September

I’m running out of post titles, at least for the time being. How many different ways can I hint at Fresh Starts, New Beginnings and This is the Last Times? If I had a better imagination it might be easier, but as it happens I don’t think I’m going to need to get particularly creative after all.

Its 2:30am and I’m too wired to sleep, too tired to do anything. I’m therefore doing what any committed caffeine addict would do – drinking a coffee and thinking ’bout stuff.

I currently have a tummy that is still way too full of pizza dough to be comfy, but I think perhaps I have eaten enough of the stuff lately to actually get to the point where I’m completely sick of it.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ve finally eaten my fill.

The timing is good, because I promised my Slimming World consultant that I’d weigh in later today, come what may. We have a plan you see. She thinks that perhaps I’m putting too much pressure on myself, so she suggested a higher Syn allowance for a while, and perhaps not committing to a full seven days on plan at once. I love that she’s thinking outside the box for ways to help me, and I love that she’s given me another option to think about for the time being. I don’t feel quite so at a loss as to what to do.

Having that backup plan in place kind of set me free to focus on doing things properly without being too concerned about it not working. I’m giving it one last big push, because I know I can do this. I know that when my head is in the right place, I can absolutely get the pounds falling off me. I’m sure I just need one good week, one good result, to get be back in the zone. When it gets close to Monday, though, I have so much riding on that result. I think that’s why I self-sabotage. If I know I’ve already screwed up, then I don’t have to worry about stepping on the scales and seeing that I’ve failed at that moment. It’s a foregone conclusion, I already know I’ve failed and I’ve prepared for it.

I get told I’m brave for weighing in anyway. I don’t feel very brave.

This week, I AM going to be brave. I’m going to do a full seven days on plan. I’m going to go on some walks. I’m going to stay within 15 syns. I’m going to step on those scales and take whatever result I see.

Maybe it’ll suck, and I’ll break down and cry in front of a room full of people. Well so what? Maybe that’s what I need. Maybe I’ll have a great result and I’ll cry anyway. I just know I have to do it, because this is getting beyond silly now. If it goes tits up, I have alternative options that my consultant has provided, but I have a sneaky suspicion I won’t need them.

2013 Hayley was in this exact same position. 2013 Hayley deleted her blog around this time, denied to herself that this was happening, and regained everything, the whole seven stone, by Christmas 2014.

I’m not letting history repeat itself. I will fight tooth and nail before I let that happen. Maybe that’s what’s been missing – my fighting spirit! It’s back. Just you wait and see what I’m capable of.

September has been a hungry month, a month of gains, but it’s also been a good month. I’ve been struggling a bit to keep my spending under control, so I made a really good plan to sort it out. I’ve looked at exceptionally simple ways I can save money which also happen to benefit my health.

A few examples – not having a takeaway each week will save me at least £80 a month. Not taking an energy drink to work will save me £30 a month. When I reach target and no longer have to pay for Slimming World, that’s another £20 a month. Feeling good about myself and not buying myself ‘treats’ to cheer myself up, well, I can’t even count that high. Basically I’m going to be minted.

Not being wasteful is also going to perk me up. Not that I feel especially sad right now, I actually feel rather good. Apart from that damn monkey on my back that is my relationship with food!

So, September highlights then! I’ve been especially creative this month.

I made a present for my brother:

I did lots of painting:

I scritched a bird:

I played in the sea:

I photographed a mutha flipping wedding:

Love, love, LOVE the photo of the bride’s sons gatecrashing the first dance!

And then there’s the stuff I haven’t told you about yet. Most importantly, I truly moved on after being really quite badly hurt by someone. Although I knew a sincere apology or an explanation was never going to be forthcoming, I finally stopped needing those things. That was BIG I tell you. I honestly thought I’d be carrying that burden around for the rest of my life.

At the wedding, I kissed a boy! Unfortunately there wasn’t that spark, but it was another big thing for me that I recognised that straight away and didn’t jump in and do something I didn’t really want to, just for the sake of it. I was told by one friend that I should have slept with him, basically because it’s been ‘too long’ since I last slept with anyone. What even is too long though? I wasn’t aware there was a time limit! Plus I don’t need to be sexually active to be whole.

Finally, and this is my absolute favourite bit, I got to meet Newton. Newton is the newest member of the family, and I suppose I’d describe myself as a dog aunt now (he lives with my sister and her boyfriend who are going to be just the bestest dog parents).

IS HE NOT THE MOST GORGEOUS BOY EVER?

