Monday, 28 July 2014


Welcome to my first #MotivationMonday !

The idea behind this is every Monday I want to share what people use to keep their diets going when they're struggling and also remind them why they started in the first place. The hope then is that not only will it keep them motivated but will also help motivate others.

Over on my Facebook group (search for Fat Girl Fit) I started taking submissions from the members of their motivation and I'm now opening it up to everyone!

It can be anything - a phrase, a picture, a person, a moment. Whatever it is that keeps you going. Please share it with us and I will post the winner here every Monday.

This weeks winner is Lara Boden with this song by 3oh3 - WARNING - the lyrics are parental advisory! But it was the chorus that spoke to me the most - 'I can do anything I want' - it's just what you need to be reminded of when you're struggling because it's true, we all can do whatever we want if we try.

So please keep your submissions coming! You can submit them via comments here, via Twitter @fatgirldietblog or by joining our Facebook group (Fat Girl Fit) and leaving a comment or sending me a message.

Best of luck! I can't wait to see what you all submit.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Operation: Rehydration

I don't drink enough. This has been a well documented fact throughout my life. I'm renowned for leaving half finished drinks all over the place and rarely go the loo more than 3 times a day.

I was prone to water infections because of this but it had never really had a major impact on my health or life. It came more to the fore when I had my son as I physically couldn't make enough milk to breastfeed him because I didn't have enough fluid in me. I managed it for 14 weeks but had to stop as he wasn't putting on enough weight. At the time I didn't know what the problem was and it's only after researching I discovered what had happened and obviously I was very disappointed in myself as luckily it was the only problem we'd had.

As my diet has changed drastically over the last few months, I'm obviously not eating as much and therefore not getting as much of a fluid back up from my food. I only noticed the impact of this as the weather began to heat up as we headed into summer. For the last couple of weeks I've had a near permanent headache and been really lacking in energy. Then the other evening I was reaching for the salty snacks despite not actually feeling hungry.

After really listening to my body I realised it was the salt I was craving and started to research this a bit. It turns out it can mean an electrolyte imbalance due to being dehydrated as your body doesn't just need water to stay hydrated but salts and minerals as well. I also read the frequent water infections due to dehydration could lead to bladder cancer and electrolyte imbalance can lead to kidney issues!

Then the final straw came today when I had an opticians appointment. It turns out my eyes are also starting to get damaged due to being dehydrated. This is also linked to contact lense issues which we ironed out today but it made me realise I need to sort this issue out.

When I started this lifestyle change it was all about making healthier choices, mainly to lose weight, but also to have a generally healthier lifestyle. So this is now the next change I need to make to be healthier.

I've got myself some rehydration salts that you take after diarrhoea to help give me a boost and a litre water bottle I'm going to try and take everywhere with me to try and keep permanently drinking.

So wish me luck! This may well be the toughest challenge I've taken on so far as I find drinking more really hard and always have. But I'm determined to make a change so will update you how I'm getting on.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

10 super easy food swaps to help you eat healthier

1. Use a low cal condiment on sandwiches instead of butter or margarine. I personally use extra low cal mayonnaise, aldi's own is the best one I've found as it's low in sugar too. Other ones might be a chutney (watch the sugar) or something like mustard.

2. Use a 50/50 bread if you can't face switching to brown bread. Watch the sugar again, Kingsmill is the lowest. This won't save you many calories but it's healthier for your body.

3. Mattesons turkey bacon is a good swap for regular bacon. It actually crisps up better than regular bacon and is about 1/4 of the calories.

4. Swap beef mince for turkey mince.

5. Instead of oil when frying, dry fry but use splashes of stock to stop your meat drying out. Water will do but stock adds more flavour.

6. Low cal mayonnaise is great in mashed potatoes instead of butter and milk.

7. When roasting veg, such as potatoes, instead of using oil, line a baking tray with baking paper. The veg won't stick to it like foil, but will still go crispy.

8. Swap rice or pasta for couscous. It's easier to cook and lower in calories. If you soak it in stock it's also really tasty.

9. Switch from low fat yoghurts (they're high in sugar) to Greek yoghurts. Again, aldi do a great Greek yoghurt which is only 70kcal a pot.

