How to lose weight without losing your mind

Wait I want to lose weight

It’s happened, I have finally managed to lose weight without losing my mind! I know you thought I would lose my mind first and it’s been a close thing, but mind over weight has delivered (round of applause – thank you, dear readers, I appreciate it).

Last July I decided to take myself in hand – not easy when you’re size 18 and have a tiny hand span. Not even a foot would have fitted yet alone my buttock. Mind you I couldn’t see my feet to put it in my (oh never mind, enough of that!).

Looking in the mirror, I saw a bloated pregnant woman staring back which made me very uncomfortable.To keep the record straight, I have not been with child since the year 2000. However, my stomach has never recovered from my three pregnancies. Nor my mind come to that.

Busting out

My clothes were about as stretched as they could be – and some the elastic had bust due to overextension. I refused to buy any more and at the encouragement of my neighbour went to see the doctor as I knew I couldn’t lose weight on my own. My head needed a good talking to as I wouldn’t listen to myself. Packets of peanut m&m’s took pride of place in my ‘got to have’ diet along with fruit and nut chocolate. Mmmm chocolate. Yes, I admit my addition.

How to lose weight without losing my mind
Summer 2016, taking the weight off my feet.
Mind over weight

Facing prediabetes and other health issues the doctor agreed to sign me up to a slimming group. Being a stubborn old biddy I didn’t want anything to do with counting calories, or weighing as it is too much of a faff and life is for living and all that stuff. Oh, and I am naff cook too. My motto being if it moves shoot it and if it is dead cook it and give it an exotic name to conceal what it is. So if you ask for a menu idea, you do so at your own risk!

The doctor decided it wasn’t my mind that needed to diet as it spews out all sorts of rubbish about anything and everything, and kept it somewhat fit. My self-image and cholesterol, however, was another matter.

To keep up the impetus of beginning a new healthier lifestyle, I went to my first group meeting within a week of getting the go-ahead from my doctor. And I haven’t looked back since. Proper cooking confused my husband and adult children, and they decided I must be going through a mid-life crisis or at the very least suffering from early onset madness.

Fighting the flab

Over the following months, fat began to take flight, and my family realised this new version of mum could stay without being admitted to St Anne’s. The fly swat now has a different job, that of swiping any hands that go near my hifi bars and curly wurlys. I have become a passionate bear, growling at anyone that mentions or eats chocolate in front of me. My back up plan if this does not work is to stand child or hubby out in the cold holding a banana till either one freezes – I don’t mind which does first.

Gaining the goal

Seven months later and now a size 12 I can without a shadow of a doubt say that Slimming World works. I have lost my three stone and hit my target weight without losing my mind.

How to lose weight without losing my mind
This was my going away outfit I wore at my wedding in 1992. Here I am on 27 Feb 2018 able to fit into it again.

Two months ago though I might have decided otherwise. Those weeks when I lost a ½ pound or gained a bit only to end up at the same weight frustrated me no end. I didn’t want to go to the group. I wrote everything down, yes even the tiniest syn, ate lettuce and cabbage. Cleared out my intestines and passed wind like no tomorrow. I gave up rice and pasta and stuck to baked potatoes. Why? Because I found out that rice held the water in the system and bloated my stomach, and pasta just annoyed me with its different shapes and sizes. I wanted to be a small Maccheroni, not a Conchiglie or Lumache. No I didn’t say lummock thank you very much – cor readers these days you just cant get the staff!

And then it happened today, to my great surprise, the words you’ve lost three stone. I had intended on saying farewell to my friends and fellow weight losers – yes I was that close. The crime really would have been not saying anything and just leaving, and I owed my consultant more than that. In fact, I owed all of the group members more than that with their encouragement and banter. Never underestimate the support of the group. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

So here I am intact, slimmer, trimmer and the best weight I have been since April 1993 before I became pregnant with my eldest.

How to lose weight without losing my mind
I am so proud of myself.
What can I boast about?

In hindsight doing Slimming World has been the best decision I have made. It has encouraged me to:

Fight with the rabbit for food (hang on we don’t have a rabbit!)

Learn what a saucepan is.

Spray fry the cat when she is clawing the sofa.

Use every dish in the cupboard and leave them for my husband to wash up!

On the minus side Slimming World has helped me:

Throw away my size 18 clothes.

Lose three stone.

Become a loser.

Make friends with other losers.

If I were a drinker, I would say raise your glasses to the new bunny of the pack. And then tell the Michelin Man to buzz off as I don’t need tyres any longer.

