Earls Colne, and Other Things

Last week was really good. Friday was my brother’s birthday, and although I had work that night I stayed up for the afternoon/evening in order to hang out with the family. And it was great! It’s testament to how much better I’m feeling as hanging out with brother, sister and mother (and all the noise and chaos that brings) was so much fun.

I also had my Body Magic for the day to complete, so I took my hula hoop and kettlebells downstairs and socialised at the same time. When my brother got home from work we had a laugh by comparing what weights we could lift and how many push ups we can do. It wasn’t really competitive – my brother is really tall and naturally strong, I’m tall and fairly weak in comparison, and my sister is a tiny little thing – so we all knew how it was going to go anyway. I still had to laugh at my sister trying to lift a 10kg weight, while everyone laughed at me trying to do one of those push ups where you clap on the up part (and nearly smashing my face into the carpet while I was at it!)

Things are so different to how they used to be. When we were kids my sister would be out with her friends, my brother would be playing Runescape on the PC, and I’d be trying to get him off the PC, because it was my turn dammit! Then my sister would come home and also want the PC, and the place would turn into a war zone.

But the real difference isn’t that we are all such good friends now (although that’s awesome and one of the best things about my whole life) it’s that we are so much more healthy and active. I’m not sure we’d be as close if we didn’t get out and do things together.

Speaking of getting out, the weekend has been very outdoorsy. I went to visit a friend on Saturday on one condition – that we go out for a walk. I had a load of stuff I should have been doing that day, mostly to prepare for my Sunday, and if I was going to put it off it had to be for a good reason. For one thing I wanted more Body Magic, and this particular walk meant I completed week two of my Gold award. Whoop whoop!

Signs of autumn are beginning to show everywhere, and I have a very strong impulse to make the most of every single day before everything is grey and barren again. Autumn is one of my favourite times of year, and I don’t want to waste a second.

When I got home I got myself straight to bed for an hour’s sleep, then made sure I got up in time to at least do some prep.

Me and my brother agreed that we were going to do a walk from my ’50 walks in Essex’ book, that I bought months ago and hadn’t looked at since. Weirdly, since I’m useless at planning such things, he left the choice of walk and all the details up to me.

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So I chose a walk, worked out how long it would take us to drive there, how much sleep I’d need in the morning in order to do the drive safely, and told him what time we were leaving. Then (even more importantly) I pre-made my lunch for the next day, because if I don’t have food with me it could mean disaster. That done, I toddled off to work for my final shift of the week.

In the morning we were out of the door by 10:15 am (I almost managed 3 hours sleep) with plenty of coffee in tow. We were headed to Earls Colne to do a 6.5 mile circular walk which would take us through Chalkney Mill.

I had a little moment where I wasn’t sure what to wear – I didn’t think I had anything warm enough to hand (the weather looked a bit grim) but eventually I decided on a t-shirt dress and leggings because I’d no doubt warm up during the walk anyway.

I made the right choice – when we got there the skies turned blue and we were treated to a beautiful day. So beautiful I was starting to worry that I should have bought sun cream with me.

Do you know what my favourite part was though? THE FOOD! First of all we found plenty of blackberries, and since I’d left my lunch in the car to have once we were finished these were most welcome.

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Further along the route we came across an apple tree, but all of the fruits within reaching distance had been started on by birds and bugs. But I had my brother with me, and he’s always up for a challenge. He found us a couple of really tasty looking apples.

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I do like apples, but I’m seriously fussy about them. I’ll NEVER buy them from a supermarket (unless it’s for a pie or crumble) because they are invariably disappointing. The apple I had from the tree though – it was hands down not only the best apple I’ve ever had, but the tastiest fruit I’ve eaten in my whole life hands down. It was utterly delicious!

Later on we came across a friendly little family, whose young son was very interested in what I was doing with my camera. I was photographing fungus at the time (as you do) and I marvelled at the fact the kid has clearly been raised to appreciate the outdoors rather than simply plonked in front of a TV or tablet. Most other kids his age would probably be more familiar with technology than nature.

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I don’t normally know what to say to tiny humans (I find them quite frightening) but it was easy to explain what I was doing and show him the camera screen. Then we got talking to the dad who told us what other kind of fungi we could expect to see around this time of year.

