Making Progress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Struggling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Drenched!

I’ve bitten the bullet and made a doctors appointment. I hate going but I really should get a professional opinion about my knee, which is feeling better still but isn’t right. Or even pain free for that matter. I walked today as I said I would, but although it was lovely it added half an hour onto my time for that route. It’s no problem when I’m off work, like today, but otherwise it would just eat up too much of my day. So I must run! I MISS running!

Having said that, it was waaaaay too hot to actually run today. I started at 10:30am and was melting within minutes. I don’t know what the temperature was but the sun was already beating down and being reflected back up from the sand/gravel track. It’s not so much of a problem for me these days, but there was a time when that kind of environment would have floored me. Today it was mostly me trying to be sensible that prevented me from attempting a run regardless.

I remember going to festivals with my friends and although I loved the music I would often only wear jeans and cover up with long-sleeved tops. I don’t think anyone knew how much of a struggle, how utterly exhausting it was. There’s also a lot of walking involved when you’re making your way between stages, and my thighs would rub until they were literally bleeding. I’m glad that kind of thing is firmly in my past, so the only things I have to think about now when it’s hot are ‘do I have enough water’, ‘do I have enough sunscreen on’ and ‘have I remembered my sunglasses’.

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As it happens today I remembered all of those things.

Everything was so gorgeous today, just saturated with colour. It was nice on the eyes but by the time I got back to the car I was drenched!

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Obviously it was well worth it though. So that’s 1 Body Magic session out of a total of 5 planned for this week. I really hope there’s good new at my doctor’s appointment, which is on Saturday morning. No matter what the verdict though I know I’ll keep active one way or another, because now I’ve started I know I can’t stop. There are plenty of options out there.

As mentioned in my last post, I gave it some thought and I’ve decided I’m REALLY going to try to only weigh myself after Lady Time. If I can do it, then imagine the excitement as I step on the scales to get the verdict of a whole month’s worth of being on plan. I just have to stick to it.

I had a really bad sleep last night (my brain wouldn’t turn off) and I think I have just enough time to nap before my friend comes over this afternoon to do some bits to my car. So I’ll be off now.

Mmm, naps…

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Back to ‘Normal’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

A Chilled Out Day

I woke up today feeling GOOD. I had a tough night at work, so much so that I couldn’t eat all of my work lunch because I felt all churned up inside, but that just meant I had leftovers to eat when I got home. Bonus! By that time I’d worked things through in my head anyway and I was ready for a good sleep.

I got up to feed Pea as usual when the doorbell rang. It was my vegan trainers already! Unfortunately they’re just a teeny bit too small, so they’re going back (freepost, yay!) for an exchange. The signs are good though – apart from the obvious toe-pinching they are super comfortable. Since my knee is feeling almost back to normal now, by the time the exchange arrives then I’ll be more than ready to take them out for a literal test run.

Since I’m not training today I decided I’d go back to bed and sleep in until 2 or 3pm. I haven’t had a sleep like that after a night shift in so long, I always have plans or have to get up early for something or other.

Considering I don’t have anywhere I must be today, do you think I can sleep? Nope! Instead of laying there fruitlessly trying to get off I decided to get up, start this post, then after I’ve had my coffee and let Pea out to stretch her wings I’m going out for a little walk. The weather is perfect out there – cool, breezy and, most importantly, sunny.

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Pea definitely seems in the mood for catching some rays.

Some time later…

Well my walk was… fruitful. I went to the post office to drop off my trainers as the sooner I get them off the sooner the replacements can come back to me (eek!) then I popped into Co-op for some plant-based milk. After a bit of research using Syns Online I decided to get the own-brand coconut drink. You get 500ml for a healthy extra A choice, and it’s much, much nicer than any other brand I’ve tried so far. In fact it’s bloody delicious.

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In Lidl’s I got these little tins of stuffed veg. The vine leaves are listed on the app as 8.5 syns for the tin, and the others aren’t on there. I did suspect that would be the case, and as they were labelled in the shop ‘while stocks last’ I think it’s unlikely they ever will be. I considered this though, and since they have a shelf life of literally years and years, I’ll eat them at some point in the future when I’m not too worried about my Syns. Either way they’re clearly marked vegan, which always makes me happy.

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I’ve just finished a nice healthy lunch (1 syn for the Fry’s vegan sausages) with the green one in the sunshine, and that can only mean one thing. It’s time for bed!

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Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

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