Monday, December 12, 2011

Silence threatens

ESC has me making hospital trips again.  This time, we are in search of a final diagnosis to explain some symptoms he's been having. It could be so simple, that home remedies can cure, or so damming that not even modern medicine can. A thousand possibilities, thoughts and anxieties lie between the poles of knowing and not knowing.

While I have been telling myself and others out loud that the doctors are just being overly and unnecessarily cautious, inside I am crumpling with fear.  Behind his bravado, he is too.  The worst is just to damning for us to sleep peacefully.

He is having a really hard time, and I cannot him to unload it. His manhood requires that he valiantly defends himself against possible signs of weakness. My womanhood wants a deep long talk about how all this really makes us feel.

I am fearful that my role is so small and inconsequential in all this. I do not weave the power of God.  But, I do have the power of faith.

Faith- Belief in something hoped for, evidence of which not seen. Where as others tend to just relax and give into"fate", I will continue to believe.  "Faith" is my "fate."

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord [ alive and well].

Friday, November 18, 2011

Getting up

We fall down. We get up.

I have to say that I am grateful that even after falling repeatedly, I can find the awareness to get up. Life is hard.  There is no bells and whistles about that. That may be the biggest discovery in my 31 years. Growing up, I would always hear my mother say "Life is not a bed of roses." Having grown up, I now know exactly what she meant.

Somehow, with all the flash and euphoria of romanticized novels and this photoshopped world, we have lost sight of what is real.  Bad things happen every moment to good people all over.  Sometimes of their own doing and other times simply because of fate. Life happens.  Good things also happen to bad people and sometimes good things happen to us and go unnoticed because we are more focused on those things happening in other people's lives.

My struggle with my weight is not a bad thing. It is just what it is-  a struggle. I think my weight is a metaphor for all the elements in my life that need to be brought into balance.  However, while the struggle is not a bad thing, failing to act on it in consistent awareness is indeed a bad thing, and of my very own doing. I accept that.  I also accept that falling down is part of the process in the struggle towards life goals. The journey is as important as the destination.

I have realized that when my weight is climbing upwards, there are other things in my life that are in need of attention.  I have struggled with consistency in my effort to get my weight down and sustain weight loss but I have become more aware of myself in the process.

So today, I feel better. I feel better not because I lost 2lbs last week but because I have gotten up. I have chosen to rise above my problems and press on towards my higher calling. I have taken back the power and I am now seated firmly at the controls. I am in charge of my weight. I am in charge of my body. I am in charge of my destiny.

I matter. I count.

I will learn to listen to my inner voice when it objects to me accepting an invitation to do something my heart does not want to be engaged in. I will learn that self-preservation is not selfish. I will learn that a broken Sheer Almshouse has nothing to offer a broken world. I can't fix the world but I can choose to do the work of fixing myself. I am accountable but for me.  I am accountable for each day I live and each breath I am given. If I recharge my own self first, I will then have the strength to breathe life into other things within my abmit. But ultimately, after God, I come first.  A broken partner is a needy partner that drains any relationship. A whole partner adds value. This is also true in our relationship with life and the universe.  

For years I have mastered the art of putting other things first. Career, family, ambition. Now it is time to really look in before I look out.  So here I am, present, standing and fully accounted for.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Two years in... the reality of marriage

I have come to realize that when I neglect this space, I neglect me. For the past few years, this blog has been my "private" public space to express myself.  For me, writing and to a lesser extent, talking have provided the most purgative release from whatever angst that ails. Writing has brought awareness of things that are often hidden and has brought me insight that has helped to keep me grounded in a sea of change.

As I have alluded to before, somehow marriage changed everything for me and I no longer felt free to just pour out with the level of authenticity I so prided this blog space for. I felt that I could not just share openly and honestly and so I simply stopped sharing. Two years into the marriage, I am now finding that the time has come to resume this journey into me.

It was easier to write about my life when I was single because I didn't feel committed or obligated to a common cause. It was all about me.  But what I have learnt recently is that while there is another in the equation, I am still here.  My presence should be thusly fully accounted for.

