Found

One particularly perceptive reader has already cottoned on to something, namely that I have FOUND MY MOJO! I don’t know where it went, but that doesn’t matter now. The important thing is that it’s back.

This is despite the fact that the heat has finally got to me. It was so stuffy at work last night, by the end of it I was completely done in. I doubt anyone was particularly productive come to think of it.

Because I was so tired I got a lift home, so in no time at all I was out in the garden, eating my breakfast on a wet garden chair that had been rained on. The air hadn’t cleared one tiny bit (just think hot sauna rather than just hot) but it was still pleasant sitting there with a soggy bottom.

Before I dragged my damp, sleepy arse to bed there was just enough time to appreciate how lovely the light was this morning – all pinks and oranges. And what was that in the sky? Surely not actual clouds!

I woke up to get Pea her breakfast at 10am, then resigned myself to the fact there was no way I’d get back to sleep. Then the next thing I know it’s 2:30 pm! I was so happy with that. 6 hours sleep almost in one go, on a work day! Brilliant!

I checked my phone and saw a missed call from my friend, so I called straight back only to find out that my car was ready to be collected. There was a long pause… ‘but I thought it was being done tomorrow?’ Nope, I got it totally wrong. So that was a very welcome surprise. I also love how he stealthily came into my house, found my car keys and took my car away without me knowing!

Despite the fact I now I have my car back as soon as I got home I left the it on the drive and walked to Lidl for what is quite possibly the fourth veg top-up of the week so far, and a much needed step top-up what with being lazy and not walking home from work.

But the most excellent news? I’m going to try for a run on Sunday! I’m actually excited!

It’s been another brilliant day for food, but lunch was a particular highlight. I had Ugo pumpkin and sage raviolini, which is vegan, gluten free, yummy and cooks in 1, yes ONE, minute.

Annoyingly on the app it’s listed as 1.5 syns per 100g cooked, which is really irritating, but since I’m being 100% on plan I did weigh it after cooking. It was 320g, so by my calculations that 4.8 syns. May as well round up to five then.

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I got mine from Sainsbury’s but I do believe Waitrose also sell it.

Over the last couple of days I’ve been getting quite reflective about how different my life is now to how it was just a couple of years ago.

As you can tell, if you’ve been reading for a while, I’ve been through a bit of a rough patch and have found it hard to cope, but when a similar thing happened in 2016 I was a complete and utter mess. I’d regained seven stone that I’d lost with Slimming World and split up with my boyfriend of five years. I just couldn’t keep it together at work and was crying every time someone showed me the tiniest inkling of kindness, and I was totally lost.

When I was with my boyfriend we didn’t really do much. A typical weekend was pizza, ice cream and a film. We very rarely did anything fun even though I loved to go out visiting places. I think we went to a couple of zoos in the time we were together, and the cinema a few times. I started to get into photography but didn’t have any real drive to learn.

Then I found myself single and everything started to change – I started to get to know myself properly for the first time in my life. I found that I like clubbing (but that once a year is enough), that photography wasn’t just a passing interest, I LOVED IT, I found compassion for animals and humans alike, I discovered I prefer being outside, that I like summer over winter, that you can be friends with a parrot, that if you write a blog some people will even read it

So recently when I found myself feeling a little bit lost, it wasn’t really that long until I was able to pick myself up again. All of the time I was still me, despite everything else going on, and knowing that made all the difference.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

App-sessions

You know those people who say they can’t eat when it’s this hot? Well I ain’t one of them! Now I’m back at work I’m reverting to a plan of action that has worked for me in the past – namely, eating four meals a day. And not small ones either, really!

I have a lunch at work, around 4am, and no matter what I have and how much I eat, I always want to eat again when get home just after 6am. I’ve tried going straight to bed, but hunger invariably wakes me up and I end up grabbing whatever’s closest just so that I can get back to sleep.

So as soon as I get in I’ve been having my healthy extras.

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I’m a little bit of obsessed with my new way of recording my food on my Slimming World Instagram account. I love how neat and bright everything looks and I’m really enjoying sharing my photos. I’ve been using A Color Story to brighten them up, then I’ve used A Design Kit, created by the same people (the wonderful ladies behind my favourite lifestyle blog A Beautiful Mess), to add the text.

