I have a pretty glass water bottle for my desk …..

I am probably the world’s worst eater according to a schedule person.

I seldom have breakfast. I often skip lunch, and if I don’t feel like eating for dinner I don’t.  Food, right now, is not a high priority in my life.  I am not sure why, but I seldom feel an overriding need to eat.

It is more of a “I choose to eat” and often I don’t choose to.  And I can sometimes get past two days and realise I have not eaten anything.  I just forgot.

One would think I would be über skinny.  Sadly no.  I sense that not eating but drinking copious amounts of wine, probably cancels out the low calories on the one hand.

I bounce between feeling super wired and hyped to being so lethargic, I just want to lie down … for a long time.

I hate drinking water.  I drink a lot of Earl Grey tea.  I put ice in my wine, and that counts as water intake.  I often forget to eat.  I often forget to go to the bathroom.

Last night I met with Lizel who is going to become my “better health, better diet” coach.  Bless her, I am not sure she fully understands the uphill journey she has ahead of her with me, but she is very positive.

We chatted about eating and life, and how it impacts your body, and your everyday life.  The realisation that many common illnesses are diet related.  I nodded, and then leaned over to sip my wine.

I am starting on some Herbalife products tomorrow.

I figure worst case scenario I start and if I drink 3 x shakes in place of meals (that I am not eating anyway) at least it is a start.  Gets protein in, and is very little effort, as long as I don’t make a song and dance about it.

The main point for me right now is to find an alternative for food that I can get in, so that at least my body is getting some sustenance, rather than doing this “famine/feast” thing it has got going on.

I have also bought a really pretty glass water bottle and placed it on my desk, with my cheap-arse glass and it is my aim to drink water during the day.  For me that is a bit of a revolutionary behaviour.

I usually don’t drink any water – at all – so the fact that there is a bottle on my desk is already quite an achievement.  I figure to start I just need to finish one bottle a day – 750ml.  If I can do that, then maybe I can graduate to 2 x bottles of 750ml, and we can see where we go from there.

Part of the aim is to lose weight, I’d like to lose about 10 – 12 kilograms.

But I also just want to feel better.  I don’t feel better right now.

I really need to find a way to get some energy back.  My energy levels are all over the show, and probably directly related to my eating habits.  If I can get that down to some sort of “order” then my blood sugar stabilises and logic tells me it will assist with my mood, my energy levels and maybe help me with my depression and anxiety disorder.

I get that a shake = a help for depression is a bit of a stretch. But right now I am willing to give it a whirl.  I am also hoping that my IBS/Spastic Colon gets some support as well.  Lizel has suggested some Aloe stuff to take in the morning.  She promises is it lemon zesty and I will really like it.  I am always pessimistically suspicious, but I am giving it a go.

I promise never to wear a pin badge “Lose Weight Now, Ask me How!”  If I do, I give you permission to take the badge off my shirt, and stab me between the eyes with the pin part.

So that’s my plan. Herbalife.  Water.  Shakes as meal replacements.  Not amending my wine intake at all.

Day 1 is tomorrow, so here we go.

And the hits just keep coming …..

I have a very simple theory to prevent yourself being pummelled to death with a doughnut.  It has worked well for me over the years, and I am about to impart it to you ….. so prepare yourself.

It goes like this: “Never EVER ask if someone is pregnant, or when they are due.  Unless YOU HAVE SEEN a fetal baby scan photo that the person has shown you in the last hour.  Alternatively if you have actually seen a head crowning between that woman’s legs.  I personally think the head crowning is a much safer measure”

Those are the only sure fire indicators that a woman might/may well be pregnant – and unless you see one, either or both of these indicators, NEVER ASK IF SOMEONE IS PREGNANT.

Just don’t.

The problem is if you ask, and the answer is no, well then you are screwed.  There is actually just no way to recover, and that person will hate you FOR.E.VER and E.VE.R!!

Even if they say “no it is okay, I get it all the time” it is not fine, and they will hate you and you are a chop!