Marriage is not the only thing that made me stop posting here with regularity. When I turned 30, I struggled with finding relevance to this blog. What would a 30 year old have to say on a blog devoted to being 20? I had an identity crisis and could not reconcile this conundrum. I first changed the name of the blog to Thirtysomething, but then somewhere along the way, I decided to go back to Twentysomething but I added the "+" sign.  When I started this blog, I wanted to document the dramatic decade of my 20s as I tried to make sense of all of it and my place here on earth.  I added the + because, as far as I see it, the 20s are only the beginning of the self-exploration needed to keep centred in this life. I am still in many ways, the Twentysomething woman on a quest to find and actualise her truest self. I will be for the rest of my days. I do not want to start a new blog or change the name for every decade. The + anticipates all the years to come and the additional wisdom and insight they will bring.

At the beginning of the year I also started another blog that has provided a new career and the creative release I needed. I have used that platform well and it has opened up doors I had only dreamt of.  But, there is something about this blog that is special. I miss this space. I do not regret leaving it for a while because it made sense at the time. I wrote here when I had something to say that fit this space.  Now, it feels like I have lots to say.

I may have lost my readers here, but I am not looking for a following. That is for the other blog. Here I am simply looking to be me.

I am up at 4:00am writing this while ESC sleeps after coming home at 1:30 after a tiring and busy service.  I haven't been up alone this late in a while but I woke up when he came home and couldn't go back to sleep.

It is not easy being married to a chef. I suspect, it is not easy being married to anyone, including me. Such is life.  Despite, this, the hours and intensity that come with ESCs career have amplified some teething pains.

Marriage is a mirror that we hold up to ourselves.  I have felt more vulnerable over the past two years than I have ever felt in my life. I have opened up and let another human being into my most sacred places and that is a heck of a thing. 

It has also been very difficult to be so far from family and close friends. The distance made me feel like an alien  in my own life. I still look at pictures and read stories of home and feel like I am missing from it all. I have not left since I arrived and I am tremendously homesick, though I am afraid to admit just how much.

Yes, it has been rough at times, but, have we have certainly not been worse for the year. We have been growing individually and as a couple and that has made all the difference. We encourage each others growth.

So what's keeping me up at 4:00 am? 

I think I need a break. I feel overwhelmed with a lot of things I have been facing recently.  ESC and I are working through major issues, I have regained 3/4 of the weight I lost,  my little sister had a baby, my grandmother's cancer has spread to both her lungs and I cannot visit her in the US because my visa  renewal is undergoing a very lengthy session of "administrative processing."  All of this is compounded by the fact that I pretty much have to deal with my issues on my own due to ESC's hours.

It would be nice to leave the country with ESC for a few weeks and visit my granny and go home. We need the time together and I need the break. But, alas, it is peak season for him, and again he is the chef in charge of the kitchen and cannot take leave before April.

I am hoping and praying that things will align so I can visit my granny and be surrounded by family soon. Next year I will be traveling home work on a book that I am being commissioned for.  It cannot come soon enough.

I realize that for our marriage to work well, I will need to budget for annual trips away to meet family and friends so that I can refuel with the love and passion that space gives. I have neglected to make this a priority because I wanted to share the experience with ESC, but I am now aware that I need to go in spite of whether or not he can.  In many ways, I have to think like a single woman to survive the intense aloneness that comes from his hours and being so far from my support group and feeling like my life revolves around him.

I don't think we will be here for very much longer. Three years tops. He just changed jobs in April and will probably stay put for another year and a half until his two year mark. After that, the rest is up for grabs. While we have both fantasized about moving further east, I think I need to move back west first. But who knows? Maybe I am just anxious because I have been away so long and miss home. I could very well go home and feel rejuvenated and come back pumped for years away here as long as I get to go home at least once per year. I have never been away from home for longer than 6 months and I think that my lack of travel could really be the source of my current distress.  I just need to travel.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My battle of the bulge

I have been neglecting this blog- to my own detriment.  I miss this space, but I have been finding it difficult to find the words and the time to post here. But... alas, I am back.

I have a weight problem.

I have a sugar addiction.

I have regained 14.5lbs of the 20 lbs I lost.

I had been stable for a while then I took a baking class and as my cakes improved, my sugar intake did as well. I would eat nothing but cake all day for several cakes.

I know. I have been here over and over again and I am just tired. I feel like a stuck record. I spend the first months of every year losing weight and then my birthday rolls around in August and I slack off a bit and I fall totally off the wagon.

I am just stuck. In a rut.

I am now working in the food industry and that doesn't help.

But that is an excuse, not a condition.