As it happens we didn’t see any stinkhorns (although I’d really like to) but it’s good to know they can be found in that area for when we return at a later date. As I’m sure we will.

In contrast to all the nature, one part of the route also took us directly underneath a pylon. I’m quite happy with that, as I’ve never been so close to a pylon, so I took the opportunity to get an ‘arty’ shot.

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When I got home I had leftover curry that I made the other day which was completely Syn free, packed with Speed foods and even tastier than when I originally made it. Thinking ahead has definitely helped me this week.

As it happens I have group this evening and despite feeling really confident earlier on in the week today I’m feeling a bit bloated so I don’t know how it’s going to go. What I do know, is that I have been completely on plan without a single slip-up for two whole weeks now. And that feels soooooo good.

Another thing I know is that if I don’t get the result I want today, I’m just going to carry on what I’ve been doing. I’m not going to use it as an excuse to have a blow-out.

The only other plan I have for today is to walk into town (Body Magic, yay!) and hunt for Koko vegan cheddar which has been spotted by my fellow vegans in Home Bargains. When I first went vegan there were no cheeses you could have as a Healthy Extra, but this one does count so hopefully I can get my mitts on it.

On that note I’d best get cracking, so I’ll say goodbye for now.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Doctor’s Orders

Last night wasn’t the best in terms of my anxiety levels. I had an unpleasant fluttering in my chest throughout my shift and generally felt quite panicky, even though I’d had a nice evening. An old friend called me for a very long chat and, as usual, saying things out loud made me think ‘what the hell have I been doing these last six months? I know what I need to do, and I can do it.’ But then literally an hour later, the incessant (and very loud) negative thoughts had returned and everything felt terrible again.

I think that’s why I need help – I know that logically everything is going to be fine, but my brain keeps trying to convince me the world is ending.

The doctor has given me some anti-depressants and I’ll see him again in a month.

As it happens it’s the same doctor I saw about my knee, and after an already very thorough talk about my situation I didn’t think we’d be discussing it. In fact it’s been quite painful still but I thought that I NEEDED to run, for the sake of my mental health, so I had decided to just run on it anyway.

But this very good doctor asked me how it was, and I thought it would be silly to lie. He said that I must stop running on it until it is fully healed, so running is totally off the menu for the foreseeable future. And I know he’s right.

I could sit here and sob into my cup of coffee, but I’m not going to.

What I am going to do is trust in the Slimming World plan. The last time I lost this amount of weight, in 2012, I did virtually no exercise and still had good losses. It is entirely possible to be a successful slimmer without the ‘Body Magic’.

Even when I’m bang on plan I spend a lot of time feeling guilty over portion sizes and, lately, even having my full allowance of Syns. This isn’t healthy and it has to stop.

The Slimming World plan works, so I need to just crack on and follow it without worrying about all that crap. It just makes me want to eat more! If I find I’m not losing weight for no apparent reason, then I’ll start thinking about portion sizes or whatever. But until then, I just want to enjoy my food without worrying.

I will still keep up with walking (gently) but I need to be concerning myself with other healthy habits too, and getting enough sleep is a very high priority right now. I simply won’t have time to make up for the lack of proper training with increased walking, and I cannot start beating myself about that. I must be kind to me!

I’ve been thinking about it a lot this afternoon, and I think I’ll completely rest my knee and restart running when I hit my target of 12 stone 10 pounds, which is 1 stone 11 pounds away. That sounds kinda reasonable, and gives me extra motivation to get to target.

It’s hard to find them sometimes, but there are always positives. Now when I’m out walking I’ll have more time for taking photos at least, whereas when I was running I wouldn’t stop because once you’re in that zone you really don’t want to get out of it.

I did run yesterday, although I had to stop near the end because of my knee, and only got two pictures.

I do wonder why that poor horse has to wear a mask…

Anyway, you can certainly expect to see greater visual representation of my days in future.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Budget

I’ve written about trying to be more careful with money several times since starting this blog, but somehow I never seemed to do anything about it. In fact being sensible financially ended up right at the bottom of my list of priorities and it’s now caught up with me. I’m in just a little bit of a pickle, so trying to be careful has turned into ‘really Hayley, you MUST be careful now or we’re screwed‘.

