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Time to breath and let go of looking back

Hardly know where to start to be honest, it has been difficult hiding away hating myself, living in the past and living on regret, living a life of shame and black despondency. It is hard to believe I have been in a trance for couple of years looking back and wishing I was there, all the time it left me feeling so lost and sad and hateful of what I had done, the spiral of hate grew and grew which left me in a vulnerable state and living on emotions rather than deciding how I want to live, I let emotions run my thoughts and actions.

I reached out a few months ago to my Dr and asked for help, I was in such a mess, binge eating, binge drinking, not wanting to face the world, living a life of selfish “I don’t want this situation” what a waste of energy when I had the power to change it. Anyhow my Dr referred me to All Ages Eating Disorder clinic, after an initial assessment with the team it was decided what sort of help treatment was right for me, I needed this  help so much, this Wednesday is week four of DBT therapy which is used successfully for people who have eating disorders as well as personality. The therapist I see weekly, during lockdown its via video call, she has been a godsend in these lock down times of this virus pandemic. She is helping me develop tools which I believe are to develop a wise mind and stop the dramatic swings of emotions running my life and choices.

We often hear about self love, but what that exactly is, its specific to each of us individually. For me I live my life through shame, a feeling I have failed, a very black and white way of thinking, full on or full off, I do not seem to live amongst any shades of grey in daily life. Being very self critical and realising my goals and aims were not met, I do attack myself and self sabotage myself because that is what I deserve.  Learning to be kind to myself is not easy but I am willing to try, because the real me, the core me, the future me is not the me that is running the show at the moment.

I have a lot of baggage from childhood, habits deep ingrained where I turn to eating for comfort, these rituals I still do at the age of 56 I am still reacting like a 7 year old girl. Emotionally injured and damaged, adult me runs and hides when I make mistakes and feel afraid. There are certain foods and also alcohol I do not seem to have any control over, I thought I did, 3 years ago went on holiday, had a few treats and thats when it all started, little by little the old habits of eating trigger foods took over and returned me back to being a binge eater – shame took over, the cycle of shame and binging has been going on now for couple of years, I have tried so hard to get back many times, but looked at others and thought what a mess and a failure I am. We all have our own story, we can take inspiration and use it for positive or negative, it is what we choose to do with it that is on us.

Today is a good day, I try and make a list of 5 things daily when I wake in the morning I have a journal by my bed, never enjoyed doing this before, so it is not an easy habit to get going for me. I take my journal out, write down my thoughts and at the end of morning thoughts I write 5 things as a wish list, its not important if I do not achieve them all or any. At bedtime I write in my journal again my thoughts and tick off what I did from my wish list, I am making progress as I do not look at the things I did not do with shame, I look at them and think tomorrow.

The therapist prefers I do not focus on weighing myself or even counting food etc, so I am not sure how heavy I am, I would say I am around 25 stone a size 26.  Strange how that looks in writing, I am proud I am able to write it and share the truth. So I am focusing on living for the day, being the best me I can be, doing my best to be kind to myself and show myself forgiveness.

Time to live for today, yesterday is gone, I just want to try and be the best of me now this moment and dream of a better tomorrow.

I guess I should share why I am where I am today, it was pain, physical pain that nudged me to ask for help, losing my freedom again is terrifying, I had felt yet again I have gone too far and it is too late. It is not too late, we can all start over no matter how many times each attempt is testimony to our strength and courage.

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September 2019 Journey Update

Wow it has been a while since I last wrote an update. The last few months have required me to dig deep, it has been a struggle but somehow or other I managed to keep my mind forging forwards to where I hope to be. Where is that you may ask?  The most important is an emotional none physical place. ‘It’s a feeling not a place, it is peace, calmness, enjoying the just being me today’ I do have have those go to places I feel calm in,I also love to take time out and have coffee, there is something about going out for a coffee that helps me relax, it is important to find your own safe place, thats how I find it, funny though am never tempted by the cakes on sale, a good thing! My other happy place is going to the park with my dog (which often involves a coffee too!) Also I love swimming, I have been able to stop worrying about what people think of how I look, have found a way to pretend they are not there

Since my last blog entry I have pulled myself through some pretty low moments, I have been perimenopausal for a long time and until last month being 6 months absent of my monthly I thought I was almost done, but my body had other plans! For me the low moods, tiredness and extreme foggy head has perhaps been all part of the over eating cycle again. I did visit my Dr and had my anti depressants adjusted and they have helped an awful lot over the last 5 months or so. I started staying to Weight Watchers class on Saturdays again, the community feel and friendship where I feel safe to share with my friends in class has also helped to move forward and regain some happiness and clarity.

