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

Prep

Last night at work was physically and emotionally exhausting, but rather than push me towards food at this particular moment in time I’ve managed to focus that energy into something good.

I’m going round a friends for dinner today and despite being  pressured into going off plan I have prepped all of my food. There is absolutely no chance of me getting hungry while I’m there. Believe me, I’ve got this covered!

I went through a stage of putting soya beans with everything, then I went off plan for a while and forgot all about them. I found a couple of bags in the freezer the other day and remembered why I love them so much – they cook in five minutes, they’re tasty and most importantly they’re really filling. I’ll try to remember to eat them the next time I’m feeling that my tummy is a bottomless pit and nothing will ever satisfy me.

The food I’m taking with me is kale, sweet potato, cucumber, tomatoes, corn-on-the-cob, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries (all Free and Speed) with Alpro Plain with Almond (2 syns), Alpro Go On (1.5 syns), and two Linda McCartney Pulled Pork Burgers (2 syns). That is good value for syns indeed.

I’ve also started on a motivational area above my desk, and I’m going to cross off every remaining day of this month that I spend on plan. I want the full house, which really helped me stick to my guns when I was being cajolled into eating rubbish.

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There’s also a little present to myself that’s been hanging there for months, which I’ll open when I get my 7.5 stone award. It’s been there so long, it’ll be a big deal when I finally get there. And I know it won’t be too long!

Yesterday in general was good. A friend came to look at my car and it seems it’s a wheel bearing that’s gone, and he’s kindly going to take my car to a garage next week to get it fixed. I always feel really intimidated going to garages so I’m pleased I don’t have to do it myself, and of course very pleased that it’s nothing too serious.

After that we went to a bootsale together, where traditionally I would only be thinking about food. There is a patisserie stall that’s there every week, but thankfully they no longer sell a single thing I can eat. The same goes for the van where I’d previously have bought a steak roll.

As such I didn’t buy anything, but still went away with just under 3.5 miles under my belt.

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That, plus having a really nice catch up with my friend was my happy thing for yesterday. That’s also one really satisfying route that Map My Run recorded, excluding the little wiggle at the end where we couldn’t find the car…

Finally, I’m worried that my moods might not be helped if I’m lacking in certain bits and bobs. A friend told me that a lack of omega 3 can be problematic, so although I take cheap flaxseed tablets that contain ALA omega 3 fats, I decided to upgrade to the more expensive ones which contain EPA and DHA. Apparently they’re supposed to be better for you, so it’s worth a try. I also must remember to take my general supplements, mainly for the B12 because a deficiency in that is really nasty indeed. Basically I just need to practice some self-care and all will be well.

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By the way even if you’re a meat eater it’s still worth making sure you get enough B12. I know a couple of you who have had deficiencies and it’s not nice at all! Look after yourselves people.

Anyway I must be off now because a lovely cool shower is calling my name.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

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.

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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.

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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

Runner’s Knee

I managed to do a little bit of running this week, even though with the sweltering weather we’ve been having I wasn’t sure it was the best idea. However Mr. S’s local knowledge is unparalleled and he took me to a shady little glen, where there’s a 1.5 mile route that’s perfect for running in hot weather.

The temperature difference in there was astounding – it was so cool. And it was also so pretty. I do love a bit of dappling!

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After the run my knee was still feeling OK, so we decided to go again the next day and do the route twice. It’s really hilly, and it was a killer, but still my knee didn’t hurt! I started to feel cautiously optimistic, but then after my pre-work sleep the pain came back with a bang.

I had my doctors appointment this morning and I was told that I have runner’s knee, and that with rest everything should go back to normal ‘soon’. However when I researched it later (at my doctor’s suggestion) it seems it could take weeks before it’s back to normal. There’s also no set treatment because the specific causes can be so varied, so I’m not sure whether it’s OK to cycle or not, or if I should try other strengthening exercises. They could help or make things worse. The only solid advice at this stage is to do nothing, so to speak, so I’ll give it a week of resting and see how things go. I’m not exactly taken with the idea though.

This means that my eating must, must, MUST be perfect. And I’ll be honest, it hasn’t been great (again) for the last week. Then Friday I went out on the town and seriously over-indulged on the liquid diet front, but that really has to be it now. I need to only be saying yes to healthy activities! The good news is that so far I’ve managed to avoid a crazy gain, so that’s something at least.

