Super Sunday

First of all I’d like to bring you an important public service announcement.

There is a new vegan range available at Tesco called Oumph, and I feel it is my civic duty to let you know that the kebab spiced pieces are the flipping bees knees. No word of a lie, they’re delicious. I’ve also tried the ‘pulled pork’ pieces and guess what? They’re even better than the kebab pieces.

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They’re currently on offer too, so everyone get yourselves down to Tesco right this second! 

Any readers doing Slimming World? Well I sent pictures of the kebab packaging off to head office, and had a reply saying they’re currently reviewing syn values for the whole Oumph range. In the meantime they came up as FREE in the syns calculator. A word of warning though – they’re more filling than you’d expect so you don’t need much!

Ok, normal service has now been resumed.

Happy Hayley is BACK baby! Saturday was a tough one because my sister came to visit during the day, which in itself isn’t a problem. When she left I had time to have three hours in bed before work, and I fell almost instantly into a most marvelously deep sleep.

About half an hour into this sleep though my friend rang me with urgent business. We are going on a little holiday together at the end of May and he’d found the perfect cottage in the Peak District which needed to be booked NOW. Since I was the one holding the monies, I was the one who had to book.

I’m so glad he did ring because the cottage and the surrounding areas look absolutely gorgeous. Of course once that was all booked up and our holiday was confirmed I was too excited to sleep!

My last shift of the week went by in a daze, but I actually worked slightly harder than usual just to keep the momentum going. And I knew it would be ok because I had an epic catch-up sleep planned for Sunday night.

But you know what they say about best laid plans…

Sunday morning I got four hours sleep then woke up with enough time (or so I thought) to get ready for the meal out with my trainer. Somehow though an hour came and went in the blink of an eye so I was running late by the time I got into my (swelteringly hot) car.

When I got to my trainer’s house I was a bit hot and bothered, a bit tired and a bit nervous about meeting his family later in the day. However I think I successfully managed to hide it.

ACS_0067I found the most cool and lovely summer shirt to wear, and I felt fab. And totally ready to meet a load of potentially scary family members!

Of course they weren’t actually scary, and I was particularly taken with my trainer’s mum and daughter. His mum is 80 and still living a full and exciting life, plus she’s just the loveliest person you could hope to meet. His daughter is also lovely but on top of that she’s so strong and confident. She’s a total badass!

I did the driving on the way back to my trainer’s, and if I’d left it there it would have been quite a healthy day. At the meal I had gnocchi with aubergine and tomato sauce plus some olives, but then the festivities continued afterwards with us visiting a sparkly cocktail bar then heading back indoors for some wine.

Thankfully we didn’t drink tooooo much,and despite me falling asleep on the sofa at 4am then waking up at 6am, I don’t feel too terrible today. A little tired shall we say, but also happy because I had such a good time.

I had to get home to accompany my mum to the doctors, but I couldn’t drive so instead of getting a cab I decided to walk to the train station which took an hour. It was a chilly but gorgeous morning and it felt wonderful to be out in the world. And since I’m too delicate to train today it was good to get some exercise in.

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I have now rescheduled my epic sleep for tonight and intend to be in bed by 8pm. Nothing is going to get in my way this time.

Although I don’t have training until Wednesday, which means four whole rest days in a row, I think the down time will do me the world of good. Especially as exciting things are happening this week. I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

 

Shopping Trip

I just had a quick read through my last post to see what was happening the last time we spoke. I ended with ‘I will stick to plan no matter what’ which seems to be the thing I always write just before I go off plan. In my defence I did last a couple of days before it actually happened!

There’s a whole world of difference between this incident and last week’s slip up. Last week I just lost it and couldn’t control myself, whereas this week I made a choice. At the moment I don’t regret it, though that will probably change once I’ve stepped on the scales Tuesday. I just need to remember that it’s not the end of the world!

I think this post is going to be a bit of a long one so why don’t you grab yourself a cuppa before you really get stuck in?

Sometimes on this here blog I mention doing stuff with a friend, and sometimes that friend is actually my ex-boyfriend. I’ve written about it before from time to time, but our relationship was not a good one. There were huge trust issues, because he kept bloody lying to me all the time! This is not an ex-bashing post, because as I have already stated we are still friends, and good ones at that.