He’s not just cute though, he also has the most adorable personality. He’s so funny, especially when it comes to his sleeping positions. Boy, you just cannot be comfortable like that!

He visits us during the day while my sister is at work, and he’s a joy to have around. I love my little nap buddy to bits already, and I haven’t laughed so much in a long, long time. Him stealing a pair of my brother’s underpants was particularly funny. It totally makes up for him peeing everywhere except where he should.

You could use the photo below as a reference for a) how happy I was to meet him and b) how teeny he really is!

So, it’s now much, much later and I’ve just been weighed in. I’ve put on half a pound (nothing short of a miracle) meaning my current weight is 15 stone 11 pounds.

It is what it is. I’m going to put it behind me and welcome in October. By the time I’m getting ready to be annoyed by the trick-or-treaters, I’m going to have made a huge amount of progress. Hopefully I’ll be back in the 14’s, which is a worthy and achievable goal.

It’s going to be a good month. I can feel it.

Hayley x

Disappointment & Desperation

Is there anyone on earth as practiced in the art of self-sabotage as I am? I suspect not. After a week of being perfectly on plan AND enjoying it, on Sunday night I found myself alone at my sister’s house.

I had been looking after her parrot, Petrie, but decided to take her home early (instead of Monday morning) so I could have a soak in my sister’s tub.

Four hours and three Lush bath bombs later (they needed to be used and I don’t have regular access to a bath) I was feeling relaxed. But then a thought popped into my head. If I ordered a Papa John’s, no one would know. So I did. Of course I felt shit about it, so my sabotage in the form of overeating carried on until this afternoon.

WHY AM IN DOING THIS?

I’m so disappointed in myself, but it’s worse than that. Im getting really unhappy with my size now and starting to feel more than a hint of desperation. I know Slimming World works, but I’ve lost my faith in it and myself. I just can’t seem to get into it like I used to, and I don’t have any alternative! I don’t know what to do!

Someone please send a kick up the arse. This weekend I’m going up the country a wee bit to visit at least one friend, hopefully two, and I’m hoping this weekend of goodness (and friends who share my goals) will perk me up.

Not that this weekend wasn’t interesting. At my house, when I let Petrie out she headed straight for my glasses and proceeded to attempt to destroy them. When I had the audacity to stop her she bit me on the nose and made me bleed.

She does seem to have something of a fascination with my specs.

When I took her home, I figure she just felt a bit safer in her usual environment. When she started chewing again, I was able to take my glasses off without being attacked.

Well it kind of worked…

She’s such a capricious little bird. One minute I’m trying to message my sister while she’s inserting her head underneath my thumb because she wants attention, the next she’s biting my toes.

This snuggle sesh somehow ended up with a bite to the ear. I don’t get it! I still love her though.

Well then, unfortunately blogging hasn’t helped me getting anything particularly figured out as it sometimes does. I just have to keep trying until my mojo comes back, hopefully for a full seven days in a row.

Here’s hoping.

Hayley x

Where do I begin?

What’s this? I have time to blog? Truth be told, I’m going to have a lot more time from now on. That’s because I’ve made the really difficult and to be honest quite heart-wrenching decision to not be a Slimming World consultant after all.

I’ve been putting off writing this post, because although it’s occupied my thoughts constantly for days, I’ve been trying to avoid examining things too closely. Right now I’m feeling like a big huge failure with a capital F.

My main reason for wanting to become a consultant was sound. The people in my group needed a permanent consultant and they are truly lovely people, so I wanted them to have just that. I’m feeling a massive amount of guilt, because I know I’ve let all of those people down, especially the ones who have been helping me with promotion.

Guilt is probably the word of the day. I feel guilty for all of the extra work I’ve put on to other people – my manager will have to start again looking for another consultant whereas if she’d chosen anyone but me then there’d be someone ready to go this Monday. There’s all of the returning of my equipment to sort out and getting cover for the group in the meantime. I’ve wasted so much of everyone’s time. I hate myself for that.

My main reason for giving up at this stage is depression. Maybe, just maybe if I wasn’t feeling so bad then I’d be able to cope with everything. But what I really feel, deep down, is that it’s more likely I’m just not the person I thought (hoped?) I am or could be. I’m not strong. I can’t just knuckle down and get on with things. I’m a flake. I’m not looking for sympathy, I just can’t be anything but honest here. I feel quite pathetic right now.

