Monday, 9 July 2018

How I lost 10 stone!

Hello! It's been a while since my last blog, but since then I've hit a massive milestone so I thought it was only fair to write about it!

Before I go into reaching the goal, let me take you back to 1st October 2016, when I first joined Slimming World.

On that day, a Saturday morning, I headed to my first Slimming World class not knowing that this decision to join would change my life forever.

I was really nervous because I was joining on my own, unlike most people who usually join with friends/family members. I can remember the day so clearly. I was wearing size 24 jeans that dug into my stomach as I sat down and a size 24 coat that I had to wear unzipped because it wouldn't zip up on me anymore.

Everybody at group was absolutely lovely and made me feel welcome straight away. I loved my consultant, Jackie, straight away as she was/is always so positive and encouraging. I thought to myself 'Why didn't I do this sooner?'

When I joined I had lost a stone on my own by cutting a few things out of my diet. However, this had taken me around 3-4 months as I wasn't very disciplined with myself.

Within a month at SW, I'd lost a stone and felt amazing about my progress. It was so rewarding to see my hard work pay off as the weight came off every week. More importantly, I never felt deprived as I was eating healthy but substantial meals that filled me up, and still having small treats such as Milky Ways, Hifi bars etc.

After I had 'proven' to myself that I could stick with the plan for a month, I began to wonder what I could truly achieve if I put my mind to it. As I still weighed almost 22 stone at that point, having lost a stone with SW and a stone previously, I knew I wanted to lose a massive amount of weight overall, so I came up with the target of losing 10 stone overall.

Let me tell you that when I set this target, I never, ever believed I'd actually do it. At first, it seemed even comical to me to even attempt it.
Even after seeing results those first few weeks of SW, it still felt like I had a mountain to climb.

Instead of overwhelming myself with having to lose 10 stone (well, 9 stone with SW was 10 stone overall really), I decided to focus on each award (7lbs) at a time.

The sense of achievement I have felt reaching each award has really keep me striving for the next one and motivated me to stay on plan. I think it's important to find what keeps you motivated and focus on that when you feel your will power has gone out of the window.

I have not been perfect along the way (far from it). I have had a lot of 'off plan' meals during my time as a SW member, but at least 95% of the time I have made better food choices and worked so hard to change my lifestyle.

I think what has definitely helped me is seeing this plan as a lifestyle rather than a diet. 
Having this mindset has caused me to see the plan as just how I generally eat, my default eating setting if you like! I am eating well, looking after my body with the occasional off plan treat, and that just works for me.

On Saturday 2nd June 2018, 18 months after joining SW, I received my 9 stone award and have lost another 6lbs since then... meaning I've lost 10 stone 6lbs (146lbs) overall.
Reaching that milestone and getting that 9 stone certificate was such an amazing feeling.

You know those size 24 clothes I mentioned earlier that I wore in my first group?, well now I'm in size 12-14's (and sometimes 10's depending on the shop!). Trust me, I never, ever thought I'd see the day where I'd be buying those kinds of sizes.

I never, ever imagined I would be the type of person to change my life so dramatically. When I started this plan I did not have much self belief or even will power. These two things came with time and with the love and support of the people around me.

The highest weight I've ever been was 23 stone 10lbs (which was only 2 years ago), and right now I weigh 13 stone 4lbs. 

My current target weight I have set with Slimming World is 12 stone. I am hoping to reach this goal ideally by the time I go to Florida at the end of September, however I am not pressuring myself in any way because I know I will get there eventually.

The most amazing feeling for me, is knowing that I will be travelling to Florida at least 10 stone lighter than the last time I went. That is an indescribable feeling.

The whole experience will be different for me. The travel there and back alone will just be so much easier. Imagine a 9 hour flight feeling uncomfortable in your seat, feeling like you are 'in the way' because you are taking up some of the person next to you's seat, and having to embarrassingly ask for a seat belt extender in front of the other passengers.
That used to be my experience every time, but I know now that I will never experience any of that ever again.

To be able to fit comfortably on any roller coaster while I'm in Orlando is going to feel truly amazing and will be the biggest reward for all my hard work.

To say my weight loss has been life changing is an understatement.
I didn't realise how much my weight actually consumed every part of my life until I started to feel like I was a 'normal' size due to weight loss and looked back on how I used to be.

