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

 

Rollercoaster

I think I made the right decision. By letting myself be lazy for a few days my cold went away before it really got started and I feel mostly back to normal again.

Over the last few weeks me, my mum and my brother have been watching the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended editions, obviously) and for the first two weeks I was really proud of myself for not snacking while we were watching. With the final instalment though I admit it, I cracked. The film is 4 hours and 23 minutes long, and although I get completely immersed I just wanted things yesterday. So I went ahead and had them.

I am annoyed with myself, but not furious, and certainly not to the point where I’m beating myself up about it. Last night I confessed my transgressions to my training buddy (whether I’m attending a group or not accountability is very important) and arranged to meet up with him today for, well, training!

Weigh in is tomorrow morning and I’m not sure how it’s going to go, especially as I ate lots of bread yesterday (bring on the bloat) and I’m having a super late dinner tonight. Hopefully I get a maintain, I’ll be happy with that.

Now let me get on and tell you about the emotional rollercoaster ride I’ve been on lately, with the express permission of the aforementioned training buddy.

First let me give you a bit of back story. The last time I made a real good friend at work was about two years ago now. He’d been there for a few months when I started to get the impression that he was vaguely human and I went out of my way to try and talk to him. I do not find that easy. When he moved to my department I tried to encourage him, because I could see that he was going to be a good forklift driver, but it still took me about another twelve months before I became comfortable around him and could count him amongst that elite group of my most excellent friends.

The point I’m trying to make? I do NOT make friends easily – it takes a long, long time. At least that’s what usually happens.

Then my training buddy starts talking to me, and flips my usual system on its head entirely. Within a matter of weeks I have become so incredibly comfortable around him, it’s actually bonkers. I don’t know how this happened. Who even am I?

Especially with work people, normally by now I’d be at the stage of having friendly yet stilted conversation, and mild panic about how much eye contact should be made if I pass them either leaving or entering the building. I am not exaggerating.

Yet I’ve been running with this man, something I thought I couldn’t do in front of anyone, ever. So it’s no wonder that I started falling for this amazing person who has brought out so many good things in me. How could I not?

When I split up with my ex I honestly thought I was done with any kind of romantic feelings. It didn’t happen straight away, but as I started learning to live my life without constantly thinking I should have a romantic partner, I started to love my single life. I still do. I became more independent, but I also started to value existing friendships more and to get excited about forging new ones.

I learned so much about myself – what I do and don’t like, what makes me happy, what makes me miserable and what I want for the future (a dark concept that never held much appeal until recently).

But even so, though all of those things still stand, I was now faced with a situation where I had feelings for someone and it was actually transformative.

All of a sudden things became clear in my mind – I knew that it was unlikely that things would go exactly the way I would like (i.e. he would sweep me off my feet, tell me he felt exactly the same and kiss me passionately) so in all likelihood I would be setting myself up for a crushing rejection.

The difference between me now and me a few years ago is that current Hayley decided that it was worth the risk. This is partly testament to how lovely my friend is, and partly that I’m effing strong.

This me knows that if my feelings aren’t returned then it’s not because I’m worthless. Of course there are nagging doubts (I’m too fat, too tall, too weird… whatever…) but ultimately I know full well that I have a lot to offer a potential partner and that their life would be better for having me in it.

I’ve been feeling awesome these last few weeks. My friend has given me a huge injection of confidence, and I feel lighter (not in weight, but in myself, although I am physically lighter too!) and happier. I’ve been smiling more, I’ve been dancing at work (unheard of) and in the shower and generally loving life. And if things didn’t go the way I wanted, then I decided I’d continue riding the wave of feeling awesome no matter what and just revel in the fact that I was actually brave enough to put myself on the line and tell him how I feel.

Which is lucky, because it did NOT go the way I hoped! After I made the decision to actually tell him, I was then faced with two agonising weeks before I could actually carry out the deed. What with illnesses and the weather I thought I’d never get to do it!

But I told him today, and short of the previously-mentioned fantasy scenario I probably couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. I am certainly no closer to changing my single status than I was this time yesterday, but I still feel good. I sure as hell don’t feel crushed, especially as my awesome friend never once made me feel that the reason he doesn’t want me is because of any shortcoming on my part. Which is good, at least he realises that I am lovely!

