Sideswiped

I honestly don’t know what has happened. I went to bed on Sunday night feeling really good. In fact I’ve been ecstatically happy for the last three weeks because everything has been going so well and I’ve just been enjoying life!

On Sunday morning me and my brother went to Tilbury Fort which is just down the road from us, and we had a great time. We got there a little early so checked out the surrounding area first, which was honestly a complete and utter dump. We wanted to walk the coastal path to another fort, then come back on ourselves before we visited the English Heritage-run site we had come to Tilbury to see.

But the path was covered in so much dog poo and so much rubbish, it was too dangerous and/or depressing to continue.

But when we actually got into the fort it was great. We had the whole place to ourselves for ages, the man who gave us our tickets took the time to give us some history, and my brother really enjoyed himself playing with the guns because you can actually climb on and have a tinker with most of the stuff there (although of course you can’t actually blow anything up).

When I went to bed I was feeling tired but content, and got a decent sleep.

But since Monday morning, I haven’t even been able to wake myself up properly because I feel totally and utterly depressed. I’m not talking about a bad mood – I’m no stranger to those and know the difference. This is a whole other kettle of fish. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t want to be around people, I just want to be unconscious. But my dreams are just… insane. Every time I close my eyes I’m being chased or threatened or I’m seeing animals in pain. It’s really not good.

I feel like I need to adopt the fetal position and have a good cry, but the tears won’t come.

This week I’ve also had a totally unexpected gain of 4 lbs, my heart rate has just skyrocketed for no apparent reason and I wake up with my heart feeling like it’s trying to escape my chest every single time I’ve been to sleep. I suppose it’s a reaction to the bad dreams?

And I’ve been eating crap because I literally didn’t have the energy to prepare anything. Today’s low point was eating pecans dipped in vegan buttercream icing.

I’m refusing to go into February carrying on like this, so tonight I’m forcing myself to make something for my work lunch and getting back on plan. Because what else can I do? I can’t stay in bed forever, as much as I want to.

I’ve had to dial back on the exercise which adds another layer of guilt, but I have still kept up with my press-ups and planks, so that’s something.

My step count is atrocious, but I’m determined to make it to 70,000 steps for the week regardless. The last two weeks I’ve been above 120,000, so I’m sure I can make 70k. I WILL make 70k.

Since this depression has just come out of nowhere, I’m hoping it’ll disappear just as quickly. I’m just going to hang on for dear life until it goes away. It’s as good a plan as any!

Sorry for the negative post, but that’s what’s been happening so there you go.

Hopefully the next one will be better!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

PS I just thought of a positive – My new boots came and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM! They are so comfy and worth every penny of the £150 paid. I reckon I could walk to the moon and back on these babies and not even get a blister. Yay!

IMG_4232.jpg

The Essex Way

NOT to be confused with The Only Way is Essex, The Essex way is an 82 mile footpath that stretches right the way across the county. I’ve only recently discovered this, so although I obviously won’t be able to do it all in one day, walking ‘The Essex Way’ has been added to my list of things to do this year.

The good people at essexwalks.com have broken the route down into manageable sections of 8-12 miles, and worked it out so that each start and end point is within close range of a train or bus station. This is imperative since the route is not circular and we have to get back to the car somehow.

Sections of 8-12 miles are clearly for amateurs, so when I get my new holiday allowance in April me and the brother will be walking the first three sections in one day, at least that’s the plan. This will be a total of an epic 28.6 miles!  I reckon I’ll be getting my 40k step badge that day somehow.

I have walked that distance before, and it nearly destroyed me. However that was in 2012, I weighed 22 st 4 lbs and I did zero preparation leading up to it. This time I don’t reckon I’ll breeze it as such, but I also don’t think I’ll have to crawl to the shower afterwards because I’m in so much pain!

This is me about 20 minutes in to the 12 hour journey, feigning a smile and all the time thinking ‘I can’t do this’.

72935_10150712790773387_1507877845_n

Things will be very different this time around!

In preparation for all the walking and hiking I’ve got planned for this year I had to start looking for decent footwear. Trying to find hiking boots that are vegan AND affordable has turned out to be impossible, so I now have a pair of £150 boots winging their way to me from Vegetarian Shoes. These babies are going to be looked after properly (assuming they fit and all that) and I’ll get them repaired until they fall to pieces. I’ve got to make them last for them to be financially viable!