I feel guilty for every single person who has a lot more to deal with than I do and copes with it. I feel guilty for every other consultant who manages to do it alongside a full time job. I feel guilty for every consultant who runs their groups alongside raising a family. If they can do it why can’t I? What’s wrong with me?

I feel scared to death that this is all I’ll ever be. Will I just be in my little comfort zone forever, scared to leave? Is this all I’ve ever amount to? Ugh. I’m being dramatic!

So yeah, I’m not really a fan of myself right now. On top of it all I’m the heaviest I’ve been in a year because I’ve been comfort eating. Just lately food has been the only thing that has bought me any kind of enjoyment at all, but I’m so angry at myself for knowing how brief that enjoyment is and what it means for my future happiness (or lack thereof) and choosing to go down that road anyway.

Where do I go from here then? Well… backwards I think. Now I have spare time again I’m right back out there getting my exercise in. I do love going for walks, and I’ve realised that no matter where I end up in future then in order to be happy I must make sure I don’t consider having to sacrifice that again. It’s a deal-breaker. I can’t walk to work and back because it’s not safe in the dark on my own, so although it’s time consuming it must be done in my spare time.

Also I need to go back to my lowest weight. I’ve said it before but I was happy then. So back to last November I go, even though I’m further away from it than I was the last time I wrote about it.

Thankfully, although I feel like the world’s biggest pile of crap, at least I’ve realised what needs to happen before any more damage is done.

I must say I have had nothing but love and support from so many people at Slimming World. Although I don’t feel I deserve it, everyone without exception has been absolutely brilliant. When making my decision I had brief thoughts about not being able to show my face and having to give up as a member, or finding a group way out where no one would know what trouble I’d caused. That’s not the Slimming World way though, and I was really surprised to find that right from the members to the very top their values stay the same. To be a big company and keep that going through and through is quite an achievement.

Right now I feel like my foundations have been well and truly rocked and I have a lot of thinking to do about who I am and where to go from here, but just for now I’m just content to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

At least the view is nice.

Hayley x

By a Thread

Since I last posted I’ve been in a dark place. Me starting to feel a tiny bit better was then replaced by depression coming along and punching me right in the side of the head with all its strength – and I’m still reeling from the blow.

Notable achievements over the past week have been having a shower and being awake for a few hours in a row. The other day I even picked my post up from the floor. It sounds funny when I put it like that, but I’m not exaggerating. That was a big deal.

My ‘ordinary’ job has been quiet, which is lucky, so I have been going home early at every opportunity, though without pay. I know I can’t really afford it, and I feel guilty and scared about that, but also I know that being unconscious is the only thing that feels good at the moment and I’ll take any opportunity that will allow me to achieve that. What I dearly want from most from life right now is to be asleep. To be anything but feeling like this.

Oblivion please.

Eating well has gone out of the window and I skipped weigh-in on Tuesday partly because I genuinely didn’t have the energy and partly because I wasn’t in a fit state to interact with people, at least unless absolutely necessary. I wanted to go, but there’s only so much I can handle.

Somehow, on Monday night I managed to find the strength to make it to my own Slimming World group and deliver what seemed to be a perfectly acceptable new member talk. Huh. Although I suspected I had it in me, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it feeling like… this. But I did. Cool.

Let me try and explain what it’s like. I know things, logically – for instance I went out for a walk last Thursday and I knew that the cool breeze was lovely on my face, I knew that the sun was making everything look pretty, and that going for a walk is good for me. I knew it but I couldn’t feel it.

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I took a picture. See, pretty yes?

Afterwards I went for a really nice meal at a pub down the road. The food was super fancy but in a down-to-earth setting with no snooty staff. I had a chocolate bomb and the waitress came round with a teeny tiny saucepan full of sauce to pour over the top, melt the shell and reveal the delicious insides. It came with real flowers on top. I ate a flower. Normally that would have thrilled me, but not then. Damn.

Today a friend very kindly came out with me for moral support while I was putting up some posters for my Slimming World group. It went a lot better with company, and I am feeling more confident that I’ll find some hidden reserves in order to give my group the service they deserve when I launch on the 24th. They really do deserve it, they are special people.

In the meantime, after sobbing down the phone to the doctor’s receptionist my appointment has been moved from next Wednesday to this Saturday morning. I’m genuinely counting down the days. One more to to get through once tonight is over with.

I know I won’t feel better straight away, but I need to know that something is going to get better.

I was looking back at photos from last year and the end of November was the last time I can say I felt really, properly happy. I really want to get back to feeling like I was then, and looking like I was then, too. Blimey I felt skinny!

