One or the Other

From tomorrow (or right now, actually) I am throwing myself back into Slimming World. I’m still reading about body positivity, but sitting on the fence about it isn’t helping me. I need to commit to Food Optimising, or commit to never following another eating plan ever again. I am going to do that eventually, because I want to be free of the bad relationship I’ve had with food for roughly twenty years, but I have no intention of doing so until I’ve lost just a little more weight. I’m going against the advice of the book, but I truly believe this is the best path for me. So I’m that’s what I’m doing!

I’m going to get that last bit of weight off, for a few reasons:

  • Those vintage Levi’s that I want to fit into. I’ve never wanted to wear an item of clothing so much in my life!
  • I want to make sure I have minimum pressure on my knees. Now I know that running is my ‘thing’ then I will continue to do it until my bones crumble. I’d like to avoid that for as long as possible (preferably into my 80’s, at least!)
  • I want my tummy to go down a bit more so that clothes hang on me better
  • I’m so close to where I want to be, it seems silly not to have that last little push

It’s been good to reevaluate why I want to lose more weight, and exactly what I’m aiming for. I’ve been reading about people in situations where they get to their target weight and it’s never enough; they think they will be ‘fixed’ with just another 7lbs. Which becomes another 7lbs, and another. It’s a dangerous mindset, but I don’t think it’s one that I have.

I know that in a stone’s time I’m still not going to be entirely happy with my body, and that’s when I’m going to learn to truly love it. Because I sure as hell ain’t having surgery. What I do know is that I’m almost happy with my weight, and that I know when to stop. And it’s soon. It’s tantalisingly soon!

I must admit that I had been reconsidering a tummy tuck recently, and was even going to speak to my doctor about it. But then I cancelled the appointment because I was considering it for all the wrong reasons. Mostly because of a male interest, and that is NOT the way to go.

Not that the male in question has said that my body would be a problem, or has even seen it, or anything like that, it’s just that the old doubts came creeping back saying that I’m not worthy of his love or affection if I look the way I do. Naked at least.

I’ve said in previous posts that if someone has a problem with your body then they are not the one, but when you start falling for that particular someone then jeebus, it’s sure easier to talk the talk than it is to walk the walk!

Deep down I do know – if someone can only love you if you have bits hacked off of your body, then that is not the kind of love that you need or deserve. That’s not love at all.

Again, this situation has not arisen I must stress! No one has said anything like this to me, it’s purely me saying these things to myself. Because at times I’m harder on myself than anyone else ever could be.

Tummy concerns aside though, I’m actually feeling FABULOUS! I’ve spent the winter wearing salopettes at work, and in recent months the least amount of clothes anyone has seen me in has been jeans that are miles too big for me with thermal long johns worn underneath.

This week as the weather has improved I wore joggers to work for the first time EVER. I didn’t think much of it – the main draw is that since I’ve been exercising I have a good supply of them, they don’t need ironing (RESULT), and they are damn comfortable. I never considered how I actually look in them.

On my first night of the week though I got off of my forklift truck to put my warm jacket on and was shocked by a loud exclamation of  ‘F**KING HELL HAYLEY, WHERE HAVE YOUR LEGS GONE?!’

Although I haven’t lost much weight recently, my body is definitely changing and it would seem that I have runners legs now. They’re definitely leaner than they’ve ever been, and this is coming from someone whose mother used to say she had ‘thunder thighs’. Charming, I know.

Later on in the night I also got a ‘F**K, YOU ARE SO SKINNY NOW!’ and I got all excited explaining to the person in question that I’m so, so nearly ready to stop.

In other news yesterday I had my best. Run. EVER.

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Look at that, 11:07! I’m so nearly in the ten minute bracket! As soon as I stopped stressing over it, then good things started to happen. There will be runs in the future where my times are atrocious, and I need to accept that. It’s entirely normal.

