Holiday Mode

Tuesday was a bit of a weird day. I weigh in on a Tuesday, plus it’s the first day of my working week, and I’m finding it difficult to get into a decent routine. But I have a plan – I’m going to switch groups and weigh in on Tuesday morning instead which works a lot better for me. The walk to and from the group is about the same distance but it’ll be good for me to get some steps in at the beginning of the day. Once I’m weighed and home I can then get some sleep to prepare me for my night shift. At the moment group occurs just as my body starts to think how lovely it would be to have a nap! There is a small problem – I’m not keen on the consultant and the last time I went I wasn’t that taken on the group either, but I’m finding I’m getting less and less from group as the weeks go on. To be honest I’m just finding it boring at the moment. Also, my time is very precious to me and it just drags on for so long. I’m out of the house for two-and-a-half hours every week, and it’s just crazy. So I’m going to weigh and go for a while, but when I have the chance I’ll still pop back to my old group. I do like that about Slimming World, that you can go to any group in any part of the country!

This week I lost a very respectable 2 lbs, which I’m very pleased with. Although I’ve been on plan I expected water retention for various reasons. There’s always that little part of you that wanted more though, isn’t there! I needed 3 lbs to get into the 15 stone bracket, but that will just have to wait until next week. I have found it incredibly difficult to stay on plan for the last couple of days, and that’s because my brain is well and truly in holiday mode. I’m not actually on holiday until next week, but I only went into work Tuesday and probably won’t be back until next month. I can’t go into the details as I might get in trouble, so let’s just say there’s a dispute going on. Either way, as soon as I’m off work my brain is thinking HOLIDAY FOOD but I’m keeping it firmly in check! I have been given a fantastic opportunity to get stuff done around the house, and also I have plenty of time to exercise. When I’m off work my typical calorie burn (according to my Fitbit) is about 2700 so I’m going to fight to keep it above 3000 a day for the whole time I’m off.

This afternoon I’m taking my mum to visit one of my numerous aunties but tomorrow I’m walking into town. This does serve another purpose – my sister wants me to see if Primark has a jacket she wants in her size. It’ll be quite odd, size 20 me buying a size 8 jacket, but things like that don’t bother me as much as they used to. In the past I’d be really embarrassed and looking at the teeny little jacket would have made me really miserable. Not now though, I’m feeling too good to be worried about such trivial things! Plus I think my skeleton is probably a size 8, so if something like that ever fit me I think I’d be in quite a bit of bother.

It’s currently 10am and although there’s not much sun I’ve been out in the garden photographing the first poppy of the year. Well, we’ve had some little wild yellow poppies for a while but they’re not quite as interesting!

We also have some cherries growing on our still rather small cherry tree, and if only half of the little buds on the apple tree turn into actual apples, then we are going to have a bumper year this year! Which is an improvement on last year where we had one single, stunted apple right on top of the tree that just sat and rotted up there. Poor show, apple tree.

Right, I’m going to toddle off now and get on with my day before the time starts running away from me!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Gloriousness

Has it or has it not been the most beautiful day of the year so far? At least it has been where I am, so if you have had bad weather then commiserations to you. Yesterday was a work day but I burnt the candle at both ends and went in search of geeselets (goslings, whatever!) with my brother and at the same time I got a load of steps in. It was also part one of a little test to see the average time it takes me to walk a mile, without putting any extra effort in. The verdict was 18 minutes and 30 seconds, which seems quite slow to me but as I say I certainly wasn’t pushing myself and I didn’t get out of breath.

We found the goslings straight away but the parents wouldn’t let us get too near (and of course I forgot to bring any food for them) so we went for a little walk around. My brother suggested we sprint up a hill and I decided to go along with it. In the process I learned something about myself – I have forgotten how to run. You know those dreams you have where you’re trying to run but it feels like you’re in quicksand? That’s what my normal run is like! My brother honestly thought that I was playing around, but I really am that slow. I did have a second and more successful attempt (with him shouting at me to get my knees up) but it’s definitely not my idea of fun! At least now I know that if I encounter a fight or flight scenario then I’d better be ready to throw some punches.

As we were deciding to go home we noticed that the geeselets were having a swim so I stopped to take some video. As luck would have it they came right over to the shore where I was standing so I managed to see the cuteness first hand. Goodness me I wanted to pick one of the fuzzy little lumps up, but I’ve been chased by a goose as a child and I do not want to relive that experience. Especially since we have established that I’m not going to be able to outrun it.

