Getting Out

Now I think of it, having this week off of training couldn’t have worked out better. Let’s face it, it’s way too hot to run, even in the shade. Since having that revelation I feel a lot better about the whole resting thing.

Mr. S picked me up this afternoon and for a trip back to Warley Place, which we visited last month. This time we had another friend of his along for the ride, and we all enjoyed the gentle stroll which is mostly in the shade. Which is helpful, because the thermometer tipped a rather toasty 30 degrees celsius today. I took my wide-angle lens with me this time to get a different take on the same scenery.

060718_2885.jpg

I’m already looking forward to coming here in the autumn, I bet it’s absolutely beautiful.

Yesterday was a good photo day too. Mr. S is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society so he took me to Hyde Hall as his non-paying guest. It sounds really fancy if you aren’t an RHS member, but it’s more or less the same of being a National Trust or English Heritage member – you pay a membership fee and visit as many places as you like.

Hyde Hall is well worth a visit if  you’re ever in Essex, the gardens are stunning. It was swelteringly hot, which I’m not complaining about because I hate the cold so damn much, but I’m the first to admit getting caught by sprinkler spray every so often was very refreshing!

They also have a sculpture trail on at the moment, and I know we didn’t manage to see all of them.

It’s been ages since I had quite so many photo opportunities in one place. Afterwards I went back to Mr. S’s for dinner and a movie, where we slowly melted on his sofa, and were periodically visited by an expectant fox.

060718_2888.jpg

Mr. S is a sucker for foxes. This little guy knew full well he had a big chunk of ham coming his way!

It’s back to work for me tonight and I have another busy day coming up tomorrow. My sister is having a little (benign) lump removed from her leg and I’m going with her because she’s a fainter. She’ll sometimes pass out if it’s just slightly warm and she’s a bit dehydrated so the combination of this heat and a little procedure could be troublesome. I reckon she’ll be fine, but I’d best accompany her just in case.

Then I have work Saturday night but I’m already anticipating my next couple of days off because I am just zonked. Although I’ve just remembered that I may have to come into work Sunday because I agreed to swap shifts with someone so he can go out disco dancing… I’m just too nice!

Until next time,

Hayley x

Back to ‘Normal’

Right then, so what have I been getting up to since my last post? On Friday I attempted a little run because my knee was feeling so much better. I went with Mr. S and he was up for a short one because he was still feeling delicate from the weekend. If I’m running up hill, I’m absolutely fine, but my knee is still painful going downhill or if I straighten it too much. So I’m just going to walk for the next few days and again see how I get on.

ACS_0134

It was an absolutely beautiful day. So much blue sky and only a few ‘Toy Story’ clouds! Although we only did 3 miles and we walked a lot of it, it was still good to be out.

Work later on was hard – I felt absolutely exhausted. When I got home I completely crashed out, forgetting to set my alarm, and woke up at the exact time I normally get Pea her breakfast by chance alone. I decided to rest my knee completely and ended up having lunch at Mr. S’s. It’s early days but I’m not quite sure how’s it’s going to work out with the friends thing. All I know is that I’m happier knowing where I stand, even if I only know where I stand because I decided where I stand. If that makes sense. Mr. S has been acting strangely with me for over a week now, but I can cope with it because my happiness doesn’t depend of what the heck is going on in his mind. I’ve asked, but I’m none the wiser so there’s not much else I can do except crack on with my life. Which I’m totally doing!

For the last few days my eating has been spot on. I know I’ve said so many times lately that I’m back on plan and before I know it I’m eating PB&J sandwiches again, but this time I mean it! I’ve been keeping a proper food diary, and I’ve even dusted off my dedicated Slimming World Instagram account which hadn’t been used since January. Seriously people, I’m ON IT. It’s hayleym_vegan by the way, if you fancy giving me a follow.

