I am very, very greedy. There, I’ve said it. I am a great big pig. Frequently I will sit at the dinner table, eat everything on my plate and then eat the leftovers on my boyfriend’s too. I can happily eat three full meals a day and snack in-between. My collection of recipe books is taking over my house, and I pore over food magazines as soon as I get them. I like food. I like cooking it, I like tasting it, I like eating it.
I’m not ashamed of it anymore. Does my being greedy hurt anyone? No. If I go back for seconds, or even thirds, the world isn’t going to end. No-one is going to cry if I eat half of that box of Krispy Kremes in one go. There are worse things in the world than being a pig. I’ve made my peace with it.
Being greedy does, however, tend to have the side effect of weight gain. Two and a half years ago I met a lovely man who shares my love of delicious food. I was always a “big girl”, to use that horrible euphemism favoured by nurses, teachers and overly sensitive family members, but in a year I’d put on two stone. I no longer just a big girl. I was fat.
Please don’t think I’m saying there is something wrong with being fat. Being fat is fine — all these wonderful people say it much better than I ever could. But there is something wrong with being unhappy. And I was really, really unhappy.
So I started dieting. I’d tried other diets before (It’s amazing what teenage girls will do to stop other teenage girls making them cry for eating mashed potato) and none of them had every worked. But Helen had lost a staggering amount on Slimming World, and my mother had lost several stone with them a few years ago. So along to Slimming World I went.
It’s been said before about the kindness of the consultants, the friendly atmosphere and the fantastic level of encouragement you get from every single member of the group in Slimming World. I don’t think I need to tell you about that. What I do want to tell you about is the food.
Oh, the food.
Cajun chicken with paprika wedges and homemade coleslaw. Perfect chicken and pea risotto. Chocolate raspberry muffins. Burger and chips.
Sticky-sweet gammon. Stuffed aubergines with steak and onion sauce. Bacon and mushroom quiche. Homemade Hunter’s Chicken.
The food on Slimming World is incredible. The meals listed above are just a few of my favourites, but there’s a seemingly endless supply of new recipes to try on their website, in their magazines or in their numerous cookbooks.
I’ve always loved baking, but through Slimming World I fell in love with cooking. If I thought I liked my food before it is nothing compared to now — absolutely everything I eat is delicious. And I don’t have to weigh out portions of those soft-and-fluffy on the inside but crisp-and-golden on the outside roast potatoes, or that spicy paprika chicken — I can have as much as I like, so my greedy nature stays happy! And if there is something “naughty” I want, like the raspberry cupcakes I make or an Eton mess, I can just have it and count it towards my Syns.
But the best thing is that I’m losing weight with all this yummy food. I’ve lost 2 stone 9 pounds since I joined in January (I had a few hiccups — my 21st birthday was celebrated with a weekend in Paris where I ate so much my stomach bloated and I had to pretend I was pregnant) without once feeling deprived, or like I was missing out.
For me, Slimming World isn’t about losing weight as quickly as possible — although that’s certainly what happens, with one man losing 13.5 pounds in one week in my group! Slimming World is about living. I want to lose weight and be slim, but that is nowhere near as important to me as being able to live my life. If I’m celebrating my friend’s birthday, I want to be able to have cake. I don’t want to spend my life eating salads and bland meals so that I look good in a bikini. I want to enjoy myself. I want every meal to be as delicious as it can possibly be. And thanks to Slimming World and my growing culinary prowess, it can be.
If you have any questions, you can either find me on Twitter or on my cooking blog She Cooks, She Eats.