Go Get It!

I’m up again, I’m really up! Hopefully this isn’t a temporary high and I can keep this feeling for a while. I think I can. It’s day three of being back on plan and I’m feeling strong – saying NO to my friend and putting my foot down has strengthened my resolve no end.

Yesterday I ate plenty of decent food and didn’t feel deprived even once.

Today I’m excited about everything. I got up early and after a breakfast of wheat biscuits and coconut drink (my A and B choices on Slimming World) I walked to the local shopping centre to do various bits and bobs that needed doing.

When I got home I was famished so I cooked a proper lunch. Here we have sweet potato chips (oven cooked in Fry Light), broccoli and Fry’s Family Foods chicken style burgers. They may not be your cup of tea if you don’t like to be reminded of junk food, but if you do want a little bit of that taste then these burgers taste super naughty. They are 2 syns each, which I learned off by heart some time ago. I couldn’t believe they were that low in syns from the way they taste, so I re-checked the values over and over.

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Even today, I have checked Syns Online about five times just to make sure! I enjoyed my lunch so much that I had them again for dinner.

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If you fancy trying them, they sell them in Holland & Barrett and Ocado. They’re not the cheapest, but they have the holy trinity of being vegan, tasty and low syn! Oh and as a bonus they cook really quickly too.

More excitement comes from a revelation I only just had – I COMPLETELY forgot about step aerobics. It’s low impact so I can strengthen my leg muscles without damaging my knee, plus I really, really enjoy it! I haven’t done it for ages, but I still don’t know why it didn’t occur to me until now. I literally facepalmed when I remembered. I already have a step, there are thousands of free videos on YouTube and luckily we’ve recently rearranged the living room so there’s plenty of space for me to get right into it.

Perfect.

This afternoon I got some flowers from a friend for helping out his friend who is going through a real rough patch at the moment. He had an appointment to speak to a therapist online, but being 75 and partially sighted him trying to do this on a tablet or phone is just downright ridiculous. So I did the typing for him and asked for someone to actually call next time. I mean, who thought that would be a good idea? Help for people with mental illnesses is so seriously lacking, it makes me wonder what he would have done if he didn’t have people around to help him.

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Thankfully that’s one thing he doesn’t have to worry about.

Finally, the last thing I’m excited about is joining a new Slimming World group. I got my voucher through the post today and will be popping along to a group on Monday evening. I actually can’t wait. I know what I want, and I’m going to go get it!

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Before then I’m having a BBQ on Saturday (Slimming World-style) and going out walking somewhere with my brother on Sunday.

There is much to look forward to!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Prep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

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

Struggling

Not training really sucks. I’m currently 6th in the Fitbit leaderboard, which is unheard of. I am almost always first, unless my sister has a particularly adventurous weekend and she syncs her tracker before me. I quickly knock her back off the top spot straight after.

Competitive? Me? Well I never thought so until I started tracking my steps.

I’ve spent today looking at alternatives to tide me over while I’m resting my knee. The number one choice seems to be swimming, but after my dip in the lake I discovered that I’m really not very good at it and need some lessons.

I really used to love Aqua Aerobics at one of the smaller local council pools, so I thought I’d see if they still do classes. All of my locals pools have been done up fairly recently and the facilities are much better, but I’ve now found that they are ridiculously expensive. The Aqua Aerobics classes used to be £3.50, now they’re £6. Or, I could get a membership for £45 a month. Maybe I could utilise it enough to warrant the cost, but they want £60 up front on top of that.

Erm, you about you go eff yourselves?! How is that making fitness accessible to people in a deprived area?

My fitness is now hugely important to me, so really I might have considered forking out just temporarily, but as it happens I have given away all of this month’s expendable income to a friend in need. On top of that I miscalculated my bills and have left things a little tighter than they should have been, so the theme of this month is frugality.

In a way I’m quite enjoying it (she says, only 4 days into the month…) because I’m relishing the thought of clearing out the cupboards of all the bits and bobs. I’m still trying to declutter, and that goes for the kitchen, too. Now I’m out and about more I visit Aldi or Lidl most days, so there’s no need for me to have tons of store cupboard ingredients. The quest for a simple, clutter-free life continues!