I don’t know if this is going to be a permanent thing, but I’ve been tracking my periods and it seems that whenever I ovulate I start holding an obscene amount of water. Right now, a combination of that particular part of my cycle being over and me eating a lot of veggies means that I’ve lost all of my holiday gains, plus I’m within reaching distance of the 13’s, which I only just stuck a toe into for a brief time back in March. I’m currently sitting at 14st 2.5lbs and I’m bloody chuffed with that – at the beginning of the week I was 14st 11lbs!

But do you know what I’d really love to do? Weigh in once a month, right after Lady Time. Can I actually do that though? Realistically, I think not. It’d be great though, wouldn’t it? Even though I know what’s happening, I can’t help feeling absolutely gutted when I step on the scales and get an undeserved gain, and so far I haven’t mastered the art of not letting it get to me. I’m going to give that some further thought, anyway.

After going to work last night and being given the option to go home again (which of COURSE I took up) I got up early for an engagement with my brother. The other day he found some friendly cows whilst out cycling and he asked if I wanted to go and see them. Well, duh!

Apparently they don’t like me as much as they like him, but it was fun anyway.

It was a gorgeous morning too – I especially like the mist coming off the lake. Lovely!

240618_2823

What I should do now is start on the laundry, but instead I’m going to take a walk into town. If I’m not running, then I need to being something, because I’m really motivated to finally get to target. Recently I’ve been wondering whether to stay at the weight I am currently, but now my way has become clear. I definitely want to be 12st 10lbs, and nothing is going to stop me.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Trapped

I made a decision today, one that I’ll talk about in a future post. I know it’s infuriating to drop little hints, but it really wouldn’t be right of me to talk about the thing before I’ve done the thing.

It’s something that needs to be done, because I can feel that history is about to repeat itself, but I sure don’t want to do it. If I had to describe how I feel right now I guess it would be… heartbroken. That sounds really melodramatic, but there it is.

I feel trapped inside my own head at the moment, because I need to deal with the emotions but they are so strong, and I don’t really know how to. Mr. S let me down for training today last minute and I knew I had to move, so that’s what I did.

I was already good to go because I thought I’d be running, so I got on my walking boots and headed for the train station. I’ve been meaning to go to London for vegan kebabs and to visit St James’s Park again for ages, so it’s no wonder that’s the first thing that popped into my head.

Although my brain has been in a turmoil everything just seemed to go right. Without any kind of planning I arrived at the station just minutes before the train to London was leaving. Perfect!

I used the journey to plan the rest of the day. I didn’t much fancy heading into Shoreditch, so I decided to visit the brand new actual restaurant that What the Pitta have opened in Camden. I got the tube there, and was surprised to see that it was fairly quiet. But then I suppose most of their business is late-night and weekends.

I received the most friendly service, and as ever the vegan kebab was delicious. I had half a mind to go to Crosstown Donuts later in the day, but I always forget how filling the kebabs are. It’s nearly 8pm and I’m still not hungry! I suppose it might have something to do with all those chips…

IMG_0984

IMG_0987

So yeah… the being back on plan thing isn’t working out so well. I’m allowing myself a little pity party today (I’ve already been to the shops for ice cream) then I really, really am going to focus on my eating.

What isn’t helping my state of mind is that my knee is really painful today and I think I need to lay off the training until it feels better. Plus I should probably also speak to a doctor, even though I don’t want to.

If I’m not training then my eating needs to be spot on. I’m not sure how I’m going to cope with it mentally though, running has become something of a lifeline. But I’ll figure it out somehow.

Anyway, despite my knee being dodgy I still walked from Camden to St James’s Park, which took over an hour. It wouldn’t have taken that long but I did stop and mooch around a few shops on my way. The only reason I didn’t buy these bad boys is that I’m already trying to declutter and I didn’t think they would help matters.

IMG_0988.JPG

So stylish though!

St James’s Park is always good for the soul, because I love pigeons, and it seems that pigeons love me. At least, they love the almonds that I bring them. I definitely made some new friends!

IMG_1007

IMG_1046

Just call me the pigeon whisperer! I also got a few shots on my Sony camera, which isn’t my best quality camera, but still does a better job than my phone.

