Keeping Focus

Over the last week, I have not done everything in my power to make sure I got rid of last week’s gain. What I did do was to test my willpower, which was a really bad idea.

I bought a bag of dark chocolate lebkuchen hearts (vegan friendly) from Aldi, which always pop up in stores around this time of year and are also delicious. The little hearts are 2.5 syns each, so I intended to have one a day, to see if I could handle it.

I couldn’t handle it. 

I’ve been avoiding sugary stuff because it tends to set me off and I end up wanting more, but I wanted to see if I was ready to have ‘just a little bit’ every day. Truth is, I now know I’ll never be ready. I’m not saying I’ll never have sweet treats again, I’m just saying that I’m never going to be the kind of person who can have just a taster. I’m ok with that, because I don’t feel like I’m missing out once I lose the taste for these things again (which I invariably do) and it’s excellent that I’ve recognised that particular trigger so that I can stop lying to myself in future.

I experimented, and have proved conclusively what the outcome will be. If I choose to eat sugary stuff in future, there’s no getting around the fact that I need to make sure I only buy one small item instead of a whole bloody bag of yummy, chocolatey cakey things.

It didn’t stop at lebkuchen hearts though. Last night I also had other naughties, which again was a conscious decision. I do slightly regret it now, because group tonight should be an exciting one, but the thing is… I’m in love. 

I spent last night with a person who is very special to me, and since we won’t get a relaxed evening together like that for a good while I decided to let my hair down for a bit.

I’m sure I’ll give you more details on my love life in due course, but for now I feel like I’m holding a fragile bubble in my hand and I’m scared if I even look at it too hard it’ll burst. This year I’ve had some amazing highs and felt so incredibly low at times, and I’m just trying to enjoy the moment. So I’m tantalisingly keeping quiet about it for now!

Earlier on in the day we went for a nice long walk, and although it had been absolutely chucking it down the night before the weather was actually rather nice. I even had to take my hoody off as we got moving.

There was one great big rain cloud on the horizon, moving swiftly towards us, but we just skirted around the edge of it at the very end of our walk. Perfect.

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This morning I was out walking again, this time to town, and on my own. I’ve been walking into town at least once a week lately (through the park, of course) even if I don’t intend to buy anything. Sometimes a bauble selfie in Wilkinsons is enough and you don’t have to spend any money at all.

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Even so, I usually have a spare bit of change, so I’ve got into a routine of doing a charity shop crawl every time I’m there.

Today, yet again, I was not disappointed. You may remember I got a nice autumnal coat not so long ago, but that was more of a ‘going out’ coat. I needed a bog standard waterproof ‘out and about’ coat, but one that was warmer than my Trespass waterproof coat.

When I was at my heaviest I was always warm, so I didn’t have to worry much about dressing appropriately for the weather. I didn’t really go anywhere anyway, so there’s also that.

Nowadays I never know what clothing combination I’m going to need, so I’m always needing something more. But it’s fun getting new things, even if they are only new to me. Here’s my latest purchase.

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It’s hard to keep track but I think it was from Haven’s, it was TWO FLIPPING POUNDS and is a size S/M! Now I’m looking for a nice full length coat to wear over long dresses and skirts, and a short, smart jacket. I’d best keep up my weekly charity shop visits.

After a busy day of shopping I got myself to group to face the music. One positive I found from the weekend is that I’m definitely learning to stop eating once I’m full up, and I think that’s the reason I still managed a loss.

2lbs off!

This is where group is essential because although I’ve been super focused lately, I only have a finite supply. Group is where I go to get my focus tank refilled.

The week’s IMAGE therapy was a special one as we had a guest consultant while our Amanda was on a course at Head Office. We couldn’t have asked for a better replacement.

Our group was hosted by the incredible Ryan Lightfoot who has lost over 14.5 stone. You can read about him in the Daily Mail here (link) or check out his Instagram (link) if you fancy. Before IMAGE therapy began he gave a short talk about how much his life has changed since losing weight with Slimming World and boy was that emotional.

Before joining he barely left his house, but there he is hardly two years later standing in front of a group of strangers talking to us like we’re his best friends. Not only that, he’s now been promoted to Team Developer. Two years ago he was in the same position we’ve all been in, dreading the first step through those doors. Sometimes you truly can’t imagine where the path will lead.