I could not be happier that I decided to start this weight loss journey when I did. It has taught me more than I ever thought possible.

What I would say in the form of advice to anyone who wants to lose weight is to please just give it a try. Take one step towards changing your life. It only has to be a small step, but if you make even one small change, this can develop into something amazing.

It's not going to be easy and I will never pretend it is, but all of that hard work is totally worth it when you start seeing and feeling results.

On top of feeling healthier, fitter and more confident about my body, there is also the obvious change which is my health. Thankfully, I never developed any major health problems due to my weight, but since losing weight I am so glad that I've reduced the risk of so many conditions so drastically.

If you overwhelm yourself with how far you have to go, this may cause you to give up and believe you are not capable.

Keep people around you who are going to keep your focussed and who will support you.

Having a food diary on Instagram has been the biggest help for me as it has kept me accountable of everything I eat, so personally this has helped me to help keep track of my syns throughout the day and to record my workouts.

I've said this many times, but if I can change my life so dramatically, I truly believe that anyone else can too. I didn't have a magic wand that suddenly made me lose weight. It took time, a change in mindset, perseverance and hard work.

It's never, ever, too late to change your life.

You are capable and you are worthy.

- Melissa. x

Friday, 1 June 2018

My favourite syn free/low syn meals

Hi everyone... another big gap since my last blog but nevertheless, I thought I'd do something a bit different today.

I've been following Slimming World for around 18 months now, so I thought I'd write a post with a few recipes for my favourite meals that I've discovered along the way.

Just a heads up, I use a lot of the same ingredients for most of the meals I make, which is a good thing really as it just makes it easier in case you change your mind and want to make something different than you planned (and it means you can keep your cupboards stocked up with your staple ingredients!).

Bare in mind that I don't eat meat, but of course, there will be lots of alternative options available if you are a meat-eater!


Three ingredients, low-syn and super tasty! I was given the recipe for this by a fellow SW member on a Whatsapp group (side note: these are so good for support during your journey!). I saw that the recipe was three ingredients and thought 'no way will mine turn out right!' but when I bought the ingredients and tried it, I was surprised at just how easy it was (and how good it tasted).

3 medium sized eggs (syn-free)
A packet of Batchelors Mild Curry super rice (syn-free)
A tin of chickpeas/lentils (I use a tin of the Asda Chickpea and Lentil Dahl which is 1 syn for the whole tin but really flavoursome compared to plain chickpeas/lentils).

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Cook the rice as per the instructions on the packet.
3. When the rice is fully cooked, mix in a bowl with the eggs and chickpea and lentil dahl (you can add extra spices if you want it a bit hotter!).
4. Spray frylight in a loaf tin and pour the mixture into the tin.
5. Cook for around 30 minutes (keep checking the loaf every 10 minutes or so just to make sure!).

This is perfect for lunches with salad or a smaller amount could be eaten as a side dish!
1 syn for the whole loaf. Divide up whichever way you like.


Quorn mince
A tin of chopped tomatoes
A tin of red kidney beans
A small jar of passata
2 vegetable stock cubes
Soy sauce
Chilli powder
Cayenne pepper
Garlic powder
Celery, peppers, red onion (and any other vegetables you want to add)
Asda Rainbow Rice/White Rice steam bags (amount will vary depending on how many portions you want to make, but I like to batch cook at least 3 portions at a time).

Please note, where I have not specified amounts in the ingredients, this is due to the fact that these foods are syn-free or speed foods on Slimming World, so do not need to be weighed/measured. I would advise just to use your common sense and work out how much of everything you'll need as you go along.

1. Chop all your vegetables and get out as many steam bags of rice you will need from the freezer.
2. Spray a wok with Frylight and cook the Quorn mince for a few minutes on a medium heat before draining the water from the tin of red kidney beans and adding them to the mince.
3. Add the chopped vegetables, chopped tomatoes and passata.
4. While you are cooking the chilli, prepare your rice (the ones I use you can just pop in the microwave and only take 3 1/2 minutes per steam bag!).
5. Once the vegetables, kidney beans and Quorn mince are all cooked through, add your spices, vegetable stock cubes and a dash of soy sauce (and any other seasonings you want really... I keep tasting the sauce as it cooks until I get it to the right spice level for me).
6. Once the rice has cooled, serve this with an equal amount of chilli for each portion and that's it!