The problem is that my ex has an insatiable desire to try and keep everyone happy all of the time, and will tell any number of porky pies to achieve that. And it’s something he either can’t or won’t change.

I myself grew up with a lying toerag of a father and cannot stand being lied to. It is something I cannot and will not compromise on.

So in the end, although there are plenty of other facets to the honesty thing, and there’s a whole book’s-worth of other reasons we didn’t make it in the end, I’d say that’s the main one. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that though I wish things hadn’t gotten to the point where I was so, so unhappy, and although I was so terribly hurt by the whole thing, my ex is not a bad person and he makes a really stonking friend. His intentions have always been good, which is why it took me so long to walk away from something that was so bad for me.

Being friends with your ex is dangerous territory indeed. At the moment my main concern is that our friendship will hurt one of us. For me, I feel that this is the relationship we were meant to have, because I finally feel that we are on an even keel. As a partner, I always wanted things that he couldn’t give, but as friends I think we are both getting back what we give. And that’s a lovely thing. But if he secretly does want more, that’s when it gets tricky, because it wouldn’t be fair of me to keep hanging around if it causes him pain. Problem is it’s unlikely he’d ever tell me, because he’s not one to talk about feelings, so I just need to keep an eye out for potential signs.

The other problem of course would be new partners. I don’t think he’s looking at the mo, but if it does happen for him then I will quietly step aside, because I think it’s a rare case indeed where a new girlfriend is happy for the old one to still be hanging around! I’d like to give him the best chance at happiness, and because he has children with two different women then this potential new partner will have quite enough ex’s to be getting on with already.

So, on to the actual events after that glimpse into my current deep thoughts!

My friend felt bad for not getting me a proper birthday present (you can have money OR kids, but rarely both I’ve heard) so I asked if he’d accompany me on a shopping trip instead, because that would mean more to me anyway. So he agreed, and I’d just like to point out that I’m not a stereotypical woman shopper so it wasn’t an ordeal for him. I rarely browse as such, I kind of scan the wares like Predator and zone in on what I want.

We went to Chelmsford (the birthplace of radio, or so the sign on the way there says) as it has about five times the amount of shops of my local high street. It also has a much better quality of charity shop.

I’ve been browsing charity shops for a while now and was starting to think that I’d never get lucky. I never seem to find anything I’m remotely interested in, except near my sister’s one time where I found a faded old dress… that was over £20.

I think Chelmsford must have a much more generous population, because the goods donated there are of much better quality, and I reckon the larger variety of charity shops there may have driven the prices down a bit. In one I found a lovely dress from Monsoon for £6, which is a brand I love anyway but they are just so expensive. The reason they are expensive is because they’re right up there with some of the most ethical brands (y’know, paying a proper wage for staff and having decent conditions for them and whatnot) so I’d be happy to pay out more in the future, just not now because it’ll be too big before I know it. It was a summer dress too, so I knew I had to leave it on the rack.

In another I found a lovely winter coat, but I’m already sorted for this year so again it had to stay where it was. It was under a tenner though! I wish I’d found it before I got my current coat!

At last I found something I could use though – a Primark dress in exactly my size with some fantastic autumn vibes – for a fiver! Yessssss! It has most of the qualities I look for in a dress and a new quality I’ve just discovered. Flattering arms? Check. Mesh? Check. Flattering tummy-covering? Check. Seriously sweet old lady serving me? Check.

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But it also has a low back which shows off my newly discovered angular shoulder blades, and my slender neck. I have a neck. I’m going to get a tattoo there one day, of Pea, but I’m saving that as a treat for when I reach target.

After our charity shop crawl, well, that’s when things went a little awry. I’d researched vegan-friendly eateries beforehand but had then dismissed the idea because I wanted to stay on plan. Despite having porridge for breakfast which always keeps me fuller for longer, at the very mention of lunch I suggested a place called Acanteen. I can’t get over the name, because it doesn’t flow off the tongue nicely, but that’s a small criticism because OH MY GOD THE FOOD IS LOVELY.

