Train in Rain

It has been chucking it down since I woke up this morning. I had an atrocious sleep (about three hours) and knew I wasn’t getting off again any time soon so I got up to let Pea out while I had my pre-workout coffee. She has been so affectionate lately, but she soon deserted me for her window perch so she could watch the rain for a while.

My trainer couldn’t come out to play today so I headed out to my usual haunt when I’m training alone, except I’m getting bored with my four laps around the green so I thought I’d venture further into the woods.

I am a little concerned over how isolated I am when I do this so I think I’ll invest in some self-defence lessons, just to be extra careful.

I’ll give the local dog walkers credit where it is due, as even though the view from my car window when I arrived at the nature reserve looked like this, there were still loads of people about, at least on the easy access path.

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As I got further in though it was just lil ol’ me for the best part. I only saw one other jogger until I was nearly back at the car.

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Today I wasn’t just exploring a new route – because I knew there would be less people around I decided to try out running without wearing leggings under my joggers. I’ve spoken before about ‘the dreaded applause’ (that noise where your loose skin is flapping about and it sounds like someone’s clapping) and I decided to see if I still get it when I run.

Sadly, I do, so the first mile was mostly just walking until I got away from the dog walkers. Even when I was totally alone the sound was so cringy, I’m definitely not going to be able to wear just joggers any time soon. What I do hope is that my body shape improves enough with my continued fitness/weight loss regime that I’ll at least be able to wear running leggings on their own without looking totally ridiculous.

That’s one goal, but another one I’ve added to my list seems so out there at the moment. My trainer said at some point he wants to get me to do an eight minute mile. Previously I would have scoffed at that, but if anyone can help me achieve it then it’s him. The good thing is he’ll be getting me to work towards it without me even realising, but for the time being I’m just thinking about getting into the 11 minute bracket.

Today’s times were pretty atrocious because of the aforementioned reason, plus I had to stop and look at the map on my phone a few times and backtrack when I’d gone completely the wrong way.

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Plus I had to stop for selfies (gotta indulge when there’s no one else about!) and to take a shot of some slippery ‘shrooms.

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I say my times were atrocious, but a couple of months ago that would have been inconceivable to me. Yet I managed it today without exerting myself too much. I took it rather gently because I’m training tomorrow and I wanted to save myself. I’m going to really go for it!

I’ve just had a post-workout snack of kale and soya beans (sounds boring but it’s one of my absolute faves) wolfed down my A&B choices as dessert (porridge and almond milk) and had a steamy hot shower. Which can only mean one thing – it’s now time for a well-deserved sleep.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

No Excuses

There’s something I’ve been meaning to mention for a few days, but I keep getting sidetracked. Last week some time I had an email from WordPress saying I could have 30% off a premium account subscription, so I bit off the metaphorical hand. The main draw for me is a proper domain name, followed closely by being ad-free. So now my website is simply wordsbyhayley.com, which feels proper. Plus I can now add videos and gifs I’ve made myself, rather than having to put everything through YouTube first, which is just that much neater. I’m easily pleased.

Unfortunately I have been very short on funds this month, and as is usual with me, if one area of my life is going well (specifically diet and exercise) then something else is falling by the wayside. I have spent much more money than I’ve actually earned, so I’ve put myself quite a bit back as far as my ‘living within my means’ and ‘reducing debt’ resolutions go. I could have done without buying a WordPress subscription, but there you go. What’s done is done.

What’s also done is me buying a load of exercise clothing, make-up, crystal wine glasses, a new travel mug, a new dress for the work’s night out and bits for the car. Plus other stuff I’ve probably forgotten about.

Yes. I’ve been very, very naughty.

I don’t actually regret any of these purchases as such though. I did need a new travel mug because even though my current one is supposed to fit a tall/medium/regular whatever from Starbucks or Costa, it doesn’t, and some always gets thrown away. My new ‘mug’ is huge and should easily fit a grande and just about by a smidgen perhaps a venti. According the interwebs anyway.

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It’s also spill-proof and speaks words of wisdom to me. All you need IS in fact coffee.

The other most important thing is this rather lary excuse-remover which comes in the form of a waterproof running jacket.

