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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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

Getting Out

Now I think of it, having this week off of training couldn’t have worked out better. Let’s face it, it’s way too hot to run, even in the shade. Since having that revelation I feel a lot better about the whole resting thing.

Mr. S picked me up this afternoon and for a trip back to Warley Place, which we visited last month. This time we had another friend of his along for the ride, and we all enjoyed the gentle stroll which is mostly in the shade. Which is helpful, because the thermometer tipped a rather toasty 30 degrees celsius today. I took my wide-angle lens with me this time to get a different take on the same scenery.


I’m already looking forward to coming here in the autumn, I bet it’s absolutely beautiful.

Yesterday was a good photo day too. Mr. S is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society so he took me to Hyde Hall as his non-paying guest. It sounds really fancy if you aren’t an RHS member, but it’s more or less the same of being a National Trust or English Heritage member – you pay a membership fee and visit as many places as you like.

Hyde Hall is well worth a visit if  you’re ever in Essex, the gardens are stunning. It was swelteringly hot, which I’m not complaining about because I hate the cold so damn much, but I’m the first to admit getting caught by sprinkler spray every so often was very refreshing!

They also have a sculpture trail on at the moment, and I know we didn’t manage to see all of them.

It’s been ages since I had quite so many photo opportunities in one place. Afterwards I went back to Mr. S’s for dinner and a movie, where we slowly melted on his sofa, and were periodically visited by an expectant fox.


Mr. S is a sucker for foxes. This little guy knew full well he had a big chunk of ham coming his way!

It’s back to work for me tonight and I have another busy day coming up tomorrow. My sister is having a little (benign) lump removed from her leg and I’m going with her because she’s a fainter. She’ll sometimes pass out if it’s just slightly warm and she’s a bit dehydrated so the combination of this heat and a little procedure could be troublesome. I reckon she’ll be fine, but I’d best accompany her just in case.

Then I have work Saturday night but I’m already anticipating my next couple of days off because I am just zonked. Although I’ve just remembered that I may have to come into work Sunday because I agreed to swap shifts with someone so he can go out disco dancing… I’m just too nice!

Until next time,

Hayley x

Give No Effs

I  got an early from work last night because I was bored, tired, and so, so cold. I’ll have been working at the same place for ten years this October, and I’ve never, ever had a fire drill during the summer. It’s always in the winter. We had one last night, and although I was grateful that it wasn’t snowing this time around, I still didn’t manage to get warm again until I got home.

I’ve got to say I had a thoroughly decent (and warm and toasty) sleep and feel all the better for it, but what about my steps for the day? I normally finish a shift on about 7,500 these days but this morning when I got home I was only on 3,500. Well something had to be done about that, especially as I’ve changed my daily goal from 10,000 to 15,000.

When I got up I pottered around a little bit but I still had loads of time left so I decided to GO OUT RUNNING. ON MY OWN! 

The important thing about running, I have discovered, is to give no f**ks. I went to my local nature reserve and stuck to the paved, circular route because I didn’t think it was a good idea to go traipsing around the woods on my own. The route is 0.7 miles (ish) so I did it three times intermittently running and walking. Then I had a fast walk on the fourth lap but took a detour and stopped to say hello to the pigs. As you do.


On my way around I kept seeing the same lady going in the opposite direction and she gave me a smile each time. Part of me was wondering if she was laughing at me because even though it was only 2 degrees out I was sweating like mad and more closely resembled a tomato than a human. But it doesn’t matter. She was probably just being friendly, and if I did amuse her then so what? It’s good that I brightened her day.


I’m so pleased with myself, because although my trainer must of course take some credit for starting me off, it was me who did that. And it’s HUGE. A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have gone out walking on my own, and look at me now!

I’m also pretty chuffed with my lap times. It’s a new record!


Although I found I pushed myself harder as far as speed goes without my friend there, I did miss the strength training which I wasn’t confident enough to do on my own. And it’s not the same without company. But the fact is I’m going to need to be able to train more than once a week if I’m going to make significant changes, and I’m finding that I’m getting itchy feet if I don’t have plans to go!

Normally after posting the day before about not having a binge I’d now be posting to say that I did in fact blow it after all. But not this time! I’m still on the straight and narrow and LOVING IT.

I also got confirmation last night that I have a few days booked off at the beginning of April so I will be going out disco dancing with the young work men. I really, really want to get a nice outfit and get on that dance floor. I can’t wait! Plus it’s all extra exercise, after all.

