Sunday, September 28

Part Two of Weight-Gain-Gate!

I've been promising to write part two of the emotional weight gain / loss / gain saga but every time I try to write it, it sounds like I'm complaining. Ugh. 

Well, let's give it another bash. I started a new job in September last year and it's been hectic but amazing. Now, this is where it sounds like I'm complaining (which to any colleagues reading this - I am not - heh.) Like I said, this year has been hectic. Work became my top priority and this meant a lot of late nights and early mornings, plugging away at the laptop. Again, not complaining, sometimes a gal's just gotta get her graft on. (Especially when she lives alone and has bills to pay - if you've been there, you'll feel me!)

But yeah, when I wasn't working, all I wanted to do was sleep or drink wine and eat pizza with Jon. I know people often go, "I don't have time to work out / eat healthy" and it sounds like an excuse...well, I guess I could have gotten up at 5am to work out but I was shattered. All I wanted to do was sleep so I could throw my energy into work and still try to see my friends and family over the weekend. I kept it together at the office but I was often a fragile, exhausted mess after hours. And that's how I regained 9.5 kilos :( I didn't work out and I stopped planning healthy meals. It sucks, and I'm bummed and I bawled my eyes out when my favourite clothes stopped fitting me...but life happens. I'm not gonna spiral into a depression because things could be A LOT worse.

As for today? Things are looking up! Our team at work has grown and life is becoming more manageable. I've got a long way to go in terms of getting my fitness up and sorting out my eating but I know I'll get there. I just need to stay strong and positive. 

Oh, and about losing a load of blog readers (as mentioned in Part 1) - well, a little while ago Jon said, "Why don't you check out what your blog stats are these days?" Now I have NEVER blogged for stats or swag but thanks to a few kind press mentions back in the day, there were quite a lot of peeps reading Gloss at one point. But as my work responsibilities have grown over the years, my spare time has dwindled a fair bit. I was lucky if I got around to posting once a week. I knew my stats would have taken a plunge but I didn't expect them to be as low as they were when I took a peek at 'em. It  made me sad but you know what? This blog isn't my job. A few years ago, I promised myself I would think of Gloss as my happy place to play in when I could. I removed all the pressure to social-media-it-up.

So on those nights when I felt too tired to edit pics and write for Gloss, I snuggled Jon or had tea with a friend. That is what I needed most at the time. And also, while I haven't scribbled here as much as I'd like, I have scribbled for some epic campaigns over the past year. Sometimes I'll be flicking through a mag or walking through a mall and I'll see summin I've worked on and it feels pretty darn amazing. So there's ups and downs with everything, eh! 

I'll blog when I can, I'll gym when I can and I'll hopefully still have a job after writing this! As always friendships, thanks for your kind messages and support.

EDIT: After posting this, I realised I should have gotten into the grittier deets about how I cried into my sweat towel at gym, down the freeway and in the ladies at work after my first gruelling workout but it's all a bit raw for me at the moment. When I'm feeling stronger, I'll share those fun-filled memories! 

Sunday, September 14

My Birthday Trees!

I always get excited when the Jacarandas start blooming this time of year because my mom messages and says, "The Jacarandas are out which means your birthday is coming up!" So when this guy started blooming near my flat, I asked Tall One to grab a snap of me in front of it. When I was a kid, my parents planted me a Jacaranda for my birthday. It was awesome until a million white ants  attacked it but we managed to resuscitate it and it's grown up with me! So if you've got a kid, plant the little one a tree. They make really neat birthday gifts! After the Jacarandering, I headed to the SPCA charity shops for a bit of thrifting. I hope you've had a good weekend. x PS: Part 2 of my emotional weight gain/loss saga will be up soon! 

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Tuesday, September 9

The one where I get all personal and stuff

Who feels like reading a long-winded ramble about how I regained 9.5 kilos, lost loads of blog readers and had to pop anxiety tabs for a while? Ya do? Sweet!

Edit: I clearly wasn't mucking about when I said this was long-winded so consider this PART 1! 

Ahhh. What a year it's been! The past year has been one of the most challenging and rewarding years of my life. What it has not been is balanced - although I really tried to keep all the plates spinning. When Bridget Jones once declared, 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces,' I was like 'THAT IS ME. THAT IS MY LIFE.' 

I recently had to face up to two (relatively) minor things but they forced me to re-examine everything in my life. The first thing - my clothes, er, stopped fitting me.

The part where I talk about weight - yay!

Alrighty, a little background info. I was the poster child for "awkward tween" but I was never really overweight as a kid. The first time I noticed I'd gained a little extra was after I'd returned from my first London holiday. No worries, I thought. I'll get it off. And I did. I signed up with a personal trainer for two months and whipped it off. BOOM.

I was happy, healthy and by no means underweight. NOT EVEN CLOSE. I was starting to feel strong for the first time in my life. One day, a couple of girls started, well, being a bit b*tchy and telling me I was 'becoming anorexic' which couldn't have been further from the truth. This whole saga made me go 'Sh*t, if I'm slim, people won't like me anymore, better go back to how I was.' THIS IS BEYOND RIDICULOUS when I look back at it now. I was young, foolish and clearly cared too much about what people thought - and these girls weren't even close friends of mine. Mental.

Then I got engaged and slimmed down a little. 
Then I got married and put on A LOT of weight. 

I wasn't entirely happy in this phase of my life but I didn't know why. I guess I turned to food for comfort which is connected to a million complex childhood reasons but that's for another day! 

