13

Things always feel better after a marvellous sleep. Last night/this morning/this afternoon I spent about 15 hours in bed, and 13 of those was spent being most wonderfully, restfully unconscious. I really think I needed that.

In fact I was so relaxed I nearly talked myself out of going for a walk, but positive comments on my last post made me change my mind. It goes to show how much of difference people cheering you on has. Being negative just doesn’t give the same results! I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the help I get from you incredible internet peoples.

Do you know, I think things are on the up (she says, tentatively). My knee has been so painful it’s been waking me in my sleep but last night there was none of that, and out walking today it only hurt when going downhill. It might get aggravated at work where I’ll be driving my forklift all night, but I’m cautiously optimistic. If it keeps up like this then next week I will try three runs. I’ll start off with 1 mile, have a rest day, do 2 miles, another rest day, then finally I’ll do 3 miles.

I have everything crossed that I can, because I’ve just bought some brand new trainers from Will’s Vegan Shoes. I started to break them in yesterday and they are soooooo good – perfect amount of grip and bounce, and I like the style too. I reckon they’ll be great to run in.

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They look kinda wrecked already but I assure you they aren’t. It’s just the dry weather we’ve been having, everything’s just so dusty! I love that they don’t have proper laces, too. There’s no chance of them coming undone which is brilliant. Even if I find I can’t run in future, these will definitely have their uses.

It’s a bit cooler today and my walk was really nice. It’s much more like last year’s summer, where is was warm but mostly the sky was covered in a blanket of cloud.

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I saw the piggies on the way back, and one of them was either snoring or being possessed by a demon. I’m not entirely sure which…

Pea had the vet’s yesterday and that was a relief. Her poops have gone back to normal now and everything else seems fine, so it must have been her perch that was affecting things. So that perch has now been replaced, and Pea has gone back to sitting on my shoulder most of the time.

While we were in the waiting room I couldn’t have her covered as it was way too hot for her, but she didn’t seem stressed at all. Everyone who saw her instantly fell in love – she’s such a sweet bird!

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It’s also crazy that’s she so small and light she can perch on a fold in a tea towel. Such a tiny bird, but such a big personality.

Finally I had a yummy, completely on plan dinner which I managed to eat just as the sun decided to make an appearance. It’s a shame I have work later, but I always burn more calories there so it has its uses.

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That’s three days of being on plan under my belt now, and I’m feeling like I’m in control again. I weighed myself and I’m back to my 7 stone loss, which is really important to me. It’s kind of my everything-will-be-ok-as-long-as-I-have-this-total-loss point, if that makes sense. Unfortunately it’s at this stage a nasty little voice in my head tells me that we can eat a load of rubbish and undo any damage we do in a few days.

The annoying thing is, the voice is absolutely right, so it’s tempting to listen to it. The problem with that is, I’ve been doing exactly that for weeks and weeks. So I’m ignoring the voice, carrying on with Food Optimising and I’m finally going to reach my gosh darn target weight!

I’d best get ready for work now anyway. Inner voice, consider yourself ignored!

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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A Chilled Out Day

I woke up today feeling GOOD. I had a tough night at work, so much so that I couldn’t eat all of my work lunch because I felt all churned up inside, but that just meant I had leftovers to eat when I got home. Bonus! By that time I’d worked things through in my head anyway and I was ready for a good sleep.

I got up to feed Pea as usual when the doorbell rang. It was my vegan trainers already! Unfortunately they’re just a teeny bit too small, so they’re going back (freepost, yay!) for an exchange. The signs are good though – apart from the obvious toe-pinching they are super comfortable. Since my knee is feeling almost back to normal now, by the time the exchange arrives then I’ll be more than ready to take them out for a literal test run.

Since I’m not training today I decided I’d go back to bed and sleep in until 2 or 3pm. I haven’t had a sleep like that after a night shift in so long, I always have plans or have to get up early for something or other.