I’ve also discovered what kind of running I love most, and it’s cross-country. I love, love, LOVE trying to stay on my feet whilst running through mud and roots and rocks and all sorts. It’s just so much fun! This is one of the best parts of the run, where after slipping and sliding down a huge muddy hill, then splashing through what is basically a bog, we run along a line of planks.

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I can’t believe I actually considered getting a treadmill. I would have absolutely hated it.

Today I did briefly consider having an off-plan meal later on, as uncharacteristically I’m doing overtime tomorrow (for the first time in about two years) and have subjected myself to a one-day weekend. I felt that because I only have one night off then I deserve a ‘treat’.

Apart from the fact that it’s a really silly mindset to have, I mostly remembered how awful I feel when I train after eating badly so I dismissed the idea almost as soon as it appeared.

This morning I went for a walk with my brother around my usual running route, and the contrast between the weather yesterday and the weather today is fairly drastic.

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From the same position as the first picture the castle wasn’t visible at all, so I had to get closer. Walking around the route I realised just how tough it is, even walking, and the eventual aim is to be able to run the whole lot without stopping. Even the Hill of Doom. One day, anyway. Even my trainer can’t do that yet.

It might even be years before I achieve that, but that’s OK. One thing I do know is that I never want to give this up. It feels way too good.

Now all of my thoughts are in order and I’m feeling motivated, it’s time to get on with what’s left of my day.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

The First Step

I’ve started reading a really important book. It’s called Body Positive Power and it’s by an amazing individual named Megan Jayne Crabbe. It’s about being happy with your body no matter what your size, and it’s something I really want to learn how to do. And it is something we must learn, because we’ve all been subconsciously learning to compare ourselves to people in the media pretty much as soon as we’re old enough to think. So it’s going to be tough as hell to unlearn all of that.

There’s a huge ‘but‘ though, and that’s that I’m not quite ready for this. Not just yet. I’ve only read a few chapters and already my mind has been blown several times over, but whilst I was reading I noticed a little voice in the back of my head saying ‘yes, I’ll do that, as soon as I’ve lost some more weight’. Which is the exact opposite of what the books says I should be doing. Or at least that’s what I shouldn’t be doing if I want to be truly happy with myself and all of my marvellous imperfections.

do want that, but I also want to be a healthy weight. It’s not just that if I’m totally honest now, is it? I want to fit into my vintage Levi’s, I want my tummy to shrink more, and health has never been at the forefront of my mind when I think of these things.

The way I see it though, is that although I’m not ready to commit to the whole Body Positive movement, it is something I want to do eventually and I’m going to read up about it as much as I can in the meantime. There’s also ‘Body Autonomy’, and that I really am going for. It’s basically ‘it’s my body and I’ll do what the hell I like with it’.

This week it started with my new eyeshadow palette from Barry M called Meteor Storm (vegan friendly) which I’m totally in love with, and I wondered if it would be too much to wear it every day. Then I realised I don’t care if it’s too damn much, I’m wearing it anyway. I also wrote some time ago about wearing lipstick, and how I wasn’t sure it was really ‘me’. Well now I’ll damn well wear lipstick whenever I damn well like! And I will damn well ROCK it.

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It was also only a couple of posts ago I spoke about whether I could get away with wearing just running leggings yet. Well, eff it. I’m going out as soon as I have a training-free day and I’m going to buy me some fancy running leggings whether I look ‘acceptable’ or not. To hell with it.

I feel like I’ve taken the first step on a really important journey. I’m excited to find out where I end up!

In the meantime training with my official trainer was much better today than it was last week. I think we were both feeling pretty down in the dumps during our last session, which wasn’t a good combo because normally one of us is cheering the other up. When we’re both sad it makes for a lot of ‘well that was crap’ feelings even though, actually, we’re both total badasses!

Tomorrow will be my fourth training session in a row, because we’re trying to keep the momentum up and too many rest days just make me feel like I’m starting over.

