Tuesday 14 August 2012

Baking On A Diet - I Need Your Support

I am about to say something that I'm very scared of making public, for some unknown reason.... So please be kind to me... I know you will...

I have always been a big girl... from school age really to being the chubby Maid of Honour or Bridesmaid (I am ashamed to say I am embarrased when I look back at the last few years especially : ( 
 My weight has always fluctuated, as you can see from the photos I'm going to share with you from the last 9 or 10 years.
(Some of which I never want to see myself anywhere near again and some others I aim to get back into shape in similar piccies for the future... It's going to happen this time, with some lengthy support from my friends, family & followers!

As you may or may not know, I have lived my life as Miss Sue Flay (Read it aloud if you haven’t yet got the name hehe ; ) for the last 2 years now. TWO YEARS!... Wow... I am shocked at myself for sticking at something for as long as this, as I am notorious for being the QUEEN of moving on quickly in everything I do...

I am beyond proud of what I have achieved with The Secluded Tea Party and the LOVELY people I have met and the friends I have made along the way (And still am meeting!) – it’s been beyond fun and I am having an absolute ball.

I have even challenged myself way beyond my own comfort zones the last few months and have filmed a couple of bits and bobs for television, it’s been so exciting, I could burst!... More to follow on those appearances shortly I hope, I just have to continue my little secrets a little bit longer, it’s killing me not being able to share it all with you  : )

The other thing that I have been fairly low key about over the last month or so is the fact that I am now admitting cake-based defeat and am currently doing the WeightWatchers plan in my local village. I am officially losing the 2 years worth of cake research I have piled on as my alter ego and I need a little more support to egg me on.

This is where you, my lovely blog and tea party followers come in.

I am on a mission to work off every single scone, cupcake, biscuit, tart, finger sandwich, meringue, swiss roll, layer cake, brownie, flapjack, tiffin, trifle, cookie and the endless list of other naughty treats that I have baked and sampled throughout my afternoon tea adventures for hosting and writing/blogging purposes.

My colleagues in my day job are predominantly men, with a love of doughnuts and I have a staff tuck shop literally sat on my desk, which I help to tempt people to fundraise for our chosen charity. I really don’t mind, in fact it’s potentially helping me to see it all day so I don’t crave it, but I fear I may crumble one of these days if I forget my little packed lunch of healthier treats...

I have been one naughty girl over the last couple of years, taste testing all my beautiful afternoon tea menus (all gorgeous, naturally ; ) and I have finally admitted it and reached the cakey wall.
I have vowed to only sample a piece of cake in all its naughtiness once a month for research purposes, for my magazine columns or blog reviews (I will have to see how that goes, but currently on track in doing just this... ; )

I have started baking more healthy desserts & sweet treats and enjoyed the summer excuse for sorbets, frozen yoghurts and healthier versions of cheesecakes, even a summer fruits terrine with jelly to make me feel like a kid again... they were all delicious recipes and didn’t make me feel that I was on a strict diet at the events I made them for. 

In fact, who knows, one day I may even look to host a weightwatchers afternoon tea party hehe... now that would be a great little challenge! I wonder if my weightwatchers meeting would be game for coming along to a one-off event in which I bake low pro-point foods but still taste and look amazing... now there is a challenge in itself, to actually ask them!...

... I haven't actually discussed with my fellow groups members exactly what I do... I feel as though If I tell them that all I do is surround myself with temptation, it may either go very badly for me and their thoughts towards me... or it may well go the other way and get them craving the sweet stuff if they like cake and afternoon tea as much as I do ; ) 
So I haven't yet admitted to them who I am in the shadows of my life, or what I make behind those secret closed doors... Not yet anyway. 


... I think this through every week and my one goal (apart from being fitter and healthier of course) is to watch myself on the television in the winter, when my Afternoon Tea expertise (*Cough Cough, Ahem* ; )  will be shown on BBC2's "Escape to the Country". 
The reason, other than this being my first real TV debut, is that I will be watching myself on this show at my heaviest set. I am a big girl, made of cake and scones (quite literally lately). HOWEVER, whilst I am sat, perched nervously on the edge of my sofa at that point, I will be slimmer and even more beautiful and I will be able to say *Gosh, Wasn't I big?!* instead of *Gosh, AREN'T I big?!"

