App-sessions

You know those people who say they can’t eat when it’s this hot? Well I ain’t one of them! Now I’m back at work I’m reverting to a plan of action that has worked for me in the past – namely, eating four meals a day. And not small ones either, really!

I have a lunch at work, around 4am, and no matter what I have and how much I eat, I always want to eat again when get home just after 6am. I’ve tried going straight to bed, but hunger invariably wakes me up and I end up grabbing whatever’s closest just so that I can get back to sleep.

So as soon as I get in I’ve been having my healthy extras.

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I’m a little bit of obsessed with my new way of recording my food on my Slimming World Instagram account. I love how neat and bright everything looks and I’m really enjoying sharing my photos. I’ve been using A Color Story to brighten them up, then I’ve used A Design Kit, created by the same people (the wonderful ladies behind my favourite lifestyle blog A Beautiful Mess), to add the text.

I had a Sainsbury’s shop delivered yesterday, because I’m finding they’re best for my favourite low-syn meat replacements. Tesco do some tasty things (the Oumph range for instance, I’ll never stop going on about those) but for some reason they don’t deliver any of it. Since my car is still out of action my options are a little bit limited.

Anyway, carrying on with my new-found obsession here are my tasty purchases from yesterday. I have loads more things to share with you, and eventually I’ll make a special page with all of my Slimming World essentials.

The Vivera kebab stuff is especially good, I’d eat it every day if I could afford to!

According to the forecast the weather is supposed to freshen up a little towards the end of the week, which should work out perfectly because as long as I have a car (the park is too far away to walk) I’ve decided I’m going to attempt a run first thing Monday morning. It’ll just be a short one, and I’ll stick to the easy-access track purely because where the ground is so dry it’s made it more uneven and I don’t want to twist anything.

Fingers crossed my knee bears up OK, because I’ve been desperately missing it. Anything else I’ve done just doesn’t quite hit the spot.

Today I’ve just been too hot to do anything other than the laundry, but thankfully I got a lift into work and walked home. So it wasn’t exactly cool, but the cooler at least.

It’s better than doing nowt!

The washing machine has just told me that another load is ready to go on the line, so I’d best be off.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

A Mixed Bag

My head has been a little bit all over the shop lately (I say lately, more like for months and months) but at the moment it’s compounded by pure tiredness. I’ve simply been trying to cram too much in and something had to give somewhere!

This weekend I went to see a wonderful blogger buddy and we had some fun times, but on Sunday I reckon everything just caught up with me and I had to go home early. By the time I got back my lips had turned blue (slightly worrying), my hands had turned purple (also not great) and even though I’d been in a car so warm that my iPhone came up with a temperature warning message and wouldn’t work again until it cooled down, I just couldn’t get warm.

Sleep fixed me though, and after sleeping the whole afternoon and all through the night I just about managed to put my weekly sleep average up to seven hours. Some people can get by on less sleep, and for weeks I myself have been getting by on 6, but that clearly isn’t sustainable for me and I need to make sure I get more down time.

Anyway, it’s not all doom and gloom! On Saturday, because the weather was awful, my friend eagerly agreed to see Avengers: Infinity War for the second time. Well, his second time and my first. I really feel like Marvel have found that sweet balance now between action, comedy and story and I loved every minute of it. It’s just pure joy to watch!

After that I had my first ever meal from Las Iguanas since I don’t have one near where I live and I only even learned of its existence fairly recently.

I had hearts of palm to start, which I thought I’d never had before. But it was only a couple of weeks ago when I was out with my trainer and I had something from his plate that we couldn’t identify. Now I’m pretty sure that’s what we were eating. It was nice, but I probably wouldn’t bother having them again.

The Brazilian curry however (moqueca de palmitos) was flipping amazing and I could eat it all day long. They had a fair few vegan options too, or veggie options that can be made vegan on request. I’d highly recommend it as a very tasty and vegan-friendly place to visit.

In the evening we were eating out again. I bloody love trying new places, and it turns out the restaurant we were visiting, Fusca, is the first fully vegan restaurant I’ve been to. I’ve been to a few places in London but since they are takeaway restaurants as far as I’m concerned they don’t count.