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It should keep me dry and perfectly visible on these grey and rainy days. I (very briskly) walked into town and back today so I reckon I’ll have a rest day tomorrow and train on Thursday, come what may.

My walk to town was actually lovely. It was chucking it down on the way there, but I always enjoy the sound of the rain on my brolly. Until it broke that is, but by that time it was the kind of rain that’s more like a mist which just covers everything in dew drops. My brolly was ancient anyway, it had a good run!

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Of course I stopped to take a couple of (rather disappointing) pictures, so I waited till the return journey to turn on MapMyRun and get an updated idea of what my brisk walking pace is like. The first time I checked was in May 2017, and the best I did then was 18:30. The last time I checked my average mile time was on the 26th of February and it was 16:59. Today it was 15:21 which is quite an excellent, considering I wasn’t actually trying. My heart rate was elevated, and I was definitely breathing harder than usual, but I could have easily held a normal conversation the whole time. Yay for improvements!

It’s time for dinner so I’d best sign off for now.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

No Fluke

Incredibly, the scales are still showing me to be in the 13’s. It’s not a fluke! I’m now going to stop weighing myself over the next few days since I’ve established that the scales haven’t malfunctioned.

Everything has been a bit of mad rush since yesterday, and I really should be getting dinner sorted but I chose to sit down and write with a cup of coffee first.

Yesterday evening my friend dropped over my new (to me) car. It was dark when he turned up so I didn’t get a chance to look at it properly, but oh my word I am chuffed to bits.

After driving a massive 3l 5 Series BMW for the last two years, I simply cannot look at my new car without bursting out laughing. It’s simply ridiculous!

When I parked up at work and got out it looked positively comical sitting there in my usual spot. I could easily fit another one in the space.

After work this morning I was able to get a picture.

This afternoon I had to go out and in the proper daylight I could see just how filthy it is. It was my friend’s friend’s dad’s and it’s been sitting on a driveway for a long old time, just gathering dust.

There are plenty of perks though. Both my tax and insurance payments have literally halved, and I should be getting more than 14 MPG from now on!

This weekend I should be able to give it a good clean as I have a surprise long weekend. Work announced last night that there’s no Saturday shift while they do a huge stock take. Get in! This week is turning out to be a corker.

To top it all off my brother told me that he’s getting the shocks on his motorbike sorted after payday which means it’ll be able to take our combined weight. Then we can go on a road trip.

I went out with my brother and my ex, me riding pillion on my ex’s bike, for a brief period in 2014. It was the first time I’d ever been on a bike, and it was absolutely thrilling, but there was a downside.

I got the biggest size in trousers and jacket for women that I could (a size 22) and it fit like a second skin. It’s supposed to be snug, so that if you come off your gear stays on and keeps you alive, but sitting on the back of a bike with my knees somewhere around my ears meant that I couldn’t really breathe properly. Kinda problematic.

This also coincided with me gaining huge amounts of weight again, so it wasn’t long before I was struggling to get them on at all. When the bikes were put away for winter, I had to put the trousers on with the zip open (they have a kind of flap) and still I could barely get them on. I told myself I’d be back in them by the summer, but it never happened and I haven’t been on a bike since.

Today I got my gear out of storage and had a little try-on.

Wow.

I am over the flipping moon! Everything is too big, to the point where if I end up going out regularly with my brother then I will need new gear and I will need it soon. As it is all of the Velcro straps are pulled in as tight as they go and it’s still too roomy. I’ll have to wear thick layers underneath in order to stay safe.

Buying new gear means hundreds of pounds being spent, but maybe I can sell what I have to raise funds.

Right now I don’t care, I feel too good! I can take the trousers off without even undoing them, and the flap that was like a second skin? Take a look…

I’m so happy I could cry. In fact I just might.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Pushing Through

This week I have been exceptionally tired. It’s entirely hormonal – even with a decent sleep I’ve been feeling totally drained,  but that doesn’t happen often because there’s the added bonus that when I’m hormonal I also sleep less. So yeah… I’m not feeling in peak condition!

I took this photo before doing my makeup a couple of days ago.

