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!

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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

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

Rescue

One of my pledges this week was to move more, and that I have done. At work Wednesday night I was put on a job that I really dislike doing, because it’s soul-destroyingly boring. Luckily for me (though not so lucky for the people it happened to) the area I was working in is upstairs so we have to take pallets up in the lift, but they’re always breaking down and in the last couple of weeks people have spent hours trapped inside. So now we aren’t allowed to go up in the lifts, and another person downstairs sends them up to us all night.

The lucky part, besides not having to spend hours trapped in a confined space, is that there wasn’t a huge amount to do. I had to keep flitting between different jobs which meant going up and down the stairs. All six flights of them! On an ordinary work day I do about 6,000 steps, but that night I did 19,000. Plus I did extra steps at home and ended on 24,400. THAT’S more like it! I also burned over 4,000 calories, and it’s only the third time (since losing weight, anyway) that I’ve managed that since climbing Snowdon in May.

At the beginning of the week it was looking to be the most dreadful one ever in terms of steps done and calories burned, but I’ve completely turned it around and now I’m ahead of the minimum targets I set myself. Way ahead in fact!

Last night I was put on a reasonably active job again, so I’m wondering if I won’t be quite so lucky tonight and I’ll end up sitting on my behind all night. If I do I’ll just have to make up for it when I get home, because I’m absolutely determined that this week will be excellent. 

The best thing about work last night was that at around 5am I found a ladybird on a pallet that was 11.5 meters up in the air. At first I thought he was dead, because he didn’t move when I picked him up, but I decided to put him on my truck anyway. Once I started driving around he perked right up, so I kept an eye on him until home time then stowed him away in my bag. I called him Fernando, and my colleagues now think I’m completely and utterly insane.

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He stayed with me all the way home, and only made his escape into our jungle of a front garden when I opened the car door.

Goodbye Fernando, may you live a long and happy life! Hopefully you didn’t get eaten by the great tits I saw out there this morning…

Well that’s it from me, because nothing much else has been going on and I could probably do with nap (there’s rarely a moment where I’m not thinking about napping).

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

London

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

A Pleasant Surprise

Last night I wore my three layers to work, as has become the norm over the last week, and I nearly bloody melted. It’s been so warm today! I’m not complaining because it’s been beautiful, and it was absolutely ideal as me and my brother had already planned to visit Eltham Palace today.

Autumn colours are always lovely, but it’s even better when the sun is shining on them and there was barely a cloud in the sky all day. After arriving we headed straight to the house (palace my backside) and picked up one of the free audio guides. In fact it was all kind of free now that we are English Heritage members. That’s a very good thing because I would have been slightly cheesed off if I’d paid for the audio guide because it really was dreadful! It sounded like the narrator was trying to be seductive, and I don’t know who wrote the script but after one description of a painting I had to turn if off because I wanted to throw the thing through the window.

Hence I came home knowing nothing about Eltham Palace at all. I have just had a quick read on Wikipedia though and it seems it was a palace once, but it was all but destroyed in the 1600’s. What’s there now is a house that was built on the site, which includes the restored great hall of the original palace. The Art Deco house was apparently a ‘masterpiece of modern design’ and I read a little plaque that said it was inspired by Scandinavian design. I’d much rather kit my home out with Ikea though because I thought it was ugly. The only pictures I took inside the house were not Art Deco at all!

The grounds though, now they are lovely. There’s a big lake that goes part of the way around it and the fish there (I think my brother said they are carp) must be used to being fed because they are so friendly. Normally I have oats in my bag as a matter of course, in case I need to tempt a water bird on my travels, but I didn’t replenish the last lot I used so we had nothing to lure the fish closer with. Then along came a family eating their sarnies who decided to throw bread in the water.

I’m sure most people know that you shouldn’t feed birds bread, because uneaten bread can pollute the water and it doesn’t provide enough nutrition to see them through the winter. I’m not sure what the deal is with fish, but it would be irrelevant in this case anyway. The fish snaffled up the bread immediately and I’m not sure even a single crumb was missed.

We spent most of the afternoon just wandering around exploring the grounds or watching the fish, and I was just loving the colours of everything so much. I’m going to find out what kind of flowers they have because everything was still in bloom and it would be lovely to have our garden looking something like that this time next year. Not that I’ve done anything at all with the garden since I decided I was going to sort it out, however many months ago. I really must do my research in time for spring.

I don’t know why this year has been so different, but documenting the changes in the seasons and trying to enjoy every minute of it has been really important to me. I need to make sure I’m out every week until all of the leaves are gone because I don’t want to miss a single photo op!

Just gorgeous.

When we left in the late morning I’d just eaten breakfast and wasn’t hungry at all so I didn’t take food with me, but I did have the foresight to have a lunch already prepared for when I got home. That was a good call because on the drive back my tummy was rumbling like mad. I’m frightening myself with all of this organisation.

