Tuesday, 28 June 2011

We All Have The Same Secrets.

I've been an avid follower of PostSecret for a long time - so much so that Sunday Secrets are often the highlight of my day. Sometimes it amazes me that people on the other side of the world have the same secrets that I do. One of my all-time favourite postcards was the one that said:

'If I could go back in time and tell the 13-year-old me that you don't have to make out with boys to get them to like you, then I would.
But I can't.
So instead I just pretend that its fun.
...it isn't.'

I could have written that. I've thought it enough times! I've had people ask me why I don't buy into the whole university culture of going to a club just to get laid - truth is I was doing that seven years ago, and I've grown out of it now. Any guy who wants to take me home after spending a couple of hours with me in a noisy, crowded club, after drinking god knows how much alcohol - well, he isn't for me. I just wish I'd known that when I was thirteen!

Some of my favourites from PostSecret this week:




All images are taken from postsecret.com

How reassuring to know that there are people out there who feel the same way that I do. 

And, without a doubt, my favourite video....


Love to you all
Lauren xxx

Thursday, 23 June 2011

A Face Lift For The Blog...So, A Blog-Lift?!

Hey guys! Hope everyone is doing ok!

You may have noticed that the blog has undergone a few changes today...I'm trying to update it a little so that its a bit more grown-up and a bit cleaner and more unique. Its still a work in progress at the moment (I've not quite got to grips with the whole html/coding/editing thing) but I'm hoping that over the next week or so it will start to shape up a little! And if anyone has any tips, programs or sites that they use for their blog layout, then please feel free to point me in the right direction! Because I'm utterly clueless!

Ok, so, for the big news...weigh-in this week showed a loss of 0.5lb. It doesn't sound like much, but I hadn't been tracking very strictly and I hadn't done much exercise either, so I was still quite pleased with that. According to the NHS website I am now no longer 'obese' - a BMI of 29.99 puts me in the 'overweight' category. I still have another 0.5lb to go before I hit the 4.5st mark, but for now I'm happy with a BMI that's one step closer to the elusive 'healthy' category! 

Also, I have some stuff up for auction on ebay at the moment, with more to be added very soon. I went through my entire wardrobe the other night and tried on everything I own, and discovered in the process that a hell of a lot of it no longer fits!! This makes me happy because it means I really am getting slimmer, but it makes me sad because I have to get rid of my clothes, most of which are very nice and hardly worn. I've got a few things up already, but I will be adding more over the next couple of days, so please feel free to head over and check it out. http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/el_ee. I'm willing to combine postage costs for items bought together if more than one thing takes your fancy. Also, it says on the item description 'UK only', but if any of you lovely bloggers spot something you like we can definitely makes arrangements for it to be sent out to you :)

I'm off to bed now guys, and off to the opticians bright and early to have my eyeballs prodded! Urgh!

Love to you all
Lauren xxx

Moroccan Lamb Tagine, served with vegetable couscous.

So the other day I promised you some more 'Today I Ate' posts, including some recipes. This one is from the Weight Watchers Seriously Satisfying recipe book. I made it last night and it is seriously yummy, so I thought I'd share the recipe on here with you all. If any of you are on Weight Watchers and are debating about whether or not to get the book, please look on this post and any that follow as an idea of what is in the books. Hopefully it will help you decide! Any of you who are doing something outside of Weight Watchers, I'd definitely recommend giving this one a go anyway! Its really easy and came out really well.

You will need:
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chilli powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
450g (1 lb) lean lamb steaks, cubed
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
400g tomato passata
150ml lamb or chicken stock (I used a chicken stock cube and prepared it according to the instructions on the box)

The recipe also calls for 60g raisins but I didn't use any. It also calls for low fat cooking spray, but as I don't like cooking spray I used a drizzle of olive oil instead. Its 1 ProPoint per teaspoon and divided between four portions doesn't add any additional ProPoints values.

For the couscous
1 lemon
1 courgette, cut into chunks
1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and cut into chunks
150g (5.5oz) dried couscous
200ml boiling water

The recipe also called for some crushed coriander seeds for the couscous, but I didn't use those.

You will need a lidded flameproof and ovenproof pan.

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190 degrees. Mix all the spices together on a flat plate and then add the lamb and toss until it is evenly coated.


Heat the pan on the hob and add the oil/cooking spray. Once the pan is hot add the lamb and cook for about 5 minutes until browned. Add the rest of the tagine ingredients and bring to the boil.

(NB. I used 400g passata and 150ml stock, as the recipe calls for, however once the tagine was cooked I found it a little dry. If you wanted to make the tagine go a little further then you could add some more passata or perhaps a tin of tomatoes.)