IMG_4211.jpg

 

Sexy, aren’t they!

Things are yet again going to be a bit tight this month but it’s nothing I can’t handle. I just didn’t want to leave the most important piece of equipment I’ll be buying this year till the last minute.

Moving on to less essential purchases, my dress from Thought Clothing arrived yesterday and OHMYGODIT’SABSOLUTELYPERFECT. I’ll get my sister to take a photo soon as I’m wearing it when we go out for dinner, but as soon as I put it on I felt like it had been made for me. Later on in the day I was browsing on Instagram and saw that they were offering another 15% off on the sale prices so rather than be bitter that I paid more for my dress than I had to I went and ordered a tunic top/dress that I’ve been eyeballing.

IMG_4218

It is just so me.

I feel OK about these purchases because they are part of my new capsule wardrobe and I’m only buying things that I know I’m going to use again and again. One of my favourite things ever is stripy clothing (I especially love sticking two fingers up to the ‘fat people shouldn’t wear stripes brigade’) so I know anything along those lines is going to get a whole load of use.

Both items of clothing are a size 14, so the dress for one is a little snug but that means I can be reasonably sure I’m still going to enjoy wearing them when I’m at target. Especially since they are a ‘relaxed fit’.

Helping me towards my target is my new found love of exercise. I’ve seriously caught the bug over the last week or so!

A few days ago I signed up for a 30-day yoga challenge with Yoga With Adriene. All of her videos are on YouTube so it’s free, but I signed up by email because then you get a daily email with a link to the video so I don’t have to worry about forgetting to do it.

Today is day four and I’m totally hooked.

What I did struggle with initially is the more spiritual side of things. Phrases like ‘plant your crown into the earth’ get me giggling, but the actual moves are just, well, divine. I’ve been stretching things I never knew I had and it feels SO GOOD!

Another thing that was a bit cringey at first was Adriene telling me to ‘think about my intention’. But after the second session I realised what I want to get out of yoga. I do want to burn a shed load of calories, and that’s not what yoga is about so I was wondering whether I’d keep it up after the 30-day challenge. But what I’ve realised is that since I’ve been sitting on my butt for most of my life I’m so inflexible, and I’d really love to improve on that. Especially in my hips.

Also, even after just a few days I’ve noticed that I’m sitting up straighter, I’m aware when my shoulders start tensing and rising up so I make a conscious effort to send them back down again, and I’m more conscious of my breathing. I’ve been finding myself taking deep, calming, breaths at work and it just feels really wonderful.

Once the 30 days is up I think I’ll mix my exercises up with a couple of days of yoga, a couple of exercise bike sessions, at least one kettlebell workout for strength, and of course keep up with the walking. Variety is the spice of life after all.

In other news my plank time is now up to 60 seconds, plus I can feel my body beginning to change. IT’S WORKING!

Hopefully all of this will show on the scales on Tuesday, but I’m not going to freak out of the exercise does slow the losses down a little. I can tell stuff is happening, and the scales have been known to lie. The little buggers.

Right then, it’s time to get on with this afternoon’s exercise!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

When Hard Work Pays Off

Last week was a week of much progress. I’ve pushed food and exercise almost to the very top of my priorities (of course Pea will always be number one) and I’ve been reaping the benefits.

I did 5×30 minute sessions on the exercise bike and also used that time to watch an episode of something on Netflix. I haven’t been watching any kind of TV other than when I’m exercising or on my break at work, and I feel better for it.

I’m sure the cardio I’m doing on the bike is really helping my ticker, because I’ve technically achieved one of my goals for this year – my resting heart rate is now back in the 40’s. The reason I say technically is because I want to be sure it’s staying there before I cross it off my list. When my average for the month is in the 40’s, then I’ll count it. Although the work is by no means done at that point – then I have to make sure I keep it there. I’m chuffed though because the last time my heart rate was this low was the 17th of October.

IMG_4167.jpg

Apart from keeping up with the cardio (idea for a new TV series?) I’ve absolutely smashed my step goals and have won all of the Fitbit challenges I’ve been invited to. As a result of all this I’ve been sleeping so much better and I’m starting to feel like my good old self again. My mum even commented that I seem a lot happier, and that she was surprised how much having my teeth out knocked me for six. She’d been quite worried about me in fact. I was a bit worried myself, truth be told.