I have had a few corkers in my time:-

1.  I was at Tech and first day in a lecture, put up my hand and asked the lecturer when she goes on maternity leave will there be someone filling in for her ….. she then explained to me that she was not pregnant and had a little bloating.

You know that moment when you realise that no matter what you do in a course, you are going to just not do well.

<and since then I have never asked another soul if they are pregnant – that was my moment of learning>

2.  I went to a business dinner with Kennith and some suppliers from the East a few years back – I think it was in 2007.  Dinner was going famously, until one of the guests leaned over and asked me when I was due.

The problem is that I did not quite hear her and had to ask again.  By that point, I had heard her, the entire table had heard her and so too had the parking guard out  in the parking area.   I was mortified!

And really cheesed off.  It was not because I was overweight, it was because of the shirt I chose that was clearly a bit too flowy ….. that must be it ……….that shirt found it’s way to the dustbin pronto.

3.  Kennith’s cousin’s dad also asked me if I was pregnant and I think that was around 2008.  He is a small man and at the time was lying on a low couch watching television – I used the excuse that his perceptive of vanishing points was all wonky, because he was lying down.

Of course I did want to kick him in the nuts as well, but I didn’t – he is sort of loosely family!

4.  Then my latest and greatest was we were in Johannesburg last month and on the Gautrain on our way to the stadium for the U2 concert.  Train was pretty full, and a guy offered me his seat.

I thought nice guy – well he did not offer me his seat as much as he offered to scoot over and sit really close to his mate and make space for me.  I thought it was my charming personality and the slight sway I had in my step from the bottle and a half of wine at lunch.

So I thanked him for his manners and queried why he was kind enough to offer a space to me and not to the other girls on the train ….. he said something about ‘someone in your condition’….and I thought ‘well, yes I have been drinking, but it is not like I have to drive the train…..’ and then the penny dropped.   I think the penny did not drop as much as I heard Kennith giggling …… and then the penny sort of echo’d into the tin that is my brain.

Someone with more principles would have kneed him in the scrotum and stumbled off all offended, but I accepted I had a seat …. and proceeded to really think about my waistline a bit and whether I really should have eaten that full portion of ribs for lunch ……

Anyway, so all in all, I am not exactly riding the wave of good vibes right now ….. I do really think that I am going to have a total sense of humour failure quite soon what with my age and my pregnancy and all.

Run Forrest Run …

In an attempt to get any semblance of fitness/good health I decided to join Adventure Boot Camp last year.

I had been lamenting my rather large wobbly bits for some time.  It was only made worse by Georgia constantly telling me that she “loved her big fat mommy..!”  I was pondering the rather state of affairs while driving home, and then a little person handed me an ABC pamphlet at our set of robots.

I never take pamphlets and I never leave my window open, so somehow this hander-out-of-pamphlets managed to evade my ignoring her and my security measures to keep the outside world well … outside.

I gazed at the orange and black pamphlet and  took this as a sign from the universe.  I promptly signed up the next day on-line, it was pretty easy, not so painful and very efficient.

There is nothing quite like signing up for an exercise program, you immediately feel fit and better – you almost don’t need to go to the classes.  Well that has been my experience with both Health and Racquet/Planet Fitness.  Sign up, pay the money and then never go, but strangely feel more healthy some how by just having the card in your wallet.

When I decide to do something the first thing I need to do is go shopping.  So I bought some weights, a yoga mat, and some really nice pants – a little tight all over – you know the camel-toe variety.  But it is Adventure Boot Camp, so let’s live a little.

I realized that in the warm up stage that I had under-estimated how unfit I was.  I was exhausted and mumbling uncontrollably and that was just in the warm up leg of the event.   I was breastfeeding at the time, and my breasts were responding to my crying.  So I had tight pants and wet circles on my breasts …  it was all a bit disconcerting.

Any the way, it turned out that ABC was really good.  The first two weeks required me to seek assistance when squatting on the toilet as I was unable to sit or stand unaided, but after that things did start to look up or at least less like I would need a daily suppository for the muscle pain.

It is a great 60 minutes. You do more than you thought you were able to, learn to swear like a sailor under your breath and insult the instructors mother without any guilt or remorse.