Thankfully I checked my accounts and my outgoings kinda just in time. I’m currently £30 into my planned overdraft, I have £87 left to pay out for the month, and £36 in cash to spend on food. Oh and 10 days until payday.

Because I have some catching up to do and a few expensive things to pay out for, things are going to be tight until about November, and then it’s Christmas. It’s going to have to be a frugal one this year!

I only just got around to trying ‘The Chunk‘ which is a vegan meat replacement from Oumph! I’d already tried the kebab pieces and the pulled ‘pork’ which are both delicious, but they have syns so I thought I’d try the plain pieces, which are syn free.

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I wish I hadn’t put if off for so long because even without seasoning ‘The Chunk’ is really tasty. After I’d tried it on its own I added garlic and paprika and it was delicious. The only problem is, although totally worth it, the Oumph! products are quite expensive and I can’t afford to get any more for the time being.

Ho hum, it’s my own fault entirely.

Thankfully some of the best things in life are completely free, so I took advantage of a very rainy Thursday and went out for a run. It’s probably an unpopular opinion, but running in the rain is FANTASTIC! At least if it’s still quite warm, as it was then.

There’s something really peaceful about it all, especially as I had the park almost exclusively to myself. I only saw one little family with their brollies and wellies walking in the opposite direction, right at the beginning.

I did 3.7 miles, at what is a good pace for me, without stopping. My knee was a bit stiff the day after, but I think as long as I don’t run on consecutive days then I can keep going.

It. Felt. So. Good!

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Not my best photographic work, but an accurate representation of my afternoon!

Yesterday I didn’t do much, because after a couple of weeks of not sleeping all that much I’ve been allowing myself extra time in bed. I did however still get out for a walk before I went back to bed before my shift, and took some nice flower pictures up at the church. I’m not religious, but I do like going up there and the church gardener definitely takes pride in their work. Plus it’s right at the top of a very big hill, and hills are bloody good exercise.

I have work tonight so I’ll have another little walk soon to top up my steps then have a nap, and think about what I’m going to do with my weekend. I know that Monday evening I’m going out for dinner at Harvester for my dad’s birthday, and I know that I can stay on plan, too. Unlimited salad it is, and do you know what? I may even have a jacket potato. I know how to live!

I hope you lot out there are having a lovely weekend, and don’t have to work tonight.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Fight or Flight

I’ve always been prone to fairly regular bouts of mild depression, ever since I was a teenager, and now I’m in my mid-thirties I’m getting pretty good at dealing with the bad patches when they come along. At the very least I’ve managed to stop using them as an excuse to gain huge amounts of weight.

On the other hand I’ve never really suffered from anxiety, until now. I’ve had anxious times when I’ve been in bad situations, and this is similar. I’m not feeling like this for no reason, it’s a product of my environment and I haven’t been dealing with it very well. In fact it’s been two weeks of hell.

I really feel for the people who have what I would call a proper medical condition and feel like this all the time for no reason whatsoever.

As for me I’m confident things will be back to normal now that I’ve had some resolutions to the things that have been bothering me. For the last six months I’ve been treading water, trying to fit everything in that I want to do, but now I should have more free time and more of a balance in life. That’s the plan anyway!

In the meantime I was explaining to a colleague what it’s like to feel seriously anxious. So back in the olden days when we were hunter-gatherers if we saw something scary, like a lion who wants to eat us, then we got a nice big shot of adrenaline to help us out of the situation. It would make us more alert, get the heart pumping, and give us that extra bit of juice to either leg it or take that lion on.

But now, simply sitting doing nothing and having a scary thought will give me that same reaction. Which really isn’t helpful! Sitting still but (seemingly randomly) having my heart pumping out of my chest and struggling to get my breath is not fun, and that’s not taking into account that horrible shaky feeling you get when the adrenaline subsides. Unfortunately evolution is quite a way from catching up with modern life.

I haven’t really thought much about Slimming World over the last fortnight, mainly because I’ve felt so uptight I’ve only managed small portions of highly palatable food. Anything else I just couldn’t stomach, and since I wasn’t sleeping well either was just doing what I needed to do to get through.