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Forget bags under the eyes, I’ve got suitcases! Thankfully the act of putting on makeup fools me into thinking that I am actually alive.

After that photo was taken I did a busy shift at work, had five hours sleep, then got up for my third training session of the week. My trainer pushed me even harder than on Wednesday, and I pushed myself even harder still. On the biggest hill he was telling me to just make it to the post (half way up) but even though my muscles were screaming I kept going till the very top. I was slow, but I did it.

Being hormonal does make everything tougher. Apart from causing havoc with the scales, I can look at myself one day and see something I quite like, then the very next day I can look again and see something completely different. I have no doubt that in a couple of days I’ll start feeling slim again but right now I feel tired, frumpy and hungry.

But what I will do is push on through all of that, because I want to achieve my goals more than I want to curl up with a hot water bottle and hide from the world.

Training for today has been rescheduled for Monday because of yet more snow. It seems incredible that yesterday I was running in 14 degree heat, sweating buckets and more closely resembling a tomato than a human! Just look at the difference in the sky in less than 24 hours…

Come what may, tomorrow I’m going to dress up warm then take a gentle-yet-no-doubt-bracing walk into town. The reason for this is because I need to pick up some exercise clothing more suitable for warmer weather – as soon as the sun comes out I currently melt as soon as I start running. Shopping for summer clothes in the snow, yes, that sounds about right…

Since it’s a right miserable day I’ve just had an epic lunch of Slimming World-style chips, Linda McCartney sausages and Orgran Vegan Easy Egg made up to be like scrambled eggs. It’s my first time trying it and I’ve got to say it’s AMAZING. Next time though I’ll only make up half the recommended amount and try leaving out the oil. I’ve definitely overeaten this lunchtime!

Still, I’m now going to treat myself to another few hours in bed before I have to get ready for the last shift of the week.

Bring on the weekend!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Black Hole

After 83 weeks of weighing in on a Tuesday I’ve decided to switch things up a bit. In the last few weeks Sunday (the first night of my weekend) has become something of a black hole and I need to do something to address that. Yesterday I just ate and ate and as such this morning’s weigh in shows another 1.5 lb gain. That’s 3 lbs in two weeks and it’s in the wrong direction, plus I might not have metabolised all of that junk and have some still to gain!

I’m hoping the idea of weighing the next morning will keep me on track next weekend. It’s worth a try anyway.

I am as ever very annoyed with myself, because I’ve had another week of compliment after compliment. I found a very old pair of jeans on top of my wardrobe at the beginning of the week, and although they’re old they’ve never actually been worn. I reckon I bought them in 2013, to slim into, and finally they fit!

The jeans I had been wearing to work are enormous on me now, so it’s been great having everyone tell me how skinny my legs look now they’re not hidden in clown trousers. It’s a good feeling, but if I carry on like this then they’re not going to fit anymore.

Training is scheduled for tomorrow but I’m making a pledge here and now that if my trainer can’t make it then I’m going to go out on my own. I want to do three sessions this week, no matter what.

I wanted to do some kettlebells today but on Friday at work I picked something up awkwardly and hurt my shoulder, so I need to be sensible and not do any weight training until it’s healed. I’m really angry about that – just as I was finishing my rotation on that department as well.

But most of all I need to eat well, because there’s no point in training if I’m just going to undo all of the hard work I’ve done. The two need to go hand in hand.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about health lately. Up until now I haven’t cared much about exactly what is going into my body as long as overall I’m losing weight. So on a bad day I wouldn’t think twice about eating a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s, as long as I was sure I could make up for it later.

Now I’m starting to consider the effect that this kind of eating will have on my long-term health, especially as I’m fairly convinced I have Binge Eating Disorder. I have most of the symptoms with the exception of secrecy – although I’m tempted to hide what I’ve done and certainly have done in the past, I’m now brutally honest and feel the need to confess what I’ve eaten.

The treatment guidelines for BED are based around self-help anyway (specifically CBT), and I’m already taking steps to figure it out myself (and have in fact been doing that since I started with Slimming World in the first place). I need to keep working on it, as my binges are already less frequent and less intense than they used to be, although there has definitely been an increase in the last few months. It would just be nice to not have them at all. And I’ll also be much less likely to develop diabetes in future.

