A Nothing Day

I’m not of fan of those days where I don’t do anything really positive – those days that just run away from you and it all feels like a bit of a waste.

Today has been one of those days. I really struggled to get to sleep this morning, but when I’d just managed to get into a really deep sleep I was woken up by my mum who had news from the vets. They were closing because of the snow and needed me to come and collect the cat ASAP.

So I jumped out of bed and braved the skating rinks which at other times of year go by the name of roads. It really was treacherous out there, but my 3 litre, automatic, rear-wheel drive car did surprisingly well out there. Thank goodness.

News from the vet is that our little one probably has kidney failure, but they still need to rule out an UTI. By the time she goes back next week we also need to get a urine sample. Ever tried to get wee from a cat? It’s an interesting experience!

Our other cat was diagnosed with kidney failure last year and after putting him on a special diet his situation completely turned around and for now he’s leading a normal life. I hope the same turns out to be true in this case.

After that I waited to hear about training, but my friend is still feeling under the weather so what with me being knackered, plus the snow, we’re going to try again tomorrow. Here’s hoping.

I got what sleep I could when I could, but my brain is in complete overdrive. It’s not in a bad way – I feel pretty excited and good about life, but my head has to realise that we NEED some proper down time.

In the meantime Hermes managed to get through the snow to deliver a parcel to me, which is odd because they’re generally flipping useless at the best of times. The delivery was my vegan cream eggs that I preordered back in January and I’ll tell you now – I wanted to eat the whole box. Instead I ate one, donated one to my brother, half to my mum, one goes to my training buddy, and one each to my sister and her boyfriend. That leaves just one more half for me. That way I’ve enjoyed an Easter treat but don’t have the temptation lying around.

So the day hasn’t been a complete write-off, despite the fact that I’m an hour early for work because the council’s LIVE travel updates told me my road was closed and I needed to leave time in case I was forced to walk. But I arrived at work within about 7 minutes (only 3 more than my usual travel time). At least I got the chance to get a blog up though!

There’s also the fact that I’ve been on plan today, have almost reached my step count (waking into work from the car park will get me the last little bit) have burned 3000 calories and there’s still a couple of hours left to make it even more.

If there is training tomorrow then YAY! If not then I’m going to make a snowman!

I’ll keep you posted as to which one it is.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Back to Seven

Note to Self: When December comes around, remember that it took you until the end of February to get rid of your Christmas gain. Remember how long it took you to truly get back into the swing of things, and ask yourself if all of those mince pies are really worth it. Hint: They’re not.

I originally got my seven stone award at the end of November, and a couple of days later was when I snapped and spent most of December bingeing on sweet Christmas treats. My mood and self-esteem really suffered, although I tried to pretend at the time that I was OK with it. I was trying to convince myself more than anyone else.

This week I lost 3 lbs, and I’m so happy with that because it did not come easily. I’m so proud that instead of using my trainer’s illness as an excuse to be lazy that I faced my fears and went out alone. I’m proud that despite wanting badly to binge, twice, I managed to keep my cravings in check.

All of that hard work means I can now say I have my seven stone award back, with a total loss of 7 st 1 lb. We’re into (relatively) new territory now, as I haven’t been this weight since 2004.

This week training has been put back yet another day, but after yesterday’s walk I’m not too worried. Where I’m off work on a Monday I find it really hard to hit my calorie burn goal but yesterday I smashed it. I’ll do some home exercise before work today and if training goes back another day then I’ll go out on my own tomorrow. Already it feels wrong if I haven’t been running for a while.

This week has the potential to go wrong, but I sure as hell won’t let it. In January me and my sister pencilled in a date for a food trip to London where we can eat loads of vegan goodies (which happens to be this Sunday), but after our run the other day we both agreed that it wasn’t really conducive to achieving our goals.

We are still going out for a meal, at Mildred’s, but I’ve already checked out the menu and have chosen what I’m having. I’m going to have the ‘Soul Bowl’ which includes so many healthy foods!

How full of goodness does that sound? And where I’m not exactly following Slimming World anymore I can eat the avocado, cashew cheese and seeds without worrying too much.

The important thing for me right now is having three sensible meals a day, and having one meal with more healthy fats than I’m used to is not going to do much, if any, damage.