You may notice that I didn’t put any weekly goals up last week, and that’s because I had no intention at all of avoiding the sneak peek. I’m feeling really bloated and I think it’s possible I’ll have a maintain but the important thing is to not freak out about it.

That’s if it does happen at all, because a lot can change between now and Tuesday morning. What I do know is that I have had an impeccable week as far as food is concerned and if I don’t get a good result I only need to look to the people I admire who deal with gains and maintains spectacularly well. There are two in particular. One is Just Julie and I’m pretty sure the other can guess who he is, and the thing about these spectacular people is I see them have disappointing and undeserved results at times, and although they’re obviously not happy about it, they don’t let it derail them. I wait with anticipation for the following week’s results and watch all of the hard work pay off as they are rewarded for sticking with it. Even when it might be the last thing they wanted to do at the time.

And that’s where I must leave you because it’s 8pm and I haven’t even started dinner yet. So much for being organised…

Hayley x

After the Storm

Today I feel like I haven’t stopped, but at the same time I haven’t really achieved very much at all. Maybe it’s because I didn’t sleep too well last night, and that’s because everything went a bit screwy around bed time.

After we’d all finished watching Blade Runner I was messaging a friend and not really paying attention to what was going on in the room, and while this was happening a disagreement was brewing between my mum and my brother. I had a feeling there was going to be some sort of conflict because my mum had been really argumentative the whole day. Whereas I (probably from my childhood years spent trying not to antagonise either parent) am quite good at letting things go and diffusing the situation, my brother is too young to remember the old times and hasn’t had much practice. Or sometimes he just won’t back down as a matter of principle. It’s just his nature.

A little while later I thought things were OK-ish, so I got myself off to bed. Ever since I first started working nights I’ve worn earplugs to bed, and now I can’t sleep without them, but even with them in about half an hour later I could hear shouting. I managed to stay upstairs until I heard my mum shouting some stuff that was totally made up, and about me, so I couldn’t control myself and went down to give my money’s worth. Thankfully it all kind of got sorted and everything is kind of OK again, but these things really take it out of me. I’ve always hated living in that kind of environment, and whenever things kick off (which admittedly was rarely but is now worryingly increasing in frequency) it takes me right back to when arguments like this between my mum and my dad were at least a weekly occurrence. As a result my resting heart rate has shot up despite it usually dropping like a stone when I get back on plan. In fact is was dropping steadily until yesterday. Hopefully we get a nice long run before there are any more arguments, because there really isn’t much I can do about the situation.

There are many reasons I can’t and don’t even really want to move out, and I can’t change my mum’s attitude after so many years. My brother is too stubborn so I wouldn’t even attempt it. But being screamed at because it’s apparently your fault your mum doesn’t watch Casualty any more is not much fun. It sounds ludicrous writing it down, but it’s actually frightening because I genuinely think, no I know, that she needs help. Unfortunately I can’t seem to get it for her and the last attempt to calmly talk to her about it ended up with some great conspiracy about me and my brother basically gaslighting her because we are just awful people. Or so she thinks.

I don’t know, I just wish I could get her counselling or something, but when she saw the doctor about her depression getting worse he gave her the web address for Therapy 4 U. She watched stupid videos totally unrelated to anything she’s going through and filled out irrelevant multiple choice questionnaires. Needless to say it did not cure 50 years-worth of depression and anxiety. Weird that.

There are so many more layers to the situation, so many things that I could talk about that I don’t even know where to start. All I know is that these feelings need to be outside instead of bottled up inside.

Anyway, things are calm and civil between us all now. Fingers crossed it stays that way for a while.

The good thing (or the excellent thing I should say) is that I did NOT use food to comfort me. I’ve had an excellent on plan day today, and weirdly I seem to have (at least temporarily) acquired a willpower made of steel. I have two and a half Mini Vego bars in the fridge, which are absolutely delicious vegan chocolate bars with whole hazelnuts them. The problem is that even the Mini bars have almost twenty syns in them! Somehow, miraculously, two days this week I had a quarter of a bar and I still have half of one bar completely untouched. I haven’t gone over 12 syns any day this week! It’s complete madness, but I’m not knocking it that’s for sure. Long may it continue!

Another good thing is that between putting my washing on the line, it raining, taking it off the line, raining, putting it back on and eventually relenting and using the tumble drier, I got some lovely rainy autumn shots for the photo album. We did have an actual storm (not counting the one last night) and once the clouds had blown over everything was fresh and clean and lovely again.

We also have a mad amount of apples on the tree this year, so much so that some of the branches are nearly touching the ground. A lot of them have been partially eaten by unknown critters, but because it’s such a bumper year I think we have enough sacrificial apples to ensure there are plenty left for us too. Speed food that doesn’t cost a penny? Yes please!

