My STELLAR Slimming World Diary: Week One

Deputy ed Rosemary has decided to join Slimming World – and she's keeping a diary for us (woe betide her if she falls off the wagon). Here's what happened in week one!

Rosemary Mac Cabe Slimming World

For some people, deciding to join Slimming World comes after a big revelation. You’ve just seen a snap of yourself at a recent wedding and thought, ‘no more!’; or you’ve realised that you’ve let things go too far, and now’s the time to change.

Rosemary’s Vital Statistics

Height: 5ft 6in

Weight: 14st 6lbs

BMI: 32.6 (bleurgh)

Target weight: 11st

For me? Not so much. I’ve been on some form of diet or another since I was 14 when, at the (I thought) hefty weight of 11 stone, I trotted along to my local Weight Watchers and began a lengthy period of yo-yo dieting and weight fluctuations.

As well as the aforementioned WW, I’ve tried the cabbage soup diet (I lasted a day), a juice detox (36 hours), the Dukan diet (don’t ask me to explain it cos I’ve no clue), Atkins (miserable and, ugh, bad breath)… and ultimately, I think that if I’d never dieted at all, my attitude to food would be a whole lot healthier.

Andrea Kissane, Michael Leong and Rosemary Mac Cabe, judges at the Great Lengths Ireland Awards 2015

Here I am, judging the Great Lengths Ireland Awards with’s Andrea Kissane and hair guru Michael Leong

Which brings us up to May 2015 when, after hearing a friend was joining, I decided to check out Slimming World – after all, I’d heard great things, and even some mutterings about how you could eat as much pasta as you wanted and still lose weight. What had I got to lose?

This is not for the Deliciously Ella die-hards among us.

Let’s get one thing straight: Slimming World is dead different to any other diet I’d tried. The bones of it are: eat as much rice, potatoes and pasta as you like; add to that lean fish and meat; and go crazy on fruit and vegetables (except avocado – this is not for the Deliciously Ella die-hards among us).

Every meal needs to be at least one-third ‘speed’, that is, green, leafy vegetables or high-speed fruits (anything that’s crunchy or watery – not bananas, melons or blueberries, which are too high in sugar).

You also get two ‘Healthy Extras’ a day – from category A, a specific portion of dairy and, from category B, some high-fibre wholemeal goodness. Anything you eat outside of your ‘free’ allowance needs to be counted as a ‘syn’, of which you’re allowed between five and 15 a day.

Sounds complicated, right? Right.

I swear, in week one I read the book approximately four times. But I just could not get my head around it! So I did what any sensible person would do, and, er, ate what I’d usually eat. Except I went to Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa for two nights (and got a McDonald’s on the way down); in the car on the way back, I ate an entire cinema-sized bag of Cadbury’s Caramel Nibbles; on Monday, I was a judge at the Great Lengths Ireland Awards in Fade St Social (where I, obviously, ate everything).

Inchydoney Island beach

The beach at Inchydoney on which I took a light stroll

Rocking up to my second weigh-in, I was… cautiously optimistic. I mean, I hadn’t eaten that much bread on my holliers, and I’d gone for a walk on the beach! And I’d lost… half a pound.

Now, half a pound lost is still a loss, right? And it’s better than a kick in the teeth. But at the meeting afterwards, while going through everyone’s losses and gains, one of the girls who’d joined the same week as I had was congratulated for a loss of, wait for it, nine and a half pounds. That’s 9.5 blocks of Kerrygold butter, or 9.5 bags of sugar. That’s a large baby, right there.

Rocking up to my second weigh-in, I was… cautiously optimistic.

So how do I feel? Absolutely raging – and determined to get to grips with this whole synning-is-winning mentality. (After I eat this Indian takeaway I’ve just ordered. After all, I have a week to make amends, right?)

PS These are the only two photographs I could find on the internet in which you could see my body. When I’ve reached the end of this ‘journey’, I’m hoping that’ll be very different.