Taking myself in hand be seeking support from my Dr and my friends and family, I was able to give myself some slack and stop punishing myself. Also during this point I gave up drinking again, drinking wine or the odd beer really diminished my clear thinking of what were good food choices, so without this trigger I have been able to make good choices and show myself some affection by adding things to my life and daily routine that I enjoy. The problem with eating a box of cakes or drinking several glasses of wine, that temporary feeling of comfort is so short a window, for me as soon as I have finished the so called treat, I felt guilt, anger, shame and would think blow it and make everything worse!

Since June I have managed to care for my body and mind and it is paying off, I feel happier, yes still frustrated with where I am, but trying to look forward as looking back makes me cry and I dont think I need to cry any more. So June until September I have lost 2 stone 10 lbs and I am pretty happy with that. (If I am honest I am a little impatient and wish it was double that) but every day is a brand new day, a day I appreciate all in my life. Below have listed a few things I can do now which I could not do at 34 stone, and I have been using these positive thoughts to help me keep going and not berate myself for slipping and having a relapse. I realised that turning a corner on my relapse was pivotal when I started to appreciate I had not lost all my progress in fact I still had so many good things that I was able to include in my life that were not possible before, so a change of my view, perspective of life helped turn the corner and move on from the relapse

  1. Tie shoes
  2. Clean myself all over, toilet and shower
  3. Dress myself
  4. Stand and cook/wash up
  5. Walk a reasonable distance
  6. Swim
  7. Go shopping
  8. Feel brave enough to buy perfume and make up
  9. Buy clothes from regular shops (ok still plus size atm but that will change soon)
  10. Walk around the shops
  11. Play with my grandchildren
  12. Go to the cinema/theatre
  13. Get in plane seat
  14. Drive a car easily without seat belt extender
  15. Not have panic attacks that people are looking at me
  16. Go to hair dressers also dentist

I am sure there are more things if I thought about it but for the most these things spring to mind.

Life is so fleeting, every day is a gift and I am grateful for my lot, I have goals and dreams and working towards them one day at a time.

I was able to forgive myself once again and let in the light of hope through the darkness of depression.

Never give up – no matter how you feel this moment, you could be feeling different in 5 minutes time or tomorrow morning

My world my grandchildren

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Blog

Relapse – the truth of dealing with weight loss

I barely know where to begin as it is all so complex so going to start with my happy time.

I had lost about 16 stone in total with WW and about 20 stone in my journey to date, just two years ago I was on top of the world and thought I had cracked my life long abuse of food and alcohol. I was living again, starting to travel, enjoying life to the full and felt I had found wisdom in how to live the life I had dreamt of. However by taking back those fun filled life events, social events and holiday travels, I also started to take back into my life the odd glasses of wine and my favourite ales, which in turn led to letting lose of old fears of combos of food and drink, which I felt I could control, which it turns out like any addict I cant.

So here I am two years onwards and about 10 stone up, I have not weighed in yet but I plan to at my WW class next Saturday.  How did I end up here in a place I said I would never go back to? It is all very complex, even I am not so sure but I will try and unravel it all and share with you, I do hope some of you will gain some wisdom from my journey and share some camaraderie too.

All my life from early childhood I had found refuge in food and over eating it was a comfort blanket, which has blighted my whole childhood, teenage years, adult life, why? Why oh why? Each time I ate for comfort it led to self hatred which in turn led to eating more as I had sub messages of that is all I am worth.