Considering I don’t have anywhere I must be today, do you think I can sleep? Nope! Instead of laying there fruitlessly trying to get off I decided to get up, start this post, then after I’ve had my coffee and let Pea out to stretch her wings I’m going out for a little walk. The weather is perfect out there – cool, breezy and, most importantly, sunny.

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Pea definitely seems in the mood for catching some rays.

Some time later…

Well my walk was… fruitful. I went to the post office to drop off my trainers as the sooner I get them off the sooner the replacements can come back to me (eek!) then I popped into Co-op for some plant-based milk. After a bit of research using Syns Online I decided to get the own-brand coconut drink. You get 500ml for a healthy extra A choice, and it’s much, much nicer than any other brand I’ve tried so far. In fact it’s bloody delicious.

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In Lidl’s I got these little tins of stuffed veg. The vine leaves are listed on the app as 8.5 syns for the tin, and the others aren’t on there. I did suspect that would be the case, and as they were labelled in the shop ‘while stocks last’ I think it’s unlikely they ever will be. I considered this though, and since they have a shelf life of literally years and years, I’ll eat them at some point in the future when I’m not too worried about my Syns. Either way they’re clearly marked vegan, which always makes me happy.

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I’ve just finished a nice healthy lunch (1 syn for the Fry’s vegan sausages) with the green one in the sunshine, and that can only mean one thing. It’s time for bed!

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Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Scary Things

Yesterday my friend phoned me to tell me that we wouldn’t be alone for training today – his son has been off work and is going a bit stir crazy so he’d be joining us. I said no, repeatedly, but it fell on deaf ears. I’ve said it before but my friend is not someone you can say no to!

After no small amount of emotional blackmail I eventually agreed to come, but I had a bad sleep because of it. I’m not good with meeting new people as I find it really stressful. There are other factors that made me worry even more though – I think it’s quite an important thing to meet a good friend’s son at the best of times, but when you factor in the ‘extra’ feelings I have towards my friend it becomes even more so.

And then there’s the fact that it took so much guts for me to go running in the first place, and my friend wants me to train with a bloody semi-professional boxer and regular snowboarder? The guy is fit as HELL. Yeah, I’m sure I wouldn’t be self-conscious at all!

As it happens his son is currently in a brace for a broken shoulder so running wasn’t on the cards anyway. I suspect my friend wanted me to run up the hills regardless, but in the end we were all happy to just have a fast walk, then afterwards we went for lunch at Harvester.

I wasn’t as good as I could have been, because they were out of my usual penne arrabiata and there’s only one other vegan option (stuffed peppers) which is more calorific, but it’s not the end of the world.

It was a really lovely morning/afternoon and I’m glad I went. My friend’s son is an absolutely adorable person and I’m glad to have met him despite worrying about it so much. In fact he’s one of the few people I’ve been able to have a proper conversation to about being vegan. My friend brought it up and he was really interested in how easy/hard it is to stick to and what kind of things I can eat. He’s also already eaten at a vegan-friendly vegetarian restaurant I’ve been wanting to visit and said the food is great. It was so nice to not have the usual ‘but bacon!’ conversation!

Now I’m just hanging around with Pea for a bit while I wait for another friend to finish work. He’s going to look at my car because I’m not convinced it’s as close to death’s door as I originally thought. I have an oil leak which has been collecting in a tray below the engine, which has come loose and is hanging down. So I’m wondering if the milky oil is from there and not an indication that my head gasket is knackered. We’ll see what he thinks later on. I still need a new car soon, but hopefully I’ll have a chance to shop around a bit.

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Seriously, don’t mess with us!

It’s now time for a caffeine top-up so I’ll say goodbye.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

History Doesn’t Repeat

I don’t know what it is about me being around the 14.5 stone mark, but it seems to make me want to eat. The last, ooh, five or so times I’ve been there in recent months some switch gets flicked in my brain that says ‘you’re doing really well, why not have a cheat day?’

Yesterday my brain was practically shouting it at me, but I ignored it.

To begin with I had a really bad sleep yesterday. I can count on one hand the times I’ve woken up before my ‘get Pea her breakfast’ alarm goes off (in fact I think I could have counted it on two fingers) but I was up an hour before. I was too tired to actually get up and do anything, so I ended up laying in bed for two hours before I got up to let Pea out to play.

