First of Many

This weekend has been a busy one. The day before New Year’s Eve, despite me being so good in the days leading up to that point, Steve and I decided to go out for a meal. He fancied Chinese, which didn’t really appeal to me, so we compromised on Thai. We tried a place round the corner that neither of us had been to before, and it was quite a while before either of us realised it was actually a Malaysian restaurant. It is called The Malaya, so the clues were there, but in my defence I didn’t look at the name before we went in. All I knew was that the food smells coming from the building were intoxicating!

We hit gold though. We stumbled across a really lovely place with nice decor, super friendly staff, and an amazing menu. Steve wasn’t sure what to order so the waiter brought out two samples of curry sauces for him to try first. How nice is that? There were several vegan options for starters and mains, and I ended up ordering from the set menu so my two courses were just £14.90.

I had roti canai and satay tofu, and both were absolute heaven. Every mouthful was utterly delicious. I’ll DEFINITELY be going back, that’s for sure.

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So New Year’s Eve arrived and I was up nice and early to get weighed. I had a sneak peek earlier in the week and the scales showed me going from 13st 6lbs to just nudging back into the 12’s, but the night before had left its mark. I’d also had a couple of glasses of wine and some sweet treats later on in the evening.

Despite that, I still had a 3lb loss which I’m damn well chuffed with! It meant I got back to an 8 stone loss, and next week I hope I’ll be officially back in the 12 stone bracket. Group was also fantastic and I left with positivity practically coming out of my ears.

In the afternoon Steve and I went for a little walk at the place where he started training me to run back in February. It was good to take stock of how, despite us not doing much exercise-wise for the last month or two, we’re still fitter than when we first started. It got me thinking about how nice it’ll be to get cracking again.

In the evening he took me to his old local for a quick, and very pink, G&T, followed by a little walk he’d been promising for the festive period. There’s a lovely little street in the village where people go absolutely mental with the Christmas lights, so that was quite magical.

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From there we showed our faces at his son’s who was having a little get together, and somehow, someone convinced me to do a shot of vodka. I am so easily led. Thankfully I managed to avoid the same fate as that very same chap, who lost a bet and had his hair shaved off… Anyway, despite the vodka shot I didn’t drink too much and managed to avoid a hangover for New Year’s Day.

We left quite early, had a very respectable night watching Madness on TV, and I’ve been totally back on plan since the clock hit midnight.

Despite not having hangovers, we were both pretty pooped the next day. But we still managed to get out for a walk to brush the cobwebs away. First stop was Benfleet where we went to look at a sculpture relating to the vikings. It’s erected in the area where the Battle of Benfleet is believed to have taken place in the year 894 (how bonkers is that?) and that battle was the subject of one episode of the Netflix series The Last Kingdom that we watched just a couple of weeks ago.

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After a walk along the sea wall a little bit down the road, we had lunch then I left so that we could both get an early night. 11 hours sleep later and I’m finally feeling like myself again!

Of course I wouldn’t really be a blogger if I wasn’t reflecting over 2018 and making plans for the year ahead. 2018 was a little bit crazy. I met Steve, ran for the first time ever, ate and drank more than I have in a good few years and still managed to end 2018 two stone lighter than when I started it… I’ve been so busy and tired, therefore I haven’t found the time to really focus like I would normally.

So although I have quite specific and monumental plans for 2019, which I’ll talk about in future posts, the main thing I want to do is slow down. I’m going to have more sleep, eat more healthy food, do more of the things I enjoy that aren’t exercise related (and not feel guilty for taking the time to do them) and try to keep in mind from time-to-time the bigger goals I’m aiming for.

For the first time in my life I’m thinking about a long-term plan, rather than living basically from month-to-month and hoping everything turns out for the best. There are things I want that I never thought I could achieve, but now I know I can.

One thing 2018 taught me is that I’m stronger than I think, and I know that’s true because my friend Dave reliably tells me that it is so. He knows what he’s talking about.

That’s the first post of 2019 down, here’s to many, many more.

Happy New Year!

Hayley x

I Still Didn’t

What an awful week. For the first three days I was perfectly on plan, getting more organised and feeling positive, but then something terrible happened.

Just over five years ago my sister’s boyfriend got a tiny little parrot (a pacific parrotlet, similar to Pea) called Kiwi. It’s really hard to describe to anyone who hasn’t met a friendly parrot what they are like, because no words can really quite convey how amazing they are.