I just need to get my act together. My health and my life depend on it.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Turning 31

On the eve of my 31st birthday, I am in a very weird place.

I am trying to wrap my head around where I am now.

I have a lot on my plate. A lot.

Here is an excerpt of one of the greatest TV writing I have ever witnessed- Oprah's farewell from the Oprah Winfrey Show.

"After deliberating for some time, we decided to do what we do best, and that is a show about and with everyday people. This show always allows people, hopefully, to understand the power they have to change their own lives. If there's one thread running through each show we do, it is the message that you are not alone. Twenty-five years and I'm still saying thank you, America. Thank you so much. There are no words to match this moment. Every word I've ever spoken from this stage of The Oprah Show for 4,561 days of my life is what this moment is all about.

"When I came here, I was about to turn 30 years old. I didn't have a vision or a lot of great expectations. Stedman talks about vision all the time, but I didn't have one when I came here. I just wanted to do a good job and cause no harm. ... That first day was a shock to me. There was no audience. There I am in my best Anne Klein II velour outfit, my guests were a few Chicago football players, New Year's Day, 1984. ... I needed people. I needed to have you to gauge how things were going during the show, if you were responding, if you were laughing, if you were tracking with me. So after that first show, we put up some folding chairs in the audience. We brought in the staff. Secretaries. Anybody we could find in the building and filled the first rows with staff people and the rest with people off the street that we bribed with doughnuts and coffee, and we'd say, 'Come in.'

"Two years later, when we went national, I remember at the time, Roger King told me that one station manager said that he'd rather put a potato in a chair in his market than have a big black girl with a funny name. And in spite of that, from Memphis to Macon, from Pittsburgh to Pensacola, from New York to New Orleans, you all let me in."

"The first week we went national, I remember I got a letter from a woman named Carrie in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Carrie said, 'Oprah, watching you be yourself makes me want to be more of myself.' That was and still remains one of the nicest things I ever heard. What Carrie felt is what I wanted for every single one of you. I wanted to encourage you to be more of yourself just as you all encouraged me, and you cheered me on and occasionally complained about my outfits, my big hair and earrings the size of napkins. Now I see you had every reason to.


"Soon after I started the show, something shifted for me. It really did. I started the show as a job and was very happy to get the job, but it was not long before I understood that there was something else going on here. More than just job satisfaction. Something in me connected with each of you in a way that allowed me to see myself in you and you in me. I became your surrogate—to ask the questions, deliver the answers, learn, grow, expand my thinking, challenge my beliefs and the way I looked at the world. I listened and grew, and I know you grew along with me.


"Sometimes I was the teacher, and more often, you taught me. It is no coincidence that I always wanted to be a teacher and I ended up in the world's biggest classroom. And this, my friends, will be our last class from the stage.


"What I knew for sure from this experience with you is that we are all called. Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it. Every time we have seen a person on this stage who is a success in their life, they spoke of the job, and they spoke of the juice that they receive from doing what they knew they were meant to be doing. We saw it in the volunteers who rocked abandoned babies in Atlanta. We saw it with those lovely pie ladies from Cape Cod making those delicious potpies. ... We saw it every time Tina Turner, Celine, Bocelli or Lady Gaga lit up the stage with their passion. Because that is what a calling is. It lights you up and it lets you know that you are exactly where you're supposed to be, doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing. And that is what I want for all of you and hope that you will take from this show. To live from the heart of yourself. You have to make a living; I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world."

"When I started, not even I imagined that this show would have the depth and the reach that you all have given it. It has been a privilege for me to speak to you here in this studio, in this country and in 150 countries around the world on this platform that is The Oprah Winfrey Show. You let me into your homes to talk to you every day. This is what you allowed me to do, and I thank you for that. But what I want you to know as this show ends: Each one of you has your own platform. Do not let the trappings here fool you. Mine is a stage in a studio, yours is wherever you are with your own reach, however small or however large that reach is. Maybe it's 20 people, maybe it's 30 people, 40 people, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your classmates, your classroom, your co-workers. Wherever you are, that is your platform, your stage, your circle of influence. That is your talk show, and that is where your power lies. In every way, in every day, you are showing people exactly who you are. You're letting your life speak for you. And when you do that, you will receive in direct proportion to how you give in whatever platform you have.


"My great wish for all of you who have allowed me to honor my calling through this show is that you carry whatever you're supposed to be doing, carry that forward and don't waste any more time. Start embracing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world."