All ingredients are speed/free foods on the SW plan and if you are calorie counting, this meal is jam-packed with low calorie ingredients, especially if you're using Rainbow Rice instead of White Rice.
If you find you have extra chilli left over, you can store this in a container and have it over chips or with a jacket potato and a salad.


Dry spaghetti
Quorn mince
2 vegetable stock cubes
Chilli powder
Garlic powder
Soy sauce
A large jar of passata
A tin of chopped tomatoes
Courgettes, peppers, mushrooms, red onion (and any other vegetables you want to add)

Please note, where I have not specified amounts in the ingredients, this is due to the fact that these foods are syn-free or speed foods on Slimming World, so do not need to be weighed/measured. I would advise just to use your common sense and work out how much of everything you'll need as you go along.

1. Cook the spaghetti in a pan as per the instructions on the packet.
2. While the spaghetti is cooking, chop all your vegetables.
3. Spray Frylight in a wok and cook the Quorn mince on a medium heat for a few minutes.
4. Add your vegetables, the tin of chopped tomatoes and passata.
5. Keep stirring until all the vegetables and Quorn mince are cooked through and add your spices, soy sauce and stock cubes! (you can use chicken or beef stock if you prefer).
6. Once the spaghetti is soft, drain the water from the pan and start distributing it into Tupperware containers/plates.
Add your bolognese on top of each spaghetti base and serve... I always have cheese on top of mine which just gives it extra flavour.

This is one of my favourite on-plan 'comfort meals'. It's completely syn-free and absolutely delicious. 
If you find you have extra bolognese left over, you can store this in a container and have it with a jacket potato and a salad.


Dry arborio risotto rice
Mushrooms (preferably a few different types)
Garden peas
Garlic and herb Quark cooking cheese
Vegetable/chicken stock cubes
Chilli powder
Garlic powder
Lazy garlic

1. Chop your vegetables (you can add more if you like, pretty much anything goes!).
2. Spray a large frying pan with Frylight and cook the vegetables on a medium to high heat for a couple of minutes.
3. Add boiling water and the risotto rice (make sure you have enough water to cover the rice so it might mean boiling the kettle 2-3 times).
4. Change the heat to low and keep stirring the rice, water and vegetables. If the water dries up and the rice starts sticking to the pan, keep adding more water and tasting the rice until eventually the rice is soft.
5. You can add your spices/stock at any time but I like to add mine once I know the rice and vegetables are all soft.
6. Add 2-3 tablespoons of garlic and herb flavour Quark to make it really creamy!

Mushroom risotto is another of my favourite on plan 'comfort meals', and it's all syn-free! You can use any flavour Quark really for this or even some Laughing Cow light cheese triangles mixed in to get that lovely creamy consistency and taste.
Serve on its own or with a side of vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.


I know I probably don't need to tell you how to cook a stir fry, but this is just so easy and tasty and really is one of my 'go-to' quick meals so I had to include it in the list.

2 eggs
A pack of fresh Stir Fry vegetables
Soy sauce
A vegetable stock cube
Garlic powder
Chilli powder
An Asda White Rice steam bag (if I'm making 2 portions I'll use 2 steam bags and save some for lunch for work the next day)

1. Drain the tofu and chop into squares.
2. Fry a wok with Frylight and add the tofu and vegetables. Cook on a medium to high heat and keep stirring.
3. While your vegetables and tofu are cooking, cook the rice in the microwave (they should take 3 1/2 minutes each).
4. Once the rice is cooled, add it to the wok along with the soy sauce, spices, vegetable stock cube and the 2 eggs.
5. Keep stirring everything together until the egg has scrambled and until everything is fully cooked.

This meal is all syn-free. I love using pre-prepared stir fry vegetables because it means I can whip up a stir fry in around 10 minutes!
I usually use rice but you could use noodles instead as lots of brands are syn-free/low syn.
Instead of tofu you could also use Quorn pieces which are a good substitute for chicken.

So there we have it... just a few of my favourite meals that I find myself cooking on a regular basis. I love trying new foods but I always come back to these meals because they're all really easy and delicious.

What are your favourite meals?

Are there any other quick and simple veggie meals that I need to try?

- Melissa. x

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Update and my April goals

Hello everyone.

