Week Zero

Over the last few weeks I’ve found it really hard to eat healthily for any length of time. In between my holiday and last weekend’s mini break, I found myself in the ‘there’s not much point in being good’ mindset, and as such I’ve gained a few pounds.

Because I feel so much better than I did a year and a half ago, it’s really easy for me to be relaxed about it. But the fact remains I’m not content where I am now, and I want to put what I’ve already done to one side for the time being. It’s really important to look at how far I’ve come, but for now I want to get back the motivation and excitement I had at the beginning.

For that reason, at least as far as Slimming World is concerned, I’ve restarted my progress. I still have weight records via Fitbit dating back to 2015, but it’s good to have a nice blank page and start afresh.

I’ve taken all new measurements and later on I’ll ask Mr. S to help with my new ‘start pics’. I’m going right back to basics with weighing and measuring the foods that require it, and eating plenty of Speed Foods. Plus I want to keep my activity levels up on days I’m not training. A rest day isn’t a euphemism for a do-nothing-at-all day!

I’m still much too sore to train today, mostly because of my butt bruise, but tomorrow I’ll be out there no matter what to see how I get on. I’ve loved all the walking and hiking I’ve done lately, but there’s also nothing quite like running.

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I’m fairly happy with my Fitbit average for the year so far, but I plan to be even happier with it. Last year’s average, even though I started in the 18 stone bracket, was in the 15’s. If I end this year in the 13’s then I’ll be a happy girl!

Right then. I’m now off to do a mountain of washing, drive my mum to an appointment, get some steps in and above all BE HEALTHY!

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Hayley x

Back on the Right Track

I weighed myself this morning and let out the most enormous sigh of relief – I lost 3.5 lbs! That takes my total loss to 6 st 6 lbs and leaves me with 2 st 2 lbs to go till I reach target. I’m still convinced I wouldn’t have lost much if I hadn’t been so, so good, but who cares? It worked out for the best!

Today there is no time to relax. I’ve just completed my 10k steps for the day, nice and early so anything more is a bonus, and once this blog is finished I’m jumping on the exercise bike for a 30 minute workout. Then tonight I’ll be on my feet for 7.5 hours too, and it all adds up. After my workout and a shower I’ll try my best to get a pre-work nap, otherwise I will struggle big time to get through my shift.

I’ve been doing some calculations and if I stay on track (I intend to) and don’t let anything distract me (as I did in the whole second half of last year) then I can comfortably be at target by the 1st of May. It would be so amazing to be there before my holiday, which is at the end of May. I just have to stay focussed. For now though I will put that goal out of my mind because it’s too far away, and just concentrate on the next seven days.

I’ve reached my first goal of the year – to get back into the 14 stone bracket, and if I lose 2 lb I’ll get my 6-and-a-half stone award back. Fingers crossed.

There really isn’t much else for me to tell you, so I’ll keep it short and sweet for today. I just had to tell you about my results though, didn’t I!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Remember This Day

I use Google to backup all of my photos, and every now and then I get a little ‘remember this day’ notification pop up. I think it’s a sign that my life is actually pretty good that I look back on these memories either with ‘that was cool, I’d love to do that again’, ‘what an awesome day that was’ or ‘boy I’m glad things have changed since then’.

Today’s reminder was from 2015. My boyfriend at the time’s niece had been given a camera for Christmas and we’d gone over to be her guinea pigs. I knew I’d hate the photos of me, but I also knew I was ready to start trying to lose weight again and they would serve as excellent ‘before’ photos. As it happened it was another year-and-a-half before I really knuckled down and started losing weight, but they are still handy for that purpose.

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I’d say I’m pretty pleased with my progress so far, even if it isn’t quite as fast right now as I’d like to be!

When I was last in work I got talking to the most awesome man. I instantly liked him anyway when he first started a few months ago, because he is simply so full of life. Most newbies especially are so dejected, as they often don’t realise how much physical work can be involved working in a warehouse, but this guy looks as if nothing on earth could bring him down. Sometimes it’s like he’s like the only alive person in a sea of ghosts, and I can’t help but grin whenever he passes. He is an awesome dude.

