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

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

Making Progress

I think one of the reasons I’m so unhappy at the moment is because I stopped making progress, but that is all about to change. During the first half of the year almost finding myself in a relationship actually set me back a long way in terms of self esteem – I was plagued with feelings of inadequacy and it’s only now I’m starting to see how skewed my perceptions were.

If someone, whether intentionally or not, makes you feel that you are too fat to be worthy of them, then they are not the one. If you offer everything you have in terms of emotional support and encourage them in everything they do, but when you confess that you’re struggling a bit with your moods and you get the (abruptly delivered) response ‘everyone has ups and downs, THAT’S LIFE’ then they are not the one. If everything you say and do gets instantly dismissed then, guess what, they are not the one.

In my very last post I talked about how excited I was, and I went to work buzzing. I told Mr. S that I was feeling good and the response? ‘Is this one of your speeches where you say you’re going to be good on your diet then go back on it the next day?’

Practically overnight I’ve realised that I’m not getting treated properly not because I did anything wrong or I’m not good enough, but because the person in question just doesn’t really care about me that much. Not as much as I want or need them to, anyway. Maybe it’s not their fault, it’s just the way they are. And that’s fine, but in that case I can’t be putting myself in that kind of environment.

My self esteem is on the up. I have realised that I make a damn good girlfriend. I’m extremely low maintenance. It’s easy to make me laugh, I like small, thoughtful gestures that don’t cost much (if anything), I don’t care about your status, your finances, whether you have a house or not, I just care if you’re kind and I want you to be happy. I would like you to wear a fresh pair of pants (Every. Single. Day.) but other than that I’m easy going.

If I had 10% back of the emotional support and understanding I give out then I’d be a very happy girl indeed, but as of yet I’ve been unable to find someone who fits that description. The important thing though? THAT IS NOT MY FAULT.

Things with Mr. S have been weird. I told him I just want to be friends, but I don’t think he took me seriously because nothing has really changed. This is partially my fault, because I have still been craving his affection. So when he has kissed me or held my hand, I’ve let it happen. But now I need to set boundaries.

It’s been an important learning curve though, because I have a much clearer idea of what I do and don’t want, and at some point in the near future I am going to be proactive and go out there and get it.

But right now I’m being selfish and focusing on ME. Healthy eating is now my number one priority, closely followed by fitness. This week I’m going to be ‘doing a Davey‘ and concentrating on walking, because this particular blogger sure has shown us all how incredibly beneficial it is to your health and wellbeing. I love running, but there’s no such thing as ‘just‘ walking to increase your fitness. It’s actually bloody magical!

Yesterday morning I had a stroll to the Co-op to pick up plant milk for my Healthy Extras, then I went over to Lidl for my veg. I did try soya milk from Lidl last week and it is absolutely vile. It tastes like aquafaba smells (that’s the juice from a tin of chickpeas), so although it is cheap I’ll be sticking to my more-than-three-times-the-price coconut milk from Co-op, thank-you-very-much.

By the evening I still hadn’t done quite enough Body Magic so before bed I went out for another walk up to the local church on the hill which is always rather pretty. Plus there was a deliciously cool breeze up there, and afterwards everything felt that little bit better.

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Now I’m up from 6th of 4th on the Fitbit leaderboard. I’m climbing the ladder back up to 1st, slowly but surely!

As such after I’m finished here I’m off for another walk. And I’m very much looking forward to it.

My food has been excellent – a couple of days ago I had a delicious dinner of ‘mock duck’. It is quite expensive – I got mine from Holland and Barrett and I’m pretty sure it was over £2 for quite a small tin – but it’s worth it. However, please don’t be put off by the fact it looks like cat food. And perhaps a little too realistic once it’s out of the tin.

The important thing(s) though is that it’s Free on Slimming World, and with 2 Syns of hoisin sauce stirred in it’s absolutely lovely. I think you can eat the juice it’s in as it says on the tin ‘braised gluten in gravy’, but I tipped it down the sink. It sure doesn’t look like gravy to me…

Anyway, it looks a lot nicer once cooked, I think you’ll agree.

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Right, it’s time to get on with my day now.

Thanks for reading,

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

Positive Pants ON

Wellllllll, I still didn’t get back on plan today. I couldn’t eat at all in the morning because I was so anxious. I went to see Mr. S for lunch, and I told him that I just want to be friends. He seemed quite sad about that (I am too, because I really do love him) and he said he’s not ready for a relationship. Which is fine, but in that case we need to stop acting exactly like we’re in a relationship. Mr. S has not been intentionally leading me on, he’s not that kind of guy. But the fact remains it’s too confusing for me to be stuck in this middle ground where I’m never quite sure where I stand. Or I think I know, then the next minute I’m devastatingly reminded that I was totally wrong – I can’t handle all of those ups and downs. I’m not looking for anyone else, so if in the future Mr. S is ready, then who knows what might happen. In the meantime, it’s just me, myself and I from now on.

