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

 

Successes

Yesterday was a great day for my slimming friends. First of all one friend got his well-deserved nineteen-and-a-half stone award, then the girlfriend of one of my bestest and longest-standing friends sent me a picture of her with her consultant proudly holding up her target certificate. How could I fail to be spurred on when this is happening around me? I’ve seen the young people of the internets saying ‘your vibe attracts your tribe’, which is  cheesy as hell, but so true. Since I’ve been losing weight and getting more active I’ve found I have a bunch of things in common with people I wouldn’t have connected with before. And that’s awesome! Whenever someone I know decides they want to be healthier I love that they come and tell me. It makes my heart happy.

Yesterday was another running day, and it wasn’t until I was five minutes from my friend’s house and stuck in weekend traffic that it dawned on me – IT’S A SATURDAY. And you know what that means? It means OTHER PEOPLE IN THE PARK. I can handle a few dog walkers, but I started to freak out at the prospect of loads of people seeing me run. But what was I going to do? Turn around and make an excuse? Maybe Old Hayley would have done but Running Hayley? No way!

Of course I shouldn’t have even worried, because my friend is so good at training me that within 10 seconds of getting to the park I’d forgotten about anything else. I was even doing the press-ups without a second thought as to whether anyone was watching. The only distracting thing was the glorious view.

It was lovely and warm too, although my eyes and nose still streamed from the beginning of my training till the end. That side of things is getting a bit old already but then I’ve always been like that as soon as I step outside in cold weather so I’m not sure what I could do about it. Anyway it’s got to be worth it – who would want to be stuck indoors on a day like that?

Afterwards my friend ordered me to have a couple of rest days, which to be honest I need because my leg has started hurting. Not because of the running, but whenever I’m picking at work I bash into things and later on forget it happened so I’m forever covered in bruises and have no clue how they got there. I must have walked in to something and bashed my thigh at some point, and the running only exacerbated it.

I still gave it my all though, and it’s feeling a lot better today.

I had planned to go into town this morning, but then decided against it because I was just so tired. But then I saw how blue the sky was and that someone on Fitbit was beating me in a challenge, so I changed my mind again. Rest day or no, walking hardly counts these days so I took my usual route through the park.

That view never fails to be beautiful. I noticed today as I was walking that I’ve definitely picked up my pace and my strides are longer. This training malarkey is working wonders!

This afternoon is a bit of a danger zone as I’m sitting down to watch a film with the family, but I’m well prepared and have planned what I’m eating so I don’t start wanting to snack. I’m having dinner right before we start then I’ll have a lovely coffee during. I’ve found something that has been a complete game changer as far as coffee is concerned – vegan coffee creamer. It doesn’t have the catchiest name, I think, but an 8g serving works out at 2 syns and makes the coffee wonderfully creamy. It’s much better than any coffee with milk I ever had. It feels like getting a fancy coffee from a coffee shop and it my favourite thing to have as a treat right now. I got it from veganstore.co.uk.

I’m insanely excited about weighing in on Tuesday, but also a little apprehensive in case of exercise-related gains or maintains. I’ve managed to not weigh myself this week so far (although it was touch and go this morning) so it’s going to be a complete surprise. However it turns out though, I feel so different this week that I know something is happening whether the scales show it or not.

Now my tummy has just started rumbling at the thought of dinner so I’d best actually start cooking it.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

The Stages of Acceptance

Every week, starting a couple of days before weigh in, I go through a cycle of worry. Even if (or especially if) I’ve been 100% on plan, I start to think that I feel enormous and can’t possibly have lost any weight. This stage of disbelief builds up until I’m standing in the queue to be weighed, where I go very quiet and metaphorically cross everything I have. The second stage is stepping on the scales and realising I have actually lost weight and being briefly accepting the fact. This is the best part! The third and final stage starts on the walk home from group where I’m convinced the scales had a malfunction just as I stepped on them and maybe I haven’t lost as much as I think I have. This is more of a niggling feeling, until a couple of days before weigh in when I’m certain I haven’t lost any weight. I hope that one day I’ll learn to trust the plan and the scales completely, but if past experiences are anything to go by it’s not all that likely! Maybe it’ll happen when I’m at target (a magical place I’ve never been to before) and not so much hangs on the results.

Anyway speaking of weigh ins, I had mine last night and was shocked to find I’ve lost 4.5 lbs, taking my total to 2 st 13.5 lbs. That 3 stone award is within my grasp! This week was just like any other and I was absolutely convinced that I hadn’t lost despite being on plan since Boxing Day. Other people must be seeing something I’m not though because a lovely lady at group commented that my weight loss is now really starting to show, and I received a sort-of compliment from a man at work too. One man (who I’m friends with, I won’t accept this behavior from just anyone) pulled my ponytail as he walked past, which prompted the other man I was talking with to say he thinks he fancies me because of all that weight I’ve lost. Which was nice in a way, because I also had a little chuckle that he thought pulling my ponytail was evidence of this. Honestly it’s worse than school at my work. When I first started people were convinced I was sleeping with a man I became great friends with. Which was not very likely what with him being gay and all! Still, it was nice of this chap to notice and in the long term it helps me to stay on track. It can get a little disheartening when you’re losing the weight but your mind has yet to catch up with your body.