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She was in one of those moods where she just wanted to sit on my shoulder all day, and whenever I tried to get her to do something else she ran round the back of my neck and just perched the other side. So cute!

Once she’d had her fill of me and went off for a nap I had some pretend bacon for lunch with a tablespoon of maple syrup which temporarily filled a hole that was screaming to be filled with 8 slices of bread.

The rest of the day was just broken sleep so I didn’t end up doing any exercise. I really wanted to, but I had to make sure I was fit for my shift and I’m pleased I was sensible about it. It was really busy for the first time in weeks and I only just made it through.

After having a massive dinner of my favourite fried smoked tofu I was finally full so off I went to work where I was rewarded for staying on plan. It was compliment city last night!

I had so many people telling me that I look like I’ve lost more weight again, that I have a spring in my step and that I look so much happier. Although of course I haven’t lost any significant weight my body is definitely changing, I’m walking taller, and the spring in my step is very real indeed. Even when I stopped to talk to a friend (and got us both in trouble) I just couldn’t keep still.

This morning I crashed out and had a fantastic sleep so I can get on and have the kind of day I intended for yesterday. The newly fixed washing machine is on the go, I’m about to pop to Lidl for a veg top-up in the glorious sunshine, then I’ll get on the exercise bike.

My trainer is still poorly so we might be able to train tomorrow but I have to see how he feels. What he has said is that even though it’s meant to be cold as hell next week we WILL still train, we just have to be careful not to slip on any ice. I love it – NO EXCUSES! Apart from being genuinely ill of course.

So have I turned a corner and got over the mental block that’s been stopping me from seeing the elusive 13 stone bracket? I certainly hope so. I have a meal out with my sister on the 4th of March and there aren’t really any healthy options where we’re going, but it’s never been the one meal that’s screwed me up. It’s me thinking ‘f*ck it’ three days before and after that causes the massive gains!

So as I’ve said time and time again, I’m going to aim to stay on plan before and get straight back on it after. I really hope I stop deceiving myself that having a massive blow out won’t make me totally miserable, because it always does. If I can just have that one meal, it’ll be such an achievement.

Until the time comes I’m going to try not to think about it too much, because even if I start planning what I’m having from the menu I’ll start obsessing over food which will make any cravings ten times worse. I must be strong.

Time is getting on now so I must be off. Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

7 Days

I lost a pound this week, and I’m happy with that. I’ve had good days and bad, on plan days and off plan days, so to not get a crazy gain is a relief.

Last night I had a couple of glasses of red wine as I found a stray bottle left over from Christmas, and that was a welcome treat. I’m now entirely sure that I have nothing but healthy food in the house.

This week I’m going to have a perfect week – a whole seven days of being on plan.

I’m also going to keep trying with not weighing every day, as there have been definite improvements. I think I had two sneak peeks over the course of last week, which is normally less than I do in one day. My new fitness friend has also written my current weight along with his own on his calendar so we can keep track of our progress, so I may try to only weigh when he asks me for an update. That’ll be hard though, so we’ll have to wait and see if I can actually manage it.

Yesterday whilst using my new 10kg kettlebells I felt a crunch in my shoulder and it’s a bit painful today, so I’m going to focus on cardio this week because I don’t want to really hurt myself. And I’m out running tomorrow anyway so that has worked out nicely.

This evening has been busy- I went to my sister’s to pick up her birds so I can look after them while she’s in Amsterdam for Valentine’s Day (and beyond) and I’ve still got to go to work yet. Hopefully I won’t be bitten too much!

Pea is currently wondering what the hell is going on when usually she is fast asleep at this time of night, so fingers crossed they all settle down soon! These crazy peeps eh?

