So, what’s next for Mrs B?

I’ve certainly been asking myself that for a while now. I’m a mum of 2 boys but they are now 20 and 17 (almost18), finding their own independence, as one is at uni and the other is at 6th form and also working a part time job. I have been married for 24 years and my hubby is a shift worker so that means I now spend the majority of my time alone! Due to my illness and chronic pain I’m no longer able to work a conventional job (I was a driving instructor), but I’m lucky that blogging and running social media accounts can be done in pj’s even on a bad day if necessary.

Yet when the boys where younger my life was busy (illness or not) with after school clubs, kids parties, meeting up with friends in the holidays etc, and although I am still officially a taxi service, a cook and a bank, my life is much more subdued. That in itself gives you time…………………..LOTS of time! Time to ponder and think about your own role in life. Yes I am still a wife and a mum but I am also ME. So, with 48 looming very quickly (and my hubby turning 50 last year!) I am starting to think about my time. How do I want to spend my time now my kids are off doing their own thing most of the time? Read more

Update on my Slimming World- now week 28!

First of all, yes I am still following Slimming World although I haven’t updated for a while as you can tell.

Just to remind you my weight loss is kinda slow, not because I find it difficult to stick to the plan ( I am one of those sad people that actually ‘enjoy’ being on it!) but because I am unable to help my weight loss with exercise due to my M.E and Fibromyalgia. I do what I can when I can activity wise, this could be a little ironing one day, a short walk another day or even taking things up and down the stairs can be like a marathon for me. The down side is that I do have days where it’s physically impossible for me to do anything other than try and hold myself upright on the sofa!

Anyway, it’s been 1/2lb here and there with the odd 1lb or more thrown in on a very good week. I have never had those big losses that others get along the way but in all fairness it has all gone in the right direction however small the loss and they have all added up to the grand total of 2 stone………………YES………….2 BLOODY LOVELY STONE! Ok putting it in perspective it has taken me since last August to do it but never mind I have gotten there nonetheless and it shows that all those little losses, however disappointing, all add up to a big amount.

2-stone-award

So, that means I only have 1 1/2 lb to get to my target weight of 9 stone and then I would ideally love to sit at the lower end of the target range at 8 st 11lb. This only means a total of 4 1/2lb in total still to lose. Now there are some people that could easily do this in a week however, I am categorically not one of them. This week I have been 100% on plan and still maintained!! So, I realise this will take me a good month to 6 weeks to do but ‘get there, I will’ as Yoda would say. However, this week saw a great non scale victory for me as I had a huge wardrobe clear out after fitting in to size 10 skinny ( albeit stretch) jeans- I was overjoyed and it spurred me on to clear out all those big oversized tops that I have been hiding under for the last few years and welcomed a size 10 Primark haul to give me some things to wear for now that I actually feel good in.

So here’s to the next few week, lets see what they hold in store and don’t worry, I will be shouting from the rooftops when I get to that goal weight. I would love to hear about your Slimming World journey so far.

Life According to MrsShilts

My Slimming world results week 14 and 15

On week 13 I had to miss my weigh in due to going into hospital for a day procedure. I still stuck to plan though before and after the day ( excluding a treat of my first mince pie of the season- which was well earned as I couldn’t eat from 9am the day before my procedure and having sedation that didn’t sedate making the day kind of traumatic all round!). However, it was onwards and upwards from there and I had nothing planned that was going to throw me off plan completely.

So weigh in for week 14, I was hopeful that I had lost and thankfully I was rewarded with a 2 lb loss, bringing me tantalisingly close to getting my weight down under the 10 stone mark! Having looked back after a chat in group after my previous 1/2lb gain about the amount of fruit that I eat, I decided to take the advice of another member to try adding more speed veg than fruit and maybe cutting the fruit down to about 3 pieces a day. In all honesty I didn’t think this would matter much to me but it really seems to have made a difference with my weight loss. As you know I am unable to exercise in the normal way due to my illness so I knew over all when I joined any weight loss would be slow.  I have also factored in a few EESP days throughout each week now which I also think may be helping and I  have managed to up my fluid intake loads after picking up my £5 bargain bottle, that you can add fruit to, from Matalan.

So onto this week and weigh in this morning. My over all hope was for a maintain as I had gone last Tuesday to review a festive afternoon tea, which obviously I had to scoff  at least try everything ( it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it!).

Well it would be rude not to!
Well it would be rude not to!