I’m just going to leave this little video right here, because it speaks volumes I think.

I thought I’d include this one as well to show you her feisty side. I was bird-sitting, which she really wasn’t happy about. Bird body-language is quite easy to read, and as you can probably imagine she is saying ‘I would give anything right now to bite the absolute eff out of you’.

On Wednesday evening I got a call from my sister, which is never a good sign as we are texters through and through, to say that Kiwi was badly hurt. That’s the thing about these little birds. Pea is rather shy and reserved but in general parrotlets are ridiculously inquisitive and often get themselves into trouble. Pea has had a couple of visits to the vets already where she’s managed to hurt herself despite all of the bird-proofing I’ve done.

Kiwi was in a bad way but we couldn’t get her to a specialist vet until the next morning. After her vet appointment everything seemed very positive and she really perked up, but as these birds are so, so fragile everything can change in an instant. By Friday evening she was gone.

As you can imagine we are all heartbroken, but my sister and her boyfriend especially so. I’d say Kiwi was like one of the family, but truth is she was family. My little bird-niece.

Since Wednesday almost everything I’ve eaten has been crap that I’ve picked up purely out of convenience. I should have caught up on sleep this week but I haven’t been able to stay asleep (case in point, I was exhausted last night but inexplicably woke up at 4am and have been up since then) so I’ve been exceptionally lazy where it comes to food.

I haven’t even really wanted the rubbish I’ve been eating, the one exception being lunch yesterday.

Steve and I had a meal booked in with his family that was arranged weeks ago, but as is so often the case (especially when there is a big group of people involved) things didn’t quite go to plan. When we got there we did a headcount and there were 12 of us, but the table booked was for 10. Oops.

They couldn’t squeeze us in so Steve and I offered to go and find somewhere else to eat, which was fine by me because I’d looked into another pub just round the corner while I was investigating vegan options and I thought it would be right up my street. Also we’d be meeting the family back at his mum’s house later on so we wouldn’t have to miss out on catching up with everyone.

I was right – the pub was absolutely lovely. Being so close to Christmas everywhere seems to be fully booked but we were able to sneak on to a reserved table as long as we were out by 3:30. We had an hour-and-a-half which was perfect for us.

As it happens we ended up sitting at the best and most sought-after table in the room, we had fast service as they needed us to eat our dinner before the next people got there, and the food was absolutely spectacular.

My nut roast was so succulent – I’d love to know their secret, and Steve absolutely loved his sticky toffee pudding. After eating although there was still time to hang around we left the table and relaxed in comfy chairs in front of a wood burner.

The day started with potential disaster but ended up as absolute perfection.

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I was just sitting here thinking about having a week on plan without any social events to trip me up when I got a message asking me out for dinner one day. In this instance it’s a chain restaurant (albeit a nice one) so at least I can look up exactly what I’ll be having beforehand. I’m also designated driver and I’m working that night anyway so no drinking for me.

Tonight will see me facing another gain on the scales, and although it’s our group’s Christmas party and I really want to go to that, I also really don’t want to go to group either. You could say I’m feeling a little bit conflicted! However I know that once I’ve had my weigh in I’ll start to feel better and I can enjoy the evening.

I just have to focus on the good.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

It Had to Happen

Would someone please press the pause button, just for a minute? Time is whizzing past faster than ever and I can’t keep up.

Last week wasn’t exactly a write-off, but I didn’t do much of note and it has really affected my mood. Probably the one redeeming factor is that yesterday I finally WENT FOR A RUN!

It was brilliant, I have missed it so much. First of all I had to get my running gear out of the loft, only to find that my favourite running leggings (size XL from H&M) are all too big. Four pairs of them!

But when I bought them, I did think ahead and ordered one pair in a large. I tried them on at the time and although I could get them up they were uncomfortably tight. Not now though, they fit perfectly!

I also got a load of other clothes down from the loft while I was at it, which was all stuff that I was convinced I’d be able to use for another summer. Wow, was I selling myself short. It’s all miles too big now, and as I’m skint I’m going to try selling it all. As if this wasn’t enough I went on a charity shop crawl on Saturday and found a lovely long coat, which was also really good quality. It was in a size 16 and it wasn’t just too big, it was ridiculously too big. I found a 14 in another shop which fit perfectly, but I didn’t like it so left it on the rail. It made me feel pretty awesome though.

