For too long now, I’ve been wanting to lose weight. After a number of failed attempts this year, I started thinking about joining a group. A little bit of research led me to believe that Slimming World might be my best option and last Thursday, I finally bit the bullet and went to my first meeting.
For those who don’t know, Slimming World is based on a food optimising plan. All food falls under one of three categories: free food, healthy extras and syns. You’re encouraged to fill up on free food which includes obvious options like (most) fruit and vegetables but also pasta, rice, eggs and (a good selection of) meat. Healthy extras are measured and there are two types for a follower to have every day: calcium and fibre. So one healthy extra could be something like 250ml of semi-skimmed milk and the other healthy extra could be something like 2 medium slices of wholemeal bread. Then you have your syns which are basically all the things we indulge in until we end up joining Slimming World ;-). All food that doesn’t come under the “free food” category has a syn value. A bagel, for example, has 11 syns as does a regular size bag of M&Ms (11.5 for the peanut variety!) while a Big Mac comes in at a slightly whopping 25.5 syns. Followers are allowed 5 – 15 syns a day so you quickly learn to choose wisely!
On my first day, I was warmly welcomed and I got to have a sit-down with the consultant for an introduction. I was given a starter pack which includes a guide to food optimising, recipe ideas and tips and advice on how to stay on track. It also came with a few blank templates that work as a food diary for the first month. The idea is that I fill it in every day and give it back to my consultant each week so she can offer any feedback and suggestions.
At the meeting, everyone weighs in and then most people stay on for a discussion. Members discuss their progress and setbacks and how they’ve been getting on with the plan as a whole. At this stage, I’ve only been to one meeting but I found it quite positive and encouraging. Everyone there has the same goal and I’m hopeful that the plan will work for me. I paid €18 for my first meeting — €9 registration and €9 for the class — so I’m definitely going to try get my money’s worth and give it my best shot!
It’s been almost a full week since I joined Slimming World and I’m feeling pretty good about it. At first, the plan seemed a little daunting but once I had a good read of the book, I started to understand it. Keeping the food diary has definitely helped; it’s such an easy way to make yourself properly aware of what exactly you’re consuming. Tomorrow I will have my second meeting and my first weigh-in since starting the plan. I intend on reporting back on my progress so be sure to check in again soon!