Rituals

I’ve developed a certain set of rituals that I now perform every Monday before weighing in, and now that they have been established it’s almost inconceivable to think of changing them.

Every week I eat exactly the same food- wheat biscuits and plant milk for breakfast followed by a punnet of mushrooms and smoked tofu for lunch. I wear the same clothes each week, even down to a specific pair of knickers and a specific pair of socks. I also try to do the same level of activity but this is a bit hit and miss.

This way, I figure, my weigh in result each week will be as accurate as possible. However there is a problem.

It’s getting cold and I need to wear thicker clothes!

I suppose it’s just one more motivator for getting to target as soon as possible – once I’m there I can afford to wear heavier clothes. Until then, I will try not to change anything, with the exception of next Monday.

Since I’ve decided that’s the day I’m going to do my long walk and smash my step record, despite the possibility of it messing up my weigh in I’m being stubborn and sticking to my guns.

My walk is sure to help with a loss, it’s just a question of when it’ll show on the scales. It could throw a temporary spanner into the works in the form of an undeserved gain, but as long as I stick to plan I’ll get what I’m owed.

This week I had my fifth loss in a row, which I’m chuffed with even if I would have liked more than 1 pound off. But a loss is a loss, so I shan’t complain.

Now is a great time to look at non-scale victories, especially as I had a doozy of one yesterday.

Almost a year ago now I bought a pair of vintage Levi 501s in the biggest size they do for my leg length, which is a 34 waist and 34 leg (the equivalent of a UK size 14).

When I tried them on I was really disheartened. I couldn’t even get near to doing them up, and eventually I stuck them in the loft because they were making me feel bad. I couldn’t bear to get rid of them though. These are some pictures I took back in June before I squirrelled them away. I was also wearing control knickers at the time.

Since they have absolutely no give in them whatsoever, I figured I might have to be realistic and abandon the dream of ever fitting into them.

Then I was up in the loft going through some old clothes when I came across them again. I hesitated, because if they still fit like the last time I tried them, I knew it would put me in a terrible mood.

I couldn’t help it though. I had to know!

I can actually do them up. Compared to when I was bursting out of size 24 jeans and still wearing them every day, these are practically comfortable. There’s certainly less muffin top than I used to have on a daily basis, and I can even sit down in them. I reckon by the time I’m at target (10.5 pounds to go) they will fit PERFECTLY! Can you tell I’m excited? Oh I am so excited!

But it doesn’t even end there. On Sunday I went out for a walk with my friend to a lovely little village just around the corner that I never knew was there. You walk along a fairly uninteresting path, up a hill, then BOOM, you get a great view.

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As we stopped to drink in the scenery my friend took a photo of me which, after he forwarded it to me, I realised was just begging to be used in a comparison photo.

Enlight8I still have trouble believing that the woman on the right is me.

Although it was only a short walk (we had to make it to Tesco before closing time as so far that day all I’d eaten was 6 grapes) it’s possible to walk for hours along the… estuary? I don’t know, whatever body of water that is! So that’s one to keep in mind for a future trek.

On the way back I had a Slimming World-related accident. I saw a nice juicy blackberry sitting atop a bush, but it seems that the blackberry bushes have become sentient. To stop Slimming World members stealing its fruits one sneakily grew it’s brambles over a really deep ditch, so when I stepped over to get my blackberry I fell right in.

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My buttocks (where I fell backwards) and my knees (from getting out again) bear similar injuries. And I never got my damn blackberry! I am however still picking thorns out of various body parts.

My plan for this week is to try and get more sleep, give myself time to be more mindful about what I’m eating, to keep up with the exercise, and try not to fall over.

It’s also my birthday this week but I have no plans whatsoever to ‘celebrate’ by being off plan. All I have scheduled so far (apart from my walk) is a boot sale with my friend (more walking, yay!) and coffee with my sister.

Perfect!

Have a fabulous week everyone,

Hayley x

Drinks with Peter

I’m not saying I put things off, but this year I intend to sew two little birds for my sister and her boyfriend after taking just a little while to get round to it. I bought the pattern from an artist I really admire – Ann Wood – via Etsy some time ago, and thankfully the file is still there to download.