After having a quick nap this morning I got up, fed Pea whilst having a coffee then since it looked so nice out I decided to head into town to mosey around for a bit. I walked of course, there’s no way I’d be taking the car on a day like today! This also constituted phase two of my little experiment and again it took me 18-and-a-half minutes to do a mile. So there’s a good baseline to improve upon anyway. It was so lovely and warm out, but with a nice breeze too, and I broke out my sunglasses for the first time this year.

In town I went to Starbucks with the intention of getting a flat white, but then I saw cold brew iced coffee advertised. I’ve never had a cold brew before so that’s what I had, and since it’s just coffee it must be Syn free! A cold brew is supposed to be smoother than ordinary iced coffee and it certainly seemed that way. I’m pretty sure it’s not just my imagination. Either way it was lovely walking home in the sun sipping on my summery drink! Weirdly though, I’ve only just gotten around to putting the cup in the recycling and three hours later there is still solid ice in there. Um, HOW?

For the rest of the afternoon me and the green one chilled in the garden. I read a chapter of my book while she shouted at a sparrow, so we were both doing things we enjoy!

After all the fresh air and exercise I’m feeling super content but just about ready to drop. So I’ll leave it there for today, I just had to come and tell you how beautiful the simple things in life can be.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Weigh In Results: Did I Lose the Epic Gain?

I’m not going to keep you waiting. Last week I gained 9 pounds, this week I LOST 9 POUNDS! I’m not going to get complacent. I was incredibly lucky to get that off all in one go. Now it’s time to knuckle down and get some serious weight off! I want to lose another 1st 12.5 by the end of the year, so let’s get cracking. Today I did a kettlebell workout for the first time in absolutely ages, and my legs have forgotten how to go up and down the stairs. But apart from being rather wibbly it feels damn good!

Last night I was doing the more physical aspect of my job as a warehouse operative. It used to be all on foot and an excellent workout but now we have a little electric contraption that ferries us around the warehouse. Although I only do a fraction of the steps I used to at work, I figure that since you stand up on these machines that very fact will mean that I’m burning more calories than I am when I’m sitting on my butt. So it’s not ideal but better than nowt, and at least I’m getting paid to do it.

Tomorrow I need to catch up on the housework and take delivery of an Ocado shop (the final one just before my free Smart Pass trial runs out) then on Saturday I’m walking to a local park with my brother. He has reliably informed me that we will see plenty of ickle baby geeses, so I’m totally sold on that.

I have been preparing for my Snowdon trip and now have pretty much everything I need, including an enormous (plastic) jar of peanut butter. I’ve decided that will be my main energy source for if I start to flag, because it’s packed with energy and protein, is relatively light and easily transportable. And scrummy. Normal Slimming World rules shall not apply! I’ve bought a lovely backpack that sits nice and snug against my back, has comfortable padded straps and does up at the front. It was a close call – just a couple of pounds heavier and I don’t think I would have been able to do the clasps up. So that was a nice non-scale victory right there.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m terrible with money, and I haven’t made any progress on sorting that out just yet. Instead of being sensible Mr Credit Card treated me to a pair of beautiful Swedish Clogs by Lotta From Stockholm. They’ve just brought out a vegan range which is absolutely awesome, because since turning veggie I haven’t bought any leather products. I have had a red pair for several years and thought I’d never be able to get another, but here they are. In a lovely aqua green!

They’re going to be so perfect for the summer, and they’re totally comfortable and easy to walk in so I can wear them anywhere. Yay! In my defence the vegan range has completely sold out in my size already, so, y’know, really I had to get them when I did. And I’ll pay the whole lot off as soon as I get paid, honest!

If you remember, a couple of blogs ago I was talking about how I don’t enjoy drinking any more. This week I nearly forgot everything I learned when I was invited out by the work people on the 2nd of June. To a club. I nearly said yes, because it’s an alternative club so the music would be much more up my street. But then I remembered that my expectations vs what it would actually be like would be very different indeed. So I put my foot down and said no despite lots of cajoling. Then not five minutes later I was invited out on a pub crawl on the 3rd. Nope, nope and nope again! I have had so many people tell me that I’ll be missing out, and how much fun it will be, but they just aren’t listening to me. They seem to find it impossible to understand that just because they find something fun doesn’t mean everyone else does too! I shall stick to my guns no matter what, especially as me and my sister are going to a parrot show on the 11th. Now THAT is my idea of fun! Perhaps I should start pestering all of my colleagues to come with me. They won’t know what they’re missing out on!