Rather than go on a food tour of the rest of the city, I suggested that we do something more wholesome and revisit St James’s Park. The wildlife there is so tame it can hardly be called wildlife at all – the last time we went I fed a great tit from my hand, had a squirrel run up my leg and ended up covered in beautiful pigeons!

But there’s more to it than that. The last time we went was in April 2016 and I was pushing 20 stone, so it’ll be fun to go back over five stone lighter. I was also only just getting into photography, so I’m looking forward to getting better pictures, too.

These seem ok, but the top one is not as sharp as I’d like and both are heavily cropped. There’s a lot of room for improvement there, especially now I know what I’m doing.

It’ll be extra exercise, too, because I’ll be taking my heaviest camera and lenses. I’ll probably be lugging an additional stone about, but I’m no stranger to carrying extra weight so it shouldn’t be a problem.

As I’ve changed my daily step goal to 15k, I’d best get moving now because these steps aren’t going to do themselves.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Snow Day

I’ve got everything crossed that proper training goes ahead tomorrow because I’ve really missed it. My friend has confirmed that we are going whether it’s snowing or not, the only thing that remains to be seen is whether he’s well enough.

I remembered that I left my hat in my locker at work, and since I’m not back until Tuesday night I’ll definitely be needing one during training. Where we go is quite high and always windy, so I imagine it’ll be bitterly cold, too. Me being me, I decided to walk into town, in the snow, to get a hat.

Y’know, I really could have done with a hat while I was doing that…

As soon as I stepped out of the house the wind was so icy I got brain freeze, but thankfully that didn’t last as I got used to the temperature and warmed up a bit by walking fast.

By the time I reached the park, which is right near town, the snow had stopped and in one direction there was a nice blue sky.

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The other direction (the one I was headed in) was not looking quite so inviting…

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Despite the temperature there was just so much life about! I think it’s because I seemed to have the whole park to myself and all of the creatures could go about their business without being disturbed. I saw a grey heron, swans, canada geese, coots, moorhens, blackbirds, magpies, pigeons, gulls, squirrels, voles, tufted ducks and mallards. Which is pretty damn cool.

In town I finally found a vegan deodorant I like so I stocked up on those, and also got a hat for £1.

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I must admit that despite my ethical new year’s resolutions I did get it from Primark. They have all of their summer stuff in now and only had a few hats left in the corner so I grabbed one while I could. I have made progress with that particular resolution but it still needs work.

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Well, it’ll keep me noggin warm in any case, and it’s also highly likely that I won’t bother doing my hair for future runs!

I had loads of things that needed doing today but most of them have been postponed. One of our cats has been off her food so me and my brother took her to the vets to get checked out. They’ve done a blood test and sent it off for speedy and detailed results, so we should find out something tomorrow, and they have also kept her in to try her on appetite stimulants and to get some fluids into her.

She’s a very old cat now, but I have everything crossed that it’s nothing terrible. Things just wouldn’t be the same without that kitty…

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Somehow a trip to town, the vets and just doing a few bits around the house has eaten up the whole of the day and I’m just about ready to drop. It doesn’t help that I woke up early after having really grim nightmare with my heart trying to escape from my chest!

The good thing about being this tired is that I should sleep well. At least I hope I do, because it’s weigh day tomorrow and I’d rather not spend the night anticipating what the results will be. I’ve had a couple of sneak peeks but you never really know till the official time. I reckon it’ll be OK but it would be so awesome if my Christmas gain has finally been eliminated!

I’ll keep you updated.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Give No Effs

I  got an early from work last night because I was bored, tired, and so, so cold. I’ll have been working at the same place for ten years this October, and I’ve never, ever had a fire drill during the summer. It’s always in the winter. We had one last night, and although I was grateful that it wasn’t snowing this time around, I still didn’t manage to get warm again until I got home.

I’ve got to say I had a thoroughly decent (and warm and toasty) sleep and feel all the better for it, but what about my steps for the day? I normally finish a shift on about 7,500 these days but this morning when I got home I was only on 3,500. Well something had to be done about that, especially as I’ve changed my daily goal from 10,000 to 15,000.

When I got up I pottered around a little bit but I still had loads of time left so I decided to GO OUT RUNNING. ON MY OWN! 

The important thing about running, I have discovered, is to give no f**ks. I went to my local nature reserve and stuck to the paved, circular route because I didn’t think it was a good idea to go traipsing around the woods on my own. The route is 0.7 miles (ish) so I did it three times intermittently running and walking. Then I had a fast walk on the fourth lap but took a detour and stopped to say hello to the pigs. As you do.