So yes, there has been a slight delay between me purchasing the pattern and even thinking about making it. A TWO YEAR delay in fact. Yes, it’s definitely time to get on and do that.

One of my biggest problems right now is that I spend way too much time thinking about doing things and writing lists and making plans, and never actually doing the things. Today for instance I have wasted so much time thinking about what to do with the day that the day is nearly done.

I need to get straight out of bed and GET GOING if I’m ever going to get on. She says, writing a blog post instead of doing exactly that.

I am letting myself off for today and tomorrow though because I’m meeting a friend later, then I’m spending tomorrow afternoon with another friend. Friday though? On Friday I’m going to DO SOMETHING.

Today I’m starting off by printing off the pattern because I think it’ll be easier if I have it on paper, then I’ll need to check what supplies I’m going to need because you can guarantee I’ll have to buy at least a couple of bits. I’ll try to get as much as I can, fabrics and whatnot, from charity shops. The artist in question makes her work from vintage pieces which is a fabulous idea. And economical too.

Oh damn. I just visited Ann’s Etsy shop and saw a load of other things I want to make. But first things first Hayley. Stop getting distracted!

Yesterday I started off the week’s exercise by walking into town and back, which took two hours. A nice start I think.

It’s been a bit chilly (I’m wearing thermals to work tonight) but the sun has been out anyway and that’s what really matters. And the grey heron was about, so that was my day complete already really.

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I do believe I was successful in visiting every single charity shop in town. I’m still on the hunt for sequins, and it seems that you will only find that particular thing when you no longer need it. People of Essex, why aren’t you donating your sequined clothes? What people do seem to be getting shot of though is little bags, so although I didn’t really want to spend £3, I just had to get this monstrosity.

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Classy eh? But there are different kinds of beads there which will come in very handy for future projects, plus the sequins are holographic. And sitting underneath that very understated little clutch is my bargain of the day – a skirt I bought that’s perfect for autumn and also shows off how many inches I’ve lost from my tummy lately. This item of clothing is going to get a lot of outings this season!

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Even though money is tight I enjoyed these bargains guilt free. I rarely use cash these days, and I’ve had a spare change jar gathering dust for some time. I forgot all about it but stumbled across it a couple of days ago. I managed to get a tenners worth of 10p’s out of it, so that paid for my charity shop excursions and then some. Get in!

I’ve also found that charity shop workers and customers alike are more patient when you are digging around for coins in your purse, which is not so much the case in the supermarket.

My final stop was Iceland’s to pick up a few essentials since I was running out of food. Ages and ages ago I lent a friend some money, and he had some vouchers kicking around which I took as part repayment. Of course me being me I forgot all about them until yesterday, and was relieved to find out they don’t expire till next month.

Even better, you can use them to buy FOOD so off I toddled to get some fruit, veg and Slimming World bits. I was starving by the time I got there, so I bought some lovely watermelon to eat in the park on the way back.

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I’d call that a day well spent.

For now I’m off to get everything ready for work then I’ll meet my friend Peter. I’ll check back with you later!

Some hours pass…

Well I’m sitting in the pub garden waiting for Pete, and reflecting that some unusual things have happened today. For one, I’m wearing my new skirt with the top tucked into it.

I haven’t worn anything tucked in since I was forced to do so in the early years of secondary school (towards the end the teachers gave up on enforcing any rules about uniform). So that’s quite monumental.

Also, while Peter was stuck is traffic I was feeling confident enough to walk into the pub, on my own, order and Diet Coke and plonk myself down on a bench outside.

Yep, I’m a total badass.

Even more later on…

Well I’m home and knackered, which doesn’t bode well for work tonight. The problem is me and Peter find it really difficult to find times when we are both free so I thought it was important to just damn well do it.

It was lovely to meet up, but boy am I wanting my bed now! At the pub I just had two diet cokes and wasn’t tempted at all by all of the food sights and smells (despite them having many decent vegan options) because I am just so determined to get to target. Yep, ain’t nothing getting in my way.