Slimming World has definitely help me lose weight without losing my mind. And the journey is only beginning. Now I have to keep on target and that is a whole new ball game.

My success is your success as we are in this together. Thank you all for your support.

Keep trying, keep laughing, and keep sane.


Frozen in time the frustration of the weigh-in

The weigh-in, an experience frozen in time. Feet glued to the scales, eyes averting the verdict, the waiting – have I or haven’t I… oh the agony!

Margaret Kazmierczak's slimming diary

Trimmed to slim

“What! You’re joking.” I stood on the scales clad with lightweight clothing – anything to keep the pounds off and give a correct reading. In anticipation having won slimmer of the week last time, my hopes were high.


I found Lettuce skulking in the back of the fridge; she refused to look at me as I retrieved her part frozen body. “About time,” she said. “I’ve been waiting two days!”

The prognosis appeared sad, wet leaves sagged on one side while the remaining stayed glued together. “I’m gonna have to let you go, old girl, you’re too far gone.”

“Oh no, you don’t.”

“Soggy lettuce isn’t on the menu I’m afraid.”

Wonky temperature

My fridge, a bone of contention, operates on a cold and frozen setting. Therefore, anything that finds its way to the back of it freezes so only half of the appliance works. With others in the house rummaging around inside things get disordered and misplaced. Such fate beckoned Lettuce.

Margaret's slimming diary

Disposing Lettuce

Opening the door to the rubbish bin, Lettuce clung onto me, her frozen leaves sticking to my hand. Shaking didn’t seem to work, so I peeled her off leaf by leaf. Watery tears dripped onto the floor.

“Watch where you are going, you’re all wet!” said a disgruntled radish head as Lettuce flew to her final destination.

“Why did Margaret do this,  she loves me so much – we are inseparable?”

“We all end up here dear.” Carrot shavings tried to comfort Lettuce but failed.

“But this is such a waste, how about using a hairdryer to dry me out?”

“Seems Margaret knows best Lettuce, I mean you are in a sorry state. What happened?”

Three interesting facts about Lettuce
Margaret's slimming diary
  • Did you know Lettuce is always eaten fresh? Because of its high water content (95%), it cannot be frozen or canned. 95% – No wonder I keep going to the loo!
  • The lettuce that the Greeks and Romans ate in ancient times had sleep-inducing properties. This property, however, has already been bred out of the current varieties of lettuce – That’s a shame I could do with some sleep!
  • When storing lettuce, keep away from fruits that emit ethylene, such as apples and bananas. Ethylene is a gas that hastens the ripening process of certain fresh fruit and will cause lettuce to decay much faster – It’s all bananas fault, who put that banana in the fridge?
So back to the story

“Last night a hand intruded upon my free time then when it had finished looking for the pepperoni it tossed me to the back of the fridge. Frantically I pleaded with milk to swap places, but she just laughed, waddled in front of me and plopped down in my favourite area. I mean the cheek! She came from a cow’s udder and I a beautiful field.

I felt trapped.

The frozen truth
Margaret's slimming diary

The frozen fingers emerged from the behind stealthfully creeping around me until I couldn’t breathe. All through the night I shivered, no one took any notice. First thing Margaret came and rescued me – what joy. Except she betrayed and threw me in here. Oh, the shame.”

“Never mind love.” Radish head comforted Lettuce. “Just wait till you see your next abode. I hear from the grapevine that Commander Post loves new recruits.”

The end beckons

“Oh, here she comes. How exciting.” Remarked Lettuce. Scooping up the biodegradable material, Margaret headed outside to the Compost bin. “Fair well my vegetable waste, produce some mighty good fertiliser for me.”

Lifting the lid, Margaret tipped the contents of the bin into the dark organic matter.

“Well hello Lettuce, welcome to my world” snickered Commander Post.

Margaret's slimming diary

The waiting is over

“What! You’re joking.” Turning to see if any feet stood on the scales behind me, I checked my pockets for anything heavy – Nothing.

Quietly the scale monitor penned +2lbs into my book. Where had that come from?

Did I hear a snicker from Lettuce paying me back for putting her in the Compost bin? Surely not.

+2 lbs a mystery – I had continued eating as I did the previous weeks and the weight fell off, but not today!

It’s a blip but 2lbs that is a lot. I can’t blame “going out”, “bingeing” or chocolate so it must be the flat bottom syndrome from sitting down and writing too much.

A silver lining

Margaret's slimming diary

Within a few minutes of feeling gutted an award for “Slimmer of the Month” surprised me – guess who received it – me!  Talk about gob-smacked, for once I was shocked into silence.

What has taken you by surprise?