Once the mixture is boiled cover it and stick it in the oven for 1 hour, stirring every now and again.

2. While the tagine is cooking, grate the zest from the lemon and set it aside, preferable covered as I find it can go a little dry if not. Cut the lemon into quarters and put it in a tray or roasting tin with the courgette and peppers. Drizzle over a little oil or spray with the cooking spray.


 Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes until the vegetable are cooked.

3. To prepare the couscous, simply place it in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Cover and leave for ten minutes. Once the water is fully absorbed add the couscous to the vegetable for the final five minutes of cooking time (I didn't do this part, mainly because I was cooking for my mum and she was going out so I had to hurry it along a little. It was just as nice with the couscous just mixed into the veggies, although make sure you remove the lemon first!)

4. Stir the lemon zest into the tagine just before you serve it.


The recipe serves 4 and is 10 ProPoints per serving.

Enjoy!

Love to you all
Lauren xxx

Monday, 20 June 2011

Today I Ate...

It doesn't matter where I go or who I'm with, somehow a conversation about Weight Watchers will always crop up. Just today, I was sitting in the staff room at work, happily eating my lunch and tracking as I went along, when two of my colleagues starting questioning me about ProPoints and how it all works. I explained it to them as best I could and they both seemed really interested and commented on all the different stuff you can eat on Weight Watchers (they were flicking through my Tracker book and Eating Out Guide as we were talking) and said that they hadn't realised just how many different things you can eat and still lose weight. This is one of the most common questions I get asked when I'm talking about Weight Watchers. A lot of people seem to think that to lose weight you must exist on a diet of lettuce and nothing else. The concept of using your ProPoints however you choose to is completely lost on them - but thats exactly what you can do. If you want to use your entire days allowance on chocolate and crisps then you can. OR you can have three square meals, with a couple of healthy snacks in between and maybe even a little treat at the end of the day. Its entirely up to you which you choose. That's the beauty of Weight Watchers.

(For the record, I'm not recommending to anyone that they should use their entire days allowance on chocolate and crisps! Theoretically you could still lose weight if you're within points, but you won't be getting much to eat and I'm pretty sure your body will hate you for it!)

So anyway, as I was saying...when I get talking to people about Weight Watchers they always want to know what the ProPoints value is for a certain type of food or drink - mostly out of curiousity. When I was still in secondary school and having my second (unsuccessful - obviously) attempt at Weight Watchers I had 26 of the old-school points to use a day. One day my friend and soon-to-be housemate came back from the shop with two doughnuts and two croissants and proceeded to inhale the entire lot in one sitting. Then he asked me to work out the Points. It was more than my entire days worth - which he found hilarious. The boy is skinny as a rake and eats like a pig. Life is very unfair.

People also ask what I use my ProPoints on. After talking to my colleagues about it today, and explaining the sort of things that I eat on a day-to-day basis, I decided to do a post on what I use my ProPoints on, on a typical working day. (This is also a shameless theft of Gem's posts on Where Are My Knees? from a few weeks ago - head over to her blog and say hi! She's awesome.) I have 38 ProPoints a day, so here's what I use them on...

Breakfast


30g Bran Flakes and 140ml skimmed milk (4)
Strawberries (0)
Tea (0)

Lunch


Tuna (4) 
Lighter Than Light Mayo (1) 
Salad (0)

Dinner


Admittedly this doesn't look particularly appetising, but it was yummy!
Chicken Curry (just a stir-in sauce from a jar and one chicken breast) (6)
150g (cooked weight) basmati rice  (6)

Snacks and Drinks


Costa Coffee Iced Skinny Caramel Latte (4)


Fruit (0)
French Fries (2)
Weight Watchers cereal bars (2 per bar)

Not pictured -
Weight Watchers Yogurt (1)
Coke Zero (0)
2l water (0)
Banana and strawberries (0)

So far for I have used 32 of my 38 ProPoints for the day, meaning I have enough left over for a bar of Galaxy Bubbles and an Options Hot Chocolate should I so desire one! I love Weight Watchers.

I'm hoping to make Today I Ate a semi-regular feature on the blog - what do you guys think?? I know reading about what other people have been eating tends to inspire me when it comes to food and I'm hoping that this will have the same effect on you guys! I know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut. I also purchased one of the Weight Watchers recipe books at my meeting a couple of weeks ago. So far mum and I have had to Bobotie and the Thai Salmon Rice, both of which were yummy! Hopefully we'll be making more from the book soon and I'll be able to update with what we made and how it turned out...much more exciting than curry out of a jar!!

Thanks for reading guys! Hope everybody is having a pleasant Monday....or as pleasant as Mondays can be, anyway!

Love to you all
Lauren xxx

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Things I Love.