We went to Aldi to pick up some lunch bits after this rather depressing conversation, and since I was now feeling both ravenous and rather queasy I just grabbed what I fancied. I had chocolate, hummus, pitta, olives and sundried tomatoes. Not the worst things in the world, but certainly not on plan.

I’m feeling really low to be honest, because despite some ups and downs (the ‘does he like me, doesn’t he like me’ saga that we went through for months because he kept giving me mixed signals) Mr. S has been my shining happy thought. Now my happy thought has gone, and I can’t remember how to feel OK without it.

However, my positive pants are now on, have been pulled ALL THE WAY UP, and I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other until I get back into the swing of things.

I’m back at work tonight and have already prepared my lunch of broccoli, kale and Tofoo smoked tofu, which is one of my Slimming World essentials. I love it and it’s FREE! Well, it’s a Free Food on Slimming World I should say, in actual fact it’s rather pricey (but totally worth it).

acs_0126In other news, which is most pleasantly surprising, Slimming World have updated Syns Online to include the Oumph range. I’m so happy about this, because when I’m on plan I don’t like eating stuff unless I know exactly what the Syns are. My favourite of the range is 2 Syns per 70g serving.

It goes to show that it’s best to wait for an official value, even though Slimming World advised me to use the calculator in the meantime. I would have ended up going way over, because through the calculator it comes up as about 2 syns for the entire 280g pack. This especially riles me up as the Linda McCartney roast that came out over Christmas was never, ever added at all despite me trying for months to get them to look into it. Oh well, at least they’ve pulled their fingers out this time.

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I’m feeling a lot better about my knee situation, too. I’ve ordered some proper vegan trail-running shoes (I’ll talk more about those once I’ve tried them out) plus I now have a knee support and some Ibuprofen gel that have been working wonders. I’m probably not going to train tomorrow even though I’m itching to get out there, but I feel like I could run on it now. It’s probably wise to rest up a bit more though. I must be sensible about this!

So there we have it. On to a new chapter for me. I’m going to make sure it’s a good one.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Me Mondays

This morning got off to a positive start. I did wake up way too early, because I needed to tinkle and my brain did that thing where for a split second it forgets that it’s sad. Then I remembered, and I couldn’t get back off after that.

Despite feeling really sluggish I forced myself to get up (rather than lay in bed for an hour simply thinking about getting up) and went out for my morning run. I’ve decided that although I don’t have a set training routine, Mondays at least are going to be just about ‘me time’. I’ll weigh in, do a run, then do whatever takes my fancy for the rest of the day.

Because I was so tired my run wasn’t spectacular or anything, but I did over 4 miles without stopping. I had wibbly legs as I was nearing the end, but I knew that if I stopped I’d never get started again so I just kept on going, one foot after the other. My mind tends to wander as I go along and I made a mental note to look into sports psychology. Not the kind where they teach you how to deal with winning and losing or anything like that, but someone must have looked into how to stop the mind giving up before the body does. I’ll have to do some research, because perhaps it could help with my training. Plus it’s interesting!

After my run I decided I didn’t want to go home just yet, but my legs weren’t going to take anything more than a stroll. I decided to scout out possible routes for future training, which turned out to be quite fortuitous.

I took a turn into a nice field that was filled with wildflowers, one friendly walker and one very friendly dog. It’s most unlike me but I got talking to the walker who said that the park rangers sometimes do guided walks and it’s very interesting. They tell you all about the varieties of wild orchids in the field and apparently there’s also quite an important tree somewhere.

It would be really nice to learn more (or anything actually) about the place I’ve been coming to since I was a kid, so I’ll have to find out more about it.

 

Two miles later, after snapping some of the flowers and saying hello to Peach and Humbug, I headed back home to feed Pea and start on the washing.

Pea has been a daring little thing lately. I bought a hanging toy before I even got her, which has been dangling from the curtain rail for over two years. Last week was the first time she showed the slightest bit of interest in it, and she has now started to slowly and steadily destroy it, as is her way. It has a bell too, but she hasn’t figured out how to make it ring. She just tries to eat it…

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Later on I started running out of figurative beans so I decided to top up with actual beans. It was my first meal of the week and I’ve started how I mean to go on – plenty of Speed and P Foods. Plus only 1 syn for four Fry’s vegan sausages. Not bad, eh?

