Go Get It!

I’m up again, I’m really up! Hopefully this isn’t a temporary high and I can keep this feeling for a while. I think I can. It’s day three of being back on plan and I’m feeling strong – saying NO to my friend and putting my foot down has strengthened my resolve no end.

Yesterday I ate plenty of decent food and didn’t feel deprived even once.

Today I’m excited about everything. I got up early and after a breakfast of wheat biscuits and coconut drink (my A and B choices on Slimming World) I walked to the local shopping centre to do various bits and bobs that needed doing.

When I got home I was famished so I cooked a proper lunch. Here we have sweet potato chips (oven cooked in Fry Light), broccoli and Fry’s Family Foods chicken style burgers. They may not be your cup of tea if you don’t like to be reminded of junk food, but if you do want a little bit of that taste then these burgers taste super naughty. They are 2 syns each, which I learned off by heart some time ago. I couldn’t believe they were that low in syns from the way they taste, so I re-checked the values over and over.

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Even today, I have checked Syns Online about five times just to make sure! I enjoyed my lunch so much that I had them again for dinner.

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If you fancy trying them, they sell them in Holland & Barrett and Ocado. They’re not the cheapest, but they have the holy trinity of being vegan, tasty and low syn! Oh and as a bonus they cook really quickly too.

More excitement comes from a revelation I only just had – I COMPLETELY forgot about step aerobics. It’s low impact so I can strengthen my leg muscles without damaging my knee, plus I really, really enjoy it! I haven’t done it for ages, but I still don’t know why it didn’t occur to me until now. I literally facepalmed when I remembered. I already have a step, there are thousands of free videos on YouTube and luckily we’ve recently rearranged the living room so there’s plenty of space for me to get right into it.

Perfect.

This afternoon I got some flowers from a friend for helping out his friend who is going through a real rough patch at the moment. He had an appointment to speak to a therapist online, but being 75 and partially sighted him trying to do this on a tablet or phone is just downright ridiculous. So I did the typing for him and asked for someone to actually call next time. I mean, who thought that would be a good idea? Help for people with mental illnesses is so seriously lacking, it makes me wonder what he would have done if he didn’t have people around to help him.

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Thankfully that’s one thing he doesn’t have to worry about.

Finally, the last thing I’m excited about is joining a new Slimming World group. I got my voucher through the post today and will be popping along to a group on Monday evening. I actually can’t wait. I know what I want, and I’m going to go get it!

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Before then I’m having a BBQ on Saturday (Slimming World-style) and going out walking somewhere with my brother on Sunday.

There is much to look forward to!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Fighting

I’ve had four hours sleep today and I have work in a couple of hours. What could possibly go wrong, eh?

I did a good deed this morning/afternoon. My sister needed to have a little anomaly in her leg cut out and she asked me to accompany her, so of course I said yes. She’s my little sister after all! We had coffee beforehand, which was me being clever because I knew if I had real coffee shop coffee too late in the afternoon then I’d never sleep before work.

Despite having the coffee before midday, I still couldn’t get off this evening and eventually gave up. I’ll be ok, I’ll just catch up tomorrow (and make sure I’m topped up with caffeine before work).

Anyway, my sister’s appointment did bring it’s own little bit of happiness. The doctor and assisting nurse she saw were such lovely people, and the first thing the nurse said is that you can tell we are sisters because we look so alike. This brings me nothing but joy, because it’s only very recently that I’ve looked anything like my sister. My face was so… distorted by fat that we didn’t look at all alike, but we sure do now. We get the same comment from every new person we meet in fact.

It’s extra good because I’ve always thought that my sister is beautiful, and now by default that must mean that I’m not quite as ugly as my internal thoughts try to tell me I am. I can’t be mean about myself, because that means I’m being mean to my sister too. There’s some logic in there, honestly!

So. Moving on.

