13

Things always feel better after a marvellous sleep. Last night/this morning/this afternoon I spent about 15 hours in bed, and 13 of those was spent being most wonderfully, restfully unconscious. I really think I needed that.

In fact I was so relaxed I nearly talked myself out of going for a walk, but positive comments on my last post made me change my mind. It goes to show how much of difference people cheering you on has. Being negative just doesn’t give the same results! I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the help I get from you incredible internet peoples.

Do you know, I think things are on the up (she says, tentatively). My knee has been so painful it’s been waking me in my sleep but last night there was none of that, and out walking today it only hurt when going downhill. It might get aggravated at work where I’ll be driving my forklift all night, but I’m cautiously optimistic. If it keeps up like this then next week I will try three runs. I’ll start off with 1 mile, have a rest day, do 2 miles, another rest day, then finally I’ll do 3 miles.

I have everything crossed that I can, because I’ve just bought some brand new trainers from Will’s Vegan Shoes. I started to break them in yesterday and they are soooooo good – perfect amount of grip and bounce, and I like the style too. I reckon they’ll be great to run in.

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They look kinda wrecked already but I assure you they aren’t. It’s just the dry weather we’ve been having, everything’s just so dusty! I love that they don’t have proper laces, too. There’s no chance of them coming undone which is brilliant. Even if I find I can’t run in future, these will definitely have their uses.

It’s a bit cooler today and my walk was really nice. It’s much more like last year’s summer, where is was warm but mostly the sky was covered in a blanket of cloud.

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I saw the piggies on the way back, and one of them was either snoring or being possessed by a demon. I’m not entirely sure which…

Pea had the vet’s yesterday and that was a relief. Her poops have gone back to normal now and everything else seems fine, so it must have been her perch that was affecting things. So that perch has now been replaced, and Pea has gone back to sitting on my shoulder most of the time.

While we were in the waiting room I couldn’t have her covered as it was way too hot for her, but she didn’t seem stressed at all. Everyone who saw her instantly fell in love – she’s such a sweet bird!

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It’s also crazy that’s she so small and light she can perch on a fold in a tea towel. Such a tiny bird, but such a big personality.

Finally I had a yummy, completely on plan dinner which I managed to eat just as the sun decided to make an appearance. It’s a shame I have work later, but I always burn more calories there so it has its uses.

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That’s three days of being on plan under my belt now, and I’m feeling like I’m in control again. I weighed myself and I’m back to my 7 stone loss, which is really important to me. It’s kind of my everything-will-be-ok-as-long-as-I-have-this-total-loss point, if that makes sense. Unfortunately it’s at this stage a nasty little voice in my head tells me that we can eat a load of rubbish and undo any damage we do in a few days.

The annoying thing is, the voice is absolutely right, so it’s tempting to listen to it. The problem with that is, I’ve been doing exactly that for weeks and weeks. So I’m ignoring the voice, carrying on with Food Optimising and I’m finally going to reach my gosh darn target weight!

I’d best get ready for work now anyway. Inner voice, consider yourself ignored!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Drenched!

I’ve bitten the bullet and made a doctors appointment. I hate going but I really should get a professional opinion about my knee, which is feeling better still but isn’t right. Or even pain free for that matter. I walked today as I said I would, but although it was lovely it added half an hour onto my time for that route. It’s no problem when I’m off work, like today, but otherwise it would just eat up too much of my day. So I must run! I MISS running!

Having said that, it was waaaaay too hot to actually run today. I started at 10:30am and was melting within minutes. I don’t know what the temperature was but the sun was already beating down and being reflected back up from the sand/gravel track. It’s not so much of a problem for me these days, but there was a time when that kind of environment would have floored me. Today it was mostly me trying to be sensible that prevented me from attempting a run regardless.

I remember going to festivals with my friends and although I loved the music I would often only wear jeans and cover up with long-sleeved tops. I don’t think anyone knew how much of a struggle, how utterly exhausting it was. There’s also a lot of walking involved when you’re making your way between stages, and my thighs would rub until they were literally bleeding. I’m glad that kind of thing is firmly in my past, so the only things I have to think about now when it’s hot are ‘do I have enough water’, ‘do I have enough sunscreen on’ and ‘have I remembered my sunglasses’.

