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

 

Aftermath

I’ve got to admit I bloody loved my impromptu Saturday off work, at least at the time. I did fairly well with the food side of things, but I drank way, way too much wine. Yesterday was a complete write-off, and today I feel really low.

There was only one thing for it though. I wasn’t sure if my trainer would be up for a run today because he was at work last night, and while I was getting ready to leave I was starting to make a pact with myself that if he couldn’t make it I’d drive to Tesco, buy a tub of vegan Ben & Jerry’s then bury my face in it. But in an unusual moment of clarity I thought past the initial pleasure and remembered how much worse that would make me feel afterwards.

If I’m going to try to make myself feel better, it has to be something that will genuinely do me good. If I want to modify my feelings, then exercise has to be the way to go from now on. Especially if it’s done outside.

The weather is supposed to take another nosedive this week, but hopefully it’s just rain. My trainer says that running in the rain is a miserable experience, but I do quite like a spot of rain so if I have to I’m willing to give it a go. I still want those three workouts under my belt this week.

It was sunny this morning but by the time training came around (my trainer was indeed up for it) it was grey and horrible, although it was still good to get out and achieve something. Our times were absolutely dreadful, and every step was a massive struggle, but we still gave it a shot. Either way it was better than the ice cream-based alternative.

ACS_0044.jpgI had official weigh in this morning, and the scales show my current weight as 14st 2.5lbs. Although unofficial weigh-in last week showed me at 13st 13.9lbs, from the last official weigh in I’ve actually lost 2.5lbs. Which I’ll take. Normally if I’ve been drinking it means a huuuuuuge gain.

Being in the 13 stone bracket feels just so, so good, that my mission is to get back there as soon as possible. I’m out drinking again with work people on the 5th of April, so I plan to make as much progress between now and then. And after that I have a clear schedule in which to steam ahead and make some real progress.

I’m still pretty chuffed that I seem to have found some sort of balance, and that I haven’t had one of my really wild gains in quite some time. Perhaps I have turned a corner without even realising it.

I spent the early evening cleaning my car, which is testament to how dirty it was because I rarely clean a car at all. The outside is sorted as I put it through the car wash, but the inside needed a bit more care and attention. I wouldn’t even take it to a hand car wash and get it done for me because I would have been too ashamed. It really was that bad.

But a bit of elbow grease, some new mats and a couple of seat covers later and it’s looking a lot better. And I no longer feel that I need a tetanus booster before I touch anything at least. The next purchase is a steering wheel cover, then I’ll be happy.

Right now it’s nearly 9pm and I’ve only just got dinner on the go. It’s totally on plan though! I’m going to be spot on this week.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Weekend Vibes

I have had the best weekend in such a long time. Shopping on Sunday was a huge boost, and it felt so good to be outside despite the awful weather.

Yesterday training went ahead but I was also the coldest I have been in a long, long time. Where I go to train is higher up than the surrounding areas plus it sits next to an estuary so there’s no protection from the absolutely brutal wind. I had a snood on but it made my glasses steam up so I took it off, and subsequently lost all feeling in my nose.

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On the plus side I broke a personal record and ran for about 15 minutes straight. My Fitbit even automatically recognised I was running for the first time ever.

Workout done we went to Aldi for lunch supplies and I had to be really strict with my trainer. I bought a load of salad bits and sweet potato burgers, which are 4 syns each. I had one of the burgers with a jacket potato then spent quite a lot of time telling him that I didn’t want toast, hummus, nuts, seeds, or a bottle of cider! Normally he wouldn’t be quite so persuasive, but on the first night of his weekend, which is Monday this week, he has a bottle of wine and I think he was losing resolve on my behalf.

We had such a lovely evening though. Although apparently Netflix and chill nowadays means that you watch Netflix then have sex, we watched Netflix and actually chilled out. I wasn’t home till 2am, and I was completely sober!

I’d like to say as a result I woke up feeling fresh as a daisy, but in fact I feel pretty weary. I intend to go back to bed shortly to prepare myself for my shift tonight, especially as I have to get up early for a special delivery this evening. But I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow.

When I got up to get Pea’s breakfast, I couldn’t help stepping on the scales. My hormones have gone back to normal, plus I feel a lot less bloated after peeing like crazy for two days straight.

The result?

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THE FIRST TIME SEEING THE 13 STONE BRACKET SINCE TWO THOUSAND AND EFFING FOUR.