I had a Sainsbury’s shop delivered yesterday, because I’m finding they’re best for my favourite low-syn meat replacements. Tesco do some tasty things (the Oumph range for instance, I’ll never stop going on about those) but for some reason they don’t deliver any of it. Since my car is still out of action my options are a little bit limited.

Anyway, carrying on with my new-found obsession here are my tasty purchases from yesterday. I have loads more things to share with you, and eventually I’ll make a special page with all of my Slimming World essentials.

The Vivera kebab stuff is especially good, I’d eat it every day if I could afford to!

According to the forecast the weather is supposed to freshen up a little towards the end of the week, which should work out perfectly because as long as I have a car (the park is too far away to walk) I’ve decided I’m going to attempt a run first thing Monday morning. It’ll just be a short one, and I’ll stick to the easy-access track purely because where the ground is so dry it’s made it more uneven and I don’t want to twist anything.

Fingers crossed my knee bears up OK, because I’ve been desperately missing it. Anything else I’ve done just doesn’t quite hit the spot.

Today I’ve just been too hot to do anything other than the laundry, but thankfully I got a lift into work and walked home. So it wasn’t exactly cool, but the cooler at least.

It’s better than doing nowt!

The washing machine has just told me that another load is ready to go on the line, so I’d best be off.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

I’m Back!

I walked back into my old Slimming World group with a spring in my step. I wore my favourite light floral shirt, light makeup (because I genuinely felt it’d be too hot to add much to my face) and I just felt really comfortable in my own skin.

Going back to a Slimming World group, especially one you’ve been frequenting on and off since 2012, is like entering a room full of puppies. Everyone is just really genuinely pleased to see you! Although there is less peeing on the floor…

I paid extra to keep my old progress, and was chuffed to bits to find that I’ve only gained 2 lbs since the last time I was there. I’ll take that and run, thank you very much!

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Another bonus from going back when I did? I got to see a lady I remember from the last time I was there hitting target. How. Bloody. Awesome!

Scarily, there’s not much left of July, and next month I have quite a lot going on. My sister, a teacher, has now broken up for the holiday’s and we’ve agreed to do something every weekend for the whole of August. When I say something, I mean we are going on the hunt for vegan treats.

We want to have a pie from Young Vegans, go to the famous Hackney Downs Vegan Market, visit an all vegan pub called The Blacksmith and Toffeemaker (also dog friendly, I’d love to meet some doggos) and we have another day to fill that hasn’t been finalised yet.

What I could have done was to tell myself that there was no point in joining until September. Because let’s face it, there’s a really strong chance that I won’t lose much weight next month. Perhaps I won’t lose any at all, or have a small gain. But eating a vegan pie or whatever is not the same as going off plan.

If I want to socialise with my sister, and have one decadent meal out a week, then I can do that. The group is there to make sure it really is just one meal, and that I don’t spiral out of control.

If I don’t lose a ton of weight, then so be it. I’m still staying on top of things and enjoying myself guilt-free.

As it happens I do suspect that by taking this tack I will lose some weight, but only time will tell. All I know is that I need the support of my fellow slimmers, and group is one of the best ways to get that.

Anyway, regardless of all that there’s still one weigh day left in July for me to try and get my 7 stone award back. And try I will.

I was supposed to go to work after group, but I managed to get a last minute day off. I was so grateful for this – I’m absolutely knackered. I was very busy today, the day I normally get everything organised for the work week ahead, and nothing got done.

As it’s so warm I wasn’t particularly hungry either, so I didn’t sit down to eat until gone ten. It was lovely sitting outside in the garden with my feast, while the gnats were feasting on me, incidentally. Must be my tasty vegan blood.

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Now it’s time for a relatively early night, because tomorrow I really do have to go to work.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Excitement

Well today I just haven’t been able to settle. I mean, it’s so exciting isn’t it? Oh, you thought I was talking about this ‘football’ that people seem so interested in right now? Nope, today all I’ve been able to think about is a big old plate of fried red onions.

