Relaxation

I have felt pretty rotten lately, which is extremely irritating because it’s conflicting with my need to be festive. I’ve had one bug after another, and what with my teeth problems I must admit it’s been tough to stay positive. In the last couple of days I’ve also developed a hacking cough and a really uncomfortable nobbly rash that started behind my ears and has now spread all around my neck.

Thankfully I’ve had a really lovely few days where I’ve had the opportunity to (mostly) relax. I’ve been at my sister’s looking after her birds while she was at a wedding in Italy, although looking after three attention-loving birds isn’t exactly easy. The last time I bird-sat both Kiwi and Petrie attacked me, so I was hoping things would go a bit better this time round.

Unfortunately Kiwi still mostly hates me, although she was showing a few signs of wanting to be friends. They were few and far between though! I have a pretty impressive bite on my neck, which has come up in a big lump (plus I wonder if that has something to do with my rash?), and I had two bites to my fingers, though thankfully only one of them punctured the skin. It’s always a shock to the system because Pea is so gentle. On the rare occasion I’ve had to catch her and hold her down, for instance when I had to give her painkillers via a syringe, she’d give me a warning nip but she never, ever hurt me. Kiwi and Petrie however mean business.

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This weekend though Petrie was a little sweetie! She was nicer to me than she’s ever been and she cheered me up no end. At one point she sat on my finger and put her head under my thumb to make me scratch her head! She was just a delight. Excuse my ghost-like appearance here, and my birds-nest of a hairstyle, but in my defence I’d just got out of bed.

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Pea had a good time too, she even got to check out a real life Christmas tree!

IMG_3362I took advantage of the combination of being alone and having access to full-length mirrors and took some ‘before’ pictures ready for the new year. I’ll be honest – I even took a set of me completely in the nude, which was scary but when I looked at the pictures afterwards it’s actually not that bad. I didn’t get that sinking feeling I’ve had in the past, rather I could look at them objectively and say ‘right, this is what needs to be done, let’s go do it!’ Or at least ‘let’s go do it after Christmas’ I should say…

The good thing (or sort of good) is that I’m back at work tomorrow so I’ll be burning more calories, and I find it easier to eat healthily when I’m forced into a routine. I’m not expecting any miracle weight losses between now and Christmas Day, but what I do know is that from Boxing Day night I’m totally back on it. I have complete faith in myself that I’m not going to backtrack on that, as I have so often done just lately. In fact I’m both really looking forward to Christmas Day and really, really looking forward to the new year. I’m already prepared!

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The weekly calendar will be great for meal planning, the small diary I’ll take with me wherever I go, and the other thing is a scrap book. I have a really fancy photo album, but I also wanted something I can stick odds and ends in like train tickets and the like, plus my Instax photos. Instant film is just so much fun!

Today I had a wander round town to just soak in the Christmas atmosphere, which was great because my Christmas shopping is done so there was no element of stress. It was good to get out and stroll through the park, and laugh at a seagull standing on the frozen lake just as the ice gave way. He had a bit of a fright! It definitely blew some cobwebs away.

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Although I do feel like a bit of a failure because my diet has just gone so wrong lately, I also feel like better times are just around the corner. I’m still happy with my appearance, my clothes still comfortably fit, and despite feeling a bit rough these last few weeks I know that 2017 has been the best year of my life so far. I intend to make sure 2018 is even better!

Here’s to the future.

Hayley x

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Lazy Bones

So far this week I’ve done less steps over seven days than I did in just the Monday of the week before. I know I’ve been chilling out but that is just ridiculous! It also goes a little way to explaining how, according my scales, I have now gained THIRTEEN POUNDS since the 27th of November. That’s a pound a day!

I’m now regretting saying that I’ll definitely go to group on Tuesday in my last post, but I’m still going. A couple at group I’ve known from my Slimming World days in 2012 have been on holiday to Lapland, and they always have enormous holiday gains. So if nothing else I’ll make them feel better (or at least show them how it’s done!)

Perhaps I’ll also make other people feel better if they’ve had a couple of pound gains here and there from work Christmas parties and the like. Then next week I’ll (hopefully) show them that even when you’ve gained almost an ENTIRE STONE you can make a significant difference in just seven days. Hopefully.