Over the last few days I've been feeling incredibly mopey and miserable. A lot of little things have combined with a couple of big things to make me feel really quite glum. Because feeling sorry for yourself gets really old really quickly (and also because I was getting limited sympathy from my friends and family, all of whom basically told me to 'man up') I got to thinking about some of the things in my life that I really love and enjoy - silly things from cosmetics and tv programs to food and lord knows what else in between. And so, a new blog feature was born!

I was tempted to include Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' video in this post...but it disturbs me, so I didn't.

I'm not promising that this will be a regular feature of my blog, although I will try to include at least a bi-weekly post on the matter! For now its just for me to share some of the things that I enjoy, and hopefully it will allow my readers to get to know me a little better in the process!

1. Bright red lips.


I always feel so brave when I'm wearing red lipstick. Its definitely a confidence booster! I'm using a Rimmel London number at the moment - it stays on really well and doesn't dry your lips out, so its definitely a winner in my book.

2. Indian food! I so love a curry! We took my dad out for an Indian Buffet lunch today, and it was amazing. I appreciate it so much more now that I'm on Weight Watchers and don't it very often. It may be yummy, but it is point-o-rific!

3. Trashy fantasy books.



The top shelf of my bookcase - True Blood, Twilight and Harry Potter...some light relief from the Shakespeare, Emerson and Wordsworth that resides on the shelf underneath it.

(Speaking of Harry Potter, my friend met Daniel Radcliffe in the pub the other day. I am so jealous!)

4. Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days.



I love this stuff. Its really easy to apply and a little goes a long way. Its also really cheap - £2.99 a bottle in Boots - and comes in lots of yummy 'flavours'. My favourite is Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter. Omnomnom.

5. Sunny afternoon walks in the park - like the one I went on this afternoon with my dad, brother and dog. The sun came out just in time!

6. Old-school One Tree Hill. I stumbled across an old episode on e4 the other morning, and immediately dug out my boxsets. Its so dated and they all look about 12, but I love it! Plus it should tide me over until the new series of True Blood hits the screens!!


7. Tom Hanks. He's awesome - especially in Forrest Gump. Life is like a box of chocolates, and all that. To be said in obligatory Southern American accent, of course.

8. Paperchase. Mum and I went to Canterbury yesterday to pick up the remainder of my stuff and have lunch in town, and I had to nip into Paperchase. I just love it. I treated myself to a shiny new notebook and spent ages admiring all the lovely greetings cards. My favourite was of an old lady pulling her friends dress out from her knickers. It reminded me of my best friend Danielle. That will be us one day!

9. Maybelline Falsies Black Drama mascara.


It lasts for ages, it doesn't clump up or flake off, and it comes in a pretty purple and lace patterned tube. And its on sale in Superdrug right now. Whats not to love?

10. YOU GUYS. I love all your comments and I love you for taking the time to stop by and see how I'm getting on! Not only that, I love reading about your lives and how you're getting on. I'm constantly checking in with everybody's going-ons, so even if I don't comment then rest assured that I am still reading all about it. Love you guys! <3 <3 <3

Love to you all
Lauren xxx

Saturday, 18 June 2011

My Very First Guest Post!

Hello beautiful people!

This is just a super-quick one from me, to let you know my first ever guest post is now online!! Its so exciting! So head on over to Where Are My Knees? to check it out when you get a chance.

Love to you all
Lauren xxx

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

62lbs And Counting...

That's right folks, I've just got back from weigh-in and this week I have lost...

3lb!!

Before I go any further, I have decided to bite the bullet and reveal the numbers on the scales...I figure that all will be revealed in my guest post on Where Are My Knees in a couple of weeks, so I might as well 'fess up on here as well. *deep breath* When I started Weight Watchers on 23rd January 2010, I weighed....19st 11.5lb. There. I said it. This weeks loss brings me to 15st 5.5lb, and a total of 62lb loss altogether - for those of us who reside in the land of bad teeth and drinking tea with your pinky finger sticking out, that works out as 4st 6lb. Needless to say my next mini-goal is a loss of 1lb, which will bring me to a loss of 4.5st. I'm so excited and I'm going to be as good as possible this week because I really really really want to see 15:4.5 on the scales. It would make my week.

