Short Arms

After Sunday’s run I’ve been feeling really good – it’s given me the energy boost that I’ve sorely needed over the last couple of weeks. I haven’t had any problems with my knee at all, so I’m going to try to do another run on Friday. Since I have so much to do, my recovery has come at the exact right time. It means I can get the same benefits from 30 minutes of running that it takes an hour-and-a-half to achieve by walking alone.

That’s not to say I won’t keep up with the walking though, because apart from the fact that I really enjoy it, I still can’t bring myself to drive into town even when I am short on time.

I had to go into town anyway to return some things, but after my Tuesday shift at work I knew that wasn’t the only reason I’d be going.

First of all I bumped into a day manager who I used to work with on nights. I’ve known him for years and years, and I was greeted with a ‘bloody hell Hayley, you’re wasting away!’ I never quite know how to take those comments, because it’s not exactly a compliment as such, but since it’s ambiguous I can choose how to take it.

‘THANK YOU!’ I replied, and (after prompting) I revealed my current loss. I was then treated to a great big hug, a well done, and a kiss on the cheek.

Secondly I did something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. I approached a good work friend of mine who is also slim, image conscious, and prone to the more ‘Photo-shopped-looking’ kind of lady. I asked if he could please tell me when he thinks I’m skinny, because I trust his opinion, and also trust him to be honest whilst still considering my feelings. The reason I asked is that I still genuinely have no idea what I really look like.

I was looking at some old pictures the other day and although I was unhappy with my appearance (understatement of the year perhaps?) I didn’t see how bad it really was. Stumbling across old pictures was nothing short of truly shocking, but also raised the question – even now, am I still in denial?

However without missing a beat he replied ‘now!’ Bless him! I was wearing a baggy top though so in the new year (after making some more progress, hopefully) he’s going to tell me what he thinks. It’ll be interesting to get a reasonably impartial viewpoint since my own is so utterly skewed.

How I appear is one thing, but what size I am is now undeniable. After all that I knew a trying-on session was needed, so I spent Wednesday afternoon visiting every single shop in the town centre that sells women’s clothing.

One of the highlights was going into River Island. The last time I looked in there, even their newly-released plus-size range didn’t come close to fitting me. Just to get an idea of how I’m doing, I picked up a few of the snuggest-fitting items I could try.

These are ‘bodycon’ dresses, which I’ve always wanted to wear because they are always plentiful, come in a huge variety and are generally cheap. But they don’t leave a huge amount to the imagination so after I’d lost about 6 stone and still wouldn’t dream of wearing one, I started to believe that it would just never happen.

Looking at the pictures from yesterday though… I’m starting to believe. I’m not that far off (I think) so a few more pounds and a good pair of control panties and the bodycon world will be my oyster!

On top of that I realised it was the first time I’d ever set foot in the River Island changing rooms.

In Debenhams I tried on a jumpsuit for the first time ever, but apart from the fact it was miles too short and in the most clingy, unflattering fabric, I still think they might not be for me. I’m not ruling it out though. Who the hell even knows what the future will bring?

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I tried on a fancy purple velvet dress, just for fun, but there was a definite curtain vibe going on. Does mother know you weareth her drapes?

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I had fun trying stuff on, but I didn’t end up buying anything. Then I decided I wanted a fancy coat that I can wear over one of my nice dresses. Hmm, sounds simple doesn’t it? On the plus side I had a huge non-scale victory. Every single size 16 I tried on was absolutely massive on me. Win!

On the flip side, when you go down to a size 14 it seems that manufacturers assume people who are a size 14 all have very short arms. I swear to you, I tried on a coat in every single shop, and it was the same everywhere.

So yay for size 14, boo for short arms. When I went in Peacocks and an assistant asked me if I needed help, I actually asked if they had any coats for a woman who has the arms of an orangutan. He laughed, but wasn’t able to help.

