Losing It

My mad, crazy journey to health and beyond

How to lose 15kg in 8 weeks

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  1. Stop drinking alcohol. Have minor nervous breakdown. Get talked off the ledge by sister, friends, and life coach on an almost daily basis. Drink enough sparkling water to sink the Titanic.
  1. Train every day. Squeeze into gym pants that are two sizes too small but refuse to buy new ones because A) you don’t have money, and B) YOU WILL NOT BUY LABELS THAT SAY XXL! Start weightlifting again. If 40kg squats can ever be considered weightlifting. Go back to Adventure Boot Camp. Wear black T-shirts so no-one can see how drenched in sweat you are after the warmup. Sign up for trail runs. Reconsider the run part about 30 seconds in. Do trail walks instead. Push, push, push. Don’t stop. You can walk slowly, but you can’t stop.
  1. Eat actual food. KFC, McDonald’s and Mr D do not count as actual food. Go grocery shopping. Buy stuff that expires. Eat it before it does. Cook meals. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re full. Lean protein, healthy fats, vegetables, complex carbs. Make the best choices you can when you go out for meals. Say no to dessert. But eat the chocolate cupcake that your boot camp buddy gives you, because life is short and chocolate is sent from the gods.
  1. Talk to life coach. Your head is a fucking mess. Adulting is hard. You need help. Remember that survivors ask for help; victims sit back and blame everyone else for their mistakes. So go get some help. You badass surviving bitch you.

 

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  1. Get out of the house and do things. Apparently there’s stuff to do in Cape Town other than sit in bars every night and get hammered. So go do it. Play bingo, take part in pub quizzes, go to the cinema, paint clay pots, go for hikes, cook dinner for friends, sing, dance, go to plays, concerts, parties, eat out in restaurants, say yes to anything that gets you out of the house and gets you living again. And then come home exhausted to a big comfy couch and a hard drive full of series. Because, balance.
  1. Connect. With family. With old friends you haven’t seen in ages. With new friends who are now part of your posse. With acquaintances who become friends before you know it. With women in your Facebook group. With yourself. Not with Tinder. Good Christ.
  1. Track your progress. Take before pics. Take before measurements. Try to fit into jeans. Think ‘fucking hell’, and pretend that you’re wearing a skirt because you want to, not because your tubby butt is now too chunky to even fit into your fat jeans. Keep at it, keep tracking and weighing and measuring, and keep remembering that even though it feels like a waste of time and effort, you will get to wear jeans again. Track your progress after 8 weeks and realise that you’ve lost 15kg, 50cm, and that your smallest pair of fat jeans is now too big for you. High five everyone you possibly fucking can. Feel like a rock star, because you are. Write this blog post, and get back to it. Life is too good to miss out on.

 

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5 Comments »

Promises, promises

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On the western head of Knysna sits a house. Not just any house. My house. A house that was bought 26 years ago with two bedrooms, bunk beds and plastic chairs. A house that has grown as we have grown, doubling in size, filling with furniture, knickknacks, memories, and love along the way. It is the place I last hugged my grandmother; the place I first held my nephew. It has celebrated countless Christmases, Easters, birthdays and anniversaries, welcomed friends and family, seen laughter, tears, despair and hope. And yesterday, it watched as Knysna burned.

I’ve always loved my birthday. When I was younger, it was because of the presents and the cake. Now that I’m older, it’s because it gives me the opportunity to celebrate something special with my family and friends. And eat cake. Yesterday however, I couldn’t eat cake. I could only watch as reports came streaming in. 10 000 people evacuated and displaced. 150 homes burned. Our dear neighbours’ house, razed to the ground. Lives, possessions, security, sentiment, gone, in clouds of smoke and fury.

I don’t pray often. I know that as someone who willingly identifies as Catholic, I should. But I don’t. I like telling people that I’m the worst Catholic ever, then ordering another round of tequila and lighting a cigarette. Street cred, yo. But yesterday I prayed. For the people of Knysna, for the town, for the animals, for the emergency workers, and for that house, on the western head.

But because I don’t talk to God often and I spend more time drinking than praying, I figured I had to throw something extra in. Just to let Him know I was SERIOUS. So at 3am on 8 June, just a few hours into my 40th birthday, I promised God that if He kept our home safe, I would give up alcohol for six months.

Your move, big guy.

Now, I have no idea why God would care if I gave up drinking. From all New Testament accounts, Jesus was a mad wine fan. And I’m certain the people of Knysna would care even less. My not drinking is in no way useful to them whatsoever. But as I say, I had to show the man upstairs that I was hella serious. So a sobriety pledge it was.

Spoiler alert: As of 1 July 2017, I will be giving up alcohol for six months.

