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

Melting

Blogs have been a bit thin on the ground this week and for that I apologise. The ‘getting more sleep’ thing didn’t work out at all and rather than setting time aside for myself I’ve been busier than ever. I only just have time to hang out with Pea and write a quick post before I really must get my head down to prepare for work tonight.

My main problem is that everything is taking much longer than it should these days. I trained this morning, in the woods where the temperature is much more agreeable, and I still melted. It felt like the air was made of soup!

We did a short route, but the heat just saps the energy out of me. I’m really not complaining though – I’ll take this over the cold any day of the week. I think it’s just that since I’m so new to running I’ve never run in these conditions before, so with every change of the season there’s a new challenge to face. It sure keeps things interesting though.

Last week as well the training sessions have been less intense because, let’s face it, staying out of hospital is the number one priority!

There’s been a lot more fast walking where I’ve just run out of steam, and that’s OK, because it’s still better than doing nothing. The thing that IS bothering me is that the heat has made me swell up like a balloon and I put on 9 lbs (yes, NINE POUNDS) of fluid overnight which doesn’t seem to be showing signs of going anywhere for the time being.

It’s disheartening, but I’ve been eating well so there’s no way on earth that’s 9 lbs of fat. I just need to keep my head until it’s gone and not freak out.

Speaking of training, I need to stop referring to my trainer as ‘my trainer’ because even though we aren’t a couple he certainly is more than that now. Friend doesn’t quite cut it either, because we’re just so close (we do seem to spend every spare minute together!) so I shall henceforth refer to him as ‘Mr. S’. It might get a bit confusing, but I’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, the last week with Mr. S has been great. After training we’ve been sitting in his garden, which backs directly on to some woods. He doesn’t even have a fence at the bottom which I think is just lovely, so it’s even easier for the wildlife to come and go as it pleases. He gets loads of incredibly tame foxes so I’ll have to get a good photo when I remember to take my camera.

We’ve also been watching a series called Detectorists, which somehow managed to completely pass me by until now. It’s on Netflix and it’s absolutely wonderful. It’s sweet, charming and a little odd, and I’m totally in love with it from everything from the camera angles to the theme song, which ‘gives me all the feels’ every time I hear it. I’ve now bought the song and have listened to it quite possibly thousands of times already. Well, I may have exaggerated a bit but it’s certainly been a lot.

Check it out below:

Another benefit from having to decrease the intensity of training is the opportunity for more photos. Just look how glorious it’s been. Everything seems right with the world when it looks like that.

On Sunday I decided to have a rest day and spend some time with my sister. Sister times are always great – I really don’t know what I’d do without her. She lives a 20 minute car journey away but I just didn’t want to be in a car on that particular day so I walked 20 minutes to the train station, took a ten minute train journey, then walked another 40 minutes the other side to her house.

I’ve certainly been treating myself lately (perhaps a little too much) but after I tried my friend’s Apple Airpods I knew I just had to have them. They. Are. Amazing.

So I was walking with a spring in my step blaring out my music and I must tell you – the sound quality is incredible. I had the sun on my face, a breeze blowing through my hair and everything was a damn near perfect as anything ever gets.

After a quick stop at Starbucks for a cold brew we headed to the park to feed the swans. Of course we know that swans have bloody strong beaks, but we’ll do anything to get ‘the shot’. I have little cuts on my fingers but I don’t even care!

 

 

 

Now I just have to hang things out at work for another two weeks then I’m off on holiday, spending four days in the Peak District (everyone please cross their fingers for reasonable weather) followed by a night at a posh spa hotel in Sheffield. I simply CANNOT WAIT.

I must be cracking on now, so as ever, thank you so much for reading!

Hayley x

A Mixed Bag

My head has been a little bit all over the shop lately (I say lately, more like for months and months) but at the moment it’s compounded by pure tiredness. I’ve simply been trying to cram too much in and something had to give somewhere!

This weekend I went to see a wonderful blogger buddy and we had some fun times, but on Sunday I reckon everything just caught up with me and I had to go home early. By the time I got back my lips had turned blue (slightly worrying), my hands had turned purple (also not great) and even though I’d been in a car so warm that my iPhone came up with a temperature warning message and wouldn’t work again until it cooled down, I just couldn’t get warm.