I mostly feel like, ok, it’s not meant to be so that’s that. I don’t feel that if I’d done something differently then there’d be a different outcome, it simply is what it is.

Best of all (because this is the thing I had worried most about) our most amazing friendship is completely intact. And that really is the most important thing. I’ve fallen for friends in the past, and when I’ve wanted to remain friends I’ve always said out loud that I wouldn’t risk the friendship for love (or lust, whichever!) but it was never true. I was actually just hoping that they’d change their minds given time. They never did by the way…

In this case it is true – this is one friendship you do not take lightly because they don’t come along often. To mess this up would have been devastating. As it is we had a great training session after me dropping my little truth bomb, then I was treated to a delicious and veggie-filled healthy lunch.

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I’ve also got to admit that there was a certain amount of relief in not facing the prospect of getting naked in front of anyone just yet. Losing 7 stone is not kind on the body and I’m glad to have extra time to come to terms with that. Look at me, still looking for those silver linings!

I have so much coming up to look forward to – I really don’t have a thing to complain about!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Sevens

It’s been something of an eventful week so far, and it’s only Wednesday! I don’t remember how long ago it was now that arrangements were made for me to meet a fellow blogger (this awesome dude here) but it was certainly a while ago. At the time it seemed like a perfectly natural thing to do. I’d estimate that I’ve been reading his blog for about a year now, and what with regular snapshots into another person’s life and the odd comment becoming the odd conversation becoming a proper (albeit online) friendship, I completely forgot that I’m ridiculously shy and that my default setting is to avoid meeting new people at any cost.

I remembered this fact a few days before we were due to meet, and thought I’d warn him incase (at least initially) I struggled to come out of my shell like the social tortoise that I am. Then I put it out of my mind, and early Monday morning I managed to make the two-hour-something car journey in a state of relative calm.

I needn’t have worried at all though, because after an entire day of hopping from parks to coffee shops to charity shops and back again, it was clear that I wasn’t meeting a ‘new person’ at all, it is just a lot easier to have a conversation with a good friend when you can see them in person, rather than having to type everything out!

It also helps when that friend is a complete chatterbox, but a chatterbox who actually has something to say rather than someone who just fills the silence for the sake of it. As such I came away from the experience feeling kind of… nourished. There aren’t many people within a 100 mile radius of me who are on the same wavelength (I can count them on one hand) so to meet up with someone who just gets it was simply brilliant. We went to Harvester for dinner and there was no ‘oh let’s just have what we want and screw the diet’ but a healthy dose of ‘look how much salad I can fit on this plate’. It was a Free Food feast!

According to my Fitbit I walked about 15 miles in that one day, but when you combine that with an epic natter then believe me, you don’t even realise you’re exercising. It was my first experience of having an official Twalk™ and I know it won’t be my last.

I was treated to a tour of my friend’s local haunts, and at first I did get my camera out but as the conversation got into full swing it ended up being forgotten about. Eventually it found its way back into my bag without me quite realising it. This is no bad thing of course, it just goes to show how absorbed I was because normally I’m always thinking about what would make an interesting photo.

It just goes to show though – look at the cool stuff that can happen if you put aside the things you think you know about yourself. Am I really that shy these days? I think not. What other assumptions am I making about myself that simply aren’t true any more? I’m sure there will be more revelations as time goes on.

When I got home the next day I spent several hours with a very sulky Pea on my shoulder. My brother looked after her, which she normally enjoys, but she’s been in a bit of a mood lately and only Hayley would do. Well it’s nice to be wanted!

In the evening I toddled off to group to find out how I’ve done this week. I hadn’t weighed in officially for a couple of weeks, but I had entered my home weigh-ins into the app because I have a complete record of my weekly weight from August 2015 so I can’t be having gaps now!

It was a bit of shocker – I lost SEVEN POUNDS and got my SEVEN STONE AWARD!

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Initially my Christmas goal was to get into the 13 stones, and even though I’m 14 stone 3.5 lbs now and it’s doable, I changed my goal to getting this award because I didn’t want to feel bad for not achieving the first one. Although it’s within the realms of possibility, I have a lot going on over the next couple of weeks so if I can just maintain the weight I am now I’ll be very happy indeed. I’ll keep trying though, I just don’t want to pile on the pressure too much.