I think I'm a little bit in shock to be honest with you all...now that I'm over the halfway mark I'm starting to believe that it can really happen. I think before that I never even let myself visualise getting there because I didn't think I'd be able to do it, and that I'd just be disappointed in myself. Now my goal weight actually seems achievable and within reach! I'm still focusing on each 7lb at a time - after I get to 4.5st next week (which I will, because I'm determined!), my next little goal will be 5st, then 5.5st...and so on, and so forth. I think its just easier that way, and I feel I'm achieving more because its feels like lots of little achievements. If that makes sense!? My final goal, the one I've set on the ticker on the side of my blog, is 11st 11.5lb. The NHS 'healthy weight calculator' seems to think that that is smack-bang in the middle of the healthy BMI range for my height, so thats what I'm aiming for for now. (Its also a loss of exactly 8st - I do like round numbers!!). If I get to 12.5st and my body won't go any further, then I'll stop. If I get to 11:11 and I want to lose more, then I can. We'll just have to see how it goes for now!

This is just a quick weigh-in update for me today folks, hopefully I'll have something more interesting to blog about later in the week! 

Love to you all
Lauren xxx

P.S Thanks for your comments on my last post, its really good to get some other peoples opinions on the matter. Most of you seem to agree with me, although I have had a couple of people with differing opinions to my own. I love reading all your comments, so keep em coming!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

My Embarrassing Fat Body.

Over the last few years there's been an explosion of television programs about obese people all over the world. The latest one to crop up in the UK is channel 4's 'Embarrassing Fat Bodies', a spin-off from the very popular program 'Embarrassing Bodies'. If you're from the UK then please bear with me for a second because I know that most of you will be familiar with the show, however I'm not too sure if my US readers will know what the hell I'm on about! 'Embarrassing Bodies' pretty much does what it says on the tin - people go into a studio/clinic and show their embarrassing and unpleasant ailments to the doctors/presenters. Why on earth you would rather go on national television to get treatment for your hemorrhoids than just go to your own doctor...well, its beyond me. Despite that, I still watch it - while loudly telling anyone who will listen that the people who go on there must be completely mad, and how will they ever look anyone in the eye again knowing that their bumhole or boobs or lady bits have been on the television for everyone to see!? Sometimes the human race just astounds me.


The new spin-off, 'Embarrassing Fat Bodies', is again pretty much self-explanatory. People go in for treatment for their weight-induced (and therefore for the most part self-induced) illnesses. Cue lots of post-weight loss patients who need excess skin removed, vaginal and anal prolapses caused by obesity (one word - GRIM) and all other manner of icky stuff which nobody needs to be seeing on a Monday evening when they're eating their dinner.

Another type of patient that Doctors Christian, Pixie and Dawn see a lot of are those who are morbidly obese and 'can't lose weight' on their own and therefore require 'lifesaving' gastric surgery on the NHS. Surgery that they often seem to get with very few questions asked. All that appears to be required is a BMI of 40 or above.

Am I the only that gets really pissed off about this??

These surgeries are being paid for by my taxes (yes, mine...I might be a student, but I still work!), my parents taxes, my friends taxes...and are being performed on people who 'can't' lose weight on their own. Bullshit. I'm the first to admit that losing weight isn't easy, and I've spoken on here before about changing your relationship with food - its not something you can just go cold-turkey on, like you can with other 'addictions'. But that doesn't mean you can't lose weight by traditional means. If I can do it, if thousands of people all over the world can lose weight through eating healthily and exercising, then why can't everyone? Because they haven't tried. They lack the commitment and willpower to do it by themselves...so why should the rest of us have to pay for it? The NHS won't perform liver transplants on alcoholics unless they've been sober for a certain amount of time, so why should people who are continuing to put tens of thousands of calories into their body be offered surgery? The food they're consuming is no less potent than alcohol or drugs, its no less dangerous and has exactly the same potential to kill them in the long run.

The thing that makes me even angrier about the whole situation is the people that get the surgery and proceed to carry on filling their bodies with junk even after they've had their stomachs stapled. A case of particular note in this area is a woman who had surgery in the UK last year. After the surgery her husband brought her in a KFC bucket - while she was still in post-op. Unsurprisingly, she died a few days later because she refused to alter her eating habits, resulting in her newly eggcup-sized stomach perforating and killing her. A £10,000 operation just for her to die a few days later. Disgusting, don't you think? And even worse that gastric surgery seems to be incredibly easy to get on the NHS, whereas its next to impossible to have post-weight loss cosmetic surgery unless you pay for it privately. So after losing 8st, my chances of getting help when it comes to fixing my stomach and boobs will be nil. And I will tell you this for nothing - if my chest and belly aren't 'embarrassing', then I don't know what is. Every person has a part of their body that they hate, and for me its my boobs. The only time the bra comes off is when I'm showering or in bed. And when I say 'in bed', I mean 'asleep'. It doesn't even come off for the other thing that people do in bed. That is how much I hate them - and they're just getting worse and worse as the weight comes off, meaning that by the time I've got my my goal weigh there really will just be nothing left. They will continue to make me miserable unless I pay for them to be fixed. I've chosen to get healthy and will receive no help to rectify the damage that being overweight has caused (I am aware that I have nobody but myself to blame, before anyone gets on their high horse. I don't expect help - I know its my responsibility), but everyone seems willing to bend over backwards for those who can't or won't put down the doughnut?! I think that speaks volumes.

