2018, Fitness, Me, Off Topic, personal


I had a manager from my O2 at the O2 days who used to say it takes 28 days to form a habit. This speech would regularly come out if there were major changes and especially when he thought we wouldn’t ever be willing to try and get on board. After having a night out with my old pals it got me thinking.

Now I’ve mentioned before and I dare say it will come up again, in April I joined Slimming World and my relationship with food changed. Some of you think I’m not eating properly and that couldn’t be further from the truth if anything I eat more these days it’s just what I’m eating and how I’m making it. That’s the key.

What I’ve noticed threefold is I don’t eat in the same way. I’m more appreciative and my sweet tooth is still there it’s just not as greedy as it once was which is a good thing for my health.

I’ve always been quite an active person but in finding Slimming World I shortly after found Fight Klub and for the first time in a while I felt truly excited. If I can’t make a class I’m grumpy. Recently when I hurt my back I missed two weeks of classes. This week I returned at a lower pace although I don’t think my right shoulder thinks that was the case saying that this morning it’s feeling a lot better but I haven’t reached work yet.

Now I’m a target member I’m not trying to loose any more weight. I’m now trying to find the right balance. I’m still enjoying trying new things and there’s still a number of things I’d love to make. I’m line with that on 12th November I’m embarking on an ETM Exercise To Music course and for the first time in ages I’m truly excited to study once again. I did GCSE PE and I honestly thought i’d have done more with it and now I’m on a whole new journey. This year has been remarkable for me and when opportunity knocks say yes what’s the worst that can happen. There are a few other potentials which I haven’t ruled out either.

I have recently become a Just Strong ambassador, I’m extremely new to this but I’m very much on board for inspiring and empowering women. I have just received my package but as I was out having a cheeky night off I haven’t opened it as yet. I dare say there will be an update on this as I cannot wait to try on my new gear. www.juststrong.com as a thank you to you beauties I am able to share with you my 10% discount code HAYLTHO10 I will be reviewing the top and jogging bottoms that I have purchased. If you have any questions or would like me to try something also get in touch. I’ve seen a few girls modelling the hoodies and I maybe swayed on that as these days are getting colder.

2018, Me, Off Topic, Uncategorized, update

My Fitness Journey….

Hey welcome to Hayley Reviews, today I am going away from bookishness and talking about me.

In my younger years I was one of those girls who people said could eat anything and wouldn’t put on weight that soon changed. I’ve never minded fruit but I can honestly say I rarely smashed my five a day. As for vegetables – as a child I had a best mate whose mum would serve up all sorts of veg and expect you to eat it whether you liked it or not. To this day I blame her for Brussel Sprouts – I did try them again quite recently and I can honestly say I can live without them.

If at the beginning of this year you had said to me that I would one be trying to actually cook rather than throwing something in the oven and two that I would willingly want broccoli, spinach and cauliflower with my dinner I would have laughed in your face. Now I’m upset if I run out of spinach or Broccoli or if Sainsbury’s don’t have Butternut Squaffles in stock.

They do say your taste buds change every seven years and they really do. I have such a sweet tooth yet it’s been curbed quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong I still love a hot choc and I’m still impartial to chocolates just not to the excess I would have before. I have also learnt that a lot of the time it was merely through boredom or because it was there. In working in such a busy environment where there are often lots of people around it was often easier to just snack on crap. Fast forward to August 2018 and the thought of some of the things I would have gauged on makes me feel physically sick.

On 16th April 2018 I joined Slimming World – a number of people asked me why and a number of people also said I shouldn’t have. Having seen a number of friends do well from Slimming World I thought what the hell. What do I have to lose. In joining I took one look at the plan and was instantly thinking what am I going to eat. Natasha my consultant was super helpful- she told me not to focus on what I wouldn’t eat and to look at what I would. My first week was a little strange and I somehow managed to put together some odd meals. In that week I managed to lose 3lb but I hadn’t had much speed food.

What is speed food? I hear you say. These are fruit and vegetables that help speed up your metabolism – quite quickly I found a flow that I could enjoy. With my breakfast I often have Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and Blueberries which are all speedy fruits and with meals it’s often Mushrooms, Carrots, Spinach, Butternut Squash and Broccoli to name a few. Before Slimming World I ate Carrots and Mushrooms but the other vegetables I hadn’t tried in a long time.

On 13th August 2018 I hit my target weight – this was a very good Monday for me, I had said to myself as I got closer that I wanted to be at target before my family holiday to the seaside and I made it. As you know I’m away as we speak and I’ve had a sketchy food week but I have had some fruit and Weetabix on a few mornings and some semi Slimming World friendly stuff. In town I found a gorgeous Mushroom Risotto which if possible I would love to sample again before we leave – it hasn’t happened so far.

I know there are Slimming World recipes for this so this will be happening when I return home.

