7 Deadly Syns

I recently joined Slimming World, about a month and nearly a stone ago, and its relatively easy to follow with proven results if you stick to plan. What I’ve found damn near impossible to do, however, is keep within my daily Syn limit. I’m allowed quite a few (between 5-15 a day) and I have already cut out some delicious but problematic little Syn-heavy delights – such as cheese and chocolate – as I found out I have an aversion to lactose. But now I am really struggling to, well, eat badly.

I fill up on free food and I’m rarely hungry but I need to graze and I have mostly sweet teeth so I’m starting to dream about all the things I ate pre-diet (Before Slimming World or BSW) but never truly indulged in. What a fool I was to not go really CRAZY and binge on blue cheese and chocolates and BUTTER… mmmm… butter… before I signed up! So because misery loves company,  I thought I’d share what I consider the major threats in a list where I can both mock and pine them…

  • Toffee – This is an obviously naughty one. No one should eat too much toffee but I’m finding myself craving it. It’s a constant itch that 3 pots of Mullerlight toffee yogurt on a caramel Snackajack doesn’t begin to scratch. Not that I should eat that either, lactose and all that, but needs must.
  • Wine – Naturally. A small glass of lower percentage white wine might take the edge off a wine craving but even that would take up the majority of a day’s Syns. And to be honest, sometimes you just want a beautiful bowl of blood red wine as dark as your soul and twice as large.
  • Crackers – a couple of Ryvita is only 3 Syns or there’s always Melba Toast I suppose. Really I just want half a pack of cheap and cheerful cream crackers, with or without Primula, the foodstuff of the Gods.
  • Bread – This is a real toughy. Soda bread, sourdough toast dripping in butter, doorstop sandwiches, baguette, granary, poppyseed… an endless list of desires. Frustrated desires.
  • Lattes – I run on coffee. And lattes made from lactose-free milk were my mid-afternoon treat that each comprise about 3 day’s Syns… Sob.
  • Sweets/candy – Starburst, Maoam, Tootie Frooties, Chewits, all the sweets I would NEVER allow Arthur to eat… oh Christ, they call to me… He has to be healthy and eat well but I DON’T. I WANT CANDY.
  • Granola – This one is particularly cruel because granola is one of those foods that is seemingly good for you. It’s a healthy sounding, normally ‘healthy’ tasting (i.e. flavourless) food that TRICKS DIETERS! A Starbucks granola bar, a go-to if you’re in a hurry and eating healthily, because it’s obviously better than that marmite and cheese toastie, is 24 Syns. Yeah. 2 days worth in one hastily grabbed snack bar. The bastards.

Realistic Top Tips for your Hospital Bag

My friend recently posted a blog that she had found whilst looking for suggestions for her hospital bag. It was a generic listicle, we’ve all read them. If you’re anything like me then you pored over them, memorising them, packing and repacking your bag accordingly each time you read a different suggestion. This particular list had a top 5 of things to take to hospital that you might not think of, the first being make up and the fourth being nice nightclothes. Now, I know I’m hardly Zoella but I appreciate make up as much as the next girl. I also, however, appreciate a five day stay in hospital, anaemia and major surgery (my personal experience of childbirth). I could have done with several things that I would *never* have thought of but lipgloss? Not so much. As for nice pyjamas/yoga pants etc.. ? I personally found it near impossible to find a nightgown/big tee that allowed for unbuttoning and breastfeeding. I ended up in a snazzy BHS nightie. Not sexy but very comfy and very practical. You hurt, you bleed, you can end up bed bound for days, you don’t need to look your best ‘in case your husband’s boss stops by to meet the new addition’*

My top five essentials you’d potentially overlook would be: Lucozade, peppermint/ginger teabags, a spare pillow, SOCKS – big, slouchy ones – and a phone charger.

I had a planned caesarean so I could sort of plan accordingly but I still had no idea these things would be the difference between a comfortable stay in hospital and a fraught, miserable affair. I know also that childbirth is anything but easy to plan for. So I asked another mummy friend (who went through 36 hours of labour, emergency c-section, transfusion and nearly two weeks in hospital) for her top five: 1. coconut water. 2. Playlists – long ones. 3. Slippers. 4. Lip balm. 5. Lavender oil.

Obviously, if you’re concerned that you won’t look good in photos on the postnatal or labour wards then do pack your make up bag. But maybe make smart choices like waterproof mascara, tinted moisturiser rather than foundation and a hint of a tint lipbalm rather than your standard Chanel red. Or ignore me completely and go full on Betty Draper Mad Men style and wear full warpaint, blousy negligee and fluffy mule slippers too. Huzzah.

*Actual ‘issue’ raised by the aforementioned top 5 list.