I am struggling in general though. I’m struggling with my mood, struggling to stay on plan, struggling to stay positive. I feel like I’m treading water while I’m desperately trying to find my mojo. Does anyone know where it went?

My plan is to start walking a little bit more from tonight, because I’m on a different department at work and will need to anyway, so I’ll see how my knee fares with ordinary walking. If I’ve walked anywhere so far I’ve made sure I’m wearing proper supportive footwear, and I’ve put nice insoles in my horribly hard-soled work boots. Even when my knee was hurting the most I could still walk for miles without it seeming to make things worse, so I reckon I’ll be ok. We will see! And the doctor didn’t say anything about not walking, so I suppose it’s allowed.

As for food I’m just taking it one meal at a time, because I’m craving sugary crap like there’s no tomorrow. But giving in to those cravings won’t lead to anything good, so I just have to cling on for dear life.

If I keep putting one foot in front of the other, then things will get easier again.

On a more positive note I’m absolutely LOVING my meals outside in the shade of our apple tree. So that’s something at least!

It’s now time for a gentle stroll to Lidl for a veg top-up, so I’ll say bye for now.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Back to ‘Normal’

Right then, so what have I been getting up to since my last post? On Friday I attempted a little run because my knee was feeling so much better. I went with Mr. S and he was up for a short one because he was still feeling delicate from the weekend. If I’m running up hill, I’m absolutely fine, but my knee is still painful going downhill or if I straighten it too much. So I’m just going to walk for the next few days and again see how I get on.

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It was an absolutely beautiful day. So much blue sky and only a few ‘Toy Story’ clouds! Although we only did 3 miles and we walked a lot of it, it was still good to be out.

Work later on was hard – I felt absolutely exhausted. When I got home I completely crashed out, forgetting to set my alarm, and woke up at the exact time I normally get Pea her breakfast by chance alone. I decided to rest my knee completely and ended up having lunch at Mr. S’s. It’s early days but I’m not quite sure how’s it’s going to work out with the friends thing. All I know is that I’m happier knowing where I stand, even if I only know where I stand because I decided where I stand. If that makes sense. Mr. S has been acting strangely with me for over a week now, but I can cope with it because my happiness doesn’t depend of what the heck is going on in his mind. I’ve asked, but I’m none the wiser so there’s not much else I can do except crack on with my life. Which I’m totally doing!

For the last few days my eating has been spot on. I know I’ve said so many times lately that I’m back on plan and before I know it I’m eating PB&J sandwiches again, but this time I mean it! I’ve been keeping a proper food diary, and I’ve even dusted off my dedicated Slimming World Instagram account which hadn’t been used since January. Seriously people, I’m ON IT. It’s hayleym_vegan by the way, if you fancy giving me a follow.

I don’t know if this is going to be a permanent thing, but I’ve been tracking my periods and it seems that whenever I ovulate I start holding an obscene amount of water. Right now, a combination of that particular part of my cycle being over and me eating a lot of veggies means that I’ve lost all of my holiday gains, plus I’m within reaching distance of the 13’s, which I only just stuck a toe into for a brief time back in March. I’m currently sitting at 14st 2.5lbs and I’m bloody chuffed with that – at the beginning of the week I was 14st 11lbs!

But do you know what I’d really love to do? Weigh in once a month, right after Lady Time. Can I actually do that though? Realistically, I think not. It’d be great though, wouldn’t it? Even though I know what’s happening, I can’t help feeling absolutely gutted when I step on the scales and get an undeserved gain, and so far I haven’t mastered the art of not letting it get to me. I’m going to give that some further thought, anyway.

After going to work last night and being given the option to go home again (which of COURSE I took up) I got up early for an engagement with my brother. The other day he found some friendly cows whilst out cycling and he asked if I wanted to go and see them. Well, duh!

Apparently they don’t like me as much as they like him, but it was fun anyway.

It was a gorgeous morning too – I especially like the mist coming off the lake. Lovely!