Sunday, July 31, 2011

How far along am I ?

It's past 2:00 a.m. and I am on my third load of laundry since ESC went to bed. I stopped staying up later than him months ago, choosing to go to retire with him or before. Tonight was a little different. For some reason, I just wanted to get some laundry done.

I guess this means that my energy levels were pretty high, which is a great thing after 3 months of consistent exercise and losing 18lbs.

Things are going well with my weekly column, though my pay was slashed by 20% after my very first month. Well the truth is all of us weekly contributors to the mag were offered the chance to keep 100 percent but with frequency reduced to every other week. I opted to keep my weekly status and take the cut that way.

I have been lagging in posting to our food blog. My hands have been hurting badly due to overuse and so I have had to limit my time on the computer and give priority to paid work. The biggest irony is that my work happens on the computer and on the smartphone, since I am now earning a very modest income as a working writer and a part time social media consultant. Furthermore, working from home means that my interaction with the outside world happens via these very devices that cause tremendous stress to my poor hands.

So funny enough, I have been finding housework very therapeutic. Washing dishes and tidying the kitchen is a much welcomed break, as is doing the laundry and folding clothes. Chopping can be a little hard sometimes but I do eat the majority of my meals at home so I have to cook to eat. Somedays I hurt so much that I just have to strike to get some relief. Even holding the TV remote can be too much on those days.

Tweaking my diet
I am changing up my diet again this week. I have been stalled for 21 days (July 30) so I decided to get drastic this week and clean up all processed foods from my diet. I had gotten used to using low-carb products as a crutch, esp when away from home but it has not served my purpose well. I also find that I cannot seem to lose weight eating cheese anymore so I just have to refrain until I am closer to goal. I will re-introduce cheese later on and see how my body responds to it. In the meantime, no dairy this week. Next week I will add organic Greek yoghurt as well as berries, cherries, melon and nuts- hopefully 2-3 days apart to see how my body responds. After that, I will add pulses including chickpeas, lentils and so on perhaps once per week. Once I figure how those work for me, I will add whole grains in the form of oatmeal and buckwheat once per week. I am gearing up for oatmeal by September. I miss oatmeal so much!

This whole "low carb" concept is not a "no carb" one. Some people just do better with less starchy carbs period- whole or not. No one does well with sugars and refined carbs so those will always be avoided but the whole idea is for me to find out what foods work with my body and those that do not. I will also find out what foods and in what quantity and frequency I can eat and lose weight or maintain weight, which is critical for long-term weight management. I had gotten to a point where I simply couldn't stop myself with certain trigger foods.

Too often we go on drastic fad diets replacing meals with shakes or pre-packaged meals but of course the weight comes piling back after we return to our "regular" diets because we haven't learnt how to feed ourselves to get those results. I know how to eat well and cook whole foods. I just need to learn the numbers, combination and frequency, since I have tended to over-feed on healthy carbs in the past. So with this approach, as I lose weight, I will be eating the very same foods that I will eat at goal weight.

Veggie Lover
Since going low carb, I have a new appreciation of vegetables and I have probably eaten more in my low carb days than all the days of my life combined. I now see salad as a filling, tasty and healthy alternative and can eat an entree salad as a whole meal without bread. That lesson alone will undoubtedly help me to maintain my goal weight when I reach it because I can easily have salad for dinner everyday with the odd dinner party thrown in. Essentially, I am learning balance. Funny enough that is the point of this mission- to bring my mind, body and spirit into balance.

Water & supplements
I am also drinking LOTS of water and guzzling loose leaf green tea. In fact, I am supplementing very well with high quality supplements that restore nutrients that would be lacking when one is losing weight.

I've been moving it!
I am also up to working out 5x per week. I worked my way up from 3 days and sometimes even have 2 workouts per day. Do not be alarmed. I live in a one bedroom apartment and most days I never have to go through my front door. I need all the movement I can muster. See one of the reasons I packed on the weight in the first place? I force myself to go to the gym, which most days is the only way I would see anyone for longer than the 30mins a day I see ESC. Major kudos to me... I am lifting the heighest ever free weights and working my upper body like never before. My body is already re-shaping.

I have a fitness buddy
She is all the way in CT, USA but I am happy for her. We are the same age and are on the same diet so that helps. This is the very first tme I have had a fitness buddy and she and I have been trying to lose the same pounds for a while. We challenge each other that this is our year to get it right.