Sleep fixed me though, and after sleeping the whole afternoon and all through the night I just about managed to put my weekly sleep average up to seven hours. Some people can get by on less sleep, and for weeks I myself have been getting by on 6, but that clearly isn’t sustainable for me and I need to make sure I get more down time.

Anyway, it’s not all doom and gloom! On Saturday, because the weather was awful, my friend eagerly agreed to see Avengers: Infinity War for the second time. Well, his second time and my first. I really feel like Marvel have found that sweet balance now between action, comedy and story and I loved every minute of it. It’s just pure joy to watch!

After that I had my first ever meal from Las Iguanas since I don’t have one near where I live and I only even learned of its existence fairly recently.

I had hearts of palm to start, which I thought I’d never had before. But it was only a couple of weeks ago when I was out with my trainer and I had something from his plate that we couldn’t identify. Now I’m pretty sure that’s what we were eating. It was nice, but I probably wouldn’t bother having them again.

The Brazilian curry however (moqueca de palmitos) was flipping amazing and I could eat it all day long. They had a fair few vegan options too, or veggie options that can be made vegan on request. I’d highly recommend it as a very tasty and vegan-friendly place to visit.

In the evening we were eating out again. I bloody love trying new places, and it turns out the restaurant we were visiting, Fusca, is the first fully vegan restaurant I’ve been to. I’ve been to a few places in London but since they are takeaway restaurants as far as I’m concerned they don’t count.

I really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the place and I cannot even describe how nice it is to be able to order a glass of wine without having to do extensive research first to find out whether it’s vegan or not!

The food was tasty, but perhaps a teeny bit overpriced considering that the portions were quite small. That’s probably a good thing though, it means I didn’t feel guilty for getting dessert. Which was DELICIOUS by the way!

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The day after getting home the weather was awful but really I still needed to make up for overindulging at the weekend so I did an hour on my exercise bike. It still astounds me that I can even do that – I remember struggling to complete ten minutes when I first got it. The remainder of the day was spent fairly restfully, but I still didn’t manage to get a decent sleep. Which I put down to a lack of proper training.

Yesterday I went out training on my own and oh my, what a start to the month! The weather was absolutely perfect for running. It was sunny but not too warm, there was a fresh breeze and along most of my route it was dappled shade. It was so gorgeous, and the vibrant colours everywhere made my heart happy.

I didn’t break any records this time around. Well, I can’t smash a record every single time I go out now, can I? But I did feel absolutely fantastic and loved every minute of it. Today the weather is back to being awful so I’m using the time to catch up on some rest, do boring household chores and do some meal prep for the rest of the week. Exciting stuff!

Then I’m training for the next three days in a row which should help regulate me sleep and help me to get better quality sleep, then I have a relaxed Sunday with my lovely siblings planned.

Life is tiring, but good!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Research

As recommended by a kind fellow blogger, I’ve been reading a very interesting book called Brain over Binge by Kathryn Hansen. It’s written by a lady who had bulimia but it’s relevant to anyone who is struggling with binge eating. Like me! I’m about halfway through at the moment, which is partly because there’s quite a lot of scientific theory, so I’m going slowly to make sure I absorb as much information as possible, and partly because the parts that really resonate with me are, from an emotional perspective, quite taxing to read.

However! Since I got to the part which tells you how to stop binge eating, which I read with a HUGE amount of scepticism, I have managed not to act on any of my urges to binge since that point. And there have been a fair few. I haven’t been perfect by any means – there was my rather heavy drinking session followed by some hangover-curing snacks, but I never felt compelled to eat them. It was just ordinary overeating that ordinary people do, and I didn’t feel bad about it afterwards either.

Once I’ve finished reading I’m going to go through it again but making notes this time, because there’s a ton of useful stuff that will even be helpful in everyday life. When I’ve done that and got my thoughts in order I’ll write more about it here, but there’s no substitute for reading the book. Despite the fact I’ve not finished it yet I highly recommend it.