Now at the age of 55 I am still that child reaching out for inner peace, to live normal, my vision from normal is far from the me I perceive and look upon with dissatisfaction. The woman when unhappy, bored, lost in self destruction, self hate, feeling a failure, a woman whose self hatred is so engrained I can not see how anyone sees  good in me. Why would they when I do not see my own value? So I strive to help others because I feel they are worth saving. Now 5 years ago this coming summer I found it within to see I was worthy, I did not want to live in agony any longer, but it is more than physical pain which was a motivator to get well and lose some of the body that restricted my living, this is my driving force again, the why I want to get well again, because I have just been on holiday and as much as I tried to enjoy it and I did, there were moments of physical pain that forced my head back to reality, ” I heard my voice say again, you have hurt yourself enough now”.

What is this about? I have come to the conclusion that I have been self harming all my life, I can remember many times ramming as much food down my throat, crying in anger during an argument, moments of sitting alone just eating like a machine and when it was all gone go and buy more and whilst shopping wondering if I have bought enough food to do the job.  What is the job? To make myself quiet? To silence the voice of self love? To scare my body as much as I could so I would stay in doors and not have to face the world? Being so big gave me a reason that I can hide away, I was too big to walk, too big to be seen as I was so ugly and a freak. But almost 4 years ago I saw a desire and felt it, the hope to want to live, I had bled enough, my heart felt broken to pieces and my body so fragile, I felt a ghost, a veil of a human.

Self harming with food is a real thing, just like bulimia, anorexia, I just do not think it is acknowledge by society or the medical profession.

There is so much to say I can hardly find the words to share and trawl through the thoughts and reasons I have to explain it all, it would take many blog posts, of course I will try over the coming weeks share with you all my thinking on this and how I can help myself and others too.

The title of this post is very poignant to me : RELAPSE

My relapse began sneakily with my mind believing I could handle small amounts of alcohol and chocolate, crisps, have a night off and letting my hair down. The problem is those thoughts which I believed led me to extending those days off, the letting hair down day led to weekends, then onto Monday – I will start next week plans. The days off were quietly becoming a bigger problem, one which has led to a huge weight gain and unstable mind, anxiety, depression and a feeling of not wanting to be seen, hiding away, I kept trying to pull myself back but after a week or so would relapse again.

I returned from Marrakech on Saturday morning and felt so unwell after a week of eating too much and drinking and the pain of walking, getting up and down was hard again, needing my husband to help me manoeuvre, he is an important part of my life not just as my husband who I love and adore but someone who has stood by me through everything fat and thin, I am truly blessed with his friendship and love.  So while away it dawned on my I had been self harming, I had relapsed big time and I was ready to share it.

  1. Acknowledge I had a problem
  2. Share my voice, my feelings
  3. Find help in support

Today is Sunday I had lots of rest yesterday, so feeling much better. I chose to eat sensible yesterday and had no alcohol.  I know to get well again just like last huge weight loss I knew I had to abstain from certain things, like booze, biscuits, crisps, I knew what my combos were which triggers de railed me and I am very aware of them again because they are the same ones, it is my plan and promise to myself to remember this triggers and abstain once more as I seem to be unable to moderate.

I am thinking of starting a live chat/video or something similar – where I weigh in at home before I go to WW class, if there is an interest and people want to lose weight with me.

There is so much to say – I dare say I will come back with some more information and ideas on how to handle life as a self harming binge eater. The truth is weight loss is not easy and it is not about knowing your calories, which plan you follow, or how many steps you have made, yes those things do contribute of course to losing weight, but I feel this for me is about mental well being. I am very knowledgable and capable, yet I had relapsed due to my mental state.

Keep the love going around!

 

Lisa x

5 May 2019 Marrakech (size 24)

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3 January 2019 – looking forwards

I sit here waiting for breakfast to cook, today I decided to have lemon poppy seed baked oats with banana. It has been my intention for several days now to make an honest diary update of where I am, so while breakfast is cooking I thought this is the moment.