I went for a caulikale pizza, because I haven’t had a pizza in months and months and boy have I been wanting one. And they had the option to replace ordinary cheese with vegan cheese, so I thought why not.

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It was amazing.

The base was thin and crispy in all the right places, and the combination of a gorgeously flavoured tomato sauce, pine nuts and sundried tomatoes, along with kale (which is right up there at the top of the list of my favourite veggies) was delicious. Although not Slimming-World friendly, it would still be a fraction of the syns of one of the 20″ pizzas I used to buy.

Recently I’ve been thinking about being more ethical in my clothing choices, but I was going to put off doing anything about it until I get to target. That way I can buy things that will last years and years because I won’t be growing or shrinking out of them every five minutes.

I came across a very helpful blog called The Sustainable Edit, and one of the most recent posts suggested the brand Fatface. I love Fatface anyway but the last time I went in there I could only just squeeze into a size 16. Plus they are (rightfully) a bit on the pricey side.

After lunch I told myself the biggest lie of all (lying to myself is OK it seems!) and I went in to just have a little look.

Ha!

Five minutes later I came out with a dress and a skirt, both of very high quality, both versatile in their uses, both in a size 14, and both half price or less.

These I can put away for later use, because my ultimate goal is no longer a weight, it’s to be a size 14. The skirt especially can be worn casually or dressed up, so I think this is the first little seed of a capsule wardrobe. I’m stupidly excited about all this!

I didn’t try them on in store, but when I got home I found that although a little tight and not quite the ideal fit, if I wanted I could get away with wearing them now. That little fact pleases me more than I could possibly tell you with my limited vocabulary. Perhaps the words don’t even exist.

When I got home I ate the last of my dairy free Ben & Jerry’s, because it seems if something is unopened I can leave it but once it’s been started on I can’t get it out of my head. That’s something to remember in future. Finally I had a naughty dinner for much the same reason – using up the opened packet of Linda McCartney’s mushroom wellington bites. They’re only 2.5 syns each but it was killing me just eating a couple at a time!

So that’s that. I fell off the wagon but, perhaps because I had such a lovely day, I don’t have the same kind of guilt that I’ve had with other episodes. That also made it a lot easier to get right back on plan after dinner, rather than let it get out of hand.

Today I went pumpkin picking, although it wasn’t pumpkin picking at all. I was disappointed because I didn’t realise all of the pumpkins had already been picked, put in piles, and left on the ground where some of them were rotting. Where’s the fun in that? That’s pumpkin choosing, surely? And why didn’t anyone take away the furry and putrefying ones? I left a very fair review (I thought so, anyway) on their Facebook page stating that (but nicely), because I thought it was a bit misleading, and I was immediately trolled. I don’t have much experience of internet trolls because I’ve never put myself out there as much as I do now, and although I was really angry I thought (specially now I love blogging so much) it’ll be good to learn how to let it go. Some internet people really do go a bit crazy when you disagree with them – she seemed genuinely furious that I didn’t think the pumpkin farm was a nice place. Very strange indeed.

I did get a couple of nice pictures from the nicer piles, though to be honest that’s more to do with my photography skills than the surroundings, which weren’t great.

Still, 15 minutes and £16 after leaving the house I was proud owner of some pumpkins for carving and one spaghetti squash for eating.

Do you want to know the best bit though? It looked like it was going to rain, so I got out my waterproof coat I bought back in May. It was intended for my Snowdon trip, so although it’s been up and down a mountain the weather was so nice I never actually wore it. I thought it couldn’t be that big on me now, so I might as well get a bit of use out of it.

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Or perhaps not. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for a second-hand one in a 14, because it really is a decent coat. What a great reason to no longer be able to wear it though!

Tomorrow I’m off to visit a friend (not an ex this time!) as I’ve arranged with his partner to surprise him for his birthday. There was a surprise meal for him on Saturday but I couldn’t make it (damn you, work) so I’m making up for it with a visit all of my own. I don’t manage to see the few friends I have (I’m very picky, you know) as much as I’d like, so I’m very much looking forward to it.

And now I’m going to stop writing before this post gets any longer. Thank you for making it this far!

Hayley x