I’m also right back on plan and I’m hoping to make some real decent progress as far as weight loss goes over the next couple of months. I have nothing at all naughty planned – no nights out, no naughty meals, no drinking wine. If someone wants to socialise with me, well, they’ll have to get their trainers or their hiking boots out.

Fortunately/unfortunately the weather has taken a bit of a turn today. On the plus side it means training is easier (I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like in the summer) but once I stopped moving I was half frozen to death. I had to get snuggled up in a cosy blanket while the drizzle dried from my hair. It was all very well while it was keeping me cool, but since I was at my trainer’s house still and he has a shaved head I didn’t bother asking to borrow a hair dryer!

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That’s NOT real fur by the way, and in case you were wondering how to be certain (it’s a good thing to know) then fake fur has blunt ends. And also, if you pull apart the fur you will eventually see that it’s attached to a kind of mesh. Lots of companies are selling real fur as fake (it’s cheap because no one in their right mind wants real fur these days) so I never just assume because something is on the cheaper side it’s not the real thing. Tesco and Boots got into trouble for doing it not so long ago!

When I got home I had a nice warming bowl of porridge made with soya milk and topped with fresh raspberries. Start as you mean to go and all that.

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Speaking of which it’s nearly dinner time! I’m not the only one who is constantly thinking about what to eat next, right?

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Split

Today I’m feeling wonderful and crappy in equal measure. All things considered I’ve had a pretty good weekend – I’ve crammed in a lot and have barely had a minute to sit down. So I feel like I’ve accomplished something, but also that I haven’t had a moment to breathe.

I went round my sister’s for a vegan-friendly Sunday roast and it was lovely. I forgot that it was Easter, because we aren’t religious and I’m not fussed about Easter eggs, but my sister did put in a lot of effort to make everything look very seasonal. She did me Slimming World-friendly roasties too!

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After that I had to pop to a friend’s house which is an hour round trip. I’d been to work the night before, only had three hours sleep, spent the afternoon and my sister’s and was ready to drop. So to save me driving my brother offered to take me on his motorbike.

It was the first time I’ve rode pillion with my brother, and it was AWESOME. My brother was extra careful with me on the back and didn’t go too fast, but even when we were doing 70 on the dual carriageway it blew me away just how quickly we got to 70. It was bloody exhilarating!

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When we got back I posed for a photo on his bike (I can’t actually ride a bike myself) and felt amazing. If you remember from previous blogs I’ve only just recently been able to fit back into my safety gear and even then it’s never fit as well as it does now. In fact it’s too big!

But it’s a game of two halves right now – I’ve had successes and failures, and my mind doesn’t know what to process first. Well a blog always helps with that!

I weighed in yesterday and had maintained, but that will be short-lived. Because afterwards I just ate and ate and haven’t really stopped since. I feel bad about it, really bad, and I need to pull myself together. Until Thursday, when I have naughty things planned. I ALWAYS do this. Whenever I’m looking forward to going out I screw it up just before and feel fat and frumpy!

Although today is nearly done and dusted, tomorrow at least is going to be perfect. There may only be one more day before I go and and drink more alcohol than is good for me and dance until the clubs close, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be good for that day. It’ll make me feel better about myself anyhoo.

On the plus side I did train yesterday, at least in a way. I didn’t work as hard as normal, because my trainer was knackered from work the night before and my sister came along to pick up some tips. On an ordinary surface her split times are better than mine, but she’s not used to the kind of training I’ve been doing.

Where I go it really is like a free gym. It’s hilly so you can be constantly shocking your body by sprinting up the hills as fast as you can and then when you go down the other side you use the downwards part to recover rather than having to stop. We also do a lot of running on lumpy grass and mud which is great for your balance and core muscles, plus it keeps it interesting. I haven’t fallen in the mud yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

I did quite a lot of sporadic sprinting yesterday, and I’ve picked up so much speed from when I first started. When I tried to go as fast as possible before I started training, it felt like running in a dream, where you frustratingly just can’t get anywhere. Now when I run I’m actually cracking on and it feels incredible!

