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Things always feel better after a marvellous sleep. Last night/this morning/this afternoon I spent about 15 hours in bed, and 13 of those was spent being most wonderfully, restfully unconscious. I really think I needed that.

In fact I was so relaxed I nearly talked myself out of going for a walk, but positive comments on my last post made me change my mind. It goes to show how much of difference people cheering you on has. Being negative just doesn’t give the same results! I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the help I get from you incredible internet peoples.

Do you know, I think things are on the up (she says, tentatively). My knee has been so painful it’s been waking me in my sleep but last night there was none of that, and out walking today it only hurt when going downhill. It might get aggravated at work where I’ll be driving my forklift all night, but I’m cautiously optimistic. If it keeps up like this then next week I will try three runs. I’ll start off with 1 mile, have a rest day, do 2 miles, another rest day, then finally I’ll do 3 miles.

I have everything crossed that I can, because I’ve just bought some brand new trainers from Will’s Vegan Shoes. I started to break them in yesterday and they are soooooo good – perfect amount of grip and bounce, and I like the style too. I reckon they’ll be great to run in.

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They look kinda wrecked already but I assure you they aren’t. It’s just the dry weather we’ve been having, everything’s just so dusty! I love that they don’t have proper laces, too. There’s no chance of them coming undone which is brilliant. Even if I find I can’t run in future, these will definitely have their uses.

It’s a bit cooler today and my walk was really nice. It’s much more like last year’s summer, where is was warm but mostly the sky was covered in a blanket of cloud.

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I saw the piggies on the way back, and one of them was either snoring or being possessed by a demon. I’m not entirely sure which…

Pea had the vet’s yesterday and that was a relief. Her poops have gone back to normal now and everything else seems fine, so it must have been her perch that was affecting things. So that perch has now been replaced, and Pea has gone back to sitting on my shoulder most of the time.

While we were in the waiting room I couldn’t have her covered as it was way too hot for her, but she didn’t seem stressed at all. Everyone who saw her instantly fell in love – she’s such a sweet bird!

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It’s also crazy that’s she so small and light she can perch on a fold in a tea towel. Such a tiny bird, but such a big personality.

Finally I had a yummy, completely on plan dinner which I managed to eat just as the sun decided to make an appearance. It’s a shame I have work later, but I always burn more calories there so it has its uses.

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That’s three days of being on plan under my belt now, and I’m feeling like I’m in control again. I weighed myself and I’m back to my 7 stone loss, which is really important to me. It’s kind of my everything-will-be-ok-as-long-as-I-have-this-total-loss point, if that makes sense. Unfortunately it’s at this stage a nasty little voice in my head tells me that we can eat a load of rubbish and undo any damage we do in a few days.

The annoying thing is, the voice is absolutely right, so it’s tempting to listen to it. The problem with that is, I’ve been doing exactly that for weeks and weeks. So I’m ignoring the voice, carrying on with Food Optimising and I’m finally going to reach my gosh darn target weight!

I’d best get ready for work now anyway. Inner voice, consider yourself ignored!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Turning it Around

Yesterday I was hungry.

All. Day. Long.

I had an extra meal when I got in from work (though all on plan) and when I woke up I was still ravenous. It didn’t let up until after dinner where I had an enormous bowl of pasta, passata, tomatoes and a whole pack of Sainsbury’s vegetarian meatballs. Seriously, those balls are one of my favourite vegan-friendly items of all time, plus if you’re on Slimming World they’re only 2 syns for the whole pack (20 meatballs, I think). They’re so yummy – better than any meaty version I ever tried. In fact I bought 7 packs when I last shopped at Sainsbury’s. One pack was for my mum because I like them so much I’m getting everyone else to try them too.

Today my hunger levels seem to have gone back to normal, thank goodness, and I’m celebrating by having a really naughty day. It’s naughty because at work last night I went up to my manager and asked if I could have a short-notice night off. And he said yes! Yep, I am a complete layabout. The plan was to go training today, have lunch with my friend and help him move some furniture (I find it really cool that my totally hench friend has called me in for a bit of extra muscle) but that’s been rescheduled for tomorrow, so instead I’ll do the bits I had planned for Friday today. If I ever stop procrastinating on the computer that is…

The first job is to clean out my car. Before I met my new work/training friend I’d spend my lunch breaks in there so there’s an accumulation of travel salt and pepper pots, knives, forks, spoons and various other items. Plus several cardigans, blankets, thermal jackets in various sizes, scarves, hats… I could go on. So I need to go through all of that rubbish and sort out what I’m keeping before my car totally goes bang, because I don’t want to be doing it all last minute.

Another friend is really good at finding cheap cars and is currently on the lookout for one for me, and I’m really looking forward to having something different, if not new. For one the inside of a passenger door is currently in my boot and it takes up a lot of space! Also my current MPG is 14, so I’m hoping to get something a helluva lot more efficient…

After doing that I’m going to pop over to the country park where I do my training and hopefully get some nice sunset photos of the castle. My Golden Hour app tells me there’s a decent chance for a good photo, so fingers crossed. I usually get my brother to tag along as I don’t like going on my own – it’s a photography hotspot so I’m always self conscious that I’ll see another photographer and they will look at me and think I don’t know what I’m doing. Which is bloody stupid – I need to get over that. When I see another photographer, even if they don’t look like they know what they’re doing I just think ‘cool, I hope they get nice shots!’ And I do know what I’m doing anyhoo.

So even if I don’t get the shot it’s still good that I’m going and yet again getting further and further away from that poxy comfort zone.

I need to crack on now and get the car sorted so I’ll update again when I’m back from the castle.

Several hours later…

Well that was a productive afternoon! I wonder if anyone can explain why I had four, yes four jacks in my boot? Two sets of jump leads? Two air compressors? No, I can’t figure it out either… Thankfully now I’m carrying around a LOT less junk, and when it comes to transferring things over to a new car it will now be a lot easier.

It also turns out that I chose the perfect time to visit the country park. The light was gorgeous, and I only saw two other people. One was a cyclist on his way home, and the other was a dog walker. Other than that the place was completely mine. It’s nice not to worry about people walking into my shots.

I’m SO happy with what I got, it was totally worth braving the rush hour traffic for. I’ve made a lot of improvements since I first photographed the castle back in May 2015. For one I only got a single passable shot.

This was back then:

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And these are from today:

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I’d say that’s a fair old improvement. I probably could have stayed longer for more golden hour action, but as the sun made its way down I started to freeze so I headed home. I was planning to go to the shops but then remembered that I left my purse on the kitchen table (that is so me), so I’ll pop out for a veggie top-up once I’m done here.

And that’s that. Until next time, thanks for reading!

Hayley x

It’s the Little Things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s the plan anyhoo.

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

I need to start thinking about what can go right!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x