I can’t even believe it, and I’m scared it’s just a blip despite weighing myself a few times over just to make sure. But the undeniable fact remains that despite all of my usual fluctuations, it’s still been about 14 years since I saw that 13. And there it is!

I have to keep the momentum going now, I just have to. I’m out with work people on the 5th of April and I’d love to be firmly established in the 13 stone bracket by then.

Fingers crossed I don’t have a huge (undeserved) gain in the meantime!

No matter what happens over the next few days though, I’m celebrating this victory here and now.

Go me!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Pushing Through

This week I have been exceptionally tired. It’s entirely hormonal – even with a decent sleep I’ve been feeling totally drained,  but that doesn’t happen often because there’s the added bonus that when I’m hormonal I also sleep less. So yeah… I’m not feeling in peak condition!

I took this photo before doing my makeup a couple of days ago.

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Forget bags under the eyes, I’ve got suitcases! Thankfully the act of putting on makeup fools me into thinking that I am actually alive.

After that photo was taken I did a busy shift at work, had five hours sleep, then got up for my third training session of the week. My trainer pushed me even harder than on Wednesday, and I pushed myself even harder still. On the biggest hill he was telling me to just make it to the post (half way up) but even though my muscles were screaming I kept going till the very top. I was slow, but I did it.

Being hormonal does make everything tougher. Apart from causing havoc with the scales, I can look at myself one day and see something I quite like, then the very next day I can look again and see something completely different. I have no doubt that in a couple of days I’ll start feeling slim again but right now I feel tired, frumpy and hungry.

But what I will do is push on through all of that, because I want to achieve my goals more than I want to curl up with a hot water bottle and hide from the world.

Training for today has been rescheduled for Monday because of yet more snow. It seems incredible that yesterday I was running in 14 degree heat, sweating buckets and more closely resembling a tomato than a human! Just look at the difference in the sky in less than 24 hours…

Come what may, tomorrow I’m going to dress up warm then take a gentle-yet-no-doubt-bracing walk into town. The reason for this is because I need to pick up some exercise clothing more suitable for warmer weather – as soon as the sun comes out I currently melt as soon as I start running. Shopping for summer clothes in the snow, yes, that sounds about right…

Since it’s a right miserable day I’ve just had an epic lunch of Slimming World-style chips, Linda McCartney sausages and Orgran Vegan Easy Egg made up to be like scrambled eggs. It’s my first time trying it and I’ve got to say it’s AMAZING. Next time though I’ll only make up half the recommended amount and try leaving out the oil. I’ve definitely overeaten this lunchtime!

Still, I’m now going to treat myself to another few hours in bed before I have to get ready for the last shift of the week.

Bring on the weekend!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Signs of Life

I experienced a huge blow today. One of my favourite things in the whole world is photography, and it seems that ordinary photo printing is NOT vegan. I already know that gelatin is used in film, but I didn’t realise that it is also used in most photographic paper. I love getting proper prints, but for the time being I’m going to knock it on the head until I do further research.

I’m definitely not giving up entirely, because I’ve only contacted one photo printing company so far and there are many other avenues to explore. And in any case I’d never give up my photography itself because I still like to share my photos digitally. Also just because there might not be vegan photo printing now it doesn’t mean there won’t be vegan photo printing in the future. Maybe that’s my calling. Maybe I should become a scientist then revolutionise the industry!

Today I was supposed to be training with my friend but he couldn’t make it (he’s got a lot on at the moment and has said we can go more regularly from next week) so I stuck to my guns and went out on my own. I did four laps round the nature reserve (5km), beat my fastest lap time to date, then did another lap just strolling along, saying hello to some horses and a squirrel, and taking note of the signs of spring.

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Google sent me a ‘remember this day’ notification and last year and the year before things were a lot more ‘springy’ in the park, but what with the recent weather I think that doesn’t come as a surprise to any of us. Spring is on its way now though and that’s what matters.

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I came home to a delivery consisting of my Vegan Tuck Box, which I bought by accident after forgetting to cancel my trial subscription. Everything in my last box, with the exception of a tea bag, was incredibly calorific and I ended up scoffing the lot in a very short space of time. This box however is a lot more reasonable, apart from a small box of giant chocolate buttons which inexplicably has nearly 500 calories in it. I’m going to leave those at my friend’s and we can share them at some point, perhaps after a particularly good training session, when we have both earned them.

After today’s run I ate a fruit and chia seed bar (150 calories) and had the bag of coffee that also came in my box. Who even knew there was such a thing? It seems like a handy thing to have, but I wouldn’t buy them myself in future. It does seem like a lot of unnecessary packaging.