I am not a happy clappy person, so I tended to not get all “yay, whoop-whoop” about the whole thing – I like to suffer in silence.  So even though the instructor was really high-end happy, I think she soon realized that she need not try to sell that shit to me, because I wasn’t buying!

I did three Adventure Boot Camps, and though each one was “moer” hard –usually in the first week I stand there and wonder what the hell am I doing, there is a bag of Chuckles and a box of wine that needs my company more than this crap.  But I endured and was able to see drastic fitness level improvements.  I had bugger-all weight loss, but the pasta and wine gorging might be to blame.

At the last boot camp I realized – more than usual – that I run like a wounded buffalo who is slightly blind in the right eye.

I am really heavy, and really thump when I hit the ground.  I throw my weight from side to side, which does not assist me when I am trying to propel myself forwards.

I also breath like I should be on life support.   This would all be deemed as normal in my world, but when a girl who weighs 50 kilograms comes sweeping past me and her body is aerodynamically designed and she seems to glide over the tar, it really takes all of me not to put my foot out and trip her up!

After one more demeaning class I spoke to the instructor and indicated that my inability to run was really the sole reason for all the problems in my life.  She listened attentively, and made all the right sounds and suggested I join Walk/Run for Life.

My instructor is great.  But she is such a bubbly happy people person, that she does not quite recognize others who do not have good people skills.  The fact that she had paired us off in groups earlier in the class and I had screamed at my “partner” and used some unsavoury tones when referring to her brain capacity to count correctly might have been the first clue that I should work alone and maybe introducing me to another group might not be the thing.

I tried to remind her of this fact without bursting her bubble of happiness and peace to all. Irini gave it some thought and put me in touch with a coach/trainer.

So me and my new BFF got together two weeks ago for a little run.  We walked for quite a long time and then ran for three minutes.  Without using the cliché of  “I thought I was going to die…” which is so often over-used, but not in this case.  I really thought I was going to die.  I could barely breath and it was just awful.

At that point I thought well that proves that maybe I should take up ping-pong or another endevour but this running thing is clearly not for me.

My runner guys said something very profound: “I have met many people who thought they could not run, but I have never met someone who can’t run!”

My tah-dah moment right there.

My upbeat coach/trainer guy showed me a few easy steps and suddenly I could breath while running – hell I even held a conversation – I generally uttered short sentences with few syllables, but it was more than I had ever achieved before.

Last night we ran 3 sets of 5 minutes each. I was fine, I could breath. I even looked up and around while doing it – I have never done that before.  My calves felt like they were seizing and I was going to fall to the pavement flaying, but other than that it was really good – even when he said,”okay stop” I thought wow, I feel better than I thought.

I feel such a sense of achievement … I wanted to scream … I am running , I am running!!

But then I realized that no one really cared, and no one else was going to be impressed that I had just for 5 minutes (times three sessions) without passing out.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so chuffed with myself.  This is huge for me.  When I close my eyes and go to sleep at night I see myself running … how bizarre is that.

More bizarrely I bought a Runner’s World Magazine this morning – it is right under the large Bar One I bought as a reward for running.  I will read it as soon as I finish my chocolate.

Shape of a Mother ….

I found this great website called the Shape of a Mother.  It’s my private little addiction.  I pop along to this site and read the blog updates and look at the images.

The idea of it is that the author/owner of the blog noticed a mom with a babe, and when the mom’s shirt lifted by accident she realized this very healthy and toned looking mom also was sitting with extra skin hanging around her belly.  Yes, I realise it could also have been me – you probably thought the same thing.

The blog owner had this epiphany that the post-pregnancy body has become one of our society’s greatest secrets.

What we are exposed to is the female form airbrushed perfectly.  I used to work for the company that did the pre-press work on Shape, Fit Pregnancy and Swimsuit Magazine – all those girls were airbrushed to an inch of her life.

I would have loved to nab the pre-air-brushed photos and smuggle them out there for the world to see.  I am not denying that the models are beautiful and can really fill out a swimsuit, but you must know they have pimples, and stretch marks and cellulite and marks under their arms like no one’s business.

