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………

A Level results and mixed emotions

Today my eldest son did the nervous walk to school to find out his results and ultimately if he was going to get to go to uni or not.

I really feel for the kids today as they seem to be under so much more pressure that we ever were at that age at school. Pressure from the school, pressure from their peers and even sometimes pressure from their parents.

Neither my husband or I went to university, my hubby went straight from school into a job working in a photographic lab, then on to the MOD and from there into the Royal Air Force ( where we met) and then for the last 20 yrs he has been in the Met Police………….not a bad career for someone with virtually no qualifications. I left school and did a Youth Training Scheme ( YTS- remember those….I am very old you know) as a teacher’s assistant before joining the Royal Air Force, I then worked for the London Ambulance service for many years before having my boys and leaving work. When they got older I trained to become a Driving Instructor which I did before my illness took over……….again not too bad for leaving school with only 5 O levels, although I do have 2 A levels which I did at night school while I was still in the Air Force.

Today’s kids though have it so much harder I think. They are pushed from school ( especially from grammar schools) towards the university route from the minute they join, it has almost become the ‘norm’ to go to uni for everyone. I personally love the fact that apprenticeships are making a huge comeback and some kids are choosing to go down that route themselves rather than get into the debt that uni will inevitably land them in. Apprenticeships allows them to use and learn life and work skills whilst earning a wage and is a great opportunity covering a range of careers in all walks of life.

My son got his results today and was overjoyed to get what he needed to go to his first choice uni (Sussex). Some of his friends did not get the qualifications they wanted but still got places, but there were a few who didn’t get anywhere near what they needed and have spent the day in the ‘hell’ that is clearing. It must be overwhelmingly stressful and heartbreaking for them to be in that position, for some it’s almost like the end of the world where they can see no way out.

We were happy for my son because he was happy he got what he wanted. Either way we would have been proud of him regardless of the outcome. For us as parents, if he is happy then we are happy. We made it clear to him well before his exams that he could only do his best and there are always options if things don’t work out the way he wanted.

As super proud as I am, I am totally unprepared mentally for him to be leaving in less than a month! I purposely did not start gathering anything he was going to need as there would be nothing worse than all the excitement of getting everything organised to then not get the results he required. Yes that will mean a rush to get him sorted but I would prefer it that way, however, that means mentally I am totally unprepared for him leaving. I cannot quite believe he will be gone in such a short space of time. It will probably whizz past in a total blur and I will be left after the 12th September weeping into my wine that my baby has gone!

I will miss him terribly but I know he is so excited to go and I am very proud he got the results he needed. MASSIVE MIXED EMOTIONS.

I don’t know how I will cope initially, I know I will get used to it but the start will be very hard for me. He’s my first born, my baby and I just want to keep him close but I know the time is right for him to spread his wings and cope on his own in a fairly safe environment with lots of others in the same position ( I just do not think he even has a clue of what is coming!).

My heart goes out to all of those who were disappointed today and just hope they can see that it is not the end of the world, that these things happen for a reason and that there is always a way forward for them even though it may not seem like it at the moment.

If anyone has any tips for me as a parent, or to help me get him organised with what he needs ( if you have been through this yourself) please let me know in the comments- I will welcome all advice.

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