Last night I got angry. Then I decided to fight for what I want. And then I got excited. I’m still excited now. It can be so goddamn tiring, fighting for the life you want, and sometimes you just want to say to hell with it. Sometimes, like me, you do. And you end up eating everything in sight for two weeks, or two months even. It sure feels like two months to me, but the number on the scales shows me that I must be doing something right at least some of the time. And it’s never, ever too late to pick yourself up and start again.

I never give myself enough credit, because what I’ve done so far is incredible. It still amazes me to think that I have enough clothes to wear something different every day of the week, and I feel comfortable enough in every single item that I don’t have to stress about what I’m putting on.

Up until now this kind of heat would see me trying on several different outfits, trying to find something cool enough to wear that also wouldn’t show too much of me, all the time getting hotter, sweatier, more out of breath, stressed and upset. Now when I’m picking my outfit my sole concern is whether I can get away with not ironing it!

What’s really exciting for me right now is that for the first time in months I truly, deep down in my heart of hearts want to get back on plan, and I truly want to do it just for myself. I lost my way for a little while there, but I found the trail of breadcrumbs. So to speak.

And although it feels like a fresh start, I’m not actually starting over. Because there’s something in me now that knows when enough is enough, before any real damage starts to be done. Before I’m telling myself that I really am as happy at 18 stone as I was at 14-something, and ending up at 20+ stone before I admit to myself that it was a complete lie.

After making the decision to really have a big shake-up in my life, and I mean literally minutes after, my first test arrived. A nice chap at work invited me to the pub on Monday and it took every bit of willpower I have to decline the invite.

It’s perfectly reasonable to be following the Slimming World plan and still go out and have a few drinks, but for me I don’t want to risk losing momentum before I’ve even got going again. This particular person is at the pub most weekends, and we get the same days off, so I’ve promised him that I will indeed come out in the future. But for now I have goals to smash. 

And I won’t stop fighting until I’ve smashed them all.

Hayley x

PS I can’t stand a post without anything nice to look at, so here’s me hanging out with the green one. Enjoy!

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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.

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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!

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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

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

Melting

Blogs have been a bit thin on the ground this week and for that I apologise. The ‘getting more sleep’ thing didn’t work out at all and rather than setting time aside for myself I’ve been busier than ever. I only just have time to hang out with Pea and write a quick post before I really must get my head down to prepare for work tonight.

My main problem is that everything is taking much longer than it should these days. I trained this morning, in the woods where the temperature is much more agreeable, and I still melted. It felt like the air was made of soup!

We did a short route, but the heat just saps the energy out of me. I’m really not complaining though – I’ll take this over the cold any day of the week. I think it’s just that since I’m so new to running I’ve never run in these conditions before, so with every change of the season there’s a new challenge to face. It sure keeps things interesting though.

Last week as well the training sessions have been less intense because, let’s face it, staying out of hospital is the number one priority!

There’s been a lot more fast walking where I’ve just run out of steam, and that’s OK, because it’s still better than doing nothing. The thing that IS bothering me is that the heat has made me swell up like a balloon and I put on 9 lbs (yes, NINE POUNDS) of fluid overnight which doesn’t seem to be showing signs of going anywhere for the time being.

It’s disheartening, but I’ve been eating well so there’s no way on earth that’s 9 lbs of fat. I just need to keep my head until it’s gone and not freak out.

Speaking of training, I need to stop referring to my trainer as ‘my trainer’ because even though we aren’t a couple he certainly is more than that now. Friend doesn’t quite cut it either, because we’re just so close (we do seem to spend every spare minute together!) so I shall henceforth refer to him as ‘Mr. S’. It might get a bit confusing, but I’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, the last week with Mr. S has been great. After training we’ve been sitting in his garden, which backs directly on to some woods. He doesn’t even have a fence at the bottom which I think is just lovely, so it’s even easier for the wildlife to come and go as it pleases. He gets loads of incredibly tame foxes so I’ll have to get a good photo when I remember to take my camera.