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Although official weigh day is now Monday, I did still weigh myself this morning to get an idea of how I’m doing. If today had have been the day then I would have had a maintain, so that’s good to know considering I ate badly for several days last week. I think the combination of increased exercise and my friend keeping tabs on me has meant that I haven’t been able to go quite as badly off the rails as I would normally. After all I’ve been known on several occasions to put on over half a stone in a single week, but there’s something in me now that will do anything to avoid doing that kind of damage in future. Perhaps I’m getting better at drawing the line?

Right, it’s nap time now as I’m back to work tonight. Hopefully, hopefully, I’ll have proper training tomorrow and it WON’T be cancelled. Fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Turning it Around

Yesterday I was hungry.

All. Day. Long.

I had an extra meal when I got in from work (though all on plan) and when I woke up I was still ravenous. It didn’t let up until after dinner where I had an enormous bowl of pasta, passata, tomatoes and a whole pack of Sainsbury’s vegetarian meatballs. Seriously, those balls are one of my favourite vegan-friendly items of all time, plus if you’re on Slimming World they’re only 2 syns for the whole pack (20 meatballs, I think). They’re so yummy – better than any meaty version I ever tried. In fact I bought 7 packs when I last shopped at Sainsbury’s. One pack was for my mum because I like them so much I’m getting everyone else to try them too.

Today my hunger levels seem to have gone back to normal, thank goodness, and I’m celebrating by having a really naughty day. It’s naughty because at work last night I went up to my manager and asked if I could have a short-notice night off. And he said yes! Yep, I am a complete layabout. The plan was to go training today, have lunch with my friend and help him move some furniture (I find it really cool that my totally hench friend has called me in for a bit of extra muscle) but that’s been rescheduled for tomorrow, so instead I’ll do the bits I had planned for Friday today. If I ever stop procrastinating on the computer that is…

The first job is to clean out my car. Before I met my new work/training friend I’d spend my lunch breaks in there so there’s an accumulation of travel salt and pepper pots, knives, forks, spoons and various other items. Plus several cardigans, blankets, thermal jackets in various sizes, scarves, hats… I could go on. So I need to go through all of that rubbish and sort out what I’m keeping before my car totally goes bang, because I don’t want to be doing it all last minute.

Another friend is really good at finding cheap cars and is currently on the lookout for one for me, and I’m really looking forward to having something different, if not new. For one the inside of a passenger door is currently in my boot and it takes up a lot of space! Also my current MPG is 14, so I’m hoping to get something a helluva lot more efficient…

After doing that I’m going to pop over to the country park where I do my training and hopefully get some nice sunset photos of the castle. My Golden Hour app tells me there’s a decent chance for a good photo, so fingers crossed. I usually get my brother to tag along as I don’t like going on my own – it’s a photography hotspot so I’m always self conscious that I’ll see another photographer and they will look at me and think I don’t know what I’m doing. Which is bloody stupid – I need to get over that. When I see another photographer, even if they don’t look like they know what they’re doing I just think ‘cool, I hope they get nice shots!’ And I do know what I’m doing anyhoo.

So even if I don’t get the shot it’s still good that I’m going and yet again getting further and further away from that poxy comfort zone.

I need to crack on now and get the car sorted so I’ll update again when I’m back from the castle.

Several hours later…

Well that was a productive afternoon! I wonder if anyone can explain why I had four, yes four jacks in my boot? Two sets of jump leads? Two air compressors? No, I can’t figure it out either… Thankfully now I’m carrying around a LOT less junk, and when it comes to transferring things over to a new car it will now be a lot easier.

It also turns out that I chose the perfect time to visit the country park. The light was gorgeous, and I only saw two other people. One was a cyclist on his way home, and the other was a dog walker. Other than that the place was completely mine. It’s nice not to worry about people walking into my shots.

I’m SO happy with what I got, it was totally worth braving the rush hour traffic for. I’ve made a lot of improvements since I first photographed the castle back in May 2015. For one I only got a single passable shot.

This was back then:

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And these are from today:

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I’d say that’s a fair old improvement. I probably could have stayed longer for more golden hour action, but as the sun made its way down I started to freeze so I headed home. I was planning to go to the shops but then remembered that I left my purse on the kitchen table (that is so me), so I’ll pop out for a veggie top-up once I’m done here.

And that’s that. Until next time, thanks for reading!

Hayley x

Rollercoaster

I think I made the right decision. By letting myself be lazy for a few days my cold went away before it really got started and I feel mostly back to normal again.