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that alcohol has always been a big stumbling block for me. You’ll know that I’ve gained weight, that I’ve been struggling with consistency, that breaking my ankle hasn’t helped, and that I’m seeing a life coach to help me get my mojo back. Believe it or not I was actually planning on giving up alcohol for 100 days from 1 July anyway. But in the great game of life, the big man has seen me, and raised me.

So yes. If in the coming months you’re wondering why I’m sucking on sparkling water while you’re getting tiddly on wine, here’s your answer. And you can laugh and think I’m an idiot or tell me why you think God doesn’t exist or try to get me to have JUST ONE DRINK or attempt to convert me to atheism or something. Go wild. Unfortunately I have this annoying characteristic where if I make a promise, I stick to it. It won’t be easy. From past experience I can tell you right now that it will be very, extremely, massively, fucking hard. But when I go home to Knysna, I’ll have a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, a lounge to veg in, a patio to braai on, and many many more memories to be made. And it will all be totally worth it.

On a completely unrelated note, does anyone want to get unbelievably hammered with me on 30 June?

NB: While my giving up alcohol will do sweet bugger all to help the residents of Knysna, there are plenty of ways to show your support. Click here to find out how you can make a difference.

 

1 Comment »

All you need is love

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So I’ve been on my new eating plan for two weeks now (haha, EATING PLAN – funny thing to call something with fuck-all food on it) and it’s been going pretty well. Two weeks in, seven kilos down. Fist bump city.

I’d like to say it’s been plain sailing, but that would be plain lying. Funnily enough, the hard part hasn’t been the eating right and the training regularly. The hard part has been doing that while undergoing potentially the most stressful situation of my adult life. Ooh, dramatic! For someone who deals with every negative emotion, even the tiniest of frustrations, by drinking themselves into a coma, this has been HARD. It has been a situation that I have wanted to escape, ignore, stress about, worry over, get angry about – all things that I would usually turn to wine, beer and tequila to help me with. So the fact that I have instead been tap-tap-tapping away on my laptop, eating tuna salad and busting out deadlifts is nothing short of a fucking miracle.

It’s not something I’ve been able to do on my own though. If I’d had to do this on my own, I’d be face down in a dumpster right now clutching an empty bottle of Cuervo and trying to find my panties. Instead, I’m washed, dressed, fed, and about to start work for the day. But I couldn’t start to write for other people before first giving a shout-out to the people who have been talking me down from the ledge, literally (yes, I know how to use this word correctly) on a daily basis. I know that I shouldn’t be drinking tequila shots at 9am, but I do need people to remind me of this occasionally.

So to the people who have generously given of their time, support, kindness, and resources, my heart thanks you all the way from the bottom to the top. Mom, Dad, Caren, Corne, Sue, Pat, Lynn, Wendy, Jill, Lisa, Dom, Chantel, and everyone else I’m lucky to call a friend – my wins are only my wins because of you – no more so at this time. Going through rough patches is indescribably awful, but the one thing it does do is show you who your friends are.

I was telling Jill on Valentine’s Day about how things had been so bad that morning that I’d almost had a breakdown in the middle of a shopping centre. But I got my shit together just in time (for God’s sakes Nicola, have a word with yourself) and managed to have a thought that actually helped. That I may be (very) poor in cash, but what I’ve realised over the past few weeks (and honestly should have realised a VERY long time ago) is that I’m beyond rich in love. And if Valentine’s Day isn’t the perfect day to realise that, then I don’t know what is.

Strongs, love and hugs to you all. This too shall pass. And by the time it does, Imma look hot AF.

 

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4 Comments »

Pop quiz

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I don’t usually blog on a Sunday, but since I seem to be at home rather than at a dodgy pub somewhere (weird, I know), I thought I should do something useful with my time, aside from sitting in front of yet another Big Bang Theory marathon. (Also, has anyone seen the new MacGyver reboot? Hollywood, what have you done to my childhood??)

So in my last blog, I mentioned that there were a few questions I was going to try to answer for myself this year. I think it’s good to have goals – I’m definitely the type of person who needs to work towards something – so this year, instead of simply working towards a scale goal and a can-I-get-my-ass-into-those-Levis goal, I’m going to be working on some answers goals as well. Because hopefully by working through these questions, I’ll finally find the solution to long-term health success. Huzzah!