10. If you love a bit of cheese, try switching to a strong flavoured cheese, such as parmesan, but use less of it.

Recipe: Low Cal Keema Curry

Traditionally keema curry is made with lamb mince and probably yoghurt but this is a healthier version using Turkey mince. I made my own curry spice mix for this but you could probably buy a pre made one, if you do go for something mild. This is also traditionally made with peas but you could switch this for any veg. I also served this with rice but it is lovely with a baked potato. Don't forget to add on calories for accompaniments.

Serves 2-3, approx 299kcal


*225g lean turkey mince
*1 onion, thinly sliced
*2 carrots, grated
*1/2 cup frozen peas
*400ml stock
*1 tsp ground cumin
*1 tsp garam Masala
*1 tsp ground coriander
*1 tsp ground turmeric
*1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
*1-2 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
*1 tbsp tomato puree


*Fry fry the onions and mince in a pan until lightly browned. If required, use splashes of the stock to stop them drying out.

*Add all the spices, garlic and tomato puree and mix well.

*Add the carrot and the peas and fry for a few seconds until all mixed in.

*Add the stock and leave to simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

10 Little things I've noticed since losing weight

I've got a bit obsessed with Buzzfeed and their lists at the moment, so thought I'd do one of my own!

1. My ring size has shrunk. I can now wear a ring that's been too small since I was a teenager whereas my 4 year old wedding ring is now loose.

2. My shoe size has shrunk. Only by about 1/2 a size but a lot of my shoes are now looser than they were.

3. Booze and medication (such as headache pills) are more effective than when I was bigger and hangovers worse.

4. I have collar bones and hip bones again and a bit of a thigh gap when sat down which I only remember ever being aware of before in high school.

5. My knees are smaller and more knobbly.

6. Trouser sizes are all over the place! I have size 10 leggings that are a bit loose but some trousers don't fit me in less than a 14. Top sizes seem pretty regular though.

7. I will always have a fat girl relationship with food.

8. There is something so comforting about eating till you're full rather than just eating till you're not hungry.

9. Towels wrap around me better and don't fall off as much.

10. My head looks more in proportion with my body rather than looking too small. I honestly believed I had an unusually small head for a while when I was bigger!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The Running Girl

When I started my weight loss & lifestyle change at the beginning of the year, I hated running. I'd never done more than the occasional sprint as a teenager and was convinced it just wasn't for me.

Then I signed up for the Race For Life in aid of Cancer Research UK for the third time. It's an event where you walk, jog or run 5k and people sponsor you to do so. I'd said at the end of the previous 2 times we'd walk it that I would run the next one, but hadn't yet. Well why not have a go this time, I thought.

I had heard about the Couch to 5k plan and local fun runs that are organised at my local park and thought these would be great to get me there. I honestly didn't know if I had it me to actually run 5k but I figured there was no harm in trying.

The couch to 5k is a 9 week plan but I managed to it in 12 due to having to repeat a few weeks. It was tough but I was very proud for having completed it.

I then started the fun runs at my local park. You sign up on their website, they send you a wrist band which is scanned when you cross the finish line, then you get a text to your phone with your time.

I did 2 of them before I ran the Race for Life which really spurred me on. On the day itself the conditions were completely different to what I'd been used to - hills instead of flat, forest instead of tracks, heat instead of cool overcast. I managed a not too shabby time of 38 mins, which I was proud of despite having done better times. I was just proud I'd managed to do it at all!

I've been really enjoying these fun runs up to now. I find I push myself so much harder in a more competitive environment. At the end of the day, I'm only really competing against myself but watching the other runners and keeping pace with them is great motivation. The pic I've included is some of my times so far. It's a bit up and down but I think there is a gradual improvement.

Some of the recent benchmarks for me have been a personal best time of 32mins 41secs and 3 weeks ago (the run before last due to a break from these particular runs) I managed to run the whole way without walking - both of which I've not been able to recreate again yet!

My current goals are to again run the whole way without stopping and to get my time closer to 30mins. I could try to progress to 10k but I'm not planning to yet for 2 reasons - 1. I need to improve my 5k and 2. I think I would get bored running for that long.