Hayley x

Loneliness

Whilst doing a tiny bit of research for this blog post I typed in ‘Social media and…’ into Google, which kindly autocompleted the sentence. It came up with ‘Social media and loneliness’, which is actually what I was intending to search for. I read a few articles (research really ain’t my thing!) and it seems studies conducted pertain to young adults, but the research apparently shows that the more time a young adult spends on social media, the more lonely, isolated and envious they can become. Which sounds pretty bleak. When I was in my last year of secondary school I vaguely remember getting into musical debates on the NME message board with my friends, but that was always difficult anyway because of dial-up (it sends a shiver down my spine when I remember the bad old days), but other than that I didn’t interact with anyone online as a young adult with anyone other than a couple of friends. So maybe my experiences are different because I’m from a different generation (man I feel old!) but I think social media kind of rocks.

It just depends how you use it!

My mum always worries about me because I’m not going to have children. She thinks that when I’m old I’m going to be lonely and have no one to look after me. The second part may be true, but as for loneliness, well, I can guarantee it ain’t gonna happen! In the last few months I’ve felt increasingly frustrated by a lack of a connection with most people I know in real life. I adore my brother and sister, and we are very close, but as awesome as they are we still need a variety of people in our lives. So if you’re feeling like I did, just reach out to people, because there are SO MANY fabulous humans out there!

I joined a Facebook group of like-minded Slimming World members, and it’s part of the group rules to ‘not be a dick’. That’s right up my street! I’ve been a member for perhaps a month, and already we’re trying to arrange a meet-up (hopefully) for the end of July. The great thing is that I stressed and stressed about going out with my colleagues, some of whom I’ve known for nearly ten years, but when I think about going out with a bunch of people I’ve never met, hundreds of miles away from home, I feel excited. I already feel accepted, and that’s a wonderful thing.

I started my YouTube channel four weeks ago and already I’ve connected with a wonderful lady, and we have spoken about meeting. As it happens she should be going to this meet-up too, which is very handy! My point is, if you need people, they are there. It is scary, putting yourself out there, but it’s worth it. Trust me!

On Friday I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I’d heard mixed reviews, and two people I know said they fell asleep, so I went in with an open mind. I went with my brother and a friend, and my friend did in fact fall asleep! However I think he must have been exhausted though because I absolutely loved it! I was engrossed from start to finish, so much so that I didn’t even touch the (Slimming World-friendly) cinema snacks I’d bought with me. I thought it was the perfect combination of action, humour and sentiment. Yes, I did do a little cry too! Over the last couple of days I’ve been randomly chuckling to myself when I remember a particularly funny scene. It’s nice when a film stays with you for a while.

Even though I had work afterwards, I decided to dress up nicely for the cinema. I have decided that I no longer want to save anything ‘for best’. If it’s nice, I’m going to wear it now! I don’t need a special occasion. I got my friend to take a picture of me as I need to keep my sister regularly updated with what outfits I’m wearing, so I thought I’d use this as an opportunity for a comparison pic which I always find fun!

Please excuse the exciting kitchen backdrop, we do not have a single neutral background in our house! I bought this dress a couple of months ago but never wore it until now because I didn’t have anywhere to go. So silly! It’s lucky I got it out when I did because it’s becoming too big! Conveniently the belt will mean I’ll get a bit more use out of it before it starts a new life at the charity shop. So yes, looking at those pictures side-by-side, I’m feeling incredibly happy and positive. ]

Very soon I have to get going as I have quite a bit to get done today, but before I toddle off I thought I’d show you my most recent Tesco find- Perfectly Imperfect cucumber which is just 35p a pack! I love weird-shaped veg, doesn’t it just make everything more interesting? I’m so glad it’s making a comeback. Who doesn’t want a small, thin, bendy cucumber I ask you?!

On that note I’m off!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Backtracking

Ooh I’ve been naughty and haven’t written a blog in a while! In my defence… actually nope, I have no defence. I’ve just been a bit crap. So what’s been going on since last time? The week before last I lost 1.5 pounds, which is lovely and all, but on the way home from group I decided to go off plan and eat a ton of chocolate. After that I had two days on plan, then the rest of the week was mostly a disaster.