I made a vision board
You know me by now. I am always writing down my goals and expressing my intention to the universe. This time I went a step further and put them into pictures and placed the collage above my desk.

Paying it forward
I have inspired my hubby to finally go for the six pack. After the miscarriage, he resumed working out regularly at home while I was packing on the pounds, hoping to inspire me to get going again. It took an inner thigh blister to get me going and since then, I have been inspired and focused on hitting my dream fitness goals once and for all. I have showed him the pics of what I am aiming for and we have discussed it (he's fine with a hellfire buff and fit wife). I have shared everything I have learned about nutrition and supplements and have even put him on a regimen. He has never looked better. Chefs generally look older and haggard due to their hours but he is looking mighty fine if I may say so myself and he feels so stoked that he too is aiming for his perfect beach body (which he hasn't had since his college days). We might as well strike while the iron is hot. Later on we will ensure it stays hot.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A strong mind starts with a fit body

I saw that sign in the gym last night and was so struck by it that I had to take a pic and share with my fitness buddy. Yes, for the first time ever, I have one of those, and I think that is just one of the reasons why this time will be different.

So I am down 18.7lbs altogether. Not much since my 15lb loss recorded in my previous post, but I was lifting heavier last month as part of an extreme 3 month fitness routine that promotes muscle gain and fat loss. The second phase, which requires heavy lifting for 6-8 reps is an intense muscle and strength building phase. Many people actually report weight gain during this phase so I should be happy that I lost a total of 6.6lbs during those 30days. I had to rest my hands for a while because of the carpal tunnel, so I did cardio, kickboxing and increased daily activity and delayed Phase 3 until yesterday. Yesterday I worked out for 2 hours, which felt really good. I am rebuilding my stamina. I remember when I used to have 2hr sessions every gym day.

So now Phase 3 is the Lean Phase, where I will be increasing reps to 10-12 and doing combo free weight exercises which promote engaging the core for stability. This is the phase where people see their best results during the 90-day routine.

After completing this CLX routine, I am thinking of doing 30 days of Slim in 6 and doing another rond of CLX. I have heard that many people get maximum results when they break with a lower intensity programme like Si6 and then resume a secound round of CLX.

Well enough of the workout geek talk and back to the heart stuff.

The darn scale
I have been struggling mentally with not seeing the scale budge over the last 2-3 weeks. It is not easy to be working hard and eating on plan and then the scale suddenly stops moving. I know technically why (I just explained it above) but that still doest seem to stop the feelings of frustration.

Mirrors and photos
I am also having a very tough time with other people's photos of me. You know the kind that immortalize you in your very worst light? Well imagine how much worse when they are added to shared via social networking. I have been depressed 2 times over the past 2-3 weeks with a friend's snapshot that includes me. I seem to look much worse sitting down than standing up. This friend is very proud of my efforts and extremely supportive and I know she thinks I have come a far way and wants to celebrate, but all I see when I view those pics is just how far I still have to go. ESC has been trying to coach me to appreciate how far I have come and focus on the victory instead of being overwhelmed by the distance ahead. Easier said than done. I think this is why many obese people just never complete their weight loss journey- it just seems like an uphill battle that has no end in sight.

I also despise the mirrors at the gym and in elevators. I must have been blind while I was getting fat but suddenly my vision is clearer and all I can see are the faults. I honestly think I am struggling with body dysmorphia.

I am much bigger than I have ever been in my life and I am just not comfortable with being mediocre anymore where my health and fitness are concerned. I am still on a mission to lose another 55lbs and am dead set on getting there.

I realize that I have a much smaller image of myself mentally (since I was never fat until 5 years ago) and I have a hard time accepting what really is.

Hormonal drama
I also have to be kind to myself and cut myself some slack for all that I went through over the past six months. My pregnancy and miscarriage threw my hormones even further out of whack and I am still trying to re-balance. I have also read where lots of women put on a lot of weight in a very short time after a miscarriage. I do not have to wonder why.

I am resetting a lot of habits and lifetstyle activities that will help me to maintain my losses for a lifetime. I can now say "no" to sweets. Also very surprising, I can have a tiny amount of something. I have truly come a far way.