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Weird? Me? You bet.

I haven’t had fried onions in about a year and all of a sudden I had a hankering for them. There are four large onions condensed into that pile, but considering there aren’t going to be many people at work tonight then I shouldn’t have to worry too much about any possible… after effects.

In all seriousness though, I’ve found it so, so hard to stay on plan today. I had my A+B choices as soon as I got in from work and was still hungry when I woke up. I had a big lunch and was still hungry. Thankfully dinner seems to have finally satisfied me, but I can’t help feeling that I’ve eaten too much today.

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That’s what Free Food is there for though, and it’s not like I’ve just been eating for the sake of it. It’s just that when I’m freshly back on plan I always feel extra guilty. Which is silly, because the Slimming World plan is so focussed on letting go of that guilt. I’ll keep on trying though.

The important thing is that I didn’t crack, and it’s the first time I’ve had such a strong urge and have been able to control it in longer than I can remember. A pat on the back for Hayley!

Last night at work was unexpectedly motivating. My manager, who was outwardly supportive and positive about my journey from the beginning said he honestly expected me to last about six months before I put the weight back on. I’m so incredibly grateful he kept those negative thoughts to himself though because they could have been really damaging at the time.

He confessed that he can’t remember what I used to look like, which makes me very happy indeed. However I am taking in a picture tonight to remind him, because that’s always fun to do. It’s good for me to remind myself too. If you feel like deleting all the photos of the ‘old you’ and erasing that part of your history, then PLEASE DON’T!

For one you could be wiping records of so many precious memories, even if they might be tinged with pain, but also it’s so useful to look back and see how far you’ve come. It’s how I’m able to look at this picture of me, taken a few minutes ago with pride.

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Hair isn’t done, no make-up, spotty face, messy room… It doesn’t matter. This Hayley is still so much happier than this one:

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And I put on another two stone after that picture was taken! Look at her, crammed into a camping chair that was threatening to collapse under the weight, bloated, struggling to breathe her jeans were so tight… I need to see pictures like this. I need to look at it and not be able to recognise myself, and to know in my heart of hearts that I won’t go back there.

And THAT is why I ate four red onions for dinner, instead of four peanut butter and jam sandwiches.

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

Fighting

I’ve had four hours sleep today and I have work in a couple of hours. What could possibly go wrong, eh?

I did a good deed this morning/afternoon. My sister needed to have a little anomaly in her leg cut out and she asked me to accompany her, so of course I said yes. She’s my little sister after all! We had coffee beforehand, which was me being clever because I knew if I had real coffee shop coffee too late in the afternoon then I’d never sleep before work.

Despite having the coffee before midday, I still couldn’t get off this evening and eventually gave up. I’ll be ok, I’ll just catch up tomorrow (and make sure I’m topped up with caffeine before work).

Anyway, my sister’s appointment did bring it’s own little bit of happiness. The doctor and assisting nurse she saw were such lovely people, and the first thing the nurse said is that you can tell we are sisters because we look so alike. This brings me nothing but joy, because it’s only very recently that I’ve looked anything like my sister. My face was so… distorted by fat that we didn’t look at all alike, but we sure do now. We get the same comment from every new person we meet in fact.

It’s extra good because I’ve always thought that my sister is beautiful, and now by default that must mean that I’m not quite as ugly as my internal thoughts try to tell me I am. I can’t be mean about myself, because that means I’m being mean to my sister too. There’s some logic in there, honestly!

So. Moving on.

Last night I got angry. Then I decided to fight for what I want. And then I got excited. I’m still excited now. It can be so goddamn tiring, fighting for the life you want, and sometimes you just want to say to hell with it. Sometimes, like me, you do. And you end up eating everything in sight for two weeks, or two months even. It sure feels like two months to me, but the number on the scales shows me that I must be doing something right at least some of the time. And it’s never, ever too late to pick yourself up and start again.

I never give myself enough credit, because what I’ve done so far is incredible. It still amazes me to think that I have enough clothes to wear something different every day of the week, and I feel comfortable enough in every single item that I don’t have to stress about what I’m putting on.