I got a huge lump in my throat glancing over at his partner wiping what seemed to be tears of pride from her eyes. As the youngsters say, that gave me all the feels.

I found out last week that our current consultant isn’t staying with us, just looking after our group to see us through Christmas and New Year before we get a shiny new consultant. It’s a shame because I think Amanda is brilliant. She really does put in so much extra effort and, like Ryan, she is genuinely lovely and honestly cares about us. It’s the members that make the group (they are all so wonderful), but the consultant is the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle that makes it all work. I hope we get someone good (preferably with sparkly shoes).

After today I’m absolutely raring to go, especially since I’m not also contending with a hangover.

Have a simply brilliant week everyone.

Hayley x

Is it Enough?

I’m back! Where have I been I hear you ask? Well, mostly asleep actually. I had intended to do a significant amount of exercise this week but unfortunately I had to listen to what my body was telling me, and it was screaming at me to STOP.

I did go on one hour-and-a-half walk on Wednesday (even though it was drizzling the whole time and it never really got light throughout the entire day) and it was actually nicely refreshing. However I just didn’t have the get-up-and-go to do much else after that.

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Normally I potter around when I get in from work in the morning, then after a sleep I’m ready to carry on with my day at about 1pm. This week I’ve been struggling to get my head off of the pillow at 4pm, which hasn’t left me much time for anything else. I didn’t have the energy for anything else either.

Most of the week has just been about ‘getting by’, but yesterday morning I struggled to get to sleep because I had too many plans whizzing around in my head, and I happily jumped up ready to face the day at at my normal time. That’s better.

My food has all been on plan without exception, however because of my lack of energy I think my appetite has increased to try and compensate. Which is silly because if I’m doing less I need less, damn body. So decreased exercise, increased portions and some bloating due to lady things, means I’m not sure I will have done enough to eliminate last week’s gain. If I haven’t though I don’t doubt that it’ll be off the week after.

Now I’m feeling human again I’ll get out for a nice long walk tomorrow, which at least should help.

Yesterday night at work was a productive shift. On Thursday I was enthusing to anyone who stayed still long enough how much I was enjoying my apple. In the past I’ve avoided shop-bought apples because they always disappointed me, but the last week or so I’ve been LOVING Pink Lady’s.

I’d bought two in for myself on Thursday to eat throughout my shift (even though I’m not supposed to, tut tut) and two of the younger guys I work with were getting pretty jealous. I flat out refused to share though. So I decided to bring them in an apple each for the next shift, plus some Pristine grapes from Aldi. I did want the candyfloss grapes but they didn’t have any in, and the Pristine come a close second. They. Are. Delish.

What I’ve done now is to convert two people who eat pretty unhealthily into Pink Lady apple lovers. One of them had eaten a ‘dinner’ before work of a 9-pack of Penguins and a Galaxy Ripple. What’s disgusting though is that the multipack of Penguins was £1, whereas a 6-pack of Pink Lady’s was £2.70-odd. How does that work? I know you can get cheaper apples, but quite frankly they aren’t up to scratch in my opinion.

Tonight I’m bringing in an apple for another colleague who was feeling left out. Last night I saw him eat a Twix, some breakfast biscuits (both of which he found), a sharing bag of onion ring crisps, a sharing back of mini poppadoms and a microwave chicken curry. These guys need some vitamins! The annoying thing though? He is as slim as you like. How unfair. Not that I would swap my diet for his these days, even if I could stay thin, because I actually love what I eat now. Just as importantly as helping me lose weight, it makes me feel good too.

I can’t believe it took me over 30 years to realise that! Better late than never, eh?

Now it’s time to get on with a thousand other things I want to do. The only problem is deciding which to do first.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Not Wonderful

I’m feeling a bit under the weather today, because I think I’m coming down with a bug. So far though, it seems to be a small and manageable bug so I’m not letting it stop me (even though I’d quite like to be in bed instead of going to work).

This morning I woke up before 5am so I forced myself to get out into the world. It took a while for me to convince myself, so I didn’t make it to the park till gone 6am. That meant it was light enough to not be dangerous but the sun had not yet risen. Happily I got to witness it!

It was a misty morning but my phone camera couldn’t quite capture the beauty of that. There were other things of interest though once the sun was on its way up.