Finally me and Pea had a wonderful day, and she let me touch her wing with my lips. Because she was parent-reared instead of hand-reared  she won’t let me touch her, she’ll only perch on me. So we’re working on our trust (lips are much less scary for birds than fingers) and hopefully, one day I’ll be able to scritch her neck and help preen new feathers coming throuh. The good thing about her being parent-reared is that she’s much less prone to behavioural issues, but I do sometimes wish I could touch her like my sister does with her birds. Mostly because I think it will be nice for Pea, for us to have that bond. Even if it never happens though, as long as she’s happy then I’m happy too.I h

I haven’t done as many steps as I’d like today, but I did do a 40 minute workout on the exercise bike so I’m not feeling as guilty as I would have otherwise. Now my plan is to escape into another universe, specifically the Marvel one!

I shall update again tomorrow with my official weigh in results. Eek!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

One For The Road

If you’ve been reading my blog for the last couple of weeks then this post will come as no surprise to you. I haven’t fallen off the wagon, I’ve just kind of stepped off for the evening. The thing is, I’m back at work tomorrow after three weeks off and I’m partly really looking forward to getting back into a proper routine and partly dreading the very thought. I’m not going crazy, I’m just having a some crumpets, avocadoes, and I really fancied a bottle of rosé, so that’s what I’m having.

Yesterday I watched Guardians of the Galaxy with the family, in preparation for Volume 2 being delivered today. Me and my brother have already seen the second one, but my mum hasn’t so we’re all sitting down together to watch it tonight. Then that’s it- once the film is over then it’s back to reality. I’m going to try and stay up as late as possible then sleep as much as I can during the day tomorrow, because I have to get back to my usual vampiric ways! It’s been really nice sleeping normally for a while though. I really feel that I’ve recharged my batteries, and that if this time off work hadn’t come when it did then I would have really struggled to cope. It all worked out OK in the end.

I’ve also been naughty in regards to weighing myself too often, but this week it’s actually worked out to my advantage. I weighed myself before, ahem, lady time and it showed a massive loss. But then lady time happened and now it shows a moderate loss. If I hadn’t seen that big loss then I’d be disheartened by what I saw after, but I know it’s just bloating and whatnot. I have no idea what the scales will show tomorrow, on official weigh day, but I have to be honest here and tell you exactly what’s going on. So if it’s a gain, it’s a gain, and I won’t try to hide it. Despite all of my ‘next weigh day will be fantastic!’ promises. I really do mean it when I say it, that’s the sad thing. Anyway I still intend to get all of my gains off by the end of the month – it ain’t over yet!

Yesterday was nice and active, which is handy because today I’ve just been chilling out in a spectacularly lazy fashion. Apart from doing a load of washing because I somehow only had one pair of undercrackers left, I’ve just lounged around reading. It’s actually been quite lovely!

Oh yes, I was going to tell you about yesterday. Me and the brother went to visit Lee Valley Regional Park. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite what we were after because it just doesn’t do a good enough job of making us feel like we’re away from civilisation. That’s been something of a theme with the last few places we’ve visited in fact. We walked around some lakes, and that was nice, but as we walked along the canal everything become more and more, well, disgusting. There was litter everywhere and people passing us were really rude, either just not wanting to walk single file down the narrow track or not even bothering to look up from their phones. It was really sad. But enough of that, on to the highlights!

It must be a great park for kids, because there are little sculptures to find all over the place. Some of them you are even encouraged to climb on, but I’ll come to that later.

The first lake we came to was filled with friendly swans. Well, as friendly as swans ever get I suppose!

Then, possibly for the first time ever, I saw some tufted ducks. I say possibly, because I may well have seen them before without noticing. But they’re certainly the first I’ve seen before I became interested in birds. I didn’t even notice them to begin with, despite their really cool yellow eyes. How did I not see that?

Tufted ducks are excellent divers, so I tried to get a shot of one mid-dive. They were just too fast though, so this is the closest I was able to get. But when I got home and reviewed my photos I noticed the little coot in the bottom right-hand corner.

I think he was coming up from a dive, but it looks like he’s just happily hanging out under water! 

I did see a heron but he was just too far away for me to get any kind of shot, and this cormorant was too far away for me to get a decent shot. This one will just have to suffice!

When we came to the canals we stopped for my brother to buy a cheese roll and a coke from an ice cream boat, as you do, and as we sat down we were treated to a couple of swans and their almost completely grown up swanling slowly making their way towards us.

And then, my favourite part of the day. We found a giant’s chair!

Although it seems like a pretty insignificant thing, I am really proud of this picture. For one, this time last year I would have been too self conscious to do this. And even if I had dared to, my arms are pretty weak (despite me trying to strengthen them with kettlebells) and there’s simply no way I would have been able to haul myself up. Yet here I am, posing for a photo. In a way it’s hard to believe that’s even me. But there I am, I even have proof. I wonder what kind of photos I’m going to be posting next year?

Do you know what, despite not entirely wanting to go back to work I am feeling really positive about the coming months. I really do find it so much easier to lose weight in the autumn and winter and I’m going to make so much progress. I’m going to make promises in this here blog, but instead of going back on them or making excuses I’m going to see them through.

The proof shall be, as they say, in the pudding (for want of a more slimming-friendly phrase!)

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x