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Let's hear it for the boy...

Laydeez.. and gents.. yes gents.. you're out there.. all your emails and tweets asking about ProPoints and recipes .. I know you're there!!! Well just for the boys and maybe the boyfriends and husbands and hell all the rest of us that need a little inspiring.. my boy pal who's also on the weight loss journey... Mr. Q.. will be posting monthly.. telling his story.. giving tips... and here to ask questions for those thinking this was just for the girls.. he's lost and gained and is on the road to success now... so he knows the highs and lows of weight watchers... x

Am I my own worst enemy?
You always hear of people getting these ‘a-ha’ moments, moments of complete clarity where everything seems to click in place which change their lives for the better. Looking back over the past ten years, my ‘a-ha’ moments only seen to have come in relation to 
my weight!

I think my brain is extremely clever at lying to itself. Let’s examine the evidence I appear to have overlooked: I know I’m overweight, I know my BMI is in the Obese range, I know I’m getting bigger as fewer and fewer clothes fit me, the most recent suit trousers I bought are the next waist size up. Yet my brain can’t seem to put 2 + 2 together! I’m very good at ignoring the obvious.

Over the past 12 years my weight has yo-yoed up and down. I first joined Weight Watchers in September 2003 - I was 16st 7lbs at the time. I lost 21lbs before my birthday (in November) and another 26lbs in the coming months. I remember I was 2lbs off my 50lbs Certificate when I stopped going to the weigh-ins. WHY? I don’t know, one day I just stopped going.

Was I was sabotaging myself? Maybe it was because I’d met someone and was happy emotionally (and also physically following my recent weight-loss)? Or maybe because I was over-confident that I had the system off and I knew what I was doing?

Fast-forward to 2007 and I was back up at 16st 7lbs! FML… That just crept back up without me noticing. I went back to Weight Watchers and dropped around 20lbs before I stopped going again. Yet again the weight crept back on and in January 2010, I re-joined Weight Watchers – this time weighing in at 18st! That was a dark dark day in my life. I remember sitting in the car for half an hour after coming out of the meeting feeling so sorry for myself - I had a little cry.

I lost about a stone before I stopped going (again!) and I put that stone back on as quick as it came off! I was telling myself 18st must be my plateau weight (lies). The people around me could never believe I was 18st when I told them (or so they told me!). In September 2010, I took a career break and went off globe- trotting for 3 months. I remember weighing myself the day before I flew out of Ireland and I was 18 ½ st.

I returned to Ireland during the “Bad Winter of 2010” 3st lighter! I’ve since put that down to the backpacker lifestyle: a combination of living off beans on toast and being more active. From climbing glaciers in New Zealand to Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, Trekking around Vietnam and living out of a capsule in Japan, the travelling had transformed my body!

Unfortunately, my lifestyle while I was backpacking couldn’t have been further from my reality. I’m a computer programmer by trade so spend 8.30-6.00 sitting at a computer desk. I drive to and from work and in general… I’m a lazy person – I have no problem admitting that!

Fast-forward to Saturday, August 25th 2012 and I was helping friends move house. We were doing one final sweep of the upstairs to make sure everything was cleared and I found a weighing scales in their bathroom. I don’t own a weighing scales (probably out of denial) and I stood on it. That Autumn afternoon in my friends empty bathroom, I watched the needle on the scale fly past NINETEEN STONE (19st 2lbs) and I had yet another ‘A-ha’ moment in relation to my weight!

I have never been 19st in my life! How did I let myself get into this state? Looking back, 
I can see how I tricked myself into this state…

-   I would buy new clothes (ignoring the XXL size tag).
-   I would self-edit my Facebook pictures. All of my friends will be familiar with my
    trademark ‘Aerial’ photos – trick I picked up somewhere (Tip: Hold the camera above 
    your eye line and point it downward on the subject, you will have no neck and 
    a skinnier looking face!).
-   I never weighed myself – ever!
-   I would take my friends compliments and never thought they were only just saying 
    what is socially acceptable e.g: No you look great! I never would have said you were 
    THAT weight!