Over the last few weeks me, my mum and my brother have been watching the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended editions, obviously) and for the first two weeks I was really proud of myself for not snacking while we were watching. With the final instalment though I admit it, I cracked. The film is 4 hours and 23 minutes long, and although I get completely immersed I just wanted things yesterday. So I went ahead and had them.

I am annoyed with myself, but not furious, and certainly not to the point where I’m beating myself up about it. Last night I confessed my transgressions to my training buddy (whether I’m attending a group or not accountability is very important) and arranged to meet up with him today for, well, training!

Weigh in is tomorrow morning and I’m not sure how it’s going to go, especially as I ate lots of bread yesterday (bring on the bloat) and I’m having a super late dinner tonight. Hopefully I get a maintain, I’ll be happy with that.

Now let me get on and tell you about the emotional rollercoaster ride I’ve been on lately, with the express permission of the aforementioned training buddy.

First let me give you a bit of back story. The last time I made a real good friend at work was about two years ago now. He’d been there for a few months when I started to get the impression that he was vaguely human and I went out of my way to try and talk to him. I do not find that easy. When he moved to my department I tried to encourage him, because I could see that he was going to be a good forklift driver, but it still took me about another twelve months before I became comfortable around him and could count him amongst that elite group of my most excellent friends.

The point I’m trying to make? I do NOT make friends easily – it takes a long, long time. At least that’s what usually happens.

Then my training buddy starts talking to me, and flips my usual system on its head entirely. Within a matter of weeks I have become so incredibly comfortable around him, it’s actually bonkers. I don’t know how this happened. Who even am I?

Especially with work people, normally by now I’d be at the stage of having friendly yet stilted conversation, and mild panic about how much eye contact should be made if I pass them either leaving or entering the building. I am not exaggerating.

Yet I’ve been running with this man, something I thought I couldn’t do in front of anyone, ever. So it’s no wonder that I started falling for this amazing person who has brought out so many good things in me. How could I not?

When I split up with my ex I honestly thought I was done with any kind of romantic feelings. It didn’t happen straight away, but as I started learning to live my life without constantly thinking I should have a romantic partner, I started to love my single life. I still do. I became more independent, but I also started to value existing friendships more and to get excited about forging new ones.

I learned so much about myself – what I do and don’t like, what makes me happy, what makes me miserable and what I want for the future (a dark concept that never held much appeal until recently).

But even so, though all of those things still stand, I was now faced with a situation where I had feelings for someone and it was actually transformative.

All of a sudden things became clear in my mind – I knew that it was unlikely that things would go exactly the way I would like (i.e. he would sweep me off my feet, tell me he felt exactly the same and kiss me passionately) so in all likelihood I would be setting myself up for a crushing rejection.

The difference between me now and me a few years ago is that current Hayley decided that it was worth the risk. This is partly testament to how lovely my friend is, and partly that I’m effing strong.

This me knows that if my feelings aren’t returned then it’s not because I’m worthless. Of course there are nagging doubts (I’m too fat, too tall, too weird… whatever…) but ultimately I know full well that I have a lot to offer a potential partner and that their life would be better for having me in it.

I’ve been feeling awesome these last few weeks. My friend has given me a huge injection of confidence, and I feel lighter (not in weight, but in myself, although I am physically lighter too!) and happier. I’ve been smiling more, I’ve been dancing at work (unheard of) and in the shower and generally loving life. And if things didn’t go the way I wanted, then I decided I’d continue riding the wave of feeling awesome no matter what and just revel in the fact that I was actually brave enough to put myself on the line and tell him how I feel.

Which is lucky, because it did NOT go the way I hoped! After I made the decision to actually tell him, I was then faced with two agonising weeks before I could actually carry out the deed. What with illnesses and the weather I thought I’d never get to do it!

But I told him today, and short of the previously-mentioned fantasy scenario I probably couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. I am certainly no closer to changing my single status than I was this time yesterday, but I still feel good. I sure as hell don’t feel crushed, especially as my awesome friend never once made me feel that the reason he doesn’t want me is because of any shortcoming on my part. Which is good, at least he realises that I am lovely!

I mostly feel like, ok, it’s not meant to be so that’s that. I don’t feel that if I’d done something differently then there’d be a different outcome, it simply is what it is.

