Saturday, 7 February 2015


Welcome back to my blog. Today's title, Kocham Jedzenie! is in Polish, for reasons I will come to later.
I love food. Always have, always will. It's one of the things I love.
All through the time last year I was trying to lose weight, my love of food never left me. That was one of the reasons that I never considered having bariatric surgery to help me to lose weight. I could never imagine just what not being able to try new foods and having a good meal now and again would be like. And then, of course, there are sweets and puddings. Don't get me started on them. There are times I could fancy a pudding for starter, a pudding for my main, and a pudding for dessert! :)
I love going to different places to eat and I love cooking food at home. I will try most things, and have done - sometimes in the strangest of places!
At the moment I have 78 cookery books of various types and am always on the lookout for ones that are a bit unusual.
The strange thing is that as I was losing weight I could not bring myself to look at any of them. Nor could I watch cookery programs on the television, which I also love to do.
Food had to stay out of my mind, even though that's all I thought about if that makes sense (not really Jackie, I hear you say!)
What I mean is that even though I was taking part in Change 4 Life and thinking about what foods contained, cutting back on fats and sugar etc. and learning how to change my diet to lose weight,I couldn't think about food as a pleasure. I found I was distancing myself from the pleasure of food. To read a cookery book or to watch a food program on TV was too much to bear. I needed to cut everything back to basics and look at it as a need and not a pleasure.
At times it was hard, at times it was boring, although I still did have chocolate and my weekly treat after after my weekly weigh-in. My focus was on the greater task that needed to be achieved but now I find that food is once again beginning to be a pleasure.
Hopefully I have tamed the beast and I can now allow myself to enjoy my pleasures again in a controlled environment.
Five days a week I still try to eat healthily and watch the fats and sugars, but now I enjoy what I like at the weekend. It seems to be working. I have maintained my weight since the end of October so so far so good.
My book shelves have acquired three more cookery books and I am trying to more beans and vegetables and less meat. "The Thugs Kitchen" is an interesting read and has some great recipes - if you don't mind the swearing (Steve calls it a cookbook with Tourettes:)).
Today (Saturday) we tried out a new Polish (hence the title) food shop that has opened up in Barnsley called Zhabka and I was like a kid in sweet shop. So many new things to try! And we will!
What I have learned so far is, yes you do have to take this seriously for a while if you want to achieve your goal, but it's only for a short time and learning to adjust to a new situation can be fun.
If you too are trying to lose weight at the moment I wish you every success and you never know. Between us we may just find a way to bake our cake AND eat it!
I'll be back soon, and as for that title, you must have guessed by now - I LOVE FOOD!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015


Well, here I am again :)
It has been going round and round in my head these last few days that I couldn't really write my blog anymore. It felt hypocritical for me to go on about making the best of life and being positive and happy when I have found it so hard recently.
But having thought about it, it is better to rant on here than to rant as I walk about the streets and have people stare at me :)
Life is not always perfect, things go wrong - FACT - but it's how we deal with them that makes the difference.
I, like many of you, have never been the most confident person. I have always been big and as a child I was bigger than most. I was bullied and didn't really have much support, but I remember looking at people like Demis Roussos and Mama Cass Elliot and thinking that if they could be big and do somethingwith their lives then perhaps so could I.
I even used to look at ballet dancers when they wore longer dresses and thinking perhaps I COULD do that; but no that would be going to far. Although I do remember seeing the hippos dancing in Walt Disney's Fantasia and thinking, 'well you never know' :)
Now before Steve says I am putting myself down, I am not. I am saying it as it was.
I had a domineering and controlling mother, and then moved on to a domineering and controlling first husband, so as time went by, I was in a position where i did not think about MY needs.
I never thought of myself as beautiful and thinking about it now, no-one ever told me I was. That is until I met Steve and he has told me every day since we met eleven years ago, so I suppose that makes up for all those years.
I didn't think of myself as worthy.
It's amazing the effect people can have on other peoples lives, whether it be family, friends, work colleagues or just strangers in the street. That one negative or positive comment or gesture can change everything. But as I look back at my life I can see the positives from my situations.
I would never treat anyone the way I was treated so I can emphasize.
I wanted to be a better mother to my children than my mother ever was to me, and I hope I have done a good job. I know I have two children who have achieved so much in their lives so far and I am extremely proud of them.
I am even grateful to my first husband for all I learnt about other cultures and for the traveling we did, even though at the time it wasn't always easy.
I have learnt how change a negative into a positive, to survive for peace of mind and to carry on getting up each day and appreciating whatever the day brings, good or bad.
So I will continue writing because I am not a hypocrite as I thought I was. I am a survivor and have a lot to be grateful for.
Even though I have lost seven and a half stone now and have maintained my weight for three months, life will still throw it's problems at me as it does with all of us all, but it's what we learn from them and how we respect ourselves enough to make a change that matters.
January is over and Spring is just around the corner. My next blog will be here very soon.