It’ll have to be short and sweet tonight because I really have to start getting ready for work. I just wanted to get this update out there to keep me on track and focused for the rest of the week.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Relaxation

I have felt pretty rotten lately, which is extremely irritating because it’s conflicting with my need to be festive. I’ve had one bug after another, and what with my teeth problems I must admit it’s been tough to stay positive. In the last couple of days I’ve also developed a hacking cough and a really uncomfortable nobbly rash that started behind my ears and has now spread all around my neck.

Thankfully I’ve had a really lovely few days where I’ve had the opportunity to (mostly) relax. I’ve been at my sister’s looking after her birds while she was at a wedding in Italy, although looking after three attention-loving birds isn’t exactly easy. The last time I bird-sat both Kiwi and Petrie attacked me, so I was hoping things would go a bit better this time round.

Unfortunately Kiwi still mostly hates me, although she was showing a few signs of wanting to be friends. They were few and far between though! I have a pretty impressive bite on my neck, which has come up in a big lump (plus I wonder if that has something to do with my rash?), and I had two bites to my fingers, though thankfully only one of them punctured the skin. It’s always a shock to the system because Pea is so gentle. On the rare occasion I’ve had to catch her and hold her down, for instance when I had to give her painkillers via a syringe, she’d give me a warning nip but she never, ever hurt me. Kiwi and Petrie however mean business.

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This weekend though Petrie was a little sweetie! She was nicer to me than she’s ever been and she cheered me up no end. At one point she sat on my finger and put her head under my thumb to make me scratch her head! She was just a delight. Excuse my ghost-like appearance here, and my birds-nest of a hairstyle, but in my defence I’d just got out of bed.

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Pea had a good time too, she even got to check out a real life Christmas tree!

IMG_3362I took advantage of the combination of being alone and having access to full-length mirrors and took some ‘before’ pictures ready for the new year. I’ll be honest – I even took a set of me completely in the nude, which was scary but when I looked at the pictures afterwards it’s actually not that bad. I didn’t get that sinking feeling I’ve had in the past, rather I could look at them objectively and say ‘right, this is what needs to be done, let’s go do it!’ Or at least ‘let’s go do it after Christmas’ I should say…

The good thing (or sort of good) is that I’m back at work tomorrow so I’ll be burning more calories, and I find it easier to eat healthily when I’m forced into a routine. I’m not expecting any miracle weight losses between now and Christmas Day, but what I do know is that from Boxing Day night I’m totally back on it. I have complete faith in myself that I’m not going to backtrack on that, as I have so often done just lately. In fact I’m both really looking forward to Christmas Day and really, really looking forward to the new year. I’m already prepared!

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The weekly calendar will be great for meal planning, the small diary I’ll take with me wherever I go, and the other thing is a scrap book. I have a really fancy photo album, but I also wanted something I can stick odds and ends in like train tickets and the like, plus my Instax photos. Instant film is just so much fun!

Today I had a wander round town to just soak in the Christmas atmosphere, which was great because my Christmas shopping is done so there was no element of stress. It was good to get out and stroll through the park, and laugh at a seagull standing on the frozen lake just as the ice gave way. He had a bit of a fright! It definitely blew some cobwebs away.

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Although I do feel like a bit of a failure because my diet has just gone so wrong lately, I also feel like better times are just around the corner. I’m still happy with my appearance, my clothes still comfortably fit, and despite feeling a bit rough these last few weeks I know that 2017 has been the best year of my life so far. I intend to make sure 2018 is even better!

Here’s to the future.

Hayley x

Fun Times

I should not be writing this blog. I should be trying to create order out of the chaos that has become my bedroom.

The last week has been truly, truly wonderful. It was one of those rare moments in time that seemed to go on forever, so when I think back on what I was doing last Monday it feels like it was months ago. But on the other hand the time is passing in the blink of an eye, and I’m running out of it!

Now we’re in December I’ve officially gone Christmas crazy so the whole of Thursday afternoon was spent wrapping presents. I’m not even halfway done. On Friday I put up the tree and spent an age untangling and removing the lights (note to self: never buy ‘pre-lit’ again) and on Saturday I spent the day having a good 8 hours sleep in order to prepare myself for Christmas shopping in London on Sunday.

