Monday, 21 November 2011

The best laid plans......

I was really looking forward to a simple, relaxing weekend after the antics of earlier last week with the back etc, but I was informed by Mrs Slinky that junior was having a sleepover. I had apparently been informed about this earlier in the week, but have no recollection of it, possibly due to the drug induced stupor I was in as a result of the already discussed back pain.

So my plan for the weekend was out of the window. Time to make another plan. A man without a plan is simply a wobbly mess on the carpet, completely useless. The plan might not always go to, well erm, plan, but as long as we have a plan we are successful as men.

So thinking of the many and real possible pitfalls of the new weekend schedule I quickly developed a new plan. This plan would utilise the considerable powers of diversion and separation. I would divert myself away from temptations this weekend by separating myself from situations likely to present those temptations.

Situation #1
Part of this weekend sleepover, and in fact the catalyst for it, was a trip to the cinema. Now the cinema is simply fraught with hazards and pitfalls; the sweets, the ice cream, the popcorn, the slightly used chewing gum from under the seat....... hands up who's stomach just did a back flip? Count that towards your body magic!

My plan for diverting from all the sugary temptation was to separate myself from the cinema. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I had no interest at all in actually watching the film, that was purely coincidental. My diversion would be a nice skinny latte at a nearby coffee house with Mrs Slinky. Now, while this diversion worked to separate me from the evil temptations of the cinema it also sat me right next to a slice of lemon drizzle cake ordered by my dear wife. New plan needed to survive this mini temptation. Its amazing how tasty the inside of your own cheek can be when you put a little thought and effort into imagining!

I was happy to have survived the situation intact and prepared to plan for the next scenario.

Scenario #2
Sleepovers generally are spent playing and eating junk. This sleepover was no different. Dinner for the sleepoveree's would be pizza and wedges with a liberal helping of sweets and popcorn before and after. So I needed a plan to continue my diversion and separation.

As we needed to visit our local supermarket of choice to purchase the snacks of satan and the pizzas of peril I would use the expedition to purchase food and other supplies that would both complement my current eating plan and divert me from the foods that could bring about my downfall. See? Man with a plan. It works, and it did work.......... right up to the point when we were half way home and I realised that we had actually failed to purchase anything suitable for me. Absolutely nothing. Not even a carrot. And there my plan failed. Too late to return to the store, too far from the store to turn around anyway and too unwilling to venture into the store again in such a short period of time I was forced to acknowledge the failure of the plan and continue home.

So the pizza was consumed. And though I know that the bread base would come back to haunt me on the scales, like a little flour based devil sat on my shoulder laughing at me, I took comfort in the fact that I'd had the plan in the first place, glossing over the fact that the plan failed at a magnificent level. A small glimmer of light in the black abyss of failure is that I racked up 30 minutes of body magic aimlessly walking around the supermarket.

Scenario #3
A plan for recovery had to be developed, and quick.
Sunday. Cooked breakfast Slimming World style. That was my plan for recovery. Safety in repetiton with the comforting warm hug of bacon and eggs. Success!

Another plan, an ingenious plan I might add, was hatched on Sunday. The plan was to cook another cooked breakfast, smaller though, not quite the corner cafe belly buster of the morning. This extra breakfast would be refrigerated and then consumed in work the following morning. And while the kitchen was in work mode I set about making a doner meat and chips for Monday lunch. The kitchen was a blur of activity and ingredients until beyond midnight, but the food was prepared and packaged.

Writing this blog on Monday afternoon I can confirm that a wonderful and tasty breakfast and lunch were consumed with quizzical onlooking from fellow diners in the staff canteen who question why I can eat these foods when I am on a diet. But of course I'm not on a diet. I'm on a simpler and more sensible way of cooking the food I like. I'm on the Slimming World plan. And I can take comfort in the knowledge that this plan works! Its worked for me so far and I know it will continue to work.

A recent news item came to my attention while writing this blog update. The American Congress have declared that pizza is now a vegetable. As I am part American I have decided to adopt this new classification and apply it to this past weekend.

What this therefore means is that scenario #2 was not a failure and was infact a perfect green day with all those slices of vegetable! I wonder how much of it was speed food....... 