Alongside my food and my walking I started attending a number of fitness classes. I have been doing Zumba on/off for years and I still really enjoy it. I managed to get a few free passes to some Boxfit classes. I did Boxfit on Blackheath common and then I found Fight Klub. That’s another thing I wouldn’t have thought a boxing based fitness class would be my thing but I love it and when I miss it, I’m seriously annoyed. Last week I managed to fit in two sessions which I was also meant to do the week before but due to trainer sickness that didn’t happen.

What has surprised me….I’m now a target member- I’ve missed a weigh in week as I’m away but I’m intrigued to see how I fair. As I have relaxed a little this week I have been shocked at the changes. Back in April/May time I purchased this…

On the Friday night before we left home I decided my working week was done and my me time had started so I would sample this. I had two quite small glasses and found it super super sweet. I also realised that I can’t drink normal coke – I asked for a vodka and Diet Coke and was given a normal coke and yet again it was too sweet. I’m pleased to report my love of an Irish coffee and of fudge still stands but once again my body will tell me when I have had too much. I’m also noticing a difference to how I feel when I’ve eaten fatty foods.

The picture on the left was taken at a book event with friends on 30th April so two weeks into my SW journey and the pic on the right was taken in July around the World Cup. I’ve also had a number of non scale victories in the fact I need pretty much a new wardrobe and the stuff that used to be tight now fits.

Thank you to those who took part in my poll yesterday, meaning I actually finished writing this piece.

What would you like to see tomorrow? Book Review, Author Guest Post, or something different. You guys get first refusal on what tomorrow holds.

2018, Author Love, Guest Post, Uncategorized

Guest Post: Anita Cassidy talks Change

Happy Tuesday all, today I am pleased to welcome back Anita Cassidy to Hayley Reviews. Anita joined me recently to discuss Sugar if you somehow missed that post you can read it Here.

As I mentioned before I really enjoyed Appetite and it made me think I more about me and my relationships with myself and with food. I also stated before my situation is nothing like David, Naomi or Matthew but it sure did give me food for thought.

I’m not usually this open online having suffered at the cruel hand of trolls in the past. I have been meaning to post this piece from Anita on Change for a while now but having recently started Slimming World I thought I would have a little milestone to report so I changed it. Ha more fool me my body wasn’t liking deadlines. So today is a brand new day a new start and I’m not letting this beat me. I have changed a lot in a short space of time and I’m loving the fact I’m giving more a go and also making much better choices. My moods and my skin having improved for the better and that for me is a small step in the right direction. Right I’m going to stop babbling just in case you haven’t read Appetite here’s my Review to tempt you.

Snap Out of It

It was on reading yet another piece of exceptional but bleak journalism about the impact of chocolate production on the environment that I realised just how little these types of articles actually effect the change that they seek to inspire.

No one needs skinny, white middle-class journalists telling them what they should and should not be eating, or doing. Few people ever made a permanent positive change based on being hectored or made to feel bad by someone they have never met, and will never meet. And, all too often, our response to these articles is to feel guilty and ashamed but helpless, and then to retreat into exactly the kind of actions and behaviours that the article was trying to stop.

As a skinny, white, very aware of her privilege and privileges writer myself, I realised that what I had to do was write a story with no telling, only showing. Just a showing of how I see certain things and my own experiences of these feelings and issues.

What I hope my novel Appetite does is show us how we all too often are, while offering no judgment. But, more than that, through David I tried to show how we could be, if only we were able to see ourselves clearly. If we are able to look unflinchingly at who and where we are: to accept that and then to see that acceptance is the key mechanism that creates permanent change.

I never meant the portrayal of Snap Out of It (a name very much inspired by the Arctic Monkeys album AM that I listened to while writing the novel) to be funny or dismissive of the efforts of community groups and activism. It was meant to highlight that some activism can be misguided, and that the assumptions of all groups and individuals need to be examined and questioned before action is taken… The key concept of ‘first do no harm’ is surely a fine place to start.

It was also meant to highlight that, ultimately, we have to wake up for, and by, ourselves. There really is no genuine will on behalf of the structures around us – big food, big pharma, big media, big and local government – to truly address the issues. They control our environment but, as Frank Gerbode says, ‘the mind is the first environment’, and we are in control of that more than we know, more than it suits anyone for us to know. We can become aware of the influences that have played a part in shaping us, our view of the world and ourselves, and we can make different choices.

The damage caused by processed food and drink production pollution (from the plastics found in our seas to the damage done to land by chemical run-off and transportation) can be undone from the bottom up with a change in how each of us acts and chooses. Rather than ask what we can do about the pollution, we could ask ourselves, and each other, what need does that can, bottle, bar or packet serve; what felt pain does it temporarily assuage?

For me, what changed my habits (and you can read more about my complex and difficult relationship with sugar and chocolate when I post it next month) was fully witnessing my past, truly seeing the dark and beautiful truth of my self as I am now and learning, slowly and gradually, to feel rather than feed my feelings.

It is hard. David, Naomi and Matthew show us just how hard and, in truth, it is never going to stop being hard. But we can do it together. Together we can snap out of it.

Further Reading

Frank Gerbode: http://tira.info/research_pub/art/first-environment.html

Susan Nieman, Why Grow Up?