In any case I’ve been back on plan since Tuesday and reckon I can be extra healthy (see what I did there?) for exactly the next four weeks. I’m not normally a fan of short-term goals like holidays or fitting into a wedding dress (not that the latter applies to me) but since as of Tuesday it was four weeks on-the-dot until my holiday, I’m going to focus on staying on plan until then.

As for the actual holiday it’s self-catering so there’s no reason I can’t still be sensible.

As ever my training schedule went out the window, because between me and my trainer something is always coming up. That’s why I’ve said I’ll do a minimum of three sessions a week, and I just fit them in whenever I can.

We were supposed to train Wednesday, giving us an extra day (Tuesday) to recover from Sunday night’s shenanigans. But we were both feeling up to a run a day early so went back to Hockley woods, where I did my first almost-three-mile run. That first time it was muddy, but my average time was 13:20 min/mi.

This time around I smashed my personal best with an average of 11:40 min/mi. I don’t consider the lack of mud this time around to be a huge factor for my better time. When I really felt like I had a good pace was in the covered areas of the woods where there wasn’t much mud previously, and my trainer even noticed that he wasn’t having to hold back as much as he usually does. Bless him.

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We were supposed to train together again today but he was too tired, so I decided to stay in bed and catch up on some sleep. As it happens I’ve really struggled with sleep this week, so I woke up early anyway and couldn’t get back off. I wrestled with myself for a while, thinking that I really should train on my own. But I really didn’t want to!

I’m away this weekend so today was my last chance to get a proper training session in. I couldn’t just lay in bed feeling sorry for myself, could I?

The times when you don’t feel like it, I think they are the most important times to get out there and just do it. I only stopped to take a picture at the end, so you’ll have to take my word for it that earlier on in the day the sun was out and the woods were teeming with butterflies, bees, squirrels and birds. Even when the sun went in and it started to rain everything was still beautiful and green though.

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As it happens, it was another day for smashing personal bests.

I FINALLY MADE IT INTO THE 10 MINUTE BRACKET! 

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And it wasn’t even a fluke!

Today was the best I have felt running so far – it was full of pure, unadulterated joy. At the beginning I had my usual I-don’t-think-I-can-do-this moment, then I felt like I was flying along. It seemed that I could just keep going forever if I really wanted to. Thankfully the sensible part of my brain made me pace myself.

On the way back there are some pretty steep hills, and for the first time I really started to get my breathing under control. Because I didn’t feel like I was about to collapse, I was able to concentrate more on my form and could even pay attention to how all of my leg muscles were feeling.

Going up those hills I felt effing strong, and I’ve noticed that a lot of the wibbliness in my thighs has been replaced by muscle.

I’m unbelievably glad that I didn’t spend this amazing afternoon hiding under my duvet.

So that’s two training sessions down for the week, and I won’t get an official one in now to make it three. But it doesn’t matter at all on this occasion, because I certainly won’t be spending this weekend on my backside.

More about that next time!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Something of Meltdown

Me throwing myself back into Slimming World did not go to plan. In fact since my last post I’ve mostly been eating (vegan) ice cream! I did feel much more positive after my last post, but then my mood took another massive nosedive. Actually it’s the worst I’ve felt in several years.

I’ve been trying to analyse what exactly went wrong in my head. The thoughts about surgery and my body image were still swimming around in my brain, then on top of that I couldn’t sleep, I did overtime at work which exacerbated that particular problem, my friend told me a story about when he was a bouncer and they weren’t allowed to let fat women in… all of a sudden I felt angry, helpless and lost, so I went home, got under the duvet and cried my little heart out. It keeps playing on my mind how those women must have felt, being turned away like that, and how it might have affected them. It was decades ago, but it’s still disgusting.

I’ve also been worried about how my diet is becoming mixed up with my fitness regime. I have so many issues (mostly with guilt and shame) relating to food, but exercise has become something pure that I do just for fun. My trainer means well, and keeps saying about how the weight will fall off of us both now we’re training regularly, but for me the training and my weight are totally separate in my mind. Apart from the fact that if I’m too heavy it won’t be feasible for me to run (because of possible knee damage).