Later on I spoke to my sister and she reminded me of the tall range from ASOS, so today I had a nice delivery of two size 14 coats I found in the sale with 50% off. They were long enough in the sleeves, but miles too big. I was getting a bit of an ‘old lady’ feeling off of them too.

Sigh.

For now, I’m giving up. I only have one night out where I’m wearing a dress but I should only need to go from the car to a nice warm pub, so I’ll just make do with what I have for now.

It’s a pain in the bum, but still pretty awesome when it comes down to it!

I’ve still been super busy, but I’ve been doing great with staying on plan during these times. Last night I didn’t have a dinner prepared and didn’t have much indoors, so I roasted some veg, stuck a rice pouch in the microwave, poured over some Slimming World jalfrezi sauce from Iceland and served with the only thing I had in the freezer – Linda McCartney veggies sausages.

A sausage curry you ask? Yes, it’s weird, but it worked! Who knew?

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I’ve been doing a terrible job of posting my meals on our group’s Slimming World Facebook page because of a lack of spare time, so I don’t think I’ll be winning that five pounds. Even so, the most important thing is that I’ve been eating a lot of Speed food.

Hopefully it gives me a good loss come Monday, because I’ve been really good and haven’t weighed myself at all. As such I have no clue how I’m doing this week and weigh in will be a complete surprise. Right now I feel OK, but I know the nerves will start kicking in come Sunday night.

I just have to be strong.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

It Had to Happen

Would someone please press the pause button, just for a minute? Time is whizzing past faster than ever and I can’t keep up.

Last week wasn’t exactly a write-off, but I didn’t do much of note and it has really affected my mood. Probably the one redeeming factor is that yesterday I finally WENT FOR A RUN!

It was brilliant, I have missed it so much. First of all I had to get my running gear out of the loft, only to find that my favourite running leggings (size XL from H&M) are all too big. Four pairs of them!

But when I bought them, I did think ahead and ordered one pair in a large. I tried them on at the time and although I could get them up they were uncomfortably tight. Not now though, they fit perfectly!

I also got a load of other clothes down from the loft while I was at it, which was all stuff that I was convinced I’d be able to use for another summer. Wow, was I selling myself short. It’s all miles too big now, and as I’m skint I’m going to try selling it all. As if this wasn’t enough I went on a charity shop crawl on Saturday and found a lovely long coat, which was also really good quality. It was in a size 16 and it wasn’t just too big, it was ridiculously too big. I found a 14 in another shop which fit perfectly, but I didn’t like it so left it on the rail. It made me feel pretty awesome though.

Anyway, back to the running. Although I felt fab indoors, looking back on a picture taken while I was out makes me think I didn’t look as good as I originally thought I did. Either way I’m still really pleased with my progress so I’m not going to dwell on it.

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I did do a pose in front of the mirror when I got back and initially thought it was cheating, but it still shows progress, because my ‘cheat poses’ have never made me look that slim before!

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Ah, I’m probably just being over-critical.

As for the actual run, now that was progress. Not in terms of speed or distance, but the fact that I have managed to retain so much of my fitness despite not running for months is bloody brilliant.

I had to take it easy because of my knee (so far so good) and I need to build back up to the level I was at, but compared to how I was when I first started… I am unrecognisable from that person now. When I started running back in February, the first thing to give up was my lungs – I’d be so out of breath that I couldn’t carry on. Now it’s my muscles that give up first, and even then only when I’m going up a crazy steep hill.

During the week I did fairly well with not weighing myself, but I wasn’t perfect. This week I’m aiming for no sneak peeks AT ALL. That’s goal number one.

Goal number two is to get as many speeding tickets as possible. Yes, you did read that right, and no, it’s not what you think.

My consultant set us a fabulously fun challenge this week to help with our weight loss. Every time we post a picture of our meals on our group’s Facebook page showing 1/3 visible speed food, we get one of these speeding tickets:

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The person who gets the most tickets wins a fiver to spend in the shop, but to be honest I think it’s such a great idea I’d still be taking part even if there wasn’t a prize at the end.

