I've been on a lot of diets, health kicks, call them what you will. Some have worked and some have failed miserably. But when they work, there's always been one thing I've done the same - have a buddy with me.
It's been nearly a year since I started doing Weight Watchers, and it's at the point now where I don't have to think too much about it. It feels pretty natural. And because a big part of Weight Watchers is about balance, I still get to have the things I love like cheese, chocolate and carbs. The three Cs of joy there, people. But this means that I don't struggle to go back to Weight Watchers if I have a day off-plan, or a weekend away. Doing Weight Watchers has allowed me to use my love of food for good, not evil. And I love it for that.
The thing you forget, though, when you've been on a plan for a while is how hard it is at the start. IT'S REALLY HARD. Because what you ultimately have to do is change some of your bad habits - if you didn't, you wouldn't have started the diet in the first place. Some habits are easy to change - like buying low fat mayo instead of full fat mayo. Some are harder - like cutting down on wine nights, opting out of Pizza Fridays, reaching for an apple instead of a biscuit, reducing your portions. And that's where having a friend to do it with helps.
I started Weight Watchers in January, and so the start of this year could have been really miserable. I could have spent my weekends not seeing my friends, avoiding temptation and feeling like I was never going to eat anything yummy again. But I didn't. I spent my weekends with my best friend Sha, and we tackled our new lifestyle together. I've lost two and a half stone since January, and Sha has lost a whopping FOUR... but we both agree that we wouldn't have done this well without the other one at our side.
1. Go for long walks
I'm starting to get a bit more into exercise these days, but it's taken me a long time to get there. Because exercise kinda sucks, right? I know. If I didn't have to do it, I totally wouldn't. We found a way to get over the suckiness by getting into the habit of going for long walks together at weekends and in the evenings. We don't even really notice we're exercising because we're gossiping the whole time. We even walk to Weight Watchers together.
2. Replace booze with food
Last winter, our Saturday nights consisted of reality TV, nibbles and wine. Lots of wine. And replacing the wine with food seems like a bit of a weird concept given the whole diet thing, but the whole point of Weight Watchers is that you can still have nice food, you just have to be more aware of the bad stuff that creeps in. So we spent our Saturday nights trying out new recipes, like these awesome burgers (there's cheese in the middle!) and these pizzas and fajitas. Kept us busy, and we got to eat the results. And months later, we're still doing this - we made an awesome feta quinoa concoction this Saturday too!
We talked a lot. An awful lot. Still do. Some of our emails are shockingly dull - well, unless you care how many points are in which Covent Garden soup. It's not that weird for us though. We talked a lot about food when we were eating terribly, so talking about food when we're eating well is pretty normal. And having someone to ask for advice, to worry at, to bore with all the diet details does really, really help. Because if you're talking to each other, you don't have to force your non-dieting friends to listen instead. Honestly - a lot of them probably aren't that interested.
Before and after!
There's honestly no substitute for the support of someone close to you. I don't know what I'd do without my friends and my family by my side - sometimes I think about the amazing people in my life and I feel incredibly, incomparably lucky. Together IS better - not just for weight loss, but for life.
To celebrate the new Together is Better campaign, Weight Watchers are hosting a competition on thfind more about their Facebook page to win a brand new fridge and a fridge makeover for you and a friend, which you can find out more about here or via mobile here. There’s also three new special offers for anyone feeling inspired to sign up to Weight Watchers - losing weight needn't be expensive! Join for £11.95 a month & NO joining fee, or sign up to the Monthly Pass Offer for just £2.99 a week or join for £4.50 or £2.25 each when you bring a friend!