Today I’ve been hungry, and I’ve massively overeaten. Before lunch I could feel some intense cravings coming on, and I ended up eating an entire packet of Linda McCartney red onion and rosemary sausages. They are free, and I’ve lost weight eating those kind of volumes at a similar weight to what I am now, but it still feels wrong. Greedy, even. Having said that, they did the job and I’m still not hungry now. If I feel I need a dinner later I’m going to roast a (speedy) butternut squash and have it with some salad. I’m well within my syns, so I should actually be okay. I still feel guilty though.

I just have everything crossed that some of the bloating comes off before Tuesday evening. Because despite everything I’ve just said, I still don’t want to go and face that kind of gain. It’s no one’s fault but my own though. When will you learn Hayley?!

Last night was my one solitary night in work before I’m off for nine, yes nine days of guilt-free and all being well illness-free holiday. Because I’d been off sick I had to drag myself in for that one day otherwise all of my holiday would go down as sickness and I’d have to get a doctor’s note to explain my absence. Which I wouldn’t even be able to do because I’d long be back at work before even getting an appointment!

Thankfully there wasn’t much actually work to be done and I got away a couple of hours early. My alarm went off in the morning to make sure I don’t make Pea wait for her breakfast, and when I pulled back the curtains I was greeted with a veritable winter wonderland!

I quickly got Pea’s breakfast sorted then wrapped up in my work gear then went out into the garden to take pictures.

I’ve been raving about the work salopettes I got this year, because even out in the snow I was actually breaking out in a sweat. Perhaps I shouldn’t have worn my winter coat on top of everything else…

IMG_3156After rushing around before my camera got too wet, I took some more birdy pictures from indoors. The robin looks all the more festive in the snow!

I can remember the last time we had this much snow round our way – it was 2008 – and I got home from work at 3am so I could make a snowman in the back garden. I don’t remember the last time it snowed in December though. How exciting!

This afternoon I sat down with my mum, brother and Pea to watch The Santa Claus and do Christmas crafts, and it was lovely. Pea seems to be enjoying Christmas films weirdly – she’s has chattered all the way through every single one we’ve watched. I think it must be the music that she likes.

Tomorrow I have the dentist for my filling (yep, I’m dreading that) then I’m free to only do enjoyable things for the rest of the week. Just gotta get that one damn thing out of the way first…

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Perkier

This morning I woke up at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep. The whole reason behind it was that my mojo unexpectedly came back, and I’m so pleased to see it that I’m not going to complain about the less-than-ideal timing.

I am so excited for the future, the only way I could calm my thoughts was to get up, make a cup of tea and jot down a list of things to do and things I’m looking forward to.

Me and my brother have started planning our annual holiday already. At the end of May we’re climbing Scafell Pike, hiking in the Isle of Skye, climbing Ben Nevis, and and some point fitting in some sleep. That part’s not a huge priority though.

A friend of mine has been talking a lot about the universe being on his side lately, and I had a similar feeling today. One thing I’m going to need is new hiking boots, because mine pinch the big toe on one foot if I do too much ‘going down hills’. Going down Snowdon this year it did give me some jip, so I need to do something about that.

As I opened Facebook today the first thing I saw was a brand new post from a vegan site I read – all about vegan friendly hiking boots! They have contacted a whole shedload of companies to ask about everything from the glue they use to their working practices, and have compiled a nice list so I can choose a pair without it being a huge headache. How awesome is that?

The only spanner in the works is the price, which is a fair one considering the quality of the boots and the fact that a lot of work has gone into making them eco-friendly, but I’ll have to start saving now. I almost, almost bought them anyway (I still have an emergency overdraft) but I stopped myself just in time. Needing something for the end of May cannot be considered an emergency!

The thing that’s really getting me going is that fact that I’ll be at target by the time we go. Going up Snowdon last May I felt fantastic, but when I saw the pictures of me and my brother’s Gopro footage I must admit that my heart sank just a tad. I was two stone heavier then than I am now, so I know I look a lot different already, it’ll just be that extra bit special this time around. Even if we aren’t so lucky with the weather. Look at that gorgeous sky!!!

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I was also itching to get back on plan this morning as I’m feeling a lot better. I can breathe through both nostrils at the same time and the only thing ‘bothering’ me now is a tickly cough. I can take a tickly cough all day long, it’s nothing compared to a blocked up nose! At lunch I settled down to read Harry Potter (it always makes me feel Christmassy) and a ginormous bowl of thick, silky, syn free, cauliflower soup. Yum!