I’ve definitely slipped back into a habit of using food to deal with my emotions, but thankfully it’s nothing like it was before or I’d be in serious trouble. When I was feeling really, really sad about Mr. S I allowed myself a few ‘eff it’ days, then when I started feeling better and more positive I allowed myself a few ‘well done for getting through it, celebrate with food’ days. Then one epic ‘stumble through the door at 6:30am’ night.

It’s not the way to do it, I just have to be honest here about what I’ve done even if it means I’ve gone against what I said I was going to do yet again. I do believe that no matter how many times I set out to do something and fail, I need to just keep trying. Because even if all I achieve at this stage is preventing myself from regaining everything I’ve lost, then that’s still a huge achievement. After all so few people keep off the weight they’ve lost, I will just grit my teeth and start over as many times as it takes to not become part of that statistic. It doesn’t have to be that way!

The rest of July is going to be great, you mark my words. Yesterday I got myself a nice non-food treat – a little table and chairs so I can eat my healthy dinners in the garden.

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I’m going to use my exercise downtime wisely and make sure everything at home is spick and span, plus I’m going to do some core-strengthening and upper body work (basically anything that doesn’t involve me moving my knee too much). I should save a whole lot of time because when I train with Mr. S I spend 40 minutes out of my day driving to our nice locations (it’s important to train in nice places I think but still.. 40 minutes!) and I usually end up staying for lunch afterwards so of course that takes up time too.

All in all I’m just infinitely relieved because I was so worried the doctor would tell me I had to stop running for good. That would have been tough to get my head around, but still if that ever happens I know I’ll be able to adapt.

Right then, I’d best get cracking because the vacuuming won’t do itself. If only it would!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Drenched!

I’ve bitten the bullet and made a doctors appointment. I hate going but I really should get a professional opinion about my knee, which is feeling better still but isn’t right. Or even pain free for that matter. I walked today as I said I would, but although it was lovely it added half an hour onto my time for that route. It’s no problem when I’m off work, like today, but otherwise it would just eat up too much of my day. So I must run! I MISS running!

Having said that, it was waaaaay too hot to actually run today. I started at 10:30am and was melting within minutes. I don’t know what the temperature was but the sun was already beating down and being reflected back up from the sand/gravel track. It’s not so much of a problem for me these days, but there was a time when that kind of environment would have floored me. Today it was mostly me trying to be sensible that prevented me from attempting a run regardless.

I remember going to festivals with my friends and although I loved the music I would often only wear jeans and cover up with long-sleeved tops. I don’t think anyone knew how much of a struggle, how utterly exhausting it was. There’s also a lot of walking involved when you’re making your way between stages, and my thighs would rub until they were literally bleeding. I’m glad that kind of thing is firmly in my past, so the only things I have to think about now when it’s hot are ‘do I have enough water’, ‘do I have enough sunscreen on’ and ‘have I remembered my sunglasses’.

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As it happens today I remembered all of those things.

Everything was so gorgeous today, just saturated with colour. It was nice on the eyes but by the time I got back to the car I was drenched!

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Obviously it was well worth it though. So that’s 1 Body Magic session out of a total of 5 planned for this week. I really hope there’s good new at my doctor’s appointment, which is on Saturday morning. No matter what the verdict though I know I’ll keep active one way or another, because now I’ve started I know I can’t stop. There are plenty of options out there.

As mentioned in my last post, I gave it some thought and I’ve decided I’m REALLY going to try to only weigh myself after Lady Time. If I can do it, then imagine the excitement as I step on the scales to get the verdict of a whole month’s worth of being on plan. I just have to stick to it.

I had a really bad sleep last night (my brain wouldn’t turn off) and I think I have just enough time to nap before my friend comes over this afternoon to do some bits to my car. So I’ll be off now.

Mmm, naps…

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.

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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:

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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.

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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

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

So Busy!

This has got to be the longest I’ve been without posting in over a year, but for the sake of my own sanity I’ve had to prioritise and unfortunately blogging was one of many things that just had to wait. It’s weird though how hard it is to get my words down on the page now, it’s not coming easily!

Instead of getting my jumbled thoughts down I’ve been cramming as much rest in as possible, and I’m pleased to say that although I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, most of the time things are generally ticking over nicely.

Next week is my holiday, so a lot of my energy has gone into getting everything sorted for that, and I’ve been spending waaaaaaay too much money. I could get by with taking a few backpacks, but instead I treated myself to a new suitcase. It was only £30 and should last for years and years (it has a ten year warranty), and I would have needed one eventually as I’m planning some trips abroad next year, but still… all the little things that I kind of need have really been adding up.