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On my way around I kept seeing the same lady going in the opposite direction and she gave me a smile each time. Part of me was wondering if she was laughing at me because even though it was only 2 degrees out I was sweating like mad and more closely resembled a tomato than a human. But it doesn’t matter. She was probably just being friendly, and if I did amuse her then so what? It’s good that I brightened her day.

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I’m so pleased with myself, because although my trainer must of course take some credit for starting me off, it was me who did that. And it’s HUGE. A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have gone out walking on my own, and look at me now!

I’m also pretty chuffed with my lap times. It’s a new record!

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Although I found I pushed myself harder as far as speed goes without my friend there, I did miss the strength training which I wasn’t confident enough to do on my own. And it’s not the same without company. But the fact is I’m going to need to be able to train more than once a week if I’m going to make significant changes, and I’m finding that I’m getting itchy feet if I don’t have plans to go!

Normally after posting the day before about not having a binge I’d now be posting to say that I did in fact blow it after all. But not this time! I’m still on the straight and narrow and LOVING IT.

I also got confirmation last night that I have a few days booked off at the beginning of April so I will be going out disco dancing with the young work men. I really, really want to get a nice outfit and get on that dance floor. I can’t wait! Plus it’s all extra exercise, after all.

There might be a cold snap at the moment but I’m definitely feeling excited for spring and fun times ahead. It can’t come soon enough!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

 

History Doesn’t Repeat

I don’t know what it is about me being around the 14.5 stone mark, but it seems to make me want to eat. The last, ooh, five or so times I’ve been there in recent months some switch gets flicked in my brain that says ‘you’re doing really well, why not have a cheat day?’

Yesterday my brain was practically shouting it at me, but I ignored it.

To begin with I had a really bad sleep yesterday. I can count on one hand the times I’ve woken up before my ‘get Pea her breakfast’ alarm goes off (in fact I think I could have counted it on two fingers) but I was up an hour before. I was too tired to actually get up and do anything, so I ended up laying in bed for two hours before I got up to let Pea out to play.

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She was in one of those moods where she just wanted to sit on my shoulder all day, and whenever I tried to get her to do something else she ran round the back of my neck and just perched the other side. So cute!

Once she’d had her fill of me and went off for a nap I had some pretend bacon for lunch with a tablespoon of maple syrup which temporarily filled a hole that was screaming to be filled with 8 slices of bread.

The rest of the day was just broken sleep so I didn’t end up doing any exercise. I really wanted to, but I had to make sure I was fit for my shift and I’m pleased I was sensible about it. It was really busy for the first time in weeks and I only just made it through.

After having a massive dinner of my favourite fried smoked tofu I was finally full so off I went to work where I was rewarded for staying on plan. It was compliment city last night!

I had so many people telling me that I look like I’ve lost more weight again, that I have a spring in my step and that I look so much happier. Although of course I haven’t lost any significant weight my body is definitely changing, I’m walking taller, and the spring in my step is very real indeed. Even when I stopped to talk to a friend (and got us both in trouble) I just couldn’t keep still.

This morning I crashed out and had a fantastic sleep so I can get on and have the kind of day I intended for yesterday. The newly fixed washing machine is on the go, I’m about to pop to Lidl for a veg top-up in the glorious sunshine, then I’ll get on the exercise bike.

My trainer is still poorly so we might be able to train tomorrow but I have to see how he feels. What he has said is that even though it’s meant to be cold as hell next week we WILL still train, we just have to be careful not to slip on any ice. I love it – NO EXCUSES! Apart from being genuinely ill of course.

So have I turned a corner and got over the mental block that’s been stopping me from seeing the elusive 13 stone bracket? I certainly hope so. I have a meal out with my sister on the 4th of March and there aren’t really any healthy options where we’re going, but it’s never been the one meal that’s screwed me up. It’s me thinking ‘f*ck it’ three days before and after that causes the massive gains!

So as I’ve said time and time again, I’m going to aim to stay on plan before and get straight back on it after. I really hope I stop deceiving myself that having a massive blow out won’t make me totally miserable, because it always does. If I can just have that one meal, it’ll be such an achievement.