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I even felt well enough to get out in the garden to take some pictures, but I’ve got to admit these pictures of some of our visitors were taken through the window. They’re a bit shy you see!

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Now let’s see how much of my latest gain I can get off before Christmas! I’ve put on about ten pounds (according to my scales) which is a fair consequence of the way I’ve been eating. I don’t feel bad about it as such, but I’m still going to skip group on Tuesday if I’m showing a gain of over 7lbs. It’s normally quick on/quick off with me though so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I end up going. We’ll see. Either way, I’m going to stay on plan now until Christmas Eve.

Everything is pretty much back to normal now (at least as normal as it ever gets) so I can get back to being festive in peace!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

PS Scratch that. I’m going to group anyway to face the music, no matter what happens. It’s time to start doing things properly again!

Bad Times

Ah, best laid plans and all that. I had such high hopes for this week, but fate had other ideas! I’ve had a niggling pain in a wisdom tooth that hasn’t come out yet for about a year now. When I last went to the dentist they said it was on its way through and not to worry about it, just to come back if the pain got worse. This week the pain got worse. Unbearably worse. So instead of taking my mum to the hospital and giving blood I was pacing around the living room trying to figure out a way to ease the pain. I spoke to the receptionist at my dentist and the earliest I could get an appointment was the middle of FEBRUARY. Or I could call back NEXT WEDNESDAY to see if they could do me an emergency appointment on the day. Alternatively, I was advised to wait until after 6pm then ring 111, who would put me in touch with an out of hours dentist.

HA!

So I called 111, and the lady gave me two numbers to ring. I got answer machines for both of them, advising in an emergency to call… 111. Sigh. I was also directed towards the NHS Choices website, where there’s a traffic light system showing how likely it is you’ll be able to get an emergency appointment. After trying about 20 different dentists and getting 20 different answering machines ALL advising me to call 111, eventually a lovely, lovely lady actually answered the phone.

She didn’t sound hopeful though. ‘I’m really sorry,’ she began, ‘but I don’t think we can fit you in until Friday’. I was literally in tears with the pain by this point, if I’d been in the room with her I would have kissed her! Because I figured I’d need ongoing treatment after actually seeing a dentist, I asked if I could switch to be a new patient there so that was arranged. When she assigned me to an actual dentist (she chose the lady she considered to be the nicest and best dentist there for me) I was informed that I could have an appointment the very next day. Woo!

So I went to that appointment yesterday, where I was given a proper examination and told that my wisdom tooth was not going to come through in a million years. It had in fact decayed inside me. Because it’s still mostly in my jaw bone, I have to wait for a referral to see an oral surgeon which should take about four weeks. I asked about being sedated because I won’t lie – I am terrified at the very thought of having a tooth out, particularly in such an awkward place, but if I want to be put under I have to wait six months. I simply cannot wait that long with a rotten tooth in my mouth. Scratch that, two rotten teeth, because the dodgy wisdom tooth has also completely mullered the tooth next door and that has to come out too.

Thankfully the pain has died off considerably, because I’m not sure how I would have coped. It’s now just a constant dull throb. To take my mind off it though I’ve come down with another stinky bloody cold. I feel absolutely awful, and all of my Christmas spirit has up and left me for the time being. I’m taking time off work to look after myself (which is most unlike me) and spending my time sleeping when I can, and reading when I can’t.

It’s annoying because I’m really in the mood to exercise, I just don’t have the energy! Plus there are so many crafty things I want to get done, but I’m not feeling it right now. I just have to be patient for another couple of days and then I’m sure I’ll perk up considerably. Apart from on Monday, because I’m having a filling that day. It’s not causing any problems, but I decided to get it out of the way before it goes as wrong as my wisdom tooth!

On the plus side I have all of my Christmas lights up, my mum has decorated the main tree in the living room and the little tree in the kitchen, so everything is looking much more cheerful. Which is nice because I swear it hasn’t got properly light here in days. I’d still like to go out for a walk though, but it’s probably not a good idea right now. Ho hum.