As I never thought I'd get to this point, I'll never say never as you don't know what's round the corner!

Almost there?

Sorry I've been a little neglectful lately!

It's been a good 2 months since my last update so I'm sorry I've not been writing much. By no means have I been as neglectful with my healthy lifestyle. Yep, I'm calling it that now, not a diet anymore. 

I know when I started this I didn't have a set weight lost goal but as the weight started dropping off, more people started asking me 'how much more do you have to lose?' and as I was actually losing weight this time, I did start thinking of that finish line and where to set it. I figured the target my Noom app was setting me was as good as any - 67kg or 10.5st.

Well, here we are now, 7 months since I started what was to become my life changing diet, and that goal is almost within reach. My weight loss has slowed down since the big boom at the beginning, from an average of 2lbs a week to 1lb a week. Since my last weight update in April I've lost another stone, bring my total to approximately 3st in 7 months. And that overall goal? Its only another 7lbs away.

I've set myself a few targets over my journey which I can very happily tick off now - lose a load of weight before my 30th (tick), run the 5k Race for Life (tick - in a time of 38 mins, not too shabby), drop to at least a dress size 14 (tick and then some - more on that to follow), improve my diet and reign in the amount of unhealthy food I was eating (tick), maintain an average calorie intake of 1400kcal a day (tick). 

Out of all the goals I set myself, there was one I failed to meet (sad face) and that was running while on holiday. I took my running stuff with me, was really excited about doing it, but the reality of running in a place I didn't know kind of took the shine off - I didn't really know where to go and didn't fancy running in circles around the camp. And that beach we were really close to - there was only 1 access point quite a way from our caravan, down a steep cliff to a not-the-best-quality kind of beach. But I'll be the first to admit these are probably just excuses, but for the first and only time so far, they won.

Coming back from that holiday really left me in a very strange mindset. I'd never dieted this successfully before and whenever I'd taken a 'break', by the time I'd got back into dieting again I was back to where I started, if not even worse off. So my mind couldn't really cope with having a break from a regular exercise routine. I'd managed to not go too wild with my diet and we'd been out doing a lot of sightseeing, so I hadn't been completely inactive. However when I returned from my hol, my mood was really low. I felt like I let myself down and when I finally got back into exercising, I'd be back where I started and have undone all the good work I'd done. I'd started doing a free 5k fun run in my local park and was due to do one the day after I got back from the holiday. My mind was in such a bad place though that I couldn't face it, I thought I'd embarrass myself. 

The following day I was back to Zumba and even though I was down I was still determined to at the least do this. I could do it before I even started so I could do it now, I told myself. That day was also weigh in day. I'd convinced myself to prepare for a gain as I had been a little indulgent over the holiday and not exercised. To say I was pleasantly surprised to have lost 1lb is an understatement and gave me a big reminder that I wasn't back where I started. It got me back in the right frame of mind and I noticed a big difference when I finally got back to running 2 days later. I was able to push myself further and faster and did a really great time considering it was after a day of work.

So I mentioned earlier that I had hit my target of a dress size 14 and then some. Well yeah, I'm in a size 10! I have never in my adult life wore a size 10. The smallest I have ever been is a 12. I am still really struggling to get my head around this and it is making shopping an absolute nightmare. Ideally I would try everything on but having a 2 year old makes this process difficult. So I'm guessing and probably being too generous. I'll buy size 14 trousers/jeans as I get a 'muffin top' in a 12, not thinking that they give after wear, so a few weeks later they end up loose. I'm finally accepting I'm a 10 up top and have bought a couple of things in this size that fit well, so maybe it is starting to take root now.

Luckily (and yes, I mean luckily) I don't actually have much money to buy new clothes and this led me to discover Refashionista! I'm hopefully going to amend my old wardrobe into a whole new one without having to worry about sizing at all - just make it all to fit! I've had a sewing machine since I was 21 and have only used it once or twice, so its about time that got a workout.

Well this was only supposed to be a short update but I guess I had more to tell you than I realised! I'm going to try to update little and often instead of these big binge updates which will make my blog much more readable and hopefully more fun, so please stay tuned!