We’ve also been watching a series called Detectorists, which somehow managed to completely pass me by until now. It’s on Netflix and it’s absolutely wonderful. It’s sweet, charming and a little odd, and I’m totally in love with it from everything from the camera angles to the theme song, which ‘gives me all the feels’ every time I hear it. I’ve now bought the song and have listened to it quite possibly thousands of times already. Well, I may have exaggerated a bit but it’s certainly been a lot.

Check it out below:

Another benefit from having to decrease the intensity of training is the opportunity for more photos. Just look how glorious it’s been. Everything seems right with the world when it looks like that.

On Sunday I decided to have a rest day and spend some time with my sister. Sister times are always great – I really don’t know what I’d do without her. She lives a 20 minute car journey away but I just didn’t want to be in a car on that particular day so I walked 20 minutes to the train station, took a ten minute train journey, then walked another 40 minutes the other side to her house.

I’ve certainly been treating myself lately (perhaps a little too much) but after I tried my friend’s Apple Airpods I knew I just had to have them. They. Are. Amazing.

So I was walking with a spring in my step blaring out my music and I must tell you – the sound quality is incredible. I had the sun on my face, a breeze blowing through my hair and everything was a damn near perfect as anything ever gets.

After a quick stop at Starbucks for a cold brew we headed to the park to feed the swans. Of course we know that swans have bloody strong beaks, but we’ll do anything to get ‘the shot’. I have little cuts on my fingers but I don’t even care!

 

 

 

Now I just have to hang things out at work for another two weeks then I’m off on holiday, spending four days in the Peak District (everyone please cross their fingers for reasonable weather) followed by a night at a posh spa hotel in Sheffield. I simply CANNOT WAIT.

I must be cracking on now, so as ever, thank you so much for reading!

Hayley x

Super Sunday

First of all I’d like to bring you an important public service announcement.

There is a new vegan range available at Tesco called Oumph, and I feel it is my civic duty to let you know that the kebab spiced pieces are the flipping bees knees. No word of a lie, they’re delicious. I’ve also tried the ‘pulled pork’ pieces and guess what? They’re even better than the kebab pieces.

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They’re currently on offer too, so everyone get yourselves down to Tesco right this second! 

Any readers doing Slimming World? Well I sent pictures of the kebab packaging off to head office, and had a reply saying they’re currently reviewing syn values for the whole Oumph range. In the meantime they came up as FREE in the syns calculator. A word of warning though – they’re more filling than you’d expect so you don’t need much!

Ok, normal service has now been resumed.

Happy Hayley is BACK baby! Saturday was a tough one because my sister came to visit during the day, which in itself isn’t a problem. When she left I had time to have three hours in bed before work, and I fell almost instantly into a most marvelously deep sleep.

About half an hour into this sleep though my friend rang me with urgent business. We are going on a little holiday together at the end of May and he’d found the perfect cottage in the Peak District which needed to be booked NOW. Since I was the one holding the monies, I was the one who had to book.

I’m so glad he did ring because the cottage and the surrounding areas look absolutely gorgeous. Of course once that was all booked up and our holiday was confirmed I was too excited to sleep!

My last shift of the week went by in a daze, but I actually worked slightly harder than usual just to keep the momentum going. And I knew it would be ok because I had an epic catch-up sleep planned for Sunday night.

But you know what they say about best laid plans…

Sunday morning I got four hours sleep then woke up with enough time (or so I thought) to get ready for the meal out with my trainer. Somehow though an hour came and went in the blink of an eye so I was running late by the time I got into my (swelteringly hot) car.

When I got to my trainer’s house I was a bit hot and bothered, a bit tired and a bit nervous about meeting his family later in the day. However I think I successfully managed to hide it.

ACS_0067I found the most cool and lovely summer shirt to wear, and I felt fab. And totally ready to meet a load of potentially scary family members!