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As it happens today I remembered all of those things.

Everything was so gorgeous today, just saturated with colour. It was nice on the eyes but by the time I got back to the car I was drenched!

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Obviously it was well worth it though. So that’s 1 Body Magic session out of a total of 5 planned for this week. I really hope there’s good new at my doctor’s appointment, which is on Saturday morning. No matter what the verdict though I know I’ll keep active one way or another, because now I’ve started I know I can’t stop. There are plenty of options out there.

As mentioned in my last post, I gave it some thought and I’ve decided I’m REALLY going to try to only weigh myself after Lady Time. If I can do it, then imagine the excitement as I step on the scales to get the verdict of a whole month’s worth of being on plan. I just have to stick to it.

I had a really bad sleep last night (my brain wouldn’t turn off) and I think I have just enough time to nap before my friend comes over this afternoon to do some bits to my car. So I’ll be off now.

Mmm, naps…

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Back to ‘Normal’

Right then, so what have I been getting up to since my last post? On Friday I attempted a little run because my knee was feeling so much better. I went with Mr. S and he was up for a short one because he was still feeling delicate from the weekend. If I’m running up hill, I’m absolutely fine, but my knee is still painful going downhill or if I straighten it too much. So I’m just going to walk for the next few days and again see how I get on.

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It was an absolutely beautiful day. So much blue sky and only a few ‘Toy Story’ clouds! Although we only did 3 miles and we walked a lot of it, it was still good to be out.

Work later on was hard – I felt absolutely exhausted. When I got home I completely crashed out, forgetting to set my alarm, and woke up at the exact time I normally get Pea her breakfast by chance alone. I decided to rest my knee completely and ended up having lunch at Mr. S’s. It’s early days but I’m not quite sure how’s it’s going to work out with the friends thing. All I know is that I’m happier knowing where I stand, even if I only know where I stand because I decided where I stand. If that makes sense. Mr. S has been acting strangely with me for over a week now, but I can cope with it because my happiness doesn’t depend of what the heck is going on in his mind. I’ve asked, but I’m none the wiser so there’s not much else I can do except crack on with my life. Which I’m totally doing!

For the last few days my eating has been spot on. I know I’ve said so many times lately that I’m back on plan and before I know it I’m eating PB&J sandwiches again, but this time I mean it! I’ve been keeping a proper food diary, and I’ve even dusted off my dedicated Slimming World Instagram account which hadn’t been used since January. Seriously people, I’m ON IT. It’s hayleym_vegan by the way, if you fancy giving me a follow.

I don’t know if this is going to be a permanent thing, but I’ve been tracking my periods and it seems that whenever I ovulate I start holding an obscene amount of water. Right now, a combination of that particular part of my cycle being over and me eating a lot of veggies means that I’ve lost all of my holiday gains, plus I’m within reaching distance of the 13’s, which I only just stuck a toe into for a brief time back in March. I’m currently sitting at 14st 2.5lbs and I’m bloody chuffed with that – at the beginning of the week I was 14st 11lbs!

But do you know what I’d really love to do? Weigh in once a month, right after Lady Time. Can I actually do that though? Realistically, I think not. It’d be great though, wouldn’t it? Even though I know what’s happening, I can’t help feeling absolutely gutted when I step on the scales and get an undeserved gain, and so far I haven’t mastered the art of not letting it get to me. I’m going to give that some further thought, anyway.

After going to work last night and being given the option to go home again (which of COURSE I took up) I got up early for an engagement with my brother. The other day he found some friendly cows whilst out cycling and he asked if I wanted to go and see them. Well, duh!

Apparently they don’t like me as much as they like him, but it was fun anyway.

It was a gorgeous morning too – I especially like the mist coming off the lake. Lovely!

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What I should do now is start on the laundry, but instead I’m going to take a walk into town. If I’m not running, then I need to being something, because I’m really motivated to finally get to target. Recently I’ve been wondering whether to stay at the weight I am currently, but now my way has become clear. I definitely want to be 12st 10lbs, and nothing is going to stop me.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Trapped

I made a decision today, one that I’ll talk about in a future post. I know it’s infuriating to drop little hints, but it really wouldn’t be right of me to talk about the thing before I’ve done the thing.