The food at the tea was absolutely lush and after just over 3 months on the plan it was a sheer delight to go and properly indulge and be guilt free in doing so. I made sure I only had some fruit for breakfast and after the tea I wasn’t hungry for the rest of the day so I only had a piece of fruit with my cuppa in the evening. I then decided to do a few EESP days to help balance out the over indulgence. However, by Saturday this week I started to feel bloated and realised this would be the week I would be due my period and therefore a possible gain ( which has happened pretty much every 4 weeks since starting). So, I went with the full expectation of a gain/ maintain to be totally blown away by getting another 2 lb loss!! I am shocked to say the least but super chuffed at the same time. I was also rewarded with my Club 10 award ( for losing 10% of your weight) which was just the icing on the cake today.

club-10-award

I can now say that I am in single figures ( only by a smidge but even so!) and in truth it feels just bloody marvellous to now be under the 10 stone mark. I am now a little more hopeful for next week and I have nothing booked this week that will knock me off plan. I will continue to factor in a few EESP days, drink lots of fluids and opt for speed veg and continue to limit my fruit to 3 or 4 pieces a day.

Today though I will celebrate with a proper size mince pie ( my absolute favourite at Christmastime) and still stay within today’s syn limit………………………..be warned my will power is strong now!

It's gotta be done!
It’s gotta be done!

So, here’s hoping for another loss next week ( although now I have said it I will probably gain).

My Slimming World results week 11 and 12

I did it!!! I only bloody did it!!

1-stone-award

I reached my 1 stone mark that has been alluding me for a few weeks now. I cannot tel you how chuffed I was considering I have been doing this for 11 weeks now and going to group every week listening to people losing 3-4 lb a week and having to make do with 1lb here and there in amongst slightly higher and lower loses and even a gain or two along the way.

However, that was a target I was desperate to get to because it’s easy to say you are losing weight but another to stand tall and say you have  lost a stone. I also said I would treat myself to a proper slice of cake when I reached that mark. I have been really on plan most of the time with maybe just a meal or a few drinks out that I have factored into the plan along the way, so I wanted a proper piece of cake when I got to this point.

On the day though I had got a lift there and back to group by my FIL so I didn’t get to go to my favourite cafe on the way home as planned. However, my little bestie came to the rescue when her son ( who is a chef!) made some GBBO style french fancy cakes and that very evening I had text her to say I got my stone award she knocked on my door with these little beauties………

homemade and beautifully sweet!
homemade and beautifully sweet!

Well it would be rude not to wouldn’t it. So I enjoyed one of these with my evening cuppa totally guilt free as I knew for the rest of the week I would be on plan with no real plans to go eating out or socially drinking. So I savoured absolutely every last mouthful as you can imagine!

The next week flew past to be honest and I was unlucky enough to have a few of my rough days sprinkled in there which meant very little activity so in all honesty I expected a non loss week when I went for weigh in. I was totally shocked and gutted to actually put on 1/2 lb! I had totally eaten on plan apart from my french fancy the last weigh in day and surely that couldn’t have had that affect a week on. When it came to my turn at group it took all my resolve not to bloody cry………….now that will sound absolutely ridiculous to you but it had taken me so long to get to my 1 stone, I then stayed 100% on plan and although I had a few days of inactivity on the sofa due to my illness I truly didn’t even contemplate a gain. So just chatting in the group helped as someone asked me if I ate much fruit- well I eat tons of the stuff, literally tons and it was suggested that maybe because of the sugar content in the fruit that I should maybe opt for more veg and salad this week and still have fruit but maybe restrict it to 2-3 pieces a day.

When I got home I googled about the sugar content in different fruits and decided when I went shopping that I would opt for the lower and medium sugar fruits and include much more salad and veg over this weeks dinners, which I have managed to do. I also picked this little bargain up in Matalan for £5 that should help me drink more fluids as I do tend to stick to coffee/ tea/ green or peppermint tea now the weather has turned cold.

my £
I have this sitting around me all day and have drank 2 of these a day so far since buying it so that is a definite improvement on my fluids anyway

I am due to be weighed tomorrow but I am having to miss it due to the fact I will be in hospital for the day having a couple of procedures that I will be sedated for. This in itself will knock me off my feet for a few days due to my illness as it takes my body much longer to recover. So I will look forward to weigh in next week and hopefully the little changes I have made will show on the scales in the right way………..WISH ME LUCK

My Slimming world results week 9 and 10

As you may already know I weigh in on a Monday morning ( which is a killer straight after a weekend!) and this can be a good or a bad thing depending on how the weekend has gone.