As if that wasn’t already enough he also used to be overweight so he knows the struggle, and when I mentioned I wanted to get fitter he was so encouraging! He even offered to draw me up a running plan and assured me that anyone can run, even if they don’t think they have it in them. I don’t think I’m ready to start seriously thinking about running yet, even though it’s something I’m always considering in the back of my head.

He got an early finish from work because he was going out running that morning with his daughter, and that was just the icing on top of a very awesome cake. What a fantastic geezer, and how nice to take the number of people at work who share an interest with me up to the grand total of two!

This morning I got up when my alarm went off at 7am. As soon as I moved I realised I had the most atrocious headache, and my first thought was finally. I haven’t gone mad, it’s just that a really thumping headache is a sure sign that my hormones are sorting themselves out and things will surely improve. So I took some painkillers and laid down for another hour.

Sure enough once they’d kicked in I was back to my normal self, so I got up, had breakfast and walked into town. The weather this morning was bloody awful but thankfully I brought my camera with me because what did I see but a pair of these!

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Nope, they are not floating, feathery quenelles. They are young swans! I was especially excited because I haven’t seen swans in the local park for years. At least not since the council filled in their favourite pond and built a housing estate on top of it.

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I do hope they stick around, although they were nowhere to be seen on my way back home again. There wasn’t much to be seen at all though, as it was pouring down with rain at this point and only the ducks were still out and about.

Now I have a whole load of fairly boring stuff to do with the rest of my day so I’d best get on. I may be hindered by the fact that I have everything crossed for weigh in tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Doing Everything I Can

My head is not in a good place. As always it’s probably hormonal, and since it’s been gradually getting worse month-by-month, and I’m at the end of my prescription, in two days time I’ll be knocking the pill on the head. I was struggling before I started taking it too, but it’s worse now than it was before. Let’s see what happens without it again!

Over the last couple of days I’ve really started to feel slimmer, and I was so convinced I’d lost weight that I had a sneak peek (I know, I know!) and I’m totally confused. I know my body, and normally my weight fluctuates wildly. I know it’s normal, and I can deal with it. What I can’t deal with, which I think is why it’s bothering me so much, is being stuck and the exact same weight for a week. This never, ever happens to me. My body is a suddenly a stranger to me.

There could be so many different factors at play, but to give me the best chance of a loss I’ve employed all of the tactics I know.

This week I’ve upped the speed foods, double checked syn values and healthy extra quantities, taken extra care with weigh in and measuring, lowered my carb intake, increased my activity (but haven’t gone mad) changed up my B choices… and nothing so far has made a blind bit of difference.

I’m hoping I can do something by Tuesday, so until then I’m cutting out my beloved salt on my dinners. And although I need it to get through tonight’s shift, from tomorrow morning until Tuesday, no more caffeine. I’m desperate. I want a loss so badly.

#onplanjan is still a major factor in me not throwing in the towel. I can’t stand the thought that after all the broken promises to myself before Christmas that I’ll backtrack on my plans yet again. I can’t stand the thought of failing at that one more thing in a long list of things.

Next week I’m on another department at work for four weeks, which means I should be more active. It shouldn’t equate to many more steps per shift, but hopefully it’ll increase my calorie burn. I’ll be interested to see how it compares to this week. Speaking of which this morning I’d already burned more calories than I did in the whole of last week. In theory I’m doing great.

Today I had an exciting trip to Costco with a friend (never again. There are virtually no bargains to be had) and bought home an enormous jar of gherkins. Everything else was ridiculously overpriced even before adding VAT!

Then we went to Farmfoods and boy is there an interesting clientele there. It was like being in the ghetto! I hastily picked up some Veggie Kitchen burgers, sausages and meatballs that are all cheap, low syn and vegan friendly. I had burgers for dinner and thoroughly enjoyed them.

I wish I could say the same for the saltless veggies. Bleurgh!

So there we have it. A plan of action is in place, I just have wait and see if it brings results. If not? Then I should only have to wait until the Tuesday after to see if hormones really are at play here. After that? Who knows!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

A Proper Start

My mouth is truly getting better now. There’s only a small part of my cheek that’s really painful now, where I’ve had stitches it’s healing nicely, and I feel like I can now properly make a start on my plans for this year. I’m going to leave any high intensity exercise till next week, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be sitting on my backside until then.