I’m feeling more relaxed today though, now that things are falling into place. After a sneaky night off work and a very deep and dreamless sleep, I’m ready to sort my eating out again, before too much damage is done.

I had planned to get right back on it on Monday, but by that point I was feeling so anxious that I was wondering how I could spend another second in my own head. That was when a friend came to the rescue and took me out to dinner. Luckily it also had the effect of taking me out of myself for a while, and I was able to just sit back and turn my brain off for a short period.

We went to Wagamama’s, and it’s the first time I’ve been there since I became vegan. Luckily, they introduced a vegan katsu dish (the Vegatsu) a while back and I’ve been desperate to try it ever since.

The food didn’t disappoint, although I do think they need to get on and introduce more vegan options!

To accompany my meal I had jasmine tea, which always goes well with this kind of food and makes me feel super cultured.

As for my friend, I’m so proud of him. When we first met I cooked him a chilli, and asked how it compared to others he’d had. He confessed that he’d never eaten a chilli before, and hadn’t tried anything else that ‘exotic’. It was always meat and two veg in his house!

He was very suspicious of his ramen bowl at first, but he was soon a convert. He’s definitely becoming more adventurous!

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It was a gorgeous evening, and I even had another result – we passed The Whisky Shop so I decided to pop in to get a miniature for my brother. While I was there I found the perfect birthday present for him. It’s not his birthday till next month, but I nabbed it while I was there. I had no idea what I was going to get him, now I don’t have to worry. Until next year…

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Yesterday I went out for a little run, but it was mostly walking as I still need to build back up to a full run. It was lovely to blow the cobwebs away though. I’m going to go for another run on Thursday, assuming my ankle is OK. I twisted it yesterday as an interesting bug landed on my wrist and I stopped looking where I was going. That’ll teach me! (She says. It probably won’t to be honest…)

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My current running strategy is to do about 5k, three times a week, at a pace which is purely enjoyable. I don’t really care about any other factors such as speed or intensity, I just want to have fun whilst getting my exercise. I’ve lost sight of that recently.

Although there is a little something inside of me that wants to do a 10k some time soon, but I’m trying not to think that far ahead. I just want to have fun and see where that gets me.

I will sign off now as my sister is on her way over for a coffee and a natter.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Monday and More

I’m one of those weirdos who really likes Mondays. Mondays are the second day of my weekend, and since I don’t go back into work until the Tuesday night, I save my pre-work dread for Tuesday afternoon. That means I can enjoy my whole Monday.

I did consider doing nothing at all Monday and having a complete rest day, but I discovered Sunday that I’m really not good at that. I tried to lay with my legs out in the sun for a bit, because to be honest they’re a bit of a hazard. I can’t have them out at all on the street, because if the sun reflects off of them they could blind any passing drivers.

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Instead I spent a little while editing photos from the walk I’d done previously, at my very favourite park in Hadleigh.

I’m just not meant to sit still anymore I think, so much so that I find it really difficult to sit down and watch an entire film. Unless it really grabs me, I rarely make it to the end these days. I don’t think that’s a bad thing!

In between walking and dinner I also had a little gin and slimline tonic from a nearby pub that I never knew existed – Barge Gladys. Yes, it actually is on a barge! Apparently it’s been there for 41 years (how have I never heard of it before?), is right near a handy train station and is of course on the coast so there are plenty of walking to/from opportunities. I’m thinking more of a nice place to have a diet coke or water in future though, I’m really not fancying alcohol much at the moment. Just that one drink went right to my head!

So on Monday instead of trying and failing to veg out, I went for a walk in the park. In 30 degree heat… Thankfully I slapped on the factor 50 before I left the house and am pleased to report I did not burn to a crisp.

I had a really good time by myself at the park, except I wasn’t actually by myself, truth be told. There are always plenty of feathered friends about. When I got to the lake where the majority of the geese hang out, I saw that most of them (apart from four or five milling around the shore) were in the water.

But when they saw me, the whole flock got out of the water and headed straight for me. At this point there was no sign of me having any food for them (although of course I did, it was safely tucked away in my bag) so I wonder if they remember that I’ve fed them lots of other times before? There were other people there and they didn’t get the same welcome as me!

Look how close they were, and still they hadn’t seen the food.