By the end of my 1.5 hour walk my throat was sore and I was feeling distinctly sleepy, so once home I headed back to bed before getting up again three hours later for… meal prep!

I’m still tweaking this meal prep thing I’ve got going on. So far I think it’s best to do three lunches and three dinners in one go, twice a week, then every Sunday just cook fresh. It seems to be the most manageable way.

I’m also getting better at spending less money on food so spread over the next three nights I’ll be munching on 1kg of sprouts, amongst other things. What could possibly go wrong?

For the rest of the week I want to get outside for my Body Magic every single day, but that will depend on how I feel. Fingers crossed I’m up to it!

Right now I can hear the sprouts calling so I must leave you and eat my dinner.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Hello There!

Yesterday was a false start. I drew the line, but somehow it got smudged and I ended up eating more bread-based products. On the one hand I’m proud of myself, because I didn’t have my main trigger food (ice cream) which would have been a lot worse. On the other hand part of me is asking ‘why bread?’ because I know it bloats me out so my gain this evening will be that much worse.

I’ve just got to take it on the chin though.

What I did do today was redraw that line, and this time I used permanent marker. I went on to my group’s secret Facebook page and told everyone what had happened and that I’d see them in group tonight to face my gain. Accountability is hugely important.

Fast-forward past a huge pile of laundry (which is still drying now) and a long, drawn out trip with my mother for her hospital appointment, and we get to weigh in. Which was actually the only positive thing about today, despite me gaining 3.5 lbs.

I didn’t gain as much as I thought I would so that’s good, plus there were others in the same boat as me. I think we all left feeling better than when we walked in.

Either way group was a really good laugh and I’m so glad I went, despite all of my instincts being to avoid group like the plague. Sometimes our instincts are lying little gits who should be ignored at all costs.

I have pledged to lose 4lbs this week and I will do everything in my power to achieve that. I feel like today has been stolen from me and I haven’t been able to get back on form as I’d hoped, but I have stayed on plan and tomorrow will be better.

In all of the ‘excitement’ of the last few days I did forget about one achievement – #onplanoctober. I did, by some miracle, manage to spend the entire month absolutely, 100% on plan.

Ok, so a repeat of that for November is now impossible, and I have plans for the 30th, but every other day will be on plan for sure. I may be five days late but…

My plan for this month was to hit target, but after a long chat with a friend on Saturday and lots of contemplation on Sunday, I’ve decided to lower my target.

I don’t even know what I want it to be, I just know that I want to lose more and I’m selling myself short if I don’t really go for it now. Why not aim for the flipping stars?

I’ve decided to just keep losing until my body tells me enough is enough. When the losses start to slow, or stop, that should be the right place.

In the meantime my November weight loss goal is to get to my original target of 12.10, and it’s my new Christmas wish to still be that weight or less once Christmas is over.

I think that’s quite reasonable.

The plan for tonight though is to get some (on plan) grub and get an early night. Tomorrow, I want to hit the ground running.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Ohhhhhh Dear

This is a bit of a shameful post. I thought about not writing it. I considered doing a ‘boy, Friday night was messy!’ kind of blog and leaving it at that. But that’s not really me, I want to be as honest as possible.

I very rarely go ‘out out’ so after a couple of hours in bed Friday morning I got up to start preparing for the evening. Most of the day was spent waiting for coats of nail varnish to dry, so much so that despite having hours and hours to get ready I was still in a mad rush and left the house slightly late. I still managed to smudge the varnish on one damn nail though! This is why I don’t usually bother with the stuff…

Normally when I go out, especially if I’m meeting new people, I end up drinking too much because I’m nervous. Friday was very different though, despite the fact that I knew I was meeting about twenty new people all in one go.

These last couple of weeks my confidence has gone through the roof. I’ve been talking to some of the new people at work without giving it a second thought, and I’ve had some great conversations with shop workers and other customers which would normally make me feel excruciatingly uncomfortable. Something has just clicked and I feel so much more outgoing. So if I drank too much (which I totally did) it wasn’t because I was nervous.

Thankfully I was not the only one who was running late, so when I got to my friend’s house and he’d only just got out of the shower, we made the decision to be late on purpose (AKA fashionably late).

While he was finishing up I poured myself a glass of wine and put on THE DRESS.