I can't believe it's been so long since my last blog post! How fast has that month and a half gone?!

So first of all, a little catch up for you of how my weight loss journey has been going over the last month or so...

As you can see, it's been a little up and down for me. March was tough for me because I had my siblings' birthdays, my birthday, Mother's Day, and the run up to Easter to contend with!

So, because of that, my weight bounced around between 14 stone 1/2lb to 14 stone 7lbs.

At latest weigh in, yesterday morning, I lost 3.5lbs after a week of resisting Easter eggs and takeaways! It was such a hard week, but gaining 5lbs the week before really kept me fighting for a good loss!

April goals

Losing 3.5lbs in a week got me thinking about my next award which is now 7.5lbs away!

I know I'm a week late to do my 'April goals', but seeing as we have the majority of the month left I thought I'd do them anyway!

Get my 9 stone award!

This is the big one for me really! I would have liked this a while ago, but I know now that this journey is not a race and I'm trying to embrace the rough with the smooth and work as hard as I can to get each award at a time.

I feel like I'm really back on track after getting a good loss this week and as I'm only 7.5lbs away from getting my 9 stone award, I thought this would definitely be possible by the end of April as I have 3 weigh-in's left!

I will be working as hard as I can to achieve that this month. 

That 'overall 10 stone loss' achievement has seemed within my grasp for so long, but I know I can get there eventually (even if it's not by the end of the month!).

Although it's tough to feel like things are taking longer than you'd expect, I have found that you have to keep going and let things happen naturally.

Worrying/stressing about things are so counter-productive and such a waste of time, but we are all guilty of doing a lot of it!

I'm a big believer that 'everything happens for a reason', and despite everything, I've come so much further than I ever expected already!

Exercise at least 3 times a week

Within the past two weeks I haven't exercised a lot (I usually go to the gym/swimming/classes 3 times a week). The most I have done is a bit of walking during my lunch hour at work, which I suppose is better than nothing!

Yesterday I felt so motivated/inspired after losing 3.5lbs that I decided to go to the gym to get a workout in.

I don't usually exercise at the weekends but I think this is something I'll keep up as it really gave me a boost and started off my week in a positive way!

So from now on, definitely for the rest of April, I'll be making more of an effort to commit to at least 3 workouts a week, whether it's a class, the gym or swimming.

Although I know I can lose weight just by controlling what I eat, exercising makes me feel good and really productive.


I thought I'd leave you with a little comparison picture to remind myself, more than anything, of how far I've come already...

Highest weight - 23 stone 10lbs (332lbs)
Current weight - 14 stone 3.5lbs (199.5lbs)

Biggest dress size - UK 24/26
Current dress size - UK 12/14

Please remember to always believe in yourself.
Believe me when I say that you are capable of so much more than you think.

- Melissa. x

Follow me on Instagram/Twitter: @justaslimmer

Friday, 23 February 2018

What inspires and motivates me

Hi guys!
I thought for this post I'd speak a little bit about what keeps me motivated. 

I often get people saying to me that my will power/determination is amazing. What people don't realise though, is that nobody handed me motivation and will power at the beginning of my journey (or ever). It just takes practice and hard work to sustain and keep going despite all the low moments you may face.

I will be the first to admit that I've fell off the healthy eating wagon more times than I can count on both hands, but what I have learnt is that this is okay. I have changed my life for life and I would never go back to my old eating habits full time. A blow-out every now and then does not mean the end of the world, in fact sometimes it can give you an opportunity to come back fighting harder than ever.

Here are some strategies that have helped me in my weight loss journey so far...

Plan and prepare

I cannot stress this one enough. Every week, I write out a meal plan, buy the items that I need to make each meal/snack and batch cook meals for the week (usually lunches for work). In the beginning I seriously had limited cooking experience. My dinner's usually consisted of a frozen pizza or a takeaway. I very rarely made anything from scratch.

Now everything I make is from scratch; spaghetti bolognese, mushroom risotto, veggie chilli, roast dinners etc. All personal favourites that are usually syn-free/1-2 syns per portion. Proper filling, comfort foods!

It's such a great feeling knowing you have lots of healthy 'ready meals' in the freezer which just need defrosting and reheating in the microwave!

