Something Something Fresh Start Blah Blah Blah

I wasn’t back at Slimming World for long. I started going regularly in 2012 and each session just repeats itself, the same thing over and over and over. The same conversations, the same questions- ‘how do you make your spag bol then Hayley?’

I can’t do it, I’ve reached capacity. I just cannot stand it a moment longer.

I was doing quite well on my own until after all this time avoiding it, I went and caught covid. I’m not going to lie, the worst bit about it was the feeling that it was a moral failing above all else. The young ‘uns from work have been going out at the weekends ever since things reopened without a care in the world or a single symptom. I finally agree to go out ONE TIME and I’m the one that bloody gets it. Typical. Mainly I was just really exhausted for about 8 days, then after that I started feeling normal again. I discovered I had it by taking my routine lateral flow test, then the very next day my sense of taste and smell completely disappeared. It stayed like that for four days, which I was EXTREMELY grateful for, because I know there are instances of it lasting for months, or even permanently. Get vaccinated people! That’s the difference between my mild experience and ending up in hospital on a ventilator.

Was it worth taking the risk? Well, knowing what I know now (ie, I survived and did not kill my family) I’d say… kinda. I had a great time and it was so good to let my hair down after staying in for so long. Drunk me met a bunny and was pretty pleased with the fact.

I’m more relaxed about going out now, but I will be avoiding pubs in future. Besides, I only need one night like that out a year to satisfy my party cravings so I’m good at least until 2022.

Whilst I was infectious I stayed in my room and mostly ate crisps, so as not to have to use the kitchen and risk infecting the family. As you can imagine the weight went back on rather quickly, especially since I barely moved the whole time, exacerbated by the fact I also hurt my ankle and even now it’s still not fully healed. After eating crap for ten days I was excited to eat real food, but that didn’t last long. Not long at all.

Soooooooo, I’m right back where I started, and I’ve just enjoyed a birthday week of delicious eateries. On Sunday my friend took me out for dinner and to see Venom 2 (loved it, by the way) which was a nice way to end the week on a high. But now it’s down to business. This is the last year of my 30’s, and I do not intend to start the next decade feeling like this.

Where I’m now so large I am not enjoying going out for my walks, I just feel insanely self-conscious. Also because of work, during the times of the day I actually have energy for exercise, I don’t feel safe going out. I’d love to walk to work, but a woman was attacked on that route in broad daylight not even that long ago. Yeah, I’ll be giving that a miss.

Instead, I started researching treadmills. If I want to buy one that will take my current weight, then the price jumps IMMENSELY and any kind of portability goes out the window. I found an under-desk treadmill for less than half the price of one that would take me now, so I snapped it up immediately to give me motivation. I was SO CLOSE (6 pounds away) from being able to use it before I caught the ‘rona. So now I am on a mission to get my sh*t together and get using it regularly as soon as I possibly can, especially now the crappy weather is setting in. It’s quiet enough that I can use it at 6 am, straight after work. I plan to be using it by the end of November, fingers crossed, and I shall emerge in the spring like a beautiful butterfly. You heard it here first.

I’m now a Slimming World online member, and I have a good reason to believe that I’m going to be successful this time. SW has taken a lot of stick recently over ‘unlimited’ free foods, which I think is quite undeserved. They do tell you, repeatedly, to eat until you are SATISFIED. There are many things I have an issue with when it comes to any weight loss company, but this isn’t one of them. I think people are determined to misunderstand SW for Tiktok views or to promote their own businesses.

When I first started the Slimming World plan, I concentrated on filling myself up. I didn’t pay a single bit of attention to the stopping part, I just ate what I wanted (within the plan) and I lost consistently week after week. I was eating what some would consider A LOT. When I got nearer my target weight, the losses didn’t slow even though I was eating loads. It just kept coming off! Then I started worrying about portion control and being sensible and it all went out of the window. So, quite frankly, eff portion control. Eff being sensible. I’m going back to that time when I didn’t overthink every GODDAMN MORSEL that went into my mouth and I’m going to hopefully repeat my past successes. And if I don’t? THEN I’ll look at portion control. Honestly though, I don’t think I have to.

I got this experiment underway yesterday. I’ll let you know how the week went on Monday. I have high hopes.

Something that has been going enormously well is my art. There have been ebbs and flows, but every time I feel I’m starting to stagnate a little and I”m not getting anywhere, something just clicks into place.

I AM LOVING IT.

Last week after getting some water-mixable oils for my birthday I painted with oils for the first time in my life, and it was like clouds parted and the angels came down from the heavens… I FOUND MY THING!

Since that moment all I’ve thought about (apart from food) is painting, painting and more painting. This is the first layer of my first ever oil painting. I’ll show you what it looks like again when it’s properly finished.

Already, I am in love.

When I’m more experienced I want to paint a nice big portrait of someone. I’ve been practising painting my sister in acrylic, and although I thought I wasn’t getting anywhere this weekend I finally managed to achieve a decent likeness and get all of the main features in the correct place. The next one will be in oils and will be infinitely better.

By the time I’m 40, apart from looking fabulous, I will also be selling my artwork. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but getting into a routine of painting regularly and being vulnerable enough to share my work… this is something very new for me. New but amazing. Working through a painting when it looks crap is also of massive importance. If I’m ever famous enough, one day someone will do an infrared scan of the layers beneath the painting above and see the monstrosities hidden there. It’s no lie-in the first layer it looks like my poor sister’s left eye is falling off of her face.

Pushing through that discomfort was a game changer. In fact, I recommend everyone go do that right now. You won’t regret it.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x