After training I took my sister back home, had the quickest shower ever, wolfed down a dinner that I barely managed to finish in time, made myself presentable (I actually felt fairly fabulous) then had to leave to go to the cinema with a friend.

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We went to see A Quiet Place, and I honestly can’t tell you whether I liked it or not. The premise of the film is that you can’t make a noise or something bad happens (I won’t go into more detail than that) so I was looking forward to a lot of build-up and suspense. But I couldn’t get into it because I was sat next to the most annoying person. This always happens to me! He ate like a noisy pig the entire time, so much so that when someone did speak in the film I have no idea what they said. And I don’t know how it’s even humanly possible for the person to breathe just as loudly as he did. That’s it, I’m never going to the cinema again because I always, always get stuck next to the WORST people!

I have training again tomorrow, then I have to accept that the weekend I have planned is going to be a setback. When I made my plans I weighed up the pros and cons, now I have to just commit and go with it otherwise I’ll feel bad if I do go and still feel bad if I don’t.

After drinking on Thursday I have Friday to recover then I’m going to visit a friend I haven’t seen since October. We’re going to a vegan-friendly pub/restaurant near him that I LOVE and I fully intend to have their award-winning vegan honeycomb sundae.

That’s scheduled for Saturday, and I’m going to train in the morning before I go otherwise it’s just too big a gap between sessions and I’ll make things extra hard for myself. It’s going to be hard enough anyway because the last time I had alcohol the next training session was brutal.

Then after this weekend I am only saying yes to healthy pursuits, mostly because I’ve been enjoying training so much. I was reading my friend’s blog today (check it out! Start on this post. You won’t be disappointed) where he was recapping his journey to health and fitness. At some point he found that walking is ‘his thing’. Well, I’ve found that running is my thing and I want all of my other pursuits to compliment that passion rather than make it harder.

From Sunday everything I do will get me closer to my goals rather than further away from them.

Right then, I’d best get myself ready for work. I only have two shifts left before my naughty extended weekend begins, and I’m going to make sure I enjoy every second of it. Preferably without guilt!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Train in Rain

It has been chucking it down since I woke up this morning. I had an atrocious sleep (about three hours) and knew I wasn’t getting off again any time soon so I got up to let Pea out while I had my pre-workout coffee. She has been so affectionate lately, but she soon deserted me for her window perch so she could watch the rain for a while.

My trainer couldn’t come out to play today so I headed out to my usual haunt when I’m training alone, except I’m getting bored with my four laps around the green so I thought I’d venture further into the woods.

I am a little concerned over how isolated I am when I do this so I think I’ll invest in some self-defence lessons, just to be extra careful.

I’ll give the local dog walkers credit where it is due, as even though the view from my car window when I arrived at the nature reserve looked like this, there were still loads of people about, at least on the easy access path.

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As I got further in though it was just lil ol’ me for the best part. I only saw one other jogger until I was nearly back at the car.

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Today I wasn’t just exploring a new route – because I knew there would be less people around I decided to try out running without wearing leggings under my joggers. I’ve spoken before about ‘the dreaded applause’ (that noise where your loose skin is flapping about and it sounds like someone’s clapping) and I decided to see if I still get it when I run.

Sadly, I do, so the first mile was mostly just walking until I got away from the dog walkers. Even when I was totally alone the sound was so cringy, I’m definitely not going to be able to wear just joggers any time soon. What I do hope is that my body shape improves enough with my continued fitness/weight loss regime that I’ll at least be able to wear running leggings on their own without looking totally ridiculous.

That’s one goal, but another one I’ve added to my list seems so out there at the moment. My trainer said at some point he wants to get me to do an eight minute mile. Previously I would have scoffed at that, but if anyone can help me achieve it then it’s him. The good thing is he’ll be getting me to work towards it without me even realising, but for the time being I’m just thinking about getting into the 11 minute bracket.