I spent some of yesterday reading up on modified push-ups and then decided on a plan of action. I’m going to start with wall push-ups, and I’m doing 3 sets of 12 reps, 3 times a week, for two weeks. Then I’ll do 3 sets of 15 reps, 3 times a week, for another two weeks. After that, I make it harder by choosing a more difficult modification (I’ll decide which one nearer the time) and repeat until I can do a proper, standard push-up! Well it sounds easy enough, I just have to keep at it.

Yesterday I made a start on my new vegan blog, and the first post is about why I became vegan (link). If you’re interested in the ins and outs behind my decision then please feel free to check it out! I shared it on Twitter, too, as I have a few vegan followers on there, and I was strangely nervous. But then I thought back to when I first started blogging about Slimming World and I was just as nervous then. I always assume people are going to be unkind, but so far that hasn’t happened.

I’m crazy excited at the moment because even though I’m back at work tomorrow, my new camera will also be delivered. Although I have Amazon Prime this particular model is only available via third party sellers so I couldn’t get it the next day. How utterly frustrating! I could have had the whole of today playing with it, but it’s probably best that I don’t have it yet because I really need to catch up on some household things.

Speaking of household things, because I’m catching up I had a completely out of the blue NSV. A couple of days before Christmas I popped into Tesco straight from work. Even though it was only 6:10am the place was absolutely rammed, so I vowed to get in and out as soon as possible. As I was passing the clothing section I noticed a penguin hoody. The penguin face was in the hood (cute as hell) plus it was all warm and fluffy. It was on a size 16 hanger (perfect) and reduced to £7. I didn’t even stop to think about it, just rammed it in my trolley and carried on shopping. When I got home I put it on, and although it was a wee bit snug I felt comfortable enough in it.

It wasn’t until today, though, when I actually got around to washing it (don’t judge, I was waiting for other bits to wash it with to be more economical!) that I noticed it is, in fact, A SIZE 12. I’ve never bought anything in a 12 before, never. And although in reality I’m nowhere near fitting into the average size 12, I did, in actual fact, put on a size 12 and do the zip up without realising that something was amiss. This is insane. This is huge. This is amazing! Once it’s dry I’ll pack it up with the Christmas things (they’re all boxed up, just waiting for me to make space for them in the loft) and won’t try it on again until I unpack everything in December. And you can bet your life I’ll be blogging about it when that day comes!

I’ve uploaded my latest food diary to the #onplanjan page, so that’s all of January on plan so far and a ten day streak for me. And my resting heart rate has already gone down another beat per minute. Everything’s looking up!

 

Well I simply must crack on, because as much as I’d love sit here typing all day there’s just too much to do. I’ll update with my weigh in results tomorrow (eek!)

Hayley x

SERIOUS Budgeting

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a new camera, and after nearly impulse buying one particular model I thankfully stopped myself and did proper research. This is most unlike me. I’ve found something for £330 (an RX100) that has pretty much all of the functions of an SLR that I like but is teeny tiny. That’s the main draw for me.

Because the equipment I’m using is so old anyway I’m not even sacrificing picture quality (unless you count the macro capabilities of my remarkable 100mm lens) but the major benefit is that it’s portable. At the moment when I go out and about I’m literally carrying a couple of stones worth of equipment around with me and I end up with extremely sore shoulders. Since I can take the new one with my everywhere, even the shops, I’m never going to miss a photo opportunity that my phone camera can’t handle.

I can just about afford it, so after carefully looking through what’s left to pay out this month and pooling the money from several different accounts, I made the plunge and ordered it. I would have liked to order it through my work and get a 10% discount, but it’s out of stock. I suppose I could have waited till they got more, but it’s an old model so it’s not guaranteed, plus when I checked on Amazon they only had FOUR LEFT. It would have been silly of me not to get it right away!