Up until now this kind of heat would see me trying on several different outfits, trying to find something cool enough to wear that also wouldn’t show too much of me, all the time getting hotter, sweatier, more out of breath, stressed and upset. Now when I’m picking my outfit my sole concern is whether I can get away with not ironing it!

What’s really exciting for me right now is that for the first time in months I truly, deep down in my heart of hearts want to get back on plan, and I truly want to do it just for myself. I lost my way for a little while there, but I found the trail of breadcrumbs. So to speak.

And although it feels like a fresh start, I’m not actually starting over. Because there’s something in me now that knows when enough is enough, before any real damage starts to be done. Before I’m telling myself that I really am as happy at 18 stone as I was at 14-something, and ending up at 20+ stone before I admit to myself that it was a complete lie.

After making the decision to really have a big shake-up in my life, and I mean literally minutes after, my first test arrived. A nice chap at work invited me to the pub on Monday and it took every bit of willpower I have to decline the invite.

It’s perfectly reasonable to be following the Slimming World plan and still go out and have a few drinks, but for me I don’t want to risk losing momentum before I’ve even got going again. This particular person is at the pub most weekends, and we get the same days off, so I’ve promised him that I will indeed come out in the future. But for now I have goals to smash. 

And I won’t stop fighting until I’ve smashed them all.

Hayley x

PS I can’t stand a post without anything nice to look at, so here’s me hanging out with the green one. Enjoy!

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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

A Wibble

It was weigh in this morning and I put on 1.5 lbs. Despite my recent positivity this (entirely expected) event totally knocked me off track. For a short while, anyway. I hit the bread bin, and I hit it HARD, and now I feel doubly guilty for the initial gain and the subsequent emotional eating.

This will NOT do.

So I did the laundry then had a nap. When I woke up I still felt bad, so I spent half an hour just laying quietly and thinking things through. Until then I hadn’t figured out that it was the gain that made me feel bad. I thought perhaps it was a delayed bad feeling from yesterday, although at the time of eating I definitely wasn’t thinking about why. It was a total knee jerk reaction, without pause for thought, which is unusual for me these days. I think if I’d given myself that pause then the outcome would have been different.

Ho hum, I can’t go back in time! Going forward, I feel better after my little self-therapy session and getting the thoughts out here on the blog is the final step.

I’ve had a healthy dinner, I’m currently writing on my phone whilst pacing around the house to get my step count up before work (it’s quite likely I’m going to walk into something) and I have six whole days in which to turn this completely around.

Depending on hunger levels I’m going to try to reduce my carb intake and up what used to be my Speed Food intake. Speed food is just Slimming World’s own way of describing the less energy-dense fruit and veggies, so I shall henceforth be munching them like there’s no tomorrow. Bring on lots of top up shops in Lidl this week!

I have training on Thursday but in the meantime the cat has the vets and I have to try to find a cheap car as my head gasket is in a bad way. Hopefully I can find a run around to tide me over because I need wheels to get to training and to ferry my mum around to various hospital and doctor’s appointments.

Also, I’ve taken another exciting step even further out of my comfort zone. An ex-colleague saw some of my photos on Facebook and wants to hire me to take some shots of his wife before their wedding vow renewal. At first I said no, and was about to recommend a lady I know, when I thought ‘I can actually do this!’

I AM scared, because it will involve talking to people I don’t know and I’m going to have to my friend’s wife at ease when inside I myself will be the least at ease person there ever was.

But who knows what doors this could open? I was asked to do a wedding once but couldn’t stand the pressure of potentially messing up some of the most important photos of their lives. The very thought still fills me with dread, but I don’t have to start out doing weddings. I can do smaller things and see how I feel.

I’m not sure I’d like a photography business, but it would be lovely to take it further in my spare time. Let’s see what happens!

It’s nearly time for work now, and already I can’t wait for it to be over so I can get back to my own department.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

The Great Outdoors

It has been so flipping cold this week, but at least the sky has had the decency to be blue from time to time. It makes finding the motivation to actually go outside so much easier.