I have had a very slow few weeks socially so it has had the advantage of me sticking to plan 100% but before lasts weeks weigh in I had a few rough M.E days which saw me in my pj’s on the sofa. I know regardless of me sticking to plan or not if my activity levels drop the so does the weight loss unfortunately. Therefore, it was no great surprise when I maintained my weight from the previous week, expected but still a little disappointing if I am honest. On the up side I won the raffle again!!!! I know……..again! My husband keeps encouraging me to buy the Euromillions ticket now thinking I have the lucky touch. I had my MIL with me that week and she paid for the raffle tickets so it was only fair we split the prize ( as she wouldn’t take both items lol) so it was another fab little microwave jug for me to take home.

This week though I had very high hopes of a decent weight loss. I stuck to the plan 100% (again!) and I even reduced the amount of potato, pasta and rice that I would normally have on my plate substituting them for more speed food. I even resisted any temptations when we visited our son at Uni on Sunday and all went for a meal out. While my MIL went full hog with scampi and chips I opted for a grilled chicken breast and salad ( only because I am so close to the 1 stone target I didn’t want to spoil it on the day before).

So, weigh in morning comes and to be honest I was fairly confident I had managed the 2 lb weight loss I needed to reach my 1 stone………………however, it was not to be and it was only a 1lb loss. To say I was GUTTED was a total understatement. It really feel like I will never get to that 1 stone mark, it is so frustrating to say the least. I had promised myself that if I got to a stone I would treat myself to a lovely piece of cake from my favourite coffee shop…………..that has been put on hold again *sobs*.

Our group is a really friendly one and everyone is really supportive so when it came to my turn to talk everyone was chipping in with ideas. After all the chat I have some SAS sheets from the group leader to help me make sure I am following the plan right plus I have decided to give the EESP a try for this week. So today is day 2 of that plan and it seems to be going well, with the extra HexB and the fact I had already cut down on the carbs last week means that cutting out any pasta/rice or potatoes shouldn’t be a major issue.

I have set a 2 lb loss for this weeks target, I will have to try and be active most days ( which is easier said than done with having M.E- but I will try) and my head is totally in the zone to get that loss as I would still love to lose another 1/2 stone before Christmas if I can.

So please, send ALL your lucky vibes my way I am in desperate need for next week’s weigh in!

 

My Slimming World results week 7 and 8

I thought I would catch you up on my last few weeks of my slimming world journey.

As you may know I weigh in on a Monday morning (which can be an absolute killer for food mishaps over the weekend). Last week I knew I had been really good on the lead up to my weigh in, but strangely I was still nervous ( what is it with my bloody nerves on a Monday morning!) Anyway, very happily I lost 2 1/2lbs which I was overjoyed about. I think anyone on the plan will openly love anything over a 2lb loss any week. I had also had a very busy week where I had something going on everyday which kept me moving ( although that pushes me to my limit illness-wise).

I have learned from staying at the class each week for the ‘chat’ that when going out to eat etc, it is better to be prepared by knowing what’s on the menu and plan what you are going to have before you go. I think this has worked for me in some respects as with another trip with friends to one of those dasdardly ice cream places……..however, I looked up the menu and decided I would opt for the fresh strawberries but have Nutella with it but separately on the side so I could be in control of how much of it I ate. I also wanted a couple of G+T’s afterwards so knew if I was careful with the pudding  I could still stay within my syns for that day.

Week 8 saw a reduction in my activity levels due to my illness, so I dd have a slower week which does have an affect on weight loss amounts. So, even though I had been on track with my food all week I ‘only’ had a 1lb loss. I know I shouldn’t say ‘only’ but sometimes you can loose track of how much that actually is and that it is at least going in the right direction.

That loss takes me to 12lb in total since early August which I am so pleased about overall. I would love to get my 1 stone mark this week but I really don’t think I will so I will be happy again with another 1lb if I can. Obviously if I do get the 1 stone next Monday I will be shouting it from the rooftops so you will know about it………………………..be warned!

I have also tried a new recipe off the website which was amazing and will become one of my favourites from now on:

bacon and mushroom crustless quiche..........LUSH
bacon and mushroom crustless quiche……….LUSH

Also this week I went back to my sewing class on Tuesday evening and two different people commented and asked if I had lost weight………..which was, to be honest, the best thing so far this week- a real confidence boost when others notice and comment on it.