This week I really will need to be super focused, because I have had (shock, horror) an undeserved gain.

Personally I think it’s my body levelling out again after last week’s surprise 6.5lb loss, but another factor could be yesterday’s run because my leg muscles are really hurting and may be retaining water.

It could be something has slipped into my diet without me realising, so I’ll be keeping a proper food diary this week just in case.

I can’t say for sure what’s caused it, but what I do know is that 6lbs off overall in two weeks is certainly nothing to be complaining about! I’ve only ever had one totally undeserved gain before and it completely derailed me, but I’m in this for life now so it’s about time I learned how to deal with these situations.

All I have to do really is carry on exactly as I have been, and everything will be fine. I do want to get more exercise in this week, but only because it makes me feel good and not because I think it has anything to do with my gain. It’s all about the food people!

I’ve pledged to try for 3lbs off next week, and I’d say I’m in with a good chance.

I also need to get more sleep as for two days last week I had less than four hours, which is less than ideal.

Hopefully this week will be a bit more balanced and I’ll actually have something to write about, so expect more posts than last week.

As ever, thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Wait, what?

To be honest, I’m in shock.

I went on my first diet when I was about 14, when the plan was to skip lunch (that way I could also save my lunch money and spend it on CDs) and just have pasta with a tin of tomatoes for dinner. I lost a bit of weight, but unsurprisingly it wasn’t long before hunger took over and I went back to eating ‘normally’. Of course the weight piled back on. My memory from around that time is really sketchy, but I’m sure my clothing size was in the 20’s. I’d guess my weight was in the 20’s too.

I didn’t seriously diet again until I started working full time at 17. Although I don’t think I was a paying member, I was following the principals of Slimming World and I lost five stone in five months. It was at this point I started to think about my target weight, so I looked up my BMI.

To be in the healthy range I’d have to be 12 stone 12 pounds, so that’s what I decided to aim for.

In 2004, I achieved that weight. I was taking diet pills that although were technically prescribed by a doctor were sold out of a salon. I also had gall stones and had regular attacks which were made worse by eating anything fatty, so that combined with dodgy appetite suppressants meant that although I felt utterly dreadful, when I stepped on the scales for the pre-op check before having my gall bladder removed, the scales read 12.12 exactly.

I stayed that weight for, hmm, perhaps a week before it all went back on (I gained about 9 stone over the next year) and I’ve been trying to get back there ever since.

When I stepped on the scales at group yesterday, I knew it would be OK because I’d had a sneak peek at home. But I didn’t know just how OK it would be.

I stepped on and 12st 8lbs popped up. My mind went blank, and all of a sudden I couldn’t remember what I weighed last week.

‘Er, now much have I lost?’ I asked.

‘6.5 pounds’

Wait, what? I hadn’t done anything differently, yet I’d had this amazing loss. Because of that it took a while for my actual weight to sink in.

I am now the lightest I have been in my ENTIRE ADULT LIFE.

This is so huge, but I can’t comprehend it. It isn’t real yet. Oh, and I also got my 8.5 stone award!

There’s also the fact that, if I hadn’t lowered my target, right now I’d be two pounds under my target weight. Like… what?

I’m pleased that I did lower my target weight, because now I’m at this point I know I’m not ready to stop. I know it was the right thing to do. I’m thinking that 11 stone 11 pounds seems a nice number, and it’ll also give me my 9.5 stone award. The truth is though, I’m in completely unknown territory so I won’t really know what my target is till I reach it. Whatever it is, it can’t be far off!

This morning I did weigh myself at home just to make sure last night wasn’t a fluke (it wasn’t) then I walked into town for some Body Magic. There were no exciting purchases today, but I’m glad I went out in the awful weather because I don’t want to get into the habit of using it as an excuse.

I’ll be out there, rain or shine! I was actually much happier than I appear in the picture. I’m not really sure what that expression is about!