Yesterday me and the brother went on our long walk, and ended up being out for three-and-a-half hours. It was windy, and bitingly cold, but we both had hoods which kept the worst at bay. When I took mine off I actually got brain freeze.

I was working the night before, so we went out about 6:30am, which coincided perfectly with the blue hour (the hour before golden hour).

I checked the light and sky indices using the (free) app GoldenHour.One, which tells you how likely you are to have a nice sky for a decent shot, but I also use it just to tell me whether it’s likely to be a depressing grey day or a nice interesting one. As it happens Thursday is looking to be a stonker!

The skies were lovely and clear yesterday so I managed to get a blue hour shot that I’m really happy with. There’s something really magical about that these times of day. 110218_2479

And my app informed me that the sky index would be quite good. It was right!

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How gorgeous? We did a gentle 7.5 miles, since my brother is way out of practice with his walking after spending most of the summer either fishing or on his motorbike. I was happy with that too actually, since I was feeling pretty tired after all!

I found out that my expensive new boots are in fact waterproof as advertised, which is always nice to know.

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They’re not quite as shiny as when I first got them though…

After we’d finished exploring one half of the nature reserve, we crossed the road to visit the other part which is also home to the visitor centre.

We arrived there at the exact right time, when it was still empty, so we purchased a bag of duck food and sat down for a cup of coffee. Just as we had finished the place started filling up so we moved on to the duck lake.

Before we got there though we met a friendly robin who hopped into a bush just feet from me. And it turns out robins like duck food too. Who knew?

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In fact the robin seemed to like the duck food more than the ducks, who weren’t all that hungry. We did see some tufted ducks, but they were timid and wouldn’t come very near. Mostly it was just seagulls dive bombing and stealing it all.

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By the time we got home I was absolutely exhausted, and vaguely aware that the only thing I’d put into my body since two in the morning was coffee. But I needed sleep more than food, so I had a quick nap.

When I woke up it was a mad rush to get ready to go to my friend’s house. I took him over a load of dirty washing, because I’m nice like that, and we left the washing machine running while we went to the cinema to see Downsizing.

On the drive to the cinema I realised that I was actually ravenously hungry, and Tesco was due to shut in 15 minutes. Once there I just grabbed whatever I could find, which ended up being a vegan sandwich and wrap from the new Wicked range, and some chocolate.

Not the healthiest choices ever, but in terms of calories in vs calories out I reckon I was way in credit for the day, so I don’t feel bad about it at all.

The film was not something I would have chosen to see myself, it’s mainly that the showing time fit in with mine and my friend’s schedules. It wasn’t at all what I expected, and although it’s been slated it’s actually quite an interesting film. Not great, or perhaps not even good, but interesting (if poorly executed). Hardly a glowing review, but there you go!

After that I dropped my friend off, picked up my laundry, then crashed out for an epic sleep. Today I have a day filled with bits and bobs to do, but with the sun shining through my window it’s not all that bad.

From tomorrow I’m looking after my sister’s birds so that should sure keep me busy, training with my friend has been pencilled in for either Wednesday or Thursday, and I’m doing the physical job at work for four weeks that I should have been doing for the last four weeks, only for it to be cancelled. Hopefully it actually happens this time!

I will update again tomorrow with weigh in results, especially since I’ve no clue how it’s going to go.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

 

It’s the Little Things

I’m feeling super duper good today. I’m almost frightened to say it, because whenever I say things like that my mood seems to take a nosedive. But I don’t really believe in that kind of stuff, so here I am saying it anyway. Things are really good!

I’m so thankful that the mood of the last post only lasted a few days. It was intense, and my eating and exercise did suffer, but it went away just as quickly as it arrived.

Yesterday I went out for a family meal, and I wasn’t really feeling it, so I did use food to make myself feel better. We were at Zizzi’s, and their vegan menu is excellent, so I went ahead and ordered my usual – garlic bread to start, peperonata pizza for mains, followed by an insanely delicious chocolate praline torte.

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There was a small amount of vegan cheese on there, but since I stopped eating the real thing I’ve discovered that pizza is all about that base. If the base is on point then I definitely don’t need a cheesy topping, not even the vegan variety. It’s probably also a huge calorie saving, not that it would make that much difference in the course of my decadent meal.