It’s something that needs to be done, because I can feel that history is about to repeat itself, but I sure don’t want to do it. If I had to describe how I feel right now I guess it would be… heartbroken. That sounds really melodramatic, but there it is.

I feel trapped inside my own head at the moment, because I need to deal with the emotions but they are so strong, and I don’t really know how to. Mr. S let me down for training today last minute and I knew I had to move, so that’s what I did.

I was already good to go because I thought I’d be running, so I got on my walking boots and headed for the train station. I’ve been meaning to go to London for vegan kebabs and to visit St James’s Park again for ages, so it’s no wonder that’s the first thing that popped into my head.

Although my brain has been in a turmoil everything just seemed to go right. Without any kind of planning I arrived at the station just minutes before the train to London was leaving. Perfect!

I used the journey to plan the rest of the day. I didn’t much fancy heading into Shoreditch, so I decided to visit the brand new actual restaurant that What the Pitta have opened in Camden. I got the tube there, and was surprised to see that it was fairly quiet. But then I suppose most of their business is late-night and weekends.

I received the most friendly service, and as ever the vegan kebab was delicious. I had half a mind to go to Crosstown Donuts later in the day, but I always forget how filling the kebabs are. It’s nearly 8pm and I’m still not hungry! I suppose it might have something to do with all those chips…

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So yeah… the being back on plan thing isn’t working out so well. I’m allowing myself a little pity party today (I’ve already been to the shops for ice cream) then I really, really am going to focus on my eating.

What isn’t helping my state of mind is that my knee is really painful today and I think I need to lay off the training until it feels better. Plus I should probably also speak to a doctor, even though I don’t want to.

If I’m not training then my eating needs to be spot on. I’m not sure how I’m going to cope with it mentally though, running has become something of a lifeline. But I’ll figure it out somehow.

Anyway, despite my knee being dodgy I still walked from Camden to St James’s Park, which took over an hour. It wouldn’t have taken that long but I did stop and mooch around a few shops on my way. The only reason I didn’t buy these bad boys is that I’m already trying to declutter and I didn’t think they would help matters.

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So stylish though!

St James’s Park is always good for the soul, because I love pigeons, and it seems that pigeons love me. At least, they love the almonds that I bring them. I definitely made some new friends!

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Just call me the pigeon whisperer! I also got a few shots on my Sony camera, which isn’t my best quality camera, but still does a better job than my phone.

Until one decided to perch on it, that is…

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Despite being on my own I was laughing like a mad person, and I managed to amuse a little toddler, several Germans and a Chinese couple. Despite everything, it’s been a very successful day!

Miraculously I didn’t get pooped on, so after paying 20p for a tinkle I decided to head home. I didn’t much fancy being on the tube during rush hour, or any time for that matter. So a decided to walk to Fenchurch Street which again took about an hour, because the streets were busy too.

When I arrived at the station for the third time that day my train was ready and waiting for me. I got a nice seat, and also managed to get myself on a fast train where mine was the first stop. Again, perfect!

I’m feeling much better after traipsing the streets of London and getting everything straight in my head.

Everything will be fine, but I’ll give you more details when I can. In the meantime, the next time you hear from me I’ll be on that wagon.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Warley Place

Mr. S is so awesome. Even though we had work yesterday he called to say he was taking me somewhere as a surprise. It was only a ten minute drive away, but it was somewhere I’d never been and that he both knew I’d love and would provide nice photo opportunities.

The place in question was Warley Place, the remnants of an Edwardian house and gardens. It was made famous (although I’d never heard of it personally) by Ellen Ann Willmott in the 1880’s who was big in the world of horticulture. She had a team of over 100 gardeners, immense greenhouses and an alpine garden. She was even visited by Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria, but now all that’s left is ruins.

The site is now leased to the Essex Wildlife Trust, and they’ve been working to restore what they can whilst still making a home for nature. And it’s amazing how quickly nature has reclaimed the space in such a short amount of time.

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It was a beautiful day and such a nice gesture from Mr. S. I’m not sure if he’s extra nice or everyone who came before him was just a bit crap, but no one has ever been that thoughtful towards me before.

