Victory Is Mine

The Workweek Hustle is over and the results are in – between Monday and Friday my sister did 74,392 steps but I did a winning 87,581! My sister was gaining on me considerably, that is until Thursday night when my manager put me on a really physical job and I worked my absolute butt off. I’m really hoping this increases my chances of a good loss come Tuesday because I am seriously chasing that 15 stone bracket now. I want to see those numbers so, so badly!

It’s been a weird old week. Wednesday I wore two layers of clothes to work and needed a hot water bottle to warm me up when I got home in the morning, but today it’s absolutely gorgeous out there. I did a bit of washing as I’m out tomorrow and my favourite summer outfit was dirty, but it took me a while to get it on the line. The first time I went into the garden my brother was out there with Chester, our ginger cat. He has to be supervised outside, on a lead (Chester that is, not my brother), because he has kidney failure. He can’t go exploring by himself because where he isn’t processing protein properly his back legs are weak so he can’t get himself out of trouble if he needs to. Weirdly he seems quite content with being on a lead. So I just had to run in and grab my camera.

After Chester had finished posing I went indoors and actually managed to get the wet washing out of the machine before Kitt came along to say hello. Kitt (named after the car from Knight Rider) and Chester are brother and sister and they are both getting on a bit now, so Kitt doesn’t venture far these days. Most of the time she escapes through the back door then goes straight round to the front of the house to sit on the window ledge and meow to be let back in. They’re not the brightest of creatures! Eventually I managed to stop getting distracted and the washing is drying in the sun and the wind as I type.

Whilst out in the garden I noticed that it can’t be long now until the cherries are ready to eat. There’s nothing like eating them straight off the tree, although it’s still more of an overgrown twig at this stage.

It occurred to me today that in a way I seem to have aged considerably in the last year. I have become a person who watches Springwatch on purpose, I have started doing embroidery, I joined a bird identification group on Facebook, I am contemplating learning how to do gardening (what kind of stuff do I plant where? Will it come back next year? Do I need to know what pH my soil is?) and I love being outdoors. In my early twenties I harboured a secret ambition to become a hermit but now I’m the complete opposite and I’m absolutely loving it.

My sister is the same, and we talked recently about how we used to be so different yet we have independently become practically the same person. She went to university in Southampton, moved to London, became a teacher, met a guy… I never had a clue (still don’t) about what I want to do, never had any luck with relationships, never had much interest in nature or animals, yet here we are, for the most part sickeningly happy and both obsessed with birds, nature and absolutely anything arty or crafty! I think we both agree on one thing though – being happy certainly didn’t come naturally to either of us and we had to work bloody hard to get to where we are now. If you asked us how we did it though, I doubt we could come up with an answer. There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution sadly.

Oops I seem to have got a little bit too thoughtful there and have gone off on a tangent! Anyway, this evening I don’t have to go to work because I booked the night off. I’m leaving early in the morning for the Think Parrots show and I have a ton of food prep to do before hand. It’s going to be an absolute feast! I also have an enormous batch of ‘chilli-non-carné’ that I prepared yesterday so that’s today’s and tomorrow’s dinner sorted, meaning I can just concentrate on making my enormous Slimming World picnic. Another dinner highlight this week has been Fishless Fingers (thank you Quorn, they really hit the spot) which I served with all of the most summery-looking veg I had in my fridge.

Well, I’d better stop sitting on my butt now and get cooking!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Late Night Shopping

Last night at work was not going well for me. Yet again I was really struggling with my energy levels (I’m pretty sure I know what that’s all about and it should sort itself out soon) and even worse, when I’m doing this job my nose runs from the moment I start work to the moment I finish. I think it’s a combination of lots of dust and that it’s so cold in the warehouse. It’s really not pleasant though- as I need both hands for driving and lifting I can’t use a tissue all the time. Therefore I’m sniffing all the time like some sort of cocaine addict. But worst of all, I was hungry. I’d eaten a big dinner and had a snack just before leaving the house but all I could think about was the egg salad I had waiting for me on my lunch break. At 1:30am the call went out- the manager was letting some people take an early finish! So I got there as quickly as I could (safety first) but it looked like it was going to go to draw as too many people wanted to go. Luckily the manager took pity on us and let us all have the early.

