.

First week weigh-in

So I lost 3lbs during my first weigh-in and, to be honest I was disappointed, obviously a loss is always good, but I'm used to losing 5lbs in the first week and 3lbs is an average weekly weightloss. So we'll see what happens at the weigh-in tonight. I did eat a lot of pasta the day before [side note - does anyone else crave carbs whilst ovulating?], so maybe that affected it, and water weight from ovulating. I'm making excuses.

What do I expect from 2nd week weigh-in

I am terrified for this week. We had pizza last Tuesday and as I felt a bit fluie, I decided to have 1/2 garlic bread and 1/2 12" inch pizza that night, as well as the other half Wednesday. I didn't eat much that day but hardly anything Thursday, Friday then appetite returned Saturday and have eaten on plan the rest of the week. I have had medicines but haven't had synned them but to be honest, yesterday was the first day I used all 15 syns since Wednesday. I am typing this up now at midday so I can update you with my reaction to the weigh-in later.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

From Fat to curvy...

OK so this post might spike some conflicting opinions but it's been bothering me lately, I want to lose weight, but I want to lose weight so that I am comfortably a UK size 14-16. Technically speaking, that takes me from the obese range of the (dreaded) BMI chart to just being overweight but truth be told, I am not physically comfortable being this weight. For those wondering, I am around a size 22-24.

This was taken in May 2013. I want to state I am happy with being on the plus size, I just don't feel healthy anymore.
I have spoken about losing weight before but I wasn't as committed and so I would like to make this a fresh start.

Currently I keep gaining and losing the same 10lbs due to hormonal fluctuations in the month but I feel heavier lately as I not taking the usual 2 30min walks to and from oldest school as it's the summer holidays and to be honest I haven't been the most active lately.
That said I am not bothered about overall weight. I want to be lighter for my joints and being able to do things where weight might be an issue but being under 10 stone does not bother or interest me.

My size does bother me in that I cannot do the things smaller Mums may find easier - taking the girls to the park, I cannot sit on the swings, go down the slide or sit on the see-saw without chains digging into me; feeling like the slide might be too small or buckle under my girth; or the see-saw going so far down, little ones are scared or shouting that your too fat, which when you are, is excruciatingly embarrassing when you are and there are other parents around, especially when they are smaller.
Then there is any funfairs. They feel me with dread. What if one of my little ones decided they want to go on a ride where we'd have to join them and couldn't fit on or the safety bar didn't go down properly. I'd be mortified.
We visited Kirkley Hall, here in the North East, recently and there was a zip wire and my hubby and I, both being obese stated we'd love to that, alas the weight held us back from doing so.
I'd like to take cycling up again now our oldest is riding unaided and confidentially, I am currently too heavy for a bike frame! Makes me think of job experience where you need experience to get a job, but can't get experience because you can't get a job.

I don't want to make excuses, I eat big portions and far too much sugary snacks and not enough fruit or water. I drink coffee and sugar-free squash but the squash is usually with a meal, the coffee whenever I need an energy boost, which lately seems constantly. I don't exercise, however I do walk most places. I could do more exercise, I used to cycle everywhere in my younger days and though I was 12st at 12, I was a curvy size 12, something I never appreciated back then. Man I could have some harsh words with tween me!

I keep starting and stumbling and ultimately failing at these 'diets' and I am so over that. I need to do this, I am 30 in two months, I am worried that I have been obese for the majority of my adult life and I am worried that, though I don't have any concerning health issues, they may well rear their ugly heads soon and I'll miss out on the best years of my and my childrens lives. I worry that I'll end up relying on them to help me as I get too big to leave the house. I also have anxiety issues, which I attribute to my weight. I feel better when I have the pushchair or my oldest with me so I can 'hide' behind them, without them I feel like all eyes are on  me and people are judging me as I judge myself.

I am not fat, I have fat - I see this on a lot of plus-size profiles and it is true. I am not fat, I lose this weight, I'm still going to be me, just more able to do the things I want, rather than getting knackered out and letting the weight get in my way.

I know for every me, there are alot of plus size girls, making it as models and they look amazing and have such confidence it glows. It's just for me. I do love my body though, it's mine, I have borne two beautiful babies, it has served me well for the past (almost) 30 years. I just think it's about time I started respecting it may not always be the case and I need to start making changes now to ensure it will carry through the next 30 years without too much bother. I want to create a positive body image for my girls and show them that they can carry a few extra pounds and still be healthy. This for me is not healthy.

Thanks for reading lovelies,
Talk soon,

Saturday, 9 August 2014

5 Years a mother

Wow. Just. Wow.
I have managed to keep a young human alive from birth to 5 years!
In all seriousness though, today we celebrated the fact that our oldest is now 5 years old. A fact she hasn't let us forget is happening since the first of her school friends turned 5 when they started reception.
I believe she is the youngest in her class, albeit one of the tallest though, she has been treated to lots of her chosen-hero-of-the-moment goodies. Spiderman if your wondering.

Yes, so here I sit pondering what the past few years have taught me. What an enrichment becoming a parent has been and what I would like to change to make our futures fare better.

That being said, it's been no picnic, I have hit rock bottom many a time, but managed to pull myself out with the help of my husband and outside help. It's not been through any fault of theirs, rather I have had too much on my plate that I got lost and needed a help to regain my path. The loss of my father last year rocked me in a way I didn't think it would. Though to be honest, it was before he actually passed that I lost myself badly. He had terminal cancer and we had not long re-established contact after a 20year+ silence. His loss this time and the time before that has left me knowing I won't let our girls grow up without contact with their father, unless it really cannot be helped, if there was any reason we couldn't no longer be together as a couple.

The trials of having a family in our situation - no mortgage, no savings and only one stable job - raised eyebrows, mostly from my friends who were married and mortgaged up before having children - for the majority anyways. No we took the low road and are now working out how to climb that unsteady stair to a stable home, a better household income and hopefully a better future for us all. I have days when I love, Love, LOVE being a SAHM then I have days when I feel rubbish and that I should be at work, earning a wage and trying to save money for a house. The sheer cost of full-time childcare though is too much and seems daft to pay for something I can do myself at home, albeit at the cost of not being able to afford regular luxuries.

So we're on child number two now, another girl and she starts nursery in January so I am hoping to get either a part time or establish a work from home wage that I can spend more time on once she's at nursery, enjoying herself and I know I'm not not spending time with her.

It's been an incredible learning curve becoming a Mum but one I am still learning and struggle with as sometimes I wonder if I am doing the right thing half the time. I'm sure other parents feel the same. Comment below if you do, or even how your feeling on your childs birthday.