Yesterday was the first day I had taken back control of my eating, for some time. It has been a difficult few months with the manifestation of binges within my daily living. Huge high calorific binges where there seemed no off button other than going to bed to sleep. What has brought me back to my senses has been the news of the passing of one of my close friends someone who has been with me through my weight loss journey, I found out my friend Paul had passed away was by a phone call on new years eve, I felt devastated to hear of his loss, my loss, a friend I could turn to, I felt so selfish as I cried, how much I will miss him, never being able to talk to him again or have coffee catch ups putting the world to rights. I could hear him say to me as I sat and cried ‘come on girl pull yourself together, you silly moo’ he always had a way of making you laugh when sad. So I put some make up on and my husband and I went out to a local pub with our dog Beau to have a quiet drink and bring in the new year. It was quite a strange night, very busy in the pub until about 11 pm where it seemed only two or three couples were left inside the pub. We had been talking to a lovely couple sat next to us, we seemed to have much in common apart from weight problems, haha! Anyhow we talked and had such a lovely evening sharing each others life journey, it felt like we had known them more than 2 and half hours, at the end of the night they invited us back to wait for a taxi at their home. I actually found myself saying to them, I feel like you were sent to meet us tonight, it could no have been more poignant a meeting on such a sad day of finding out Paul had died.  It felt as though Paul had sent them to us, it is strange how you meet people who stay in your life for always or just an evening, the main realisation is we help each other and learn from listening to each other, lending an ear and also being listened to, friendship comes in all forms and it is a beautiful gift.

Paul’s death has really helped me re focus on my why I want to lose weight, a real why, a sharp reminder has hit home, I am approximately 4 stone up 4 dress sizes up and finding life hard again, moving, walking, emotionally liking myself. It seems unbelievable it has taken the loss of a dear friend to make me wake up to my own fog again, to find a path to living a life I know I want more than anything. I had been lost in emotional binging, feeling sorry for myself because my happiness was not where I thought it was, a place, near my children, life had changed, my location had changed I had spent 2 years fighting it, living a regret I was so far from my friends and family, I was trying hard to live a positive life in my new location, but those I loved were over 80 miles away. I let this eat away at me for so long it exacerbated my mood into a darker mood, when you focus on negative it sucks you in, quite unaware how much a grip it had got on me, I slipped slowly down into my own emotional quick sand. The “I’ had become selfish, worrying about how I felt rather than how I could help others and show love to those in my life no matter how far I lived away. I felt sorry for myself I had lost the life I had built up, well things do change, I always prided myself on a positive mind through my weight loss journey, yet I had been scuppered by my own mind. I had been deluded on where my happiness was, happiness can be found anywhere because it must reside inside us.

There is so much to say, I feel I could write so much to un burden my heart, but I want to accept where I am, I know how to re build and go forward with a thankful heart, good intentions no matter what the outcome, I must praise and keep hopeful. It is quite a shock to see a fat photo of myself again, but there it is I am now a size 20/22 again, much of it gained in 3 months due to binge eating. Binge eating is something I have done in my life but this time around it has been severe, copious amounts of calories through the day non stop. I can change this because I want to, I will succeed in being kind to myself and letting go of self criticism and build myself up again.

I dedicate this new beginning to my friend Paul Charlwood who I shall miss greatly, but remember fondly every day.

Happy New Year to everyone, wishing you peaceful mind and a happy 2019!

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No Count Change Ahead

Well if you have ever read the book, Who Moved My Cheese, you will know that it sums up life quite well. To say I am upset at the removal of No Count from Weight Watchers plans is an understatement, but I felt more upset when they change Filling & Healthy plan to No Count. I have found No Count plan harder than F&H but have stuck with it.

After a meeting at Weight Watchers HQ with Helen Haythornwaite of Loving No Count website and my fellow admin Victoria from my Face Book group No Count Friends, along with WW HQ team Zoe and Greg, we were given the update of why they are making changes, it was explained to us all that WW have found that the new plan Flex is the most successful plan ever. I asked how do they know this is the most successful plan ever by WW? Zoe said that after two years clinical trials the data showed just how successful it was. We were assured those that are present members who would like to continue with NC will be supported by their coaches and those online members via online coaches. We were assured that new coaches coming through from training with WW were also trained with the knowledge of NC so they can support present members who want to continue with the NC approach. However our access to the the WW APP will no longer include the NC function for tracking.

My only worry is that F&H and NC I believe offer a balanced representative of food groups on the zero list more than Flex does. It is human nature to try and eek out the most of what you can from a weight loss plan, whether that is right or wrong, many people do this including myself. It is the use of zero list foods that have helped me be so creative with food ideas and using real foods in a non conventional way that has helped me lose my weight.