My weekly stats email from Fitbit is looking pretty damn good:

IMG_4166.jpg

But the BESTEST bit? This week I lost a whopping FIVE POUNDS! It’s such a relief! I knew something good was going on, because around this weight is my own personal little tipping point. When I first started losing weight, at least visually speaking there wasn’t much difference after losing three stone. And it was another three stone after that before I started looking considerably different.

But the difference between 15 stone and 14-and-a-half stone for me is HUGE. This week my knobbly ribs made a comeback, I’ve noticed my waist making a reappearance and my face definitely looks slimmer. I must, must, must remember this the next time I have a passing craving for something. Nothing I can eat is worth going back to the feeling of dejection I get everytime I backtrack into the 15 stones, so I need to prevent it from happening EVER again.

So, plan of action! I’ve got three pounds to go till I get my 7 stone award back, and although it would be lovely to have it next week (and I’ll certainly aim for that) I’m not putting too much pressure on myself and won’t get too disheartened if it doesn’t happen. For next week, as long as I lose I’m happy.

However  I am still going to be keeping up with the cardio (it definitely has a ring to it) because I’m sure it’s a huge factor in making me feel so good right now, so I’ll do another five sessions this week. Or four I should say, because I did one yesterday.

As for the rest of my exercise routine I’ve added a daily plank (I can currently do 40 seconds), I’m in week three of my press-up challenge and I’m definitely getting stronger, and I’m going to add a kettlebell and a curl to my squat challenge because I feel the squats alone are too boring. In the past when I’ve done kettlebell squats I’ve really felt it working.

I’ve also thought of a new challenge to add to this year’s list – I want to beat my record for most steps done in a day. My current record is 36,571 and I probably get a new Fitbit achievement when I get to 40k so it’s doubly exciting. I need to consider where I’m going to do this, because I’d like to make it somewhere fun. I did consider walking to my sister’s and back, which would take about 3.5 hours each way. I reckon I could do it, but it’s mostly one big, huge, noisy main road so I need to think of somewhere nicer. I’ll wait till April when it’s a new holiday year, book a day off and make an occasion of it I reckon.

Right then, I’d best be on my (exercise) bike!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

A New Name

The old brain cogs have been seriously whirring this week. As I’ve transferred from group back to being a Slimming World online member (yet again), I was looking at when I’ll next have to renew my subscription. It occured to me that in the not-too-distant future I’ll no longer be a paying member. My next renewal could well be the last one ever. It may be that as I get closer to my target I decide to transfer back to group for the last time, so that when I finally reach that 12 st 10 lbs I can be a member for free. I think you only have to weigh in once every 6 weeks to keep your membership active, and I think I could brave group in that instance.

On the other hand I might just knock Slimming World on the head once I’m at target and learn to live without it. This is dangerous territory, and may not be wise until I’ve at least had some experience maintaining my weight, but the more I think of it the more I’ll be happy to see the back of Slimming World, sooner or later.

I still love the plan, but I’m falling out of love with the company. Since becoming vegan I’ve noticed errors in Syn values on the app, which myself and others have notified Slimming World of. One particular member pestered them relentlessly, for months, until they admitted something was wrong, but they still haven’t updated Syns Online.

I’ve repeatedly sent product information via the Syns tools, but nope, nothing. There’s one thing I’ve been waiting for since September despite sending the packaging over and over, and it’s still not on there! There’s also the fact that the Syns tools in themselves are so dreadful, and that technologically speaking Slimming World are so far behind the times it’s untrue.

And let’s not forget that one day I’d like to naturally be able to eat well without thinking about it too much. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life counting every single Syn. I think I’m in a place where I could do that now, but it’s not worth the risk while I’m on a roll.

Since I don’t see Slimming World in my (at least long-term) future, that I now write about things other than just losing weight, and the fact that at some point this year I’ll no longer be slimming but maintaining, I thought it was time for a name change! And it had to be something all-encompassing so I’m not tied down to any particular subject. As such my blog is now simply called Words by Hayley.

This is all really exciting, because although I am absolutely determined to reach target this year, taking this step makes it seem all the more real. It’s actually going to happen! One day soon, very soon, I won’t be trying to lose weight for literally the first time since I was perhaps twelve. What a surreal yet wonderful thought!