Looking further back, I can see all of the ‘a-ha’ moments which have pushed me to weight watchers and every single one of them are listed below…

- Shame

That Saturday afternoon in my friends’ empty house, I stood looking down at the weighing scale and I felt so much shame… I am the only person to blame for my own size. Not one person has ever force-fed me, prevented me from taking a walk/exercise class/joining a gym, made me choose a take-away over something fresh and homemade. I am my own worst enemy in terms of my weight!

On Tuesday, August 28th 2012… I rejoined Weight Watchers!

I'm starting on Monday! Week 7!

How many times have you said those words?!?! Just you wait..Monday! I'm on it!!! This is the LAST time.. sigh.. we've all been there... I've put off starting more times that I'd ever want to admit! Sadly the starting day never seemed right for a variety of reasons! There was a holiday on the horizon... Someones birthday was soon and ALL relatives counted..I was tired of trying.. I liked the bad foods too much.. I hated setting myself apart from other people.. I was meeting pals and I'd have to be the odd one out..  You see for a long time it was always tomorrow for me... but tomorrow never comes.. there's always going to be some excuse.. aren't you worth it? Don't you deserve to be healthy and fit? Don't you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to be the best you can be? Don't you want to hang around on the planet for as long as you can? well then.. start today.. now this minute.. Christmas is ONE day! Next week is a blog all about parties and munchies and drinkies!!! There's 5 weeks left.. 2lbs a week is one dress size or a pant size for the boys... There's no point in throwing the 'wait till I really start in January' about the place ... you're only giving yourself permission to go crazy for the net six weeks and UNDO all the hard work you've done this year... take a look at last Christmas.. and my personal step is AMAZING!! I was looking at some pics from the parties last year and there's a noticeable difference with 4st gone.. and I know there's still a lot left to go but boy am I happy about the journey so far.. the gains, and there have been many... the losses some accepted with grace some snarled at the scales.. "ONLY' half a pound sure I might as well not bother.. but I did.. and birthdays, holidays, anniversaries will come along all the time.. don't' use them as an excuse to derail... the final slug for that Christmas dress and New years glam!!! C'mon!!! 


International man of mystery.. Mr. Bond.. dontchylove'im! I've seen all the bonds and Sean is still my fav.. perhaps its because my mum swooned at him all those years or the fact that the scottish accent drives me wild!!! Hubba Hubba! Even asking for directions makes me weak at the knees!

Apologies tangent.. Next week sees the very first guest blog post on Skinny Doll!!! Much excitement... as its someone who has struggled with weight loss and loves life to the full.. so he has a fantastic attitude to losing weight as well as being successful.. its our very own Mr.Q! Who, even though he's just had his 'big' birthday is still down this week! Now that's dedication.. he's an unbelievably charming and funny guy who constantly lights up my twitter timeline.. when every one else is getting upset and fighting about god know what issues/sport/crisis.. he'll be posting up the latest girls aloud tune with the dance moves.. he's awesome... so stay tuned for it... it'll be fab!

Into every life.. a little 'Q' must fall!!! 

Weigh ins tomorrow.. Christmas is getting close and all those parties/lunches/drinkies are incoming.. behave now and you'll sparkle!!!

Doll x

WEIGH IN Week6 - 5 do's!!!

Hey Dolls... First up.. thanks for all the feedback on my little emotional break down earlier this week... its funny how an argument on twitter can lead to a post that evoked a lot of emotion from people.. and so many people feeling exactly the same... I thought is was all about me?!? LOL Can you all do me a favor this week and compliment someone? really take a second to say 'that color really suits you?' or 'you're looking great' .. Karma will bring it back to you I promise!

Week 6 weigh in.. I stayed the same mercifully... But the push is on now for Christmas.. and one pound a week can have everyone down half a stone!!! A pound is MORE than achievable!!
Post weight losses below.. we're halfway there!!!

Lots of people think that there’s really not any point to dieting between now and new year. Not true.. here's 5 tips ( i don't like rules!) to keep you on track... 

