Losing It

My mad, crazy journey to health and beyond

How to survive your high school reunion. Sober.

Mafikeng

This past week I’ve been whooping it up in Mafikeng, the seat of my high schooling, puberty, teenage angst and so many other glorious moments I just adore reliving. When the idea of travelling 9 bajillion miles back to the North West province was put to me back in March, I had one proviso:

“Sure I’ll go, but on one condition. You let me get completely motherfucking hammered while I’m there.”

If I was going to go back to the place where I had a perm, a back brace and sleepless nights after being bullied by some of the bottom-feeding pond scum that went there, I was sure as shit not going to do it sober. I was going to be anaesthetized to the eyeballs with Cuervo, Castle and everything in between.

Fast forward a few months, and I was actually starting to look forward to it. Maybe the shitty people wouldn’t come. Maybe it wouldn’t be as bad I was fearing. Maybe I would summit as-yet-unknown heights of drunkenness in my attempts to discover just how much alcohol my awesome body could handle. So far, so fabulous.

And then this happened.

100 Days of Sobriety: The Sequel

100 Days of Sobriety: The Sequel

When I was trying to decide what to do after my first round of 100 days, there was only one thing holding me back from going ahead with a second round. The High School Reunion. Surely it’s not possible to go to a reunion sober? Surely you have to be drunk as shit to handle all the people with better lives than you, the people who look down on the decisions you’ve made, the people who made your life hell? Surely even the big guy upstairs would need a glass of something stiff to get through that?

And then I thought, fuck it. I’m 37 years old, I like who I am, I’m sure as shit not apologising for who I am, and as I’ve found out over the past 100 days and then some, I don’t need need alcohol to be awesome. I was born that way. So sober it would be, and that was that.

Of course, on the way up (a two-hour flight followed by a four-and-a-half-hour car drive) I began to second-guess my decision. WHYYYYYYY had I decided not to drink? Was I completely mad in the head? Surely just one little drink (or twelve) wouldn’t hurt? I was going to miss out on all the fun!! AARRGG!!!!!

Amidst the 99% of screaming and wailing and bargaining and yelling, there was 1% of me that was vaguely conscious that I had a goal I wanted to reach – hence the sobriety. And so that teeny tiny 1% of me decided to put some tactics in place to help me stay away from the booze and stay sane through all four days of high school high jinks. Tactics like:

  1. Taking a buttfuckload of selfies.

Selfie 1

Selfie 2

Selfie 3

Seriously, I went selfie befok. I reasoned that the more pics I had of me being fun and fabulous, the less I’d want to screw it all up with 19 shots of tequila. Love it as I do. Which is why I need to extend an apology to my Facebook friends for wallpapering their profiles with pics of my giant grinning mug. Sorry peeps, but you were taking one for the team there.

  1. Working out in my hotel room.

Seriously. I did that. I didn’t take any pics because I thought it was sad as fuck, me bear crawling up and down the length of my hotel room (and slipping all over the shiny carpet). But I did it, and it helped keep me on the straight and narrow.

  1. Hitting my macros.

Eating out when you’re away is always a minefield. Who knows what crap they’re cooking your food with, and who cares what you eat when you’re away anyway. Everyone knows that holiday calories don’t count right? I worked at the Spur in my final year of high school and I was so looking forward to going back, reliving old times, and smashing a double peppamelt burger with chips and onion rings INTO MAH FACE! Damn that shit is good. I was looking forward to it all the way to Mafikeng, all the way into the Spur, and then as soon as I sat down I heard the little voice: DOUBLE DIGITS!!! Fuck. My. Life. Which is why instead of gooey, cheesy, peppery, oily awesomeness, I had this instead:

Spur 2

And the rest of the reunion was pretty much on a par with that – because I figured the more I stuck to my eating plan, the less keen I’d be to ruin it with booze. How fun am I?

  1. Scaring myself into starvation.

One pic of my old hair was enough for me to lose my appetite for good.

Yes. Me, 13 years old, standing third from the right.

Yes. Me, 13 years old, standing third from the right.

Diabolical isn’t even the word. Enough said.

  1. Going to bed early.

No shit. Everyone else went out partying night after night, carrying out some sort of self-imposed challenge to drink Mafikeng dry – like so:

Drinks challenge

Those glasses aren’t empty by the way. They’re tequila shots. The universe has no mercy.