  1. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy for the love of god must it be all or nothing all the time? Why is it either stick to your eating plan 100%, stay away from booze and train 6 days a week, or sit on the couch in your pajamas for a month working your way through the Mr Delivery menu? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. Seriously, it’s the biggest problem in my life and it’s a total pain in the ass. I hope I find an answer to this soon, because I know that when I do, I’ll make a fricking fortune out of it.
  2. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy must having a drink be the answer to everything bad and stressful and annoying and irritating and boring and otherwise blerg? Why can’t I be one of those people who goes to the gym instead or phones a friend or watches Sex and the City or gets a haircut or whatever? Why can things only be solved with 3 bottles of chardonnay? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. Even after 15 months of sobriety, I was back on the bottle quicker than Charlie Sheen on a hooker’s ass. IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.
  3. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy am I finding it so hard to stay consistently motivated and committed? 2015 it was as easy as falling off a log. 2017 and I’m consistent from breakfast till about lunchtime (and sometimes not even that long). I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. So many healthy habits, so painstakingly cultivated, and so easily swept aside like KFC chilli salt off a counter. Don’t judge me, that salt is awesome.

I think that’s enough for now. Considering I’ve spent most of my life trying to answer just those three questions, it’s actually plenty. I know that some things are human nature. It’s human to want to stay in bed on a cold morning rather than get up and run. To want to go for the easy takeaway option when you’re tired, rather than having to cook. To want to sit on the couch all day blaming everyone else rather than having to get up and take responsibility for your actions. But I think if I can find a way to balance work and play, to cope with life constructively and to sustain healthy habits in the long term, I’ll find running in the rain child’s play by comparison.

Get your scoresheets out people – I’ve got some ticks I need to start putting into boxes.

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5 life lessons I’ve learned from trail running

 

I am a trail runner. You wouldn’t think it to look at me though. I’m not fast, my form is non-existent, my breathing sounds like a cross between a stampeding rhino and a hippo in labour, and most of the time I have to push just to finish. But I can run for a few metres, and do so on a trail, which automatically makes me a trail runner.

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If I’d had any sense, I never would have taken up this sport. It is HARD. But when I started almost 18 months ago, I was completely clueless, blissfully ignorant, and heavily overweight. I had also stopped drinking in an effort to shift some poundage, and needed something other than lifting a glass to fill my time. I entered my first trail run without a notion of what I was getting myself into, with no clue that many experienced road runners would rather fake an injury than run trail. I didn’t know that it was hard, I didn’t know about injuries, I didn’t know about your lungs feeling like they were on fire, your legs feeling like lead and molasses at the same time, I didn’t know about grass and sand and dirt and mud and water crossings and single track and switchbacks. And most of all, I didn’t know about HILLS! But what I did know was that at 108kg, with very little cardiovascular fitness, something needed to change. And slowly, one finish line at a time, something did change. Not just me on the outside (since starting trail running I’ve lost 28kg), but me on the inside as well – as the more I hit the trails, the more a number of realisations started to hit me right back. Five, to be exact.

 

  1. Live in the moment

 

On any given trail run, my thought process usually goes a little something like this.

 

“WHY AM I HERE?!!!”

“Everything hurts. Like, everything.”

“Surely I must have done at least a kilometre by now. ONLY 600 METRES??? WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY???”

“Ok so I’ve done 2km and the race is 8km long. So I only have to do what I’ve already done another three times and I’ll be finished!”

“Five kilometres left? I can’t, I seriously can’t.”

“I’m dying. I am actually dying right now.”

“OHMYGODAHILL!!!!!”

“WAAAAAATEEEEEEERRRRRRR!!!!!”

“The hills are so NOT alive with the fucking sound of fucking music.”

“Why am I doing this stupid race in the first place?!! I hate my life and everything in it!!!!!”

 

Anxiety, stress, pain, exhaustion, irritation, and sometimes anger. Pretty much part and parcel of my trail running experience. When I’m in a race and I’m thinking about how few kilometres I’ve done, how many there are still to go, the insane elevation I have to look forward to, how hot/cold/rainy it’s going to be soon, I become overwhelmed with negativity. And thankfully, after many, MANY runs, I finally realised why. Because I was too preoccupied with the past, and too focused on the future, to be able to fully embrace the present. As soon as I sloughed off the worries about having covered so few kilometres, and having so many more to struggle through, I was immediately able to find comfort and pleasure in the present. In appreciating my surroundings, in becoming fitter and stronger, in enjoying the beauty of nature, and in getting to my goal one single step at a time. And the minute I began to live in the moment, the more fulfilling each of those moments became. The finish line is still a challenge to get to, make no mistake, but the getting there is now infinitely more rewarding.

 

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  1. The bigger the struggle, the sweeter the success

 

Ask any trail runner what they hate most about trail running, and they’ll reply “Hills!” (At least I hope they will, otherwise I’ll look like an idiot.) That’s what my answer would be anyway – particularly as I’m still incapable of running up hills, so I have to walk them every step of the way. Ridiculous elevation, usually 1,500 degree heat, huffing, puffing, burning, dying. Hills. Like seriously, what the F man???