Today’s times were pretty atrocious because of the aforementioned reason, plus I had to stop and look at the map on my phone a few times and backtrack when I’d gone completely the wrong way.

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Plus I had to stop for selfies (gotta indulge when there’s no one else about!) and to take a shot of some slippery ‘shrooms.

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I say my times were atrocious, but a couple of months ago that would have been inconceivable to me. Yet I managed it today without exerting myself too much. I took it rather gently because I’m training tomorrow and I wanted to save myself. I’m going to really go for it!

I’ve just had a post-workout snack of kale and soya beans (sounds boring but it’s one of my absolute faves) wolfed down my A&B choices as dessert (porridge and almond milk) and had a steamy hot shower. Which can only mean one thing – it’s now time for a well-deserved sleep.

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

Anything is Possible

47 days ago I was sitting in Zizzi’s eating pizza and texting my trainer. He wasn’t my trainer then, we were just arranging to go out for a hike.

He said not to worry, he wouldn’t make me do any sprinting. I replied back that I couldn’t even if I wanted to, because I just can’t run. And it was true. Some time last year I was thinking about running and my brother said ‘just try!’ So I did, and his response was ‘what the hell was that?’ I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t running. Or even jogging for that matter.

My trainer’s response?

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Six-and-a-half weeks later I’m sitting here thinking back to yesterday’s training session, still trying to take it all in really. Last week, during the first part of the course we use, my trainer was surreptitiously taking note of all the places I had to stop to catch my breath before we reach the bottom of the Hill of Doom. There were a fair few of them.

Yesterday, I reached the Hill of Doom without stopping. That’s 1.9-something miles, in one go. I’m currently about two weeks ahead of where my trainer thought I’d be by now, and that feels absolutely incredible.

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After traipsing up the Hill of Doom, which even most seasoned runners have to walk up, we did some sprinting. I was told to kind of flick my legs up towards my butt, because that would make it easier. Which sounds like lies, because how could putting more effort into something make it easier? But it’s true! After 6-ish weeks of mostly just jogging, I was actually doing PROPER running!

I just can’t believe how much progress I’ve made in such a short space of time, I never imagined that I’d be at this point by now or, well, ever.

My trainer is having a rest day today as he went out without me this week while I was getting my car sorted and taking my mum to her appointments, so I’m heading out on my own to the different park because I must have those three sessions under my belt per week. After all, I can see now that when my trainer says ‘consistency is key!’ he’s bloody well right.

My local park is flatter than the usual place so it’ll be interesting to see how the times compare to the last time I went. Though I am wary about the direct comparison because I am really aching from yesterday.

Well, there’s nothing for it. We’ll continue this when I get back…

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That was tough. But it was oh so worth it. My previous best split time for this particular route was 13:02. Today my fastest was 12:50!

There are also other improvements I’ve noticed – my recovery times are getting a lot quicker, especially when it comes to getting my breath back, but on a less-exercise-related note I’m less anxious about working out alone and even had a short conversation with a lady about the distance around the park without feeling awkward or shy.

After I’d done my 5k I took one last stroll around the park to cool down and take pictures.

I couldn’t have picked a better day for it.

Tomorrow I have something a bit naughty planned. Me and my trainer are having a rest day and hanging out together with good food, good wine, good company and hopefully a good film. I’m hoping that with his influence I’ll be able to do that thing I’ve been trying to do since starting this blog – only having one night ‘off’ rather than being bad several days before, and taking several more days to get back into the swing of things.

Normally I would have started the bad eating by now, and I haven’t even been tempted. This might just be the time it works!

Now I have a veritable mountain of things before I prepare for my last shift of the week.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

No Fluke

Incredibly, the scales are still showing me to be in the 13’s. It’s not a fluke! I’m now going to stop weighing myself over the next few days since I’ve established that the scales haven’t malfunctioned.

Everything has been a bit of mad rush since yesterday, and I really should be getting dinner sorted but I chose to sit down and write with a cup of coffee first.

