As I sit here munching my bag of cheese ‘n’ onion, I’ve decided to write a little about my weight loss journey. Yeah, this journey includes cheese and onion crisps and galaxy bars too.

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Summer 2014..nearly as big as Mr Tayto!!

So at present the NHS still classes me as overweight, apparently I should be between 7st, 3lbs & 9st, 11lbs for my height. Personally I think this is ridiculous…..I’m pretty sure I was born 7stone! Pre-October 2014 though, I was actually obese. I’ve been overweight for a lonnnng time…I blame the desk job…not my hands shoving food and drink down me throat. God, when I was 16, I remember thinking I was the largest one on our footy team…I wasn’t! (To be clear, none of us were.) Now I take out them old footy shorts and scold myself for calling myself fat back then…they’d surely go past me knees now!160124014818_wm

Annnyway…so yeah, Small Monkey was just over a year old and I was still carrying an extra stone and a half of “baby weight” as well as the extra stone I was just carrying for the craic. I didn’t even manage to lose weight for my wedding!! I knew I had to do something, I wanted to be able to run around with Small Monkey without huffing and puffing like Donna the tank engine. I’d also suffered from pregnancy diabetes and although it’s gone now, I’m told I’ll probably get it with every pregnancy I have. Well I don’t want diabetes of any kind, thank you very much, one’s will pass on that one thanks! I don’t actually know if my weight loss will decrease the chances of me getting it in pregnancy too, I just hope so…trying to test your own blood sugar level during a contraction is a pain in the bumhole! Of course, vanity is involved….I wanted to be the “Glammy Mammy” at the school gates waiting for me little man. You know, the Mammy that people say “oh doesn’t she keep herself well” or “doesn’t C’s Ma look great”. I just had visions of myself gaining a stone for every child I have (you’d swear I was having million like),  not losing it, then becoming some sort huuuge weeble like creature resigned to wearing lotsa stretchy pannnts (you gotta say that with an American twang). Not that there’s anything wrong with them and not that I’ll ever be seen as the Glam Mam at the school gate, I’m more a “roll-outta-bed-last-minute-and-throw-on-the-trackie-bottoms-I’m-only-going-to-the-school” kinda girl, BUT I’d like to have the option to be gorgeous and glammy and envied. Don’t get me wrong, despite putting on weight during pregnancy, weirdly I became more accepting of my squidgey body and actually loved it a little bit more, but it needed a little kick up the bum all the same. Also I had a slightly sadder reason for joining lingering at the back of it all too (altogether now…..aaaaah), I was lonely and this was another way for me to get out more.160124015108_wm

With all that in mind I did try to be good on my own but there were no really astounding results. I love walking and had actually built up to running (very slowly, with much redness, jiggling and huffing and puffing….feck it though, I was doing it…what were you doing?) before becoming a baby baker, so I tried to squeeze that (walking, that is…one step at a time peeps) back into my life. It wasn’t really working, I wasn’t doing enough and as with before, whatever I was doing, my brain would say “nice work Don, you made space, go home and eat something silly now” so I never really lost anything. A friend though had recently joined a slimming club and had been seeing some great results, I had thought about joining a club but I’d been there before and although I’d lost a stone, it went back on over time and the thoughts of having to weigh and measure everything just did not appeal to me this time ’round. After much humming and hawwing I decided to give her club a go.


October 2014, I took myself through Slimming World‘s doors and I’m not looking back. I mean, I’m not coasting through like it seems some people are, but hey, who cares? This is me and it’s my way. Now I will admit, during my first week I was ready to quit BUT that was purely because I didn’t feel the first group leader I had was very explanatory…or maybe I’m just extra thick, even reading through the book after didn’t help and I lived for a week purely on salad and veg. Jayzus it was horrendous!! I had headaches, felt dizzy but didn’t ask for help for fear of sounding like a thick…don’t do this…this is stupid…ask for help! My second week in, we had Lisa covering and she explained the basics to the whole class. BEST.THING.EVER!!! It was so simple! I could eat anything really, yeah I couldn’t go and eat 3 buns and a mars bar in a day but I could eat A bun and MAYBE a mars bar depending on what other syns I’d had that day.