Thankfully my manager let me leave work at 5am Sunday morning so I got a full 2 hours sleep. It was a good job too, because I left the house at 8:30 and didn’t get back until 17:30. I was bloody exhausted! The good kind of exhausted though…

After having a preemptive coffee we went to Oxford Street to buy Christmas knick knacks from Flying Tiger. We got there for opening as it gets INSANELY busy, and it’s a good job we did because we were still in the queue to pay for an inordinately long amount of time. The Oxford Street Christmas lights were rubbish, so I wasn’t feeling very Christmassy at all, but on our way to Carnaby Street we saw a little brass band that changed all of that.

Then London redeemed itself entirely because Carnaby Street is looking fantastic! I couldn’t get any good photos because the weather was so dull and grey, but in real life it was great.

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And the most festive bit of all – the Hertfordshire Concert Band at Liverpool Street.

Ooh I’m feeling warm and fuzzy again watching that! I had a lovely day with my sister, and I ate an absolute ton of food (none of it Slimming World friendly) but I’m done with feeling guilty for the rest of this year. I will be on plan when I’m in the mood, but this month is all about fun times, and I will embrace them in whatever form they come. I’ll probably be on plan for tomorrow and Wednesday, but on Thursday I’m going to try the new vegan range at Pizza Hut so that definitely won’t be within my syns!

The most important thing is that although I’m really, really enjoying the season, I’m also desperately excited for the new year and all the possibilities it will bring. No matter what happens this month, I know any gains will be gone in no time and that 2018 is, without the slightest grain of doubt, the year I will reach my target weight. I can’t not be.

This morning I intended to get straight on and sort out all of my Christmas lights. I have loads of string lights because I love a twinkly Christmas, but I got distracted by Pea coming out to play and we spent hours just hanging out. I did get her to sit on the polar bear my mum knitted (eventually, anyway) so that was a result. It’s just a shame she’s moulting so badly right now. She’s not very photogenic.

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Now Pea is ready for her afternoon nap the lights are up but where I’ve sorted through so much stuff to find them, there is crap everywhere and a helluva lot of tidying to be done. Plus I need to sort out my work things and clean Pea’s cage, because I won’t have time tomorrow. As well as taking my mum to a hospital appointment as soon as I get her home I’m leaving again to go and give blood. Then I’ll have to try my best to have a pre-work nap and fit in dinner somehow.

Then on Wednesday I’m going to the cinema with a work friend. I’ve never done anything with her outside of work before, but I’m emboldened by my recent friendship successes and am starting to accept that I’m not quite at antisocial as I previously thought.

As I said before Thursday is pizza day, then on Friday I suspect I’m going to crash and burn and spend the whole day asleep.

Then once I get Saturday out of the way I have the week off work, where I’ll mostly be looking after my sister’s birds. She was telling me yesterday that Kiwi especially is in an exceptionally bitey mood, so there will be blood. I love her birdies though, so bitten or not I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

So yeah, I’m busy busy busy!

Now I must get on, because it’s my mission to be able to see the floor before bedtime. Wish me luck!

Hayley x

PS I spent the next hour after finishing this post fannying around with Pea, taking photos, editing photos and generally procrastinating. Someone slap me please!

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After the Storm

Today I feel like I haven’t stopped, but at the same time I haven’t really achieved very much at all. Maybe it’s because I didn’t sleep too well last night, and that’s because everything went a bit screwy around bed time.

After we’d all finished watching Blade Runner I was messaging a friend and not really paying attention to what was going on in the room, and while this was happening a disagreement was brewing between my mum and my brother. I had a feeling there was going to be some sort of conflict because my mum had been really argumentative the whole day. Whereas I (probably from my childhood years spent trying not to antagonise either parent) am quite good at letting things go and diffusing the situation, my brother is too young to remember the old times and hasn’t had much practice. Or sometimes he just won’t back down as a matter of principle. It’s just his nature.