Usually when I've had a blow-out day/weekend (which I'll do maybe every 3-4 weeks), the very next day I'll plan and prepare my meals. Having a freezer full of delicious meals that I've batched cooked for the week makes me feel back 'in the zone' and prepared for the week ahead.

Don't overwhelm yourself

When I first started losing weight, although I thought about the 'bigger picture', about losing 10 stone (140lbs)+, I tried to focus more on the awards in my Slimming World group, one at a time. 

This is hard when you have so much to lose, of course, but when I got that first award (1/2 stone/7lbs) after two weeks of following the plan (I lost 10lbs in my first two weeks), I felt such pride that I'd made such a difference and it didn't mean my life had ended. I was enjoying food and drink like never before and seeing results! The next award didn't seem that far away... just a few extra lbs and I'd be there!

It's okay to say 'no'

Temptation really is all around us. I didn't notice just how much until I told myself I couldn't have those things when I first started losing weight. Sure, it's hard to resist a cake in the office or a dessert in a restaurant during a family meal, but those are the times when you have to remain in control and remember why you are doing this.

There have been a few occasions where I have asked to change the restaurant because there was nothing 'on plan' that I could order in the original one. Sometimes you feel like you are being selfish for choosing somewhere where the rest of the group may not even want to go (thankfully I have very understanding and supportive friends and family who are quite flexible!). There have also been times when I've felt like I've been missing out on the indulgent foods as I see my family digging into pizzas, fries etc while I eat a salmon fillet and vegetables.

The important thing to remember, is that this journey is yours. Not everybody will understand and might sometimes think you need to relax more and order what you want, but we should never apologise for discipline or for making positive changes in our lives. Keep people around you who will support this.

Be your own motivation

So you've probably seen this quote on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook on those motivational pages. The old, cynical me would have found this really corny, and probably rolled my eyes.

It can feel narcissistic at first to praise yourself so much, but why shouldn't we? This is something I am still working on, and have been throughout my journey, as I still struggle with confidence issues at times (like everyone else I'd imagine!), but it just makes so much sense to see ourselves as the reason and the motivation to change.

After only a week of making changes to my diet, drinking water and exercising, I remember feeling totally different to how I'd felt before. My attitude was so much more positive and I couldn't believe that what I was eating and drinking was making such a difference to my mood.

When I began to see results on the scales, losing 10lbs in my first two weeks, I began to develop the belief that I could do this. Even with that belief, I never imagined I'd be where I am now, but it still makes me really happy how much those first two weeks really did change my life forever.

Now, around 16 months after starting Slimming World, I am 8 stone 3.5lbs (115.5lbs) down and I am learning every day to appreciate how far I've come and what I can achieve when I put my mind to it.

I think a lot of people (myself included) focus on other people rather than themselves and see others as competition, which is very counter-productive.

Praise yourself for planning your meals, for committing to a gym membership, for saying 'no' to that donut even though you really want it.

Celebrate everything which puts you a step further towards a happier and healthier life. Even if it feels like a relatively small step, it's still a step, still progress towards improving your life.


It's no exaggeration to say that I genuinely don't think I'd where I am right now if it wasn't for the truly amazing people in my life. I feel so lucky to have an amazing consultant, a brilliant group of fellow slimmers and the best friends and family in the world.

I have also found amazing support on Instagram. I have been recording my food diary since I started SW at the end of 2016, and have been overwhelmed with how much support there is on social media. It is such a lovely feeling to have somebody you've never even met rooting for you every week as you get weighed, and to do the same for them. I know I've said this before, but the SW Instagram community are absolutely brilliant and have been an integral part of my journey. They all inspire me so much with their own weight loss journeys!

Ultimately, of course, the hard work has to come from you, but I must admit that it's been an added bonus to have so much love from others along the way.

Always remember...

You are worthy of a happy and healthy life. Even if you don't feel like you can do it at the beginning, fake it until you do. Stay consistent and you will start seeing results which will hopefully build your confidence to believe in yourself.

Never, ever give up, even when you feel like it's the only option. Believe me, it isn't. There is a better life waiting for you. It's up to you.

It's never going to be easy, but it's totally worth it!

- Melissa. x

Follow me on Instagram/Twitter: @justaslimmer

Sunday, 28 January 2018

What believing in yourself can do!