Until one decided to perch on it, that is…

190618_2819.jpg

Despite being on my own I was laughing like a mad person, and I managed to amuse a little toddler, several Germans and a Chinese couple. Despite everything, it’s been a very successful day!

Miraculously I didn’t get pooped on, so after paying 20p for a tinkle I decided to head home. I didn’t much fancy being on the tube during rush hour, or any time for that matter. So a decided to walk to Fenchurch Street which again took about an hour, because the streets were busy too.

When I arrived at the station for the third time that day my train was ready and waiting for me. I got a nice seat, and also managed to get myself on a fast train where mine was the first stop. Again, perfect!

I’m feeling much better after traipsing the streets of London and getting everything straight in my head.

Everything will be fine, but I’ll give you more details when I can. In the meantime, the next time you hear from me I’ll be on that wagon.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Warley Place

Mr. S is so awesome. Even though we had work yesterday he called to say he was taking me somewhere as a surprise. It was only a ten minute drive away, but it was somewhere I’d never been and that he both knew I’d love and would provide nice photo opportunities.

The place in question was Warley Place, the remnants of an Edwardian house and gardens. It was made famous (although I’d never heard of it personally) by Ellen Ann Willmott in the 1880’s who was big in the world of horticulture. She had a team of over 100 gardeners, immense greenhouses and an alpine garden. She was even visited by Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria, but now all that’s left is ruins.

The site is now leased to the Essex Wildlife Trust, and they’ve been working to restore what they can whilst still making a home for nature. And it’s amazing how quickly nature has reclaimed the space in such a short amount of time.

130618_2791130618_2788.jpg130618_2784130618_2790130618_2793130618_2794130618_2781130618_2797

It was a beautiful day and such a nice gesture from Mr. S. I’m not sure if he’s extra nice or everyone who came before him was just a bit crap, but no one has ever been that thoughtful towards me before.

He’s also the first person who ever wanted to take pictures of me, which to be honest since I’ve lost weight I’m loving. It’s still a novelty to see a picture of me that I don’t hate so when he shows me I’m happy to have a record of a nice memory rather than being mortified.

He took this one while we were in the bird hide:

ACS_0116

Whenever I look at that picture I’ll be thinking ‘ah what a lovely day that was’ rather than ‘ugh, I was so miserable back then’. You can’t put a price on that feeling.

I’m now on day four of being super good and on plan, and I’m starting to get excited about my health and fitness again. I’ve also already noticed that, ahem, I’m less windy and the wind I do emit is a lot nicer for those around me. TMI? Of course, but then it’s good for others to know that there are other benefits of eating healthily that they might not have considered before.

My number one new thing that I’ve loved this week is the Alpro dark chocolate desserts, which are 5.5 syns each. They go perfectly with some summery strawberries.

ACS_0115

So food is spot on, but it’s taking a little while to get back to top form as far as fitness is concerned. I trained on Tuesday and it was really hard going. Mr. S said it was probably just anxiety but I just couldn’t regulate my breathing properly and I really struggled. We trained again today, locally because we were short on time, and things went much better. I’m walking into town tomorrow then training properly on Saturday, so I hope things will be back to normal by then.

If not it won’t be long before they are.

Right then, it’s time to pay some attention to the third part of the holy trinity of health. I need to get some bloody sleep!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Slippery Mountain

Oh my, I am soooooo tired. I am can-barely-sit-up-straight exhausted, but there’s a blog in me just bursting to get out. There’s no use putting it off.

Over the last week Mr. S has been poorly (we overdid it just a tad on holiday and I must admit I was struggling to recover too) so we only trained once. Other than that I’ve just been trying (and failing) to catch up on sleep and chores, despite having the week off. I did make it to the charity shop after clearing out four sacks-worth of clothes, shoes, bags, books and various other bits and bobs, but there’s still a lot more spring cleaning to be done. I want to have minimal stuff so that I can decorate as soon as I get the chance, but life keeps getting in the way, as it does tend to do.