A little while later I thought things were OK-ish, so I got myself off to bed. Ever since I first started working nights I’ve worn earplugs to bed, and now I can’t sleep without them, but even with them in about half an hour later I could hear shouting. I managed to stay upstairs until I heard my mum shouting some stuff that was totally made up, and about me, so I couldn’t control myself and went down to give my money’s worth. Thankfully it all kind of got sorted and everything is kind of OK again, but these things really take it out of me. I’ve always hated living in that kind of environment, and whenever things kick off (which admittedly was rarely but is now worryingly increasing in frequency) it takes me right back to when arguments like this between my mum and my dad were at least a weekly occurrence. As a result my resting heart rate has shot up despite it usually dropping like a stone when I get back on plan. In fact is was dropping steadily until yesterday. Hopefully we get a nice long run before there are any more arguments, because there really isn’t much I can do about the situation.

There are many reasons I can’t and don’t even really want to move out, and I can’t change my mum’s attitude after so many years. My brother is too stubborn so I wouldn’t even attempt it. But being screamed at because it’s apparently your fault your mum doesn’t watch Casualty any more is not much fun. It sounds ludicrous writing it down, but it’s actually frightening because I genuinely think, no I know, that she needs help. Unfortunately I can’t seem to get it for her and the last attempt to calmly talk to her about it ended up with some great conspiracy about me and my brother basically gaslighting her because we are just awful people. Or so she thinks.

I don’t know, I just wish I could get her counselling or something, but when she saw the doctor about her depression getting worse he gave her the web address for Therapy 4 U. She watched stupid videos totally unrelated to anything she’s going through and filled out irrelevant multiple choice questionnaires. Needless to say it did not cure 50 years-worth of depression and anxiety. Weird that.

There are so many more layers to the situation, so many things that I could talk about that I don’t even know where to start. All I know is that these feelings need to be outside instead of bottled up inside.

Anyway, things are calm and civil between us all now. Fingers crossed it stays that way for a while.

The good thing (or the excellent thing I should say) is that I did NOT use food to comfort me. I’ve had an excellent on plan day today, and weirdly I seem to have (at least temporarily) acquired a willpower made of steel. I have two and a half Mini Vego bars in the fridge, which are absolutely delicious vegan chocolate bars with whole hazelnuts them. The problem is that even the Mini bars have almost twenty syns in them! Somehow, miraculously, two days this week I had a quarter of a bar and I still have half of one bar completely untouched. I haven’t gone over 12 syns any day this week! It’s complete madness, but I’m not knocking it that’s for sure. Long may it continue!

Another good thing is that between putting my washing on the line, it raining, taking it off the line, raining, putting it back on and eventually relenting and using the tumble drier, I got some lovely rainy autumn shots for the photo album. We did have an actual storm (not counting the one last night) and once the clouds had blown over everything was fresh and clean and lovely again.

We also have a mad amount of apples on the tree this year, so much so that some of the branches are nearly touching the ground. A lot of them have been partially eaten by unknown critters, but because it’s such a bumper year I think we have enough sacrificial apples to ensure there are plenty left for us too. Speed food that doesn’t cost a penny? Yes please!

Finally me and Pea had a wonderful day, and she let me touch her wing with my lips. Because she was parent-reared instead of hand-reared  she won’t let me touch her, she’ll only perch on me. So we’re working on our trust (lips are much less scary for birds than fingers) and hopefully, one day I’ll be able to scritch her neck and help preen new feathers coming throuh. The good thing about her being parent-reared is that she’s much less prone to behavioural issues, but I do sometimes wish I could touch her like my sister does with her birds. Mostly because I think it will be nice for Pea, for us to have that bond. Even if it never happens though, as long as she’s happy then I’m happy too.I h

I haven’t done as many steps as I’d like today, but I did do a 40 minute workout on the exercise bike so I’m not feeling as guilty as I would have otherwise. Now my plan is to escape into another universe, specifically the Marvel one!

