I’ve gone and updated the FAQ page

The FAQ has been updated. But perhaps you’ve already seen it? If not, the new content is below and the link to the full page is here. Share the whole page with your slimming cohorts and make us proud!

Oh, I’ve also added random graphs to the page, because why not? Here they are!




chips cake  fruit duringclass

Can I detox? My mate swears by a detox programme where she drinks nothing but horse piss and vinegar and she’s lost weight!

I’m not a scientist, not least because I’m too fat for a lovely white lab coat – I’d look like someone had parked a caravan in the corridor. Plus my interest in science extended to melting pens in the Bunsen burner and retching during the birth video we were made to watch during Sex Education week. Sex education in our school was a bust – all the boys were taken away and shown how to roll a condom onto a cucumber (no wonder men have such self-esteem problems when it comes to their cocks – to make it realistic they should have given out cucumbers, gherkins and those tiny pickle slices you get in burgers) and all the girls were taught how to best plug up their minnie-moo. Then we were shown a particularly gruesome video of someone popping a baby out and that was that. There was no mention of gay sex, despite me staying behind late and dropping my pencil case on the floor in front of the teacher with a leer on my face and a wink in my eye. That last bit wasn’t true. I never had a pencil case!

Anyway how the fuck did I get there? Ah yes. I’m not a scientist. But you don’t need to be to know detoxing is a load of shite, especially when you have to buy something in order to facilitate getting rid of the ‘bad toxins’. They always follow the same pattern – spend an obscene amount of money to buy some weird gel, powder or mix, restrict your calorie intake to something like 500 calories a day, and then sit there slack-jawed as the weight falls off. Well, the weight isn’t coming off because of the gel, is it? It’s coming off because you’re not eating enough calories to keep your body going, and as soon as you get back onto normal eating, all that lovely fat is going to rush back on. But at least your lips won’t be blue.

Put succinctly, don’t get suckered in by all the talk of dramatic weight loss and ‘I’VE NEVER FELT BETTER’. People are out to make money from slimming but the only way to do it is to eat healthily, exercise more and maintain that lifestyle going forward. No amount of gels, potions and nonsense will speed that up – because, think about it, if that were the case, none of us would need Slimming World, would we? To that end, that’s the joy of Slimming World – there’s no fancy chemical or procedure, just good honest food and plenty of support.

What are the basics?

You need to understand that I’m not a consultant and all of this is based on my own experience with Slimming World. You should consult your book, ring a class, check online if you have any queries or questions. I’m not your keeper!

So – most of your food will come from what they optimistically call ‘Free Foods’. You can eat as much of this stuff as your little tummy will hold – though stop when you feel full. There’s no weighing or measuring with this, just eat eat eat. Common sense applies – a potato is free, that family pack of Walkers Sensations that you’ve already ate in the back of your car isn’t.

Then, choose a Healthy Extra A and a Healthy Extra B. These are measured ‘extras’ that you should have during the day – to put it bluntly, your Healthy Extra B (fibre) will make sure you’re going for a shit whereas the Healthy Extra A ensures the bones in your ankles won’t snap on the way.

Finally, you get to use your syns. Syns, on top of being a spelling pedant’s worst nightmare, are Slimming World’s way of keeping you in control whilst still obliging your fatty-boom-boom tendencies. Any food that isn’t free or part of your Healthy Extra will have a syn value, and as a general rule, you’re encouraged to spend between 5 and 15 a day. So if you fancy a bar of chocolate, you can have one (a Kitkat Chunky is 12.5 syns, so you could have one a day!) and if you’re heading for a night out, you can still drink. Thank Christ eh, imagine meeting your friends whilst sober.

Finally, you’re supposed to make sure a third of your meal is made up from speed foods. We’re talking most vegetables (most, but check your books) and fruit, so put some berries in your yoghurt or serve your evening meal with a lovely salad.

Confession time: I don’t always bother with this, and I haven’t burst into flame just yet. I get the odd drunken phone call from an ex-consultant telling me that because I failed to stick 100% to plan she’d had to remortgage the house and sell her children into slavery, but well, tough tit.

What then is a S Food? Or a P Food? And F? And C?