Do you remember me saying that I wanted to have a more colourful life? Well I did try to find colourful clothes but nothing suited me, so instead at my hairdresser’s appointment on Friday I instructed him to go as mad with the dye as he wanted. This was the result:

The picture doesn’t even do it justice, it’s just AMAZING! It’s so vibrant it’s unbelievable. So I was pretty chuffed with the end result, that is until I got home. I looked in the mirror and realised how exposed my face is now that my hair is even shorter and I admit it- I had something of a meltdown. It’s like all of the confidence I’ve gained over the past few months has just up and left me, but don’t worry, I’m working hard to find it again. That day I totally ate my feelings and ordered a massive takeaway of falafel, houmous and chips which doesn’t sound too bad, but the portions were enormous and the falafel was deep fried. It was yummy, but it occurs to me how little sense it makes. I am worried people can see too many of my chins so what do I do? Eat food that’s guaranteed to give me an extra one! Yeah, how stupid!

After that it was all downhill. I was back at work Saturday night and to be honest I was ready for a fight with the first person who criticised my hair. Thankfully I only had to contend with one rude person who greeted me not with a hello, but with ‘oh my god what have you done? You looked so pretty before, you’ve ruined it’, which was just lovely, but I told him how rude he was being and off he went. Everyone else was (uncharacteristically) very kind indeed.

Sunday I started thinking about the work drinks scheduled for Monday, and over these two days I learned some very important things about myself. One is that I should listen to my instincts. I decided that I didn’t want to go but I did anyway, because I didn’t want to let people down. Even though those people got there roughly three hours after they said they would… The other thing is that I no longer enjoy alcohol. I did put away a fair bit of booze but not once did I feel drunk. I felt sick from the first pint of Magners, which I used to really enjoy, but it was sickly and bloated me out. Someone bought me a Fireball Whiskey and coke which was disgusting– I had one mouthful and donated it to another member of the group when the person who bought it for me went to the toilet! By 9:30pm I was ready for my bed so before everyone else hit the clubs I made my escape. Oh yes, I forgot to mention I had a giant pizza on Sunday night, and on the way to the station on Monday I stopped off at a Tesco Express where bought yet more chocolate and some other bits and pieces. When I got home me and my mum watched some TV together while I ate an entire brioche loaf, then I got myself to bed before I could do any more damage.

I woke up the next day, which happened to be weigh day, feeling not positive as such, but like I can actually do this. The fact that I didn’t want to go out on Monday threw me for the whole week. Or more accurately I let it throw me. What I should have done was just stick to my guns, not go, stay on plan and be happy. But I made myself miserable by trying to force myself to enjoy something that just isn’t me any more. While we were on our way to yet another pub I looked longingly at the Costa Coffee over the road and daydreamed about how wonderful it would be to be sitting in there enjoying a flat white with my sister…

Anyway! I braved weigh in on Tuesday evening even though it was the very last thing I wanted to do, and discovered that yet again I have had an epic gain. But it was ‘only’ 9 lbs this time! I need to stop doing this because not only does it make me miserable, but according to my Fitbit my heartrate rockets every time I eat extreme amounts of food. Clearly it is putting a lot of strain on my ticker, so I need to stay in control in future.

My mission from now on is to only spend my precious free time with people who are helping me to achieve my goals. Not because they are particularly going out of their way to do so, but because the things we like doing together just happen to fit into the whole Slimming World lifestyle. I haven’t seen much of my dad, well, ever because mostly he doesn’t give a crap, but also because when I do see him it’s always centered around food. I’ve asked him if he wants to come out on a walking adventure with his children but he isn’t the slightest bit interested! He is however happy to walk along the seafront with his girlfriend’s family, but I’ll save that particular rant for another day…

So the rest of May will probably be spent undoing one weekend’s worth of damage, then it’s my Snowdon trip at the end of the month. I still have no idea what to do about food for the trip, so it’s going to take some research. Which I’ve been saying for a couple of weeks so I really should get around to that!

It’s time for me to get ready for work now (story of my life) so goodbye for now!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Ivinghoe Beacon

On Monday I left the house at 6am in order to start the day off with a nice walk. We don’t have many nice places near us so I drove for just over an hour to Ivinghoe Beacon which is basically a bloody big hill. When we arrived the car park was virtually empty and it was damn cold but that’s ok because I hate getting too hot while I’m walking. Once I got moving I soon warmed up. The first thing we saw when we got there was a field full of little lambs and they were so cute! You could go in with them too, there was just a little sign warning not to get between the mothers and their babies. The little ones were so inquisitive, but we didn’t want to disturb them so I only managed to get a photo using my phone as I didn’t have the right lens with me for taking pictures of sheep!