 

By contrast, my absolute 100% favourite part of trail running is going downhill – particularly after a nasty, backbreaking uphill. The sweet release, the air in your lungs, the sensation of flying, the claws of Satan finally retracting from your screaming quads – there’s nothing quite as freeing, or as blissful. But one day as I was revelling in the awesomeness that is the downhill run, I asked myself, would it be quite as stupendous if I hadn’t just come off a blistering uphill? If trail runs, and life, were all downhills, wouldn’t bliss eventually become the norm, and one day even the mundane? Aren’t the downhills, the successes, the pleasures we experience made all the greater by the struggles we go through to achieve them? And don’t we need the struggles to make us resilient – to build our fitness and strength on the trails, and our power and confidence in life? Forcing myself up a strenuous uphill isn’t fun, but it damn sure makes me a better runner – just as successfully working through challenges makes me a better person. So while I may not like the hills, I’ve learned to appreciate them for the learning experience they are. And man, do those downhills feel good afterwards.

 

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  1. Happiness is in the quiet moments

 

It’s easy to find happiness in the big, bold moments – in celebrating a birthday or an anniversary, in buying a new home, in being promoted, in driving a new car. But I’ve found that the purest form of happiness lies in the spaces between – the calm, quiet, often overlooked moments that whisper, rather than shout. Like when you’re drinking the perfect cup of coffee. When your favourite song suddenly comes on the radio. When you finally get the hang of winged eyeliner. Or when it’s just you and the trail, your feet crunching against the dirt, the sun rising over the vineyards, the wind at your back, the cool, crisp air your companion, and you realise that maybe, just maybe, this being alive thing isn’t so bad after all.

 

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  1. Always be grateful for what you have

 

I am an extremely slow runner. I wish this was false modesty, but it’s the truth. If I’m ever in a race against a tortoise, I advise you to put your money on the tortoise, because it’ll be a safe bet. When I started trail running at 108kg, I was literally the slowest runner at every single race – crossing the finish line last, coming in with the sweeper, sometimes so far behind everyone that the organisers had packed up and left. I hated it, and I was mortified. I found it beyond embarrassing that I was so slow, and so bad at running that I was dead, stone, absolute last every single time. I didn’t want to come first (hahahahahahahahaha chances!) but just coming in somewhere in the middle would be enough. Please, just for once!!!

 

And then during one race, something strange happened. For some bizarre reason unknown to man, at the beginning of the race, I found myself in the middle of the pack, able to keep pace with the other runners for a bit (ok, two minutes). And I absolutely hated it. I hated being caught in a huge bunch of people, I hated the noise, I hated having to move aside every two seconds for faster runners, and I hated the frenetic claustrophobia of it all. That’s when it struck me. That all those times I had been right at the back, I hadn’t been losing – I’d been winning. I’d won freedom from the chaos at the front, I’d won the chance to complete my race at my pace in blissful peace and quiet, I’d won the opportunity to work on my technique, and I’d won valuable advice and insight from the sweepers as we finished together. Lightbulb. Always, always give thanks and be grateful for where you are at any given time – because chances are, it’s exactly where you’re supposed to be. I’ll get to the middle of the pack when I’m good and ready, but until then, as long as I’m grateful for what I have and where I am, I’ll be winning at running and at life.

 

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Speaking of the sweepers…

 

  1. Don’t fight the slide

 

Without a doubt, this is the most valuable piece of advice I’ve ever been given, and it came to me via the sweeper on the second trail run I ever did. Don’t fight the slide. At the time, it made absolutely no sense, and given that it was said to me as I was busy careening 400 metres down a muddy hill on my backside, I think my reply went along the lines of “WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCKING FUCK??”

 

After I had recovered from my minor aneurysm and he had recovered from his laughing fit, he explained. Don’t fight the slide. If you feel yourself falling, don’t correct yourself, just go with the flow. The same way you’re supposed to steer into the turn if your car skids. If you let the slide take you, the worst that can happen is mud, dirt, and some bumps and bruises. But if you fight against it, that’s when you run the risk of real damage – sprains, breaks, snaps and potentially months at home in casts and rehab and traction. It’s the same with life I’ve found. If you go with the flow, go with ease, go with positivity, you’ll get to where you need to be far more quickly, far more safely, and usually with a laugh as well. But if you flail and flounder, caught in a storm of negativity and unease, you may just fall down and never be able to get back up again. That’s why since that day, I don’t fight the slide anymore. I ease into it, I fall down, I get up, I wash my muddy clothes, and I come back for more. Because that’s how you fight, and that’s how you win. Every single time.