That will be the proudest moment of 2012.... and I cannot wait to see what 2013 will bring, in all my skinnier glory... And, believe it or not, I am actually ENJOYING my diet. I am eating lots of healthy food, more food in fact than I would usually be eating, just the right stuff (NOT rocket science) and getting outside to exercise more, be it a bike ride, a game of squash or walking my lively pup, which I just adore doing - It all makes a world of difference : )
Even just adding a few terrible dance moves to my baking routine, instead of standing still, I rock out to the dulcet tones of AC/DC or The Foo Fighters whilst baking my Victoria Sponge - My neighbors must think I'm barmy hehe.

Please do support me, mostly by not getting upset if I turn down a slice of cake and only seen to be sipping politely on a cup of Earl Grey, it's NOTHING personal and I will personally be going through some tough decisions when turning down a delicious treat in exchange for another banana or Pink Lady apple.... but trust me, when you see me at The Secluded Tea Party next year, you will not recognise me, thinking only that your afternoon tea Hostess has been chopped in for a younger and even more stunning model ; ) 

I have to say, between starting off this blog post & finishing it, I have found out that my baking idols, The Hairy Bikers (Who got me baking in the first place with their STUNNING scone recipes - no lie!) are now also on a weight loss challenge themselves, their book is on it's way in the post to me as I type and I cannot wait to get cooking some of their skinnier versions of British classics, including their pasta-free lasagne which is on tonight's menu in the Flay household. 
I have seen photos of their success so far & they look incredible!.... 
Si & Dave, I salute you - Keep up the GREAT WORK xx

If you fancy supporting me, then don't be afraid to drop me a line, I am open to ideas, challenges, ideas and just a chat over a slimline drink if you fancy helping me on my weight loss journey... Just leave me a message below or contact me in the many different ways at the top of this blog...

Miss Sue Flay


  1. Good luck missy, I need some of your inspiration because I am exactly the same! I need to settle down and actually do it so I am with you all the way!

    1. Thanks so much missy... Drop me a line ANY time you fancy a recipe swap or a chat xx

  2. Good on you! I've recently made the same decision, backed up by looking through some photos from a friends wedding a few weeks ago.

    I'm definitely guilty of over indulging too much and not moving around enough, and it has to change. I'm signing up for a 5k charity run (jog) in November ( there I've said it )

    Happy to provide online moral support what about some sort of online healthy recipe / activity challenge? Might help me get back in the blogging saddle too.

    You'll be feeling fab before you know it!

    1. I was a Bridesmaid for my best friend a couple of years ago as you can see above and I had been doing ww then too.... but it's all piled back on... at least 3 stone since then...scary. I still didn't feel confident then... so this time I need to get right on it and I will : )
      An online challenge sounds great... drop me an email with your ideas my lovely, maybe a recipe challenge is a good way to start... happy to blog it and get some followers joining us : )

  3. As you know I am also trying to lose some cake weight! I got into a habit of baking far too much and the weight slowly crept up, I do miss baking so would be nice to hear of some good recipes that still give me a cakey fix.

    Couple of blogs that are good for these things
    http://www.keepinghealthygettingstylish.com/ (there is a courgette and pecan bread which I want to try)
    http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/ < healthy dessert blog :)

    1. Deepa you are a FOUNTAIN of blog knowledge, I love it hehe! Thank you so much... already on Chocolate Covered Katie, wow I am hungry!
      I did hear of a Weetabix cake which was low fat... I went and bought some Weetabix last night, so will give it a go this week maybe ; )

  4. Best of luck! I am in a similar boat with my cake-y blog and love of all thing baking. I am trying WW but failing so far, if you ever need a bit of encouragement or a moan you know I am always on twitter (@nellyscupcakes) x

    1. Which WW do you go to my lovely? Happy to support, just drop me a line... you can find me @thesecludedtea on Twitter xx