Until the time comes I’m going to try not to think about it too much, because even if I start planning what I’m having from the menu I’ll start obsessing over food which will make any cravings ten times worse. I must be strong.

Time is getting on now so I must be off. Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Successes

Yesterday was a great day for my slimming friends. First of all one friend got his well-deserved nineteen-and-a-half stone award, then the girlfriend of one of my bestest and longest-standing friends sent me a picture of her with her consultant proudly holding up her target certificate. How could I fail to be spurred on when this is happening around me? I’ve seen the young people of the internets saying ‘your vibe attracts your tribe’, which is  cheesy as hell, but so true. Since I’ve been losing weight and getting more active I’ve found I have a bunch of things in common with people I wouldn’t have connected with before. And that’s awesome! Whenever someone I know decides they want to be healthier I love that they come and tell me. It makes my heart happy.

Yesterday was another running day, and it wasn’t until I was five minutes from my friend’s house and stuck in weekend traffic that it dawned on me – IT’S A SATURDAY. And you know what that means? It means OTHER PEOPLE IN THE PARK. I can handle a few dog walkers, but I started to freak out at the prospect of loads of people seeing me run. But what was I going to do? Turn around and make an excuse? Maybe Old Hayley would have done but Running Hayley? No way!

Of course I shouldn’t have even worried, because my friend is so good at training me that within 10 seconds of getting to the park I’d forgotten about anything else. I was even doing the press-ups without a second thought as to whether anyone was watching. The only distracting thing was the glorious view.

It was lovely and warm too, although my eyes and nose still streamed from the beginning of my training till the end. That side of things is getting a bit old already but then I’ve always been like that as soon as I step outside in cold weather so I’m not sure what I could do about it. Anyway it’s got to be worth it – who would want to be stuck indoors on a day like that?

Afterwards my friend ordered me to have a couple of rest days, which to be honest I need because my leg has started hurting. Not because of the running, but whenever I’m picking at work I bash into things and later on forget it happened so I’m forever covered in bruises and have no clue how they got there. I must have walked in to something and bashed my thigh at some point, and the running only exacerbated it.

I still gave it my all though, and it’s feeling a lot better today.

I had planned to go into town this morning, but then decided against it because I was just so tired. But then I saw how blue the sky was and that someone on Fitbit was beating me in a challenge, so I changed my mind again. Rest day or no, walking hardly counts these days so I took my usual route through the park.

That view never fails to be beautiful. I noticed today as I was walking that I’ve definitely picked up my pace and my strides are longer. This training malarkey is working wonders!

This afternoon is a bit of a danger zone as I’m sitting down to watch a film with the family, but I’m well prepared and have planned what I’m eating so I don’t start wanting to snack. I’m having dinner right before we start then I’ll have a lovely coffee during. I’ve found something that has been a complete game changer as far as coffee is concerned – vegan coffee creamer. It doesn’t have the catchiest name, I think, but an 8g serving works out at 2 syns and makes the coffee wonderfully creamy. It’s much better than any coffee with milk I ever had. It feels like getting a fancy coffee from a coffee shop and it my favourite thing to have as a treat right now. I got it from veganstore.co.uk.

I’m insanely excited about weighing in on Tuesday, but also a little apprehensive in case of exercise-related gains or maintains. I’ve managed to not weigh myself this week so far (although it was touch and go this morning) so it’s going to be a complete surprise. However it turns out though, I feel so different this week that I know something is happening whether the scales show it or not.

Now my tummy has just started rumbling at the thought of dinner so I’d best actually start cooking it.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

7 Days

I lost a pound this week, and I’m happy with that. I’ve had good days and bad, on plan days and off plan days, so to not get a crazy gain is a relief.

Last night I had a couple of glasses of red wine as I found a stray bottle left over from Christmas, and that was a welcome treat. I’m now entirely sure that I have nothing but healthy food in the house.

This week I’m going to have a perfect week – a whole seven days of being on plan.

I’m also going to keep trying with not weighing every day, as there have been definite improvements. I think I had two sneak peeks over the course of last week, which is normally less than I do in one day. My new fitness friend has also written my current weight along with his own on his calendar so we can keep track of our progress, so I may try to only weigh when he asks me for an update. That’ll be hard though, so we’ll have to wait and see if I can actually manage it.

Yesterday whilst using my new 10kg kettlebells I felt a crunch in my shoulder and it’s a bit painful today, so I’m going to focus on cardio this week because I don’t want to really hurt myself. And I’m out running tomorrow anyway so that has worked out nicely.

