I've just completed 12 weeks on a 'lifestyle improvement programme'. It gave me free membership and weekly weigh ins at Slimming World and free gym membership for the 12 weeks.
Unfortunately I haven't done this during an easy 12 weeks of life. Right in the first month we went on honeymoon - where there was no way I was going to stress myself out trying to food optimise in Rome, then at least 5 out of the 12 weeks we've existed on an average of 3 hours broken sleep a night, because of teething, sickness, snoring....
Excuses, excuses - I know.
I suppose, having already been doing Slimming World for what seems like an eternity, there was no way I was going to get those great weight losses you do in the first few weeks. But I fully expected to lose around 2Ibs a week, food optimising and going to the gym.
But I didn't. I yoyo-ed, up and down, and up and down, and up and down. My consultant told me I didn't lose a decent amount of weight because I didn't stop to group all the time. I did stop to at least 8 out of the 12 sessions though - and looking back my weight losses weren't any better the week after I'd stayed to group. I make no secret of the fact that I don't enjoy the group part of the session - if I'm completely honest I find it utterly tedious. It felt like an hour and a half waste of my life every week.
So at the end of the 12 weeks I've made the decision I won't return to Slimming World. I will follow the plan at home though, over the year I've found quite a few 'Slimming World' meals that we will all eat - I don't find eating as a family as stressful now. My only problem is not having easy access to scales. We don't have any in the house - it's all too easy to become obsessed with hopping on and off them. My nearest Boots is either Leeds or York, and I don't go weekly to either. I'm telling myself that I'll weigh monthly, so we'll see how I get on with that. I suspect not weighing every week my motivation will drop off.
So the going to the Slimming World classes side of the scheme - not so good.
HOWEVER, the going to the gym element I have absolutely loved. I look forward to going, especially on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Having somewhere to go to get out of the house a few times a week and be on my own, or with a friend - has been wonderful for my mental health - particularly during the non-sleeping weeks. My confidence is slowly building in there, and I'm even running on the treadmill now, and not caring if other people are there to see. From what I've gathered so far, nobody pays the blindest bit of attention to what anyone else is doing. Well, apart from me when I'm trying to listen to someone else's conversation that sounds interesting.
Going to the gym has given me a new found happiness, and best of all - that's where the results of the 12 weeks can be seen.
The scales show I've only lost 6Ib in 12 weeks (pitiful) but the tape measure shows much more positive results.
I'm going to sign up to be a member, and I'm even going to try out a few classes - I felt too fat and unfit to go to any before, but I'm going to give a couple a try and hopefully will be OK. Perhaps not spinning just yet though, the memory of that hell is all too real still....
Although the gym side of things has pleased me, I will admit to feeling like I've failed on the losing weight side. I desperately want to break into that next stone barrier - so I've just got to keep trying. And stop eating malteasers...