Saturday, 10 March 2018

No temptation in the supermarket

Did I say 'three weeks more with Slimming World'? Well, today I decided to forego those three weeks, even though I'd paid for them in advance. And just stop. So I won't be attending any more SW meetings locally, nor while on holiday.

I immediately felt very, very liberated. I was back in the driving seat, and not tied to a weekly weigh-in. I could relax. I need not stress over whether to have a nice cup of tea, or make do with a black coffee. I could stop keeping those careful daily records of what I'd consumed. All choices were open to me again.

And yet, having taken back that control, that liberty to indulge myself, and that freedom to buy certain yummy things that definitely wouldn't lead to weigh loss - not even weight maintenance - what did I do? I wrote a shopping list exactly like last week's. And at the supermarket, I bought only things that were SW-compliant. That's right. No bread, crackers, butter, cheese or olives. No sausages or black pudding. None of Waitrose's delicious soups, nor their fruit yoghurts. No KitKats or biscuits as an 'occasional' treat. None of the things that I would have been picking up as a matter of routine back in 2016.

You see, I am deadly serious about keeping what I've achieved. I may be absent from future SW meetings, and eventually off their books, but I think their weight-loss plan works, and I intend to stick with it. After all, it allows me to make all kinds of tasty, attractive and satisfying meals. It would be foolish to abandon such a healthy and sensible approach to eating well.

There's also an element of personal pride. It mattered an awful lot to me to be voted Slimming World Woman of the Year 2017 by my local group. I want to live up to that. In any case, I don't want to grow fat again. I want to be admirably slender in a year's time. And I leave SW with knowledge, official advice, recipes and personal records to support me.

Of course there are a few regrets and downsides. I will miss the people at my local group. I won't be able to use the SW app.

But this is in fact a good moment to bow out. I've done most of what I set out to do, and I don't want to spend time (and more money) edging closer to a goal I may never quite get to. The grind of doing that would tarnish the memory of last year's successes. Best to quit while I still feel very positive about the whole thing, and so much improved from my chubby state in 2016.

Getting weight off has made it easier to contemplate taking a bit more exercise. That will be the background project for 2018, as soon as my toe has fully healed.

Meanwhile, it's good to know that I can go shopping and not give in to old temptations!

And there are other kinds of temptation that need to be resisted. For a compulsive record-keeper like me, maintaining a detailed Food Diary, on a spreadsheet, was a pleasure. But now there's no need. And I have to let these records go. It's hard to do. It feels wrong and unnatural to draw a line, and stop adding to a spreadsheet - indeed a whole family of spreadsheets - that I had become rather proud of. However, it has to be.

(But hey, the prospect of an exercise spreadsheet looms!)

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