It feels really scary talking about Binge Eating Disorder publicly, because even though it has finally been recognised as a real thing a lifetime of people just thinking I’m lazy or greedy doesn’t go away overnight. I haven’t even wanted to admit to myself that I might have it. The way I eat definitely goes beyond ‘being a bit naughty’ though. When I say I lose control I don’t mean I temporarily lost my willpower, I mean I genuinely couldn’t stop myself. I’ve eaten some really weird things when I’ve had no unhealthy food in the house – for instance yesterday at 6am I ate a huge bowl of peanut butter mixed with maple syrup because it’s literally all I had. That is not normal.

Maybe I should go to the doctors, but I have a deep distrust of them when it comes to mental health. My experiences so far have not been good. Would it be better to have an official diagnosis though? Would it be better to have proper CBT sessions? I think maybe I should explore every avenue to try to stop this happening, because I don’t want to have it hanging over my head forever, always threatening to sabotage my efforts.

30 minutes later…

Update: Well, I thought to hell with it. What’s the worst that can happen? I got on the phone and booked myself the next available routine doctor’s appointment. Which is on the 3rd of April. Oh well, at least there’s time for me to get my head around it.

Today I made an excellent start to the week. I’ve cleaned, I’ve tidied, I’ve sorted through old clothes and had another purge of the wardrobe… I had a great trying-on session and found I now fit into several dresses I bought in a sale years ago. However I now realise I don’t actually like any of them and have no occasion to wear them anyway! So off to the charity shop they will go.

I’m now topping up my steps but I’ve done a proper workout too. I did a 30 minute programme on the exercise bike but I was enjoying it so much I kept going for another 20 minutes. During the workout I was thinking back to when I first got my bike, sometime last year, and how I struggled to complete 10 minutes. Oh how times have changed!

I started off this post feeling pretty down, but over the course of the day I’ve done several little acts of self care and my mood has completely changed.

I’m feeling very positive about this week, I reckon it’s going to be a good one!

Look after yourselves people.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Turning it Around

Yesterday I was hungry.

All. Day. Long.

I had an extra meal when I got in from work (though all on plan) and when I woke up I was still ravenous. It didn’t let up until after dinner where I had an enormous bowl of pasta, passata, tomatoes and a whole pack of Sainsbury’s vegetarian meatballs. Seriously, those balls are one of my favourite vegan-friendly items of all time, plus if you’re on Slimming World they’re only 2 syns for the whole pack (20 meatballs, I think). They’re so yummy – better than any meaty version I ever tried. In fact I bought 7 packs when I last shopped at Sainsbury’s. One pack was for my mum because I like them so much I’m getting everyone else to try them too.

Today my hunger levels seem to have gone back to normal, thank goodness, and I’m celebrating by having a really naughty day. It’s naughty because at work last night I went up to my manager and asked if I could have a short-notice night off. And he said yes! Yep, I am a complete layabout. The plan was to go training today, have lunch with my friend and help him move some furniture (I find it really cool that my totally hench friend has called me in for a bit of extra muscle) but that’s been rescheduled for tomorrow, so instead I’ll do the bits I had planned for Friday today. If I ever stop procrastinating on the computer that is…

The first job is to clean out my car. Before I met my new work/training friend I’d spend my lunch breaks in there so there’s an accumulation of travel salt and pepper pots, knives, forks, spoons and various other items. Plus several cardigans, blankets, thermal jackets in various sizes, scarves, hats… I could go on. So I need to go through all of that rubbish and sort out what I’m keeping before my car totally goes bang, because I don’t want to be doing it all last minute.

Another friend is really good at finding cheap cars and is currently on the lookout for one for me, and I’m really looking forward to having something different, if not new. For one the inside of a passenger door is currently in my boot and it takes up a lot of space! Also my current MPG is 14, so I’m hoping to get something a helluva lot more efficient…

After doing that I’m going to pop over to the country park where I do my training and hopefully get some nice sunset photos of the castle. My Golden Hour app tells me there’s a decent chance for a good photo, so fingers crossed. I usually get my brother to tag along as I don’t like going on my own – it’s a photography hotspot so I’m always self conscious that I’ll see another photographer and they will look at me and think I don’t know what I’m doing. Which is bloody stupid – I need to get over that. When I see another photographer, even if they don’t look like they know what they’re doing I just think ‘cool, I hope they get nice shots!’ And I do know what I’m doing anyhoo.