For me there’s only one thing to do when I get an early, and that’s to leg it to the giant Tesco a couple of miles away. It is the ONLY place I can find Linda McCartney red pepper and chorizo sausages, but I flat out refuse to go there during daylight hours as it’s just so damn busy. As it happens the sausages were on special offer too so I stocked up on those plus a couple of other bits.

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My salad was still waiting for me in the car and shopping whilst hungry could have been disastrous. Instead of picking up naughties though I treated myself to an Alpro Go On (1 syn) and a fancy variety of tomatoes. I’m a sucker for a tomato I’ve never tried before!

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When I got home I sat down and really enjoyed my salad, which was more delicious than was actually feasible. But hey, I’m not complaining. Then it was time for an early night morning as I had an appointment to take Chester the cat for a checkup at the vets at 9:40.

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Thankfully Chester the cat is doing very well and obviously takes after his owners. He is getting on really well with the special food he has to eat- he loves it and scoffs the lot- which our vet has never heard of before. He said most owners find they have to try 4 or 5 different brands before they find one their cat will even touch, and some have to give up the pursuit altogether. We like our food in this family, pets included! As a result Chester has put on a decent amount of weight and is doing really well. We do have to get a urine sample though. Thankfully my brother has achieved this before with our other cat so I’ll leave it in his capable hands.

Yesterday I finally got around to booking my fancy new haircut, and this is a big deal for me. Originally I had intended to wait until I got to target before having a new style, for two reasons-

1) I thought my face was too fat for the style I want

2) I didn’t want to draw attention to myself

Number 2 kind of makes sense, but number 1 is actually really dumb. I wear my hair back in a ponytail all the time so it doesn’t cover up my chins anyway. Plus when I wear it down I think it makes my face look even worse as it just hangs there and isn’t styled. But all that is about to change as I’ve started to like my face and I care less about what people think than I did three months ago.

The date is set for the 11th of March and I could not be more excited! I would quite happily go and have it done today, but since Richard is the top stylist-type-person he also comes with the heftiest price tag. In my opinion he is worth every penny but still, it has to wait until after pay day. Either way it’s good to have something else to look forward to. I had so many insane haircuts when I was younger and although I did have a digital camera (they hadn’t been out long and it cost me a FORTUNE) taking pictures of yourself was not as common in those days. I did have some photographic evidence, but most of them had a past boyfriend in the shot and in the spirit of moving on I didn’t keep them. It never occurred to me that I’d want to look back on those haircuts some day. This time however there will be tons of photographic evidence. Consider this fair warning.

I’m feeling pretty trim this past week, and although it’s something I’ve never done until just recently I’ve started to keep a record of my measurements. In 12 weeks I lost a total of 18.5 inches from various parts of my body, the most being 5.5 from around my waist. But since my tummy’s feeling a lot flatter I decided to have another measure after just 2 weeks. I was shocked and delighted to find out I’ve lost another 3 inches from my waist! I put this down to being more active at work, so although I’m bored of the job I’m doing now and really would like to go back to my main department, I’m very grateful for these positive side effects. I was thinking back on how I would have coped doing all this activity with an extra 3.5 stone to carry around, and I honestly think it would have been hell for me. As it is the only bit of me that’s in real discomfort is my big toe, and I can deal with that for another two weeks and two days. Not that I’m counting…

I feel like I’m getting into a bit of a food rut just lately. It’s good to have my go-to quick fixes like Linda McCartney sausages and Quorn steaks, but I reckon it’s time to try some new things. I have an online shop being delivered tomorrow and with it will be the ingredients for four lentil-based curry-type meals, which will apparently serve four people with each batch cooked. The best bit is that all of the ingredients come to less than £10, most of which are store-cupboard bits and bobs that will last me ages. I just hope I like the recipes otherwise I’m trouble.

So that’s it. There’s one more night at work to go until I have a three-day weekend. Sunday I plan to walk into town to pick up some jeans I ordered, Monday I need to return a parcel via the post office, and Tuesday I’m picking up my sister from work then later on it’s Slimming World time. I booked Tuesday night off because Wednesday morning I’m taking my mum to an eye hospital appointment which is about 20 miles away, the only appointment we could get is in rush hour, and I’ve been informed by a Facebook friend who has just been to an appointment at the very same hospital that ongoing roadworks are causing absolute traffic chaos. So there’s that to look forward to! Oh, and the parking there is atrocious too. I think I’m going to take a packed lunch with me in case we get stuck for any length of time. It’s best to be prepared!

Until next time, as ever, thanks for reading.

Hayley x