Yesterday evening my friend dropped over my new (to me) car. It was dark when he turned up so I didn’t get a chance to look at it properly, but oh my word I am chuffed to bits.

After driving a massive 3l 5 Series BMW for the last two years, I simply cannot look at my new car without bursting out laughing. It’s simply ridiculous!

When I parked up at work and got out it looked positively comical sitting there in my usual spot. I could easily fit another one in the space.

After work this morning I was able to get a picture.

This afternoon I had to go out and in the proper daylight I could see just how filthy it is. It was my friend’s friend’s dad’s and it’s been sitting on a driveway for a long old time, just gathering dust.

There are plenty of perks though. Both my tax and insurance payments have literally halved, and I should be getting more than 14 MPG from now on!

This weekend I should be able to give it a good clean as I have a surprise long weekend. Work announced last night that there’s no Saturday shift while they do a huge stock take. Get in! This week is turning out to be a corker.

To top it all off my brother told me that he’s getting the shocks on his motorbike sorted after payday which means it’ll be able to take our combined weight. Then we can go on a road trip.

I went out with my brother and my ex, me riding pillion on my ex’s bike, for a brief period in 2014. It was the first time I’d ever been on a bike, and it was absolutely thrilling, but there was a downside.

I got the biggest size in trousers and jacket for women that I could (a size 22) and it fit like a second skin. It’s supposed to be snug, so that if you come off your gear stays on and keeps you alive, but sitting on the back of a bike with my knees somewhere around my ears meant that I couldn’t really breathe properly. Kinda problematic.

This also coincided with me gaining huge amounts of weight again, so it wasn’t long before I was struggling to get them on at all. When the bikes were put away for winter, I had to put the trousers on with the zip open (they have a kind of flap) and still I could barely get them on. I told myself I’d be back in them by the summer, but it never happened and I haven’t been on a bike since.

Today I got my gear out of storage and had a little try-on.

Wow.

I am over the flipping moon! Everything is too big, to the point where if I end up going out regularly with my brother then I will need new gear and I will need it soon. As it is all of the Velcro straps are pulled in as tight as they go and it’s still too roomy. I’ll have to wear thick layers underneath in order to stay safe.

Buying new gear means hundreds of pounds being spent, but maybe I can sell what I have to raise funds.

Right now I don’t care, I feel too good! I can take the trousers off without even undoing them, and the flap that was like a second skin? Take a look…

I’m so happy I could cry. In fact I just might.

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

I Was Wrong

I have come to the conclusion that it is too soon for me to throw in the towel with Slimming World, at least for the time being. I think when it comes to maintenance I won’t need the extra bit of help that a proper plan brings, but right now, especially since I’m so busy, I definitely need rules.

I’m currently having some troubles when it comes to my training buddy. The problem is he’s just so nice (I know, first world problems, right?) as he’s always offering to cook me a lunch or is bringing me healthy snacks to work. And although they are healthy – nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc, if I’m having big Slimming World-esque main meals and having what would have been Synned meat alternatives, then I’m ending up going over my expended calories each day. He probably doesn’t realise that he can get away with doing that whereas I can’t – he’s not that much taller than me but he is a lot more muscular, so will naturally need a lot more calories to function than I do.

I think it’ll be easier for me to explain to him what I will/won’t/can/can’t eat if I frame it in terms of Food Optimising, plus it means I myself won’t have to think about what I’m eating too much. I just don’t have the headspace for it what with training ramping up and trying to keep on top of everything else in life, and if I’ve been working out and need extra fuel then I don’t want to be worrying about portion control. I’ve realised that I need the freedom Free and Speed foods bring, and that kind of eating only seems to work for me if I follow the whole plan. At the end of the day if it makes me slimmer and healthier AND makes life easier, then I’m doing it.