So even if I don’t get the shot it’s still good that I’m going and yet again getting further and further away from that poxy comfort zone.

I need to crack on now and get the car sorted so I’ll update again when I’m back from the castle.

Several hours later…

Well that was a productive afternoon! I wonder if anyone can explain why I had four, yes four jacks in my boot? Two sets of jump leads? Two air compressors? No, I can’t figure it out either… Thankfully now I’m carrying around a LOT less junk, and when it comes to transferring things over to a new car it will now be a lot easier.

It also turns out that I chose the perfect time to visit the country park. The light was gorgeous, and I only saw two other people. One was a cyclist on his way home, and the other was a dog walker. Other than that the place was completely mine. It’s nice not to worry about people walking into my shots.

I’m SO happy with what I got, it was totally worth braving the rush hour traffic for. I’ve made a lot of improvements since I first photographed the castle back in May 2015. For one I only got a single passable shot.

This was back then:

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And these are from today:

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I’d say that’s a fair old improvement. I probably could have stayed longer for more golden hour action, but as the sun made its way down I started to freeze so I headed home. I was planning to go to the shops but then remembered that I left my purse on the kitchen table (that is so me), so I’ll pop out for a veggie top-up once I’m done here.

And that’s that. Until next time, thanks for reading!

Hayley x

A Wibble

It was weigh in this morning and I put on 1.5 lbs. Despite my recent positivity this (entirely expected) event totally knocked me off track. For a short while, anyway. I hit the bread bin, and I hit it HARD, and now I feel doubly guilty for the initial gain and the subsequent emotional eating.

This will NOT do.

So I did the laundry then had a nap. When I woke up I still felt bad, so I spent half an hour just laying quietly and thinking things through. Until then I hadn’t figured out that it was the gain that made me feel bad. I thought perhaps it was a delayed bad feeling from yesterday, although at the time of eating I definitely wasn’t thinking about why. It was a total knee jerk reaction, without pause for thought, which is unusual for me these days. I think if I’d given myself that pause then the outcome would have been different.

Ho hum, I can’t go back in time! Going forward, I feel better after my little self-therapy session and getting the thoughts out here on the blog is the final step.

I’ve had a healthy dinner, I’m currently writing on my phone whilst pacing around the house to get my step count up before work (it’s quite likely I’m going to walk into something) and I have six whole days in which to turn this completely around.

Depending on hunger levels I’m going to try to reduce my carb intake and up what used to be my Speed Food intake. Speed food is just Slimming World’s own way of describing the less energy-dense fruit and veggies, so I shall henceforth be munching them like there’s no tomorrow. Bring on lots of top up shops in Lidl this week!

I have training on Thursday but in the meantime the cat has the vets and I have to try to find a cheap car as my head gasket is in a bad way. Hopefully I can find a run around to tide me over because I need wheels to get to training and to ferry my mum around to various hospital and doctor’s appointments.

Also, I’ve taken another exciting step even further out of my comfort zone. An ex-colleague saw some of my photos on Facebook and wants to hire me to take some shots of his wife before their wedding vow renewal. At first I said no, and was about to recommend a lady I know, when I thought ‘I can actually do this!’

I AM scared, because it will involve talking to people I don’t know and I’m going to have to my friend’s wife at ease when inside I myself will be the least at ease person there ever was.

But who knows what doors this could open? I was asked to do a wedding once but couldn’t stand the pressure of potentially messing up some of the most important photos of their lives. The very thought still fills me with dread, but I don’t have to start out doing weddings. I can do smaller things and see how I feel.

I’m not sure I’d like a photography business, but it would be lovely to take it further in my spare time. Let’s see what happens!

It’s nearly time for work now, and already I can’t wait for it to be over so I can get back to my own department.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x