Last Sunday me and Mr. S went to visit his mum because he had an absolutely fabulous idea. The area where we’ll be hiking is where his mum and dad explored when they were first courting. His dad, who sadly passed away back in the 80’s, was a keen photographer who even had his own darkroom, and his mum has an absolutely beautiful photographic record of that time. So Mr. S said we should try to find some of the spots they visited and recreate the photos. And you guys know how much I love my photography, it’s going to be BRILLIANT!

We can’t recreate this particular photo, because we aren’t taking a dog, but I just had to include something from the albums in this post and I don’t want to be putting pictures of Mr. S’s mother here without her permission.

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Digitising the photos was a really emotional experience for me. Because his parents were clearly so very much in love, and the photos are so beautiful, I spent most of the time in tears. And then there’s also glimpses of Mr. S here and there, little expressions that I recognise jumping out of the pages. What a privilege to be able to see them!

On Monday I went into work for overtime (yes, I sicken myself) because we have loads of new starters coming in and it won’t be available for long. I hate doing it, but it makes sense to take advantage while the opportunity is there.

Then on Tuesday me and Mr. S took our first proper shopping trip together to get some bits for holiday. On the last night of our trip we are going out on the town in Sheffield and I needed something nice to wear, so that was my number one priority.

We went to Next and I took a couple of bits into the changing rooms to try on, going as quickly as I could thinking that Mr. S would be bored out of his mind. I could not have been more wrong about that!

Before I’d finished trying on the first thing I could hear him saying to the changing room attendant ‘excuse me, do you know where the tall lady with red hair is? Can you give her these please?’ and the nice lady handed me more things to try.

Mr. S picked out a whole load of stuff for me, and eventually I chose a lovely dress that I would never have thought to try on if I’d been alone.

Another thing I needed for holiday was a swimsuit, and this part was not as straightforward. The hotel we’re staying at in Sheffield has a pool, and I’m determined to have a swim since I haven’t swum for over ten years.

As I’m 6ft tall, I need something that is long in the body so my first stop was Long Tall Sally. A quick glance told me that none would be suitable, because every suit had a ridiculously high leg. Since I have an ‘apron’ of skin, wearing something with a high leg is inconceivable, and in any case I really didn’t want to pay £60 for one.

In the end I chose a suit from Simply Be with tummy control specifically for tall women. That came early in the week and it was a COMPLETE LIE. It was no longer in the body than a normal swimsuit, and again it had a stupidly high leg which wasn’t clear in the pictures. So that went back.

I decided to look for swimsuits while out shopping so I could see how they’re cut for myself and I couldn’t find anything, not a single thing that would have been suitable!

It was getting depressing by this point, so I went back online and tried two suits from Yours Clothing. They looked so awful when I tried them on, so poorly fitting, that I could have cried.

So I went back to Long Tall Sally, and ordered the one with the lowest leg. Considering Long Tall Sally is a brand just for tall people, and they usually cater for people starting at my height, I was surprised that the suit was no longer in the body than the Simply Be one.

At this point I almost gave up. There was one last thing to try. I went on to Amazon, and found something that just might work. But could I really pull it off? Really? It came this morning, and this is the result…

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I’d just got out of bed, so excuse the hair, but just look! This is the first time in my life I have ever, EVER, tried on a bikini, and it’s something I never, EVER, thought I would do. Yet here I am, doing it, and it looks better than any of the swimsuits I tried.

I’m terribly self-conscious of my wibbly, dimply thighs, but I still feel like I can swim in public like this. I hope this feeling stays, and that I can get into the pool with my head held high, because right now I feel amazing. And in any case, what difference would it really make if that middle bit was covered up? None at all actually! So there we have it, a huge first for me and a wonderful NSV.

Anyway, Wednesday we trained, and yesterday I finally got a haircut as my fringe was starting to migrate into my eyes. My hairdresser was very disappointed that I wasn’t having anything mental done, but all the same he assured me that he can do ‘normal’ cuts just as well as he can do the weird stuff. I asked for something soft and feminine, and this is what I got:

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I’m so happy with it, I’m absolutely loving the 60’s vibe! It’s a terrible photo, but it’ll have to do for now because I don’t intend to do my hair until I have to go to work this evening.

That’s pretty much all that’s been going on so I’d best get on with trying to cram too many things into one day. Today’s priority is going out for a run, because I haven’t been for a couple of days and it just feels wrong! Plus the weather is too perfect not to.

Hopefully I’ll be back to updating a bit more regularly soon.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley 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