Think January 1st before the First Bite 
Two months of overindulging and blaming it all on santa, will mean January 1st is depressing and all about backtracking. We all want a positive start to the new year.. that won't happen if you're thinking about the extra stone you found under the tree! Sure we'll all be hung over but this isn't Ground Hog Day, same outcome different year, so I think about January 1st before you take the first bite.

Burn It to Earn It 
One of the best tips I got from a leader was to exercise the MORNING of the party or event. I already know I'm going out and I'm going to have a good time. But if I do one hour of exercise in the morning I find I make smarter choices and feel less “guilt.” Getting rid of  guilt and food is a big thing for me.

Hydrate You will drink. *hiccup* Just make sure you have water first! Not only drink your water before the festivities, but alternate water with your cocktails, I know I know who am I kidding... just stick with me.... You’ll feel better in the morning!

Offer to Prepare Hate Food 
I know you want to bring a dish to the party that everyone will love. But you don’t always have to bring the dish you love. I'm starting to bring things that aren't my favorite. If I bring a dish I LOVE I will snack on the way AND leave extra at home for nibbles before bed...  If I make something that isn’t my favorite, I have a much better chance of sticking to plan.

Wear Tight Clothes 
Elastic is not your friend. Break out the jeans that are a little snug when you're cooking, christmas shopping and the wear the smallest size fit for work. I am spending all my money on gifts right now. You don’t have the money to buy bigger sizes. I want to continue to fit into my clothes!!!

My heart on sleeve...

I've had a meh evening ... you know the kind... just blah... groan, moan, groan.. and now I can't sleep so you lucky lot are getting an emotional post, you've been warned...

I watched the Obesity clinic tonight on RTE1. Anyone else feel like they've been wearing they're judgey pants sometimes?

I've been that size, I'm over 4 stone lighter than my highest weight… and yes I know I have more to lose… I have friends, good dear friends, who are interesting, funny, intelligent people who are obese.. and struggle… yes, struggle with food… I've been bulimic… I'm using the past tense there but I don't think that it will ever go away if I'm honest… But I struggle with food.. and people who don't, don't understand what its like.. 'why don't you just lose weight?' Well gee why didn't I think of that?!?! is that really all I have to do? Its like telling an alcoholic they can't ever have a drink again.. but alcoholics can survive without a drink, you can lock them away from their addiction.. you can't live without eating… and its the emotional connection.. the highs .. and subsequent lows that any addictive substance gives you… the buzz… I have regularly been in the whirl of emotion where you just can't see any other way to feel better than a tub of ice-cream followed by cake.. then biscuits.. then bread and god knows what else and that feeling.. that 'high' almost … and the crashing lows and feelings of disgust when you sit in a pool of tears wondering how someone as clever as you got there, and you have to drag yourself up off the floor and try to make sense of it…

I thought I had my life all sorted yet I resorted to abusing my body like that, and it never made much sense … I'm a very lucky soul… I have a wonderful life, I'm very privileged, there are people a million times worse off than me… but here I was eating my life away… why? I don't really know… even now.. I have those days of that feeling of pure hatred for myself.. and the more people tell you.. 'you look well'… 'you've lost weight'.. and the classic… 'you've got such a pretty face' just make you want to bury your head deeper and deeper into that momentary safe place where the sense of satisfaction is briefly saving you.. till it comes crashing down around you and the nausea kicks in.. and the remorse you feel…and the notions going through your mind of how you can undo what you've just done… and how you've let yourself down.. your family… friends…