It’s clear that these guys love me!

Then yesterday things took a little nosedive. I was going to weigh in Monday night at my new group, but something came up and I couldn’t make it. So I planned to go Tuesday morning instead.

But then I couldn’t sleep, and subsequently didn’t wake up in time. That also meant I didn’t wake up in time for my planned run, and by the time I got myself moving it was too hot. Then my day ended up being taken up by other stressful things anyway. The upshot of it was that I was tired, hungry, stressed, dreading work, and I ate my feelings. Thankfully it was only one day and I’m right back on it now, and since the temperature is much more reasonable after a little storm last night, I’m definitely running later. As for weighing in, my home scales say I’ve maintained, which I’m happy with.

For the last week or so work has been a bit of a nightmare from which I cannot wake, and I’ve been getting through it by keeping my head down and working hard. But last night there was a planned system shutdown for the first five hours of the shift and I knew I’d just have to mill around. The thought of that was simply unbearable, and that’s what threw me. It’s just excuses though. I could have got through it and stayed on plan, I just chose not to. I took the easy option (or at least the one that was easier in the short term).

As it happens, the shutdown didn’t happen but something went wrong and there wasn’t much to do anyway, so I was allowed to go home. When I go to work tonight I can stick to the original plan and just crack on with my job. So it’s not great, but I can cope with it.

And I will NOT use food to help me get through it.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Good Vibes

Well I went out and attempted a bit of a run yesterday and it went OK. I only ran for one very slow mile (and walked for another two) and while I’m actually moving there’s no pain. But my knee is rather tender today. I think it’s too soon to be thinking about doing a full run, but I think I’ll go out again tomorrow and jog the flat bits whilst power-walking the hills.

It didn’t really matter what I was doing anyway, because it was gorgeous out there. Plus I did press-ups, so my arms, shoulders and chest are giving me a nice gentle ache which tells me I did some good!

Now I have my car back I’m not feeling quite so disheartened about not being able to run properly, because at least I can drive to more interesting places in order to have a walk. Just traipsing around my estate is pretty grim to be honest.

After my little bit of exercise I had some lunch, and even though I was hyper aware that everything I put in my body was adding weight before group later. I had to be sensible and give my body what it needed, even if that did include two litres of water.

Before weigh in I went to see my father as he lives just around the corner from my new group, and it was nice to have a catch up. I don’t see him that often, which is good because him and his girlfriend love to feed me. And since I hadn’t been for a while it was nice to get the ‘you’re looking so slim!’ compliments.

As it happens over this last week I have felt slimmer, and my face definitely is less puffy.

But what did the scales say?

Since I got the time wrong I was 15 minutes early to group, which didn’t help my weighing-in nerves. But of course I needn’t have worried, I lost 2.5 lbs!

I have to say I’m getting a really good vibe about this group. It’s much, much smaller than the one I’m used to, and my consultant (who runs both this group and my old one) was able to spend a lot more time milling around among us. Of course if there are new members that will be different, but it feels a bit more tight-knit. But not cliquey.

I couldn’t stay to group this time, but I’m looking forward to next week when I definitely will be.

I had planned to stop off at the nearby giant Tesco and pick up some bits on the way home, but I was very tired and very hungry and knew if I went in there I’d quite possibly come out with more than I intended to. I’m not quite feeling strong enough to test myself with things like that yet.

Once back I had a delicious completely Free dinner followed by a Rowntree’s fruit pastille lolly for 3 syns. Later on I realised I’d only had 4.5 syns, which just won’t do, so I had another one.

I did go and look in the fridge just before bed, but thankfully I realised that I wasn’t actually hungry. Waking up this morning knowing I’ve spent my whole weekend on plan, knowing there’s no catching up to do or feeling guilty for the first time in weeks was priceless.

As you can see I’ve been carrying on with taking pictures of my food, and have even started creating weekly Google Photos albums along with what result eating that food got me. I imagine I’ll get bored of it one day in the future, but while it’s fun I’m just going for it.

If you want to see last week’s food (I was on plan from Wednesday onwards) then feel free to have a look (link).