So let me tell you the basics of how it works, well this is my version…have you noticed the way I don’t call it a diet? That’s cos it’s not…it is a healthy eating plan. I think the main reason you lose weight with Slimming World is because we “learn” to cook again. What I mean by that is, you better be prepared for some chopping and dicing baby ‘cos we’re tryna make everything from scratch…no packets…no preservatives…no E-numbers. Preparation and planning is key here lads! Everything is fresh really, packaged food is avoided for the most part, you will use it but not like before…not as much. The best thing about it is, it’s great for all the family, you don’t have to cook special meals for yourself. In my house, 97% of the time we’re eating the same. 10409204_10205992090215511_1297660527670673064_nWe’re constantly trying new things and we eat more fruit and veg plus most things can be adapted to a healthier option. I’ve always given Small Monkey what we’ve eaten anyway, he’s never had jarred food, I just pureed everything and as I started Slimming World when he was one, he’s just come along on the food ride with me, with no drastic changes for him to get over. He’s tried veggies I’d never even seen ’til I moved to Londaan! Yes, there are things you have to limit but you don’t have to give up anything. If on the rare occasion I do go out, I go out and enjoy it but I am certainly more mindful of what I’m eating and drinking. Sometimes i gain, sometimes I maintain but one thing I do know is I can’t lose weight alone and I think I’d still be wandering about blindly in the obese zone if I hadn’t of joined…so thanks bud (she knows) for encouraging me to join the SW family. Oh, in relation to gains, I’ve had two noticeable, happy gains since joining…Suzanne and Courtney. It’s also brought me back in better touch with an old friend….she guided me through my first stint at shedding the poundage…Shannon.

At the mention of the girls there, original suggestive buddy included, as with anything you hope to achieve, support and encouragement plays a massive part. I alway stay for Image Therapy…I love this, it sounds tres posh! Seriously though, I love staying to group, having a cuppa, listening to how everybody got on, sharing ideas and new things we’ve found. It’s great, I mean if you’re really good you get stickers and certs!! C’mon…what’s not to love here? This tied in with walking and I’m onto a winner! HUP YA BOYA!!I have never been ashamed of any weight loss plan I’ve embarked on but with this I chose not to tell everyone ’til now, I suppose. I just found that previously, it felt like some people would discourage my attempts at losing weight or I felt like I was made to feel ashamed because I couldn’t do it on my own. Don’t let people dissuade you, there’s a good chance they are jealous of you, it may not even be the fact that you’re trying to lose weight as they might not need to themselves, it’s the fact that you’re doing something, anything, it doesn’t have to be weight loss, and they’re not.



I won’t lie, of course I ask myself “why can’t I eat what I want and not worry about it? Why can’t I be one of those people? Why is it when I look at a bun it adds instant pounds to my butt?” but I guess we can’t all be “those” people and maybe God, Allah…Buddha…whoever just wanted to test me that little bit more.


Love Donna xx

P.S Just so ye know, Slimming World have not asked or paid me to write this, I’m sharing what works for me and it may be helpful to you. This will also explain why I post foodie pics over on FB and Instagram (anything you see will more than likely be a SW recipe or something adapted to fit).

P.P.S Thank you Hubbalicious, Small Monkey (although you have no choice) and the ladies mentioned above for all your support the year or so.

P.P.P.S…..ah no just kidding!! (Is there such thing as “p.p.p.s?)

My 2016 Achievables

New Year again lads! Resolutions are made and most will probably melt away to non-existent. BUT…not me…not this time! I resolved to make resolutions I know I will keep. Well I’m 97.9999% sure these are all things I can easily resolve or achieve over the course of the year. So let’s dive in to my 2016 Achievables.

Surely this is top of the NYR list for most, weight loss! I have not resolved to lose 3 stone and I have not decided to give up drinking….not that it’s not doable, it’s just not Donna doable. I like eating, food likes me…that’s why it stays with me and I don’t feel I drink enough any more to justify giving it up.160113011657_wm I have however been on a health kick for the past 14mths (more about that another time though) and I’m now 12lbs off where I’d like to be (due to a 5lb Christmas gain….dam you Snowballs…with a dash of vodka…and Baileys….and Celebrations….and M&S puff pastry mince pies). So yeah, I am GOING to disperse of that extra poundage. See that’s doable and if you have it in your head to lose weight this year don’t go in thinking you’re going to lose 3 stone just like that otherwise you’ll trip up, get browned off and like myself, previously, stuff more in your gob! Small steps peeps…small steps.