Jackie x

Tuesday, 20 January 2015


Well, the year has started and we are already 3/4 of the way through January. It has been so, so cold these last couple of weeks and all we want to do is to keep warm and motivation seems to be hiding under the blankets :)
But we need to get our heads around what we need to do, to at least consider what our challenges are for the year ahead.
Last year I lost seven and a half stone, but trying now to think about how I did it seems so hard.
People say to me that it must have been so hard, and there were times it was, but the mind has a great way of forgetting such things.
I know my focus was on getting fitter so I could keep up with my grandson, and now with a second grandchild well on the way, I must take a good look at myself and decide just what I need to do now.
I am happy with the weight I am at the moment, but I do not want to slip back into bad habits and start putting weight back on again.
For motivation I have been watching and reading a lot these last three weeks about weight issues, losing weight, and about people who, for whatever reason, prefer to be big.
The title of this weeks blog entry is "E.L.M.M." which stands for "Eat Less, Move More". Now when I watched the recent documentary in which Katie Hopkins intentionally put on weight to prove that it was easy to lose it again, she suggested that all you had to do was eat less food and move around more.
It all seems so simple, but if it was, then we could all do it, couldn't we?
But, of course, it's not. It's like all the other things we would love to do, but stress, emotions, personal problems, life, time all get in the way. Nothing is ever that simple and every one of us is different and every one of us has to deal with things in our own way.
I watched a documentary about fat fetishes which I did find disturbing. Not for the reasons you might think, but I could not get my head around the idea that a lot of these really large ladies were actually happy the way they were. It seems to me that they were either making the best of a bad situation, or were being controlled by someone else who was benefiting from the things they were doing for money.
If they were really happy in the situation they have found themselves in, then that is fine. I am all for body confidence and self-acceptance, but it does leave you thinking about what you want for yourself.
For myself, I think what has helped me up to now and hopefully into this next year is really knowing what it is that I want and learning about myself and the best way to achieve it.
As the saying goes, "The only person that is responsible for what you can achieve is you."
If you want to accomplish something, whatever it is, give yourself time to think about how you can do it and learn new ways to help to reach your goal. You will thank yourself a few months down the line if you manage to do it and you will feel so good about it.
And if you don't, well at least you tried, but be satisfied you really did try.
For me, my plan is to look into monitoring my weight loss and possibly losing another stone before the Summer.
It so cold at the moment and we are all wrapped up in so many clothes, but that Summer, and body exposure, is just around the corner, so action plan here I come!