 

La Capra

 

The school of life. Now open at a trail run near you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve been writing a lot of FAQ pages recently in my professional capacity, so I thought, why not write one in my personal capacity too and tackle some of the queries that have been coming my way. Just go with me on this.

 

Q: So where’ve you been recently Nicola?

A: At home. Away. Home some more. Away some more. Not wearing pants. Bars. Also bars. And then bars. I did wear pants in the bars though.

 

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Literally do not remember this photo being taken.

 

Q: So does that mean you’re drinking again?

A: I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me.

 

Q: You know we’re in South Africa right? The Fifth Amendment doesn’t apply here.

A: Oh for fuck’s sakes.

 

Q: Would you like to try that again?

A: OK FINE! YEEEEEEEEEEES I am drinking again.

 

Q: What are you drinking?

A: Kenilworth mostly.

 

Q: Why are you being so difficult?

A: Permission to be acknowledged as a hostile witness Your Honour.

 

Q: Again, not an episode of Law & Order. Seriously, what’s going on?

A: I don’t KNOOOOOOOOOOOW! Ok well actually I do know. Drink, drink, drink some more. Make some very questionable choices. Throw name like a fucking champion. Wake up feeling like SHIT. Eat all the food. Have one to two days of making healthy choices. Ooh I feel like a drink! Repeat ad infinitum. Feel guilty, feel like crap, feel ashamed, feel like burying myself under the duvet and never coming out, feel li… WHERE IS THE MYPRODOL???

 

Q: Yeah no, that’s not good.

A: That’s not a question.

 

Q: Ok, so here’s the question. What the actual fuck is going on?

A: Genuinely, honestly, I have no idea. It could be a number of things. Work is BEYOND insane, so there’s that. I’ve been working relentlessly at my health and fitness journey for nearly 18 months now non-stop, so there’s that. And it’s the end of the year, when everyone is naturally tired and exhausted and broken down anyway, so there’s that. Throw my biggest trigger and my knee-jerk go-to coping mechanism on top of all of that, and it’s like chucking a Molotov cocktail on top of all your hard work and watching everything go up in flames.

 

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Cheers!

 

Q: So are you going to go back to sobriety again then? Because it seems that all your issues started as soon as you took that first sip of wine a few weeks ago.

A: I’ve seriously contemplated it. Giving up alcohol and committing fully to my health journey was a massive catalyst for change in my life, and it not only introduced me to new friends and new pastimes, it introduced me to my authentic self, and a better quality of life overall.

 

Q: So that’s a yes?

A: You would think so, but no. I thought about it a lot, I discussed it with friends, I mulled over it at 3am when I couldn’t sleep, and I most definitely considered it when I was hunched over a toilet at 5am having a dramatic technicolour conversation. And at one point I was genuinely convinced that I was going to embrace lifelong sobriety. But then I realised, I don’t WANT to be sober for the rest of my life. What I want is to be able to go to wine festivals and dinners and lazy lunches and ladies’ nights and enjoy some drinks, some giggles, some good conversation, some blissful tipsiness, and embrace everything that life has to offer, not just part of it.

 

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Case in point.

 

Q: What do you mean by that?

A: Well, when I gave up drinking, it was the absolute best thing for me at the time. It forced me to confront the fact that there IS a way of existing, of living, of coping and of being happy without having to depend on alcohol constantly. I’d heard this was possible, but I’d never experienced it for myself. So that’s what sobriety allowed me to do – enjoy life to the full without any chemical enhancement. But looking back on it now, I realise that it wasn’t a balanced way of life. There were a lot of things I sacrificed and missed out on while I was so determinedly focused on my health journey. And that’s fine, I was fully prepared to give up those things for the sake of my physical and emotional health. But now I want to embrace life in EVERY way – to enjoy the same awesome moments and the same amazing quality of life I did while I was sober, AND to enjoy the fun of partying and socialising with my friends too. I want both sides of life, and even though I’m struggling to reconcile them at the moment, it’s something I know I can make happen for myself, if I work hard enough at it.

 

Q: How?

A: Well isn’t that the fucking million dollar question. Obviously I don’t know right this moment, hence the struggle and the falling and THE SHAME and the everything. But I’m determined to once and for all find the thing that has so far escaped me for most of my adult life – BALANCE. Drinking all the time obviously wasn’t balanced – but then neither was being sober all the time too. Both were very all or nothing ways of existing, and yes, while sobriety worked wonderfully well for me, it was a temporary phase, not a permanent way of life. Now that I’m finished with that phase, it’s time to move on to the next, far healthier, far more sustainable one – BALANCE.

 

Q: And you think you can?

A: I gave up alcohol for 15 months. If I can make it through dinners, parties, blind dates, concerts, my high school reunion, and a freaking car accident without resorting to alcohol, I can do this. Embracing sobriety was literally the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and I genuinely didn’t think I could do it. I’m looking forward to surprising myself again.