So that leaves me with £60 to spend on food and petrol until payday on the 26th. Hmm…

I have quite a bit of food in the freezer already, so if I only buy fruits and veggies from Lidl then I should be able to do it. It’s within the realms of possibility shall we say, and I might even be able to make the petrol in the car last too, although I am taking my mum to an appointment on the 23rd. That may throw a spanner in the works.

It’s exciting though! Seeing it as a challenge that I want to complete rather than a burden that’s been placed upon me changes things entirely. Plus my new super lightweight camera will encourage me to get out and about more, without having to decide what lenses to take and inevitably regretting my decision as soon as I see something interesting.

In the meantime #onplanjan has been going fabulously, especially now I can eat normally. I definitely went overboard with my kebab dinner, but I was Hank Marvin I tell you. Now it’s time to up those speed foods again.

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I’ve also been taking photos of my daily food diaries (excuse the handwriting) and adding them to my #onplanjan page. If you’re that way inclined then feel free to take a peek!

Yesterday I forced myself to get my 10,000 steps, and today I am forcing myself to return to work because I’m sick of these four walls. The pain has mostly gone, it’s just an unpleasant feeling from the stitches that remains (plus I still have a chubby cheek and will no doubt be made fun of tonight). But I can handle that.

The difference between staying at home and going to work, even with exercise, is in the region of a thousand calories, so I’m better off going if I can.

Well, if I’m going to make it to work then I really need to get my butt into gear.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Black Fri-Nay

I hear that Black Friday has been something of a washout this year, and that makes me happy, even though I work in retail and a huge amount of the yearly profit is supposedly made in that one day. I just hate the excessive greed of it, and I’m glad that we aren’t all lowering ourselves to have fights over cheap TV’s in supermarket aisles.

I haven’t left the house today, at least not since I came in from work this morning, but I have made one special Black Friday purchase. Just before I went into work last night I spotted a post from Lush on Instagram. They are doing a limited edition orangutan-shaped soap, and 100% of the proceeds (minus VAT) are going towards buying land to reforest in Indonesia. As I skimmed over the post I read that only 14,600 of these soaps have been made, but until I went back to find the post this morning I didn’t realise why they only made that number. It’s because that’s how many orangutans there are left in Sumatra. So I was happy to pay more than £8 for a soap, because it’s going to a damn good cause. And it’s cute as hell. I’ll post a picture when it arrives.

Yesterday I got up early and went into town to pick up some jeans I’d ordered online. It’s virtually impossible to get a pair of jeans in my size and leg length in an actual shop, but at least it got me out of the house and also made me clock up some extra steps. I’ve now made up for spending Monday and most of Tuesday in bed!

I’ve also been on plan and I’m feeling great about it, especially since preliminary results seem to show that any gain caused by my Zizzi’s meal (plus extra) has since been obliterated. I was quite active in the week leading up to it, so that may well have helped too. Last night I had Quorn Fishless Fingers for dinner and it was bordering on the divine!

Today I have been told to eff off by several people, and that’s because I couldn’t help pointing out that this time next month it will be CHRISTMAS EVE!!! How exciting is that?

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I finally decided on how I’m going to decorate the five hessian Christmas stockings I bought, and the first one is complete. I got the cutest fairy light buttons, and I used some green wool to crochet the string they hang on. Plus I had little bells kicking around from last year and thought I’d put them to good use. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

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I’ve also been using my (very basic) calligraphy skills to write out mini gift tags, and I’ve been practicing with the full-sized ones too.

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I have to start again with those though, because I decided I don’t like the actual tags and I’ve bought some nicer ones for the occasion.

My mum has been getting her Christmas Craft on too, and I appropriated this knitted polar bear the second he was done. Pea is currently in training to not be terrified of him, so I hope to get some nice festive pictures of her like I did last year. I’ll show you those next month.

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Before I go back to bed for my pre-work nap I’m starting to sort things out for a special visit I’m making on Monday. You can rest assured there will be more details to come on that very soon! I’m meeting up with an awesome person I haven’t seen in real life yet, so I suppose I’d best make sure I have clean clothes to wear and stuff like that. I’m normally a last minute kind of person, but I’m really, really trying to be more organised. I’m sure if I searched the blog for that phrase there would be numerous results, but really, I am trying!