Friday, 9 January 2015


It's been a while since I last blogged, for a number of reasons. Life gets in the way as it often does, and sometimes we are too busy to know how we really feel.
I did go through a short time when the 'diet' nearly went out the window, when someone I considered had had a lot to do with my weight loss let me down badly and didn't treat me very well, but fortunately I am beginning to understand about my self worth and I decided that I had done what I had done and I wouldn't let anybody destroy that.
It is amazing how a very small thing can emotionally change the way you live your life and potentially ruin your achievements.
Back last year I did reach that target of one hundred pounds weight loss that I had set myself, which was a great feeling.
I was worried about Christmas and all of the food around, but I did manage to allow myself a few treats and had a lovely time throughout December with family and friends.
Now, I must be honest here. I did put on half a stone but that's 'normal' over Christmas isn't it?
What is amazing, to me anyway, is learning just what normal is.
I have spent the last year losing seven and a half stone, but when it comes down to weight management I still have no idea just what normal is.
I have always been a 'yo-yo' dieter. On the latest fad diet, then put the weight back on. On to the next fad diet, then put the weight back on again. Etc., etc. A lot of us have been there, but this time it feels so different. I feel more aware of myself, my feelings, my emotions, my self worth.
Okay, so I put on that half a stone, but I still have lost seven. It's not the end of the world. I won't lose the support of my family and friends and I will continue in the New Year to try to become fitter and healthier not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. It's all about being happy with what you have been given and making the most of it.
So once again a Happy New Year to you all and let's all try together to make the best of it!

Oh, by the way, that half a stone? It's gone now, along with an extra half a pound!

Sunday, 7 September 2014


As I was at the beginning of this journey...
Well, it's the first week of September and I can't believe how quickly the last six weeks have gone. I work in a school so I have been at home and I had so many plans, but most of them didn't work out the way I wanted.
Everything seems so routine and matter of fact, and I suppose in weight loss terms that can be seen as a good thing. It has become a normal way of life and I no longer have to think about it so much on a day to day basis as I did in the beginning. On the other hand it then becomes mundane and the spark that was there at the beginning is  becoming a little duller. When I first started this blog I said I would write it  until I had lost 100 pounds and I will, but getting back into the habit takes a little bit of effort.
I am still losing weight, I have lost 83 lbs now so I am nearly there. I suppose it's like a lot of things we do in life. We start with such enthusiasm, do well and then it's not so exciting, or it becomes boring.
Trying to keep up the euphoria is not easy, remembering why we started becomes a distant memory and excuses begin to start to stop us doing things. I think I need a good shake. I'm not quite light enough for Steve to pick me up yet. :)
On the plus side I have been away twice to see the family and had a great time.
It is lovely to have the energy to play with my beautiful grandson and be able to do things I could not do before.
It's the daft things too, like being able to paint my toenails, fitting into a toilet on a coach, wearing trousers, being able to put tights and socks on and being able to put a bath towel around me and have it wrap around me and tuck in. I can not tell you how excited I got when I could wrap a regular bath towel around me just like "normal" women do!
I have discovered/remembered just how I much I enjoy walking. To be able to get out there in the countryside and walk is great. So much so that I have decided to do a sponsored walk to celebrate the fact that I CAN now walk with ease and without fear. Before I lost weight it was so hard to move, I got tired very quickly and I was afraid to walk too far. If we went out for a walk I would not walk too far even I could, because I was scared I wouldn't be able to get back.
So on the 20th September I will be walking 5KM for the Alzheimer's Society. I looked after my Grandmother who had brought me up when she suffered from that disease and I feel it is a good cause to support. Quality of life to me is very important. We may only be here for a short time, so being able to enjoy life with all it's ups and downs is so very important.
I know it is only a small walk, but it is a start and hopefully the sun will shine and it will be a lovely day. As an extra motivation I have started to make plans to walk up Mount Snowden next year with my family, so I need the practice.
It has been so good to write my blog again and I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
I will let you know how things go, but for now love, strength and happiness in all that you do.
My Justgiving link for the walk is HERE for any of you that would like to donate, but by no means feel obliged to. Just be pleased for me that I can do it.