I have to admit, my diet has gone completely out of the window because I simply cannot be bothered to cook a single damn thing, but as soon as I’m feeling better I’m going to stick to plan and have a bloody awesome couple of weeks leading up to Christmas. It’s going to be brilliant. At the end of next week it’s bird sitting time and I’m going to explore the area around where my sister lives, so at least there will be new places to walk and get my steps in. So far this week I’ve done less steps than I normally do in one day!

So right now things are pretty pants, but I won’t really let it get me down, because it’s just a temporary state of affairs. It won’t be long and I’ll be right as rain, especially as there’s so much to look forward to.

Here’s to better times ahead!

Hayley x

Fun Times

I should not be writing this blog. I should be trying to create order out of the chaos that has become my bedroom.

The last week has been truly, truly wonderful. It was one of those rare moments in time that seemed to go on forever, so when I think back on what I was doing last Monday it feels like it was months ago. But on the other hand the time is passing in the blink of an eye, and I’m running out of it!

Now we’re in December I’ve officially gone Christmas crazy so the whole of Thursday afternoon was spent wrapping presents. I’m not even halfway done. On Friday I put up the tree and spent an age untangling and removing the lights (note to self: never buy ‘pre-lit’ again) and on Saturday I spent the day having a good 8 hours sleep in order to prepare myself for Christmas shopping in London on Sunday.

Thankfully my manager let me leave work at 5am Sunday morning so I got a full 2 hours sleep. It was a good job too, because I left the house at 8:30 and didn’t get back until 17:30. I was bloody exhausted! The good kind of exhausted though…

After having a preemptive coffee we went to Oxford Street to buy Christmas knick knacks from Flying Tiger. We got there for opening as it gets INSANELY busy, and it’s a good job we did because we were still in the queue to pay for an inordinately long amount of time. The Oxford Street Christmas lights were rubbish, so I wasn’t feeling very Christmassy at all, but on our way to Carnaby Street we saw a little brass band that changed all of that.

Then London redeemed itself entirely because Carnaby Street is looking fantastic! I couldn’t get any good photos because the weather was so dull and grey, but in real life it was great.

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And the most festive bit of all – the Hertfordshire Concert Band at Liverpool Street.

Ooh I’m feeling warm and fuzzy again watching that! I had a lovely day with my sister, and I ate an absolute ton of food (none of it Slimming World friendly) but I’m done with feeling guilty for the rest of this year. I will be on plan when I’m in the mood, but this month is all about fun times, and I will embrace them in whatever form they come. I’ll probably be on plan for tomorrow and Wednesday, but on Thursday I’m going to try the new vegan range at Pizza Hut so that definitely won’t be within my syns!

The most important thing is that although I’m really, really enjoying the season, I’m also desperately excited for the new year and all the possibilities it will bring. No matter what happens this month, I know any gains will be gone in no time and that 2018 is, without the slightest grain of doubt, the year I will reach my target weight. I can’t not be.

This morning I intended to get straight on and sort out all of my Christmas lights. I have loads of string lights because I love a twinkly Christmas, but I got distracted by Pea coming out to play and we spent hours just hanging out. I did get her to sit on the polar bear my mum knitted (eventually, anyway) so that was a result. It’s just a shame she’s moulting so badly right now. She’s not very photogenic.

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Now Pea is ready for her afternoon nap the lights are up but where I’ve sorted through so much stuff to find them, there is crap everywhere and a helluva lot of tidying to be done. Plus I need to sort out my work things and clean Pea’s cage, because I won’t have time tomorrow. As well as taking my mum to a hospital appointment as soon as I get her home I’m leaving again to go and give blood. Then I’ll have to try my best to have a pre-work nap and fit in dinner somehow.

Then on Wednesday I’m going to the cinema with a work friend. I’ve never done anything with her outside of work before, but I’m emboldened by my recent friendship successes and am starting to accept that I’m not quite at antisocial as I previously thought.

As I said before Thursday is pizza day, then on Friday I suspect I’m going to crash and burn and spend the whole day asleep.

Then once I get Saturday out of the way I have the week off work, where I’ll mostly be looking after my sister’s birds. She was telling me yesterday that Kiwi especially is in an exceptionally bitey mood, so there will be blood. I love her birdies though, so bitten or not I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

So yeah, I’m busy busy busy!

Now I must get on, because it’s my mission to be able to see the floor before bedtime. Wish me luck!