As is the tradition for a British bank holiday there was a little bit of rain and it was cloudy and dull the whole day, but that certainly didn’t stop us. When we got home we checked my brother’s GPS tracker and we had climbed 1/3 the height of Snowdon. It was hard work so I’m starting to become somewhat apprehensive about our Snowdon climb next month, but I’m not going to know if I can do it or not until I try. In the meantime I’m going to keep walking and also ramp up my use of the cross trainer to get my legs nice and strong! Squats probably wouldn’t be a bad idea either because the area most affected by Monday’s walk was my butt!

I also managed to get a picture of some bluebells that I actually like! We went off the beaten track to investigate a fallen tree and found this little plant nestled behind it.

Some sunshine would have been nice, but we can’t have everything in life. When I got home I updated my Fitbit and found that I’d broken my record for most flights of stairs climbed in a day (or at least the equivalent height).

I was on 135 flights of stairs at this point so I thought to myself, ‘is there another badge for climbing 150?’ So I ran up and down the stairs for a bit and this is what I got when I was finished:

I wonder how many it’ll be once I get to the top of Snowdon? I’m excited to find out!

On Tuesday I got up early again to walk into town and clock up a nice amount of steps. While I was there I had my bra fitting at M&S and it was about as uncomfortable as I thought it would be. It was very thorough and I got two lovely fitting bras (I realised that this is the first time in my life I’ve had a bra that actually fitted) and the woman was very friendly but there’s still nothing that really prepares you for getting your boobies out in front of a total stranger. Even though in my younger days I flashed a couple of times (alcohol has a lot to answer for) and I had two medical scares that needed to be investigated. They were nothing serious thankfully, but still the whole process was fairly awful. Apart from the fact that the NHS service I received was wonderful and I had the all clear within the week on both occasions.

After that I strolled over to Yours to pick up a parcel and all three dresses I ordered in the sale fit perfectly and look exactly as I hoped they would, then I popped to Starbucks to spend 6 syns on a delicious flat white. I walked back home, got a couple of hours sleep and before I knew it weigh in time was nearly upon me.

Again I hadn’t had a single sneak peek this week so I had no idea what to expect, especially since I still had some muscle soreness from Monday, but I lost 2.5 lbs and picked up this beauty!

This week I have to be spot on because on the 1st of May I’m going on an epic work night out. Yes, there will be a gain, but I have to make sure I’m only off plan for one single day. There can be no hangover fry ups or stops for cheesy chips from the kebab van on the way home. It’s all about the prep so I’m going to make a Slimming World curry and syn free onion bhajis that I can reheat when I get in and also have ingredients for a Slimming World grill-up on hand for the morning. I’m also not going to go mad on the booze and make sure I drink plenty of water throughout the night. Finally I shall be forewarning everyone that if they buy me a shot then it won’t be going anywhere near my mouth, so it’ll just be a waste of money for them. Other than that I’m just going to enjoy myself.

Until next time thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Health & Safety

You may or may not know that I work in a warehouse. When you start your training in such a place one of the first things you cover is manual handling. I’m not sure about other sites but at my place the maximum we are allowed to lift is 25kg. For anything heavier we have to find another person to help us. Even with anything up to 25kg there are certain rules we have to follow, like making sure we are in the correct position and assessing the load before attempting to actually lift it. Today I worked out my loss so far in kilograms, and I have already lost more weight than it is safe for me to lift. How frightening is that? My weight loss so far equates to just over 30kg, which I can lift, but not easily and not for long. I was carrying that around with me. Every. Single. Day. And I still have that amount to lose again! It shocked me to think of it like that, but I’m also very much looking forward to finding out how much more of a spring in my step I get once the rest of the excess weight has gone. It’s just mind-boggling…

I’m currently executing a brilliant plan. I buy so many food items on a whim and my fridge, freezer and cupboards are full of random crud that I never get around to using. I have part-used bags of quinoa, macaroni, lentils, couscous, chickpeas, kidney beans… I need to stop buying more things and use up all the stuff that I have. Plus I desperately need to de-ice the little freezer compartment in my fridge that I REALLY WISH WASN’T EVEN THERE! Whoever invented that needs a slap, bloody pointless things. It doesn’t even keep anything frozen!