In other exciting news I finally picked up my thermals that work have supplied. They’ve been sitting on a shelf for ages, because they came after my salopettes arrived and since having them I’ve been so toasty and warm I never gave the t-shirts and long johns a second thought.

I think I ordered the thermals in October, and I was ecstatic at the time because I ordered a medium top and large bottoms. In the winter of 2016 I didn’t wear thermals at all, because the 2xl was too small and I was too ashamed to order 3xl.

I tried on the thermals this morning, with a nagging voice in my head warning me that I may have been a little premature with ordering the medium.

Well the voice in my head was DEAD WRONG, because everything fits absolutely perfectly. I was feeling very trim indeed looking in the mirror this morning!

It’s also looking pretty likely that I’ll be able to go to the work outing in April, so since I’ve hit all of my exercise goals this week and stayed on plan, I’ve treated myself to an aspirational dress to slim into.

IMG_4138.jpg

I’ve been looking at this dress for ages and ages. I consulted my sister, and she agrees that it’s perfect for me. It can be worn casually or as a going out dress, the style is just me all over, it’s a loose fit so should be comfortable… It’s also made by Thought Clothing – an ethical brand who make clothes from sustainable fabrics. My dress is made out of 100% organic cotton, a tiny bit of elastane and Tencel (a sustainable fabric regenerated from wood cellulose), and it’s ON SALE.

Last night at work it was so quiet my manager gave us the option to go home at the halfway point (unpaid) but I said to myself ‘Hayley, if you stick it out I’ll allow you to buy that dress’. So I ordered it on my lunch break and that kept me going till the end.

Now the only downside is that I might have to wait an entire week before it arrives, but that’s not so bad. Knowing me I’ll probably forget what I’ve ordered and when it comes it’ll be a lovely surprise.

This afternoon I took my mum and brother over to my sister’s and we all had a real coffee from the Starbucks round the corner (we sent my brother out in the snow even though he was wearing shorts, poor boy) and we had a lovely chat whilst watching the snow drift down out of her huge windows. I’m always cold so I was snuggled under a blanket, and it was just lovely.

IMG_4129

I’m feeling pretty damn smug that I messaged my sister ahead of time and asked her not to get any snacks in, because we are all trying to be good and having real coffee and good company is enough of a treat already.

Now dinner is calling, and I suspect it’s going to be tasty so I can’t wait a second longer!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

On Plan Pizza?

A couple of weeks ago Tesco launched a whole new range of vegan meals. Most of them are right up my street, and lately some of the range has even been added to the Syns database (a miracle in itself, Slimming World are so slow with thing like that). All of them are really reasonable in syns, ranging from about 1.5 syns to 9. That is, all of them with the exception of THE PIZZAS! There are two pizzas available, but the one that caught my eye was the sourdough caponata pizza.

They didn’t have it in the Tesco Extra closest to me (they only had two out of the whole range which is twelve different meals I believe) so this morning I took a trip to the extra Tesco Extra a little bit further away. I’d say they had most of the range there with maybe two or three exceptions, but they had the pizza I’ve been so desperate to try!

IMG_4093

Fortunately/unfortunately, depending on what way you look at it, they also had the BBQ butternut mac, BBQ beans and mash and a naked burrito, all of which are low in syns and have had good feedback. I’m especially excited about the BBQ butternut mac but that has the longest shelf life so I’m eating that on Sunday.

So back to this pizza. Although I could have frozen it, I weighed up my options and decided to eat it for breakfast. As you do.

I diligently recorded it in my food diary, and worked out how many syns I should have for the rest of the week to make up for it. I will try to have slightly less, because I rarely eat the full weekly allowance of 105 and don’t want to test things to the limit after my successful loss this week!

I also checked out my Fitbit stats because I’m having an excellent week. I’ve smashed my step goal every single day, my calorie burn has been higher than usual, and I’ve been doing regular sessions on the exercise bike. In fact I’m going to do one after this blog, and try to make it 5 sessions a week in future. I’ve been watching an episode of Rick and Morty during each session, which is entertaining enough to keep me going for the duration.