I’m OK with this, because life has been good to me. As it happens, I am no longer entirely single! Me and Mr. S aren’t exactly an official couple, but we’re also not not a couple either. Confused? I don’t blame you! Basically, we have a thing going on. But we aren’t giving it a name or thinking too much about it right now, we’re just enjoying being together. For me it’s been a big change, because in the past I’ve been very much in the ‘I need to know exactly what’s happening’ camp, but lately I’ve been enjoying simply living, instead of fretting about the past or the future. I feel a lot happier for it.

Because we’ve spent so much time together lately, going away for the weekend with my little brother has been FANTASTIC, but also a little tough. I’ve missed Mr. S terribly, but I couldn’t have brought him along in any case. He couldn’t get the time off work, plus I’ve had this booked in with my little bro since before me and Mr. S even started talking.

Anyway, on Wednesday me and little bro went shopping for food supplies. We needed dry/canned goods as we were camping and didn’t have access to a refrigerator. On the way there little bro asked ‘have you had any reliability issues with the car since you’ve had it?’ ‘Nope!’ I replied, confident that my wee Micra could handle the 640 mile round trip drive easily.

The very next day, the day before our adventure, I got in the car to visit Mr. S one last time before we went. I turned the key and… nothing. The battery was as flat as a pancake. I got a jump-start, but the damn thing wouldn’t hold a charge – it was completely knackered. Typical.

Thankfully I have a wonderful friend who came over at 11:30pm with a new battery, so after he kindly changed it over for me we got on the road. I was full of nervous energy and just wanted to get going.

Driving in the middle of the night is a great idea, especially if like me you’re a night worker and you’re used to driving around in the small hours. You get to see stunning sunrises like this one, for a start.

ACS_0113

Five hours into the journey, we were just making our way into the Lake District – the views were getting more and more beautiful and my sense of wellbeing was increasing exponentially.

Then the car suddenly started losing power. I couldn’t believe it – I’ve done plenty of journeys and not had a single problem. So why now?!

Luck was on our side again though, because it was fine in the lower gears, and I could get to 60 miles-per-hour. So I decided to carry on the journey and just hope it got us to the campsite. After that we didn’t need to drive again until the ride home, so I put that particular concern to one side until Sunday morning. I was damn well going to enjoy my holiday no matter what!

My little car did spectacularly well – she made it up some INSANE hills, many of which I had to crawl up in first gear. That’s not my bad driving, they really were that steep. But the old girl did it.

As we got nearer our destination things went from beautiful to STUNNING.

And that was just the beginning.

As we’d left so early, we still had a whole day in which to explore. So we set up camp, had a little rest, then headed out to see what we could find. There were sheep absolutely everywhere, but this little bundle of fluff was my favourite. Look at that adorable face!

100618_2748.jpg

We walked to a little inn where I enjoyed an ice cold G&T whilst taking in the views and listening to the river water making its way down from the mountains. The weather was turning out to be glorious, too.

The rest of the day was spent wandering around, then we both struggled to stay awake until 8pm. Then we allowed ourselves a well-deserved early night early night as we were heading up Scafell Pike at daybreak.

The next morning we were up at 4am because we wanted to miss the crowds. We were on our way from the beginning as the trail started right from our campsite, so there wasn’t a moment wasted.

After doing Snowdon last year I was confident that Scafell Pike was completely doable, but it’s a whole different kettle of fish. Snowdon is higher than Scafell Pike (though not by much) but I’d say it’s easier. You go up a bit, then along, and down at times, and there’s enough variety in the terrain that it doesn’t feel too bad. But Scafell Pike is just UP, UP, UP! Plus there are loads of points on the way where you think you’re at the summit, but the next part is hidden behind the current peak you’re on. I was prepared though – my brother climbed it last month and pre warned me!

We made it to the summit in good time, and without incident. And just as the sun was making it over the peaks, too.

It was breathtakingly beautiful.

As it happens climbing Scafell Pike was a lot easier to climb than Snowdon, but that’s mainly because I am SO MUCH FITTER now! Not to mention over two stone lighter. At least, it was easier on the way up. The way down… now THAT was hard.