I shall update again tomorrow with my official weigh in results. Eek!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Baker’s Dozen

Yesterday was the Think Parrots exhibition and I thought I’d have tons to write about, but unfortunately I wasn’t all that taken with it. We watched a talk by a specialist avian vet named Matthew Fiddes who seems to be more or less at the top of the avian veterinary game. He even name dropped the Supervet who he knows personally, so in the bird world it was probably a very rock n’ roll event! He went through common bird health problems but where I did so much research before getting Pea I honestly either knew it already or it wasn’t relevant to her species. In fact I felt the small parrots were very under-represented! God I sound like such a big head… But it was interesting to watch anyway and it was fun to hear him being heckled by a macaw in the audience.

As for the rest of the event it was very small and was mostly people selling bird stuff. I bought a desk perch for Pea for £3 which will be useful for training but at the moment she is absolutely terrified of it. It’s going to take some training just to get her on the thing. I also bought her some dried grasses for her to pick through which will be good for enrichment. It was very nice to see my sister but for the money I spent on petrol and the time I wasted on the M25, there would have been better ways to have a sibling meet-up. In fact she’s coming over for dinner next Sunday (hopefully for a BBQ if the weather is good) so it could have waited until then, but ho hum, now I know to try a different bird exhibition next time!

As for the food, the lunch I took with me weighed 9 pounds so you could say I went a little bit overboard. I arrived just before my sister so I ate my cereal bars (B Choice) then when it came to lunch I wasn’t all that hungry so I just ate my four scotch eggs. I made them with panko breadcrumbs which cost me 4.5 syns, so if I make them again I’ll leave them off because they didn’t add anything to the flavour. I’d rather save the syns in future.

So I brought all the rest of the food back home with me and had my quiche for dinner. For breakfast yesterday I had two eggs, Quorn low fat sausages and garlic mushrooms. After dinner I was still feeling full although I could have had dessert if I wanted it. Turning down dessert is most unlike me, and at that point it occurred to me that I’d had quite a lot of protein. I had a count – yesterday I ate a total of THIRTEEN EGGS. God help my poor mother who has to live with me for the next couple of days! As a result of all this things, um, aren’t quite working as they should be and if this feeling keeps up I’m predicting an undeserved gain or maintain on the scales tomorrow. I think egg bound is the phrase I’m looking for (sorry, TMI I know…)

Yesterday my sister complimented me on my weight loss and told me I was looking particularly slim. That’s the good thing about not seeing her for a few weeks at a time – she picks up on the things I can’t see. I am feeling pretty fantastic this week so I decided to do some comparison pics which, when I’m doing well at least, is one of my very favourite (and most narcissistic) things to do to help keep me motivated. For me the most shocking aspect is my back!

I’m really pleased at the progress I’ve made there! On the left I’m bulging out of a size 22 top, one that I only used to wear around the house because I knew it was becoming like a second skin. I wouldn’t have dared to go out in it. The dress on the right is a size 18.

I’m really happy with how things are going right now, and I absolutely love my dress (I got one in a pink stripe too) which I will no doubt wear until it disintegrates. I feel so comfortable in it, plus it has a drawstring waist so it’ll see me through for a while as I continue to lose weight.

The rest of yesterday was dedicated to crafty pursuits, as I need to take more time to do the things that I enjoy. After Pea had gone to sleep I got my watercolours out and sat down to do a quick painting of one of the geeselets I photographed the other day.

I have an important thing to say about doing anything like this: it’s OK to be a bit crap.

You might think my little painting is alright, but then just look at these pictures below, all done by my remarkably talented little sis.

They’re such incredible little paintings, but I don’t let that take the joy out of sitting down and taking the time to paint something. Just because you’re not good at something doesn’t mean you can’t have fun doing it! In fact I’m going to try to find an art class nearby at some point, which seems a bit silly what with my sister being an art teacher and all. But I know if we met up to paint we’d just end up chatting for the whole time and never get anything done!

Today for breakfast I had defrosted berries and a pot of vanilla Skyr, which was originally supposed to be yesterday’s lunch, then yesterday’s dessert. So now I need to go and get my lunch, which is Shredded Wheat, almond milk and two oranges, and which should have been today’s breakfast! Confused? Yeah, me too!

Until next time,

Hayley x