The point is, on paper the pizza (which was 652 calories/32.5 syns) shouldn’t even make the slightest bit of difference to my weight loss. I am still panicking a little, because there’s a voice in the back of my mind saying I’ve messed everything up even though I know I haven’t. I have remained completely in control and completely on plan, and being able to handle having a treat that I really want is key to my future success. I’ve tried this before, and nine times out of ten I let it get to me and everything goes wrong.

But I’m determined to change my mindset, because I want yummy vegan food in my future. It makes me happy!

And practice makes perfect.

So how was the pizza I hear you ask? It was delicious, and worth every single syn. It is expensive at £4 per pizza, but I found it as good as restaurant pizzas and would be happy to pay that occasionally in the future. It definitely won’t be a regular purchase!

IMG_4092

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Back on the Right Track

I weighed myself this morning and let out the most enormous sigh of relief – I lost 3.5 lbs! That takes my total loss to 6 st 6 lbs and leaves me with 2 st 2 lbs to go till I reach target. I’m still convinced I wouldn’t have lost much if I hadn’t been so, so good, but who cares? It worked out for the best!

Today there is no time to relax. I’ve just completed my 10k steps for the day, nice and early so anything more is a bonus, and once this blog is finished I’m jumping on the exercise bike for a 30 minute workout. Then tonight I’ll be on my feet for 7.5 hours too, and it all adds up. After my workout and a shower I’ll try my best to get a pre-work nap, otherwise I will struggle big time to get through my shift.

I’ve been doing some calculations and if I stay on track (I intend to) and don’t let anything distract me (as I did in the whole second half of last year) then I can comfortably be at target by the 1st of May. It would be so amazing to be there before my holiday, which is at the end of May. I just have to stay focussed. For now though I will put that goal out of my mind because it’s too far away, and just concentrate on the next seven days.

I’ve reached my first goal of the year – to get back into the 14 stone bracket, and if I lose 2 lb I’ll get my 6-and-a-half stone award back. Fingers crossed.

There really isn’t much else for me to tell you, so I’ll keep it short and sweet for today. I just had to tell you about my results though, didn’t I!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Doing Everything I Can

My head is not in a good place. As always it’s probably hormonal, and since it’s been gradually getting worse month-by-month, and I’m at the end of my prescription, in two days time I’ll be knocking the pill on the head. I was struggling before I started taking it too, but it’s worse now than it was before. Let’s see what happens without it again!

Over the last couple of days I’ve really started to feel slimmer, and I was so convinced I’d lost weight that I had a sneak peek (I know, I know!) and I’m totally confused. I know my body, and normally my weight fluctuates wildly. I know it’s normal, and I can deal with it. What I can’t deal with, which I think is why it’s bothering me so much, is being stuck and the exact same weight for a week. This never, ever happens to me. My body is a suddenly a stranger to me.

There could be so many different factors at play, but to give me the best chance of a loss I’ve employed all of the tactics I know.

This week I’ve upped the speed foods, double checked syn values and healthy extra quantities, taken extra care with weigh in and measuring, lowered my carb intake, increased my activity (but haven’t gone mad) changed up my B choices… and nothing so far has made a blind bit of difference.

I’m hoping I can do something by Tuesday, so until then I’m cutting out my beloved salt on my dinners. And although I need it to get through tonight’s shift, from tomorrow morning until Tuesday, no more caffeine. I’m desperate. I want a loss so badly.

#onplanjan is still a major factor in me not throwing in the towel. I can’t stand the thought that after all the broken promises to myself before Christmas that I’ll backtrack on my plans yet again. I can’t stand the thought of failing at that one more thing in a long list of things.

Next week I’m on another department at work for four weeks, which means I should be more active. It shouldn’t equate to many more steps per shift, but hopefully it’ll increase my calorie burn. I’ll be interested to see how it compares to this week. Speaking of which this morning I’d already burned more calories than I did in the whole of last week. In theory I’m doing great.

Today I had an exciting trip to Costco with a friend (never again. There are virtually no bargains to be had) and bought home an enormous jar of gherkins. Everything else was ridiculously overpriced even before adding VAT!

Then we went to Farmfoods and boy is there an interesting clientele there. It was like being in the ghetto! I hastily picked up some Veggie Kitchen burgers, sausages and meatballs that are all cheap, low syn and vegan friendly. I had burgers for dinner and thoroughly enjoyed them.

I wish I could say the same for the saltless veggies. Bleurgh!