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Back to reality!

The observant ones among you might have noticed the lack of a weekend posting to the blog. Award yourselves 10 house points. This was caused by a temporary and painful lumbar failure in yours truly. I was sat on the sofa with Mrs Slinky enjoying a delightful Sunday morning when I decided it was time to go and get ready for a busy afternoons walking in the fresh air while Geocaching.

As I manouvered off the sofa (much in the same way that a ship manouvers out of a harbour, slow and steady) I felt the uncomfortable and unsettling 'twang' sensation in my lower back. Not good, thought I. Indeed it wasn't, stuck in bed until yesterday afternoon with barely a movement to prevent more pain shooting across my back.
2 days off work: good.
2 days bedbound: bad.

However, with all this new found spare time on my hands I thought I would use it wisely and spend it on the laptop writing my blog...... No, the keyboard decided it didn't want to play my game and refused to work properly. Have you ever considered the amount of times you use the letter 'o'? Not good when it doesn't work. Or should I say 'nt gd when it desnt wrk'. See what I mean? So how, you may ask, am I writing this blog entry? Phone, simple as that, phone.

The weekend wasn't all bad. Saturday I had cause to go shopping for jeans and boots, work boots I must add before you all start thinking about alternative wardrobe choices again. But we will get to that in a minute.

We all guage our weight loss in different ways. For some its simply the pounds and ounces at class. For others it might be inches, measuring the arms, thighs, chest, waist, that kind of thing. Some will do it with exercise, how far can they run,walk before needing the assistance of an oxygen mask and defib kit. Some of us will do it by dress size, or trouser waist size for the men, and in my case tutu size!  But we all have our own way of guaging our own weight loss. And its a personal thing. This is where the clothes shopping comes in by the way.

So off I went to market for a pair of jeans and some new workboots. My jeans were now a bit on the large side, in truth you could fit two of me in them. But my jeans we also my ONLY jeans. So off we went. Jeans bought without much drama (1 size or 2 inches smaller than the last ones). Then it was off for the workboots. Something sturdy and warm to get me through the winter. Into the workboots shop, 'size 11 please'. They don't fit. Eh? That can't be right. Try them again. No chance. Well I was expecting body changes but this? My feet have grown! Yes grown! In January when I decided I wanted to shift the weight I didn't mean shift it to other parts of my body! How the hell at 36 years of age do my feet grow a complete size!
Needless to say my wife is absolutely thrilled with my new foot size.
You really are a dirty minded lot.
No she was happy because with the bigger shoes, if ever the local area floods we now have something to use as life-rafts!

Yesterday was weigh in day at Slimming World but of course being stuck in bed meant I wasn't able to attend. Missed out on a taster session as well. Not very impressed with that. But I feel lighter so I'm going to put this week down as another loss I think!

And finally...
A blog viewer commented on the picture I posted in the last blog and asked which one I was. Is it not obvious? I'm the one with the silly smile!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Calling the bluff

So my first weigh in since starting this blog was last night. I had given myself a tough challenge by wanting to lose 11lbs, more than I have ever lost before in a single week. Optimism isn't the right word, I think lunacy covers it better. But as much as I had more chance of sprouting wings I was going to be rather cross with the scales if I didn't get the 11lb.

The scales and I are no longer on talking terms until they apologise to me.

An 8lb loss is not to be sniffed at and to be honest is a fair result for the week. Although my meals were syn-free (and in some cases taste-free) for the full week, bar 1 syn in a doner meat lunch, I simply haven't exercised as much as the summer where I had 9 and 10lb loses. Walking to work at 7am in the freezing cold is not quite my idea of fun, so I have decided I am far too important (lazy) to walk to work now and have instructed Mrs Slinky to chauffeur me to work each and every morning. Unfortunately this still means that I am expected to make my own way home in the cold and the damp and the wind.
Going for some sympathy here folks!!
I have decided that I need to replace the walking with some indoor based exercise, somewhere warm and comfortable, something that I can maybe do with my wife, something that we can enjoy together. I thought long and hard about it. Then I came to the decision.