There might be a cold snap at the moment but I’m definitely feeling excited for spring and fun times ahead. It can’t come soon enough!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x


A bottomless pit

I'm really not expecting a great result for weigh in tomorrow. I was hoping I'd follow the 'quick on, quick off' pattern but this time I just don't think it's going to pan out that way. I suppose that's fair enough. Although in general I despise this saying, it is what it is. What the hell, I'll follow it up with what will be, will be!

I've been on plan for 7 whole days now (go me!) but I'm still not feeling 100% right in myself. I'm definitely visibly bloated, but worst of all, I am experiencing a lot of genuine hunger. And I'm talking a belly-gurgling, no-food-seems-to-touch-the-sides feeling of complete tummy emptiness!

I had a really poor sleep last night, and I woke up at 6am to my tummy rumbling. I tried to get back to sleep but it wasn't happening so I had a Perkier bar (using my B choice) and eventually got back off.

After having breakfast then taking my mum to a morning appointment, I was famished again by the time we got home at 11am. So I had an early lunch of a large jacket potato with a tin of lentil curry, into which I added an entire cauliflower. But I was hungry again five minutes later, so eventually I relented and had an afternoon nap. I can't keep eating if I'm asleep, and tiredness can make us feel hungrier in itself!

Before dinner I made sure I ate an orange before I started cooking, to try to avoid 'my eyes are bigger than my belly' syndrome. Yeah… it didn't work!
On the plate we have half of a roasting butternut squash, two large potatoes, four Linda McCartney sausages (2 syns) and some salad bits. Which is a large meal in itself.

In the bowl, which is a fairly substantially-sized pasta bowl, is my current favourite Slimming World meal. It's a vegan alternative to tuna mayo made out of a tin of chickpeas, spring onions, gherkins, dill, sweetcorn and a tablespoon of Tesco Free From salad cream for 1.5 syns. It's my new go-to work lunch as it's incredibly cheap, healthy and filling.

Finally, I feel full! Well, I also feel faintly nauseous if I'm honest, but at least the craving for cake has gone away.

Although my weekend is fast disappearing and I don't seem to have made much use of it, I'm so tired that words are not coming easily today. I did however feel that I needed to get these thoughts onto the page before I face the scales tomorrow.

It's really encouraging to me that I've managed to listen to my body today. I was hungry, so I ate. I was tired, and I slept. AND I got my 10,000 steps in. Whatever the result tomorrow, it will be OK. I'll get there in the end!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Change It Up

A comment on a post I made on my group’s Facebook page has really got me thinking. It was something about me having a love affair with sausages – so I looked through my Instagram feed and it’s actually true. I eat some variety of vegetarian sausage nearly every single day! It’s not a problem – some varieties are syn free or very low syn, they cook from frozen and are done in 20 minutes or under. So they’re tasty, convenient, healthy… but it’s important not to get stuck in a rut and to change things up every once in a while.

Yesterday I made salt and chilli chips, like that kind you may or may not have had from a Chinese takeaway. It’s such an easy dinner to make too – just shove some Slimming World chips (or wedges in this case) onto a baking tray, add peppers, onions, salt, chilli and garlic, pop in the oven and cook until done. And since I was in an ‘Extra Easy’ mood, I served them up with three delicious Clarence Court fancy heritage breed eggs. I used to flip my eggs over and cook them on both sides but I have recently found the trick of cooking a Fry Light egg and not having the white all runny on top (and not burning the bottom). All you have to do is put a lid on the frying pan while it’s cooking. I mean, duh, how did I not learn that until now? I frighten myself sometimes…

img_4015Last night at work I went out to my car to eat lunch at 4am and wondered what all the fuss was about when it comes to this storm Doris. It wasn’t even that windy. Then when I went home at 6am I was nearly blown over! I doesn’t help that I don’t have as much fat to weigh me down these days, and once that thought had occurred to me I sent a text to my sister advising her to put rocks in her pockets before leaving the house. She’s so small she may just be blown away entirely. A friend of a friend on Facebook found a canoe in her garden, but so far nothing interesting has turned up in ours. In all seriousness though I hope you have all stayed safe! The internet tells me that it should have died down in my area by the time I have to leave for work, and in the meantime I’ve just been taking a couple of snaps through the window while my parrot shouts at things. We have heard a lot of sirens today and she absolutely hates the noise, plus she seems to hate the noise of the wind too. She has been angrily telling it off the whole day!

230217_1252When the sun did poke through the clouds for bit it lit up the little church on the hill quite nicely. If I was a real photographer I’d be out there taking candid snaps of people trying to stay upright in the wind but for one I’m not confident enough to take pictures of strangers then go up to them to ask if it’s OK to keep the shot (even though there’s no legal requirement to do so I think that’s only fair) and also I’m feeling much too lazy for that today!