  5. A very brave post, proud of you Jo! As you know I am also on the same journey albeit with Slimming World, 2 and half stone down and I don't feel like I have missed out as I feel so much better already! The important thing here is that you are doing it for you which is brilliant (although personally I think you still look fab in some of these pics, especially loving the black and orange print maxi my dear!) I have almost stopped baking to remove the tempation which is such a shame, so I look forward to hearing how you get on, and thanks for the heads up on Si and Dave's book! You know I am always only a text away x

    1. Brave... or stupid.. But I figure, If I make it public, I have you all to answer to as well as myself teehee ; )
      Lina, 2 and a half stone is beyond amazing, I am in awe of that! Something to aim for most definitely.
      I think a dish for your house warming from The new Hairy Bikers book is in order... what do you reckon? xx

  6. Good Luck you will do it, i am back at WW tomorrow, tried to do it on my own and i dont have the will power! I know the WW plan works for me and im excited to be back on the right track again. I have also found a walking/jogging buddy and we go out twice a week. I think your WW meeting would be up for a Scheduled Tea Party low points tea party. I know Id come!
    Anna (www.twitter.com/AnnaBowkis)

    1. Anna, which meeting do you go to? Come to the Cambourne one if you live nearby? it's every Wednesday night at 6.30pm and Lorraine is so inspiring, a great leader : )
      I think I may drop the idea tomorrow and see what they say.... Pinkies crossed they might be up for it : )

  7. It could be me writing this post. I have so much to loose it makes me so mad that I put it on in the first place.

    I am doing the fasting thing though. Eat fast Eat.

    1. Vanessa, How is this fasting thing working for you? Am I right in hearing that this has been proven scientifically recently to be the key to a healthy body (inside and out?) - My mum told me about this at the weekend, but I'm unsure.
      Weightwatchers is about eating a healthy balanced diet and I am enjoying this. I haven't baked as much, which means there is no temptation to eat it. Orders only! Hehe

      Perhaps we could join forces for a fun recipe challenge?..... xxx

  8. Well done Jo, been on same journey since beg of year & lost 1.5 stone with several holidays in there too. Am almost at goal now. But still have cake almost every day, just different cake these days. If you couldn't find Weetabix cake recipe, let me know & I will give it you. (dawniecyp) on twitter

    1. Dawn.. is it the Weetabix Tealoaf cake?... I have found various versions so do email me yours if you like : )
      And well done, that is a huge loss... You must be so chuffed, there will be nothing left of you soon hehe xx

  9. And just remember... Just 1 lb (pound) is equal to 1 block of butter!.... Now, if any bakers out there like me know, trying to balance 5 or 6 blocks of those buggers whilst shopping for cake ingredients is a pain in the backside... Now imagine yourself carrying that weight on your body. It soon adds up (or reduces in this case ; )

  10. Good luck lady, we'll be there with you. You can do it! I really enjoyed reading your blog and can empathise with a lot of how you feel... I too am a fluctuator!
    As for the WW inspired cakes... Hell yeah!

  11. Thanks Jo , will email it across, might be different, not sure.

  12. Lots of luck to you Jo, sounds like you've got the right idea about doing it sensibly. Can't wait to hear about the new Hairy Bikers book when you've had a crack at it!

    I don't eat badly, but I know I could do with having more fruit and veg. My main problem is that I don't get nearly enough exercise, and that weight which would come off when I was more active isn't now. :/ This September I want to start going to Zumba, resume doing yoga regularly, and cycle like I used to. Once I get my cookbooks & recipes unpacked I'll send you any good healthy recipes I find.

    1. Thanks so much missy!... The *Pasta Free* Lasagne was AMAZING!... Love it!..Zumba for me is a no as two left feet ; )
      But on my bike a lot more and loving it! xx

  13. Good luck! I did WW a couple of years back and managed to shift 21lbs but am now back up to where I was after eating a chocolate bar each day and never saying no to cake.

    Our leader used to make people hold 1lb weights/coke cans up in the air for the entire meeting if they whinged about only loosing llb. It definitely made you think when you watched their faces grimacing after 5 mins!

    We will have to have a healthier table at WI meets! You can do it x

    1. Hehe I love that your leader used to make people do that, hilarious!... I might mention that tonight at my meeting hehe.
      Healthy treat table... great idea... Count me in for that ; )