 

Q: Don’t hit me, but I need to ask. Has all this up and down and sideways and what what affected your weigh-ins at all?

A: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. What do you think?

 

Q: I’m taking it that’s a yes?

A: That’s a big fat yes.

 

Q: Ok, so what are you going to do about it?

A: Well I’ve taken a few lessons from the fuck-up that has been the past five weeks – the biggest one being, never, ever, ever, EVER drink the night before a trail run. I’m serious kids. Don’t do it. There are few other guidelines I’ll be putting in place for myself in order to achieve more balance in my life, but the biggest one is, just let it freaking go man. We’re all human, we all make mistakes, you don’t have to be better than anyone else or hold yourself to a higher standard or be perfect ALL THE TIME. Because you can’t. So when you fall down, don’t lie there yelling and screaming and drowning in your own shame and guilt. Just let it go, get up, and get back to work. Ain’t nobody got time for that. As for the few (ok, ok, 6) extra kilograms I’ve picked up, the rest of the year I’ll be making as many healthy choices as I can, as often as I can, I’ll be getting back on the trails and back in the gym, and come January, I’ll have lost it all and be ready to pound 2016 into submission!

 

Q: High five sister!

A: High five.

 

Q: Ok so those are all the questions I have for you.

A: Thank god for that, I’m starving, and my chicken and lettuce wrap awaits!

 

Q: One more thing.

A: I knew it was too good to be true.

 

Q: Don’t think that because you have a blog and do health coaching and post transformation pics of yourself and have a health and fitness group that you can’t ask for help too. This shit is HARD, and no-one expects you to be Little Miss Perfect, 24/7. Because frankly, how boring. Don’t feel guilty, don’t feel ashamed, don’t feel fat – just learn, get up, do better and don’t stop sharing. Because people care, and you’ll see that whenever you fall down, you have hundreds of hands waiting to help you back up. Don’t ever forget that, ok?

A:

Birthday fun

I see what you mean.

17 Comments »

Things I have realised

1. It’s important to take time out to relax. Too much focus for too long can lead to burnout, swearing, hair pulling, and a bizarre need to stick one’s head into a vat of wine at 9am.

2. Trail running is awesome.

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3. I don’t need this blog quite as much as I used to at this stage of my journey. When I started this blog, I needed it to share things about my journey as I learned them, whether from a nutritional, training or emotional standpoint. Now, nearly two years later, I’m comfortable with my weight loss journey and what I’ve learned so far, and I don’t have as strong a need to share everything – mostly because there’s nothing new to share. Wait till we get to maintenance. I know fuck all about maintenance. That’s going to be fun.

4. I need to learn how to say no. I say yes far too often – to work, social engagements, people, situations, all out of a desire not to let anyone down. I now find myself overwhelmed with work and in a number of convoluted, undesirable situations, all because I find myself physically incapable of saying no. And at the end of the day I’m letting the most important person down – myself.

5. Wine is awesome.

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Too much wine, however, is not. I have two more social situations planned between now and when I go away for Christmas – the only two situations in which I’ll be drinking between now and the end of the year, and while I know I’m totally going to drink too much at these events, I’m actually ready for moderation now – which is the plan for 2016. No more sobriety, but alcohol and macros all the way. Will someone please call Guinness because I don’t quite believe it myself.

6. I don’t like eating junk food anymore. Fucking bloody fucking hell. Seriously? My one go-to for when times were tough, and it doesn’t even work anymore. After drinking a spectacular amount of Pinotage on Saturday (it’s called Pinotage on Tap, what do you expect from me?) I did what I would normally do which is eat a bunch of food the next day (this was planned, fear not). And to my surprise, disbelief and horror, I didn’t enjoy it. Sure, the food tasted good while it was in my mouth, but afterwards I felt overfull, sluggish, lethargic, bloated, tired and generally like crap. Plus my feet were the size of dinner plates thanks to all the water retention. So bang goes that strategy for making me feel better. I’m alive with pleasure now.

I enjoyed this lunch more than I did the pizza I had on Saturday. I actually want to cry right now.

I enjoyed this lunch more than I did the pizza I had on Saturday. I actually want to cry right now.

7. I don’t even know what my freaking size is anymore. I had to get a lady at Woolies to measure my bra size FFS. 38 D as it turns out. I don’t even remember the last time I was a D. When I started my journey I was about an F, now I’m a paltry D. Someone said to me the other day something about how “oh but you only have small boobs” and most of me wanted to cry. Big boobs and blonde hair has always been my thing. Now that I’ve lost 55kg, oh yay well done me, but now all I have is blonde hair (and even that’s mostly fake). Come back boobs, all is forgiven!