230217_1254I haven’t been sitting on my bum completely though. I tried the tofu crustless quiches using egg replacer but didn’t follow the instructions properly so they were a bit, well, slimy. I will try again tomorrow and post a link to the recipe.

I did have success with another recipe though and made some scrummy houmous. It’s hard to go wrong with this one- it’s a can of chickpeas, one roasted red pepper, garlic and lemon juice. But don’t eat it if you need to kiss someone because the garlic is rather pungent!

Then I made the most delicious smoked tofu stir fry using 4 syns for hoi sin sauce. Smoked tofu is one of those things that I find it hard to get hold of but thankfully Ocado came to my rescue! I also used brown rice as I’m trying to be extra healthy and increase my whole grain intake… but in the same breath I’ve saved the rest of my syns for a Cadbury’s Creme Egg. Well, it’s all about balance!

Hayley x

Challenge Accepted

After I’d finished my blog post yesterday I went downstairs to start on dinner, just as my brother arrived home from work. I’d barely had a chance to say hello before he just blurted it out- ‘Hayley, do you want to climb Mount Snowdon?’ Well actually yes, I really do! How strange that only 10 minutes or so previously I’d been wondering what my next adventure was, and there it is just handed to me out of the blue. Me and my brother often have vague plans of doing this or doing that, but most of them never come to fruition. This one though, we’re actually doing. I sent a text to my sister to organise bird-sitting and we confirmed a date. The last weekend of May. I really hope the weather is acceptable enough to safely scale the mountain. Other than that I don’t care what it’s like. Reading back on what I’ve written so far, it does sound a bit impressive, but Mount Snowdon is really not that high. High enough but not, like, real mountain high. We’re going to visit a few other ‘high places’ before we go and make sure we are fully prepared for the task at hand, and also we will make sure we have all the right clothing and supplies. Although it sounds perfectly doable it’s not something I’m taking lightly and we will do thorough research before we set off. This is one of the high places we have visited previously- Ivinghoe Beacon. That was last year and also the most active day my Fitbit has recorded to date. Despite me being at work the night before I did 12.5 miles! However, Ivinghoe Beacon is 233m above sea level whereas Mount Snowdon is over 1000. It’s exciting though, isn’t it!


Ivinghoe Beacon, April 2016

I think if I had to sum up how I feel lately the answer would be moody. Obviously I’m eagerly anticipating the upcoming adventure but this weekend I have felt really down and I haven’t been able to shake it off. I’m pretty sure it’s because of this meeting I have tonight, and I can’t believe I’ve let it get to me this much. I’ve done all I can to sleep as much as possible because when I’m sleeping, I’m not thinking. I am however having anxiety nightmares. This morning I relived my driving test, only this time there was an evil giant thrown into the mix. Thanks for that one subconscious. I know I’ve gone about this all the wrong way. Because I’ve barely moved my Fitbit probably thinks I’ve died, and I feel terribly guilty for letting my sister down. She invited me to another Workweek Hustle challenge but she’s now about 20,000 steps in front of me. That’s not a challenge, it’s a walkover. I also know that if I was more active I’d probably feel a bit better, but still I haven’t made much of an effort to get moving.

At work tonight once the meeting is done I’ll be forced into activity and hopefully then I’ll lighten up. In the meantime I did something else I probably shouldn’t have, and that’s skip Image Therapy. The problem is, it’s taster night, and try as I might I do not enjoy these sessions in the slightest. I’m in two minds about what to do in the future. Do I keep trying to see if they grow on me or do I just accept that this is not who I am? Trying to like them is probably as much use as trying to like the music of Justin Bieber. It just ain’t gonna happen! Apart from the fact that I just didn’t want to stay, I also couldn’t find the will to make any food, and I didn’t have it in me to make small talk. In fact I hardly want to talk at all these last few days. When I feel like this I need the structure of an ordinary group session and can’t just be left to my own devices. On the plus side I did still weigh in and I did walk to and from group, even though I swear I could hear the car calling my name.

I may have let my exercise slide for a few days, but there’s one thing I absolutely haven’t allowed myself to mess up – my food. I have stayed 100% on plan this week and as a result I lost 2 lbs and got my 3.5 st award! 

Group was absolutely rammed today and so noisy, so I am glad I didn’t stay just this once. At the moment my thoughts are so loud I need quiet just so I can cope with what’s going on in my brain. 

Ending this post on a positive note, I had a lovely phone conversation with my old manager and friend (probably the best of either I’ve ever had) who offered me some wonderful advice, put some fears to rest, and invited me to come and visit him in April which I’m very much looking forward to. 

No matter how moody I get, it’s never all bad.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x