Spondoolies!! Dollars!! Sterling!! Eurdos ( a la Dublin Hun…..hilarious, check her out)!! Whatever you call them I intend to save more of them. I’m doing the 52 Week Money Challenge.160112105856_wm I made a pretty good stab at it last year, towards an October trip with the girls and managed to save £400 outside of my regular savings. Things slowed down when I hit May…the month when my Ma, my sis, my bro AND two close buds have birthdays!! As I wrote that, I remembered that to top May off this year my bro is getting wedded….jayzus lads I’ll be broke!! Maybe I’ll just make it a 48 week challenge, still I’m feeling confident…I’m already 2 weeks ahead. 😀

Patience. Patience is a virtue. Well I’ve not been feeling very virtuous patience-wise of late. It’s mostly other adults that are the problem though. I feel like I used to be a whole lot better at listening and letting people talk even though I know what’s coming. You know when you’ve just heard it all before and you’re now dancing the same dance. I don’t know if it’s that I’m faced with the same ol’, same ol’ work wise. You know, the same excuses, the same arguments, the same questions…I don’t know if all of my patience flew outta my butt along with my organisational skills when I had Small Monkey…or maybe i am actually getting old. No! NOPE! Scrap that last one…I’ve decided I’m ageless! So yeah, I’m going to (*try) be more patient annnd I’m gonna try get back to being more organised like I was pre-Small Monkey. (Hmm must make sure Cal reads this paragraph.)

So I’ve been writing my blog for 6mths now and I’m still a bit shy, I suppose to call it a blog or say that I write one. I don’t really know how to “promote it” outside of my regular friends without feeling like I’m harassing them, but how do I get people to find me then? Don’t get me wrong, I do have people I don’t know and have never met stopping by to have a look, I even have followers on WordPress!! It’s so exciting. I’m delighted! Maybe people think I’m trying to sell stuff?? I’m not. I write ‘cos I like to and it’s something I’ve always liked doing. The only thing I really want from people is to read my blog. I’d like them to find it interesting and amusing. Maybe it’s because I’m not writing about anything in particular so I’m harder to find? I’m not a beauty or a fashion blog, I’m not a design or travel blog, I’m a little bit of everything…hence Totally Donna Marie! Of course I know a big part of it is there are sooooooo many blogs out there I’m like a grain of rice in the 5kg bag, but I’ll write regardless. This year though, I want to try and get my presentation better and take prettier photos for ye. I also want to become more frequent with my posts as I can be a sporadic. I need a bloody life rota!! Last but not least I’d love to see my blog grow with more readers and interaction. I don’t want numbers for the sake of numbers, I want numbers because those people actually enjoy what I write. So yeah, if you’re reading and you like it or have thoughts you’d like to share…please do. X

160112110057_wmWe’ve lived here 13mths now and our bedroom is still “the moving room”. Every other room got sorted apart from the utility room…that room is also the bain of my life. I just can’t seem to get rid of the piles in the bedroom or I start making new ones ‘cos “tomorrow” I’m just going to attack it all. Well let me tell you Garth Brooks….there is no if….tomorrow definitely does not come in my relation to my room! Not this year though….this year my room will become clutter free! Lord God, I bought a vintage style dressing table in anticipation of the new flat, spent aaaaaages sanding it back and the top of it hasn’t seen the light of day since October 2014!! 160112110234_wmThe same can be said for the vintage writing bureau I bought…It’s been sanded back, I started painting inside the drawers and it now sits lost between the coat racks collecting more crap on top of it!! AAAAAGHHH!!!

Since having Small Monkey and losing my organisation skills, my reading has been slacking, unless you count the “ABC” and “Peppa’s trip to the dinosaur park” type books, then yeah, slacking! I lovvvvve reading and this year I’m making a concerted effort to get back into it. I have done some reading in the last couple of years but mostly books I call light or holiday reads (not that there’s anything wrong with what I’ve read, I’m not a book snob). So to get me into the swing of things, I’m doing the Modern Mrs Darcy’s  2016 Book Challenge. I’ve actually got a pile covering half the checklist ready to roll just sitting here, crying out to be devoured. You should join in…let me know if you do. I love seeing what people are reading and finding new books to add to my “books to read list”.160112105807_wm

*Speaking of reading and organisation…Sharon at Behind Green Eyes is just amazing. Her utilisation of the day is brilliant. As she says, she has the same hours in the day as you or me, but I’m really in awe at how she gets so much done. Sharon you are a Time Utilisation Goddess!!

Ok so my last Achievable for 2016 is knitting!! Knitting is cool again just so you know! People “yarn bomb” these days. Sadly my knitting is nowhere near good enough to yarn bomb or knit jumpers for charity but I am going to knit a Sky Blanket!160112105840_wm Have you heard of these? I learned of it from talk in a Facebook group. It’s a knitted or crocheted blanket made up of 365 squares. Each square is done in the colour of the sky in your area that day. You can obviously make each square as big or as small as you want. I didn’t hear of it until day 7 and at the minute I’m now 12 days behind due to that and lack of supplies but I’ve been making note of the colour of the sky each day. Clickety, click….here I come!!

So there ye go peeps…that’s me done…well I’ve wrote it down, I’ve made it public so I can’t fail now can I? Have you any resolutions or achievables set for yourself this year?


Whether you do or don’t, have a happy, sparkly New Year!

Love Donna x