Food takes that deep pain away, it distracts you from whats really going on in your head… and trying to address it is one of the hardest things I've ever done.. but I appear to be winning that battle thanks to an amazing counsellor… 10 kms a week in the pool … a group of like minded bootcamp friends who get it… but most importantly, a small but perfectly formed group of gals who I know I can pour my heart out to and they see beyond the fat to who I am and know that theres more to me… these women are consistent in my life and they amaze me, these lovely, stunning, amazing and loyal women.. from heart to soul... together we can be, confused, determined, irritated, joyous, mixed up, sad, loving, overwhelmed, desperate, sassy, imperfect, silly, secure, messy, vulnerable, intrigued, lost and found and show all of it and more.. anytime.. all the time.. they know all about you and love you just the same and never need to forgive because they never hold on to anything long enough for it to even matter, they know life gets messy for everyone and judgement is not an option... ever..  and one day, not so long ago, the penny dropped that maybe, just maybe, I'm worth all this and more.. and perhaps there's a lot more of my story left to be told…

I'm not quite sure at what point it started to consume me… everyone has the lows in their life and I suppose I just didn't deal with mine.. from my massive insecurities in my childhood, bullying in my teens to personal tragedies that I have just ran away from, literally .. I sugar coated them and spread them with nutella and swallowed them whole.. and once I realized they didn't taste very nice.. I tried to purge them.. thinking if I purged the food .. all the sadness would come up with it and I'd be done…TA DA! right?! Things I should have dealt with years ago, still irk me, although I'm addressing these things one by one, at the moment its snowballing and I'm feeling massive changes to the point that I can now look behind me and see where I was.. the line has shifted .. and yes, there are some days wonder if I'll ever win the battle.. I've lost good friends, lovers, maybe even soul mates because of bulimia.. I've denied myself the joys of socializing because clearly everyone would be staring at me eating my dinner.. judging me if I order a burger.. no one was ever minding they're own business and enjoying their dinner were they?! It is all about me yeah?  I've declined meeting up with people who I know would be amazing friends because I feared I wasn't good enough to even be theirs… WHY would anyone want to be seen with me? To the point when even trip to the hairdresser I would be apologizing for my very existence … these have been tough hurdles, some days I party the blues away... myself and Gordons numbed the pain temporarily until the hangovers surpassed the fun! But as a believer in fate and karma, I regularly roll out the 'its meant to be'  and as my grandmother used to say .. 'if it's meant for you .. it won't pass you by…' and I slowly started to believe it..

Watching that programme tonight.. seeing that young boy, wise beyond his years, saying 'I can't judge anyone until know them, because I know what its like for my dad to struggle with obesity and its not who he is'.. made me hope that more people will learn from him…

So judgey pants off people… that person who you momentarily stare at because they're bigger than you.. they're funny and charming… and know all about the history of art, they can paint a still life better than you can tie your shoes..  they've built houses and make mean cakes… they're better than you at the Irish times crossword and can belt out a tune at karaoke that would put you to shame… they have fat.. they are not fat… there's a difference..

Normal, less emotional service resumes tomorrow…

Doll x

Water water everywhere...

No secret here that I follow the Weight Watchers ProPoints programme... It's all counting and it works for me and many others .. I don't work for weight watchers nor do I advocate their products... Yes, I have some of their ready meals hiding in the depths of my freezer for 'emergencies' but as most of you know I'm a 'cook it from scratch' kinda gal... To me a meal that's gonna last till 2014 really shouldn't be going into my body... All the additives and 'E' numbers are not good for your system... But hey neither is gin but I'm not giving that up! My body is a temple and all that... Ahem... 

Still weight watchers bring out products and I try them out because some followers ask my opinion and to be honest I like to try them out in case I might just like one of them ... although I did over dose on Ocean Pie... And the latest thing they have brought out are flavoured waters, (I tried out SLIM WATER too) .. Now I love water, some people struggle with it.. not me .. I love boiling water with lemon first thing and if I'm feeling a bit crazy or bored I'll add a dash of sugar free cordial to change things up... Wild huh!? But as long as you keep drinking it, its all good... 

These flavoured waters are ok... They do taste lovely, and the flavours are yummy... But they are pricey, you'd get a large bottle of the clear stuff for the same price ... All are zero ProPoints ... But you're paying for a brand... And the additives just make try entire process redundant in my opinion... anything that contains sucrose is going to mess with your sugar levels... and that's not good when you're just thirsty...  Water helps you lose weight and its great for everything, headaches, your skin, your digestion... Additives don't! ... Here's  < one of my more popular posts on how much you should be drinking for your body weight...  Certainly these drinks are miles better than a can of fizzy pop/diet coke/fanta etc, but if you want to do your body good.. Turn on the tap, chuck in a few ice cubes and a slice of lemon, use a cocktail glass... g'wan be a diva!  