Despite my anger about this situation, that is not to say that I disapprove of the concept of these shows. I understand that they are intended to highlight the dangers of overeating and show people the effect it can have on their lives. Its also very inspiring when you see a person who has lost a huge amount of weight off of their own initiative. It reminds me that it can be done - and how can I moan about 8st when other people out there have lost upwards of 20st? It just infuriates me that so much coverage is given to those who turn to surgery. The doctors always talk about the operations as a 'last resort'. They talk about the dangers of surgery, the limitations of your diet afterwards, and all the other things that are intended to put across the message that surgery = bad. And yet every week they show somebody who has had, or will have, the operation. Why!? By giving it so much airtime its not demonstrating the dangers. If anything, its glamorizing the concept. It sends the message that actually its ok to get fat, because look how easy it is to have your stomach stapled on the NHS. There are no programs out there showing people who are undergoing complex and expensive cancer treatments. I struggle to believe that there will ever be a school of thought that says 'its ok to smoke, because you can get chemo for FREE'. Why is the relationship between overeating and weight loss surgery not treated the same way?

I would never, ever have considered having my stomach stapled. Even before Weight Watchers, when I thought that there was no way I could lose weight, it just wasn't an option for me. Honestly, its just because I love food too much to be restricted to eating an eggcup-full at a time. I can't imagine anything worse. I know that a lot of people who follow this blog are in the process of losing weight - was surgery ever an option for you people? And am I the only one who believes that this surgery is too readily available on the NHS? I have a feeling I may be slightly biased and could be missing the issue, so I'd love to know what your thoughts are as people who are also trying to lose weight the 'old-fashioned' way! I have definitely come to be in possession of an 'if I can do it anybody can' mindset - maybe I'm just being too narrow?? What do you think?

Hope everyone is having a good week so far!

Love to you all
Lauren xxx

P.S Just noticed I've hit 50 followers!! You guys are amazing, thank you all so much for being so supportive!!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Rainy Days

Greetings from a very rainy Essex!!

I don't know about the rest of the world, but the weather over here in the UK has pretty much sucked for the last week. And the crappy weather has definitely reflected my mood over the weekend - I have not been a happy bunny. Without going into too much detail, an ex-boyfriend has wandered back onto the scene over the last couple of weeks and has immediately caused untold amounts of turmoil. I've really struggled to deal with it, mainly because in true Lauren style I haven't told anyone that I was in touch with him. My friends and family all hate him with a passion and keeping it to myself is easier than hearing them say 'I told you so'. Again. Anyway, I finally spilled the beans to a (relatively unbiased) friend of mine and after talking it through with him I've now got it all sorted. I definitely underestimate my friends and the quality of their advice sometimes. I'm glad I confided in someone, it was a real weight off my chest as soon as I'd explained it all!

Anyway, as I said, it had been weighing on my mind and getting me down. Miraculously, I managed not to let it affect my eating and have been within points all weekend. I had a chilled (read: boring) night in last night - after sorting out the man drama - and it would have been so easy to fall off the wagon and stuff myself. But I didn't. Can't help but feel rather smug about it, to be honest.

I also visited my nan's house this weekend. My dad is staying there while his divorce goes through and he finds his feet. She lives kind of out in the middle of nowhere, and my dad has gotten into cycling since he's been down there - he and my brother go out for long rides every weekend. I went out with my brother for a ride (during the one hour of the afternoon that it wasn't raining) and oh my god, I had such a good time! I haven't ridden a bike in years, probably since I was 12 or 13, and I'd forgotten how much fun it is! I'm seriously tempted to get myself one - there are loads of places in and around Canterbury that would be amazing for bike rides when I get back to university in the Autumn, and try as I might I just can't get into running. I think cycling could definitely be a viable alternative. I've been hitting up ebay and a few other sites and I really want an old-fashioned town-bike. Preferably a really girly one, like these:




Aren't they adorable!? I'm thinking of buying a cheap-ish one from ebay for now, and then maybe spending a little more money on a new one later if I get good use out of it. Do any of you guys cycle regularly? If so, do you have any recommendations or advice?

I'm also very pleased to announce that I've been asked to do a guest post on Where Are My Knees? I love this blog and the variety of things the girls post about, so I'm very excited to be appearing on there. The post should appear within the next couple of weeks, but I'll keep you posted on that! 

Hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend - I'm praying you've had better weather than we have! And good luck to anybody weighing-in over the next couple of days!

Love to you all
Lauren xxx

P.S Given aforementioned ex-bf drama, I've listened to this song a lot over the last few days. It kind of sums up exactly how I've been feeling about the whole situation - in fact part of me wishes I'd just told him to listen to this instead of trying to explain it myself! It also happens to be a perfect rainy day track. One of my friends first introduced me to John Mayer when we were sitting our A-levels, so I've come to think of his music as a calming influence in a stressful time - which it certainly has been this weekend. This one is one of my favourites, but if you're not familiar with his stuff (most people are anyway, but I might as well throw my opinion out there anyway) and you've got a second, check out Free-Falling and Waiting On The World To Change. They're both on youtube and Spotify :)


Friday, 10 June 2011

Another Award!

The beautiful Krystle over at Skinny Jeans Dreams has awarded me the Adorable Blog Award! I'm very flattered and excited to have received another award, its almost as good as when I got the Headteacher's Award in Year 5 and got to go to the front of assembly to collect it! (Yes, I have always been a geek.) Thanks Krystle!


Ok, so I'm supposed to tell you all 10 things about myself and then link you up to some of my favourite blogs of the moment. Here it goes...

1. I hate talking on the phone - why talk when you can text?!

2. My hips are 13.5 inches w i d e r than my waist - that's over a foot!

3. I'm very close to my mum - sometimes I think we're a little too close. She tells me things that no daughter wants to know about her mother. Ever.

4. I have completely obliterated my stomach - seriously, you wouldn't believe the stretchmarks. I know people who have had babies and don't have stretchmarks as bad as mine. I won't ever be able to wear a bikini. I used to hate them, and hate myself because of them. Now I look at them as a reminder of what I used to be - what I'll never be again.

5. I have a '50 Things To Do Before I Die' list. Wearing size 12 jeans is in the top five.

6. I have a serious fascination with Vampires. Not just the True Blood/Twilight Vamps, but all the myths and legends from all over the world. I'm even taking a module on Vampires next year at university.

7. One day I want a big family. I love kids and I can't wait to have my own in a few years time.

8. I love fruit, vegetables and salads - for some reason people find it weird that overweight people can like healthy food. Patronise me a little more, why don't you!?

9. I'm addicted to the Wii Fit. We've only had it a week and I'm already a total convert - my thighs and tummy are killing from doing squats and lunges on there this afternoon.

10. I'm a big-time animal person. I don't trust people who don't like animals and to me there are two acts that are unforgivable and unjustifiable - abusing children and abusing animals. Anyone who does either deserves to burn!

And now, some blogs that I'm loving...

All the girlies over at Where Are My Knees? - they've got every base covered!

Candy over at Candy and Kankles

My wonderful friend Rosie at Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On

My equally wonderful friend Sarah at Under The Blossoming Cherry Tree

And finally, Gem at Fat Frocks

Please head over and check all of these girlies out, because they're awesome. And a big thank you again to Krystle as well!!

Love to you all
Lauren xxx


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Catching Up.

Fantastic news - the laptop is back in action! Well, sort of! Its been in for repair since Saturday because the charger socket was broken. The socket is now fixed but upon getting it home I've discovered that the speakers aren't working. I'm guessing that will mean another few days in the repair place which is exceptionally annoying because my whole life is on this thing - literally. Not just the blog and facebook and emails, but all my Weight Watchers stuff and banking and lord knows what else is on here. I feel like I've lost a limb whenever I haven't got it for a few days hours! Lets not dwell on that though, everytime I think about having to use the prehistoric 'family' computer it brings me out in a cold sweat and I can practically feel my blood pressure rising...eek.

Due to my impromptu absence and a sudden surge in social activities in my otherwise dull and monotonous life I have rather a lot to fill you all in on! First of all I'm sure you've all noticed the day - the dreaded weigh-in Wednesday! This week I lost 0.5lb. I know it doesn't sound like a lot but I've had a pretty heavy weekend foodwise (more on that to come) and I haven't done very much exercise, so I'm happy with that loss. Plus nothing was ever going to top last weeks loss anyway! This weeks loss of 0.5lb brings me to a total of 59lb off, and I'm hoping that next week will see me hit the magic 60lb.

As well as being weigh-in day, today was also the day that I finished my 12-week tracker book. I love the books because they track your measurements and weight, which the paper trackers don't do. Plus they're all pink and cute....god, I really am a massive loser, aren't I? Anyway, my point...I've come to the end of my book and since the 16th March 2011 I have lost 1st 3.5lb. I've also ditched an inch from each of my upper arms, 2.5in from my waist, 2in from my hips and 2in from each of my thighs, bringing me to a total loss of 10.5in in 12 weeks.  I was very impressed with myself! I wish I'd kept track of my measurements from the very beginning, I'd love to know my total inch loss since then. Didn't think that one through!