Hayley x

PS I spent the next hour after finishing this post fannying around with Pea, taking photos, editing photos and generally procrastinating. Someone slap me please!

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Sevens

It’s been something of an eventful week so far, and it’s only Wednesday! I don’t remember how long ago it was now that arrangements were made for me to meet a fellow blogger (this awesome dude here) but it was certainly a while ago. At the time it seemed like a perfectly natural thing to do. I’d estimate that I’ve been reading his blog for about a year now, and what with regular snapshots into another person’s life and the odd comment becoming the odd conversation becoming a proper (albeit online) friendship, I completely forgot that I’m ridiculously shy and that my default setting is to avoid meeting new people at any cost.

I remembered this fact a few days before we were due to meet, and thought I’d warn him incase (at least initially) I struggled to come out of my shell like the social tortoise that I am. Then I put it out of my mind, and early Monday morning I managed to make the two-hour-something car journey in a state of relative calm.

I needn’t have worried at all though, because after an entire day of hopping from parks to coffee shops to charity shops and back again, it was clear that I wasn’t meeting a ‘new person’ at all, it is just a lot easier to have a conversation with a good friend when you can see them in person, rather than having to type everything out!

It also helps when that friend is a complete chatterbox, but a chatterbox who actually has something to say rather than someone who just fills the silence for the sake of it. As such I came away from the experience feeling kind of… nourished. There aren’t many people within a 100 mile radius of me who are on the same wavelength (I can count them on one hand) so to meet up with someone who just gets it was simply brilliant. We went to Harvester for dinner and there was no ‘oh let’s just have what we want and screw the diet’ but a healthy dose of ‘look how much salad I can fit on this plate’. It was a Free Food feast!

According to my Fitbit I walked about 15 miles in that one day, but when you combine that with an epic natter then believe me, you don’t even realise you’re exercising. It was my first experience of having an official Twalk™ and I know it won’t be my last.

I was treated to a tour of my friend’s local haunts, and at first I did get my camera out but as the conversation got into full swing it ended up being forgotten about. Eventually it found its way back into my bag without me quite realising it. This is no bad thing of course, it just goes to show how absorbed I was because normally I’m always thinking about what would make an interesting photo.

It just goes to show though – look at the cool stuff that can happen if you put aside the things you think you know about yourself. Am I really that shy these days? I think not. What other assumptions am I making about myself that simply aren’t true any more? I’m sure there will be more revelations as time goes on.

When I got home the next day I spent several hours with a very sulky Pea on my shoulder. My brother looked after her, which she normally enjoys, but she’s been in a bit of a mood lately and only Hayley would do. Well it’s nice to be wanted!

In the evening I toddled off to group to find out how I’ve done this week. I hadn’t weighed in officially for a couple of weeks, but I had entered my home weigh-ins into the app because I have a complete record of my weekly weight from August 2015 so I can’t be having gaps now!

It was a bit of shocker – I lost SEVEN POUNDS and got my SEVEN STONE AWARD!

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Initially my Christmas goal was to get into the 13 stones, and even though I’m 14 stone 3.5 lbs now and it’s doable, I changed my goal to getting this award because I didn’t want to feel bad for not achieving the first one. Although it’s within the realms of possibility, I have a lot going on over the next couple of weeks so if I can just maintain the weight I am now I’ll be very happy indeed. I’ll keep trying though, I just don’t want to pile on the pressure too much.

Next Tuesday I’m not weighing in because in the afternoon I’m taking my mum to a hospital appointment, then a little bit later I’m going to give blood. What with having to go to work later as well, I think it would just be too much to do in one day. On Sunday I’m out with my sister and naughty food will be had, so I have to stay extra focused during the in between times. The past week shows that I am absolutely capable of doing that, and I’m not even grudgingly on plan as I sometimes am. I’m damn well enjoying it again! I keep trying to find the balance between food-orientated social events and not backtracking and undoing everything I’ve achieved so far. I feel that I’m actually getting there!

On that note it’s time to prepare a perfectly on-plan and delicious dinner before work.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Black Fri-Nay

I hear that Black Friday has been something of a washout this year, and that makes me happy, even though I work in retail and a huge amount of the yearly profit is supposedly made in that one day. I just hate the excessive greed of it, and I’m glad that we aren’t all lowering ourselves to have fights over cheap TV’s in supermarket aisles.

