Monday, 30 May 2016

Monday Motivation - Balance

It's a Bank Holiday here in the UK which for most people means a day off work. I work for myself so for me there is no real difference, it just means that I have to juggle work a bit more as my daughter is off school. She is on holiday all this week plus my other daughter is home from university for a few days too. 

I've been thinking about balancing all the different things in my life and I think it's something I have to work at a bit more. It's hard though as there just aren't enough hours in the day! I never get enough sleep either. 

So my motivation for this week is to try and look at my life balance and adjust it for the better if possible. Not sure how I'm going to do this but I'll keep you posted!

Here's some of the images I've made to motivate myself this week.

Hope you all have a fantastic week. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Cut through the weight loss myths

Read my latest blog post to hear about why I think you can safely ignore certain weight loss myths #weightloss #weightlossjourney #weightlossgoals #weightlossmotivation #healthylifestyle #healthylife #myth

I was reading in the press today a couple of stories about health and weight and it started me thinking. We are often bombarded with conflicting and contrasting advice. If you are setting out to lose a lot of weight then it can be hard to know which set of advice to follow. Here are three weight loss myths that I personally think you can ignore.

Eating between meals will make you fat
I can even remember my mum saying this to me and it's a common theory that if you cut out the snacks then you will lose weight. 

Snacking can be very beneficial though in helping you lose weight. The trick is to eat healthy snacks. I would choose a banana, some whole grain toast or anything that is low in fat but I know will satisfy my hunger. Snacking on the correct foods will help prevent dips in your blood sugar level and makes it easier to control cravings.

Diets that promise you will lose a lot of weight or drop a dress size in a few weeks
There is some truth in this fact, in so far as crash diets will initially make you lose weight quickly. The problems come afterwards when you start eating properly again. The weight will return and you may have damaged your metabolism by starting a cycle of yo yo dieting

Slow and steady weight loss can be frustrating, trust me I know, but it is proven to be the best way to lose weight permanently. I don't really see what I'm doing as dieting, for me it's a change in my lifestyle!

Exercising one part of your body will help you lose weight there
This is a common misconception particularly for people trying to lose fat from their tummies by doing crunches and sit up. Exercise can help you tone up an area and develop muscle. It will not have an impact on fat as people lose weight from different parts of their body first. For me it's always my face and then my boobs. All you can do is adopt a healthy eating plan along with a sensible exercise plan. This is help you to lose weight all over and then you can concentrate on tightening up and toning up any problem areas.

There are many more myths attached to weight loss and my general advice is to try and not take them too seriously. Think about the rationale and whether it is logical or not. Then if you feel that it is something that doesn't have an impact on you or if you are happy with what you are doig the just ignore it. You are the best judge of what works for your body!!

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Thursday, 26 May 2016

4th Transformation Picture - 20 weeks difference

Time to post another one of these and see how the difference looks.

I just generally look smaller all over but I particularly noticed the tops of my legs have slimmed down. Possibly this is due to having started running again.

Now that I've taken a few transformation pictures, I thought I would try putting them together.

If you start at the top left and then go in a clockwise direction. It's great to see the differences.

Hopefully the next time I take one of these, it will look even better. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Wednesday Weigh In - Week 20 - Counting Calories and Subtracting Weight

So not a bad week with a loss of three quarters of a pound.

I feel like I have now settled into the calorie counting regime. It's easy to keep a track on everything. It just means that my diet can be a little more flexible which is what I need at the moment. I was able to eat McDonald's with my daughters at the weekend without having to starve for the rest of the day. I really do like the SparkPeople app so look out for my review of it next week. 

One downside this week is that problems with my knee have meant no workouts since last Thursday. I may have to let my doctor look at it, something that I have been reluctant to do as I know he will just blame my weight 😟

My total weight loss is now 25 pounds in 20 weeks so I'm slowly heading towards that 2 stone target. 

Over the next week I'm looking to assess not how much I eat but exactly what is in my diet. SparkPeople gives me a daily nutritional breakdown of my food intake and it's been really interesting to read. I want to try and introduce more protein into my diet, in particular protein rich snacks. I've been reading up on the benefits so expect a blog post about this next week. 