So there we have it. A plan of action is in place, I just have wait and see if it brings results. If not? Then I should only have to wait until the Tuesday after to see if hormones really are at play here. After that? Who knows!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Frustration

I’m really proud of myself for the last week. It was so hard to get back on plan after the Christmas period (which for me started in November) and even harder because of being off work and unable to do all of the things I wanted to do. Some of the time I was genuinely hungry because I couldn’t eat properly, other times I was just plain hungry. I know I overate free foods at some point during the week, but I didn’t go over my syns on any day. I also made sure I did my 70,000 steps even though for two days I barely moved and for the others I had to hold my cheek a lot of the time to stop it from hurting too much. But I did it!

My reward for all of this hard work? Half a pound off.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I’d by lying if I said I wasn’t completely peed off, truth be told! But I am pleased it’s still a loss because I’d feel a lot worse otherwise. This week there is nothing holding me back. I’m definitely back to work tonight, which comes just at the right time because when I woke up this morning for the first time in a week my first thought wasn’t ‘ouch!’

I have an inkling that I could be due a catch-up loss next week, but that’s certainly not guaranteed so I won’t pin my hopes on it. I would like two pounds though, because then I will be back in the 14 stone bracket. I’m so desperate to get there, I think that’s what’s going to keep me from eating my feelings regarding this half pound business!

Never mind. I just have to keep moving forwards and this week is going to be a good one. Plans for the week ahead? No sneak peeks on the scales (starting from right now), 70k+ steps, plenty of speed food, keep working towards that elusive push-up.

In other news my camera has finally come!

Look how teeny it is! As the sun has now gone to bed what I can tell you is that it doesn’t do very well in low light conditions (which I suspected anyway) but the whole reason I bought it is so I don’t have to lug my gear up a mountain so in that situation low light is unlikely to be a problem. Plus if I’m indoors, likelihood is I’m going to have my proper camera with me anyway.

The main draw for me is that it shoots in RAW, which is an absolute must. With an ordinary point-and-shoot camera, when you take a picture it saves as a JPEG. When the picture is taken there’s an absolutely huge amount of information captured, but to save space the JPEG decides what information to keep and what to throw away. It dumps anything it doesn’t need and you’re left with a much smaller file. When you shoot in RAW however it keeps EVERYTHING. Most importantly it means you get to decide for yourself what stays and what goes, and you can edit the photo to look how you think it should look.

For the kind of photography I do it’s mostly about representing the scene as it was, at least in terms of colour and exposure. I’ll never not want a shallow depth of field (blurry background). It’s also much closer to traditional photography, because that’s what people would have done in the dark room – deciding on how much contrast and whatnot. Other bonuses are that the file doesn’t degrade when you edit it (with the JPEG it’ll keep dumping and dumping the information until you’re left with an unusable pixelated monstrosity) and the fact that you can sometimes ‘rescue’ a badly exposed photo. This is why I love photography, there’s just so much to it! You can make it as simple or as complicated as you like.

Overall the excitement of the camera has cancelled out the bad feeling about my disappointing loss, so everything is quite alright in Hayley land.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

Hayley x

A Proper Start

My mouth is truly getting better now. There’s only a small part of my cheek that’s really painful now, where I’ve had stitches it’s healing nicely, and I feel like I can now properly make a start on my plans for this year. I’m going to leave any high intensity exercise till next week, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be sitting on my backside until then.

I spent some of yesterday reading up on modified push-ups and then decided on a plan of action. I’m going to start with wall push-ups, and I’m doing 3 sets of 12 reps, 3 times a week, for two weeks. Then I’ll do 3 sets of 15 reps, 3 times a week, for another two weeks. After that, I make it harder by choosing a more difficult modification (I’ll decide which one nearer the time) and repeat until I can do a proper, standard push-up! Well it sounds easy enough, I just have to keep at it.

Yesterday I made a start on my new vegan blog, and the first post is about why I became vegan (link). If you’re interested in the ins and outs behind my decision then please feel free to check it out! I shared it on Twitter, too, as I have a few vegan followers on there, and I was strangely nervous. But then I thought back to when I first started blogging about Slimming World and I was just as nervous then. I always assume people are going to be unkind, but so far that hasn’t happened.