After getting divorced, I promised myself I would slim down and the first few kilos came off without me doing anything. At all. Oh, maybe it was because I was utterly SKINT and couldn't afford food. Lols. I struggled to get going properly but then suddenly, someone very dear to me had a heart attack. I went to visit him in hospital and he gently took my shaking hand and urged me to get a thorough check up. Soon after, I visited my doc who suggested I slim down to a healthier weight. Oh, there were tears and long *DMC's in that room. 

I asked my boss if I could start leaving work on time to erm, work out and promised to return if I needed to pull an all-nighter.

THAT'S ANOTHER THING. Advertising is full of late nights, weekend work, extreme pressure and hectic deadlines. The adrenaline pumps all day when there are big projects on the go and I'm only finally learning how to properly deal with this. I know we're not saving lives (and I do my best to keep perspective) but there are real pressures in this line of work. My sweet mother who is brilliant at everything even suffered burn out in the ad biz.

Anyway, I started working out. Slowwwwly but steadily. I mostly walked, and jogged when I could. After the losing the first ten or so, I started lifting weights in the park with a mate and I'd dance in my flat if it rained. I'm sure I drove the neighbours bonkers.

I guess you could say I followed the 80/20 rule when it came to eating. I would eat sensibly for 80% of the time and tuck into treats when it was a friend's birthday or flippen Cupcake Friday at work. Oh, advertising is also treat central. 

I didn't cut out carbs or anything really. I just ate less junk and moved more. Wait. I should probably mention that at some point during this, I was...well, heartbroken about something. Now, I've never been the sort of person who loses their appetite when sad. Rather, I'm the type to eat even more between tears. One night, my parents took me out to celebrate a little windfall I'd come into but I couldn't bring myself to spend one cent or eat one crumb. I couldn't even choose anything on the menu so I eventually ordered fish-paste toast and just pecked at it. I was THAT sad. In time, my appetite returned and I was proud of myself for keeping healthy, even though I was a sad panda.

Throughout this, I didn't pop pills, I didn't join a gym and "long story short," I got fifteen kilos off. I was aiming for seventeen but I figured a lower weight would be trickier to sustain.

My besties were amazingly supportive throughout all of this. In fact, everyone was. At some point, I must have filtered the b*tchy types out of my life! My friends' encouragement and support kept me going. I would like to give a special shout out to Taneal who was my rock towards the end. 

I maintained my healthy weight for about four months or so but then my life radically switched gears! Stay tuned for the next instalment where I'll share more about what went down and where I'm headed to from here. It involves Tall One walking 5kms with me even though he had a sore shoulder and only slops to walk in. He's kind of the best. 

*Deep Meaningful Conversations

PS: We didn't even get to the blog reader or anxiety tab bit! But give me time, give me time...x
PPS: Please excuse any typos and grammatical glitches. I wrote this after a night of broken sleep.

Monday, September 1

My favourite places in Durban and the Midlands

The number one post that people search for on Gloss is this old chestnut - My Top Ten Durban Faves - which is now missing half the photos because I never upgraded my Flickr account! So I thought it was time for an update. I'm not really into the trendy-sushi-hotspot-and-nightclub vibes. Rather, I'm more into the weird old thrift-store-and-animal-farm scene! Hope it's of use to someone! x

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This is Durban's oldest car boot market and it's kind of crazy! You need to have your wits about you because, well, there are quite a lot of pickpockets and erm, interesting characters wandering about. That said, you can scoop some cool buys like a vintage camera or a bundle of buttons!

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This cafe and it's sweet little shops are set in an old Pietermaritzburg house
overlooking an English style garden. It's a cute little hideaway after a drive up the hill from Durbs.

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I visited this beautiful nursery on a misty day in late Spring last year when the roses were blooming! You can buy giant mushrooms and visit the goatlings and chickens which live there.

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Flag is a great big animal farm in Balito where you can milk cows, feed the goats and pet the pigs. There are lots of other furry friends (and snakes!) which the kiddies will love.

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If you'd like to restore some old furniture or find a collectible summin', chat to 
Christy at Second Treasures. I've found lots of vintage knick-knacks here too.

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These are my two favourite charity shops which are based in the Highway Area. You have to rummage around and fight off the odd crazy collector, but if you like old sh*t, these are your spots! They can be a little hit and miss so the trick is go fairly often if you can.

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This bustly market sells flowers, farm-fresh goodies and cute crafts among other things.
People bring their dogs and kids at the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings.

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I love this store because you can find rad old things for a reasonable price, while your pizza is baked for you outside! Be sure to wander round the back where they store old enamelware. 

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If you're driving through Howick, swing by this barn-style house which sells everything from old school desks to creepy doll parts. They also have a crazy bird outside which eats chicken bones!

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I haven't been able to visit this market in a while but I will again soon! Durban's hipsters cool creatives come here to buy and sell clothing, furniture, records, crafts and gourmet sandwiches! If you're looking for a special, hand-made treasure, you'll find it at I Heart Market.

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We always make our way up the winding hill to Swissland Cheese when driving through the Midlands. You literally feel like you're in Switzerland, and you can pet the baby goats which are born in August. We watched newborns take their first steps on our last visit!

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This market has sadly become pretty kitchy and well, shady but if you scrummage around, you can still bag a retro find in the second-hand stores - and grab some mini donuts on your way out! There are loads of other places I'd like to scribble about so maybe I'll do a second post some time. x