Slimming World like letters of the alphabet, that’s for sure. Some free food have these various labels added on to denote they’re:

(S) Speedy food (they’ll fill you up with far fewer calories)

(P) Protein-rich (they’ll keep you fuller for longer)

(F) Fibre-full (they’ll keep things moving)

(C) Calcium-rich (they’ll stop you having teeth like a row of condemned houses)

What’s happened to Red and Green?

Well, can you hear me back there in the DISTANT PAST? Shall I call you on your Nokia 3310 after Series 1 of Big Brother? EH? Red and green days were the old ways, grandma – mainly meat on a red day, mainly carbs and veg on a green day. I lost seven stone this way but when I came back to Slimming World, with both sets of cheeks burning (one through embarrassment at putting the weight on and the other through general chaffing), everything had changed. It had gone to Extra Easy – one unified plan. It then changed slightly again with the introduction with Extra Easy: SP. But that nonsense is for another entry.

a serious post about anxiety

James here – posting yet again from work, activating a draft post because I’m stuck at work! This whole week has been an absolute bust diet wise – couldn’t get to class tonight either, so I can’t even assess how much damage I’ve done. Meh, a week off. Back on it tomorrow. Tell you what, I can’t even tell you all truthfully that it’s been wonderful eating lots of chocolate and nonsense because I actually feel bloated and oily! The problem is, when I’m working late, there’s nothing healthy to hand, and I do need to eat – so we end up getting in takeaway which sounds great in principle but eating Chinese at 11pm with a couple more hours of work ahead of you doesn’t do well for the diet. That said, I feel considerably less bloated now because in the middle of that sentence I had to excuse myself, nip to the gents and let rip a fart that I’m surprised didn’t tear the tiles off the wall. Good lord. Anyway: tomorrow something new and exciting comes onto the blog. And not in that way. We’re experimenting! Here’s this evening’s post…it’s actually a serious one for a change!

Serious post tonight, folks, though I’ll chuck in a few jokes because why the hell not. I received an email from wordpress (the guys who host my blog) saying happy anniversary – it’s been three years since you set up your blog. My first thought was that I had clearly stroked out for a few months because I was sure twochubbycubs had only been going for a few months, but then I twigged it was actually my first blog where I documented my ‘battle’ with health anxiety. I was so proud of that blog’s name – I called it shakerattleanddroll because of my obsession with my shaking (Parkinsons), rattling (tablets) and droll (the sparkling wit you all know and love). Mulling on it a moment or two, I thought it might be a decent thing to talk about anxiety to give some hope to anyone out there suffering with it.

I suffer from health anxiety – I’d go so far to say that it doesn’t affect me so much anymore and that I have a handle on it, but I’ll still have the occasional wobble (the wobble being a clear sign that I’ve got vertigo, or balance problems, or seasickness, or a brain tumour). Anxiety is an awful, awful thing and those who dismiss it as anything other than a serious illness can kiss my arse. I’m a strong-minded, confident bloke and I was brought to my knees through health anxiety – quite genuinely the worst three months of my life. I became hyper-sensitive to every little thing that my body did and what it meant – always the worst case scenario, and was completely unable to relax or think straight for months. Imagine always fearing you were about to die.

My obsession became multiple sclerosis – I became genuinely quite convinced that I had MS simply because my eyes were aching and I had perceived weakness in my right leg. I had, quite innocently, typed those symptoms into Dr Google and of course, the worst case scenario came up. I knew nothing about MS at the time (I could write a fucking book on it now) but everything ‘clicked’ in such a way that I started experiencing other common symptoms – balance problems, forgetfulness, more vision problems, which only reinforced my belief. I spoke to doctors who ruled it out but I knew that MS is an incredibly hard thing to actually diagnose because there isn’t a concrete test for it, so I ignored them. It’s actually a very common disease for those with health anxiety to latch onto for this very reason – plus a lot of the symptoms of anxiety and MS match up, and the more you worry about having MS, the more your anxiety grows, the worse the symptoms get…

Then, because I saw an article on Parkinsons, I became convinced that I was suffering from that purely because my hands were shaking a little. Just like that, MS was forgotten (and it seems ridiculous to me now) and Parkinsons became the focus. Pick up a piece of paper by the corner and hold it in front of you – watch the edges shake a little. It’s perfectly normal. But to me that was a sign I was going to spend my life unable to type and never eating peas again. Eventually, I pretty much snapped through all of the worry and went to talk to my doctor, who god bless her, went through each and every one of my ‘symptoms’ and told me it was anxiety.