I believe as upset as I am because I faced the change from Filling & Healthy which for me was a huge deal, I feel better equipped emotionally to cope with yet another change – change happens all the time around us in all areas of our life, it is dealing with change and keeping positive that I believe makes us stronger. What is it about Weight Watchers that keeps me a member? Well as Jean Nidetch also noticed that it was more than just food and calories it was about social interaction and support. This is why I keep going back to WW the bond, belonging, friendship, people who understand what you are going through to try and lose weight. It is a unique friendship a circle of trust like no other, this is why I stick with Weight Watchers.

We can keep digging over the change, focus on why we are upset and disgruntled but where will that get us? As a global business WW have made a decision, the plans have changed many times over the years, they will continue to be tweaked and change I suspect, only we can choose to be positive and move on or it is out choice to leave or change.

No matter what change throws at me Weight Watchers Filling & Healthy also No Count have equipped me with tools and self belief that I can live a life without constant weighing of foods and eat foods that keep me satisfied and feeling that I am not actually on a diet at all. I plan to follow the No Counting approach as it has given me the life I dreamed of.

There are many quotes out there but this one sort of sums me up accurately.

“Compulsive eating is an emotional problem, and we use an emotional approach to its solution.” Jean Nidetch

Never going back !

December 2013 size 34

July 2018 size 14

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Cauliflower Chocolate and Nut Cake

As many people know I love to try and incorporate vegetables into my puddings, this was an interesting experiment.

Ingredients:

1 pack of ready cut up cauliflower rice – microwaved cool and set aside

When cool pop into food processor with the following:

4 tb PB2

2 TB sweetener

4 tsp coco powder

tsp vanilla

tsp almond flavour

tsp ginger

tsp vanilla coffee granules

60 ml almond unsweetened milk

1 egg

tsp anise seeds

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch bircarb

Whizz it all up until it is smooth, add to baking moulds, I chose small paper cases, topped with a few almonds

Baked in pre heated oven 180 approx 20 mins

There was enough batter to make an extra cake so topped with a few slices of nectarine as an experiment!

Results ! There is an underlying very subtle taste of cauliflower but not enough to offend, its really soft cake of sorts, boarding brownie texture. I would make again.

 

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Recipes

Strawberry Low Fat Cottage Cheese Cake

Ingredients:

4o g oat bran

40 g cottage cheese

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch bicarb

vanilla flavour or extract to taste

1 tb sweetener

little lemon zest

3 chopped strawberries

15 g honey

Instructions:

Mix strawberries with honey and heat in microwave set aside to cool a little

Mix the remainining ingredients by whisking well at the end fold in the strawberries

Pop into baking dish which I sprayed with coconut fry light

Added one strawberry cut in half and a very small amount of almonds

 

Bake approx 20 mins 180

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4 Year Weight Watchers Anniversary

On 9th August 4 years ago I somehow walked through the Weight Watchers door for the last time. I had been a member several times in my life previously the first time was age 14/15, and I never wanted to be on another diet again in my life.   I had been trying to lose weight for a while as I had applied for bariatric surgery so needed to show I was able to lose weight. A few stone down one morning I thought I have to do more, what if I am not able to get the op? To cut a long story short, such was my success with Weight Watchers I turned down the option of bariatric surgery.  I was desperate for a life I dreamed of, my dreams were so simple really, to walk more than 15 steps without feeling I would collapse, sit in any style chair without fear of not fitting in it or more so breaking it!

The first 2/12 years I found very easy following Filling and Healthy plan, there was something in the plan that gave me the freedom to live normally and to re establish my emotional relationship with food, learn about portions and truly listen to my inner voice of what I want or what I need to eat. Getting back to basics with F&H was crucial I was following a weight loss plan that gave me freedom, responsibility and a feeling of creativity with the ingredients that I was able to choose freely from the Filling and Healthy food list. The majority of my weight was lost following Filling and Healthy plan, and using Pro Points for the weekly extra allowance for things that were not on the F&H food list gave me enough freedom to bake, baking my own puddings and sweet foods was a pivotal point in my self control, when I ate chocolate and shop bought treats in the past it always led to a binge, but by making my own sweet foods, puddings I was getting sweet tooth satisfaction yet the ingredients were filling, so was less likely to go back for more, which I always did with a chocolate bar.