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After a short nap (I was so tired I was cold even though it’s practically tropical out there) I cracked on with an absolute mountain of washing, tidied the crap out of everything, hoovered and hung out with Pea. I’m feeling a lot better now that everything’s more organised.

Tonight I won’t be seeing Mr. S as I’m currently a kind of football widow. At least when England are playing. But on the plus side it has meant that I’ve had a chance for a good catch up and an early night before we train again tomorrow.

I have tomorrow night booked off work, simply because I fancied a long weekend, so I should even have chance to blog again tomorrow.

Until then, 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

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

Research

As recommended by a kind fellow blogger, I’ve been reading a very interesting book called Brain over Binge by Kathryn Hansen. It’s written by a lady who had bulimia but it’s relevant to anyone who is struggling with binge eating. Like me! I’m about halfway through at the moment, which is partly because there’s quite a lot of scientific theory, so I’m going slowly to make sure I absorb as much information as possible, and partly because the parts that really resonate with me are, from an emotional perspective, quite taxing to read.

However! Since I got to the part which tells you how to stop binge eating, which I read with a HUGE amount of scepticism, I have managed not to act on any of my urges to binge since that point. And there have been a fair few. I haven’t been perfect by any means – there was my rather heavy drinking session followed by some hangover-curing snacks, but I never felt compelled to eat them. It was just ordinary overeating that ordinary people do, and I didn’t feel bad about it afterwards either.

Once I’ve finished reading I’m going to go through it again but making notes this time, because there’s a ton of useful stuff that will even be helpful in everyday life. When I’ve done that and got my thoughts in order I’ll write more about it here, but there’s no substitute for reading the book. Despite the fact I’ve not finished it yet I highly recommend it.

In any case I’ve been back on plan since Tuesday and reckon I can be extra healthy (see what I did there?) for exactly the next four weeks. I’m not normally a fan of short-term goals like holidays or fitting into a wedding dress (not that the latter applies to me) but since as of Tuesday it was four weeks on-the-dot until my holiday, I’m going to focus on staying on plan until then.

As for the actual holiday it’s self-catering so there’s no reason I can’t still be sensible.

As ever my training schedule went out the window, because between me and my trainer something is always coming up. That’s why I’ve said I’ll do a minimum of three sessions a week, and I just fit them in whenever I can.

We were supposed to train Wednesday, giving us an extra day (Tuesday) to recover from Sunday night’s shenanigans. But we were both feeling up to a run a day early so went back to Hockley woods, where I did my first almost-three-mile run. That first time it was muddy, but my average time was 13:20 min/mi.

This time around I smashed my personal best with an average of 11:40 min/mi. I don’t consider the lack of mud this time around to be a huge factor for my better time. When I really felt like I had a good pace was in the covered areas of the woods where there wasn’t much mud previously, and my trainer even noticed that he wasn’t having to hold back as much as he usually does. Bless him.

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We were supposed to train together again today but he was too tired, so I decided to stay in bed and catch up on some sleep. As it happens I’ve really struggled with sleep this week, so I woke up early anyway and couldn’t get back off. I wrestled with myself for a while, thinking that I really should train on my own. But I really didn’t want to!

I’m away this weekend so today was my last chance to get a proper training session in. I couldn’t just lay in bed feeling sorry for myself, could I?

The times when you don’t feel like it, I think they are the most important times to get out there and just do it. I only stopped to take a picture at the end, so you’ll have to take my word for it that earlier on in the day the sun was out and the woods were teeming with butterflies, bees, squirrels and birds. Even when the sun went in and it started to rain everything was still beautiful and green though.

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As it happens, it was another day for smashing personal bests.

I FINALLY MADE IT INTO THE 10 MINUTE BRACKET! 

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And it wasn’t even a fluke!

Today was the best I have felt running so far – it was full of pure, unadulterated joy. At the beginning I had my usual I-don’t-think-I-can-do-this moment, then I felt like I was flying along. It seemed that I could just keep going forever if I really wanted to. Thankfully the sensible part of my brain made me pace myself.

On the way back there are some pretty steep hills, and for the first time I really started to get my breathing under control. Because I didn’t feel like I was about to collapse, I was able to concentrate more on my form and could even pay attention to how all of my leg muscles were feeling.

Going up those hills I felt effing strong, and I’ve noticed that a lot of the wibbliness in my thighs has been replaced by muscle.

I’m unbelievably glad that I didn’t spend this amazing afternoon hiding under my duvet.

So that’s two training sessions down for the week, and I won’t get an official one in now to make it three. But it doesn’t matter at all on this occasion, because I certainly won’t be spending this weekend on my backside.

More about that next time!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x