I haven’t left the house today, at least not since I came in from work this morning, but I have made one special Black Friday purchase. Just before I went into work last night I spotted a post from Lush on Instagram. They are doing a limited edition orangutan-shaped soap, and 100% of the proceeds (minus VAT) are going towards buying land to reforest in Indonesia. As I skimmed over the post I read that only 14,600 of these soaps have been made, but until I went back to find the post this morning I didn’t realise why they only made that number. It’s because that’s how many orangutans there are left in Sumatra. So I was happy to pay more than £8 for a soap, because it’s going to a damn good cause. And it’s cute as hell. I’ll post a picture when it arrives.

Yesterday I got up early and went into town to pick up some jeans I’d ordered online. It’s virtually impossible to get a pair of jeans in my size and leg length in an actual shop, but at least it got me out of the house and also made me clock up some extra steps. I’ve now made up for spending Monday and most of Tuesday in bed!

I’ve also been on plan and I’m feeling great about it, especially since preliminary results seem to show that any gain caused by my Zizzi’s meal (plus extra) has since been obliterated. I was quite active in the week leading up to it, so that may well have helped too. Last night I had Quorn Fishless Fingers for dinner and it was bordering on the divine!

Today I have been told to eff off by several people, and that’s because I couldn’t help pointing out that this time next month it will be CHRISTMAS EVE!!! How exciting is that?

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I finally decided on how I’m going to decorate the five hessian Christmas stockings I bought, and the first one is complete. I got the cutest fairy light buttons, and I used some green wool to crochet the string they hang on. Plus I had little bells kicking around from last year and thought I’d put them to good use. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

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I’ve also been using my (very basic) calligraphy skills to write out mini gift tags, and I’ve been practicing with the full-sized ones too.

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I have to start again with those though, because I decided I don’t like the actual tags and I’ve bought some nicer ones for the occasion.

My mum has been getting her Christmas Craft on too, and I appropriated this knitted polar bear the second he was done. Pea is currently in training to not be terrified of him, so I hope to get some nice festive pictures of her like I did last year. I’ll show you those next month.

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Before I go back to bed for my pre-work nap I’m starting to sort things out for a special visit I’m making on Monday. You can rest assured there will be more details to come on that very soon! I’m meeting up with an awesome person I haven’t seen in real life yet, so I suppose I’d best make sure I have clean clothes to wear and stuff like that. I’m normally a last minute kind of person, but I’m really, really trying to be more organised. I’m sure if I searched the blog for that phrase there would be numerous results, but really, I am trying!

On that note I’d really best crack on.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Gratitude

Today I am mostly grateful. On Sunday morning, with just a few hours left till the end of my working week, I came down with a stinky cold. Trust me to get sick just as the weekend starts, but I’m actually very pleased it happened when it did. Because if I’m ill this week, then it means (all being well) that I won’t be ill next week. And next week I have exciting plans.

My body is actually being a pain in the butt, and I think it’s trying to tell me that I’m a bit run down. I have a load of mouth ulcers, my skin is dry, my lips are chapped, I’ve had a huge breakout of spots and I caught a bug. I hardly EVER catch bugs. I’m not sure what I could do about it, because I already eat tons of veggies, take my vegan omega three, take a vegan multivitamin that has everything I need in it, plus I have fortified plant milks and cereals on top of that. I think it’s just the weather, and like anything else I’ll come out the other side of it right as rain.

This weekend I had plans with my dad to go out for a meal, which is kind of our Christmas meal because I’m now busy every weekend right up until Christmas. Traditionally I go to my dad’s boxing day, but I’m working it this year so that’s out of the window.

Even though my dad isn’t a fan of Italian food I convinced him to take us to Zizzi’s as they have a dedicated vegan menu and it all looked delicious. I’ll be honest, they do a lentil ragu that’s apparently about 6 syns (although it’s not on the app) but I wanted to really enjoy myself so I chose to push the boat out. Especially as my dad was paying!

My nose miraculously unblocked for the duration of the meal so I could taste and enjoy it, although as soon as I got home I crashed out and ended up in bed by 10 past 8…

So I had a pizza, which was nice but not as nice as the one I had at Acanteen in Chelmsford. But that’s not a fair comparison because that pizza was truly exceptional. The garlic bread though, oh the garlic bread! It was heavenly. It was a very light flatbread, not too oily, with whole slow-roasted garlic cloves. Even now I must absolutely stink!