Next Tuesday I’m not weighing in because in the afternoon I’m taking my mum to a hospital appointment, then a little bit later I’m going to give blood. What with having to go to work later as well, I think it would just be too much to do in one day. On Sunday I’m out with my sister and naughty food will be had, so I have to stay extra focused during the in between times. The past week shows that I am absolutely capable of doing that, and I’m not even grudgingly on plan as I sometimes am. I’m damn well enjoying it again! I keep trying to find the balance between food-orientated social events and not backtracking and undoing everything I’ve achieved so far. I feel that I’m actually getting there!

On that note it’s time to prepare a perfectly on-plan and delicious dinner before work.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

A Weird Feeling

I don’t know what is up with me lately but I feel weird. All panicky and anxious.

I only have tonight in work then I’m off for the rest of the week. I have a lot of things I need to get done, the most important being taking my mum to get steroid injections for her carpal tunnel syndrome (plus subsequently waiting on her and keeping her supplied with cups of tea) then decorating the living room. The living room is a pain because Pea can’t be in the house (the paint fumes could literally kill her) so I have to get it all done in one day while she’s at my sister’s. And because I have to work the night before my mum’s appointment I’m going to be knackered, and I’m tired anyway, and I don’t want to do any of it and instead just hide under my duvet.

Blah, blah, blah, moan, moan, moan.

I can’t change the situation, I just have to get on and do it. But why I can’t get that straight in my mind and just soldier on I don’t know. That’s what I normally do – once I know the outcome is inevitable I normally feel better about it. I suppose we all need to have a tantrum every now and then.

Yesterday I managed to find another charity shop bargain, and all of this is stemming from the fact that I can just about squeeze into a size 14, which seems to be the most available size in charity shops and elsewhere. It has opened up a whole new world of frugal clothes shopping. I picked up a lovely dress for just £3! I tried it on and it looks perfect from the front, the only issue is at the back where a roll of back fat looks just a little odd. But it won’t be long before I’m fitting into it properly that’s for sure! It’s more of a summer dress, but I saw a lady I follow on Instagram wearing rollneck tops underneath summer dresses and thought why the hell didn’t I think of that? It’s a great idea!

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After I took to my mum to the podiatrist and found my charity shop bargain I went to visit a friend I haven’t seen in over a year for his birthday. I went early and spent an hour or so chatting to his girlfriend who is a lovely lady, before I completely surprised him as he came home from work. He’s an emotional guy at the best of times so I wasn’t surprised at all to see him well up. It was just lovely!

His girlfriend wasn’t feeling well so she got an early night while we headed over the road to a hotel restaurant that he was raving about.

Unfortunately as soon as we sat down I could see it would be an issue for me. Not one of the three vegetarian options were labelled as such, which wasn’t a good sign, so I asked the waitress if there was anything that could be made vegan. She didn’t know but bought me out the allergen list, that companies have to have by law. As I scanned through almost everything had eggs or dairy in it, until my heart leaped at the sight of ‘wheat, gluten’. Ooh, what’s this then? Oh. Chicken nuggets. Then again… Oh. Red wine. Finally – garlic bread! A lot of supermarket garlic bread is vegan because they use oil and not butter, and this must have been the same!

Nope.

The waitress came back (after taking my order of garlic bread and chips) to inform me that the allergen sheet is wrong and the garlic bread does in fact have butter. Furthermore it’s from a packet so the ‘chef’ can’t make it with oil for me.

Chips it is then!

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I wasn’t sure about the portions so I ordered three, but they were massive so I didn’t eat all of them. I sure as hell felt sick by the time I got home, probably because I’m not used to such an oily carb overload.

I’ll be honest – earlier in the day I was feeling sorry for myself and had peanut butter on toast plus way too many custard donuts from the Co-op. Screw it, I’ll be totally honest. I ate 9 donuts in total. So I’m expecting a gain believe it or not!

I am so excited about getting into a 14 (I’m sure that’s been coming across in my posts!) that I just cannot let this continue. If hunger isn’t the problem, food isn’t the answer.

Being off work is always a danger, but it’s weigh in later on and the line has been drawn. I am pledging to have a week 100% on plan, then once that’s under my belt things should be easier.

Plus I’ll feel better when all the bits and bobs have been done this week and I can concentrate on things I want to do, not things I have to do.

Sorry for the moany post, and thank you if you made it this far!

Hayley x