On that note I’d really best crack on.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Red Roses and Cabbages

On Thursday a friend popped round as he couldn’t see me on my actual birthday, which is today, and I was surprised with a lovely bunch of flowers. We’re good enough friends that he knows how much I love vegetables, so my bunch of flowers included what seemed to be cabbages or kale of some description! As he suspected, I was impressed. Since I don’t know exactly what they are I’ll resist eating them though.

Then this morning everything went topsy turvy and I had a slip-up. I knew I was getting a chocolate frog from my brother, which I had intended to save until Hallowe’en. Just because. But as soon as I opened him I lost control and bit his poor little head off.

I’ll be honest. The rest of him did not last much longer. Then I opened my next present, which was a gorgeous little box of 6 gold-dusted vegan truffles (not real gold, I’m assuming) and they didn’t last long either. I followed that up with toast smothered in peanut butter, then finally with dairy-free Ben & Jerry’s. Not the healthiest breakfast I’ve ever had. On the plus side, I stopped eating before I felt sick, although in ‘normal person’ terms by rights I should have been feeling sick already. I probably ate 1/5th of the ice cream before I put it back in the freezer, which I’m fairly certain has never happened before.

I then opened a present from my mum – a size 14 sweater-dress that I was quite sure would be a bit tight even though the style is deliberately oversized. Nope! It fits perfectly. I’m not sure if it’s how it’s supposed to fit, but I felt just brilliant wearing it, plus it has a nice high neckline that will keep me nice and warm but still shows evidence of my actual neck. I absolutely love it and at that point I felt over the moon.

After a little more present-opening, including a very sweary cookbook called Thug Kitchen – Eat Like You Give a F*ck (check it out, there are loads of healthy recipes that look easy enough to convert to Slimming World) I went to bed for some much needed sleep.

When I woke up, before I was even aware what day of the week it is, a wave of guilt at what I’d eaten this morning washed over me. So I did what I promised myself I would do the next time I found myself feeling bad about food, and that’s to reach out for some help.

I messaged my friend and favourite blogger to confess, and I was given some excellent advice. It was all stuff that any of us slimmers would tell each other in the same situation – that we’re only human, that it’s not the end of the world, that beating yourself up doesn’t do any good whatsoever. Sometimes we just need to hear it from someone else. And as the messages came pouring in I felt myself exhale and my shoulders drop (they had been making their way up to my earlobes) because I was so tense and I hadn’t even realised. I remembered to just breathe and that actually, everything is still OK.

Another result of talking to a fellow slimmer is that I’ve cemented a goal I’ve had floating around in my head for a while. My target weight (for now) is 12st 10lbs, which will take me into the top end of a healthy BMI and also give me leeway of a couple of pounds. But more than that, I want to comfortably fit into a size 14 from any high street store such as Topshop, River Island, New Look, Next etc. Once I can do that, there won’t be many (perhaps any) places I can’t shop and from then on I’ll only have to worry about getting clothes that are long enough, rather than wide enough, to fit me. Wouldn’t that be something?

Tonight I’m at work but tomorrow I’m out and about in London with my sister, and although I will still have my vegan pumpkin spice latté, that’s the only thing I’m going to have while we’re out unless it’s a free food. I’m taking a packed lunch with me, and I’ve given my sister instructions to knock any bad food straight out of my hand if I do pick any up. Although I don’t think I will even want to now. I still have all of my goals in sight and I can’t afford to be distracted any further.

This is where I’ve gone wrong in the past – one bad morning, or evening, or whatever, has sent my spiralling out of control. And it doesn’t have to be that way. It WON’T be that way.