I’m going to communicate that to him though, because I’m still trying to unlearn 20 years of behaviours relating to food and really don’t want to make the same mistake when it comes to fitness!

I can’t even remember the last time I cried for myself. I cried a lot before Christmas, because I saw a sad video of a pig about to be sent to slaughter that stuck with me for weeks. I’ve cried a couple of times at films, too, but it’s been so long since anything felt bad enough in my own life to bring me to tears.

Maybe I was just waaaaay overdue!

Things aren’t actually bad though, far from it. Everything just built up and became a little bit too much until something had to give. I’m now caught up on sleep and my eyes have stopped leaking, so I’m ready to go.

Yesterday I went to see my trainer to help him prep for a job interview, which is in fact happening as I type. The weather was bloody marvellous, so I put on my factor 50 and a dress with capped sleeves. I went out in all of my bingo-winged glory, and felt bloody fabulous doing so. That was a boost of confidence that I needed.

I also wore designer sunglasses that my trainer lent me, which he paid £150 for. He likes fancy things, he does, whereas I’m more of a bargain kinda gal. Therefore these are the second most expensive things I’ve ever put on my face (the first being when I tried on his normal glasses which were £400!!!) Madness.

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Anyway, I have a plan in place. Another reason I think I’m struggling is because my daily routine has been completely turned on its head. I’ve gone from having lots of spare time during the week to trying to fit in all of my training, lunches out with friends, quality time with Pea, household chores, spending time with my mum and my siblings… so if I’m going to keep on top of these things I need to adapt and get properly organised.

On Monday, because I won’t have a chance until then, I’m going to go into town to get some jars and I’ll make a batch of overnight oats to eat after training. Then I’ll prep my work lunches for the whole week. When I need an energy boost I’m not going to let myself get too hungry and then mess up, like I have been doing, instead I’m going to eat fruit to keep me going.

From now on Monday’s will be known as Meal-Prep Mondays! If I at least have food ready to go at all times then I’m much more likely to eat well.

I feel much, much better now things are all straight in my mind.

This morning, after two rest days in a row, I went out for a 5k run. I found a comfortable pace and stuck with it the whole way round. I did stop one single time, because I wasn’t sure whether to go left or right, but other than that I kept going even up the hills.

The weather today has been even better than yesterday, so when I was done I went to lay down in the shade and drink some water. It was just so lovely – the grass was cool and damp, and even though my face has erupted in spots after I put sunblock on it, I was all blotchy from the running and generally looking a mess, I felt wonderful.

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When I got home I decided to stick my headphones in and listen to some ‘choons’ whilst cutting the grass, mainly because I was feeling pumped and wanted to move more!

Hopefully there will be more training tomorrow, my sister is visiting Saturday, then I’m out for a meal with my trainer on Sunday. Plus I have three more shifts left at work. Ugh. So it’s busy, busy, busy! Thankfully I’m too busy to really think about how on Sunday I’ll be meeting a whole bunch of my trainer’s family, including his daughter and his mum. So, y’know, no pressure or anything…

Well I’ve sat still for too long now, and there just isn’t time for that.

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

The First Step

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Friendship

April is turning out to be all about friends. After being sociable with the work people, today I’ve visited one of my oldest and bestest friends who moved away from Essex to the lovely city of Canterbury. Luckily for me it’s only an hours drive away, and an easy drive at that. Really I should visit more often, but life gets in the way and we always leave it too long. But when we do meet up, we make the most of it!

I went for my run first thing this morning and I timed it just right. I got to the park just after the gates were opened and there were already a fair few cars there, but by the time I left the car park was RAMMED and there was someone waiting to take my space.

My run was nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be. I felt like I wasn’t doing very well, and I nearly gave up after 2.7 miles. In this park I normally do 3.5, so I had a stern word with myself and carried on.

It turns out I broke a new record and have shaved a significant amount of seconds off of my personal best!

I’m so close to being in the 11 second bracket that I can taste it.