I’m crazy excited at the moment because even though I’m back at work tomorrow, my new camera will also be delivered. Although I have Amazon Prime this particular model is only available via third party sellers so I couldn’t get it the next day. How utterly frustrating! I could have had the whole of today playing with it, but it’s probably best that I don’t have it yet because I really need to catch up on some household things.

Speaking of household things, because I’m catching up I had a completely out of the blue NSV. A couple of days before Christmas I popped into Tesco straight from work. Even though it was only 6:10am the place was absolutely rammed, so I vowed to get in and out as soon as possible. As I was passing the clothing section I noticed a penguin hoody. The penguin face was in the hood (cute as hell) plus it was all warm and fluffy. It was on a size 16 hanger (perfect) and reduced to £7. I didn’t even stop to think about it, just rammed it in my trolley and carried on shopping. When I got home I put it on, and although it was a wee bit snug I felt comfortable enough in it.

It wasn’t until today, though, when I actually got around to washing it (don’t judge, I was waiting for other bits to wash it with to be more economical!) that I noticed it is, in fact, A SIZE 12. I’ve never bought anything in a 12 before, never. And although in reality I’m nowhere near fitting into the average size 12, I did, in actual fact, put on a size 12 and do the zip up without realising that something was amiss. This is insane. This is huge. This is amazing! Once it’s dry I’ll pack it up with the Christmas things (they’re all boxed up, just waiting for me to make space for them in the loft) and won’t try it on again until I unpack everything in December. And you can bet your life I’ll be blogging about it when that day comes!

I’ve uploaded my latest food diary to the #onplanjan page, so that’s all of January on plan so far and a ten day streak for me. And my resting heart rate has already gone down another beat per minute. Everything’s looking up!

 

Well I simply must crack on, because as much as I’d love sit here typing all day there’s just too much to do. I’ll update with my weigh in results tomorrow (eek!)

Hayley x

SERIOUS Budgeting

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a new camera, and after nearly impulse buying one particular model I thankfully stopped myself and did proper research. This is most unlike me. I’ve found something for £330 (an RX100) that has pretty much all of the functions of an SLR that I like but is teeny tiny. That’s the main draw for me.

Because the equipment I’m using is so old anyway I’m not even sacrificing picture quality (unless you count the macro capabilities of my remarkable 100mm lens) but the major benefit is that it’s portable. At the moment when I go out and about I’m literally carrying a couple of stones worth of equipment around with me and I end up with extremely sore shoulders. Since I can take the new one with my everywhere, even the shops, I’m never going to miss a photo opportunity that my phone camera can’t handle.

I can just about afford it, so after carefully looking through what’s left to pay out this month and pooling the money from several different accounts, I made the plunge and ordered it. I would have liked to order it through my work and get a 10% discount, but it’s out of stock. I suppose I could have waited till they got more, but it’s an old model so it’s not guaranteed, plus when I checked on Amazon they only had FOUR LEFT. It would have been silly of me not to get it right away!

So that leaves me with £60 to spend on food and petrol until payday on the 26th. Hmm…

I have quite a bit of food in the freezer already, so if I only buy fruits and veggies from Lidl then I should be able to do it. It’s within the realms of possibility shall we say, and I might even be able to make the petrol in the car last too, although I am taking my mum to an appointment on the 23rd. That may throw a spanner in the works.

It’s exciting though! Seeing it as a challenge that I want to complete rather than a burden that’s been placed upon me changes things entirely. Plus my new super lightweight camera will encourage me to get out and about more, without having to decide what lenses to take and inevitably regretting my decision as soon as I see something interesting.

In the meantime #onplanjan has been going fabulously, especially now I can eat normally. I definitely went overboard with my kebab dinner, but I was Hank Marvin I tell you. Now it’s time to up those speed foods again.

IMG_3754.jpg

I’ve also been taking photos of my daily food diaries (excuse the handwriting) and adding them to my #onplanjan page. If you’re that way inclined then feel free to take a peek!

Yesterday I forced myself to get my 10,000 steps, and today I am forcing myself to return to work because I’m sick of these four walls. The pain has mostly gone, it’s just an unpleasant feeling from the stitches that remains (plus I still have a chubby cheek and will no doubt be made fun of tonight). But I can handle that.

The difference between staying at home and going to work, even with exercise, is in the region of a thousand calories, so I’m better off going if I can.

Well, if I’m going to make it to work then I really need to get my butt into gear.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x