Today I finally got off my backside and did my first kettlebell workout in weeks. I did start to do a couple of 15 minute workouts here and there, but then my knee, which was already hurty anyway, became a lot more hurty and I had to stop. I stubbornly kept walking as much as I could because I want all of my Body Magic awards, and I’m currently on the last week of Silver. For Gold it includes two sessions of strength training so the kettlebell sessions will be perfect for that. I thought I was going to have to go to the doctors about my knee but touch wood it hasn’t been playing up for a couple of weeks. If it can withstand these workouts which involve a fair bit of squatting, then I think I’m home and dry. If you fancy giving kettlebelling a go (is that a word?) then this is my favourite workout at the moment, which includes a warm up. Some don’t, I’ve found. It’s nice and simple and as easy or as hard as you want to make it, depending on the weight of your kettlebell. I start off with an 8kg then drop down to a 4kg when I wimp out. Just remember if you are going up or down in weight to use the same weight each side or you’re going to be wonky at some point!

After that The Skinny Bakery took me on a trip down memory lane. This is the first time I’ve made an order and amongst other bits I got these gingerbread men. You get three and the whole pack is only 5.5 syns!img_1982

My nan used to buy me gingerbread men whenever we went out shopping and that was the last time I had one as she died many years ago. It’s weird how you forget about these things until something gives you a little nudge and it all comes back. I’ve bought a few other bits from The Skinny Bakery and I’m looking forward to giving them a try. By the way when the gingerbread men arrived they did have all of their buttons, but I dropped them on the table when I opened the packet. In my defence my arms and hands were all wibbly from my workout!

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And with that it’s nearly time for me to get dinner sorted and maybe have a nap for work tonight. It seem cruel and unfair that I have to keep going back there! But then how else am I going to fund my new-found Skinny Bakery addiction?

Thanks for reading,

Hayley X

Being Stubborn

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Today was weigh day and I’m absolutely delighted to say that I lost 3 lbs and got my Bronze Body Magic award!

I was a little worried because this week I have been so inactive. I’ve done the least amount of steps since rejoining my Slimming World group, but to be fair it’s not entirely my fault. During the summer I noticed that my knees were starting to hurt, which I still put down to them having to deal with carrying around so much excess weight. Even so, although I’ve lost just over 2 stone, they are hurting more than ever and the right one is crunching. Which can’t be good. But I’m stubborn and have put off going to the doctors.

Unfortunately in the new year I’m going to have to bite the bullet and find out what’s going on, because I was unable to do my step aerobics and kettlebell workouts this week. I’m as surprised as anyone to say that I’m disappointed by this! Yesterday I did a bit of research and devised a 20 minute kettlebell workout that didn’t require any bending of the knees. It didn’t feel as good as my usual workouts, but it’s better than sitting on my butt doing nothing. After easing off of the steps for a while my knee is feeling a lot better so from tomorrow I’m going to aim for 10,000 a day again. Especially next week. I’m even going to try for 10,000 on Christmas Day!

I say that I’ve been inactive, but I still did enough to complete week 4 of my Bronze Body Magic. On Sunday I went to London to visit my sister and resisted driving to the train station. It’s become something of a tradition where I drop off a load of presents to her then we go out for a wander. That way when she visits for her birthday next week she won’t have to carry too much stuff back with her and she’ll have stuff to open when she wakes up. Thankfully I planned ahead and had bought a little lunch with me, including a Batchelor’s Vegetable Couscous Deli Box, which was free. It was my first time trying it and I’ll be honest, it was utterly tasteless. But it was hot and filled me up a little, plus I’d bought fruit, some Linda McCartney vegetarian sausages (0.5 syns each) and two HiFi Light bars as my B choice.

After lunch and saying hello to her birds we went out for a coffee. It was a real struggle! My sister lives in Bethnal Green and rather than getting the tube or a bus I suggested that we walk. We decided to go to Liverpool Street which involves walking past Brick Lane. This was especially hard because for me Brick Lane is synonymous with one beautiful thing- the delicious bagel! After we had passed Brick Lane, all I could see were signs for Indian Street food, Beijing Street food, woodfired pizzas, all kinds of food… and the smells were amazing. I resisted though, and checked the Slimming World app before ordering a medium latté for 5.5 syns. I took one look at the Cherry Bakewells and turned my head away- they were huge and deep-filled and I dread to think how many syns it would be. Way into the 20’s I’d guess!

My sister has been a great help during my Slimming World journey. When we were growing up we were both absolutely massive, there’s no other word for it, but although I’ve lost drastic amounts of weight (several times over) unlike me she has managed to keep the weight off and this year especially she has been chipping away at those last few pounds so she can really get to the weight she’s happy with. It’s been hard for her too because when she started her relationship with her boyfriend there was the usual going out for drinks and meals or whatever, which she still does and enjoys, but when she can be on plan she does fantastically and she looks slimmer and fitter now than I’ve ever seen her. And happier too! So going out with her in tow makes it so much easier for me to be good, and she’s the inspiration I need to keep going and find a balance when I’m at target.

In fact I’m feeling so positive this week, a good loss was the boost I really needed. This week I need 1.5 lbs to get my 2.5 st award, and I’m going to do everything I can to make that happen.

Hayley x