Doll x

The pies have it...

I've been caught on the hop... I wasn't prepared.. knuckles prepare to be slapped.. and because the weather is so shite...  instead of picking up a bag of salad leaves or some sensible soup.. I spotted these ... and I SOOOOO wanted pie and it was late and I was in no humour to start making pastry.. (excuses much?!) so I indulged.. to the price of 15PP per pie and trust me they're not big enough to share .. having said that, it was delicious.. but most of my dinners are well below 10PP with heaps of free veg.. if you have the points then try one out.. but this is more of a warning than a 'try these kids' post!!! I've posted a great recipe for WW steak and mushroom pie below for the planners.. ahem...

Doll x

Chicken of Aragon pie - 17PP

Fungi Chicken pie - 15PP 

 Heidi Pie - Goats cheese, sweet potato, spinach and red onion - 19PP 
(I KNOW!!! Typical the veggie one is the highest!)

Matador Pie - Beefsteak, chorizo, olives, sherry and butter beans - 18PP

Shamrock Pie - Beefsteak in rich gravy and irish stout - 17PP

Weight Watchers Steak and mushroom pie

Steak and mushroom pie

ProPoints® Value:    8
Servings:  6
Preparation Time:  20 min
Cooking Time:  120 min
Level of Difficulty:  Moderate
Enjoy this tasty steak and mushroom pie for 8 ProPoints values per serving. It's a great family meal and just as good as the one served in your local.


5 spray(s) Cooking Spray, Calorie Controlled   
  700 g Beef, Stewing Steak, Raw, Lean, cubed   
  1 large Onion, All Types, chopped   
1 cube(s) Stock Cube, Vegetable, beef in 450ml boiling water   
  225 g Mushrooms, sliced   
  1 medium Carrots, Old, Raw, sliced   
  2 tablespoons Parsley, fresh, chopped   
1 pinch Salt   
1/4 teaspoons (ground) Pepper, Black (Whole, Cracked or Ground)   
2 tablespoons (level) Cornflour, blended with 3-4 tablespoons cold water   
225 g Pastry, Puff, Ready Rolled Sheets, thawed   
  1 tablespoons Milk, Skimmed   


  • Heat the low fat cooking spray in a large saucepan and over a high heat add the cubes of stewing steak a handful at a time, so that they seal and brown. Add the onion and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the stock, mushrooms, carrot and parsley to the saucepan. Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender. Check the level of liquid from time to time, topping up with a little extra water if necessary.
  • Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7/220°C/425°F.
  • Season the cooked meat with salt and pepper. Stir in the blended cornflour and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Tip the mixture into an oblong baking dish.
  • Lay the puff pastry sheet on top of the baking dish, trimming the edges with a sharp knife. Use the trimmings to make leaves for decoration. Position them on top, and brush the entire surface with milk. Bake for 25 30 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown.
  • Serve with green vegetables and potatoes.

We are all meant to shine - Week 5 weigh in!

Now, I'm not a religious person.. for lots of personal reasons.. and living in Ireland adds to the distrust I have with an instition like the Catholic church .. but I do believe there's something bigger than us out there.. and I'm a firm believer in KARMA! But this week someone gave me this to read.. whether you're religious or not.. you have every right to be the person you are and look how you like and be what you want to be... weight is what we HAVE ... not who we are!!! So read this.. and then take it in... and read it again!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
 Nelson Mandela

There are some awesome losses 116lbs in total!!!! and a stone gone by Doodymar!!! Email me your address!!! Have a good week and re-read that speech again for good measure! Doll x

PS: I've got some new products to go up in posts this week... if anyone would really like to see stuff reviewed.. let em know! xxx

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