Thursday, 21 April 2011

Jenny Craig - The verdict: Guilty!!

The timing just didn't work for me. In the sunniest week of the year, the team was heading out to the park to eat al fresco salad and sushi at lunchtime, and I was stuck in the office, microwaving soup. The cereals were great (and although the portions were small, I know that they are sensible and realistic yada yada), and I munched my way through the snack bars with no guilt at all (well, a little guilt after I ate three at once on day two). Bored of the microwaveable pouches, I ended up using the dinners as side dishes, which earned me a (very polite) telling off from my telephone coach Angela. I can see how the telephone support from the lovely Angela would have kept me on the straight and narrow, if I'd been really focussed on this, and it was nice to have someone check in on me, without the inconvenience of having to go anywhere.

I promised that I would try this for two weeks, in order to really get into it and see the results, but after a week, I'd pretty much given up - on dieting altogether!! However, the food didn't go to waste. Offered to a team of journalists and media execs on a near-constant state of diet-induced starvation, it was devoured in an instant.

I've been a bit slack the last couple of weeks, and need a new incentive - namely the fact that I shamefully haven't lost any real weight in a while, and the impending holiday and requisite bikini. New diet is self-made: the chewing gum and coffee diet: The Rules: replace all snacks with chewing gum and coffee. Easy peasy!

Start weight: 10st 2lbs.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Diet #19, Jenny Craig

After such a successful week of juicing (minus 5lbs), I'm really keen to keep up the momentum, so I'm trying a fortnight of Jenny Craig.

Jenny Craig is an American sensation. This immediately sets alarm bells ringing for me, as I'm something of an Americophobe - it's all supersized teens and crazed postal workers and as far as I'm concerned.

Some of the diets that I've done in the last few months have bordered on the ridiculous, and it's been easy to be irreverant when I review them. However, it's hard to be  super-critical when, instead of a website or book, you get a lovely lady on the end of the phone to guide you through the package. Jenny Craig is a nutrition-based weightloss programme, with all your food supplied each month. Unlike dietchef, where the food turned up in a jumbled box, this is Monica Geller-style organisation. A large box arrived, with two layers of prettily packaged food, separated into sections for breakfast, lunches, supper and snacks. In addition, there's a pastel colour-coordinated folder, with a complete instruction guide to the week, and some charts to fill in, to keep track of your weight and inchloss. There's a grocery shopping list, a guide to eating out (it just says 'don't'), an activity planner and some positive affirmations. Suggested affirmation:

My goal is progress, not perfection
I am responsible for my own success
I turn lapses into learning opportunities
Priorities are my stepping stone to results
Each healthy choice takes me closer to my goal
Apparently, I don't have to read these in an American accent, but it helps.

The idea is to use weekly meal planners as a food diary, crossing off breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack as you go, to a total of 1200 calories. There's a section for 'unplanned foods', which also requires you to answer the question 'why' - will be interesting to see what ends up in these boxes by the end of the week. All of this is supported by a very sweet phone counsellor, who guides you through the plan, reminds you to do exercise and adds lots of encouraging words.

Tomorrow, I have muesli for breakfast, Tomato soup for lunch and mushroom stroganoff and rice for supper. Snacks are yoghurt, Jenny Craig snack and fruit, plus as many free foods as I like. Saturday's weight was 9st 13lbs, but a last binge on Mothers Day chocolates mean that I'll start tomorrow at 10st exactly! I've booked another phone session with Angie at 10am on the 6th, to keep me on the straight and narrow.

The end of diet #18: We juiced ourselves slim!!

I'm quickly learning that the more I dread the fad diets at the beginning of the week, the more weight I lose by then end of the week. Betweeen us, Simon and I have lost 13lbs this week (me 5 and him 8), and I also feel better than I've felt in ages.

Favourite juice: Breakfast blueberry smoothie (juice half a pineapple, and blend with 2 tablespoons of bio-natural yoghurt, couple of handfuls of frozen blueberries and some ice), and a special mention to the sweet potato, spinach and watercress soup. By far the worst - Beta Carrot juice - apples, beetroot, carrots, parsnip, lemon and ice - I've never thought of parsnips as a particularly 'juicy' vegetable and it's still repeating on me a week later!

Hardcore diet, yes, but totally worth it! The juicer has pride of place on my kitchen counter, and I take back everything I said about Jason Vale...