Phew. What a challenging time this is! One minute I’m fully Food Optimising and feeling fantastic, then up pops another hurdle to test me on my route to target.
You know that feeling when you wake up out of a daydream and realise you’ve no memory of eating the family-size chocolate bar that was in the fridge just moments ago, yet there’s an empty foil wrapper in your hand? Yep, I’ve been there. So, with that in mind, we asked our Slimming World podcast listeners for their experiences. What steps are they taking to protect their weight loss from lockdown sabotage?
1. Create a new ‘normal’
“Routine does it for me. I get up at the same time every weekday morning and start work at the same time. It really does help me!” @danni_ella26
This was a common suggestion. Turning off social media notifications, catching up on sleep, having a bath before bed – it seems that many of us are reordering our lives to prevent work, play and home from meshing together.
I’ve certainly found that setting some boundaries is helping, as is remembering to schedule in some ‘nice’ activities to do the simple things which bring me joy. I’ve even been changing my outfit to signal that work is finished and leisure time is starting.
Catching up with my Consultant and friends in My Slimming World Virtual Group has enabled me to get my regular boost of support and inspiration, while sticking to my usual weekly weigh-ins helps to keep my motivation strong. I’ve also found that I’m much less likely to over-snack if I stick to my set mealtimes.
2. Enjoy your food
Whether it’s pasta, rice or my usual Healthy Extra bread, I’m finding that my go-tos aren’t always available in the supermarket (although this is getting better). That means many of us are having to try new recipes or think outside the box.
I’ve used it as an opportunity to get curious – I’ve been testing out every leftover bit of veg in my new soup maker (even cauliflower leaves!). Keira is doing the same. She says:
“I’m mixing it up and trying new recipes. Just bought four new Slimming World cookbooks. So many new recipes to try!” @kj_slimwithme_sw
If you’re looking for some mix-it-up recipe inspiration, Slimming World members can currently buy recipe books from the pop-up e-shop on the member websites – and there are always loads of inventive ideas flying around in my virtual group.
3. Keep moving
Like many members keen to keep up activity levels, I’ve turned to my phone apps to find exercise programmes I can do in my living room or garden. Moving little and often is more manageable for me – as long as it gets my heart rate up and makes me slightly out of breath then I can count it towards my Body Magic awards. I don’t think I’ll be running a marathon just yet, but 5 minutes of skipping in the garden is manageable.
I’ve also been giving yoga a go. My routines are gentle and relaxing, so they don’t count towards Body Magic awards, but anything that gets me moving is a win at the moment. It seems I’m not the only one practising my downward dogs in the dining room…
“I’ve been focusing on learning new things including yoga. There are lots of free online classes.” @curvybookgirl
(Note: For more inspiration on keeping active at home, listen to episode 75, ‘The unsporty guide to lockdown fitness’.)
4. Remember your reason
Way back in episode 12, we asked: ‘What’s your reason?’ Our listeners say this is an episode they go back to time and time again.
To help me remember my reason, I’ve stuck a photo of myself at the start of my Slimming World journey (5st heavier) on my fridge. And to boost my motivation, I’m setting aside £1 for every lockdown day that I abstain from chocolate (there’s no reason why I can’t have it as part of the Slimming World plan, but it’s a real trigger food for me, so I try to avoid it). I’ve promised myself that I’ll buy a new outfit with the savings at the end!
Most importantly, I’m checking in with My Slimming World Virtual Group every week. Slimming World Consultant Dawn has some wise words on why support from fellow members is key:
“Be kind to yourself, forgive what has happened and make plans to focus on going forward. Remember why you started. Buddy up with someone to support each other. My friend and I met in group and lost nearly 15 stone between us. Her support in the low times got me to target.” @dawnm_slimmingworld
And remember – just because the world around you may have temporarily changed, your finish line hasn’t. Happy pre-birthday to our listener Anne!
“It’s my birthday soon. Even though it may not be the 30th I planned, I’m 6 stone lighter, I know my reasons and I don’t want to give up just because we’re in lockdown!” @annejcsw
5. Picture your future
I’ve been thinking about what I want to show for my lockdown period. What outfit will I wear for the first time I meet my friends and family again? What new habits will I have formed? How do I want to remember my time over the last few months? This is something on other people’s minds, too:
“Vanity is motivating me. Thinking of going back to work and how disappointed I will be to not be able to get into my work clothes. Also, I don’t want to see the looks on other people’s faces if I gain a load of weight!” @theclarabelladoesslimmingworld
“For me, I think about how I want to feel on that ‘first night out’ with the girls and ‘that first meet up’ with my family…” @swloudaventry
So here’s to that first meet up with family and friends, that first drink in a pub, first meal out, first visit to the gym and of course that first in-real-life Slimming World group meeting. And here’s to giving ourselves the best gift we can right now – the chance to keep moving forwards and learning, instead of slipping back into old habits.
For more suggestions, you can listen to the full episode (no. 74) here. Plus, there are plenty of previous episodes in our podcast back catalogue to keep you inspired.
With love and healthy wishes,
P.S. If you’ve no idea what a podcast is, it’s a sort of radio show about a specific topic, and you can listen to it whenever and wherever you want. It’s free to subscribe and open to everyone. Search for ‘Slimming World Podcast’ on Spotify or the Apple Podcasts and Castbox app, or listen via your browser at audioboom.com/channel/slimmingworldpodcast