He’s also the first person who ever wanted to take pictures of me, which to be honest since I’ve lost weight I’m loving. It’s still a novelty to see a picture of me that I don’t hate so when he shows me I’m happy to have a record of a nice memory rather than being mortified.

He took this one while we were in the bird hide:

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Whenever I look at that picture I’ll be thinking ‘ah what a lovely day that was’ rather than ‘ugh, I was so miserable back then’. You can’t put a price on that feeling.

I’m now on day four of being super good and on plan, and I’m starting to get excited about my health and fitness again. I’ve also already noticed that, ahem, I’m less windy and the wind I do emit is a lot nicer for those around me. TMI? Of course, but then it’s good for others to know that there are other benefits of eating healthily that they might not have considered before.

My number one new thing that I’ve loved this week is the Alpro dark chocolate desserts, which are 5.5 syns each. They go perfectly with some summery strawberries.

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So food is spot on, but it’s taking a little while to get back to top form as far as fitness is concerned. I trained on Tuesday and it was really hard going. Mr. S said it was probably just anxiety but I just couldn’t regulate my breathing properly and I really struggled. We trained again today, locally because we were short on time, and things went much better. I’m walking into town tomorrow then training properly on Saturday, so I hope things will be back to normal by then.

If not it won’t be long before they are.

Right then, it’s time to pay some attention to the third part of the holy trinity of health. I need to get some bloody sleep!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

I Was Wrong

I have come to the conclusion that it is too soon for me to throw in the towel with Slimming World, at least for the time being. I think when it comes to maintenance I won’t need the extra bit of help that a proper plan brings, but right now, especially since I’m so busy, I definitely need rules.

I’m currently having some troubles when it comes to my training buddy. The problem is he’s just so nice (I know, first world problems, right?) as he’s always offering to cook me a lunch or is bringing me healthy snacks to work. And although they are healthy – nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc, if I’m having big Slimming World-esque main meals and having what would have been Synned meat alternatives, then I’m ending up going over my expended calories each day. He probably doesn’t realise that he can get away with doing that whereas I can’t – he’s not that much taller than me but he is a lot more muscular, so will naturally need a lot more calories to function than I do.

I think it’ll be easier for me to explain to him what I will/won’t/can/can’t eat if I frame it in terms of Food Optimising, plus it means I myself won’t have to think about what I’m eating too much. I just don’t have the headspace for it what with training ramping up and trying to keep on top of everything else in life, and if I’ve been working out and need extra fuel then I don’t want to be worrying about portion control. I’ve realised that I need the freedom Free and Speed foods bring, and that kind of eating only seems to work for me if I follow the whole plan. At the end of the day if it makes me slimmer and healthier AND makes life easier, then I’m doing it.

Although in the main I wouldn’t say I’ve been unhealthy this week and I haven’t felt out of control exactly, I still haven’t been eating how I want to and I’m 99% sure I’m in for another gain. The biggest obstacle now is finding out whether my friend is OK with me destroying his frying pan with Fry Light! If not perhaps I’ll have to start bringing packed lunches when we hang out…

As expected the snow has been causing havoc this weekend. I ordered a Sainsbury’s shop to be delivered Saturday evening without even giving it a second thought, especially since when I order from Tesco they always make it through in bad weather. Sadly all of the Tesco slots were gone though. When my shopping was already an hour and a half late I had to make an emergency supply run to Lidl because… shock… HORROR… I was completely out of coffee. And I cannot go to work without my own coffee, because how anyone can drink the stuff out of those Klix machines is beyond me.

It felt like I had the world more or less to my very own self, as I didn’t even see another set of footprints until I was virtually at Lidl’s. It was so quiet I got to enjoy all the fun bits of it snowing, such as making tracks on fresh snow, hearing ice crunch and the snow creaking when you step on it. It’s a shame I had to go to work because I was tempted to just keep on walking.

It’s a good job I did go out because just as I was leaving for work I got a phone call from Sainsbury’s to say my shopping wouldn’t be delivered that day, and they would try again some time tomorrow.