This evening has been busy- I went to my sister’s to pick up her birds so I can look after them while she’s in Amsterdam for Valentine’s Day (and beyond) and I’ve still got to go to work yet. Hopefully I won’t be bitten too much!

Pea is currently wondering what the hell is going on when usually she is fast asleep at this time of night, so fingers crossed they all settle down soon! These crazy peeps eh?

It’ll have to be short and sweet tonight because I really have to start getting ready for work. I just wanted to get this update out there to keep me on track and focused for the rest of the week.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

The Great Outdoors

It has been so flipping cold this week, but at least the sky has had the decency to be blue from time to time. It makes finding the motivation to actually go outside so much easier.

Yesterday me and the brother went on our long walk, and ended up being out for three-and-a-half hours. It was windy, and bitingly cold, but we both had hoods which kept the worst at bay. When I took mine off I actually got brain freeze.

I was working the night before, so we went out about 6:30am, which coincided perfectly with the blue hour (the hour before golden hour).

I checked the light and sky indices using the (free) app GoldenHour.One, which tells you how likely you are to have a nice sky for a decent shot, but I also use it just to tell me whether it’s likely to be a depressing grey day or a nice interesting one. As it happens Thursday is looking to be a stonker!

The skies were lovely and clear yesterday so I managed to get a blue hour shot that I’m really happy with. There’s something really magical about that these times of day. 110218_2479

And my app informed me that the sky index would be quite good. It was right!

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How gorgeous? We did a gentle 7.5 miles, since my brother is way out of practice with his walking after spending most of the summer either fishing or on his motorbike. I was happy with that too actually, since I was feeling pretty tired after all!

I found out that my expensive new boots are in fact waterproof as advertised, which is always nice to know.

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They’re not quite as shiny as when I first got them though…

After we’d finished exploring one half of the nature reserve, we crossed the road to visit the other part which is also home to the visitor centre.

We arrived there at the exact right time, when it was still empty, so we purchased a bag of duck food and sat down for a cup of coffee. Just as we had finished the place started filling up so we moved on to the duck lake.

Before we got there though we met a friendly robin who hopped into a bush just feet from me. And it turns out robins like duck food too. Who knew?

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In fact the robin seemed to like the duck food more than the ducks, who weren’t all that hungry. We did see some tufted ducks, but they were timid and wouldn’t come very near. Mostly it was just seagulls dive bombing and stealing it all.

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By the time we got home I was absolutely exhausted, and vaguely aware that the only thing I’d put into my body since two in the morning was coffee. But I needed sleep more than food, so I had a quick nap.

When I woke up it was a mad rush to get ready to go to my friend’s house. I took him over a load of dirty washing, because I’m nice like that, and we left the washing machine running while we went to the cinema to see Downsizing.

On the drive to the cinema I realised that I was actually ravenously hungry, and Tesco was due to shut in 15 minutes. Once there I just grabbed whatever I could find, which ended up being a vegan sandwich and wrap from the new Wicked range, and some chocolate.

Not the healthiest choices ever, but in terms of calories in vs calories out I reckon I was way in credit for the day, so I don’t feel bad about it at all.

The film was not something I would have chosen to see myself, it’s mainly that the showing time fit in with mine and my friend’s schedules. It wasn’t at all what I expected, and although it’s been slated it’s actually quite an interesting film. Not great, or perhaps not even good, but interesting (if poorly executed). Hardly a glowing review, but there you go!

After that I dropped my friend off, picked up my laundry, then crashed out for an epic sleep. Today I have a day filled with bits and bobs to do, but with the sun shining through my window it’s not all that bad.

From tomorrow I’m looking after my sister’s birds so that should sure keep me busy, training with my friend has been pencilled in for either Wednesday or Thursday, and I’m doing the physical job at work for four weeks that I should have been doing for the last four weeks, only for it to be cancelled. Hopefully it actually happens this time!

I will update again tomorrow with weigh in results, especially since I’ve no clue how it’s going to go.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

 

All Sparkles

When I first said I was going to go running with my friend, to be honest it was one of those vague ‘yeah I’ll definitely do that at some point’ kind of commitments. The idea of it in theory was exciting, but when I imagined what the actual execution would probably be like, I became terrified. It took me right back to my school days, and I felt like I had a tummy full of squirming things.