Now after a positive yet tiring day, it’s time for me to get some grub, a bucket of caffeine, and prepare myself for work!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

A New Name

The old brain cogs have been seriously whirring this week. As I’ve transferred from group back to being a Slimming World online member (yet again), I was looking at when I’ll next have to renew my subscription. It occured to me that in the not-too-distant future I’ll no longer be a paying member. My next renewal could well be the last one ever. It may be that as I get closer to my target I decide to transfer back to group for the last time, so that when I finally reach that 12 st 10 lbs I can be a member for free. I think you only have to weigh in once every 6 weeks to keep your membership active, and I think I could brave group in that instance.

On the other hand I might just knock Slimming World on the head once I’m at target and learn to live without it. This is dangerous territory, and may not be wise until I’ve at least had some experience maintaining my weight, but the more I think of it the more I’ll be happy to see the back of Slimming World, sooner or later.

I still love the plan, but I’m falling out of love with the company. Since becoming vegan I’ve noticed errors in Syn values on the app, which myself and others have notified Slimming World of. One particular member pestered them relentlessly, for months, until they admitted something was wrong, but they still haven’t updated Syns Online.

I’ve repeatedly sent product information via the Syns tools, but nope, nothing. There’s one thing I’ve been waiting for since September despite sending the packaging over and over, and it’s still not on there! There’s also the fact that the Syns tools in themselves are so dreadful, and that technologically speaking Slimming World are so far behind the times it’s untrue.

And let’s not forget that one day I’d like to naturally be able to eat well without thinking about it too much. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life counting every single Syn. I think I’m in a place where I could do that now, but it’s not worth the risk while I’m on a roll.

Since I don’t see Slimming World in my (at least long-term) future, that I now write about things other than just losing weight, and the fact that at some point this year I’ll no longer be slimming but maintaining, I thought it was time for a name change! And it had to be something all-encompassing so I’m not tied down to any particular subject. As such my blog is now simply called Words by Hayley.

This is all really exciting, because although I am absolutely determined to reach target this year, taking this step makes it seem all the more real. It’s actually going to happen! One day soon, very soon, I won’t be trying to lose weight for literally the first time since I was perhaps twelve. What a surreal yet wonderful thought!

In other exciting news I finally picked up my thermals that work have supplied. They’ve been sitting on a shelf for ages, because they came after my salopettes arrived and since having them I’ve been so toasty and warm I never gave the t-shirts and long johns a second thought.

I think I ordered the thermals in October, and I was ecstatic at the time because I ordered a medium top and large bottoms. In the winter of 2016 I didn’t wear thermals at all, because the 2xl was too small and I was too ashamed to order 3xl.

I tried on the thermals this morning, with a nagging voice in my head warning me that I may have been a little premature with ordering the medium.

Well the voice in my head was DEAD WRONG, because everything fits absolutely perfectly. I was feeling very trim indeed looking in the mirror this morning!

It’s also looking pretty likely that I’ll be able to go to the work outing in April, so since I’ve hit all of my exercise goals this week and stayed on plan, I’ve treated myself to an aspirational dress to slim into.

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I’ve been looking at this dress for ages and ages. I consulted my sister, and she agrees that it’s perfect for me. It can be worn casually or as a going out dress, the style is just me all over, it’s a loose fit so should be comfortable… It’s also made by Thought Clothing – an ethical brand who make clothes from sustainable fabrics. My dress is made out of 100% organic cotton, a tiny bit of elastane and Tencel (a sustainable fabric regenerated from wood cellulose), and it’s ON SALE.

Last night at work it was so quiet my manager gave us the option to go home at the halfway point (unpaid) but I said to myself ‘Hayley, if you stick it out I’ll allow you to buy that dress’. So I ordered it on my lunch break and that kept me going till the end.

Now the only downside is that I might have to wait an entire week before it arrives, but that’s not so bad. Knowing me I’ll probably forget what I’ve ordered and when it comes it’ll be a lovely surprise.

This afternoon I took my mum and brother over to my sister’s and we all had a real coffee from the Starbucks round the corner (we sent my brother out in the snow even though he was wearing shorts, poor boy) and we had a lovely chat whilst watching the snow drift down out of her huge windows. I’m always cold so I was snuggled under a blanket, and it was just lovely.

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I’m feeling pretty damn smug that I messaged my sister ahead of time and asked her not to get any snacks in, because we are all trying to be good and having real coffee and good company is enough of a treat already.

Now dinner is calling, and I suspect it’s going to be tasty so I can’t wait a second longer!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x