Celebrations and Food are a perfect pair and for me February is packed to the rafters of special occasions, a bit of a minefield for those of us on a mission to lose weight. I’m pleased to report I got to the end of the month without gaining but the losses did slow down considerably. I beat myself up about this initially and made a passing comment on twitter and ‘god love ya’ to all of you that commented and sorted my little wobble – You are Awesome!
Weight Watchers challenged us to show how we stay on track during Special Occasions, a challenge I think my fellow ambassador nailed. Have a look at Nelly’s Top 5 tips for eating out
So rather than rehash her brilliant words I am going to
bore you with bring you my February Special Occasions Summary (I love a Summary post and I particularly look forward to Amy’s weekly Sunday Summary on She Cooks, She Eats)
So February’s celebrations kicked off on the 4th for me. My parents have an anniversary for everything, first date, when they got engaged, when they officially announced their engagement and obviously when they got married. I have always admired this, so keeping up with tradition B & myself also have our own anniversaries.
February the 4th is ‘Steakiversary’ which marks the night we went to the pub after work as colleagues and had proper conversations that weren’t just about work, the latest TV series or the price of milk! Something changed that night, some would argue that it had already changed and been growing for ages but neither of us had realised it. As you can tell by the name of the anniversary, we had Steak that night so now we mark that night by having Steak (any excuse!)
It’s not the Steak that’s the problem on Weight Watchers, it’s the sides that pose the threat! In the past I would’ve made a GIANT potato dauphinoise and scoffed the whole lot that night, I have made individual ones before in ramekins but they are still quite heavy on points, a wake up call as to how much we used to eat. This steak night we had Fillet steak with a mushroom sauce and simple side salad. We went for a 5 mile walk in the afternoon and had wine with the meal and didn’t go over.
Weight Watchers 1 – Special Occasions 0
The next occasion was Pancake Day. I love a good pancake and knew I wouldn’t be able to resist eating the whole lot, to counter-balance it we had a low point dinner – Wholewheat Pasta, Cottage Cheese, Roasted Tomatoes and I used up various bits of veg. 7 pro points for the dinner and 9 for the pancakes – I kept it simple and had them with a little sugar & lemon juice. I even had room for a cheeky gin & tonic!
Weight Watchers 2 – Special Occasions 0
Next up the big V-Day, we tend to not go overboard as our anniversary is at the end of the month. We’ve been talking about making Moules Marinere from Rachel Khoo‘s book for yonks and as seafood is low in points tonight was the night we tackled it. In principal it is actually really easy but the faffing about preparing them was a bit of a ball ache – but we shared the load and was really proud of the result.
We served them with skinny fries, which we baked in the oven in just a little groundnut oil and a green leafy salad. The fries, moules and sauce came to 17 points each but we barely touched the sauce, a little tricky to point accurately. To compensate for this I didn’t add the points for the dressing and dijonnaise. I only used 3 points out of my weeklies and that was on the wine, so another success.
Weight Watchers 3 – Special Occasions 0
3 days after Valentines Day is my parent’s Wedding Anniversary – 45 years! GO THEM!
The close family went to their house for a celebratory lunch and tea. I phoned them up beforehand to find out what we were eating so I could mentally prepare myself, as it’s rather rude to pull out your scales at someone’s house and start quizzing them about what exactly went into the meal and how much fat they used. Thankfully it was Roast Pork Tenderloin on the menu and lots of lovely sounding vegetables.
I’m actually pretty proud of myself, I took more vegetables than meat, kept my 2nd helpings to the minimum, drank lots of water, took the small piece of cheesecake and when we had tea in the afternoon, split a bread roll with B and had very little of the cheese and had lots salad and water – oh and there was Pavlova too!
A cheeky weigh on the scales in the morning said I’d still managed to lose weight that day. So I am proof it can be done, even when temptation is spread out in front of you.
Weight Watchers 4 – Special Occasions 0
This is where it went a little awry – The 27th was our 4 year anniversary and I decided that it was a bit of a ‘F**K it’ day. Not to go completely wild and off track but sometimes it’s good to take a day off and indulge. Just as long as you then don’t fall completely off.
We went for Brunch at our favourite local cafe – The Counter Cafe I’d searched google for the ‘best breakfasts in London’ and it’s very hard to branch out and try somewhere new when your local tops all the lists. I say local, it’s about a 20 minute walk but that counts as activity points!
I had the Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon on Toast, it was delicious and worth all of it’s possible 14 points.
We then did some more walking and got the tube to Westminster, where we did some more walking and went to the Tate Britain where we did more walking – I was kicking myself that I didn’t take the pedometer out with me… I think it’s under the bed!
We found a pub, had a few drinks and then did YES more walking down the Southbank during a gorgeous late winters sunset.
In no time at all we were at Elliot’s Cafe in Borough Market. I looked down the menu and realised this wasn’t a home for Weight Watchers. Did I go all out? Quite possibly!
When the bread (beautiful sourdough they bake themselves) was put down on the table, we discussed Gregg Wallace’s TOP TIP – to ask for the bread to be brought with your meal, so that you don’t load up on it. Did I ask for the bread to come back later? HELL NO, I scoffed the lot!
For starters we shared the Beef Tartare with paprika crisps and the Brioche with goats curd and honeycomb. LUSH.
B had duck leg with swede and I had suckling pig with a cabbage and pear salad, we shared a cauliflower cheese (which is now officially a tradition as we shared one last year for our anniversary at Polpo)
We drank a lovely bottle of red wine, which was organic (and gave us zero hangover in the morning)
To round it all off we shared cider brandy chocolates in a caramel crumb and treacle tart with spiced pumpkin ice cream.
Do I regret it? NO. Would I do it again? YES. Do I count this as the special occasion beating me? NOPE but sadly I can’t say Weight Watchers won either.
Weight Watchers 0 – Special Occasion 0
There is no point beating myself up over it, it was a celebration and we are allowed to cut fast and loose sometimes. Am I expecting a gain this weigh-in day? YES. But that has a lot more to do with the Dominos Pizza that fell into my trap Saturday night, which was March so doesn’t count in my round-up.
So in conclusion – pick your battles. Not every special occasion needs to be over-indulgent but every now and again it doesn’t hurt.
How do you tackle Special Occasions when trying to lose weight? Do you have a Top Tip? (This is my test to see if you are still awake at the end of all that!)
Brilliant post! I think the secret is really just accepting that to be happy and healthy you need to allow yourself a bit of slack at special times! This is why WW works! Thanks for the mention too. xx
Bless your heart, thank you for the mention xx
Excellent post. I am rubbish at special occasions — I tend to gorge myself and then find it difficult to get back on plan. I wish I could be more like you and take it sensibly. Weight Watchers won most of the time, right!