Of course they weren’t actually scary, and I was particularly taken with my trainer’s mum and daughter. His mum is 80 and still living a full and exciting life, plus she’s just the loveliest person you could hope to meet. His daughter is also lovely but on top of that she’s so strong and confident. She’s a total badass!

I did the driving on the way back to my trainer’s, and if I’d left it there it would have been quite a healthy day. At the meal I had gnocchi with aubergine and tomato sauce plus some olives, but then the festivities continued afterwards with us visiting a sparkly cocktail bar then heading back indoors for some wine.

Thankfully we didn’t drink tooooo much,and despite me falling asleep on the sofa at 4am then waking up at 6am, I don’t feel too terrible today. A little tired shall we say, but also happy because I had such a good time.

I had to get home to accompany my mum to the doctors, but I couldn’t drive so instead of getting a cab I decided to walk to the train station which took an hour. It was a chilly but gorgeous morning and it felt wonderful to be out in the world. And since I’m too delicate to train today it was good to get some exercise in.

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I have now rescheduled my epic sleep for tonight and intend to be in bed by 8pm. Nothing is going to get in my way this time.

Although I don’t have training until Wednesday, which means four whole rest days in a row, I think the down time will do me the world of good. Especially as exciting things are happening this week. I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

 

Something of Meltdown

Me throwing myself back into Slimming World did not go to plan. In fact since my last post I’ve mostly been eating (vegan) ice cream! I did feel much more positive after my last post, but then my mood took another massive nosedive. Actually it’s the worst I’ve felt in several years.

I’ve been trying to analyse what exactly went wrong in my head. The thoughts about surgery and my body image were still swimming around in my brain, then on top of that I couldn’t sleep, I did overtime at work which exacerbated that particular problem, my friend told me a story about when he was a bouncer and they weren’t allowed to let fat women in… all of a sudden I felt angry, helpless and lost, so I went home, got under the duvet and cried my little heart out. It keeps playing on my mind how those women must have felt, being turned away like that, and how it might have affected them. It was decades ago, but it’s still disgusting.

I’ve also been worried about how my diet is becoming mixed up with my fitness regime. I have so many issues (mostly with guilt and shame) relating to food, but exercise has become something pure that I do just for fun. My trainer means well, and keeps saying about how the weight will fall off of us both now we’re training regularly, but for me the training and my weight are totally separate in my mind. Apart from the fact that if I’m too heavy it won’t be feasible for me to run (because of possible knee damage).

I’m going to communicate that to him though, because I’m still trying to unlearn 20 years of behaviours relating to food and really don’t want to make the same mistake when it comes to fitness!

I can’t even remember the last time I cried for myself. I cried a lot before Christmas, because I saw a sad video of a pig about to be sent to slaughter that stuck with me for weeks. I’ve cried a couple of times at films, too, but it’s been so long since anything felt bad enough in my own life to bring me to tears.

Maybe I was just waaaaay overdue!

Things aren’t actually bad though, far from it. Everything just built up and became a little bit too much until something had to give. I’m now caught up on sleep and my eyes have stopped leaking, so I’m ready to go.

Yesterday I went to see my trainer to help him prep for a job interview, which is in fact happening as I type. The weather was bloody marvellous, so I put on my factor 50 and a dress with capped sleeves. I went out in all of my bingo-winged glory, and felt bloody fabulous doing so. That was a boost of confidence that I needed.

I also wore designer sunglasses that my trainer lent me, which he paid £150 for. He likes fancy things, he does, whereas I’m more of a bargain kinda gal. Therefore these are the second most expensive things I’ve ever put on my face (the first being when I tried on his normal glasses which were £400!!!) Madness.

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Anyway, I have a plan in place. Another reason I think I’m struggling is because my daily routine has been completely turned on its head. I’ve gone from having lots of spare time during the week to trying to fit in all of my training, lunches out with friends, quality time with Pea, household chores, spending time with my mum and my siblings… so if I’m going to keep on top of these things I need to adapt and get properly organised.