Wii Tennis!!!! 

What else did you think I was talking about?

Ive been asked to explain the whole 'Mr Slinky' thing. So, at Slimming World last week we were told by our consultant extraordinaire Judy that we would be voting for a Miss Slinky for the class. Now Miss Slinky would quite obviously be open only to the female members of the class. Blatant sexism if you ask me! So a complaint was duly lodged vocally and it was from there suggested that maybe if I went to class wearing a tutu I would be eligible for the Miss Slinky award. It was then suggested that I should start a blog titled Miss Slinky. Well the blog kinda became Mr Slinky............
Separated at birth?

........but I sure as hell went to class this week wearing a tutu!!!!!!!!!!!!
Eligibility for Miss Slinky 2011 award, SORTED! Needless to say it raised a laugh or two, but thats ok, Im here to entertain.
**WARNING: This is NOT an invitation for further wardrobe suggestions!!**
So there you go, now you know why the blog is called Mr Slinky.
Wonder if the tutu weighed 3lb? Judy, can I have 3lb for the weight of the tutu added to my weight loss for this week? Its purely coincidental that the 3lb would take my weight loss to the 11lb I was looking for, honest!

With the weight loss back on track now, its time to get more of it off and at a steady pace instead of the whole rollercoaster thing I have done over the past couple of months. Ive got a target sorted for January of where I want to be. Barbados I think. Easier to walk to work in the morning there!

And finally......
I had cause to visit my doctor the other day, as something had appeared around my middle that had started to concern me. After a short examination the doctor declared it was in fact a waist. I was so excited, I haven't seen one of those since Frankie said 'Relax'!

And thats your lot for this one. More at the weekend.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Where did the weekend go?

I like weekends. Weekends are a time to relax, to lay in bed a bit longer, maybe do a bit of geocaching, and generally to do things at a slower pace (have you seen how slow I drive a bus? Cant get much slower, but I try). So why is it the last few weekends have been experienced at 500 miles per hour?

I was all set to enjoy the weekend at an easy pace. The meals were planned. It was a perfect Slimming World weekend. And then I hear from my daughter 'Dad, can you pick me and my friends up from the cinema?' and from my son 'Dad, after that can we go to the cinema as well?' and dont forget its Guy Fawkes night so 'Can we go and see a fireworks display as well in the evening?' So there went the weekends planning. Instead it was lunch at Subway (never realised till now just how tasteless some of their stuff it, cardboard has more flavour) and dinner was at the Derby Pool. Syn free options when eating out are limited at best. One option is simply not to eat, its syn free but not overly enjoyable. The other option is to seriously scan the menu looking for the healthiest option. In some cases eating the menu itself is probably the healthiest option, but with a bit of perseverance it was still possible to eat out syn free. Plenty of chicken was consumed, so much so I fear I am likely to start laying my own eggs!

One of the things that bugs me about eating out though, Im not talking restaurants here but places like pubs and lunch type places, is the lack of options when it comes to drinks. Have you ever noticed in corner shops, supermarkets, lunch places etc the only chilled diet drinks you can get are pepsi or coke? Check it out next time you go to get yourself a drink from a shop. Apparently the majority of the UK only drinks diet coke, or diet pepsi. Bit of a bummer if you dont like either of them really isnt it! Think from now on I am going to start taking my own drinks along. That'll be sure to make them happy!

So Tuesday is approaching and Tuesday means weigh in day. Even after nearly a year at Slimming World I still get nervous when it comes to weigh in.
Have I done enough to lose this week?
Will I get a number I am happy with this week?
Will I get a weight loss I deserve this week? (sometimes this one and the last one are NOT the same number, sometimes they arent even the same side of zero!)
But this week I know I have at least been behaving myself. No weight loss naughty step for me this week. Still 100% syn free so far with no reason not to continue that through to Tuesdays weigh in. And I have a head start this week. Haircut! All that hair had to weigh at least 7lbs I think!! What? No chance? But why? Might need all the help I can get this week!! Come on, work with me people.