I begrudge going to my local Asda because you have to pay for parking, so next week as I have to pick up a parcel from town anyway I’m going to walk there and get the Asda-only bits I that I need. Tesco is a bit too far away to do that, but I need to plan better so that I make less trips. Really I only need Quark and frozen fruit from there so that’s not too bad. As for any fresh fruit and veg we have a Lidl round the corner, so I’ll be walking there every couple of days to top up on my greens and whatnot whilst I run down my freezer and cupboard bits. After that I want to keep my food items to a minimum because I’m so sick of all the clutter and sometimes having too much choice hinders me as much as having too little! As for eggs and Quorn products, I’ll bulk buy those from Ocado once a month.

Having said all that, I did fail from the offset. I went to Lidl yesterday with the intention of only buying soy sauce and frozen fruit, but in addition to those things I also bought sour cream, guacamole and mustard mayo. On the plus side they were super cheap and they range between 1-2 syns per 20g portion (that’s absolutely excellent) but let’s face it I didn’t need them so I should have left them on the shelf. As it is I’m refusing to open them and try them until I’ve used the other condiments I have already started on, such as pesto, mustard, garlic mayo, BBQ sauce and hoisin sauce. Well it’s a work in progress!

I’m refusing to do any more shopping whatsoever until Tuesday, so today I’ll be using some freezer bits including frozen stir fry mix (I’m a little afraid of that after my recent frozen veg fails) and I’m going to use up the last of the frozen courgette as although it’s fairly gross I refuse to bin it. I have a butternut squash which is enormous (thank you Ocado) so that will last two days and I’ll be making some sort of concoction to take with me on Monday when me and my brother visit Ivinghoe Beacon. It’s a really bloody big hill, so we’ll be getting there super early and going up and down it a fair few times as training for Snowdon, which we will be climbing at the end of May. We will also attempt a nearby hill which isn’t as high but is very  steep. We were too chicken to try it last time, but we’re a lot fitter and braver since we visited about a year ago. I think this is it, and I assure you the picture doesn’t do it justice! I am also a lot better at photography since the last time we went so I’m looking forward to updating my photo album.

Look how tiny the trees are at the top. It’s the only thing in the picture that gives it any sense of scale. So yeah, I’m very much looking forward to that and I also welcome any excuse for a picnic. Ooh, I think I’ll make some Slimming World-friendly scotch eggs!

My sister sent me a couple of pictures she took from Dover, including one of us together, and one of me and my brother. They are such lovely pictures they brought a tear to my eye, and it was also a lovely feeling that I didn’t think that me being in it ruined the picture.  In this one I can see myself from behind, and I’m almost unrecognisable. It’s very odd to look at a picture of myself and not hate it. Odd, but very nice indeed.

Right then, it’s time to get moving as I’m only halfway to my step goal for today.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Not a Minute Wasted

Blimey I am tired. But it’s the satisfied kind of tired you get from being outdoors and actually doing stuff. Loads of fun stuff!

On Monday I went shopping with my sister as planned, and it was good. My sister is 28 and I am 34, yet Monday was the first time ever that we have been clothes shopping together. She’s such a tiny thing so for one we couldn’t have shopped in many of the same places before, and for another I never really felt we had the same kind of interests relating to clothes and makeup or whatever. But we do now!

First stop was Starbucks as the shops weren’t open when we got there. We went to Westfield in Stratford, London, and I was really surprised that nothing opens until 10am there. Very strange. Anyway a flat white has been on my list of things to try for absolutely ages, and this was finally the day! I checked the Slimming World app before ordering and it’s 6 syns, but then I remembered some people use their A choices and deduct the syns from their fancy coffees. Well I added sweetener so the only syn-able item in my drink was milk. An A choice of whole milk is 6 syns, so that was absolutely perfect! A (technically) syn free fancy Starbucks? Don’t mind if I do. It was very nice – strong enough to blow your head off but smooth enough not to!

Then we headed to John Lewis where I discovered Studio 8 and, at least for now, I have found a brand that I love. I can’t afford to buy anything they sell mind, but that’s a minor technicality. All I need is a fancy occasion to use as an excuse and I’m heading straight back.

This was the one. It fit so perfectly, I can’t even describe how comfortable I felt. It was like it was made for me, but unfortunately the price tag wasn’t. At £140 I sadly had to put it back. Quick, someone invite me to a wedding and it’ll be mine! We tried some bits on in a few other shops and I’m so close to being a size 18 I can taste it. I could get all of the 18’s I tried on, even the fitted styles with zips, but I’m just not quite there yet. I’m patient though, I can wait. Eventually I bought a £13 dress from Primark that is perfect for summer evenings as it’s black but has some fancy details on it, plus it has a really relaxed fit and is very complimentary to my apple shape.