This morning while I was sleeping my shopping was indeed delivered (without any kind of notification as to when they were coming) or at least some of it was delivered. My mum took delivery because I was totally out of it but unfortunately she didn’t notice that they had only given me about £15-worth of produce out of a £70 shop.

By the time I realised what had happened anyone from Sainsbury’s who could help me had gone home so I now have to wait until tomorrow to either get a refund or actually get all of my frozen goods delivered. Unfortunately that made up the bulk of my order as I was stocking up. It’s so annoying as it’s not the first time they’ve done this – the same thing happened when the truck broke down on it’s way to me. They delivered again the next day except… no frozen stuff. Sigh.

This afternoon I took my walk into town to buy my summer exercise clothes, but it could not have been more different to my fun walk to Lidl’s the night before. The wind was oh so bitter and it was blowing right in my face the whole damn time I was walking, so by the time I got into town I was frozen stiff.

The park was looking quite pretty, but I’ve got to say I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen blossom and snow together. Mother nature must be seriously confused right now!

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I didn’t manage to get any more pictures until the return journey, because it was so cold my phone couldn’t function any more. I hustled my way into town from this point.

My shopping trip was ever so successful. So far the hardest thing to get hold of has been a proper running top that is long enough in the body to cover up my tummy. But lo, I have now found the perfect one:

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I’m 6ft and it covers my bum and tum completely, so I got three of them. That means I can do my three workouts a week and only have to do one load of washing! I got this in a large, which is the equivalent of a 14, some cropped running leggings in a 16, and a pair of lightweight mens joggers (for the length) in a medium.

I’ve been feeling a bit down the last couple of days, but buying in those sizes sure did perk me up. Just the very fact that I could go into an ordinary shop and they had everything, and I mean everything I liked in my size made me feel incredible. I hope I never cease to appreciate just how wonderful that is.

One of my aims is to be able to wear this top with just running leggings and not feel self-conscious. It’s so vain but from a fashion perspective I absolutely love that sporty look and would be so happy if I could one day really look the part. Fortunately I don’t think I’m too far off, now that I’ve found a long-length top that I like. It’s a great incentive to keep going, that’s for sure.

Mission accomplished, I made my way back home and the going was a lot easier. It started snowing heavily again but in turn the wind dropped and it was a lovely walk. And my phone started working again too.

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The weather forecast for tomorrow says cold yet sunny, so I’m going out one way or another even if my friend can’t make it. He says we’re definitely on, but things have gone wrong so often lately that I’m taking it with a pinch of salt… yet staying quietly optimistic! In the big scheme of things it doesn’t matter too much – I’m running no matter what.

Despite feeling like I could do with an extra day, I’m definitely weighing in on Monday’s now and I’m looking forward to a totally fresh start tomorrow.

Let’s make it a good one!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Snow Day

I’ve got everything crossed that proper training goes ahead tomorrow because I’ve really missed it. My friend has confirmed that we are going whether it’s snowing or not, the only thing that remains to be seen is whether he’s well enough.

I remembered that I left my hat in my locker at work, and since I’m not back until Tuesday night I’ll definitely be needing one during training. Where we go is quite high and always windy, so I imagine it’ll be bitterly cold, too. Me being me, I decided to walk into town, in the snow, to get a hat.

Y’know, I really could have done with a hat while I was doing that…

As soon as I stepped out of the house the wind was so icy I got brain freeze, but thankfully that didn’t last as I got used to the temperature and warmed up a bit by walking fast.

By the time I reached the park, which is right near town, the snow had stopped and in one direction there was a nice blue sky.

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The other direction (the one I was headed in) was not looking quite so inviting…

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Despite the temperature there was just so much life about! I think it’s because I seemed to have the whole park to myself and all of the creatures could go about their business without being disturbed. I saw a grey heron, swans, canada geese, coots, moorhens, blackbirds, magpies, pigeons, gulls, squirrels, voles, tufted ducks and mallards. Which is pretty damn cool.

In town I finally found a vegan deodorant I like so I stocked up on those, and also got a hat for £1.

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I must admit that despite my ethical new year’s resolutions I did get it from Primark. They have all of their summer stuff in now and only had a few hats left in the corner so I grabbed one while I could. I have made progress with that particular resolution but it still needs work.