Pressing on
Even though I have not seen the scale move, I am still moving. My body may be a little confused and think "she is going to stop soon as usual" but not so! I am more determined than ever to bring my body into balance! I just feel like my entire life depends on it and I will not stop until I accomplish all my goals!

I am off to work out with ESC now!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

15 lbs lighter

That's right. I have lost 15lbs over the past 6 weeks. That is an average of 2.5lbs per week which is steady and very encouraging. At this rate, my body is likely to lose consistently and I am on track to goal weight by December.

I am tracking my weightloss in 5lb intervals with rewards for each milestone reached. My last reward was a zumba class (which has hurt up my knee- why wont I learn with my dance injuries?) The next one is 2lbs away.

I have been busy with my weekly column as well as a new social media project with a big middle eastern retailer.

That's it for now... all the best to you and yours.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Biting off less

I have decided to pace myself as it regards taking on projects and making additional commitments. I think that while I re-adjust to my weight loss efforts, I should factor in time for myself to make meals, exercise, renew my mind, nourish my spirit and rest.

There is truth to the expression that one has "stopped taking care of oneself" or letting oneself go" in relation to being out of shape. People who have issues with weight often struggle with putting themselves first amidst other competing priorities.

I am now on a mission to build my life around my personal needs as opposed to trying to fit my personal needs into my life.

My lifestyle is one of health, fitness and balance and everything I do will resonate this. I will be able to make a very good income from the things that bring me happiness. My work will bring me immense joy and will positively affect the lives of others.

Whatever is not aligned to that mission, has no place in my life.

I will be happy with my circumstances and I will be at peace with my lot.

I will take the time to nourish myself so that when I share myself through work and interpersonal relationships, I will be sharing the best of me.

I will do my workout routine daily, as well as a 30 minute walk to increase my level of activity. I will make healthy meals for myself and monitor my food intake daily. I will pack my meals with the same care as I would for my child.

I will put myself first.

I choose to believe in myself and the power I have within me.

I will let my light shine.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My first grey hair

This morning, sometime after midnight, I found my first grey hair. When ESC came home, I said "Honey, look why I think I have been in a funk!"

He almost slipped in the shower from laughing so hard.

His head is littered with greys. He found his first when he was 20.

I told him that if I found mine at 20, I would have just brushed it aside as premature. At 30, it is the real deal.

Ba humbug!

Now I definitely feel like not colouring my hair in honour of the bit of wisdom I have coming out in greys!

Maybe it is time for a new look altogether.

I am feeling like I need some drastic change.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Feeling kinda low

I am not sure why.

It is likely linked to hormonal changes linked to my change in diet and TOM.

I know that I have been excessively irritated this TOM and now it has escalated into a case of the mean reds.

I feel like I want a break. I just want to stay home for the rest of the week and veg... but we have a demo on Sat so I will have to either feel better by then or simply get my game face on. I hope I feel better.

I feel like I want to cry but I am afraid that if I start, I won't be able to stop.

This too, shall pass.


A spank on the butt and a pat on the back

I have been self sabotaging myself. No I am not being mean to myself, I am being real.

So what is "self-sabotaging?"

It is the deliberate attempt to undermine one's own success, knowingly or unknowingly.

Last night I had a burger after having a very clean day, eating a wide array of nutrient filled foods. However, I missed a meal and therein started the problem.

I missed lunch. So after having dinner at a friend's (and even making my own cauliflower rice instead of eating the white rice that was supplied with meal), I had to pick up ESC at 1:00am. I didn't realize I was hungry while I was at home, but got very hungry while we were driving back. The hunger descended fast and furiously and I just had to eat. He suggested that I have burger king without the buns. That made me want the buns even more. I had a huge burger along with diet soda. I did not order the fries.

Essentially, I am eating a lot of salads and staying away from grains for now, so technically, I could have bought one of the salads that they offered. But the issue is that when I get very ravenous, my mind already has a picture of what it takes to fill me up. Clearly, that picture needs to be replaced. When I am not famished, I make better food choices and can say no to things that I know will not do my body any good.

Now that I have written it down and made a confession, I pat myself on the back for having the courage to break away from bad habits.

I remember a time 10 years ago when I didn't eat fast food and I worked out 3-4 days weekly in the gym. I had lost my taste for fast food and ate pretty well. Then my ex took me to McDonald's for breakfast when I visited him in NY (so lame - I should have walked away then) and the past 10 years have since been a roller coaster. I am not blaming anybody else but me... I am just recounting my history.