I really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the place and I cannot even describe how nice it is to be able to order a glass of wine without having to do extensive research first to find out whether it’s vegan or not!

The food was tasty, but perhaps a teeny bit overpriced considering that the portions were quite small. That’s probably a good thing though, it means I didn’t feel guilty for getting dessert. Which was DELICIOUS by the way!

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The day after getting home the weather was awful but really I still needed to make up for overindulging at the weekend so I did an hour on my exercise bike. It still astounds me that I can even do that – I remember struggling to complete ten minutes when I first got it. The remainder of the day was spent fairly restfully, but I still didn’t manage to get a decent sleep. Which I put down to a lack of proper training.

Yesterday I went out training on my own and oh my, what a start to the month! The weather was absolutely perfect for running. It was sunny but not too warm, there was a fresh breeze and along most of my route it was dappled shade. It was so gorgeous, and the vibrant colours everywhere made my heart happy.

I didn’t break any records this time around. Well, I can’t smash a record every single time I go out now, can I? But I did feel absolutely fantastic and loved every minute of it. Today the weather is back to being awful so I’m using the time to catch up on some rest, do boring household chores and do some meal prep for the rest of the week. Exciting stuff!

Then I’m training for the next three days in a row which should help regulate me sleep and help me to get better quality sleep, then I have a relaxed Sunday with my lovely siblings planned.

Life is tiring, but good!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Friendship

April is turning out to be all about friends. After being sociable with the work people, today I’ve visited one of my oldest and bestest friends who moved away from Essex to the lovely city of Canterbury. Luckily for me it’s only an hours drive away, and an easy drive at that. Really I should visit more often, but life gets in the way and we always leave it too long. But when we do meet up, we make the most of it!

I went for my run first thing this morning and I timed it just right. I got to the park just after the gates were opened and there were already a fair few cars there, but by the time I left the car park was RAMMED and there was someone waiting to take my space.

My run was nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be. I felt like I wasn’t doing very well, and I nearly gave up after 2.7 miles. In this park I normally do 3.5, so I had a stern word with myself and carried on.

It turns out I broke a new record and have shaved a significant amount of seconds off of my personal best!

I’m so close to being in the 11 second bracket that I can taste it.

I’ve posted a few things about training on social media that my friend has seen, but he thought I was just doing lots of walking. When I told him I’d actually been doing bona fide jogging and sprinting he was really impressed. He even told me out of all the people he knows I’d be in the bottom five of anyone he’d expect to ever go running. I took that as it was intended (as a compliment) because it’s so far removed from the Hayley he first met ten years ago it’s unbelievable. And I was so unhappy back then, this is just more evidence of how much things have changed for me.

After a quick cup of coffee we headed into town to get some grub. We went to the Lady Luck Bar which is just incredible for vegan options. As soon as I saw the menu I knew what I had to have – the Rick and Morty baguette!

It was amazing – the best thing I have eaten in a long, long time. The chilli mayo was divine and the crispy fried pickle Ricks are a work of pure genius. That Szechuan sauce? Delish!

I followed it up with a vegan honeycomb sundae which has even won an award it’s that good.

Unlike when I’ve been eating ‘naughty’ food at home this week, I don’t feel as bloated and awful after this meal so I’m hoping it doesn’t affect my training tomorrow.

I was really disappointed with myself the last time I went out with my trainer, and I don’t want a repeat of that.

After our meal me, my friend and his lovely girlfriend went on a nice long walk where they indulged me while I searched for things to photograph. I didn’t spend too long trying to get decent shots, because it’s too antisocial and I get kinda caught up in it, so I just took some quick snaps without overthinking it. I’m still happy though, it’s a good visual representation of our day!

It was also the first day this year I’ve been able to comfortably walk around with no coat or jumper. More of that please!

I have to wait until the end of the month until my next meet up with a very special friend, but it’ll be worth the wait. It’s going to be awesome.

In the meantime I need to get myself right back on track, and of course I will because I always do. That’s the key – never give up!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Pushing Through

This week I have been exceptionally tired. It’s entirely hormonal – even with a decent sleep I’ve been feeling totally drained,  but that doesn’t happen often because there’s the added bonus that when I’m hormonal I also sleep less. So yeah… I’m not feeling in peak condition!