Best of all (because this is the thing I had worried most about) our most amazing friendship is completely intact. And that really is the most important thing. I’ve fallen for friends in the past, and when I’ve wanted to remain friends I’ve always said out loud that I wouldn’t risk the friendship for love (or lust, whichever!) but it was never true. I was actually just hoping that they’d change their minds given time. They never did by the way…

In this case it is true – this is one friendship you do not take lightly because they don’t come along often. To mess this up would have been devastating. As it is we had a great training session after me dropping my little truth bomb, then I was treated to a delicious and veggie-filled healthy lunch.

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I’ve also got to admit that there was a certain amount of relief in not facing the prospect of getting naked in front of anyone just yet. Losing 7 stone is not kind on the body and I’m glad to have extra time to come to terms with that. Look at me, still looking for those silver linings!

I have so much coming up to look forward to – I really don’t have a thing to complain about!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Not Exactly My Week

Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing has gone to plan this week. One of my work friends has started nicknaming me ‘cancelled’, because every time he asks me how something has gone that’s been my reply.

On the flipside, nothing and I honestly mean absolutely nothing at all is going to get me down. There are upsides to everything that has annoyed me.

Obviously training (or lack thereof) has been the biggest annoyance, but then the last couple of days I’ve really struggled with tiredness and last night at work was the final straw. I felt so weak and could hardly lift anything, so when early finishes came up at 4am I grabbed the opportunity and got out of there.

I popped to the 24hr Tesco for some essentials, then tried to have a sing-song in the car on the way home but there was something wrong with my voice. As I stepped through the front door and did five consecutive sneezes I realised that I’m coming down with a bloody cold and that’s why I feel so icky.

Now I have the feeling I was swallowing razor blades in my sleep because my throat is raw, but I’m so happy I’m ill now rather than when the snow is thawed. Come Monday at the latest I reckon I’ll be fighting fit and ready to go, and if training was an option now I’d be furious that my body chose that exact moment to let me down. As it is, it’s all worked out pretty well.

Work has been annoying too, and I’ve officially had enough of the department I’m on at the moment. When you get (via the luck of the draw) decent equipment, then everything runs smoothly and the night flies by. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen very often and it’s just about driven me nuts. I have two nights left to do of this week then one more full week before I’m back on my base department, not that I’m counting. After that it’ll probably be another year before I have to spend any significant time doing that job. See? Upside!

Work hasn’t been terrible in general either. I got talking to a chap on yet another department and it turns out he is an excellent source of advice when it comes to matters of the heart. I also know from experience that he’s completely trustworthy and it was just great chatting with him.

Another work friend has been great too – he picked up that I was in a bit of a mood a few days ago and went out of his way to make me feel better. He was so sweet he almost made me cry!

Yet another work person is becoming a closer friend and that’s just wonderful, especially considering in the past we didn’t get on at all. Plus I got talking to a new-ish man which is really difficult for me because I’m so shy, and it turns out he’s nice too.

I also can’t go on without an honourable mention to my friend who has been getting WhatsApp updates from me at regular intervals (you know who you are!) He never fails to reply with words of advice, so all of these things combined mean that I’m feeling incredibly happy and loved!

The meal out on Sunday with my siblings has been cancelled (see, that word again) or at least postponed until the weather is more predictable. Although I was looking forward to it, I’m also happy that there’s now no temptation to avoid – staying on plan this weekend will be that much easier.

Yesterday after training was cancelled (grr!) I tried to make a snowman as promised but the snow is just way too powdery for that. So instead I took a few pictures, and although they aren’t as sharp as I’d like because it was too windy, and nothing interesting really jumped out at me, I still went out and did something. Something is always better than nothing.

Today I’m having a duvet day, at least until I have to go to work. Rather than struggling on and making everything harder, I’m going to be kinder to myself now, feel better sooner, smash my exercise goals next week.

And sit here feeling smug that despite all of the irritations of the week my eating has been perfect.

Speaking of, it’s time to go and get me some nice warming porridge.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

A Nothing Day

I’m not of fan of those days where I don’t do anything really positive – those days that just run away from you and it all feels like a bit of a waste.

Today has been one of those days. I really struggled to get to sleep this morning, but when I’d just managed to get into a really deep sleep I was woken up by my mum who had news from the vets. They were closing because of the snow and needed me to come and collect the cat ASAP.

So I jumped out of bed and braved the skating rinks which at other times of year go by the name of roads. It really was treacherous out there, but my 3 litre, automatic, rear-wheel drive car did surprisingly well out there. Thank goodness.

News from the vet is that our little one probably has kidney failure, but they still need to rule out an UTI. By the time she goes back next week we also need to get a urine sample. Ever tried to get wee from a cat? It’s an interesting experience!