Since then, fast junk food and fries have come to be comfort foods intead of the healthy alternatives I had before. This can no longer be the case.

I refuse to be my own enemy. I will be my best friend. I will replace bad habits with good and remove unhealthy crutches from my life for good.

I would also like to note that I worked out 4x this week my first week back in the saddle and I will work up to 5x weekly by next week.


  • When I am famished, I will now seek a salad first.
  • I will only use fast food joints when absolutely necessary and I will only order salads and grilled foods.
  • I will get better at taking my health and fitness in my hands and building the intestinal fortitude to select healthy choices even when I feel stressed (like holding out until I reach home).
  • I am replacing my comfort food image with that of a salad. I feel better after eating a salad. My conscience is free after eating a salad. I will walk around with a sachet of a healthy vinaigrette that I like at all times so that I can enjoy even a fast food salad without their unhealthy dressings.
  • I will make lunch before I leave the house even if expect to be home before lunchtime.
  • I will keep my house stacked with half prepped whole foods (like cooked seafood and meat to toss into a salad).
  • I will eat on time, every time, no matter what.
  • I will approach eating with the same discipline I would if my doctor had given me strict warnings of an impending life-threatening ailment.
  • I deserve better.
  • I come first.
  • I will I will get better at this and I will reach my goals.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My fitness goals

This time, I am going to be a little more specific. The last time I simply stated that I wanted to bring mind, body and spirit into balance. That was all well and honourable but good goals are measurable. How does one measure "balance?"

I am also aware (as I have been for years) that my major issue where fitness is concerned is that I need to be consistent even during major transitions in my life. When life throws me curve balls, I need to be flexible enough to adapt quickly without getting off my fitness plan. In the past, a new job with new demands would be enough to stop my workouts and having not worked out in a while, I would start to slack off of my diet since I no longer had the daily awareness of what it took to burn calories. I would then pack on the weight and be dismayed about falling off the wagon yet again and history would repeat the worst of itself.

It was easy to commit once I had all variables under control, but I waned when the changes came. Unfortunately, I have learnt that commitment is not defined as the determination to stick to something as long as it is convenient and it is the reverse that is true.

Nowhere is this more evident than in marriage or child-rearing. You simply cannot make excuses and put relationships and children on hold during rough times. You have to work through the hardest times if you ever want to enjoy long term success.

Excelling through the good times does not make you a winner. It is when you give your best, even when the odds are against you that you are worthy of being called victorious.

Finally, the challenge doesn't end when one reaches a personal goal. We then have to set new goals to challenge us to maintain or better our successes. This is a lifetime commitment, not a one-season daytime drama. I am in control of my destiny. I will reach and surpass my fitness goals.


1. To get to 135lbs and a very healthy BMI

2. To be size 6 again

3. To maintain my size 6 for life

4. To live low carb for life, even during pregnancy

5. To workout 5x weekly

6. To have a daily yoga/pilates practice

7. To workout during pregnancy

8. To become a Certified Fitness Trainer

9. To be certified in nutrition and weight management coaching

10. To help others meet their life goals through fitness and nutrition

11. To have an active lifestyle, taking up sports and having friends who are also active.


195lbs- whey protein isolate

190 zumba class/ salsa class + stationary for letter writing

185 cute sneakers

180 cute gym clothes

175 SelecTech weights

170 Good yoga mat

165 iPad

160 yoga class

155 Persian Rug

150 Luxury Spa Weekend Getaway with hubby

145 Manolo Blahnik shoes

140 Botega Vanetta/ Fendi/Prada/ Chanel bag

135 Necklace/Ring and trip to India

No more identity crisis

Yes you are reading right. I have decided to revert to my original blog name because the mission is still yet to be accomplished. In spite of the fact that I turned 30 late last year, this is my 20Something journal into me. It will take a lifetime, but keeping the name will keep the perspective of the start of the journey in sight, even as I move through the different stages of my life.

Maybe that is another reason why I haven't felt as compelled to blog here since I turned 30- this was not a Thirty-Something monologue, and yet I felt totally irrelevant in both realms. I am still a TwentySomething at heart, with the questions and zeal that it brings. Thirty is new to me, like suddenly fitting into a significantly smaller dress size, without being able to wrap your head around the fact that you are no longer what you were. Or are you?