On Monday, because I won’t have a chance until then, I’m going to go into town to get some jars and I’ll make a batch of overnight oats to eat after training. Then I’ll prep my work lunches for the whole week. When I need an energy boost I’m not going to let myself get too hungry and then mess up, like I have been doing, instead I’m going to eat fruit to keep me going.

From now on Monday’s will be known as Meal-Prep Mondays! If I at least have food ready to go at all times then I’m much more likely to eat well.

I feel much, much better now things are all straight in my mind.

This morning, after two rest days in a row, I went out for a 5k run. I found a comfortable pace and stuck with it the whole way round. I did stop one single time, because I wasn’t sure whether to go left or right, but other than that I kept going even up the hills.

The weather today has been even better than yesterday, so when I was done I went to lay down in the shade and drink some water. It was just so lovely – the grass was cool and damp, and even though my face has erupted in spots after I put sunblock on it, I was all blotchy from the running and generally looking a mess, I felt wonderful.

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When I got home I decided to stick my headphones in and listen to some ‘choons’ whilst cutting the grass, mainly because I was feeling pumped and wanted to move more!

Hopefully there will be more training tomorrow, my sister is visiting Saturday, then I’m out for a meal with my trainer on Sunday. Plus I have three more shifts left at work. Ugh. So it’s busy, busy, busy! Thankfully I’m too busy to really think about how on Sunday I’ll be meeting a whole bunch of my trainer’s family, including his daughter and his mum. So, y’know, no pressure or anything…

Well I’ve sat still for too long now, and there just isn’t time for that.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

One or the Other

From tomorrow (or right now, actually) I am throwing myself back into Slimming World. I’m still reading about body positivity, but sitting on the fence about it isn’t helping me. I need to commit to Food Optimising, or commit to never following another eating plan ever again. I am going to do that eventually, because I want to be free of the bad relationship I’ve had with food for roughly twenty years, but I have no intention of doing so until I’ve lost just a little more weight. I’m going against the advice of the book, but I truly believe this is the best path for me. So I’m that’s what I’m doing!

I’m going to get that last bit of weight off, for a few reasons:

  • Those vintage Levi’s that I want to fit into. I’ve never wanted to wear an item of clothing so much in my life!
  • I want to make sure I have minimum pressure on my knees. Now I know that running is my ‘thing’ then I will continue to do it until my bones crumble. I’d like to avoid that for as long as possible (preferably into my 80’s, at least!)
  • I want my tummy to go down a bit more so that clothes hang on me better
  • I’m so close to where I want to be, it seems silly not to have that last little push

It’s been good to reevaluate why I want to lose more weight, and exactly what I’m aiming for. I’ve been reading about people in situations where they get to their target weight and it’s never enough; they think they will be ‘fixed’ with just another 7lbs. Which becomes another 7lbs, and another. It’s a dangerous mindset, but I don’t think it’s one that I have.

I know that in a stone’s time I’m still not going to be entirely happy with my body, and that’s when I’m going to learn to truly love it. Because I sure as hell ain’t having surgery. What I do know is that I’m almost happy with my weight, and that I know when to stop. And it’s soon. It’s tantalisingly soon!

I must admit that I had been reconsidering a tummy tuck recently, and was even going to speak to my doctor about it. But then I cancelled the appointment because I was considering it for all the wrong reasons. Mostly because of a male interest, and that is NOT the way to go.

Not that the male in question has said that my body would be a problem, or has even seen it, or anything like that, it’s just that the old doubts came creeping back saying that I’m not worthy of his love or affection if I look the way I do. Naked at least.

I’ve said in previous posts that if someone has a problem with your body then they are not the one, but when you start falling for that particular someone then jeebus, it’s sure easier to talk the talk than it is to walk the walk!