Hi everyone!
It's been a few weeks since I wrote a blog post.
In that time I've been working hard to stay on plan despite some of the yummy Christmas treats still lingering around! (and thankfully, I've been managing for the most part).

So now... I am absolutely in a much better place mentally than I was a few weeks ago. At the start of January I had a few days where I was on plan the whole day but would still find myself picking on chocolates, sweets, crisps throughout the day.

These habits were still there from the few days I'd allowed myself to be off plan over Christmas. Although sometimes I can allow myself a treat and then get straight back on plan the next day with ease, I found it hard to adjust after New Year (I'm sure I'm not the only one!), and only really got back on plan properly around 7th January.

After a few weeks of weight losses and working on my will power steadily, I finally feel 'back to normal' and back to 'weight loss mode'!

8 stone award

Since before Christmas... probably since around November, I've been working towards my 8 stone award. I aimed to get it before Christmas for my 'Christmas wish' and despite coming close to it, I didn't achieve it.

After Christmas and New Year were over and having had a brilliant week of food optimising, I weighed in on Saturday 20th January.

Walking to group, I really felt like I'd lost about 5lbs, but when I got on the scales I'd lost 1lb.

I needed 2.5lbs for the award and I felt so cheated. For that moment even though I knew how far I'd come already, I felt like I'd totally failed.

All I wanted to do that day was go home and eat pizza in bed to drown my sorrows!, but I knew in my head that if I did that, it wouldn't help me at all and would make me feel worse, so instead I came home and planned my meals for another week!

I've been using the 'Get Set for Success' booklet which I picked up in class which had really helped me to think about what I wanted to achieve and what I could achieve in four weeks time.

So, after planning another week's meals, trying to relax about the award and just take each day as it comes, I lost 3lb and got my award!

Maybe there is something to be said for just trying to relax, do your best and not pressure your body so much? Who knows?!

But anyway... I picked up my 8 stone award yesterday and was absolutely delighted at the scales when I seen '14 stone 8.5lbs'. I felt like I could have cried!

As well as losing the 1.5lb I needed for the award, I lost double that, which, like my consultant said, means I'm now 1.5lb further towards my next award! 

The 10 stone loss dream

Before I joined Slimming World in October 2016, I had lost a stone that Summer as I'd been making some small changes to my diet. There was no structure to my meals however, so when I joined SW this gave me a proper focus and truly educated me on cooking healthy and delicious meals and actually enjoying losing weight!

When I first joined, I said to my sister 'I'd love to lose about 10 stone'. I even laughed at the thought of it. As if I could do that?! Losing 140lbs did not seem like an easy thing to do, or even a possibility for someone like me at that stage.

When I first started SW, my expectations were that I'd lose around a stone, and then give up because I couldn't commit to it.

Well, can you imagine how proud I feel now to say that I am only 12.5lbs away from losing an overall 10 stone? I've been tracking my progress since the beginning on my Fitbit app and with a lovely little blackboard in my kitchen!

Once I pick up that 9 stone award in group, I will have lost 10 stone overall, 140 whole pounds!! It's absolutely bizarre to type that but it doesn't even feel that far away for me now.

Target weight will be a few stone away, but I'm not worrying about that because now I know I can get there. I've changed so much mentally and physically, sometimes it still baffles me.

That moment when I reach my target weight of 12 stone (or a little bit less if I decide to lower my target) is going to feel like I've climbed a mountain. I am already expecting to cry a lot which I've warned my consultant about!

I really hope that that girl who weighed 23 stone 10lbs at the beginning will be so proud and amazed at what she's achieved all with some self belief, hard work, will power and support from the loveliest people in her life!

I cannot stress this enough, but never, ever, give up on yourself. You are the only one who can change your life, you are worthy of that and if I can achieve what I already have done, then you can do. I absolutely promise you that from the bottom of my heart.

I'm so glad that I didn't give up after all of those times when I've felt like, because I will never be able to put into words how much my life has changed and improved all because of Slimming World.

- Melissa. x

Follow me on Instagram/Twitter: @justaslimmer

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Reflecting on 2017 & 2018 goals

Hello everyone!
For my first blog post of 2018 I thought I'd reflect on 2017, what it taught me and what I have planned for 2018.

I started Slimming World on 1st October 2016 and had already lost just under 2 1/2 stone from then until the end of that year. Therefore, I felt like I was definitely on the right path as I entered 2017.