Hopefully my knee will improve and I can start running again. I actually miss it now!!!

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Monday, 23 May 2016

Monday Motivation - FOCUS

Can't believe it's already Monday again and as usual I'm in need of some motivation to get me through the week.

The bad news is that I have another injury. My right knee was sore to bend last week and then yesterday I had to do a mad sprint with my daughter to get her to athletics training on time and I felt something pull. It's much more sore today both to walk and to go up and down stairs. I'm resting it for a few days and hoping it's just a slight muscle pull.

The only good news about this is that it's made me focus a bit more. I've done really well to lose a stone and a half so far and a do feel better but I've realised that I was becoming a bit complacent. I am still classed as obese and I still need to lose a  LOT of weight. My body is still struggling because of the excess weight that I am carrying and it is still having an impact on my health. I'm a bit cross with myself to be honest as I've done this before, I lose enough weight to feel better and then start to slip. The good thing is that I've realised I'm doing it this time so I can put a stop to it.

The other plus is that I'm finding calorie counting is working for me. I really like the Spark People app. It's easy to use, sets up a personalised plan for you, factors in exercise and gives you a full nutritional breakdown of your food. I will definitely review it fully for you probably next week. 

So the week ahead may not include much exercise depending on my knee. I'm going to look into whether I can afford gym membership anywhere as I think I need to look at ways to strengthen my joints, I also want to look at how to include more protein in my diet and see if I can devise any high protein snacks. 

Here are some of the images I'm using to motivate myself today.

Hope you all have a great week. Speak to you soon.

Love Erica xxx

Friday, 20 May 2016

Carrot Cookies

What do you do if you have a craving for carrot cake but know you should not eat frosting? Answer - invent some healthier carrot cookies instead.

2 bananas
100g golden syrup
150g porridge oats
150g self raising flour
150g margarine
100g carrots

1. Mash the bananas well then add the syrup and mix until combined.
2. Add the margarine and mix well.
3. Stir in the porridge oats and flour, mix until fully combined.
4. Grate the carrots.
5. Fold the grated carrot into the mixture.

6. Place large tablespoons of the mixture at intervals on a greased baking sheet. Flatten the mixture with either a spoon or your fingers.

7. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown

I think that this is probably one of my favourite recipes. They taste wonderful. The recipe makes 15 cookies and they are 145 calories each.

Let me know if you try making them. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Wednesday Weigh In - Week 19 - Teeny Tiny Progress

I got on the scales this morning in trepidation but I lost a quarter of a pound. I guess the workouts and runs out balanced the emotional overeating the other night. This takes my total weightloss to 24.25 pounds in 19 weeks.

This small loss does mean that I have hit another target. I started at 241.5 pounds so I have now lost over 10% of my starting weight.

I haven't been that happy with my progress lately and if you read my blog then you will know that I have had issues with weightwatchers Smartpoints at times and the restrictive nature of the diet. I know that Smartpoints is intended to educate members into reducing sugar in their diet but the restrictions are just making me crave sweet things more and as a result of this, I know I am probably eating too much fruit. So I have decided that it's time for a change.

From today, I am moving to calorie counting. I am using an app called SparkPeople which does all the calculating for you. Once I have got used to it and have used it for a while then I will fully review SparkPeople for you. I'm not ruling out ever going back to Weightwatchers but at the moment it doesn't feel like the right choice for me. 

I'm still feeling a little fragile today but am trying to be positive. I'm just taking one day at a time.

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Just stop and breathe

I'm struggling a bit. If you have read my blog before then you will know that I have suffered from depression in the past and how this ties into my emotional overeating. I suffer from what is termed situational depression which means I struggle with changes or can just be overwhelmed by extra pressures put on me. 