Saturday, 2 August 2014


This week has a positive one which is always good.
I think it's slightly too big now...
I have managed to get out and walk quite a bit, which always makes me feel so much better, especially if it's a pretty walk. The less it involves busy roads the better. Walking has always been my chosen form of exercise (along with dancing around the house a lot of the time).
While you are doing Change 4 Life, you are offered a free six month gym membership, and certain exercise classes, but they all involved travelling to get there, which wasn't for me. So walking and dancing it is then. :)
As you may already know I have been struggling with my weight since I was a child and have tried all of the slimming clubs and all of the fad diets, but nothing really worked in the long run.
During my recent weight loss I must admit that as well as physical exercise I seem to have also been exercising my mind. In the last seven months I have been doing a heck of a lot of thinking. Not always a good thing, but you do find out a lot about yourself that either you didn't know, or you had conveniently "forgotten" about and put in that Filing cabinet in your brain. :)
I was having a long conversation with my son recently and saying that if you have a good foundation in life, all the experiences you have are like bricks that build upon that foundation. It all makes for a balanced and complete life.
That would be in an ideal world, but for many of us it's not like that. 
We have a rocky start and have some bad experiences. We try to change things and fail and this knock us back big time. 
I know with myself I can go back as far as I can remember and see things that shaped the first half of my life, good and bad. Those foundations were not as strong as they could have been and I did not have a lot of confidence building experiences, but being aware of that can be a great start.
There are things you can change and things that will always be the same, but knowing that helps you to change what you can and accept what you can't.
I am really hoping that all this thinking I have been doing has not only worn out my brain :) but also helped me to discover why it is that in the past I have failed with my weight control.
It's not always easy to face what has happened to us in life, but in the end it is those things that make us what we are.
It's that old saying - we only have one life, there are no rehearsals. So change the things we can. It's got to be worth a try, if we really want to.
If those bricks bother us, we shouldn't let them. Throw them away and put new ones there in their place.
And my positive week ended well as I had lost another three pounds. That's 78 altogether. I'm getting there...

Sunday, 27 July 2014


It's been just over four weeks since I last updated my blog and what a strange four weeks it has been. With it's ups and downs it has been an emotional roller coaster and at one time I did even question what was the point of losing all this weight. That seems such a silly thing as I write it down, but at the time when for whatever reason you feel low you start to question what you have achieved and only see all the negatives in life.
This has been the time in the past that I have given up. If all the problems in life are still there, then what what was the point of losing weight. But problems in life will still be there whatever you have achieved for yourself. The point is that if you feel better or more positive in yourself you find that it becomes easier to cope with whatever life throws at you. For me losing weight is not only a physical thing but a mental thing.
My emotions determine what I do sometimes in a life changing way, and I know I have to conquer some of my emotions to make myself a stronger and more positive person and sometimes not so self-destructive. A lot of us look for some magic cure to give us what it is we need, whether it is losing weight, getting fit, stop smoking, biting our nails... the list goes on.
I know that with losing weight, many of us are looking for that magic diet and will often think that someone has that answer that will make everything so easy and simple. Over the last thirty years over 200,000 books have been written about weight loss. You can't help thinking that if one had the whole answer, would we need the other 199,999!
We need to look at ourselves and with a bit guidance do what is right for us.
Why are we the way we are? And if we want to do something how can we try to change things?
With the food it's a case of portion control, balance in what we eat, cutting down on fats and sugars and not too much denial. If you want to eat it, then eat it and then adjust what you eat afterwards.
With the mind it's looking at your own self pride and worth. You have a value, and sometimes we need to remember this. Self value can be something that not only helps us, but also makes us a better person for our family and friends.
I have now lost a total of 75 pounds which is great, but that does not mean that there are not issues that I have to learn to deal with. However, with my new found confidence I know I can do this.
My life, like so many others, will always throw problems at me, small and large, but there is nothing that can't be sorted with a little help and support, and with self value and self confidence.
So, 75 pounds lost and another 37 to go. I had better get on with it. See you next time - and I'll try not to leave it so long this time.