If you look at yourself in the mirror and it differs from these images that we are bombarded with all day – you tend to opt to wear a bigger shirt, start layering a little more, and hide your body as much as you can. Well that is what I do at any rate.

We talk openly about our sagging or flattened boobs, our wobbly thighs, our expanses of cellulite, our hanging tums and our stretch marks, but god-forbid anyone sees them.

So this very clever woman created this excellent website where women of all ages, shapes, sizes and nationalities can share images of their bodies so it will no longer be secret.   Almost like a blog, but populated by visitors.

To quote directly from her website: “So we can finally see what women really look like sans airbrushes and plastic surgery.

I think it would be nothing short of amazing if a few of our hearts are healed, or if we begin to cherish our new bodies which have done so much for the human race. What if the next generation grows up knowing how normal our bodies are? How truly awesome would that be?”

http://theshapeofamother.com/ even has categories marked Belly, Breasts, Cesareans, Child Loss, Infertility, Inspirational, Plus-Sized, Postpartum, Pregnant, Twins, Triplets and VBAC.

It really is a wonderful website and the women are real, and we recognize these bodies as our own.  Women write in honest terms about how their bodies have changed, and the photos are taken sans great lighting and often without good photographic techniques, so it is real flab, butt-cracks and cellulite.

While I celebrate these women, and nod along to all the comments, I can barely look at myself in the bathroom mirror when I get undressed to shower or bath.

When I sit in the bath with Isabelle, I feel ill that my stomach sort of rolls over and rests itself on my upper thigh while I play with her.

Last night I looked down at my c-section scar and got a bit of a fright as it looked big and really red and ugly –  but I was drinking a glass of wine, and there was a candle, so the lighting and my perception was a bit off.  But I had this immediate feeling of revulsion and sat up in a panic to re-examine it.  It was still a scar, still red, yugh, but maybe not totally revolting, okay well maybe just mildly so.

I used to be okay with my body – I was not out there pole dancing or anything, but I would put on a costume when it was hot, and go for a swim.   I would not scream “look at me, look at me” but I could get myself in a swimsuit and a pair or shorts when the weather demanded it.

Now I crinch at the thought of pouring myself into my swimsuit, even when at home just with Kennith and the kids.  It is not about them seeing me, it is about me seeing me.

I hide from myself.  I dress and undress quickly, so I do not have to witness the white blubbery me. I hate the fact that I used to weight 50kg, and used to hate being skinny.  Now I would drink 5 days of gloop a day, and 7 tons of laxatives to get back to 50kg.

My body is different and I really do not like it.

I know I should be thankful that this body has been good to me.  It is seldom sick, it can stand up to quite a bit.  It carried three healthy children through three healthy pregnancies.  It was strong enough to get through three c-sections, it healed well, and did not let me stay in too much pain.

It let me breastfeed without any problems.  When I did not want to breastfeed it made the milk just go away.  It let me get through bouts of depression without totally giving out on me.  My skin has stretched to make room for these children and the growing me, and it has done it with eloquence and grace, and done me the favour of doing it without one stretch mark (I know, I am shocked too).

I should laud it and praise it, instead I despise it.

I am embarrassed.

I am angry.

I am scared that this is now who I am.  What I see in the mirror does not match who I see in my head.

I have contributed to it’s demise.  It did not get here without the help of a several bowls of delicious pasta, bags of divine Woolworths Chuckles and several litres of wonderful wine.  I am the reason this body is the way it is, and that makes me very angry.

I huff and puff my way through boot camp and hate being there.  Every gasp and gag is fueled by anger.  I do not want to be this fat, cellulite, scarred person – I want to be svelt and 20 years old (but I would like to keep my mature mind …)

There I am flicking through these images of women being real on shape of a mother, and still I am hiding behind my baggy black shirt.  Why does this bother me more today than it did yesterday?

Today I am trying on wedding dresses in front of strangers.  That means my body is going to be on display – as you cannot get into these dresses without help.  That means I am going to be trying to corset myself up into a dress that is going to make my fat roll over the top and my hips putting a bit of strain on the stitching.