Anyway, now that all the weigh-in stuff is out in the open, we can talk about my goal for the week. This week the goal is....

Exercise!! I know I said this was my goal a couple of weeks ago, but it will continue to be my goal until I find the willpower to start a regime and stick to it for more than two work-outs. It is not in my nature to be defeated by anyone or anything, and my own laziness and lack of self-discipline is included in that statement. So I will keep trying to get myself into a decent routine with exercise. And when I fail, I'll try again. I know I'll get there eventually, but it might take some time. You'll stick with me though - right!?

Now all the boring Weight Watchers stuff is out of the way we can talk about something more interesting...I mean, its not like Weight Watchers is the point of this blog or anything! I've had a fantastic few days, which has definitely contributed to my less than impressive loss this week! I spent the weekend with my wonderful, beautiful friend Caitlan - she's so pretty it actually hurts to look at her sometimes, and I would love to be able to hate her on that principle. If only she wasn't so funny and sweet as well! We had a lovely chilled Friday night in at her house, which involved masses of Chinese food, wine and chocolate (all pointed, if you please). I've also officially turned her into a True Blood convert. So far she's Team Bill, but she hasn't been properly introduced to Eric yet. I have a feeling she may change her mind! On Saturday we headed to Bluewater Shopping Centre for food, shopping and cinema. It was such a beautiful day on Saturday that I finally found an excuse to crack out the maxi-dress that I bought from Dorothy Perkins ages ago. We didn't take any pictures, but I was vain enough to snap one of myself in a changing room!


Not what one would call the finest example of fashion photography but it does the job! My arms are still looking a bit porky but everything else seems to be getting there, slowly but surely.

As well as my lovely weekend with Cat, I was also treated to some quality Mum and Nan time on Monday when the three of us went to visit Leeds Castle (which is actually in Kent, go figure). The morning was slightly spoiled by the fact that it was hammering it down with rain, but it cleared up in the afternoon so we got the chance to wander round in the sunshine for a little while. I managed to remember my camera this time as well!!


A view of the Castle. The Castle and grounds were all so beautiful, even in the rain!


Nanny Joan, battling the elements!


 Leopard-print and neon hearts...could I be any more of a student!?


In the Queens bed-chamber!


I'm a bit of a fiend for the Tudors, Henry VIII was definitely the most interesting Royal!

We all had a lovely, and very tiring day - especially poor Nanny with her dodgy knees! I'm planning a few more trips like this over the summer, including one to Buckingham Palace at the end of July. Perks of working for the Queen and all that!

The other thing of note this week was meeting this little dude for the first time:



Welcome to the world, Frankie! He is the newborn baby boy of my mums best friend Jenny. Mum and Jen have known each other since they were both three years old and in nursery in the East End of London, and they've stayed friends ever since which I think is immeasurably cool. I'm not close to anyone from my very early childhood, and I kind of regret not having the sorts of friends that you've known since you were pretty much a baby. Jenny's oldest son Carl is three months older than me, so she started in the baby business before my mum did. She also has Jodie who's sixteen, and Ben who's twelve. And now little Frankie! My mum keeps saying that she must be mad to be doing it all over again, but then she ended up with me and George! We went over to see them yesterday and he is just the most adorable little thing. He's got a full head of hair and he didn't make a single peep the entire three hours we were there, even though he was getting passed around all of us like a game of pass the parcel! Too cute!

Ok readers, you may now consider yourselves officially updated! I'm off now to immerse myself in the world of Dean Koontz (his novel From The Corner Of His Eye is doing nothing to disprove my theory that all writers are more than a little disturbed - and I have no trouble including myself in that!). Hope everyone is having an amazing week!!

Love to you all!
Lauren xxx

Monday, 6 June 2011

I'm Here!

Hello you beauties!

Apologies for going MIA over the last few days, I'm dealing with some irritating computer issues! My laptop is in for repair this week and I'm having major withdrawal symptoms! I've hijacked mums computer for now but she wants it back soon so I don't have time to do a proper post. Rest assured that I'm still here, I'm still on the wagon and I'm still keeping up with what everyone is up to! And I will be back on here ASAP to update you all!

Love to you all!
Lauren xxx

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Reflections.

I know that a lot of people who read this blog are in the process of losing weight. Some of my readers are friends of mine, people who I know in 'real life' who read it to be supportive or for whatever other reason (the words 'guilty pleasure' have been used by certain individuals, cheeky devils!). Some people read it purely because they find it interesting - maybe its my sparkling wit (haha) that makes them click the 'follow' button? Whatever it is, I'm grateful for each and everyone of you, and am constantly baffled by the number of people who read and comment on my posts. You're all amazing!