The Weight Watchers plan changed again, it changed to No Count and Smart Points, there was little real change to the F&H food list however with the changes brought in with Smart Points this affected how many weekly points I had to use and also many of the things I baked with had doubled in points as the drive seemed to be for us to reduce our sugar intake. However I stuck with No Count but can honestly say due to my sweet tooth I found NC and SP much harder, my success seemed to be stalled due to the change. However over 3 1/2 years I lost 225 lbs and being part of my fantastic Weight Watchers group has been vital, my wonderful WW coach Helen who is by far the best coach I have ever met, she is personable, real and genuinely cares, she is a friend too she has been by my side through the last 4 years.

Last year I was so close to the goal that had been set, then I went on my first holiday abroad for many years, I had intended to be sensible anyhow when I got back I had gained 24lbs quite a shock! Since last June I have struggled to lose that weight, have felt upset about it for a while, and this negative emotion only made it harder, I always say to people draw a line, forget it and move on, yet although I was taking my own advice I feel I was just giving it lip service and not really practicing it. So here I am a year later, I guess with that year I have maintained, I am still a stone heavier than my lightest but thats ok, I am in a really good place at the moment because I choose to be.

The recent news that Weight Watchers are getting rid of No Count, phasing it out and not giving that option to new members I feel is very sad, I felt very frustrated about it because I know this sort of eating, re setting how you view food gave me my own personal freedom. I know for some people counting and structure is key, but for me who started my first diet when I was 9 years old, I could not cope with another diet ever again. Hence really embracing the F&H and NC lifestyles. Anyhow change happens, NC is going and I have to go forward, I am not leaving my Weight Watchers class, but I will continue the way I live, I have learned a lot from F&H and NC and can not see any better replacement, even if I tracked my points the food I eat is still F&H and NC, this is vital to me, basic foods as unprocessed as possible, means I eat better, feel fuller and less likely to go off the rails.

A little list below with for more than 3 years I adhered to so I could keep a clear mind, these red flags are brutal to me emotionally and would always end in binges and huge weight gains.  Along with abstaining from certain foods and alcohol I had to abstain from self hate, loathing, negativity, replace them with ‘I can’ , ‘ I am able’, ‘ I want to do this’. Weight Watchers will always look to improve and tweak their plans, for me the most important part of Weight Watchers is staying to class, the bond and support you have there is priceless, it will help me through any changes that may lay ahead.

Foods I had to abstain from:

  • alchohol
  • crisps
  • sweets/chocolate
  • take aways

I have taken the pressure off myself to get to the goal set for me, I am so grateful for every day of my journey over the last 4 years, change happens and I made it happen to me!

Self love, take a day at a time, don’t dwell on negative things, focus on the now and what you can do to make things better this very moment.

Never going back!

“You are what you believe you are”

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Recipes

Orange and Poppy Seeds Baked Oats

40 g oats

1 tb sweetener

1 small egg

tsp vanilla

1 medium sized orange washed and blitz into small pieces

1 tsp poppy seeds

125 ml skimmed milk

5 g almonds to decorate top before baking

Mix all the above and pop into baking dish, sprinkle with almonds then bake approx 35/40 mins 180

 

I love baked oats and through my weight loss journey oats and oat bran have featured heavily in many of my meals, baked oats is one fabulous recipe that is so adaptable to your own taste and very satisfying in taste and satiation

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Recipes

Mock Cheesecake

Mock cheesecake, could be made deconstructed too in a glass that would be nice, its banana and ginger flavour with almonds

1 Warburtons Thin blitz to crumbs
1 large tsp heaped cinnamon
half tsp of ginger
mix together and toast in a pan in the oven until crispy I baked at 200 about 10 mins max

13 g golden syrup 2 points, heated in microwave about 12 seconds, added the toasted crumbs, press down into a dish

1 ripe small banana mashed with half tub quark, tsp sweetener, about 1/4 tsp ginger, vanilla

Cover the biscuit base with the banana mix and I topped with 5 g almonds 1 point and a little left over biscuit crumbs

Use any flavours and fruit, you could leave out the golden syrup and save points and use your oil allowance