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What I should do now is start on the laundry, but instead I’m going to take a walk into town. If I’m not running, then I need to being something, because I’m really motivated to finally get to target. Recently I’ve been wondering whether to stay at the weight I am currently, but now my way has become clear. I definitely want to be 12st 10lbs, and nothing is going to stop me.

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

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

 

Something of Meltdown

Me throwing myself back into Slimming World did not go to plan. In fact since my last post I’ve mostly been eating (vegan) ice cream! I did feel much more positive after my last post, but then my mood took another massive nosedive. Actually it’s the worst I’ve felt in several years.

I’ve been trying to analyse what exactly went wrong in my head. The thoughts about surgery and my body image were still swimming around in my brain, then on top of that I couldn’t sleep, I did overtime at work which exacerbated that particular problem, my friend told me a story about when he was a bouncer and they weren’t allowed to let fat women in… all of a sudden I felt angry, helpless and lost, so I went home, got under the duvet and cried my little heart out. It keeps playing on my mind how those women must have felt, being turned away like that, and how it might have affected them. It was decades ago, but it’s still disgusting.

I’ve also been worried about how my diet is becoming mixed up with my fitness regime. I have so many issues (mostly with guilt and shame) relating to food, but exercise has become something pure that I do just for fun. My trainer means well, and keeps saying about how the weight will fall off of us both now we’re training regularly, but for me the training and my weight are totally separate in my mind. Apart from the fact that if I’m too heavy it won’t be feasible for me to run (because of possible knee damage).

I’m going to communicate that to him though, because I’m still trying to unlearn 20 years of behaviours relating to food and really don’t want to make the same mistake when it comes to fitness!

I can’t even remember the last time I cried for myself. I cried a lot before Christmas, because I saw a sad video of a pig about to be sent to slaughter that stuck with me for weeks. I’ve cried a couple of times at films, too, but it’s been so long since anything felt bad enough in my own life to bring me to tears.

Maybe I was just waaaaay overdue!

Things aren’t actually bad though, far from it. Everything just built up and became a little bit too much until something had to give. I’m now caught up on sleep and my eyes have stopped leaking, so I’m ready to go.

Yesterday I went to see my trainer to help him prep for a job interview, which is in fact happening as I type. The weather was bloody marvellous, so I put on my factor 50 and a dress with capped sleeves. I went out in all of my bingo-winged glory, and felt bloody fabulous doing so. That was a boost of confidence that I needed.

I also wore designer sunglasses that my trainer lent me, which he paid £150 for. He likes fancy things, he does, whereas I’m more of a bargain kinda gal. Therefore these are the second most expensive things I’ve ever put on my face (the first being when I tried on his normal glasses which were £400!!!) Madness.

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Anyway, I have a plan in place. Another reason I think I’m struggling is because my daily routine has been completely turned on its head. I’ve gone from having lots of spare time during the week to trying to fit in all of my training, lunches out with friends, quality time with Pea, household chores, spending time with my mum and my siblings… so if I’m going to keep on top of these things I need to adapt and get properly organised.

On Monday, because I won’t have a chance until then, I’m going to go into town to get some jars and I’ll make a batch of overnight oats to eat after training. Then I’ll prep my work lunches for the whole week. When I need an energy boost I’m not going to let myself get too hungry and then mess up, like I have been doing, instead I’m going to eat fruit to keep me going.

From now on Monday’s will be known as Meal-Prep Mondays! If I at least have food ready to go at all times then I’m much more likely to eat well.

I feel much, much better now things are all straight in my mind.

This morning, after two rest days in a row, I went out for a 5k run. I found a comfortable pace and stuck with it the whole way round. I did stop one single time, because I wasn’t sure whether to go left or right, but other than that I kept going even up the hills.

The weather today has been even better than yesterday, so when I was done I went to lay down in the shade and drink some water. It was just so lovely – the grass was cool and damp, and even though my face has erupted in spots after I put sunblock on it, I was all blotchy from the running and generally looking a mess, I felt wonderful.

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When I got home I decided to stick my headphones in and listen to some ‘choons’ whilst cutting the grass, mainly because I was feeling pumped and wanted to move more!