For the week ahead I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, because it sure has been working well so far.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Fresh!

Today I have been planning the freshest of starts. I was mulling it all over in my head at work and after a lot of thought I have decided to start afresh with my blog.

The reason for this is that, eventually, I want to go fully public. Or rather, I don’t want to actively hide it from people I know. I want to be able to share it with anyone I want to. I’d like to begin by letting my wonderful Slimming World group know it exists, because they are a special bunch of people.

When I first started the blog I kept it anonymous so, as long as I didn’t name names, I could say pretty much anything I felt like. It was nothing bad, I just never had to filter my thoughts. At the time it was a fantastic form of therapy and I’m so glad I had that outlet.

I’d probably be absolutely fine keeping all of my old posts, but I’d hate to inadvertently upset someone I care about (or even someone I don’t care about for that matter), so from now on I’ll be posting with it in my head that anyone could be reading it.

Two years ago this would mean me not sharing things like starting weights and pictures of myself, but I’m not that person any more. I feel sad at how I felt when I was at my biggest, but I absolutely do not feel ashamed. I also used to worry that it would appear vain to post selfies and celebrate weight loss milestones and non-scale victories, but my point of view on that has done a complete 180.

I LOVE seeing people’s successes and it helps me to show mine. If it helps other people then that’s even better!

What I’ll do soon is write a post about how I got to this point and leave it as a permanent, separate page for anyone confused about why this blog seemingly just popped out of nowhere, but apart from that it’s just business as usual.

It’s been a while since I last posted, but there isn’t a huge amount to catch up on because this week has not been all that exciting.

I’ve still been really tired so I’ve been taking care of myself and getting extra sleep. I found my concentration was slipping at work, and since I drive a 5 ton forklift truck it could be dangerous so I had to do something about that. I’m all caught up now and I’m back on form, so it was clearly the right thing to do.

It’s been cold at work so I’ve been wearing my salopettes every day. I can feel how differently they fit – there’s definitely a lot more space in there than there was this time last year! I’m not sure it shows in these pictures though, because I can’t look at them objectively. One thing I think you can see, is that the elasticated bit at the back is no longer stretched out tight. I’m pretty darn pleased about that.

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All I can really see though is how dirty they look. I swear I’ve scrubbed them and they’re clean, I just need to look for some vegan stain remover!

My exercise has suffered again this week, but yesterday I was out and about again and normal service has been resumed. This time I was with my little brother and sister.

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This is a little village called Finchingfield, which my brother frequents often because it’s a bit of a hub for motorcyclists. He’s never been to explore though, and looking at the pictures I’ve just remembered we were supposed to visit the windmill. Oh well, we’ll just have to go back…

We had a walk planned that I found online, but it was way out of date and the route we were supposed to be following no longer existed. It took a while for us to realise that. We were still out for a good few hours and got a good bit of walking done, and it’s always nice to catch up properly with your siblings.

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We stopped off at a pub for some lunch but (thankfully on this occasion) they didn’t have a single vegan option. My brother and sister are both vegetarian so ordered the only veggie option, which they really enjoyed, and having come prepared I tucked into my Pink Lady.

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I really didn’t want to go off plan, and I wasn’t even that hungry, so I was more than happy with my little apple. I also had some corn-on-the-cobs which I snacked on later, so it was no problem. Plus I saved some money.

I’d only had two hours sleep after my night shift, driven an hour each way to get to Finchingfield and done 20k steps, but once home I got changed and headed back out to visit that special someone.

This is where my planning paid off, because I already had dinner sorted. I just had to open the tub and stick a fork in. If I hadn’t had something ready, who even knows what I would have eaten, because I certainly wasn’t in the mood for cooking.

I may have been less active over the last couple of weeks, but the food is is the most important part. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.

After a whole week on plan I’m feeling quite confident about weigh in tonight, so fingers crossed I get a good result.

I’ll update you tomorrow!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x