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There are better pictures of me (this one is a little blurry) but my grin is the biggest in this one and I wanted to show how happy I was.

I. Felt. Fabulous!

When we left I wasn’t drunk by any means, but walking into the restaurant was awesome. Because we were the last two to arrive everyone was already seated on one massive table, and as we walked in we were actually greeted to a huge uproar of cheers. They were for my friend, because I only knew three of the group after all, but I could feel everyone’s eyes on me all the same. Normally I’d hate that, but I felt so good I strode across the room feeling like some sort of rock star!

After sitting down I launched into conversations with the strangers around me but very dangerously, a whole bottle of wine was plonked down in front of me. After that, I have huge gaps where I don’t remember anything at all, and that’s where things go downhill.

Not that I’d know any differently, but thankfully I managed to hold things together until we left the restaurant. Once out I was very, very poorly, to the point where once we were home I went out into the garden and fell asleep on the ground. When my friend woke me up shortly after, I couldn’t even stand up. I was in that much of a state. If I’d had to get home on my own, I dread to think what would have happened to me.

The really scary thing is that usually if I’m going on a bender I choose to drink a lot. Not that I do these days, it’s obviously not worth it. The last time I did that was in 2016 and I had no intention of repeating that. But this just sort of… happened.

I think the main problem was that because the drink was just flowing around me I wasn’t conscious of how much I was drinking. If I had been ordering individual drinks things might have been different. But there’s also the fact that I seem to have turned into a complete and utter lightweight. It didn’t occur to me at the time, but since I’ve been doing so well with the weight loss I’m down 1.5 STONE since the last time I had so much as half a glass of wine, and 8 stone down since the last time I drank a significant amount. I clearly can’t handle it anymore.

I really should have thought of all this before, but at least I know now for next time. I’m out for a meal on the 16th of December, and when that comes around I shall insist upon a GLASS of wine and nothing more.

So there we have it. There’s nothing to be proud of about getting in such a state and believe me I’m absolutely sure I’ve learned my lesson. That’s why I had to let you know what I did – if I did something I’m ashamed of I should share that as much as I should share the good bits, and you should know I’m also being completely honest when I say I’m not going to do that again.

So what about the food? Again, honesty is key. I had a couple of sandwiches when I got in from work Friday morning, because although I tried hard to fight it I still had some of that ‘if I’m having a day off now is the time to eat some bread’ mentality. For lunch I had some very yummy vegan chicken nuggets from Tesco which are 1 syn each but I ate 16, followed by a vegan flapjack, but the only other food I had for the rest of the day was a couple of bites of my meal at the restaurant.

I had ordered veg tagine with couscous, and I was sober enough when the food came to remember that it was awful. Again, if I’d had a yummy meal maybe I would have actually eaten it and it would have soaked up some of the booze. How can a restaurant manage to get something I can whip up at home in minutes so utterly wrong?

I had planned to get up early Saturday morning and go for an epic walk, but I was in no fit state. Eventually I managed to keep down some beans on toast, but the rest of the day wasn’t on plan. I didn’t eat much, but I did avoid letting it seep into today (and not by any willpower on my part).

Deliveroo is now available in my area so I got on there and ordered two vegan pizzas from Pizza Express, one for dinner and one for my work lunch. As luck would have it 2.5 hours later my food still hadn’t arrived so I cancelled the order and had 6 crumpets for dinner. Not great, but still better than TWO pizzas.

I didn’t end up staying at work as my manager mercifully let me go home, so I didn’t have work lunch at all. From a mental perspective this is hugely important. Because I have my work lunch after midnight, psychologically speaking it would be hard for me to spend today on plan if I’d had something bad, because technically Sunday would already be ‘ruined’. It’s silly, yes, but that’s how my mind works. Or doesn’t, as the case may be.

That means the line is now drawn and I’m completely back on plan. I’m also feeling a little more human after a solid 8 hours sleep.

I suppose my night out was a game of two halves. From what I do remember I had a brilliant time, and I’m just so glad that I managed not to ruin anyone’s night. That’s more luck than judgement though.

Today I’ll be mostly making a plan of action for the month ahead, because although I’m a little late already I love a fresh new month and sitting down to think about the things to come.

You can be sure I’ll blog about that soon!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x