Wish me luck for next weigh in day.

 

Slimming World results week 5 and 6

After my +1lb gain the previous week after my cousins wedding blow out I got straight back on track. It’s amazing how just that single gain can totally focus you back to the plan!

I decided in my head that I really wanted to get past the 1/2 stone mark this week and had planned to stick rigidly to the plan and even cut down on the ‘free’ pasta/ potatoes and rice with meals and substitute them with things like carrot chips, cauliflower rice ( which is my new favourite thing by the way) and more speedy free veg.

THis is a HUGE bowl of cauli rice mixed with corgettes, mushrooms and tomatoes (all speed free) with 'free' ham on the top!
This is a HUGE bowl of cauliflower rice mixed with courgettes, mushrooms and tomatoes (all speed free) with ‘free’ ham on the top!

I was also able to keep my syns to a bare minimum by filling up on free food instead. The strictness paid off and I had a fabulous 3lb loss! I will be honest and say it gives you a massive boost  when you have a loss like that and it definitely spurs you on for the next week. This loss also took me over my 1/2 stone mark and made my weight loss ( for me anyway) something that I can definitely do, if that makes sense.

sw-half-stone-certificate

From that weigh in day on the Monday I then managed to come down with the throat infection my eldest had before he started uni! So a full weeks course of antibiotics were prescribed but for at least 3 days I couldn’t eat properly. Effectively you would think this would be fabulous for weight loss, however I had to rely on the ‘free’ foods that were easy to eat but filling, so I stuck with mashed bananas and pots of yogurt. This meant no speed food at all for these few days and then a day or two of eating cautiously while my throat recovered. I definitely relied on the free foods and didn’t have enough speed in my diet. I also wasn’t able to drink as much as I normally would as anything cold would really sting my throat and warm drinks seemed to help, which meant I drank much more tea and coffee.

I was a little nervous today at weigh in and although I wasn’t overly happy with a 1/2 lb loss it was still a loss, so going in the right direction at least.

To make up for it though I won the weekly raffle…………again and came away with some fab goodies that will definitely come in handy.

sw-raffle-win

Now it’s onward and upwards for next week. I have set myself a target of 1 1/2 lb to get back on track…………………………so wish me luck as I have my son’s 16th birthday on Friday and we are going out for a curry!!

 

 

How to Prepare for Your Driving Test: Top 5 Tips

Having been a qualified driving instructor ( until my illness took over) I know how difficult it can be for anyone to transition from a provisional to a full driving licence, the driving test itself can often be a very daunting prospect. Both the theory test and practical test are actually very straightforward, but the pressure often makes these tests more difficult than they should be. My son has recently passed his theory test and hopefully will do his practical test quite soon ( when he gets a break from uni).

So, If you’re taking a driving test soon, these next five tips will help you prepare better in no time.

Take Advantage of Online Mock Driving Tests

There are many ways you can prepare for a driving theory test. You can read one of the available books on the UK driving test and learn more about the highway code and other knowledge. You can also use the tests at the end of those books to practice. The best way to prepare for the actual test, however, is to take a mock test online. I always advised my pupils to do what they think will be enough ( especially with teenagers!) and then do lots more!

There are a lot of sites that offer mock driving theory tests for you to try. Taking the online tests will help you prepare for the actual test mentally too, which is why it’s the best way to get ready. You can learn from your mistakes more effectively this way.

Timing the Test

Never take a driving test at a time when you feel stressful. For instance, you shouldn’t take a driving test on the same week as a school exam or any other stressful events in life. You have all the time in the world to get the driving license you need, so time your test correctly.

Get Enough Sleep

As mentioned before, it’s the pressure of taking the test that often make you fail. The test itself is very easy to handle. It is very normal to be nervous, but do not allow the nerves to take over, think of all the people already driving on the road they have all had to pass the test! To avoid feeling stressed on the day of the actual test, get enough sleep the night before. You should also avoid drinking too much coffee (or worse, energy drinks) before the test. The high level of caffeine will make you feel more agitated than usual.

Get There Early

Arrive at the test centre early. There is nothing worse and more off putting than rushing through the test centre doors with only minutes to spare.  Give yourself at least 20 minutes to get used to the test environment and catch your breath. You will feel so much better when the test starts and you’ll have no trouble at all passing the test with flying colours.