At the beginning of 2017, I remember being so motivated and excited for the year. It was my first full year following Slimming World, a fresh start to smash a whole year and it felt like I could achieve anything I wanted.

In January 2017 I set myself some goals that I wanted to achieve that year. Although they seemed optimistic, I felt positive that I could give them a go so I really tried my best. I think it's a good thing to have set goals because sometimes you need something to aim for instead of just 'plodding along'.


Did I achieve my 2017 goals?

1. Stop being so hard on myself

Well, mostly. I'm not the only one who does this I know, but the whole time since starting my journey I've definitely improved my relationship with my body, weight and confidence. I truly believe this has helped me to deal with weight gains a lot better.

When you are losing weight, it's hard to see past the scales but most of the time when I have a gain, it spurs me on to have a great week and then I lose a lot the week after. In some ways, it can be a good thing to help kick-start your motivation again.

I've also give up with the 'guilty feeling' after eating sugary or fatty foods as well. I now know that one day off plan won't spoil your whole week and the most important thing is to carry on. Plus, sometimes I just think we have to enjoy life and relax a bit.

2. Look after my skin

Okay, I admit that I am guilty of being lazy with keeping up with moisturising, exfoliating etc. So far my skin is not too bad. I have currently lost almost 9 stone overall and I have bits of loose skin emerging but it's nothing major. I hope to make 'dry brushing' a regular thing this year (I tried it last year after a friend recommended it but didn't keep it up regularly) to hopefully help minimise the loose skin overall.

3. Drink more water

While I'm not perfect with this, at least I did make some improvements in 2017 with regards to water consumption. Usually I find it easier to drink 2 litres of water while I'm in work. The routine of the working day keeps me in the zone so I've definitely got better with this. I think this year I will work on upping my water intake at home too in an attempt to make regular intake a daily thing.

4. Lose more weight

Definitely one I achieved. I began 2017 weighing 20 stone 1lb and ended the year weighing 14 stone 13lbs, so I'm happy that I've made a lot of progress across the year. With regards to the holiday to Portugal that I mentioned on my original '2017 goals' post, I actually didn't even go on that holiday, however, last year I went to Spain for a week with my mother and then to Disneyland Paris for 4 nights with the girls.

Both holidays were amazing and the difference in how I felt about myself was crazy (especially when flying - simple things like being able to cross one leg over the other and actually feeling comfortable in your seat are honestly the best feeling of hard work paying off ever!).

5. Get to target weight by the end of 2017

When I set myself this goal I truly believed I could do it.
Update: I didn't do it, but now I'm so much closer than I thought I'd ever be! Not achieving this goal doesn't even matter to me now. I've already achieved way more than I thought I would, most of which was achieved last year, so I don't regret a thing about 2017.



If I'm honest, there's only really one thing I want in 2018. Of course I could make a list of a million things to achieve but I have learned from last year that while lots of goals are a good thing and can motivate you, I know for me there were times where I was hard on myself during tough weeks, despite having made a lot of progress already.

Sometimes we need to sit back and think 'wow, look what I've done!'. So in light of this, my goal for 2018 is to try my best to reach target weight by the end of 2018. I want to take a more 'relaxed' approach to getting to target, which is around 3-4 stone away. I could say I want to achieve this in less than a year, but I truly believe that I will get to target, whether this takes me 6 months, a year or 2 years, so that's really all that matters.

I will aim to be at target weight by the end of the year though, as this feels very achievable. If I don't achieve this by then, well that's not the end of the world. 

The time it takes is irrelevant, that's another thing I've learned.
It's unrealistic to think I can change my whole lifestyle, mind and body in a short space of time. In reality, I've learned that taking care of yourself and fighting against cravings, staying on plan etc. is a daily task, 24 hours a day. You have to work at it every single day which is why it's so hard (but so worth it!)

I know 2018 will be an amazing year for me, just as 2017 was, and I can't wait to reach target weight, whenever that is.

I will still be blogging, aiming to write a post every few weeks or so, so stay tuned for the next update!

For now though, Happy New Year to you all!
Just remember, you can make such a difference in a year and now is the perfect time to make the first step towards changing your life.

Follow me on Instagram/Twitter: @justaslimmer

- Melissa. x