Deep down I do know – if someone can only love you if you have bits hacked off of your body, then that is not the kind of love that you need or deserve. That’s not love at all.

Again, this situation has not arisen I must stress! No one has said anything like this to me, it’s purely me saying these things to myself. Because at times I’m harder on myself than anyone else ever could be.

Tummy concerns aside though, I’m actually feeling FABULOUS! I’ve spent the winter wearing salopettes at work, and in recent months the least amount of clothes anyone has seen me in has been jeans that are miles too big for me with thermal long johns worn underneath.

This week as the weather has improved I wore joggers to work for the first time EVER. I didn’t think much of it – the main draw is that since I’ve been exercising I have a good supply of them, they don’t need ironing (RESULT), and they are damn comfortable. I never considered how I actually look in them.

On my first night of the week though I got off of my forklift truck to put my warm jacket on and was shocked by a loud exclamation of  ‘F**KING HELL HAYLEY, WHERE HAVE YOUR LEGS GONE?!’

Although I haven’t lost much weight recently, my body is definitely changing and it would seem that I have runners legs now. They’re definitely leaner than they’ve ever been, and this is coming from someone whose mother used to say she had ‘thunder thighs’. Charming, I know.

Later on in the night I also got a ‘F**K, YOU ARE SO SKINNY NOW!’ and I got all excited explaining to the person in question that I’m so, so nearly ready to stop.

In other news yesterday I had my best. Run. EVER.

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Look at that, 11:07! I’m so nearly in the ten minute bracket! As soon as I stopped stressing over it, then good things started to happen. There will be runs in the future where my times are atrocious, and I need to accept that. It’s entirely normal.

I’ve also discovered what kind of running I love most, and it’s cross-country. I love, love, LOVE trying to stay on my feet whilst running through mud and roots and rocks and all sorts. It’s just so much fun! This is one of the best parts of the run, where after slipping and sliding down a huge muddy hill, then splashing through what is basically a bog, we run along a line of planks.

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I can’t believe I actually considered getting a treadmill. I would have absolutely hated it.

Today I did briefly consider having an off-plan meal later on, as uncharacteristically I’m doing overtime tomorrow (for the first time in about two years) and have subjected myself to a one-day weekend. I felt that because I only have one night off then I deserve a ‘treat’.

Apart from the fact that it’s a really silly mindset to have, I mostly remembered how awful I feel when I train after eating badly so I dismissed the idea almost as soon as it appeared.

This morning I went for a walk with my brother around my usual running route, and the contrast between the weather yesterday and the weather today is fairly drastic.

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From the same position as the first picture the castle wasn’t visible at all, so I had to get closer. Walking around the route I realised just how tough it is, even walking, and the eventual aim is to be able to run the whole lot without stopping. Even the Hill of Doom. One day, anyway. Even my trainer can’t do that yet.

It might even be years before I achieve that, but that’s OK. One thing I do know is that I never want to give this up. It feels way too good.

Now all of my thoughts are in order and I’m feeling motivated, it’s time to get on with what’s left of my day.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Split

Today I’m feeling wonderful and crappy in equal measure. All things considered I’ve had a pretty good weekend – I’ve crammed in a lot and have barely had a minute to sit down. So I feel like I’ve accomplished something, but also that I haven’t had a moment to breathe.

I went round my sister’s for a vegan-friendly Sunday roast and it was lovely. I forgot that it was Easter, because we aren’t religious and I’m not fussed about Easter eggs, but my sister did put in a lot of effort to make everything look very seasonal. She did me Slimming World-friendly roasties too!

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After that I had to pop to a friend’s house which is an hour round trip. I’d been to work the night before, only had three hours sleep, spent the afternoon and my sister’s and was ready to drop. So to save me driving my brother offered to take me on his motorbike.

It was the first time I’ve rode pillion with my brother, and it was AWESOME. My brother was extra careful with me on the back and didn’t go too fast, but even when we were doing 70 on the dual carriageway it blew me away just how quickly we got to 70. It was bloody exhilarating!