Because I’m still feeling rough and wanted to get as much rest as possible for work, today I did a home weigh-in again. I’ve put on half a pound, which I’m very, very pleased with. I mean look at that food!

It’s back to the grindstone now though, because I went to the hairdressers today and I’ve gone short, really short. As such there’s no hair for my face to hide behind so I can’t afford to put any more weight on. I’ll be too self-conscious!

I’m not particularly taken with today’s haircut, but then this is more of a functional haircut. I still have parts that were bleached from when I had some of it dyed blue, and those parts were really damaged so I asked him to cut off as much as possible. This haircut should be good value for money and take ages to grow out, but after that I’m (very guiltily, I must say) abandoning my hairdresser and going to another salon.

The thing is I’ve found a completely cruelty free salon locally, and it’s £20 per cut cheaper. So I have to go where my ethics take me. On the plus side my hairdresser’s salon, which he owns himself, is doing really well and they’re pretty much running at capacity so me going elsewhere isn’t going to impact his business. It is a shame, but all good things must come to an end.

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I have found another cruelty free salon in London, called Monster House. It’s quite expensive, so I reckon once I year I’ll treat myself to a cut there because their styles are FANTASTICALLY MENTAL. I don’t want to look too normal, that’s for sure.

There we go then. Now I have to start preparing for work after a weekend spent mostly in bed, reading. And it was gone in the blink of an eye, too. Oh well, once this week is over everything should start to get quieter at work and be much less stressful. We have so many temps in to cover for Black Friday and it’s utterly exhausting trying not to kill them with my forklift truck. Especially when they seem to be constantly throwing themselves in front of it!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

What’s the Point?

I’ve been back on plan for a few days and the combination of being in control and having nutritious food, plus increased exercise, has seen my mood lift quite a bit.

I did have some doubts though that reared their ugly heads whenever I thought about the near future. I have three days before Christmas Eve where I’ll be going off plan. For two of those days it will be only be one meal, and for two of them I should be smashing my step and calorie goals.

But part of me couldn’t help thinking – what’s the point in being on plan now if I’m just going to mess it up again?

Of course there is a point anyway, because it will be the difference between massive gains and feeling awful or feeling in control despite not making exactly the progress I would like.

What made me feel much better though was counting the days between now and Christmas Eve, and including today there are 34 days where there is no reason I shouldn’t be perfectly on plan. 34 on plan days vs 3 off plan ones? Why on earth shouldn’t I make progress? It’s a no brainier. How can I not lose weight overall?

So I feel a lot better now, about everything, despite having lost the ability to sleep, which happens to me every so often. Of course I have been getting some sleep, but I just can’t seem to stay asleep. Is it Christmas excitement? Probably. I’m going to start my wrapping this weekend, plus I need to decorate the plain hessian Christmas stockings I bought. We have an electric fireplace now so the stockings will look lovely hanging there Christmas morning.

Today I had a delivery and it was supposed to be four mugs, but when I saw the ENORMOUS box I figured something had gone wrong. I opened it and it was full to the brim of random pound shop goods, so I got on the phone to let the company know I’d received someone else’s order.

I was on the phone for what seemed like an age, when eventually the lady said unfortunately we can’t collect it… I held my breath while she finished, ready to explain how heavy the box is and there’s no way I’m a) lugging it to the post office and b) paying to send it back to them when she said I can either keep it or dispose of it. Well Christmas has come early for Hayley!

The lady assured me as soon as the figure out whose order it is (there was no delivery note) they’ll resend their order, so I picked out all of the bits I wanted which included Christmas socks, yay! Then I sorted out bits that my mum and brother can use. The rest of the random items will go to the charity shop.

It was exciting going through the mystery box, me and my mum thoroughly enjoyed that.

When my order eventually did come I’d been sent the wrong mugs, but they are still Christmas mugs so I won’t be making a fuss. Especially since I got some useful bits and bobs (the stuff in the picture is the bits I didn’t find quite as useful) for free. I did email them to let them know though, so hopefully people in future are more likely to get what they wanted.