I might be hanging on by a thread right now, but the truth is I know deep down that it’s a deceptively strong thread. I will be back to how I felt in November sooner or later. It’s testament to how much I’ve changed though because although I slip (more often than not these days it seems) apparently gone are the days when I completely give up.

So if you’re not feeling tip top right now, just like me, then give yourself a pat on the back for still putting one foot in front of the other, even if it is a tiny step.

We’ll get there.

Hayley x

It’ll Pass

Whilst I’ve welcomed the return of the sun this week, at the same time I’ve been unable to really appreciate it. This is because I feel sad. Really. Frickin. Sad. And a little bit lost. OK, a lot lost.

I think I know what the problem is. Although my new status of being single is right, it doesn’t make it easy. Aside from anything else, my life (which was way too filled up with things to do) is now a little bit empty. feel empty. There are tons of things I have been itching to get cracking with, until now that is.

I’ve been desperate for the time to concentrate on my photography, my health, or my embroidery, or painting (or take my pick of a thousand other things) but now I have the time, I don’t have the slightest inclination to actually do it. Any of it.

Damn.

On top of it all my eating has been atrocious. I’ve been eating when I’m not hungry, and the thought of savoury food makes my stomach turn over. I just want sugar, sugar and more sugar. I also don’t want to move from my bed, not just because I don’t want to face the world (I really don’t) but also because I’m just so gosh darn tired again.

Despite all this I have managed a couple of days on plan this week, and I have forced myself to get outside. I walked through the park into town, where I finally picked up a swimming costume I’m completely satisfied with.

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Although it’s super unflattering, I’m still really pleased with this purchase because it holds everything in where it should and nothing falls out of any gaps. That was all I ever really wanted from my costume.

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I think it says I mean business. Since we’re approaching the beginning of April I wanted to set down some goals for the month. I’m going to lose some weight, search out my mojo, and definitely, definitely, go swimming.

Speaking of costumes, I’ve also agreed to dress up as Mary Poppins for an Easter Egg hunt at the end of April. It’s to raise money for a school in the village where Steve’s mum and brother live, and there are several reasons why I said I’d do it.

Number one, I really love the film. Two, I’ve never been to a fancy dress party despite the fact I’ve always wanted to dress up. Three, it’s for a good cause. My sister is a teacher and I know how hard it is for schools to manage on government funding alone. Well, it’s not really possible. Four, it’s completely out of my comfort zone and I think it’ll be good for me.

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I’m not quite satisfied with the basic costume though, so I’m going to add a few bits and bobs to it. I’ll keep you updated! Perhaps when I’m happy with the costume I can get rid of my stern face.

This morning my sister came over and we went for a walk in the woods. Again I wasn’t really feeling it, but it did us both good I think. Plus she’s an excellent listener and also offers good advice.

She also sneakily took a picture of me and added it to her Instagram story. When I saw it I was pleasantly surprised that I don’t look like I’ve gained 8 stone overnight, which is how I was feeling.

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We fed the ducks and geese, saw the first bluebells of the season, and had some fancy apple juice. Maybe things aren’t so bad.

Another positive is that because of daylight savings I only have a 7 hour shift tonight. Oh, and I have a nice busy day planned tomorrow which will hopefully perk me up a bit. After tomorrow I’m going to work hard and…

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Check out my 8 week food diary from the White Triangle Co. It was a bit pricey, but I wanted it, I had the money, so I got it. Watcha gonna do?

Right, I have to get ready for work now.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Just Try Again

This week has not been the turnaround I’d hoped it would be. I’ve been so tired, so I’ve been letting myself sleep, which is good. I’ve also had mad cravings again… and I listened to them. Again. Hmm, not so good. I’m getting really annoyed with myself because although up until this point I’ve been sort of ‘getting away with it’ and exercising a certain amount of damage limitation, I think this week it’s all catching up with me. It simply has to stop. It’s one thing knowing what I have to do and another thing altogether putting it into practice though isn’t it?

So I try again. I think that’s my super power.

There’s a thing hanging over my head that I can’t talk about here, and once that’s resolved I’m sure I’ll find things easier. My mood has dropped quite drastically and I feel awful. I felt that I was doing quite well up until now. In the meantime I still need to practice coping with having things over my head because this will often be the case in life and I can’t go stuffing my face every single time it happens.

One little shining light is Pea, who seems really happy lately. She’s been such a sweet birdy and she’s been helping me out modelling while I practice mixing ambient light with flash.