My brother warned me that it was slippery, and boy he wasn’t kidding. It’s basically gravel and loose stones the whole way down, and it really is treacherous. Me being me, I went over and managed to land on my arse and elbow.

I’ll be honest – I really thought I’d done some serious damage. I went down hard, but luckily it just shook me up, gave me a nice deep cut on my elbow (which is painful but healing nicely) and some pretty impressive bruises on my right bum cheek. It could have been a lot worse.

IMG_2617.JPG

So, having given my tribute of blood to the mountain I made it safely to the bottom again. After another nap, me and my brother had a really special evening.

Just like me, my brother has struggled with his weight most of his life. He’s currently getting back into the swing of things and getting fitter and healthier, but all the same… neither of us are happy with our bodies just yet.

We were camped right near a beautiful lake, so we decided to take our camping chairs and stove down to the rocky shore and have dinner there. It was so hot, and the water so clear and inviting, we put our feet it and splashed our faces. It was delicious, it’s the only word for it.

Then we wondered… even though it’s been over a decade since either of us swam, could we go all the way? Well of course we could!

It was utterly freezing at first, but we found out that we can in fact still swim. Which is good, because there wasn’t a soul around to save us if we couldn’t, and what with this particular lake (Wastwater) being the deepest in England, it would have been… problematic shall we say.

In all seriousness, we stayed in the shallows before being sure we weren’t going to drown. We’re not quite that stupid.

Well, it was absolutely magical. After years and years of spending summers hot and sweaty, afraid to show ourselves and get in the water, here we were swimming in a crystal clear lake. It’s a wonderful memory that will stay with us forever.

IMG_2657

100618_2773.jpg

IMG_2658-ANIMATION

As you may have guessed I made it home, and it was without incident. The car seems to have fixed itself, as we didn’t have any problems at all. I wonder if it was just all too much for it on the way there.

Now I’m going to sign off, because my exhaustion has reached critical levels and I haven’t even had dinner yet. I’ll update again tomorrow (I promise!) to let you know what comes next in Hayley Land.

Thanks for reading!

X

Most Pleasing!

All good things must come to an end, and my holiday is one of them. I did intend to blog while I was away, but every single moment was just completely jam packed and I didn’t give it a single thought once I’d left my house. Until now that is.

We got to our beautiful cottage on Tuesday afternoon, and although we’d seen pictures it was better than we could have imagined. After all, a picture can’t describe the stream we could hear or the little bleating lambs! We stayed in the village of Wincle (yes, actually pronounced winkle *snigger*) and it was beautiful. 

I’m not sure how big the village actually is, but what we saw of it was just one street with a few cottages, a pub, a microbrewery and a fishery.

It took us a little while to get to our cottage as once we’d got out of the car we were greeted by a lovely lady walking her dog, Rocky. It turns out she permanently lives next door to the cottage we were staying in (all of the other residents live there full time), and afterwards as we made our way down the little row all of the other neighbours came out to say hello, too.

Everyone was just so friendly, but the couple we got speaking to in the pub probably had the edge. They were talking about their favourite local walks, and by the time we’d finished our drinks they’d been home to photocopy the route and instructions and left it at the bar for us. How lovely is that?

After just relaxing for the first evening, and perhaps drinking a little too much wine, the next day we went to Mam Tor. Who doesn’t love a good Tor? The weather was stunningly beautiful but not too hot (perfect for walking) and me and Mr. S got to discover how terrible we both are at reading maps.

Thankfully there were plenty of people around to help us, and we got where we were aiming to go eventually.

Day two we started off in Dovedale for a nice big circular walk. I don’t remember exactly what villages we ended up going through, but it was another beautiful day. And once we’d got out of Dovedale itself, which is nice but a little bit tame for my liking, we barely saw another person.

The last day in the cottage wasn’t all blue skies like the previous days, and we were pretty tired by this point (perhaps we may have been burning the candle at both ends…) so we decided to do the recommended walk to Lud’s church, which also meant we didn’t have to drive anywhere first.

