I am very lucky to have an amazing husband, wonderful friends and a totally bonkers family to support me in my Slimming World journey.
And yet sometimes I don’t want to talk to them about my weight and food issues.
I know they love me and support me and are proud of me. But I sometimes feel that if I talk to them about my Slimming World journey, I’ll raise expectations. There’s nothing worse than being asked ‘how did you get on this week?’ and feeling like you’ve let someone down if the reality was that you didn’t stick to plan and actually gained several pounds.
I know I haven’t actually let them down and that they wouldn’t be at all disappointed in me – truly I do. But it’s the emotional battle in my own head I can’t deal with.
That’s why I find going (and staying) to my local Slimming World group so important. To the outside world it’s sometimes perceived like some kind of private club or cult. But to me it’s a safe place. It doesn’t matter whether I’ve gained or lost, whether I’m doing the happy dance or sobbing into my coffee. There are no expectations, no judgements and a whole lot of understanding about exactly how I feel.
As well as attending my local Slimming World Crookes group in person every Wednesday, the Facebook group we have is invaluable. (You’ll only be able to access that if you’re a member of one of the Crookes Slimming World groups as it’s private). It’s like a Samaritans hotline for all weight loss dilemmas. No matter what time of day or how silly the question or issue sounds there will always be someone to help.
And sometimes it’s not even about getting help or advice. I wrote just the other day about how sometimes just reading someone else’s struggle is enough to put your own in perspective.
Both in person and on Facebook my group is inspiring. Want new recipe ideas? No problem! Want help choosing what to have when heading out to a restaurant for a work do? Give them the menu and the recommendations will come pouring in. Need a million ways to make something chocolate flavoured for under 5 Syns? They can sort you out. (Options and Choc Shot are your secret weapons people!).
If I haven’t emphasised this enough yet, I LOVE my group.
And although I know my consultant doesn’t recommend them, I do find some of the other Facebook groups I’m in helpful too. The SYN FREE/ LOW SYN RECIPES and share your slimming world meals groups are great for more recipe inspiration, and the former is also full of some truly inspiring weight loss journeys.
[However, if you are following Slimming World I will repeat the same warnings that I was given – ALWAYS check the Syn values of any recipe for yourself, as some people in those groups are not following the full Slimming World plan and may be using ‘tweaks’ (free foods used in an unhealthy way – not recommended by Slimming World) or using out of date information.]
Above all, the one person I lean on most is of course lovely Emma (my Slimming World consultant) herself. I’m sure I drive her bonkers most weeks in group, when Alex and I are the first ones eager to answer any question – putting our hands in the air like schoolchildren. Or when I’m keeping everyone chatting when we’re running late. Or when I’m still asking questions or crying on her shoulder long after everyone else has gone home. (Thank you xxxx).
In reality it’s like I’ve got an extra family.
It doesn’t mean I love the one I already had any less. (Trust me I have more than enough love to go around). But it means that I can spend my time with them not thinking about the food and the weight and the health issues that have plagued me for most of my life. I can invest in them and share life with them in a totally different way.
So whilst I’ve now started sharing my journey with the big wide world via this blog, don’t be offended if there are some things I never talk to you about. It’s deliberate. And it’s good.