I took this photo before doing my makeup a couple of days ago.

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Forget bags under the eyes, I’ve got suitcases! Thankfully the act of putting on makeup fools me into thinking that I am actually alive.

After that photo was taken I did a busy shift at work, had five hours sleep, then got up for my third training session of the week. My trainer pushed me even harder than on Wednesday, and I pushed myself even harder still. On the biggest hill he was telling me to just make it to the post (half way up) but even though my muscles were screaming I kept going till the very top. I was slow, but I did it.

Being hormonal does make everything tougher. Apart from causing havoc with the scales, I can look at myself one day and see something I quite like, then the very next day I can look again and see something completely different. I have no doubt that in a couple of days I’ll start feeling slim again but right now I feel tired, frumpy and hungry.

But what I will do is push on through all of that, because I want to achieve my goals more than I want to curl up with a hot water bottle and hide from the world.

Training for today has been rescheduled for Monday because of yet more snow. It seems incredible that yesterday I was running in 14 degree heat, sweating buckets and more closely resembling a tomato than a human! Just look at the difference in the sky in less than 24 hours…

Come what may, tomorrow I’m going to dress up warm then take a gentle-yet-no-doubt-bracing walk into town. The reason for this is because I need to pick up some exercise clothing more suitable for warmer weather – as soon as the sun comes out I currently melt as soon as I start running. Shopping for summer clothes in the snow, yes, that sounds about right…

Since it’s a right miserable day I’ve just had an epic lunch of Slimming World-style chips, Linda McCartney sausages and Orgran Vegan Easy Egg made up to be like scrambled eggs. It’s my first time trying it and I’ve got to say it’s AMAZING. Next time though I’ll only make up half the recommended amount and try leaving out the oil. I’ve definitely overeaten this lunchtime!

Still, I’m now going to treat myself to another few hours in bed before I have to get ready for the last shift of the week.

Bring on the weekend!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

A Nothing Day

I’m not of fan of those days where I don’t do anything really positive – those days that just run away from you and it all feels like a bit of a waste.

Today has been one of those days. I really struggled to get to sleep this morning, but when I’d just managed to get into a really deep sleep I was woken up by my mum who had news from the vets. They were closing because of the snow and needed me to come and collect the cat ASAP.

So I jumped out of bed and braved the skating rinks which at other times of year go by the name of roads. It really was treacherous out there, but my 3 litre, automatic, rear-wheel drive car did surprisingly well out there. Thank goodness.

News from the vet is that our little one probably has kidney failure, but they still need to rule out an UTI. By the time she goes back next week we also need to get a urine sample. Ever tried to get wee from a cat? It’s an interesting experience!

Our other cat was diagnosed with kidney failure last year and after putting him on a special diet his situation completely turned around and for now he’s leading a normal life. I hope the same turns out to be true in this case.

After that I waited to hear about training, but my friend is still feeling under the weather so what with me being knackered, plus the snow, we’re going to try again tomorrow. Here’s hoping.

I got what sleep I could when I could, but my brain is in complete overdrive. It’s not in a bad way – I feel pretty excited and good about life, but my head has to realise that we NEED some proper down time.

In the meantime Hermes managed to get through the snow to deliver a parcel to me, which is odd because they’re generally flipping useless at the best of times. The delivery was my vegan cream eggs that I preordered back in January and I’ll tell you now – I wanted to eat the whole box. Instead I ate one, donated one to my brother, half to my mum, one goes to my training buddy, and one each to my sister and her boyfriend. That leaves just one more half for me. That way I’ve enjoyed an Easter treat but don’t have the temptation lying around.

So the day hasn’t been a complete write-off, despite the fact that I’m an hour early for work because the council’s LIVE travel updates told me my road was closed and I needed to leave time in case I was forced to walk. But I arrived at work within about 7 minutes (only 3 more than my usual travel time). At least I got the chance to get a blog up though!

There’s also the fact that I’ve been on plan today, have almost reached my step count (waking into work from the car park will get me the last little bit) have burned 3000 calories and there’s still a couple of hours left to make it even more.

If there is training tomorrow then YAY! If not then I’m going to make a snowman!

I’ll keep you posted as to which one it is.

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

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

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