After shopping we headed back to Starbucks but this time I kept it syn free with an iced Americano. We had lunch while we were out and I stayed angelic with a Spudulike. I considered having cheese too but unless I could weigh it I just wasn’t going to risk it. It was actually really tasty so I’m glad I didn’t take the chance.

Time flies when you’re having fun so before I knew it I was on the train home, with 15,000 steps under my belt and a walk from the station the other end waiting for me.

Then on Tuesday I was out and about again, this time checking out the bluebells to see if the light was better this time. It was a bit better, but the bluebells are just really ropy so they didn’t photograph all that well. I’m actually pretty chuffed with myself that I managed to use my photography skillz (note the Z, that means extra skilled I believe) to get a few passable shots.

We found white ones too. What are they? White bluebells? Whitebells? Who can say? After traipsing around the woods for a couple of hours all I wanted to do was lay down, but nope, group was calling! It was taster night so I got my Quorn mini kievs in the oven (half a syn each) got the twigs out of my hair and generally tried to make myself presentable.

The results were pleasing enough – I lost 2.5 lbs which is a thoroughly decent loss, I was just mildly peeved that I still have half a pound of gain to get rid of. On the other hand, I’m trying not to focus on the numbers. I’ve been on plan, I’m staying on plan. If I stick to it, the numbers will take care of themselves. Most importantly I didn’t weigh at home, and I felt so much better for it. I’ll be doing the same again this week in fact, and the week after, and the week after, and blah, blah, blah!

Today was my fourth exercise-filled day on the trot as we had a sibling day out at the White Cliffs of Dover. When we got there we had a brief spell of sunshine before it clouded over and became bloody cold, but it was loads of fun and I got a few nice shots before the light became horribly flat and dull. That wasn’t such a bad thing though, sometimes it’s nice to put the camera away and just enjoy the view. Plus we took all of the most difficult-looking paths so I needed my hands free as there was some clambering at times!

Sadly it’s back to normality tomorrow, but I’m so glad I’ve managed to completely fill my long weekend. I feel like not a minute has been misspent, and I haven’t felt like that for a long, long time. There’s still more time to be used today as I’m going to attempt to stay awake until at least 1am to try and ease myself back into a night-working pattern, but considering it’s not even 7pm and I’m ready to drop we’ll see how that goes!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Super Sunday

Oh it’s been a great day today. I am tired and should be in bed (it’s an early start tomorrow for shopping with my sister) but I kind of need to get this blog out there in order to unwind. I need an empty head before I sleep so what better way than to pour all of my thoughts out onto this page.

I have been so busy today that the only time I’ve thought about food it was either in the context of ‘ooh, I can make a video/blog about that’ or ‘poo, I forgot to eat!’ And that’s the way I like it. Since I came home early from work Saturday night, early in this case meaning I was given a full night’s holiday before the shift even started, I used that time wisely by watching a film (the original Swedish version on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and eating the lunch I had prepared for work. It was all Free/Speed and also lovely. Then I got my customary (during the work week) five hours sleep. Which was enough in this case.

Notable events of the day were as follows:

  • I tried the new flavour of Alpro Go On, which was strawberry and raspberry. It was OK but tasted a wee bit synthetic. Plus it’s 1.5 syns, whereas my favourite blackcurrant flavour is only 1 syn. My nan used to make her own blackcurrant jam so that brings back loads of memories. Not of my nan because I didn’t care much for her, but of slice after slice of jam on toast. Yum!
  • I tried quail eggs for the first (and no doubt last) time. They tasted exactly like chickens eggs. I’m not sure what I was expecting but hey ho, at least they didn’t taste like duck eggs which in my opinion are simply icky.
  • I made THE BEST iced latté. I decided to use 1 litre of unsweetened almond milk as my A choice instead of my usual portion of cheddar cheese. It’s good to mix these things up a bit. Out of the 1 litre carton I had three delicious glasses of Havana Rum flavoured coffee. That’s definitely one for the summer! I used a jar of Little’s flavoured coffee so there’s so much more that can be done with this drink, so many different varieties. I can’t wait to try them ALL!
  • Now for an NSV. I bought the top in the picture to slim into. In March 2016. It took a while but I got there eventually! Plus I’m sticking my middle finger up to people I used to know who said adults shouldn’t wear band t-shirts. What nonsense.
  • Dinner was amazing and I’m finding more and more often that a vegetable is the star of the show in my meals. In this case it was some samphire which I sauteéd in a pan with some garlic. I could have eaten it ten times over, it was utterly delicious.
  • I ended the day on 13.5 syns and I feel fabulous.