One of the reasons I enjoy working out is that it lifts my mood and leaves me feeling more able to cope but today even that feels like an additional pressure. I should work out as its weigh in day tomorrow. I have a niggling knee problem and a few other health issues at the moment which make me want to rest. I'm behind with work too (I'm self employed) and fell asleep over my laptop last night. Woke up on the couch at 4:30am with a stiff neck. The list of things in my head which are coming this week are just going round and round. My daughter's award ceremony on Friday, her race on the other side of Lonfon on Saturday, clearing my garden, paying bills. All things which I would cope with separately but together they are just beating me down. So much last night that I ate a chocolate ice cream, an apple pie and 2 pieces of buttered toast. The only thing I can do now is just

So I'm taking a day out to stop and breathe. No workout, no counting Smartpoints, no work deadline - just me trying to be kind to myself. 

So I've lit some scented candles and I'm giving myself this little timeout before starting again in hopefully the right direction

In the words of Ferris Bueller "life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it". Listen to the boy, he knew his stuff. So today I'm just looking around and breathing.

I know this post isn't particularly about weight loss but part of this blog is about finding a happier me. For me, so much of my problem with food is tied to my emotions. So dealing with my emotions and depression can only help me move forward on my weight loss journey. I know I'll get there but today I just needed to rest and breathe.

Hope you are all taking care of yourself. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Monday, 16 May 2016

Monday Motivation - Too tired for life

God, I'm struggling today and in serious need of motivation, a kick up the bum and another 8 hours sleep!

It was a really busy weekend for me. We were at an athletics championships because my daughter was running, she also had tons of homework, I had work to finish and my house was a mess!!

I could do with just lying on the couch today watching Netflix but sadly I can't! Am going for a run in a minute to shake the cobwebs out of my head.

This week will also be really busy. I have a lot of work plus I am trying to devise a chilli recipe that is proving difficult. I will make sure I fit in all my workouts though. I also want to be really strict this week as I am going out on Friday night and I want to be able to have a drink!!

I decided to make up my own motivational messages this week and this is what I came up with

Hope they might help you to find some Monday motivation too. Have a great week. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Friday, 13 May 2016

Borough Market

Yesterday I took a trip up to London to visit one of my favourite food places. Borough Market is located in Southwark, South London near to London Bridge. It is one of the oldest food markets in existence and was mentioned in historical records as far back as 1014. 

I've been visiting Borough Market for years and it has the most amazing choice of food.

For me Borough Market shows that healthy eating is not necessarily just about low fat food. It means good quality food. Borough Market is a great place to find that whether you are looking for cheese,



eggs and sausages,

or even alcohol.

When I visit Borough Market I tend to go straight for the fruit and veg stalls. The variety of choice is incredible and everything just seems to have such stronger flavours than the fruit and veg that you buy in the supermarket. Turnips is a favourite stall of mine to visit.

They have the most fantastic tomatoes!

The fruit is great too

and they have types of mushrooms that I have never seen before!

The artisan bread stalls are probably my second favourite. There is every imaginable type of bread.

If you fancy a little treat then there are plenty of chocolates and cakes to choose from 

There are also gluten free choices available.

The truffle stall is always interesting to visit and they usually have samples that you can smell. Fascinating if you have never smelt that unusual fragrance of a truffle before.

There are even many different types of oils and vinegars to choose.

Many of which you can sample before buying.

The range of stalls is so extensive that you can buy virtually anything at Borough Market.

One of my daughter's favourite stalls is The Greedy Goat.

Their ice cream is so rich and creamy that you will want to come back for second and third helpings.

Another stall that we always visit is the juice stall located next to Turnips. Their fruit juices are so refreshing.

 I enjoyed a cup of watermelon juice while strolling around the market.

If all the food on sale makes you hungry then there are plenty of choices for lunch at Borough Market including burgers, curry and paella.

There is also a whole row of stalls offering different types of authentic street food.

If you would like some more information about Borough Market then I would suggest looking at their website as it covers everything you would need to know.

Borough Market is also in a great location to combine a visit with some sightseeing.

The Cutty Sark, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Tate Modern and the Millenium Bridge are all within walking distance. 

In case you were wondering, this is what I bought on my visit

A chocolate brownie for my daughter, sweet plum tomatoes on the vine and some light sourdough bread. The atmosphere is part of the fun when visiting Borough Market, you don't need to spend a fortune. 

Hope you have enjoyed my little tour around my favourite food place in London. Let me know if you visit there. Speak to you soon 

Love Erica xxx

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