Yesterday out of the way, today is the day of relaxing it was supposed to be. Blog written (nearly), Sunday dinner is in the oven, more chicken, told you Im going to be laying eggs soon!!! Plenty of relaxing with a bit of cooking for next weeks meals aswell.

Changing the subject slightly, it was great to see classes like Slimming World finally getting the recognition they deserve in the national media this week with the news that they are cheaper and more effective than the NHS alternatives. If you have never been to one of the NHS courses they are hideously boring and completely pointless. So well done to Slimming World on your recognition for helping thousands of people lose weight.

Right, bring it on Tuesday, let me see what ya got!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

And so it begins......

So the subject of a blog was joked about in class on Tuesday (makes it sound like school calling it 'class', mind you, calling it 'session' makes it sound like therapy!!).....

So the subject of a blog was joked about in session on Tuesday...... and I thought 'well, what the hell, let's do one. Might be kind of to get the mind off therapy!!!!!!!!

Did consider calling the blog Miss Slinky but that would have raised far too many questions and probably end with me needing know what I mean!

Well I'm 10 months into losing weight now, give or take a week, having started in January and to be honest I would have liked to be further on than I am, and though I have been further on than I am after 2 gains in 2 weeks I would have liked to be further on than that as well. 5st in 10 months should have been pretty achievable if I'm honest with myself. And I want to be frank, but my parents called me Paul so I will just have to deal with that....

But looking at the glass half full, well its more a quarter full at this point actually, I'm nearly 4st lighter than when I started in January and for me that's a big deal. Sometimes it doesn't feel like I've lost nearly 4st and the mirrors are still less than complementary, they suggest I put clothes back on or risk harpooning!

But 4st is 4st and losing got me out of the 30st bracket and into the 20st bracket....just. So onwards from this point. I need to reverse 2 big gains in 2 weeks, that's the immediate aim. Whether I can do it in 1 week is questionable, I've come pretty close in the past, but its still a big challenge. Wonder if I'd get a sticker for it.......hmmmmm.

So the immediate challenge is an 11lb loss in 1 week, and the immediate method is a completely syn-free week. That in itself isn't too hard to accomplish, its all about planning and variety. They say variety is the spice of life, but I thought ground cinnamon was the spice of life, certainly gives my porridge some life anyway. I once suggested to the wife that we should introduce some variety into the bedroom, but it didn't work. My rendition of 'My Way' was apparently off key and the neighbours in the apartment below complained about the banging on the floor; well what did they expect with someone of my size doing Riverdance!! Some people just have no idea.

Where was I......oh yeah, variety. Its very easy to eat the same 'safe' foods all of the time, buts its also very easy to get bored rather quickly too...bored yet? So putting variety into what I eat is a must. Planning is a must for me aswell. If I don't plan I'm pretty much guarenteed to fail. So I have to plan variety! An interesting mix I might add. See what I did there? Mix.....variety.....I'll get my coat :(

To get back on track this week its more planning than variety though. When I get bored I will eat anything; bread, sweets, anything that I know will put weight on me. So this week is back to basics, simple planned food and lots of it. For 2 weeks despite preaching about eating lunch I haven't been practising it myself. And I'm pretty sure that's been part of the problem, not to mention the lack of fruit or the frozen curly wurlys, no they weren't the problem at all.

So planning. 3 proper meals, 2-3 snack times, 4 nap times.....I'm surprised I have time to write this, never mind get any work done. So I decided to combine the two and write my blog while I'm working. Its kinda risky, not the writing itself or getting caught by the boss, more so the fact that while I'm typing I'm not really concentrating on my work, and the passengers on my bus keep screaming for some reason which is really off-putting. I mean its an automatic bus! It almost drives itself! Come on people!

So where was I again, oh yeah planning. Checked the freezer, lots of different coloured meats in there. Must learn to label the freezer bags! Meals planned out for the week. Can't go wrong. No temptations, no distractions, nothing ahead that can ruin my plan....I feel like a cartoon movie villain 'my plan is coming together mwahahahaha'. So now its just knuckle down and get on with it for the week. And trust that next Tuesday at Slimming World I get a nice loss to bring me back on track.

But if it all goes wrong does anyone know the number for a good therapist?