And speaking of weight, that is an issue that I have carried into my 30s and wish to settle for good this time. I know I keep saying that, but I have a funny relationship with goals. I never stop until I reach them.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

When tomorrow comes

I have been here before and maybe you have too. Over the past few months, I have been using food to feed a hunger that was not at all physical. Whoa! I said it. I actually wrote it down. I have voiced it and I have put it out there.

Ladies and gentlemen, without much fanfare, I am back.

Having been derailed last year for a short while, I was back on track this year and some of you may have remembered that I lost 15lbs in my first 2 weeks of strict, no dairy, no sweetener, no refined carb eating. That was until I learnt that I had been pregnant and had lost the baby.

Since then, I have managed to turn that tremendously traumatic experience into something positive, creating a successful niche for myself and even landing a weekly column. I now have a weekly column in one of the oldest English language broadsheets in the Middle East. However, as the weeks wore on, I found myself eating things I knew better than, partially because I work full time with food in the media and also because I was using food to make myself feel better.

My weight gain is never just physical. It is always tied up with other imbalances. Especially weight gain of the sort where one puts on 17lbs in 3 months. I don't know about you but the more I weigh, the less I move and so I just stopped exercising, even though ESC has been at it 4-6 days per week in our apartment.

But you know me, I am not making excuses and I am not beating up on myself either. I am where I am and I am still very happy.

I don't believe in hating myself for having put on the weight. I believe that we must be kind to ourselves, even when we are less than we want to be. We have to love ourselves for who we are in every moment because each moment is all we have got.

I just need to tackle these emotional issues and bring my body, mind and spirit back into balance.

I visualize my success and I simply press on day to day to higher heights or self discovery and authenticity, while I get slimmer.

Thank heavens for new beginnings.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A time to be quiet

It has been almost three months since I last posted here. For good reason. I just did not have anything to say. This is my authentic space. The place where I have no inclination to do anything but me-whatever shape or shade that takes on, but sometimes, it is best to be quiet.

I have much to say but I am not ready to say it.

I will in my own time.

Much love to you for visiting and keeping a vigil.

Peace, love, joy and infinite blessings on your path.


Thursday, January 06, 2011

Celebrating me

"Belting Out" (C) 2011. All Rights Reserved.

This is the year I come into my own. I wrote that on facebook and while my goodly friends got it, one didn't. She welcomed me to a club she had joined years ago. Good for her.

"Coming into my own" is a present continuous declaration that I will continue to rise to the challenges of life, take on the battles, humble myself with the pruning, and rise to higher heights. It isn't a place you "reach" and find a nice shady parking spot. It is an ongoing evolution.

I am celebrating the fact that I know that this "Coming into my own" business is a day-to-day call to rise up and meet come whatever may with gusto. I am as I am. Present.

I am not focussed on the past neither am I on the future. I am plucking away present continuously with every breath with anectdotal inference from the past and faithful anticpation for a future built in a city of no regret.

I find that I making peace with circumstances which seemed to great to tackle. I am re-connecting with my loved ones from whom separation got the better of me. I am even beginning to accept that "It is what it is" and all that comes with "it."

I am finally seeing that I am not an accidental photographer, writer, filmmaker, broadcaster, marketing guru, creative. I am really beginning to own it. It's as if just giving myself permission to be is opening me up to a mirror through my work.

I may not have a "job" but I have "work." My work is to practice and hone my talent and to ensure that the gifts I have been given are shared with those with whom they were meant for. I wrote once that "My talents have been gifted to sustain." That still rings true. The seeds I sew with my creativity will bring a bountiful harvest, not only for me, but also for all who partake.

I am something big. I am something special. I am a lifeforce of promise, energy, love, light and joy. I say this not with pomp and pageantry, but with the reverence of a spirit who has acquiesced that she is made in the image and likeness of God. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I give praise to my creator by accepting that His creation of me is perfect. I am not perfect, but I strive for perfection. That means even though I recognise that I will always fall short, I will continue to work on being better.

"Arriving" is the antithesis of growth. It means you have plateaued and will eventually regress. Dormancy is death and degeneration.

So, today, I celebrate what is. I cherish this moment. I am alive and well and it is well with my soul.

This reminds me of my late Aunt's favourite hymn:

"When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Though has taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul."

I give rise to me.

Monday, January 03, 2011

For Auld Langsine...

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