I’m going to enjoy the rest of my birthday guilt free and safe in the knowledge that I’m still on my way to target. It feels damn good.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Back to Group

Just a few months ago I was really struggling with my hormones. The doctor put me on the pill, and the first month I didn’t notice a difference. But after that everything changed. I believe there are other factors at work, so I’m not putting my recent weight-loss successes down to a magic pill. I drastically altered my caffeine intake, I found more motivation, I’ve been back at work with no naughty early finishes, I’ve been sleeping better… there are probably more things too. But sorting out the hormone issue has made it so much easier. I was having some ridiculously intense cravings, my boobies seriously hurt for at least half of each month and my moods were gradually getting worse. The boob pain has completely gone as have the cravings. If I leave it too long between meals then I start thinking about convenience foods, but once I’ve had dinner everything is fine again. But the uncontrollable feeling that I must eat junk? It’s a thing of the past (and let’s hope it stays that way). I’m still a moody cow at times but hey, we can’t have everything in life now can we?

All of these changes combined mean that I am now celebrating my sixth loss in a row, and as I’m managing to get more and better quality sleep, I have made the decision to go back to group at the beginning of November. I’m going to be completely honest. I could do it now, but I decided to wait until the current series of Great British Bake Off has finished. Although I’d make it back from group in time to see it, I wouldn’t leave me much time to get ready for work. See this is how strong I’m feeling – I can watch a show about cakes and bread and it doesn’t bother me one bit!

I don’t particularly enjoy group that much, but I need something to get me going on a Tuesday because my step count always suffers at the beginning of my work week. Walking to group and back will make it that much easier to reach my weekly goals. Plus there’s the fact that I’m only 1st 11.5lbs away from target, and I need to be a group member to take advantage of the free membership that comes with hitting my target weight. Finally, although I’m feeling like a total badass when it comes to staying on plan, over the next few months I don’t think there’s such a thing as being too vigilant, and I need to make sure I have extra support in order to stay on the straight and narrow.

Less than two stone to go. It completely snuck up on me and I can’t quite believe it.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot about weigh day yesterday! I lost a very respectable two pounds which I’m very happy with as I’m still on track to achieve everything I want to, plus I only have one pound until I’ve broken my Slimming World weight loss record. Sorry if I’m going over old ground here but I’ll say it again anyway – I did get down to a lower weight once (in the 12 stone bracket), but I was quite ill will gallstones, taking dodgy diet pills AND feeling totally and utterly miserable. So I don’t see that as a real achievement. But even though I’ve been the weight I am now with Slimming World once before, this is still a whole new territory. I’ve never lost weight ‘properly’ like this before. I’m eating healthier now than I have in my entire life, and I’m also the happiest and most well-adjusted I’ve ever been too. And that’s why the weight is NOT going back on again this time.

The only thing I’m agonising over right now is what to do with my weight loss history when I’m back at group. I just want to start over because I don’t care about the past as such (unless it’s something to learn from), as far as weight loss goes I’m only looking forward. I also don’t like the attention it brings when my total loss is read out, and my consultant puts too much emphasis on the relatively short amount of time it’s taken me to achieve. I know what she’ll say though – that it helps other people. So am I selfish for wanting to stay fairly anonymous? I don’t know, but if anyone has any thoughts I’d be genuinely glad to hear them.

Finally, I don’t like a post without a picture so here’s my most recent comparison shot, taken at my sister’s on Sunday. 6st 10.5lbs between the two. I read a comment on someone’s comparison pictures on Instagram once where the person wanted to know why people always look so miserable in their ‘after’ pictures. I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me? I’m just trying not to look too pleased with myself!

It’s all an illusion though. I am very pleased with myself indeed.

Hayley x

The Losers Club

This is my pin collection. Every one of them represents a half-stone that is gone forever, and rather than rewarding myself with food or with clothes (that I will inevitably shrink out of) I wanted something that would last forever. These are in no particular order, but to begin with I chose things that meant something to me. As time went on that got harder and harder, so they’re mostly just pins that I like now.

The one I ordered for my 6.5 stone award came today and this one does have a bit of a deeper meaning. Regular readers will know that I went to see IT recently, and although I’ve read the book too it’s not my all time favourite Stephen King (which is The Shining, by the way…) Having said that when I saw my latest IT-themed pin I knew I had to have it. The group of kids from the story call themselves The Losers Club which I absolutely love. I was never someone who just ‘fit in’ and I never will be, and I’ve always liked it that way. I don’t want to just do what everyone else is doing, no matter how unpopular it makes me. I like what I like and I will make no apologies for it!