Another day, in another place, I can post about who I love my body, or even like it – but not today.

Of motivation and mantras….

I really do not enjoy going to Adventure Boot Camp.  I really can’t even fake interest – Kennith can vouch for that.

But I drag myself literally kicking and whining to boot camp at least three times a week. Okay, sometimes only twice.

I was busy driving there last night and wondered to myself how I could explain to anyone how I – the most unmotivated person with regards to exercise – stays motivated enough to go to ABC, when I really do not enjoy it.  Then it came to me – like a little high pitched voice out of the darkness.

Georgia!

It happened like this.

I am lying semi-asleep on my left side, with the duvet sort of pulled haphazardly over my body.  I have a nightshirt on that has ridden up a bit – as does tend to happen as one sleeps.  I am not trying to start a cheap sex blog here, I am merely trying to assist you to picture the scene from the safety of your home.

So there I am lying, hoping for a few more minutes of sleep.  I know the kids are moving around the house.  I really do not know why people think there is a pitter-patter of little feet in a house with kids, it is a more like the sound of a stampede 0f wildebeest.  Any-the-how, I digress.

So there I lie, with just the right amount of saliva dribbling out of the corner of my mouth.  <Too much and it wets the pillow and wakes you up, just enough moistens your lips so they do not go all dry and crispy when you first yawn.>

I hear the distinct whisper of Georgia standing behind me.

Georgia: “Hello mommy” <I can hear her smiling – she is such a happy little thing.>

Me – substituting until real mommy arrives: “Hello my love ….”

Georgia: “Are you sleeping mommy?”

Me: “Not so much sweetie…”

Georgia: “Mommy when I am big, will I be as big as you?”

Me: “errr, I think so sweetie, you are already such a big girl …… please go and watch tv with your brother like a big girl.”

Georgia: ” Mommy…”

Me: “Yes Georgia bear….”

Georgia: “When I am big, will I have a big bum like you?”

And  now I have a mantra forAdventure Boot Camp …

Of Hikes and Tears ….

I apologise for no new posts in the last week.

I dragged myself kicking and screaming on a 5 day hike – the result of drinking and decision-making covered earlier.

The hike offered wonderful views, aching legs, more sweat than I knew my pores could excrete, and many moments where I wanted to lie on the ground and sob like a baby.

Just got home, trying to get my arse into gear, and will blog in the next few days.

Tonight we have a dozen people coming over for dinner – tomorrow I am alone with kids and scared shitless.  Sunday Kennith is off to do the Argus – I would be happier if he just read the Argus.  I’m thinking that I am going to be wishing for the peace of the hike quite soon.

Drinking and Decision Making ……

We have friends who like to hike and attempt to be/get fit.

Usually these plans are concocted at about 11pm after copious amounts of wine. Suddenly everyone has a plan of how we are going to get fit and what adventure we are going to attempt next, and starts brain storming wild ideas that involve lycra and sweat.

Good sense (and experience in these matters) tell me that when I wake up the next morning, we really did not mean what we said the night before. We are quite happy to spend our days lying around and mimicing a sloth.

Recently while tucking into a particular delicious bottle of Haute Cabriére Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Joyce says: “We really need to get fit this year….”

To the chorus of “Yes, yes, yes, we must…” slurp of wine, spill a little on the table, throw some Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar Lay chips into your mouth.

“Yes, yes, we must, we must.” Lots of head nodding – even some wild gesturing was added.

Joyce says: “I have an idea – let’s do a hike.”

“Yes, yes, we must, it will be so cool..” more wine slurping, a little less spillage, a few Chuckles in mouth – some get in the mouth, some miss and roll across the table.

“Yes, we must do something about this getting fit thing.” Cheering all around.

Joyce says: “I think we should do the Whale Trail!”

“The Whale Trail – what a fabulous idea – I hear it is really pretty.” A little more wine, chips are finished, trying to dig the last Chuckles out of the red bag.

Joyce says: “We can even slack pack!”

“Slack pack!! That is my way of hiking, excellent I will have someone to carry my wine, that sounds fabulous.” Chuckles are finished.  Trying to suss out how much wine I can get out of the bottle before I need to impose on my host to offer me another bottle of this nectar of the gods.