8. This journey really and truly is one of self-discovery, and not just of salad. Here I sit, not knowing what my size is, not knowing how to reward myself, not knowing how to cut loose, not knowing how to enjoy myself – because all the ways in which I used to do these things, and all the things I used to know about myself have been stripped away. Mostly because they were bad, sabotaging, damaging things. I had a minor freakout yesterday – WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW???? – and started feeling resentful because everything I used to love now no longer loves me. And I guess I could have stayed in that negative space, feeling annoyed and irritated and hard done by. But that’s not really me. There are a lot of things I’m unsure about at the moment, but the one thing I know is that I’m a positive, optimistic person. And so instead of getting upset at the fact that certain external stimuli no longer hold the same value for me, I’m going to get excited about the fact that my internal support structure of self-love, worth and esteem has grown to the point where I’m able to validate myself, rather than rely on other people and other things to do it for me. I might not be able to say no, but there’s a lot I’m able to say yes to, and I’m looking forward to finding out what excites me, what soothes me, what cheers me, what fills me with joy and passion now that food and alcohol no longer do. They should never have needed to in the first place, and although it’s taken a fuck long time for me to realise that, there’s no going back now. So let’s see what the future holds. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to find out!

9. Oh and the last thing I’ve realised – never weigh yourself after a weekend of drinking and eating carbs. I found this out a long time ago, so I didn’t even bother weighing myself today. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. Which means if you’re looking for a scale pic, you’ll need to check back in next week 😉

Cheers!

Cheers!

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Things I am thankful for

1. I am thankful that when this happened to my car, nothing happened to me.

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2. I am thankful for friends who talk me out of making potentially big mistakes.

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3. I am thankful for George Ezra concerts and picnic food and catching up with friends.

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4. I am thankful for fabulousness, and glitz and glamour. And six-packs.

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5. I am thankful for people who have gone out of their way to help me, from good friends, to acquaintances, to people I barely even know. Whoever said Capetonians are stuck-up and snobby and aloof was clearly smoking some low-grade crack.

6. I am thankful for my father organising cars and test drives and back-up plans all the way from Mauritius.

7. I am thankful for my sister and mother checking in on me everyday to make sure I haven’t topped myself out of frustration and boredom.

8. I am thankful for messages of support and kindness and cheerfulness.

9. I am thankful that my favourite band in the whole world is FINALLY coming to South Africa!!!! (If you don’t have their latest album yet, go out and buy it right now – it is miraculous, lack of banjo notwithstanding.)

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10. And finally I’m glad that a weekend of ups, downs and everything in between had little effect on the scale:

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11. Oh and bonus thankfulness – to Rouge Spa for yet again another fantastic toe makeover, in luscious Orly “Melt Your Popsicle”. Watch out – I’ll do it too.

So much to be thankful for, and so much to look forward to over the coming week. May it be a blessed one.

Thank You

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Ants in my pants

Right now I’m supposed to be enjoying a well-deserved post-workout cup of coffee, followed by a bowl of caramel Oatso-Easy, and bacon on toast, over a rerun of The Great British Bakeoff. But I can’t, because Eskom se poes. So I thought I’d blog instead. Yay for dropping R1 200 on a new laptop battery.

It’s been FOREVER since I’ve had time to blog, but don’t worry, you haven’t missed much. I haven’t watched the Bold in years, but I assume Brooke is still sleeping with a member of her family, new Ridge is crap, Taylor’s had more plastic surgery, someone has amnesia, and someone else just came back from the dead, despite being decapitated two years ago. My life’s pretty much the same. Less incest and miraculous resurrections; more ‘same shit, different day’.

I wrote it in a status on Facebook the other day, and I fear it may actually be coming true. I think I’m turning into the world’s most boring person. I haven’t blogged for 4 weeks (or something, too lazy to check), but you have literally missed nothing. Apart from a brief Easter weekend in Knysna, all I’ve been doing is working, coming in last at trail running, and attempting to fit into a stupid pair of jeans with a zipper that resolutely refuses to stay up. (I blame this on poor Mr Price quality, not my stomach.)

The one thing that has changed though, is my attitude. And not for the better. For the first time since I gave up alcohol, this is beginning to feel like work. Not the training part, weirdly enough. That’s going like gangbusters. The eating part and the booze part. All I want to do all day long is shove pizza and lemon meringue pie into my face. And all I want to do all night long is drink like a motherfucker.

This may have something to do with the fact that I’m watching the current series of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills over lunch. (No pants during the day, and tv at lunchtime – don’t you just want to smack me?) All those trashy gals do all day long is drink and swear, which used to be my life as recently as ten months ago. Albeit with fewer diamonds.