Now I've got that little emotional outburst off my chest, lets get down to the juicy stuff. I am talking of course about Weigh-In, and this week I lost....

6.5lbs

Thats right. 6.5lb. In a week. Thats almost 1lb a day. Not what I was expecting! Obviously I was over the moon with such an amazing loss, particularly after my horrid and unfair gain last week. I can only put it down to changing the time of my Weigh-In, because after looking back at my tracker and the little pink 'x's on my calendar I can tell you that I was neither over my points, nor was I as close to my 'lady-time' as I had previously thought. I'm putting such a good loss this week down to having exercised a lot more and limiting my carbs - its obviously worked wonders and I feel much more energetic so they are both things that I will be carrying on with over the next few weeks.

This loss does, of course, also bring me to my 4st mark - in fact, it brings me to a total loss of 4st 2.5lbs, or 58.5lbs for my American friends. Eeeeeek! Not only have I finally got to my 4st mark, I'm also only 1.5lbs from hitting the next nice round number. Its so exciting! Fingers crossed I manage that for next week!

And, in keeping with last weeks new challenge to set some new goals for myself every week, this weeks aim is to - Be More Positive. The beauty of this goal is that it is not confined to just weight-loss, and can be applied to all walks of life. My mum told me a few months ago about something called 'the law of attraction', the basic premise being that if you focus on the positive then you can attract the positive to yourself. For example instead of standing at the train station in the morning thinking 'there's no way I'm going to get a seat', I should be thinking 'I'll get a seat near the door' and if I really focus on it then it will happen. I know its all a bit new-agey, but it can't hurt to have more positive thoughts so I might as well give it a go!

Aside from my (very exciting) Weigh-In news, there was also something else that I wanted to post about tonight. I do apologise if the tone of this post switches abruptly from excitement to something rather more pensive!! I'm pretty sure that this is something that most people will be able to relate to, although I can't help but feel that it will be particularly relevant to those readers who are in the process of losing weight.

There are many, many difficult things about losing weight, particularly a substantial amount of weight. You have to change your entire attitude to food and exercise - something that is definitely easier said than done. You also have to make sacrifices. Don't get me wrong, those sacrifices are 100% worth it in the long-term, in the short-term however....its easy to be resentful when you have to pass on the extra glass of wine, the bar of chocolate, the slice of birthday cake. Admittedly these things are easier to incorporate with the new ProPoints than they were with the old Points system, but there will always be occasions when your metaphorical budget just isn't going to stretch that far. These feelings are made all the more pronounced if you are one of the unfortunate souls such as myself who is either surrounded by ridiculously petite females who don't seem to have ever worried a day of their life about their weight, or big burly blokes who never stop eating and yet somehow look better for carrying a few extra lbs. Life is SO unfair.

One of the things I've really struggled with since I've started losing weight has been giving my head time to catch up with my body. I've lost over 4st, and yet 90% of the time I feel bigger than ever! I've said before that when I was at my very biggest I was in deep deep denial, so its to be expected that I never truly realised how big I was at the time. Thats no longer the case now, and sadly I feel huge. I have people remarking all the time on how much weight I've lost, how well I look, all these lovely lovely things and I just don't see it! Sure, I have the occasional flashes of recognition when I look in a mirror and think 'my waist looks slimmer' or 'my thighs look better'. I even had a very entertaining moment the other day when I batted a fly off my chest and then spent ten minutes examining myself in the mirror because I'd hit my collarbone. The same collarbone that previously wasn't visible, or even feel-able, under so much fat, and now you can both see and feel it. (I should mention that I'm very easily amused, as you can probably tell.) But those moments happen very infrequently, and most of the time I'm caught up in a whirl of thoughts that revolve around wobbly thighs, a jiggly belly and stretchmarks. Ick. 

I guess what I'm asking here is...Am I alone in this? Do other people look in the mirror and see something completely different to what everyone else sees? I know everybody's self-perception is slightly warped, and nobody likes 100% of themselves. At least, nobody I know does! But are any of you lovely slimmers out there feeling the same way that I do? Most of the time I don't see a difference between my reflection now and how I looked when I was 4st heavier, and the only time I really see it is when I look at my 'before' pictures (which, by the way, I've been asked to take to my meeting next week. You know you're doing well when the Weight Watchers leader wants to show you off to the masses!).

Right, you beautiful people, I'm off to bed!

Love to you all!!
Lauren xxx


P.S I've added some pages to the blog, you can find them in the link bar underneath the blog title. Go check them out! :)