I however went back to my hotel room (of bear crawl yore) and went to bed. If I can’t drink, I can’t be around people who are for too long. One or two people, yes. A whole crowd on a mission to get as hammered as possible before sunrise? Computer says no.

And so I left all the revellers and went back to my usual nightcap of decaf and QI. So much of excitement. It’s amazing the party police didn’t come and arrest me on the spot.

  1. (And the most important one) Surrounding myself with fabulous people.

As much as high school was the worst of times, it was the best of times too. And luckily for me, many of the people who made it fabulous for me then were there to make the reunion fabulous as well. Which is why some of my best memories of the past week look like this:

Reunion 1

Sports Day

Group shot

Poolside

After four days of immersing myself in school life I was glad to be home on Sunday evening, but I was also so glad I went. I got to feel an immense connection with my alma mater, I got to catch up with people I haven’t seen in 20 years, I got to have an amazing time in a fabulous positive environment – but most of all I got to test my resolve to the limit, and come out swinging. Not drinking over my high school reunion was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, and I bloody well went and fucking did it. If I can do that, I can do anything, that’s for damn sure.

Oh, and you know how in American movies, if you work hard and believe in yourself then dreams do come true? Check this shit out.

Last week:

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This morning:

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After a week of having fun, staying sane and working my ass off, I’m just 700g away from one of my major weight loss goals. So was staying sober through my high school reunion worth it?

Abso-fucking-lutely.

So long ISB and thanks for all the fish! See you for 35 years of awesomeness!

So long ISB and thanks for all the fish! See you for 35 years of awesomeness!

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Weigh-ins, weight loss and wonderfulness

All has been quiet on the western front for a while. Not because I am sitting on the couch crying and eating pizza, oh no. But because the level of busyness in my life has now reached epic proportions. Between my courses, my day job, my side job, my trail running, my recent foray into the world of Tinder (haha, more about that another time) and my need to occasionally leave the house before I pull a Jack Nicholson and go on an axe-murdering cabin feverish rampage, I am starting to lose it in more ways than one. Breathing has become optional, so sadly blogging has had to take a bit of a back seat.

However there’s one thing I haven’t been slacking off on, and that’s my commitment to losing weight and then some.

If you’ve been keeping track (and why wouldn’t you – this blog is AWESOME!) you’ll remember that my last weigh-in looked like this:

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 9.12.29 AM

The 104.something kilos that I had hit twice previously over the year, and was stressing about never being able to break through EVER! Well ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to report that after a lot of macro-watching, heavy stuff-lifting and alcohol-avoiding, my subsequent weigh-ins have looked a little something like this:

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Yup – that’s where we are this week – a super-duper OMFG can you believe it 102.1! I think this is the lightest I’ve been in about 3 years. So I’m gonna go ahead and give myself a gigantic high five for that. And I invite you all to do the same!

High Five

I also invite you to give Rouge Spa a high five too, for making my feet look so pretty and purple-licious with this divine Gelish pedicure!

It's a Lily! Purple fabulousness by Gelish.

It’s a Lily! Purple fabulousness by Gelish.

Thinking back over the past 13 weeks (lucky 13 in this case) I’ve realised something so mind-fucking-boggling, I cannot even begin to comprehend it. I have not cheated on my eating plan ONCE in the past 90-something days. NOT ONCE! Someone call Guinness, because this has to be a world record for me. No drowning my sorrows in Cuervo, no eating my stress with Debonairs – just working through my problems like an adult (finally at the age of 37, took long enough FFS) and riding that scale like Zorro.

And the super-awesome scale readings aren’t the only thing I have to show for all my hard work – I have this fabulously designed and almost filled sobriety calendar too:

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Five days to go! Hands up if you think I wouldn’t make it. Now all those with their hands up, you owe me a drink!!

Yes, Nicola may be losing it, but Nicola is also getting to that all-important 99kg milestone whether the scale likes it or not. Keep watching closely people because you’ll be the first to know once it happens. Double digits, me and my fancy toes are coming for you, and you’d better be prepared! Li-li-like a BOSS!

PS: Oh and if you’re wondering what’s going to happen on Day 101, I suggest you tune in on Day 101 to find out. Otherwise known as Tuesday.

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