We started off with a nice forest-y, windy walk alongside a river then after climbing steeply we ended up in a huge cleft in the rock which was created by a landslip. It’s not actually a church as such, but supposedly an illegal religious sect used it as a secret meeting place in the 15th century. Either way, it definitely has that churchy kind of feel about it! Again we were the only ones there, and where the moss that covered absolutely everything muffled the sound and made it extra spooky.

After the fourth night in the cottage we were booked up to stay in a hotel in Sheffield for the final night of our holiday. As such we both agreed that we had to be in bed by 10pm so we could pack and make sure the cottage was tidy before we left.

However, things did not go to plan. We started our walk pretty much exhausted, but when we got back to the village we decided to just stop off in the pub before going back to the cottage. Of course, one drink led to another and everything got a little bit hazy after that. At 1:30am one of us had the good sense to check the time, and we finally got ourselves to bed.

I managed to wake up early so I packed and cleaned most of the things and we just managed to get out in time and leave everything immaculate. However I was wondering how we were going to cope out on the town in Sheffield as we were both just so tired.

Somehow though, we just kept going. Mr. S got to watch his football match, then after that we headed back to the hotel to get changed into fancy things. After that the best way of finding out what the hell we got up to was by checking my bank account the next day and seeing how many different bars we’d visited!

Every night of the holiday we’d been… ‘jolly’ shall we say, and every night the time just ran away from us. This night it sprinted though, because when I checked my watch it was HALF PAST FRIKKIN FIVE IN THE MORNING!!! 

Since checkout was at 11am, there was just no way either one of us was going to get sober enough to drive home, and if we hung around the city until we were, there’s no way either one of us would be awake enough to drive home.

So at 7am I went to speak to reception and we managed to stay in our room for an extra night.

Mr. S couldn’t sleep in the morning, but I managed to get a couple of hours so I went out to explore. Literally a few days ago I started following a company (Joni) on Facebook who sell vegan croissants, and when I checked my news feed (while I was working on the will to get out of bed) I noticed an update from them – they were at a food festival that was going on right outside our hotel window! 

I was clearly meant to have my first croissant since becoming vegan, and it was clearly meant to be delicious. They had two varieties so I ended up having both – they were deep filled with so much chocolate and they were oh so good. Better than any buttery version I’ve tried (and believe me, I’ve eaten A LOT of croissants).

After eating dessert I looked for a savoury treat and also had my first pasty since becoming vegan! The Proper Pasty Co have two vegan varieties – spicy Mediterranean veg and apple and blackcurrant. Sadly the sweet one was sold out, but then I didn’t really need it anyway.

In the evening we went to Pizza Express for dinner (it was very scrummy indeed, plus I’m LOVING their app which you can use to pay the bill) and then we actually managed to get an early night as intended for the first time.

A truly honourable mention has to go to Make No Bones. It’s a vegan café in Sheffield and I’ve been hearing people raving about their food since before went vegan. When we first got into the city we made a detour to try their wares – it was my condition for sitting through the football you see.

By the time we got there I was so hungry I ordered avocado fries, sticky seitan ribs with ‘blue cheese’ sauce, a kebab and a PB&J cheesecake. I practically inhaled it so I didn’t get any pictures, but the food is INCREDIBLE. So if you have the chance to go, even if it’s right out of your way and you have a tired and hungry Mr. S trying to talk you out of it, then GO!

As it happens Mr. S (an omnivore) had a vegan Philly cheesesteak. Although he wasn’t expecting to like it he actually bloody loved it!

I have just a couple more things to mention before I go – Somehow, miraculously, I managed to LOSE a whole two pounds while I was away. I have no idea how. I have drunk and eaten whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and yet I seem to be maintaining my weight spectacularly without even trying!

However, I do want to knuckle down and lose some more weight now so it’s back on plan for me.