Joyce says – a little too enthusiastically:  “ I am going to find out – who is in if we can go – come on who is in?”

Everyone is excited, and saying yes – people are putting their hands up and congratulating each other for being so keen.  There is more pouring of wine, another bottle is brought and it is all happy fellows.

Next morning we receive an email from Joyce. She has actually found out about the Whale Trail and now appears to be on a first name basis with Luleka from the Cape Nature Office.

Joyce then proceeds to book, and heckles us – mercilessly – to pay and then it just starts to get all surreal.

I put it out of my mind – a bit like the Soccer World Cup, you know it is happening, but really it is so far away that you don’t really take stock of it.

Last time (circumstances were similar) they organized the-hike-of-death affectionately called the Otter Trail. I managed to fall pregnant on the eve of departure.  I am sure it was my body’s natural defense mechanism to get out of poo’ing in a long drop. So I managed to get out of that one, and pleaded pregnancy. Listen there are few times one can play that card, and I felt that this was the time.

Unfortunately this time, I am all out of ideas – I even took a pregnancy test last Sunday, just in case – hike starts Saturday!!

Your Mama is so fat …….

I really hate exercise – not a little, but a whole lot.  I don’t gym, I don’t power walk, I don’t WII Fit.  I am more of the bag of Chuckles and glass of wine school of weight loss.  Surprisingly enough, my diet plan is not working out as successfully as I would have hoped. 

I put huge stock in the fact that breastfeeding was going to keep the kilograms off.  But it seems even if your little one drinks from you (and invites her friends over) all day, you really are burning up the equivalent of a chicken wrap – no mayo, just some lettuce.  The result is that my lifestyle of chocolate, wine, pasta and anything that was not moving fast enough, had made it impossible to wear anything I wore prior to falling pregnant.   For the record very little I wore while pregnant looked good – it was more for comfort.

To add to the comedy drama –  our house is full of these wall-sized mirrors.  In our defense, we bought the house this way.  Our en-suite bathroom had Liberace as it’s consultant designer.  Once you look past the faux-gold taps and gaudy light fitting, your eyes come to rest on the rather gi-normous wall mirror (the  E N T I R E wall is a mirror) only off set by the fact that there is another mirror on the adjacent wall.

I am  not denying  that this is not attractive in a sort of Saturday Night Fever sort of way.  But when one is disrobing and catches a glimpse of one’s self it is not pleasing on the eye. 

The time when you are feeling most vulnerable – and you can ask any dog this – is when you are sitting down on your white throne for your morning toilette.

Your hair has that eu-de-morning sleep thing going on, your face is one wrinkle away from Joan Rivers, and your night-shirt is sort of wrapped around your chest so your left boob is kind of hanging over the top.  While seated, you cast your lazy eye to the left only to be presented with a life-sized version of you in all your splendor and glory.

The problem (or one of them) with the toilet is that you really cannot suck in your stomach .  Unfortunately it tends to sort of hang over and find its resting place on your top thigh. 

I withstood quite a few mornings with this image in Technicolor until I decided I had had enough and it was time to get my ass to some sort of exercise.  Like some divine intervention – a rather bouncy happy girl handed me a DL pamphlet at our robots.  I did have to put down my Tempo bar and bag of Chuckles, to roll down the window to take it from her, but that being said, the bright orange and black leaflet made all sorts of promises that really resonated with me.

They promised me that I would lose 3kg, I would be happy and make friends.  I have always wanted to be thin and popular so it seemed like a win-win situation all around.

I went on-line and signed myself up for Adventure Boot Camp

My first sense that something was amiss was when it was being referred to as a Boot Camp – immediately this conjured up images of a sergeant major (or what ever, I am not particular good with ranks) screaming at me to “hardloop na daai boom” or something equally as scary. I shrugged this off to my over-active imagination and happily did the EFT.

I dusted my training pants off, scrunged up my hair, pulled a bottle of water out of the fridge and headed out to Adventure Boot Camp ………….. waist line here I come!!