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When we got back I posed for a photo on his bike (I can’t actually ride a bike myself) and felt amazing. If you remember from previous blogs I’ve only just recently been able to fit back into my safety gear and even then it’s never fit as well as it does now. In fact it’s too big!

But it’s a game of two halves right now – I’ve had successes and failures, and my mind doesn’t know what to process first. Well a blog always helps with that!

I weighed in yesterday and had maintained, but that will be short-lived. Because afterwards I just ate and ate and haven’t really stopped since. I feel bad about it, really bad, and I need to pull myself together. Until Thursday, when I have naughty things planned. I ALWAYS do this. Whenever I’m looking forward to going out I screw it up just before and feel fat and frumpy!

Although today is nearly done and dusted, tomorrow at least is going to be perfect. There may only be one more day before I go and and drink more alcohol than is good for me and dance until the clubs close, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be good for that day. It’ll make me feel better about myself anyhoo.

On the plus side I did train yesterday, at least in a way. I didn’t work as hard as normal, because my trainer was knackered from work the night before and my sister came along to pick up some tips. On an ordinary surface her split times are better than mine, but she’s not used to the kind of training I’ve been doing.

Where I go it really is like a free gym. It’s hilly so you can be constantly shocking your body by sprinting up the hills as fast as you can and then when you go down the other side you use the downwards part to recover rather than having to stop. We also do a lot of running on lumpy grass and mud which is great for your balance and core muscles, plus it keeps it interesting. I haven’t fallen in the mud yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

I did quite a lot of sporadic sprinting yesterday, and I’ve picked up so much speed from when I first started. When I tried to go as fast as possible before I started training, it felt like running in a dream, where you frustratingly just can’t get anywhere. Now when I run I’m actually cracking on and it feels incredible!

After training I took my sister back home, had the quickest shower ever, wolfed down a dinner that I barely managed to finish in time, made myself presentable (I actually felt fairly fabulous) then had to leave to go to the cinema with a friend.

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We went to see A Quiet Place, and I honestly can’t tell you whether I liked it or not. The premise of the film is that you can’t make a noise or something bad happens (I won’t go into more detail than that) so I was looking forward to a lot of build-up and suspense. But I couldn’t get into it because I was sat next to the most annoying person. This always happens to me! He ate like a noisy pig the entire time, so much so that when someone did speak in the film I have no idea what they said. And I don’t know how it’s even humanly possible for the person to breathe just as loudly as he did. That’s it, I’m never going to the cinema again because I always, always get stuck next to the WORST people!

I have training again tomorrow, then I have to accept that the weekend I have planned is going to be a setback. When I made my plans I weighed up the pros and cons, now I have to just commit and go with it otherwise I’ll feel bad if I do go and still feel bad if I don’t.

After drinking on Thursday I have Friday to recover then I’m going to visit a friend I haven’t seen since October. We’re going to a vegan-friendly pub/restaurant near him that I LOVE and I fully intend to have their award-winning vegan honeycomb sundae.

That’s scheduled for Saturday, and I’m going to train in the morning before I go otherwise it’s just too big a gap between sessions and I’ll make things extra hard for myself. It’s going to be hard enough anyway because the last time I had alcohol the next training session was brutal.

Then after this weekend I am only saying yes to healthy pursuits, mostly because I’ve been enjoying training so much. I was reading my friend’s blog today (check it out! Start on this post. You won’t be disappointed) where he was recapping his journey to health and fitness. At some point he found that walking is ‘his thing’. Well, I’ve found that running is my thing and I want all of my other pursuits to compliment that passion rather than make it harder.

From Sunday everything I do will get me closer to my goals rather than further away from them.

Right then, I’d best get myself ready for work. I only have two shifts left before my naughty extended weekend begins, and I’m going to make sure I enjoy every second of it. Preferably without guilt!

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