No, that’s not the reason. I honestly don’t know what the reason is. All I know is that I feel fidgety, restless. Like I have ants in my pants. (I know that 75% of my day is spent without pants on; the irony is not lost on me.) And I don’t know why. Why now? Why is it that all I can think about is eating junk food, and then bunking off work to go sink a keg of draught beer and throw name in some dubious establishment?

It’s getting harder and harder to resist the siren call of FUCKTHISSHIT, and while I’m just about managing it, it is H.A.R.D. Cuba Gooding Jr says it to Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire and it’s true. You are hanging on by a very thin thread.

It may be because I’m tired. I average between 4 – 5 hours of sleep a night. My hatred of sleep has been well documented in this blog so I’m not going to bore you with it again. Suffice it to say that I don’t sleep enough, and probably never will.

It may be because my work schedule is unrelenting, with a tsunami of briefs pouring in every day. As an entrepreneur, this is a good thing. As a human being, this is not. Too much work, not enough time; too many headaches, not enough Myprodol.

It may be that this is a natural part of the process. I’ve been “up” for the past ten months. And despite his unnatural fascination with apples, Isaac Newton was right – what goes up, must come down. Perhaps this is a “down” part of my journey, and I just have to grit my teeth and soldier on through.

I literally have no idea what it could be. All I know is that I want to make sweet mouth love to as much junk food as possible, and then wash it down with an ocean of vino. Yes, even though I haven’t had a drink in 304 days, I still crave alcohol. Sorry to burst your bubble.

So I don’t know what’s going on with me, but I do know what I’m going to do. Keep on keeping on. I don’t really have a choice, and I don’t want to go back to wearing my fat pants. I want to wear those stupid freaking pants with the malfunctioning zip (that’s my zipper story and I’m sticking to it). So even though my body is crying out for Lindt Mint Intense, I will feed it chicken stirfry. Even though my soul is crying out for the sweet, sweet fermented nectar of Mexico, I will douse it in water. And even though my mind is saying AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGG, I will just say, ‘there, there’ and get on with it.

Because it turns out when you do that, you go from this:

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To this, in a week:

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That’s what happens when you harden the fuck up. Now if someone could just get me some kind of cream for the ants/pants situation, everything would be fine.

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Breaking up is hard to do

Breaking up

Dating. It’s a topic I haven’t discussed much here, mostly because my dating history is patchy at best. If you put all my relationships together in one big block, I think it’d add up to about 3 years in total. That’s 3 years of being in relationships, versus 34 years of being single. (For what it’s worth, I am EXCELLENT at being single. I may even consider teaching a course later this year.)

In those 3 years of relationships, I have been the dump-er exactly twice. And one of those doesn’t even count, because he was doing that trademarked guy thing where he acted like an asshole to get me to break up with him. So let’s say once. I’ve broken up with someone exactly once. It sucked.

Today, however, I was forced to endure the suckiness of breaking up with someone again. But this time not with a boyfriend – with a friend instead. Which is a whole new level of suck.

When I started this journey, I would hear stories of people losing friends along the way. And when people asked me if I had ever experienced the same thing, I would proudly declare “No! My friends are fabulous, wondrous, supportive human beings, who have all embraced my journey wholeheartedly, and have been cheering me on every step of the way!” And then I would shake my head and think, “Shame, I’m so lucky that’s never happened to me. That must be terrible!”

Karma, she is a bitch.

Because recently I’ve come to experience what it’s like to have friends who don’t support your goals. Who prefer you fat and unhealthy and depressed and drinking. And who don’t want you to change, despite your life being the better for it.

At first I fought against it. I don’t give up my friends easily (current friends, let that be a warning to you). But eventually I had to concede defeat and throw in the towel. Yes, keeping friendships alive means emotionally investing in them and working at them and being prepared to grow with them. But it shouldn’t be so HARD. Which is why after months of trying, I finally had to force myself to read the writing on the wall, and end things. And it sucked.

It also made me realise that this journey is about more than losing weight. It’s about losing unhealthy attitudes and negative influences too – about clearing the stress and anxiety and AAAAGGGGHHHH out of your life, and making space for the good, the positive and the WHOOP WHOOP! And that’s what I’ve done today.

So here I am. One negative friend on the bench, plenty of supportive ones still in the game. I feel sick to my stomach, I feel sad, I feel depressed. I also feel like saying fuck work, and lying in bed all day watching True Blood and feeling sorry for myself. Maybe later. For now I’ll concentrate on the positive, and the new and exciting opportunities I’ll be able to enjoy now that I’ve created a little more space for them in my life.

As soon as I’ve stopped feeling like such a rancid bitch, that is.

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