I figured it’d be the week after next before I would have a chance to actually go, so I did my usual ‘don’t-think-about-it-at-all-costs-until-absolutely-necessary’ thing.

But I forgot that my friend is one of those people you just don’t say no to, so when he said ‘Friday then?’ I found ‘hell yes!’ escaping my lips before I had a chance to think it through. Which is lucky, because thinking hasn’t done me a whole lot of good thus far.

Friday eventually came around, and when it was almost time to leave I put on my running leggings. Something like this is essential, because it holds everything in and stops The Dreaded Applause. For those who aren’t sure what that is I’ll explain – it’s where bits of you slap against other bits as you exercise and make a clapping sound! I’ve had this all of my life, but as I’ve lost weight it’s become worse.

The leggings looked bloody awful, and I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable enough to run in them. So I wore ordinary leggings with joggers over the top, which thankfully was sufficient. And I didn’t get too hot because it was bloody freezing!

When I’ve previously attempted to run, which was on a treadmill, it was more of a fast stomp. I thought it was just because I was heavy and unfit – it never occured to me that there was something wrong with my technique. Running is running, isn’t it?

Once we’d warmed up with a short walk and reached a flat bit, my friend got me to give it a try. After a short glance at me he said I should try to land on my heels and kind of roll my feet, and lean forwards slightly.

And that was that. I WAS RUNNING! And without me stomping around like a lunatic it felt bloody good! We ran until we were nice and out of breath then slowed it down to a fast walk again, and we repeated that until we reached an area with wooden bars at different heights put there specifically for people wanting to do press-ups without getting their hands muddy.

After I’d done some press-ups, including a REAL, genuine, proper press-up (goal achieved, whoop whoop!) and got my arm muscles all nice and wibbly, we moved on. But my friend had a cunning plan. From this point on there are a few benches dotted around, and whenever you reach a bench you have to do press-ups on it.

My arms were really wibbly by now, and by the last bench I completely lost it and my arms gave way. But it’s progress!

When I got home I synced my Fitbit and waited to see myself smugly jump ahead in all the challenges I was currently in.

Oh but wait.

One lady was still quite a bit ahead of me.

I couldn’t leave it like that now, could I? So I did my usual figure of eight route between the kitchen and living room until I was firmly in the lead, and got myself to bed to get some sleep before work. It was really hard to get off, because I was still absolutely buzzing from the running.

When I got up I found that the other Fitbit challengees (I just invented a word) had rudely been walking while I was asleep and I was no longer in the lead. So whilst making my dinner and preparing for work I carried on walking around the house.

But that STILL wasn’t good enough, so I decided to walk to work, which resulted in my second best day ever for burning calories with a magnificent total of 5,101. The only time I burned more was when I climbed Snowdon!

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I’ve also won the two Workweek Hustle challenges I was a part of, and come first in a challenge to walk the distance of the NYC marathon (26.2 miles).

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Next up is a Weekend Warrior challenge, and I got a nice big head start after walking home from work this morning. When I left it was still dark, which was a bit scary but also pretty cool. I had a nice cup of coffee with me and thoroughly enjoyed looking at the sparkling frost that had covered absolutely everything whilst being completely snug in my cold weather gear. In fact by the time I got home I was sweating, and after removing my chiller jacket noticed that you can wear it in temperatures up to below 50 degrees celsius. No wonder I was so hot!

I am feeling on top of the world. But also rather sleepy… Today I’m having something of a rest day, although I’ll probably still get another 5,000 or so steps in by the end of the day.

Tomorrow I’m out walking with my brother at our local nature reserve, and while we’re there I’m going to scout out a route for when I’m ready to go running on my own. Because I absolutely will! As much as it would be great to go running with my friend every time, he lives a 30 minute drive away and I don’t have the time or money to do that journey 5 times a week. For now we’ll be meeting up just once a week, which is enough to be getting on with. I’m also roping in my brother and sister to come with me at some point, and they seem quite enthusiastic!

Diet-wise I’ve been on plan and have only weighed myself once since my last post. That’s a huge improvement to at least 5 times a day.

In other news the washing machine has packed up, and the earliest an engineer can come is Wednesday. But do you know what? I don’t really care. It will get sorted in the end, I have plenty of clean clothes to tide me over, and I refuse to let anything bother me right now.