Finally, although I expected to be self-conscious around Mr. S I surprised myself at how much I was at ease with my body. So I don’t think I have too long to go before I’ll be content with how I look. My ex never took a single picture of me while we were together, but Mr. S was snapping away the whole time and I like almost all of what he took. I did not expect to feel this way about myself so it’s come completely out of the blue and is also rather marvellous!

Despite feeling pretty bummed at my holiday ending, I’m also pretty excited for the future!

I’ll be telling you about it in more regular blogs from now on. Normal service is henceforth resumed!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

A Mixed Bag

My head has been a little bit all over the shop lately (I say lately, more like for months and months) but at the moment it’s compounded by pure tiredness. I’ve simply been trying to cram too much in and something had to give somewhere!

This weekend I went to see a wonderful blogger buddy and we had some fun times, but on Sunday I reckon everything just caught up with me and I had to go home early. By the time I got back my lips had turned blue (slightly worrying), my hands had turned purple (also not great) and even though I’d been in a car so warm that my iPhone came up with a temperature warning message and wouldn’t work again until it cooled down, I just couldn’t get warm.

Sleep fixed me though, and after sleeping the whole afternoon and all through the night I just about managed to put my weekly sleep average up to seven hours. Some people can get by on less sleep, and for weeks I myself have been getting by on 6, but that clearly isn’t sustainable for me and I need to make sure I get more down time.

Anyway, it’s not all doom and gloom! On Saturday, because the weather was awful, my friend eagerly agreed to see Avengers: Infinity War for the second time. Well, his second time and my first. I really feel like Marvel have found that sweet balance now between action, comedy and story and I loved every minute of it. It’s just pure joy to watch!

After that I had my first ever meal from Las Iguanas since I don’t have one near where I live and I only even learned of its existence fairly recently.

I had hearts of palm to start, which I thought I’d never had before. But it was only a couple of weeks ago when I was out with my trainer and I had something from his plate that we couldn’t identify. Now I’m pretty sure that’s what we were eating. It was nice, but I probably wouldn’t bother having them again.

The Brazilian curry however (moqueca de palmitos) was flipping amazing and I could eat it all day long. They had a fair few vegan options too, or veggie options that can be made vegan on request. I’d highly recommend it as a very tasty and vegan-friendly place to visit.

In the evening we were eating out again. I bloody love trying new places, and it turns out the restaurant we were visiting, Fusca, is the first fully vegan restaurant I’ve been to. I’ve been to a few places in London but since they are takeaway restaurants as far as I’m concerned they don’t count.

I really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the place and I cannot even describe how nice it is to be able to order a glass of wine without having to do extensive research first to find out whether it’s vegan or not!

The food was tasty, but perhaps a teeny bit overpriced considering that the portions were quite small. That’s probably a good thing though, it means I didn’t feel guilty for getting dessert. Which was DELICIOUS by the way!

ACS_0069ACS_0073ACS_0072

The day after getting home the weather was awful but really I still needed to make up for overindulging at the weekend so I did an hour on my exercise bike. It still astounds me that I can even do that – I remember struggling to complete ten minutes when I first got it. The remainder of the day was spent fairly restfully, but I still didn’t manage to get a decent sleep. Which I put down to a lack of proper training.

Yesterday I went out training on my own and oh my, what a start to the month! The weather was absolutely perfect for running. It was sunny but not too warm, there was a fresh breeze and along most of my route it was dappled shade. It was so gorgeous, and the vibrant colours everywhere made my heart happy.

I didn’t break any records this time around. Well, I can’t smash a record every single time I go out now, can I? But I did feel absolutely fantastic and loved every minute of it. Today the weather is back to being awful so I’m using the time to catch up on some rest, do boring household chores and do some meal prep for the rest of the week. Exciting stuff!

Then I’m training for the next three days in a row which should help regulate me sleep and help me to get better quality sleep, then I have a relaxed Sunday with my lovely siblings planned.

Life is tiring, but good!

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!

110218_2480110218_2481110218_2484110218_2485

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.

110218_2486

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?

110218_2488

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.

110218_2493110218_2494110218_2491.jpg

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

 

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

 

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