Then there’s the obvious other meaning, that since I’m losing weight with Slimming World it’s a losers club of sorts! To top it off the year on the pin, (1958, the period the book is set in) happens to be the year my mum was born. I was obviously meant to have it.

Today has just been the absolute best, even though I’m exhausted. Last night I went to bed at 1am feeling like I’d drop off instantly, but my brain had other ideas and transported me back to when I was about ten and my best friend’s older sister randomly started bullying me at school. If you had asked me yesterday if I was bullied at school I would have said no – I’d completely forgotten about it up until last night. It went downhill from then on with me remembering awful things, some of which made me burn with shame in the darkness. So yeah, thanks for that brain! Through sheer bloody-mindedness I forced my thoughts back to my happy place and eventually got to sleep.

Sometimes after nights like that I wake up feeling dejected, but thankfully that didn’t happen today even though I got up at 7am after less than 5 hours actually asleep. There were things to be done! I got to town before most of the shops were even open so I decided to pop into Asda, which always opens earlier than everywhere else. I told myself to just look at the dresses, strictly no buying.

Yeah… that didn’t work.

As I was browsing I came across the most amazing dress. If I wrote a list of all the things I want in a dress then this one would tick almost every single box. I was convinced I was the wrong shape for it though, so I decided it was worth trying it on. It might put me off buying it.

So on it went, and when I looked in the mirror I was genuinely shocked. It’s like I was looking at the me I want to be. It’s almost the perfect fit, and the perfect style, and perfect for the season. And only £16 too!

I raced around town getting the other bits I needed because I wanted to get home and show my mum. When I got in I tore up the stairs to get changed, and when I came downstairs my mum (who is used to such shenanigans and just turned around reluctantly at my request) actually let out a genuine gasp because it’s such a lovely dress. And it really shows off my weight loss.

I’m not going to post a picture yet because I don’t have anyone around to take a good one for me, and I want you to see just how pretty it is. It is also the perfect vehicle for wearing pins as the material is thick enough, plus there are straps that are the perfect place for them to sit. I’m aware that I’ve said perfect about a million times (she says, not exaggerating at all) but it’s the only word for it! I’m going to wear this dress when I go to London with my sister next Sunday and I’m sure she will be amazed too. It even has pockets! I’m sure it’s not just me and my sister who think the holy grail of the dress world is the pocketed dress. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, it really is, I’m telling you.

This weekend I’ve done some drawings for Inktober, but to be honest after today I decided to give up on that. After a few nice sketches I just completely ran out of inspiration – the bee in my bonnet has flown off! There are other things I want to do more, and I’ve decided to just follow my instincts. That doesn’t mean I won’t be drawing anymore, but I’m not going to force myself to do something when I’m just not feeling it. What I am getting excited about it making some gifts for my family which I think are going to turn out great, I just need to wait for some additional materials to arrive after Hobbycraft completely let me down today.

That’s the reason I don’t do anything creative for a living. Part of me would love to just make things all day, but I could never build up a business because it’s so dependent on my moods. If don’t have my mojo then I find even the most basic artistic pursuits utterly draining. So I just do it for the love, as and when the mood takes me!

One thing I have sort of enjoyed today is having a good clear out. I have a veritable mountain of stuff for the charity shop, and three black sacks of things that are no good to anyone. I have been absolutely brutal when deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, and my room is going to look a lot better for it. I’m going to throw the toot out first then sort out the charity shop stuff, because I really don’t want to two to get mixed up.

Other than that I do need to increase my activity this week. I only barely managed to avoid last week being my worst ever in terms of calories burned, and I’m worried I haven’t lost weight too. It’s weigh day tomorrow so it’s not long until I find out, but either way I need to alter the balance a little because I’m not enjoying the lack of exercise. If anything I’ve found I have less energy and I don’t want to slip back into bad habits. As for food I have been absolutely PERFECT (sigh, there I go again) but the fact that my portions have decreased in line with my drop in activity only makes me feel marginally less guilty.

So there we have it, with a few tweaks I should be a lot more on my way to achieving goals than I feel I am this week. Only time will tell though, so I’ll let you know how I get on tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x