Finally I bought a delicious-sounding vegan ready meal from Sainsbury’s the other day. I hear really good things about this sweet potato katsu curry, so before buying I checked I could freeze it. That meant I had time to email the packaging to Slimming World and wait for them to update the syns database.

Sometimes it’s hard getting vegan stuff added, but those lovely people at head office were on it on this occasion and it’s now listed as 15.5 syns. Which I think it quite reasonable. I’ll let you know how it was once I’ve tried it, using half a syn banked from another day. I only had 7.5 yesterday so I do have some spare.

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Well that’s all of my news for now!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Practically Perfect

It’s Saturday evening and I’m sitting at my desk to start this blog post, drinking my third cup of coffee since getting up at 7pm and listening to little Pea make sounds of contentment from her favourite perch. I have to get in the shower for work very soon, but life is good.

Today has been wonderfully refreshing. I had arranged to meet up with an ex-colleague for a coffee and a catch-up but to be honest, our schedules are so out of whack I expected he’d have to cancel. Part of me was making plans for what to do if that happened. Or plan I should say. It was simply – GET MORE SLEEP.

But, pleasingly, we were both actually free at the same time and it went ahead. As I popped my sunglasses on and headed out the door just before midday, I didn’t care that I’d had less than three hours sleep, because the wind was in my hair, the sun was on my face, and I could get some mileage in without being a sweaty mess at the end of it.

After I’d drunk about a pint of coffee and we’d run out of gossip, I walked back home via the church on the hill. It was even windier up there and just the right temperature. Oh, and bloody beautiful.

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Very tired, but most content! Despite all that coffee I was still rather sleepy and after eating some delicious grub I got back to sleep with no issues at all.

It has taken me a little while to come to terms with something, specifically the fact that when I eat my tummy is visibly larger. Up until now I’d glance at myself in the mirror and panic, assuming I’d somehow put on half a stone since the morning. But now rational Hayley can appreciate how several cups of coffee, a large meal designed to see me through till my work lunch at 4am, plus several pints of water is going to have an effect on my appearance (albeit temporarily). I always used to think that slim people were being dramatic when they put on elasticated trousers for a big meal, but now I know it’s a real thing.

In actual fact it’s a great non-scale victory – I’m slim enough to be able to see my food baby!

It’s now Sunday night and I am exhausted! I’ve only had two hours sleep after my night shift, and that in itself was a hard one. We were short-staffed so with a lack of anyone to talk to, I did extra work instead to make the time go. I put in the best performance in a long, long time.

My run today was mostly downgraded to a fast walk. But when I did try the tiniest bit of running my knee felt fine. I’m going out tomorrow afternoon to have another go and to do a little bit more, because I think it’s best to take it easy and build up to a full run.

It felt good to be out there doing it again though!

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So it’s weigh day tomorrow and I’m extremely apprehensive, because all of the odds are stacked against me.

Today is the first day of star week (BOOOOO!), because I’m weighing in at a different group I haven’t had a full week between weigh-ins anyway, I’ll be eating before I go, and I may still get a catch-up gain from last week.

Because of this I wanted to be prepared for bad news, so I had a little sneak peek and my fears are confirmed – at least according to my scales I have a 2lb gain.

But I really won’t let it get to me, because another thing I’ve found in addition to my mojo, is patience. When I first started losing weight because I had such a long way to go I was fully prepared to be in it for the long haul.

Just lately I’ve wanted everything to happen yesterday, and the result is that I’ve found myself frustrated and downhearted when I really shouldn’t be.

So what if I do have a gain? So what if I maintain? Am I going to stick to plan anyway? I sure am. It’s a numbers game really. If I stay the course, there’s a fairly good chance I could still get a good result. Let’s say… there’s an 80% chance I could still have a loss. And if I say to hell with it and comfort eat? That pretty decent 80% drops right down to ZERO.

I’ll take my chances thanks.

The only thing I might do in the coming week is give SP a real proper go because I’ve never tried it before. I do see on various vegan forums a lot of people asking what others eat on SP days, so I’ll try it myself and perhaps I’ll be able to offer advice to my fellow vegan slimmers in the future.

It’ll be interesting to see if it actually helps, or if I end up too hungry and have to go back to a normal Extra Easy day. We will see!

Either way I’ll let you know how weigh in goes tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

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

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