I’ve posted a few things about training on social media that my friend has seen, but he thought I was just doing lots of walking. When I told him I’d actually been doing bona fide jogging and sprinting he was really impressed. He even told me out of all the people he knows I’d be in the bottom five of anyone he’d expect to ever go running. I took that as it was intended (as a compliment) because it’s so far removed from the Hayley he first met ten years ago it’s unbelievable. And I was so unhappy back then, this is just more evidence of how much things have changed for me.

After a quick cup of coffee we headed into town to get some grub. We went to the Lady Luck Bar which is just incredible for vegan options. As soon as I saw the menu I knew what I had to have – the Rick and Morty baguette!

It was amazing – the best thing I have eaten in a long, long time. The chilli mayo was divine and the crispy fried pickle Ricks are a work of pure genius. That Szechuan sauce? Delish!

I followed it up with a vegan honeycomb sundae which has even won an award it’s that good.

Unlike when I’ve been eating ‘naughty’ food at home this week, I don’t feel as bloated and awful after this meal so I’m hoping it doesn’t affect my training tomorrow.

I was really disappointed with myself the last time I went out with my trainer, and I don’t want a repeat of that.

After our meal me, my friend and his lovely girlfriend went on a nice long walk where they indulged me while I searched for things to photograph. I didn’t spend too long trying to get decent shots, because it’s too antisocial and I get kinda caught up in it, so I just took some quick snaps without overthinking it. I’m still happy though, it’s a good visual representation of our day!

It was also the first day this year I’ve been able to comfortably walk around with no coat or jumper. More of that please!

I have to wait until the end of the month until my next meet up with a very special friend, but it’ll be worth the wait. It’s going to be awesome.

In the meantime I need to get myself right back on track, and of course I will because I always do. That’s the key – never give up!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Disco Dancing

That’s that then. I’ve had my one night a year where I go out clubbing so now I’m almost ready for everything to go back to normal. I just have a meal out with an old friend tomorrow then I’m going to smash my diet and fitness goals. It seems weird writing this, because I honestly had to work up the energy to even begin this post. I’m that tired.

Although I was sensible and drank a lot of water last night, and I don’t feel ill as such, I do feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. I’m cold, exhausted and aching all over. But I suppose it’s understandable since I danced the night away and didn’t get home till 5am. Full disclosure: I also tackled my friend to the ground (just for fun, I didn’t get into a fight!) but I made sure I didn’t hurt him and landed squarely on my backside. Hard. With him on top of me. So my behind is aching somewhat too!

I did want to get some nice pictures of myself but once I met up with my friends I completely forgot about it. I did however manage to capture my matte lipstick (completely cruelty free, vegan, and from a lovely independent shop called VE Cosmetics) and one obligatory toilet selfie.

Because of hormones and no small amount of falling off the wagon I haven’t been feeling great about myself, but I think I scrubbed up OK and my friends did give me a lot of compliments. I’ve also found that a few of the work guys are treating me a lot differently lately, and some were certainly more, ahem, touchy-feely than they have been on previous nights out.

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I’ll do a comparison shot some time next year (the next time I go clubbing) to see what progress I’ve made, and in the meantime here’s what I looked like the first time I went out with the work people in 2016:

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Yeah… I haven’t been perfect lately but I’m sure happy with my progress when I see these pictures!

This is why when I fall off the wagon I can never truly give up. Even if progress is currently slow pretty much non-existent, one day I’ll be looking back on last nights’ pictures and I’ll be thankful that I kept going. I’ll spend today recovering then despite the fact that I’m out for a meal, or rather because I’m going out for a meal, I’m going out running first thing tomorrow morning.

My last training session was actually awful. I really struggled and for the first time I didn’t enjoy it. I think there were several factors at work but the main ones are my hormones sapping me of energy, and that where I’ve been eating badly I hadn’t fueled my body properly for exercise. I didn’t imagine it would make such a huge difference, but clearly it does. So there’s yet another incentive to eat well!

I expect my run tomorrow to be tough as hell, but if it is then I vow that it’ll be the last time it’ll ever be that bad.

Right now all I can think about is my my bed that’s calling to me, so I’m going to go for a little nap.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x