Anyway, back to the running. Although I felt fab indoors, looking back on a picture taken while I was out makes me think I didn’t look as good as I originally thought I did. Either way I’m still really pleased with my progress so I’m not going to dwell on it.

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I did do a pose in front of the mirror when I got back and initially thought it was cheating, but it still shows progress, because my ‘cheat poses’ have never made me look that slim before!

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Ah, I’m probably just being over-critical.

As for the actual run, now that was progress. Not in terms of speed or distance, but the fact that I have managed to retain so much of my fitness despite not running for months is bloody brilliant.

I had to take it easy because of my knee (so far so good) and I need to build back up to the level I was at, but compared to how I was when I first started… I am unrecognisable from that person now. When I started running back in February, the first thing to give up was my lungs – I’d be so out of breath that I couldn’t carry on. Now it’s my muscles that give up first, and even then only when I’m going up a crazy steep hill.

During the week I did fairly well with not weighing myself, but I wasn’t perfect. This week I’m aiming for no sneak peeks AT ALL. That’s goal number one.

Goal number two is to get as many speeding tickets as possible. Yes, you did read that right, and no, it’s not what you think.

My consultant set us a fabulously fun challenge this week to help with our weight loss. Every time we post a picture of our meals on our group’s Facebook page showing 1/3 visible speed food, we get one of these speeding tickets:

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The person who gets the most tickets wins a fiver to spend in the shop, but to be honest I think it’s such a great idea I’d still be taking part even if there wasn’t a prize at the end.

This week I really will need to be super focused, because I have had (shock, horror) an undeserved gain.

Personally I think it’s my body levelling out again after last week’s surprise 6.5lb loss, but another factor could be yesterday’s run because my leg muscles are really hurting and may be retaining water.

It could be something has slipped into my diet without me realising, so I’ll be keeping a proper food diary this week just in case.

I can’t say for sure what’s caused it, but what I do know is that 6lbs off overall in two weeks is certainly nothing to be complaining about! I’ve only ever had one totally undeserved gain before and it completely derailed me, but I’m in this for life now so it’s about time I learned how to deal with these situations.

All I have to do really is carry on exactly as I have been, and everything will be fine. I do want to get more exercise in this week, but only because it makes me feel good and not because I think it has anything to do with my gain. It’s all about the food people!

I’ve pledged to try for 3lbs off next week, and I’d say I’m in with a good chance.

I also need to get more sleep as for two days last week I had less than four hours, which is less than ideal.

Hopefully this week will be a bit more balanced and I’ll actually have something to write about, so expect more posts than last week.

As ever, thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Ditching the Scales

Now I’ve at least kinda done what I set out to do this year, namely getting below 12 stone 10 lbs, I can mentally relax a little bit. I don’t mean I’m going to be relaxed with food – as far as Slimming World goes, apart from the odd meal or night out, this is just how I eat now.

Do you know what? I love it. I literally make ‘om nom nom’ noises when I’m eating sometimes, and more often than not it’s because I got a particularly tasty morsel of roasted aubergine. There’s no need to go off plan when I’m enjoying my food that much.

So what I mean by relaxing is that I’m not going to be so worried about what the scales say. I was being bossy the other day and telling my mum I’m taking the scales away because she weighs herself too much and it’s disheartening, all the time weighing myself obsessively.

If the result on the scales are having absolutely no bearing on what I’m eating or how much I exercise, then why am I bothering to weigh myself?

Until now it was because if I got an undeserved gain and only found out about it when I got to group, I didn’t want to get upset in front of everyone.

Now I’m so at home with my group getting upset would not be an issue at all, but also now that I view every loss from this point on as a fantastic bonus, if the odd gain or maintain gets thrown into the mix it’s no longer the big deal it once was.

Henceforth, strictly no sneak peeks for me. Simply because I don’t need to.

I am still worried that my huge loss this week was a fluke, and maybe I will have a small gain next Monday. Maybe I won’t. Either way, it’s no big deal. As long as I stick to plan, it’ll all come out in the wash.

Yesterday I took the first step towards making my blog more public. I wrote a big long post about my weight loss so far and made it a permanent page. You can get to it via the menu or read it here (link).

I let my mum and my sister read it (hi mum!) and will share it with my group later.

There’s nothing else to report because I still haven’t been doing much, so I’ll leave it as a short one today.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x