So it’s been a good few days really. If I can stay awake I’m confident that things will only get better!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Stop Effing Around!

Everything is a mess. I can feel myself torn in about ten different directions and it is driving me crazy. I need to get my thoughts together and commit! I want to do some crafts, but I feel I should be doing some sort of physical activity. Or I want to read but I should be cleaning. I want my 7 st award but I also want to eat cake. I want everything to be clean and tidy so I feel better but I also want to play with Pea. Rather than tackling these things one by one I’ve ended up doing not much of value at all.

Things are getting to me at the moment, and just when I think I’ve got on top of it again I go and mess it all up. But that stops NOW.

I’ve been having niggling worries about money recently. It’s not that I don’t have access to any, it’s that I’ve been using my credit cards more and more on total frivolities. A few years back I was in a serious amount of debt, and an inheritance I got from my dear nanny Barbara, probably the only member of the family I ever really loved (and also had a ton of stuff in common with) cleared it all off. I swore I’d never get back in that situation again. It’s kind of true, because I’m nowhere near the stage where I can’t afford the repayments and have debt collectors chasing me, but I still feel like I’m letting her down.

So today I faced up to how much I owe, increased the amount of my current loan (thus saving a lot on interest,too) and paid off all of my credit and store cards. I cut up the physical cards, removed them from Apple Pay and PayPal, and as soon as the balances are showing as zero online then I’ll phone up to cancel them completely.

I was hoping I’d be able to pay the loan off within a year, but unfortunately it’ll be more like two. The term of the loan is 34 months, but I can pay off more without any penalties so when I can I certainly will. So that’s one thing that under control.

My diet is suffering again, or should I say still, but I am managing to keep any massive gains at bay. I have at least two occasions coming up where I’ll be off plan, and as ever my ambition is to stay on plan 100% in between these times. I damn well WILL learn how to do it!

Because I’ve had another stupid gain this week I’m skipping group again. Partly because I’m too emotionally exhausted to face it, and also because I want to get this blog done (it really helps get my thoughts in order) get all my work stuff prepared and do as much tidying and sorting as I can before my shift starts. Why do I always find my motivation just before I go back to work?

Speaking of work I did actually go there last night, on my night off if you can believe it. I got there at 12:30 am to meet my friend in the car park and we actually did it. Yes, we went to the gym!

I had my first ever go on a treadmill, and it was surprisingly scary. If I glanced to the right to speak to my friend then I started to lose my balance and drift to the left. Seriously, I’m a danger to myself. But eventually I plucked up the courage to do a proper run and boy was it hard. But I also felt pretty awesome for giving it a go. I couldn’t keep it up for long, but I got my heart pumping that’s for sure, and I kept it going on the cross trainer, exercise bike and rowing machine.

Then I did some weights and found that I can bench press 10kg. Which is virtually nothing! But it’s a starting point. I also did some exercises for my shoulders but found I much prefer using kettlebells for that sort of thing. It’s much more fun.

We stayed for an hour and a half, and when we were finished I looked such a state. Much worse than my friend! But then I did push myself harder and didn’t spend any time texting people or watching YouTube. The youth of today…

Although it was virtually guaranteed we’d be the only ones there, and it’s a far cry from being a ‘proper’ gym, I feel like a little bit of the fear of exercising in public has gone out of me. I also realised that I need to get back to exercising regularly at home, because I forgot how much I enjoy it (and what an incredible mood-lifter exercise can be).

Although my mind feels so cluttered at the moment, I really have an absolute ton of stuff to look forward to in the next few weeks so life ain’t really that bad at all. There is much to be thankful for. Plus me and my brother have started planning our annual holiday, which we will have at the end of May. That way the weather will be getting nicer but it will be quieter as we’ll miss the school holidays.

All we know at the moment is that we (well, I) want to go to Skipton because there is a pub there that does delicious looking vegan food, plus there’s a castle with woods to explore, and my brother’s request is that we venture into Scotland. So it looks like we’ll be doing a little tour of the north, which is just wonderful. It really sucks to be a Southerner, although I think I’m supposed to feel some sort of rivalry with the Northerners. I’m probably letting the side down, because if I could I’d move north in a heartbeat. For one the south is just so damn boringly flat!

Right, I’m off to get coffee before I start on my chores. If that doesn’t fire me up then nothing will!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x