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Well, it’ll keep me noggin warm in any case, and it’s also highly likely that I won’t bother doing my hair for future runs!

I had loads of things that needed doing today but most of them have been postponed. One of our cats has been off her food so me and my brother took her to the vets to get checked out. They’ve done a blood test and sent it off for speedy and detailed results, so we should find out something tomorrow, and they have also kept her in to try her on appetite stimulants and to get some fluids into her.

She’s a very old cat now, but I have everything crossed that it’s nothing terrible. Things just wouldn’t be the same without that kitty…

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Somehow a trip to town, the vets and just doing a few bits around the house has eaten up the whole of the day and I’m just about ready to drop. It doesn’t help that I woke up early after having really grim nightmare with my heart trying to escape from my chest!

The good thing about being this tired is that I should sleep well. At least I hope I do, because it’s weigh day tomorrow and I’d rather not spend the night anticipating what the results will be. I’ve had a couple of sneak peeks but you never really know till the official time. I reckon it’ll be OK but it would be so awesome if my Christmas gain has finally been eliminated!

I’ll keep you updated.

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

London

The last time I visited the city I had quite a nice experience. Notting Hill carnival was on at the time so the rest of London was virtually empty and it was LOVELY. Today however, even though I’ve been looking forward to it for ages, was not so nice. I think it just wasn’t the day trip I’d been expecting.

Now I love my sister to bits, and she’s generally a very thoughtful person. But today, and I’m not sure if it was just me being oversensitive after my blip yesterday, it seemed that her and her boyfriend were on a subconscious mission to eat everything I find the most delicious in life in front of my very eyes. I’m honestly exhausted at the sheer effort of staying on plan all day, even though I’ve been feeling so strong and positive lately.

We walked through Brick Lane first, and after we walked past stall after stall of mouth-wateringly good vegan food, (I HAVE to try the Ethiopian one at some point, the very sight of it made me drool) we went into a retro clothes shop I’ve been wanting to visit for a while. I was really disappointed though. Everything I picked up was a maximum of a size 12, and mostly size 10’s and 8’s. There was not a single thing that I could even try on. So that was deflating, but not entirely unexpected.

Then we went to What the Pitta in Shoreditch while I sat watching everyone around me eating my favourite food in the entire world. It was honestly the last place on earth I wanted to be. Thinking back on it now, I should have gone off for a wander while my sister and her boyfriend were eating, but for some reason it never occurred to me at the time. What a numpty.

We did a lot of walking around and I got my step count over 20,000 for the day for the first time in ages, and my calorie burn for the week is set to be the highest it’s been since the end of August. Considering I’m more than a stone lighter than I was then I’m really pleased with that.

Later on in the day we went to a Whole Foods Market store, the only place at the moment you can get the new vegan Bailey’s. I’m pretty sure it’ll be more widespread by the time Christmas comes around, but since I was in London anyway I got some while the going was good. For some reason they put it behind the cheese counter, which is just great for us vegans, she said sarcastically. I don’t think they thought that one through!

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When I got home I took a fancy picture with my fairy lights. Perhaps I should go into product photography?

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Luckily this really is one of those occasions where I have no desire to drink the Bailey’s. It’s for Christmas only, and things like that are not the same if you’re not sharing them. So there’s no chance of this innocent-looking bottle sabotaging my success.

My sister took a picture of me in my new favourite dress, and again I was a little bit disappointed at how I thought I looked vs. reality. And also that you can’t quite see the corduroy awesomeness of it. But it’s good enough for a picture to add to my progress folder, and that’s the main reason I wanted my photo taken.

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This post does sound really moany, and I assure you I’m not as miserable as I’m coming across. I’m just incredibly worn out, but still fairly pleased with myself. It wasn’t until we were on the tube back to my sister’s when I realised that I’d been on my feet for around 6 hours, with only one sit-down to quickly scoff down my pack lunch. Not a bit of me hurt even once, at least until I got the Bailey’s and the straps of my backpack started digging into my shoulders. That doesn’t really count though!

And then when I got in I downloaded some photos from my camera that I took this morning when the sun was shining on the jungle that is our front garden. The colours out there were truly stunning.