Getting to the test centre early will also help you prepare for the test mentally. Take deep breaths and visualise completing the test. Be positive about it and you’ll feel so much better – and so much more prepared – for the driving test. The examiners are normal people ( I know it’s hard to believe!), they are not there to fail you I promise.

Take the Necessary Documents

Last but not least, make sure you have the right documents with you. Most of the time, you need your driving license and your theory test pass certificate. Don’t wait until right before you leave for the test centre to prepare these documents. Have them ready the night before. If you do not have the appropriate documents you will not be able to take the test, so please be prepared.

You are allowed to bring someone to the test. If your child is taking their driving test, it is always a good idea to go with them and sit in the back of the car during the practical test. You’ll be providing a lot of moral support and your kids will have an easier time in general.

If you have a specific tip that helped you on the day of your test please share it with us as it could help someone else who is feeling very nervous about their upcoming test.

Slimming World week 4- my results

I was away last week and so didn’t have a weigh in.

My previous week I had a gain of 1/2 lb which was disappointing as I had stayed on plan ( apart from an ice cream!) But although I was away with the family I was able to easily stay on plan as I was still preparing all my meals.

The only treat that I wanted when I went was proper seaside fish and chips, which is something we always get at a fabulous fish shop on Herne Bay sea front. I planned this meticulously thinking it was best to have this on the Monday I was missing my weigh in. That way I was on plan all week, had my fish and chips and then went straight back on plan for the next week.

In all honesty, and I can’t believe I am saying this, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would……….totally weird!

Anyway, along came the next weigh in and low and behold I lost an amazing 3 1/2 lbs over the two weeks!! I was absolutely chuffed as this got me within a 1lb of my half a stone before my cousins wedding target. My dress felt more comfortable and less ‘strained’ when I wore it.

Again I stayed on plan up to the day of the wedding, knowing that on the day I would fully enjoy an off plan dinner and pudding along with copious amounts of G+T!! I didn’t want to think about it on the day, I just wanted to go and enjoy every minute of it.

..... and enjoy ourselves we did!
….. and enjoy ourselves we did!

This meant that I knew I would have a gain on the Monday weigh in, which actually wasn’t as bad as I thought at 1lb. However, even when you expect a gain it still is a bit disappointing when it happens. It was made a little easier though by the fact I won the raffle, which was a bag full of spices in honour of their new curry club cookbook being released- so alls well that ends well and all that lol

lessened the blow of the 1lb gain!
lessened the blow of the 1lb gain!

This week though I have been very strict with myself, including lots of speedy veg and fruit and cutting down on the free rice/ pasta and potatoes. Last week I opted to aim for a 2lb loss which would take me to my first half stone loss which I think will make all the difference mentally, however, as weigh in looms tomorrow morning I am beginning to doubt I have lost anything and I won’t lie I will be VERY disappointed.

So watch this space and I will let you know………

Slimming World- my week 2 results

So after last weeks weigh in and loss of 3lb I had a visit to one of those Ice cream/waffle places with some friends and thought I would treat myself!

kaspas ice cream

I did indulge in this caramel concoction which was worth every spoonful. This was on the Tuesday (the day after weigh in) so I thought that after this I would be strict on plan and hopefully it wouldn’t make much of an impact.

When i went to my Monday evening weigh in I was kind of nervous. I had been on plan ever since the ice cream and never really used up many of my daily sins that week. I was hoping for a 1-2lb loss if I am perfectly honest ( and I even turned down a take away on the Sunday evening as we had been out all day!).

Therefore, when I jumped on the scales at the meeting I felt confident that I had lost. It was quite noisy in there and I only heard the lady say ‘ 1/2 lb’ so I automatically thought it was a loss until she confirmed it was 1/2 lb ON!!

To be very honest I was absolutely GUTTED. Apart from the ice cream there were no other treats, my syns on a daily basis were under 5 each day as I was eating quite late so I was full for the night and didn’t need any snacks in the evening.

Still, I stayed for the meeting and there was another lady who had been going for 3 weeks who has yet to lose any weight and she has been posting her meals on the Facebook page and she seems to be sticking to the plan well. So I felt a little better as at least I have lost some since starting.

I will be missing Monday’s weigh in next week as I will be away but I have been on plan ( apart from a coffee shop ‘skinny’ muffin  and will stay on plan when away). So I will definitely be hoping that I lose at least 1lb over the 2 weeks.

Wish me luck