Now I’m out and about more and that things will soon start growing again, I need to get on top of my photo printing and adding things to my album. I need to do it before I get more lovely shots and then get really behind, which I think is a worthy pursuit for my rest day.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Hayley x

Renewed Focus

I was so excited about going walking with my new friend that I almost forgot about weigh-in this week. It’s a double-edged sword – on the one hand it’s been freeing not being quite so concerned about food and the scales this week, but for now it’s not what I need. I need to keep my eyes on the prize, so this week is all about staying focused on my goals. It still has its positives – I’ve managed a few days without weighing myself at all which I really need to work on.

This week’s main goal is to STAY AWAY FROM THOSE SCALES. I’ve said this so many times, but it’s incredibly important because daily weighing is not healthy and is making me miserable. I need to learn to control myself dammit!

The results of official weigh-in are half a pound on. I’m now 14 st 11.5 lbs and need to lose 2 st 1.5 lbs to reach target. I’d like to lose at least 2 lbs this week to make it so I have less than 2 st to lose in total. I am disappointed in myself, especially since I had another day of bad eating yesterday, but I am glad I’m still in the 14 stone bracket and that my gain this week wasn’t more.

Over the next seven days I am going to be on it.

Well, on to my walk. It was great! Walking with my brother is good and all, but when we go somewhere we’re mostly just strolling around and I’m looking for stuff to take photos of. The incidental exercise is wonderful, but it’s not the primary aim.

Walking with my new friend is a whole different kettle of fish. His focus is absolutely on fitness, and although at first he asked if I’d like to come on a hike, it quickly became clear that what he really meant was would you like to come training? After all, hiking does not normally involve press-ups (I’m getting better at those by the way!)

There were no gentle strolls to be had on this occasion, and no stopping half way up a hill to catch my breath. Even walking up the hills he usually runs up had me lagging behind slightly, which just goes to show what regular training can do. Although I’m no stranger to hill walking, I was still eating the dust of a man 16 years my senior.

In between hills I did have enough breath left for us to get to know each other better, which is good because if I’m to go training with him in future then there won’t be much chatting. I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that I will have to RUN (Shock! Horror!) and I have agreed to this torture. I’m not sure when this will be happening, because I don’t want to interfere with his usual training and hold him back (plus I’m very busy over the next couple of weeks) but it’ll sure be happening one way or another.

I can’t say with any certainty that I’ll do it again afterwards, but I get the feeling I will. And maybe running with him a few times will give me enough confidence to do it on my own. I sure hope so!

Either way I’m so pleased I decided to go out and be sociable, despite the warnings of snow and ice, because otherwise I wouldn’t have seen anything like this:

060218_2473060218_2472060218_2474With the sun out (mostly) it actually wasn’t that cold – we couldn’t have picked a better day I reckon.

Afterwards my friend treated me to breakfast at a local café by the name of Café Max. To be honest I expected to be taken to a greasy spoon that didn’t have a hope in hell of having vegan options, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. There weren’t any vegan options on the menu, but the nice lady serving us said that they have one other vegan customer (a regular) who has a selection of vegetables with hash browns and beans. So I ordered that, and wasn’t too excited about it but glad to have something.

We sat down at a nice table which was spotlessly clean (no grease here!) and got stared at by some old ladies. That was weird, but I think it might have been because me and my friend are both so big. I’m not talking about being overweight, it’s just that I’m 6ft tall myself and my friend is so tall he makes me feel dainty (a first) so we probably look quite imposing as a pair!

Anyway when breakfast came I was blown away. The hash browns were light, crispy and fluffy on the inside, and the accompanying veg wasn’t just your bog standard fried tomatoes and mushrooms swimming in oil. I had cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, yellow pepper (I don’t know what they did with it but that was especially delicious) and asparagus. I would be more than happy to have that again every single time, even if I wasn’t vegan.

It’s now gone 3am and I hope I can get some sleep soon (the joys of being a night worker) because tomorrow I have more strength training planned with my new kettlebells. I have started a little routine that I want to do three times a week, along with two exercise bike sessions and at least one day of yoga. And of course some running (eek!) thrown in at some point. I honestly never thought I’d get this excited about exercise, yet here I am. The girl who faked notes from her parents to get out of P.E. for five years (and got away with it) is now working out ON PURPOSE.

People actually can change!

Hayley x