Right now I’m mostly just looking forward to my nice warm bed. I should get off to sleep easily, happy in the knowledge that I spent the entire day perfectly on plan despite the most incredible temptations. If that doesn’t earn me a good night’s kip then I don’t know what will.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Fightin’ Talk

I’ve mentioned it before but I’m really bad at living within my means. Just before I hid one of my credit cards (which doesn’t make a huge difference because I can use it via Apple Pay and PayPal) I treated myself to a couple of bits from Long Tall Sally, courtesy of Tesco Bank. I like the Long Tall Sally clothes, for the most part, but even their basics are just so damn expensive. I needed a couple of t-shirts for when I eventually go running with my sister (she’s mega busy trying to get her new house decorated and furnished) as all running gear for women seems to only cater for very short people. Me? I need a top that’s going to cover my tummy or I’m seriously not leaving the house! I managed to get two tops for £25 which isn’t too bad, even though the same sort of thing for a short person is more like £6, but while I was there I also bought a pair of £45 jeans. Oops. They are a pair of slouchy ‘boyfriend’ jeans (I really resent that term!) that are meant to fit well at the waist then be quite slouchy. I got them in a 16, and since I’m a 16-18 on the bottom at the moment, and as I say they are quite fitted, I can get them on but there’s a serious amount of muffin top going on. Plus I can’t breathe. So even though I haven’t quite recovered from my bad mood yet, I do have fresh focus because I really want to get into these 38″-inside-leg jeans! That is not my inside leg (I’m a 34″) but as I mentioned before they’re supposed to be slouchy. But they’ll be holding my tummy in nicely once they fit. I’m convinced they’re going to be a firm favourite so I need to get a grip and lose this damn weight!

I got up early today with the vague intention of ‘getting stuff done’ and on a whim checked the weather forecast. I was just starting my second very large and very strong cup of coffee, but since the weather was only going to be nice for the morning I quickly downed it, made myself look presentable and got my butt out of the house. I’ll admit that although I brushed my teeth and whatnot I didn’t have a shower, which is kinda gross, but in my defence I had one at 5pm yesterday so it’s not toooooooo icky. It does however show my dedication to catching what little sunshine was available!

First stop was the church on the hill, and for the first time ever I actually saw other people there even though it was only 10am. There was one lady who had the same intention as me – taking photos – and a young man who I’m pretty sure had tattooed eyeballs. I’m not judging, I just think it’s an interesting fact. I like it when people are different! I think he was just having a nice stroll, listening to music and enjoying the view.

Next I headed to the local park but there was a problem. After all that coffee I really needed to pee, so I had to venture into town (just a little bit) to use the facilities. The closest was M&S so I did what I needed to do, bought some nectarines and got the hell out of there. Because town on a Saturday doesn’t even bare thinking about.

The park was quite busy but I had the geese all to myself for a while, and I’m telling you there was an absolute army of them. For a split second I wondered whether I should feed them in case they got upset when I ran out of oats, but then I decided it was worth the risk for a good photo op.

There was easily the same amount of geese as you see in the picture here behind me, the other side of me and in the water. It’s clearly been a bumper year for mother and father geeses!

I used my oats to lure the geese away to either side of me so that the ducks could get a look-in. I’m thinking these ones are probably teenagers, but because their mum was with them they were exceptionally well behaved.

Apart from feeding the birds the best thing about the walk was that by 10:30am I’d already burned off the same amount of calories that I’d burned by 6pm yesterday. And I have another nice walk planned for tomorrow, somewhere a little different this time. I’m really annoyed that I didn’t think of it sooner, but what can you do. I’ll update you on that tomorrow.

When I got home I made myself a nice lunch of meat-free chicken-style burgers and some pretty weird sausages (all on plan though) with chips and salad. I’ve been sampling Fry’s Family Foods sausages and burgers and although they are really good value for syns (the sausages and ordinary burgers are 2 for half a syn, the chicken-style ones are 2 syns each) they are an acquired taste. The sausages have a kind of Play Doh texture that takes a bit of getting used to! Eventually I want to move away from these kinds of meat substitutes and cook more wholesome meals from scratch, but one thing at a time eh!

Now I’m going to get on and do all of the boring little jobs that I’ve been meaning to get around to for days…

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x