The last thing is important so it deserves its own little paragraph. I went to the woods to photograph the bluebells but they haven’t fully flowered yet so despite thinking I was going to be too late, I was actually too early. In addition to that I need to go at sunrise not sunset, because their position on the hill means at sunset they’re in shadow. Or maybe I need to go midday when the sun is directly overhead but filtered out by the trees. I don’t know, I’ll have to experiment! I did get a couple of nice sunset pictures, one of which I definitely like, and the other I’m not sure of. I’ve played around with it and looked at it for too long so I need to step away and look again tomorrow. Here they are anyway:

Hmm. Still not convinced. But either way it was a beautiful evening and I got my steps up to over 18,000. That’s my best day for steps in a few weeks so I’m really happy with that.

Anyway it’s definitely bed time now because in half an hour it’s the start of a brand new week. I hope all of you out there have a fantastic one.

Hayley x

PS I’ll just leave this here…

No Weigh!

Not weighing in at home has been ridiculously easy after I had an epiphany a couple of days ago. When I woke up as soon as I got out of bed I just felt really slim. My first instinct was to get on the scales to see if it was ‘true’. Then I said to myself ‘hold up brain, just hold up. Think about what you are saying’. My mission, as a Slimming World member, is to feel slimmer. To look in the mirror and see a slimmer self looking back. Well, mission accomplished! I felt good. WHY OH WHY would I need the scales to verify that? It is so glaringly obvious that I can’t believe I never thought about it that way before. Hopefully this is signifying a turning point in obsessive weighing behaviour.

Today has been pretty great. For the last 24 hours I’ve just felt super duper awesomely fantastic! Whilst talking to someone in a Facebook group I’m a member of, I learned a new phrase – up at sparrow fart. To begin with I thought it was an auto correction, but no, it’s an actual military phrase! It is used to express the utter disgust at being up early enough to watch the sparrows waking up, stretching, farting, scratching themselves etc. In the interest of science I would just like to point out that sparrows don’t fart, or at least parrotlets don’t so I’m assuming sparrows don’t either. When I got Pea I looked it up because I was curious. Something to do with food passing through too quickly to create gas… But I had a good old chuckle at the thought regardless! I shall now be integrating that phrase into my everyday vocabulary.

Yesterday I went for a top up shop at Tesco and whilst I was there I picked up some fluffy little Easter chicks. I love Easter, and not because of chocolate or Jeebus or anything like that, but because of spring and rebirth. It’s such a fantastic time of year, and the shops are full of cute stuff. So obviously I had a have a little photo shoot.

What a perfect little model I’ve got.

Today’s endeavours have so far been much scarier. I may have mentioned it before but I’ve wanted to create a YouTube channel documenting my Slimming World adventure for a wee bit now. In the last couple of weeks I have come across so many inspiring people. You know when Slimming World talk about their groups being warm and friendly and supportive? Well these people I’ve been watching are living and breathing that philosophy. They are just an amazing bunch of people. It felt a little weird that so many people are sharing so much of themselves with me and I wasn’t contributing anything that I finally bit the bullet and managed to get a video recorded that I was reasonably happy with, or at least one where I was audible. Turns out it’s incredibly hard to talk normally in front of a camera, my throat just felt really constricted.

Now it’s out there in the ether I can start panicking about what abuse I’m going to get. Years ago a friend of mine took video of me attempting to play the drums and he uploaded it to YouTube. When I stumbled across it accidentally one day I was mortified to find that people had commented on it saying they thought I was a man, and they also seemed compelled to tell me how fat I am. Like I never knew! So I am preparing myself for some hate, but what the hell. I’m not letting the trolls hold me back. What I do hope is that no one I know at work comes across it, the same thing that I hope for this blog, as their negativity and cruelty seemingly knows no bounds. If it does happen though, I will find a way to deal with it because I’m not going to live a smaller life (pun intended) for the sake of people like that. Or any people for that matter.

As such, here it is!

Utterly terrifying, but nothing worth doing was ever easy, right? I have much to learn about editing a whatnot, plus I need to learn how to stop saying ‘erm’ and ‘so’, but that will come in time. I did spend an inordinate time getting the damn thing to upload so I’m quite behind, therefore I must leave it there for today.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x