Our other cat was diagnosed with kidney failure last year and after putting him on a special diet his situation completely turned around and for now he’s leading a normal life. I hope the same turns out to be true in this case.

After that I waited to hear about training, but my friend is still feeling under the weather so what with me being knackered, plus the snow, we’re going to try again tomorrow. Here’s hoping.

I got what sleep I could when I could, but my brain is in complete overdrive. It’s not in a bad way – I feel pretty excited and good about life, but my head has to realise that we NEED some proper down time.

In the meantime Hermes managed to get through the snow to deliver a parcel to me, which is odd because they’re generally flipping useless at the best of times. The delivery was my vegan cream eggs that I preordered back in January and I’ll tell you now – I wanted to eat the whole box. Instead I ate one, donated one to my brother, half to my mum, one goes to my training buddy, and one each to my sister and her boyfriend. That leaves just one more half for me. That way I’ve enjoyed an Easter treat but don’t have the temptation lying around.

So the day hasn’t been a complete write-off, despite the fact that I’m an hour early for work because the council’s LIVE travel updates told me my road was closed and I needed to leave time in case I was forced to walk. But I arrived at work within about 7 minutes (only 3 more than my usual travel time). At least I got the chance to get a blog up though!

There’s also the fact that I’ve been on plan today, have almost reached my step count (waking into work from the car park will get me the last little bit) have burned 3000 calories and there’s still a couple of hours left to make it even more.

If there is training tomorrow then YAY! If not then I’m going to make a snowman!

I’ll keep you posted as to which one it is.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Back to Seven

Note to Self: When December comes around, remember that it took you until the end of February to get rid of your Christmas gain. Remember how long it took you to truly get back into the swing of things, and ask yourself if all of those mince pies are really worth it. Hint: They’re not.

I originally got my seven stone award at the end of November, and a couple of days later was when I snapped and spent most of December bingeing on sweet Christmas treats. My mood and self-esteem really suffered, although I tried to pretend at the time that I was OK with it. I was trying to convince myself more than anyone else.

This week I lost 3 lbs, and I’m so happy with that because it did not come easily. I’m so proud that instead of using my trainer’s illness as an excuse to be lazy that I faced my fears and went out alone. I’m proud that despite wanting badly to binge, twice, I managed to keep my cravings in check.

All of that hard work means I can now say I have my seven stone award back, with a total loss of 7 st 1 lb. We’re into (relatively) new territory now, as I haven’t been this weight since 2004.

This week training has been put back yet another day, but after yesterday’s walk I’m not too worried. Where I’m off work on a Monday I find it really hard to hit my calorie burn goal but yesterday I smashed it. I’ll do some home exercise before work today and if training goes back another day then I’ll go out on my own tomorrow. Already it feels wrong if I haven’t been running for a while.

This week has the potential to go wrong, but I sure as hell won’t let it. In January me and my sister pencilled in a date for a food trip to London where we can eat loads of vegan goodies (which happens to be this Sunday), but after our run the other day we both agreed that it wasn’t really conducive to achieving our goals.

We are still going out for a meal, at Mildred’s, but I’ve already checked out the menu and have chosen what I’m having. I’m going to have the ‘Soul Bowl’ which includes so many healthy foods!

How full of goodness does that sound? And where I’m not exactly following Slimming World anymore I can eat the avocado, cashew cheese and seeds without worrying too much.

The important thing for me right now is having three sensible meals a day, and having one meal with more healthy fats than I’m used to is not going to do much, if any, damage.

Rather than go on a food tour of the rest of the city, I suggested that we do something more wholesome and revisit St James’s Park. The wildlife there is so tame it can hardly be called wildlife at all – the last time we went I fed a great tit from my hand, had a squirrel run up my leg and ended up covered in beautiful pigeons!

But there’s more to it than that. The last time we went was in April 2016 and I was pushing 20 stone, so it’ll be fun to go back over five stone lighter. I was also only just getting into photography, so I’m looking forward to getting better pictures, too.

These seem ok, but the top one is not as sharp as I’d like and both are heavily cropped. There’s a lot of room for improvement there, especially now I know what I’m doing.

It’ll be extra exercise, too, because I’ll be taking my heaviest camera and lenses. I’ll probably be lugging an additional stone about, but I’m no stranger to carrying extra weight so it shouldn’t be a problem.

As I’ve changed my daily step goal to 15k, I’d best get moving now because these steps aren’t going to do themselves.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x