Although in the main I wouldn’t say I’ve been unhealthy this week and I haven’t felt out of control exactly, I still haven’t been eating how I want to and I’m 99% sure I’m in for another gain. The biggest obstacle now is finding out whether my friend is OK with me destroying his frying pan with Fry Light! If not perhaps I’ll have to start bringing packed lunches when we hang out…

As expected the snow has been causing havoc this weekend. I ordered a Sainsbury’s shop to be delivered Saturday evening without even giving it a second thought, especially since when I order from Tesco they always make it through in bad weather. Sadly all of the Tesco slots were gone though. When my shopping was already an hour and a half late I had to make an emergency supply run to Lidl because… shock… HORROR… I was completely out of coffee. And I cannot go to work without my own coffee, because how anyone can drink the stuff out of those Klix machines is beyond me.

It felt like I had the world more or less to my very own self, as I didn’t even see another set of footprints until I was virtually at Lidl’s. It was so quiet I got to enjoy all the fun bits of it snowing, such as making tracks on fresh snow, hearing ice crunch and the snow creaking when you step on it. It’s a shame I had to go to work because I was tempted to just keep on walking.

It’s a good job I did go out because just as I was leaving for work I got a phone call from Sainsbury’s to say my shopping wouldn’t be delivered that day, and they would try again some time tomorrow.

This morning while I was sleeping my shopping was indeed delivered (without any kind of notification as to when they were coming) or at least some of it was delivered. My mum took delivery because I was totally out of it but unfortunately she didn’t notice that they had only given me about £15-worth of produce out of a £70 shop.

By the time I realised what had happened anyone from Sainsbury’s who could help me had gone home so I now have to wait until tomorrow to either get a refund or actually get all of my frozen goods delivered. Unfortunately that made up the bulk of my order as I was stocking up. It’s so annoying as it’s not the first time they’ve done this – the same thing happened when the truck broke down on it’s way to me. They delivered again the next day except… no frozen stuff. Sigh.

This afternoon I took my walk into town to buy my summer exercise clothes, but it could not have been more different to my fun walk to Lidl’s the night before. The wind was oh so bitter and it was blowing right in my face the whole damn time I was walking, so by the time I got into town I was frozen stiff.

The park was looking quite pretty, but I’ve got to say I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen blossom and snow together. Mother nature must be seriously confused right now!

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I didn’t manage to get any more pictures until the return journey, because it was so cold my phone couldn’t function any more. I hustled my way into town from this point.

My shopping trip was ever so successful. So far the hardest thing to get hold of has been a proper running top that is long enough in the body to cover up my tummy. But lo, I have now found the perfect one:

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I’m 6ft and it covers my bum and tum completely, so I got three of them. That means I can do my three workouts a week and only have to do one load of washing! I got this in a large, which is the equivalent of a 14, some cropped running leggings in a 16, and a pair of lightweight mens joggers (for the length) in a medium.

I’ve been feeling a bit down the last couple of days, but buying in those sizes sure did perk me up. Just the very fact that I could go into an ordinary shop and they had everything, and I mean everything I liked in my size made me feel incredible. I hope I never cease to appreciate just how wonderful that is.

One of my aims is to be able to wear this top with just running leggings and not feel self-conscious. It’s so vain but from a fashion perspective I absolutely love that sporty look and would be so happy if I could one day really look the part. Fortunately I don’t think I’m too far off, now that I’ve found a long-length top that I like. It’s a great incentive to keep going, that’s for sure.

Mission accomplished, I made my way back home and the going was a lot easier. It started snowing heavily again but in turn the wind dropped and it was a lovely walk. And my phone started working again too.

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The weather forecast for tomorrow says cold yet sunny, so I’m going out one way or another even if my friend can’t make it. He says we’re definitely on, but things have gone wrong so often lately that I’m taking it with a pinch of salt… yet staying quietly optimistic! In the big scheme of things it doesn’t matter too much – I’m running no matter what.

Despite feeling like I could do with an extra day, I’m definitely weighing in on Monday’s now and I’m looking forward to a totally fresh start tomorrow.

Let’s make it a good one!

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