Hopefully there will be more training tomorrow, my sister is visiting Saturday, then I’m out for a meal with my trainer on Sunday. Plus I have three more shifts left at work. Ugh. So it’s busy, busy, busy! Thankfully I’m too busy to really think about how on Sunday I’ll be meeting a whole bunch of my trainer’s family, including his daughter and his mum. So, y’know, no pressure or anything…

Well I’ve sat still for too long now, and there just isn’t time for that.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Trust

I’ve become a little bit obsessed with times and figures. I love using MapMyRun and seeing the breakdown of how long it took me to do each mile, but it’s easy to get disheartened if I pay too much attention to them in the short-term.

I’ve made myself a little spreadsheet where I have all of the times broken down from different routes that I do with accompanying graphs. Because who doesn’t love a good graph? There’s not enough data to make them interesting enough for me to share yet, but I’m looking forward to doing that one day in the future.

When it comes to timing yourself though, there are just too many varying factors. Even more so if you’re training outdoors. There’s the weather, your mood, how much sleep you’ve had, what you’ve eaten, what you’re wearing… so looking at one run then the next and feeling disappointed that it took me two seconds longer is not very productive! It’s all about overall trends.

Yesterday, my trainer took me to a park he hasn’t trained at for about four years but it used to be one of his favourites. We ran around the perimeter which is about three miles (when he lived in that area he used to run around it four times in a row) and he expected me to be able to run about the first mile without stopping. It’s a lot different to our usual place – the hills aren’t as intense but instead there are long slopes that you have to pace yourself on. When we were a third of the way around the perimeter he asked if I needed to stop. It took me a few breaths before I could blurt out a strangled ‘NO!’

It was so muddy, we had to keep leaping over huge puddles and picking our way through brambles just to make sure we kept the momentum going and didn’t stop. And that’s all absolutely fantastic for strengthening the core muscles but it was also very tiring.

Even so I made it the whole way around without stopping! I felt fantastic afterwards – I had the biggest hit of endorphins I’ve had so far I think.

Here’s a picture of me afterwards. It’s not a great one, but in the body positive book I’ve been reading the author mentions that you don’t have to look like a model in pictures. They aren’t taken because you’re on a photo shoot, it’s a snapshot of a memory and it’s enough that you are present no matter what you look like.

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It’s a bit blurry, it was a grey and horrible day, and I do not look comfortable even though I was trying to. But still, this is a record of the day I ran the furthest yet, and the first day I felt confident enough to wear leggings on a run.

I’m so glad I did because I was much more comfortable. I would also like to point out that my hair was not messed up by the run, my trainer thought it looked too neat and very kindly messed it up for me. Bless him.

I have been feeling a little bit frustrated with my apparent lack of progress after the last week or so, but after this I feel right back in the zone again. I just have to trust that even though an app on my phone might not immediately show it, progress is always being made.

After training we went for a meal at the pub around the corner where I had a tasty, albeit expensive (nearly £14 for a bowl of veggies and some balsamic vinegar) vegan lunch that was also full of goodness, washed down with a not-so-healthy diet coke.

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I’ve got to admit that I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening grazing on not unhealthy foods as such, but foods that are not really Slimming World friendly. If I wasn’t on track again today, I reckon I’d be in for a gain but I’m trying not to stress about going off plan and focusing more on whether I’m actually hungry now and what I actually want to eat.

I’ve just eaten my porridge and oat milk, which I wasn’t going to eat yet because it wasn’t ‘time’. But I listened to what my body was telling me and realised that I was in fact experiencing genuine hunger. So I ate!

After I’ve finished my current book I’m definitely going to read more about intuitive eating and try to put it into practice.

Today is a rest day, which is a concept I’m struggling with. I always feel like I should be doing something but if definitely helps to have proper downtime. It seems counterintuitive, but having a proper rest is absolutely essential. So today apart from washing all of my muddy exercise gear I’m doing nothing at all. Until work later that is, booooo.

In fact I feel a nap coming on (which will surprise absolutely no one!)

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x