I joined up with Slimming World back in late January of this year, because I wanted to lose weight and feel physically better. I have no delusions that I will ever become a size 8/10, but if I just get my BMI to a more decent level I would be quite happy. I have been steadily working my way towards my goal. And it is a rather modest goal – I am not looking to lose 50kg (though it would be nice) but more manageable expectations.

So I have been merrily doing Slimming World. I am not the most devoted to the plan, I cheat on it, but for the most part I have been sticking to it. Silly things like the “Healthy Extra A” & “Healthy Extra B” (milk & cereal), counting my syns, and making sure I try to stick to the approved food list. For those who remember Weight Watcher’s “Core Program” this is basically it – eat all you want from a particular approved food list. Simple in many ways, as there is no real measuring or weighing.

There are a few things I don’t like about Slimming World and it has nothing to do with the diet per se, but more about the attitude of the Group Leaders and the Group Members. In the first couple of weeks of any given diet a person will tend to lose a lot of weight quickly, but then it tapers off to about 1-2lbs a week. There are people in my group who are aiming for 3-4lbs a week (nearly 2kg a week) and they are doing what SW calls ” Speed Days”. I don’t like these aspects – mostly because people tend to forget that when they were getting chunky (and hence feeling the need for weight loss) they were not piling on 3-5lbs a week, it was usually 0.5lbs one week, 2lbs the next, maybe 0.25lb the next week .. it was gradual so expecting to shift weight quickly is counter-productive — especially since it puts the metabolism into shock.

Now to the part of where the NHS enters into this. When I saw my consultant this past March (consultant is a funny British term used for a specialist doctor/surgeon – like a cardiologist, urologist, obstetrician etc) with regards to my stoma and getting it to work he did a rather thorough cystoscopy under general anaesthetic to see if he could get a catheter in and also to scope out the interior or the bladder. A specialist in bladder reconstructive repair who has performed the Mittrofanoff Procedure multiple times had difficulty getting a catheter into me – and it is due to the pressure on my abdomen from the weight I carry .. so he’s deemed it necessary that I have Gastric By-pass surgery .. except the NHS doesn’t function as quickly as he likes … so I have to go through the whole procedure.

Due to my BMI I have been put onto Tier 3 of the NHS Weight Loss Programme. I am to see a Nutritional Therapist (Registered Dietitian) for 6 months, 6 months of psychological assessment and fitness assessments. Today was my first day with the Nutritional Therapist (Eve) – she doesn’t like Slimming World. After a long conversation this morning it was deemed that my diet is really heavy on the carbs and there are intense highs & lows of sugar levels in my system – which may explain my need to snack in the evening even after I had a meal, especially on something sugary. So what am I suppose to do?:

  • try & have some form of protein in each meal & snack. If I have some fruit for a snack, I should also have some nuts (she recommends almonds)
  • get off the diet drinks – stick to squash or water – the diet drinks are actually counterproductive for weight loss as they trick the brain into thinking that the body is having sugar, it produces insulin and when there isn’t any sugar for the insulin to act against the body craves a huge hit of sugar, which leads to over-eating
  • I am to have one piece of fruit each day, 2 max, the rest of my “5 a day” should be veggies
  • my serving must fit onto a plate with a diameter of no more than 9 inches
  • if I crave an evening snack I am to try having a boiled egg – the egg has a good mix of protein and fats and sugars
  • the goal is food combining
  • I am to continue taking my probiotics
  • if I have potato with my meal, no more than 50g (half a potato), same goes for rice & pasta
  • Mix up my protein intake – it can’t always be chicken. Experiment with chicken, beef, pork, turkey, beans, legumes, duck (occassionally .. it is a fatty meat so should be eaten sparingly) and have at least one vegetarian entree per week
  • wean myself off of muesli
  • DO NOT DO SLIMMING WORLD SPEED DAYS or have a purely Speed Meal .. the meal must be balanced
  • I am to keep track of how my body reacts to everything that I eat – we need to find out what my triggers are, when do I suffer from “brain fog”, when do I feel hungry

So I think I should be able to do this. I have already bought some eggs and some nuts. Tomorrow morning, instead of muesli I shall make myself an omelette – with red pepper, mushrooms and either some bacon lardons or shredded chicken