On the plus side I was worried that I’d struggle to get to my 70k steps for the week after such an atrocious start. As it happens I ended up on over 90k and also managed to hit my minimum calorie burn goal (with a couple of thousand on top for good measure).

The best thing though is that I’m not feeling guilty at the moment. I’ve had enough of feeling guilty to last me a lifetime.

Today has been a success on many levels. Although I haven’t eaten entirely on plan, I haven’t eaten unhealthily. I had avocado on toast for lunch which was amazing and great for healthy fats, it just doesn’t fit in easily with Slimming World. I’ll be back to the proper Slimming World way tomorrow though.

In the morning I was at the dentist for 9am for a filling, and after the ordeal of having wisdom teeth removed this was nothing. Having said that I was still shaking when I came out, because I was scared, but I went and did it anyway. And all on my own this time! I also had the hole from the last visit packed out with a dissolvable dressing as food keeps getting in there and was causing pain, and having that done hurt quite a lot. But now it feels so much better and it should heal faster now.

I’m pretty proud of myself for doing two brave things last week, too. At least for me they were brave, so I’m celebrating them even if some may not agree.

Months ago my manager mentioned that he had two 10kg kettlebells that he never uses and said I could have them for free, but then he forgot and I was too shy to ask again. I wondered if he just said that in the moment and didn’t mention it again because he didn’t really want to give them to me.

But this week I decided that I definitely need two kettlebells of the same weight, for certain exercises that I want to do. So I plucked up the courage and reminded him of it even though I felt like a cheeky cow for doing so.

Of course I needn’t have worried, because he was happy to get rid of them. Turns out his memory is just as bad as mine! It seems such a little thing, but for me it’s progress.

I had half an idea of just chilling out after the dentist, but then I decided I wanted to work out so I gave them a little test run. Let’s just say that I’m going to be sore tomorrow!

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The other brave thing I did was simply saying yes. You may remember me telling you about an awesome colleague I got talking to a while back. Well he invited me out hiking, which we should be doing tomorrow as long as it isn’t chucking it down. When he asked a rather large portion of my brain was shouting ‘SAY NO, SAY NO, SAY NO!’ because what if there’s an awkward silence, or what if I fall over and make a fool of myself, or what if a thousand other things? But the new, brave part of my brain just said ‘YES! I’d love to!’ Because after all that’s the absolute truth and I can’t wait.

Besides, I’ll also be christening my new walking boots which I’ve been itching to do.

Apart from the kettlebells today I’ve also been hula hooping, and I’m going to jump on the exercise bike in a little while too. I’m wearing a pair of leggings and a sports bra, and although I’d never leave the house like this (for now) I’m feeling really body-positive today.

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I don’t know exactly how I feel about my weight at the moment, because I’m stressing myself out and getting too desperate to get to target. It’s a shame it has the opposite effect and makes me want to eat.

But then again I need to keep my goals in the forefront of my mind because I can’t afford to let things slip. Otherwise before I know it I’ll be back where I started.

At the moment I feel like I’m walking on a tightrope!

So I’m now hunting for some middle ground, because I don’t want to get into a binge/purge cycle and I can see myself heading that way. I’m thinking of trying to focus on enjoyment. It’s been working with the exercise this week. Yoga was getting boring when I was doing it every single day, so apart from the basic exercises I’m doing that need consistency (press-ups, squats etc) then I’m just doing what’s fun.

I want to do the same with food – I really want to normalise the healthier foods that I like and eat them because I want to, not because they’ll make me thin. I hope this makes sense. Because although I won’t really be eating differently, the way I feel about food will hopefully change so that one day I won’t have to be constantly aware of what I’m putting into my body.

That’s the plan anyhoo.

Now I need to going and get my bits ready for hiking tomorrow, because it’s going to be cold. And while I’m on that subject I’m still waiting for my friend to reply to confirm when we are meeting tomorrow. To be honest a tiny little part of my mind is expecting something to go wrong and he’ll cancel, but I’m trying to shut it up.

I need to start thinking about what can go right!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x