I was put onto an anti-depressant called citalopram for six months – only a small dose, but enough to ‘take the edge off’ my worries. It worked to some extent because it dulled my senses and stopped me thinking about every little thing, but I was cynical about it working. Then it happened – a few peaceful hours became a full day, one day became two, two days became a week, and I just stopped worrying, and I stopped taking the tablets and felt fine. Paul was an absolute wonder through all of this, being my constant rock, as always, and I do try and tell him how thankful I am.

It’s not perfect – even now I catastrophise – if I have a headache, I’ll immediately start running through my mind the possibilities: brain tumour (unlikely, I’m not seeing blue flashes), mad cow disease (possibly, I grew up on cheap beef), stroke (touch each tooth with the tip of your tongue, if you can do that, you’re not having a stroke). Crazy. But, I know how to deal with it – I take solace in statistics. The same logic and rationale that gets me onto an aeroplane keeps me from flipping out over health worries. I’ve had a weird tic in my left eye for a good few weeks now but I don’t care, and that feels good.

I’m not posting all of this for attention or for people to say ‘Oooh, haven’t you done well’ – in fact, no comments wanted, I know I’ve got it licked. No, I’m posting this because if anyone is reading this and going through anxiety themselves – whether health anxiety, general anxiety or just a period of depression, know that it does, and will, get better. At my darkest I thought I’d suffer for the rest of my life and to be quite honest, it’s probably always going to be a small part of me, but I go weeks without thinking about it and I can’t, genuinely, remember the last time it was a problem. It might feel neverending or that there’s no hope, but there’s always something positive to cling to, and things always get better in the end. I did…!

70 mullerlight yoghurts

now, since I was working overtime yesterday, I sent Paul to the shops to ‘stock up the fridge’. This is what he came back with.


That’s seventy yoghurts. Well no, you can’t see 70, but the bloody salad drawer, drinks shelf and egg shelf are also full of yoghurts. Great work! Still, it gave me an idea, so I fired off a letter to Muller, as seen below:


Haha! Muller yoghurts are perfect for a free or a low-syn snack, and even better, if you stick them in the freezer, it’ll take you an age to eat them and you get an ‘ice-cream’ feeling. Don’t get me wrong, compared to eating dulce de leche Häagen-Dazs, it’s like switching from Andrex to Izal, but if it scratches that itch…

Be careful though – the Muller Rice and Muller Corner yoghurts are full of syns. You’re looking for lights and lights only. Rule of thumb is if it has cheesecake bits, it’ll add an extra syn or so, but most of the ‘plain’ fruit flavours are good to go. A sprinkling of chocolate doesn’t equal a syn!

Enjoy. Weigh-in chat tomorrow and a new recipe card (I’ve made two tonight!)


fail to plan, plan to fail

Goodness me, that’s a bit of a fortune-cookie saying, but it raises a very good point! PLAN PLAN PLAN. Paul and I have found previously that if we just make our meals on the fly, we end up spending loads of money in Waitrose as it’s right next to my work or calling on our sugar daddy, Papa John.

So – if you want to succeed, get out your books, get onto the Internet and pick out recipes that actually interest you! Try new things and ideas, step outside your comfort zone and keep things interesting. There’s only so much enthusiasm you can muster for a BLOODY SLIMMING WORLD QUICHE covered in TOMATO BLOODY SAUCE.


You can pick up a blackboard from amazon cheap enough – click here for ours. We don’t normally keep it above the fireplace, but the lighting in the kitchen is all to cock.

Oh, the bake biscuits bit? Harvest Festival at work. So I’ve volunteered to make some ginger biscuits. Normally I’d make chocolate but I can’t resist that, so SUFFER EVERYONE ELSE.

Only a small entry tonight (fnar) as I’ve been working overtime since 1 and I’m absolutely buggered, and not in the good way either.