This is the kind of shot I’d get if I didn’t use flash:

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It’s nice in its own way, but not ideal if you actually want to see, well, anything. For one there’s no way the following pose would have made me laugh quite so much if I couldn’t see all of the details. Seriously, this mid-preen shot cracks me up every time I look at it – she just looks so utterly ridiculous!

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My next little mood-booster is a mixed bag. On the one hand I got my first ever pair of Irregular Choice shoes and I FLIPPING LOVE THEM. I was inspired by Davey’s post (link) and whilst I couldn’t afford anything from their current range I got an end-of-line deal via eBay for less than half the full price.

On the other hand, I bought them for Swingamajig and I’m feeling increasingly panicked that I will be the size of a house before it comes around. I will be if I don’t get my eating under control! In honour of the shoes and the outfit I must sort it out, because I tried on my dresses yesterday and did not feel good in them.

I’ll take a picture of me wearing them tomorrow and put them in a post on here which will hopefully spur me into action.

Either way the shoes are awesome, and once Swingamajig is over I’ll be wearing them on a regular basis, even to the shops. Yes really. It would be a crime to not wear these until they die, which in any case means… I can get another pair!

Finally, whilst I’m on the subject of material things, I am now the proud owner of my first ever Canon ‘L’ series lens (the L standing for luxury. Oh yeah.)

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I got it second-hand and I traded it in for several other lenses, otherwise this baby would have set me back around £560. I can’t tell you how much it would have been to buy new, but to give you an idea the latest version of the same lens is £1679. In photography you generally get what you pay for.

At the beginning of the year I wrote about being in a bit of a pickle financially, but I’m happy to report that things are looking up in that respect. I’m all straight again! The previous version of me would have stuck this new lens on a credit card and worried about it later, so I’m quite proud that I not only decluttered by paring down my lens collection, but also managed to keep on track with only spending money I actually have.

At least that’s one huge thing off my mind.

Hopefully tomorrow there will be a bit of sunshine and I can take my lens out for a proper test drive. I expect to be ripped by the time I get home because boy is it heavy!

Anyhoo, I’m going to try my best to turn around my mood and my eating, so hopefully I’ll have something more positive to tell you next time. I’ll sure give it a good try.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Broken Promises

Let’s get the Slimming World stuff out of the way first. Over Christmas I coped quite well with a big but manageable and guilt-free gain. Since then though, I feel like I haven’t been able to stop eating crap! I don’t even really want it, I’m just munching down sugary, fatty rubbish like there’s no tomorrow.

This weekend is the first weekend in months and months that I’ve had to myself, and rather than doing what I’d promised i.e. slowing down and taking more time for myself, I actually haven’t stopped the whole time except to sleep. Even that has been restless. I’ve just been grabbing whatever to eat partly because I just couldn’t be bothered to prepare anything and partly because I was all too willing to give into my cravings.

So we start again, again, again. Sigh. I’m trying to get enthusiastic about it but I’m struggling a bit at the mo.

I missed group yesterday, which was half expected. I started the weekend by beginning the mammoth task of sorting through basically everything I own and even though it shouldn’t have come as a surprise, it took a lot, lot longer than I thought it would. I had still hoped to make it to weigh in, but I realised weigh in had already started when I was still up to my knees in boxes and who even knows what else.

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I ended yesterday with three sacks of charity shop donations (which as I’m so busy are being picked up by a charity tomorrow) a big pile of stuff to sell, a sack or two of stuff that was no good to anyone, and a nice clean floor that you can actually see. I now have a garden full of a dismantled wardrobe, two dismantled shelving units, a broken cooker and various other bits and bobs. Yeah, there are a few tip runs needed.

Today, even though I have work tonight, I spent the whole day cleaning. I have scrubbed the kitchen walls from top to bottom, cleaned the tops of the cupboards, cleaned the kitchen windows, vacuumed and scrubbed as much carpet as I could before I ran out of cleaner.

I still have an absolute ton of stuff to do around the house, but where I’ve been imagining the end result I subconsciously got it into my head that everything needs to be done yesterday. As such I’ve turned something I was looking forward to doing into something that’s stressing me out, so I need to put my money where my mouth is and CHILL THE HELL OUT AND ACTUALLY START LOOKING LOOKING AFTER MYSELF. I mean it this time.

Tomorrow I’m doing things for me. I’m going to be on plan, I’m going to hula hoop (something I haven’t done for a couple of months now) and do something artistic. No stressing.

Hopefully happy Hayley will be back for the next post!

Thanks for reading x