Strong is the new pretty

Cilantro?

Recently, my partner and I (apparently they’re not called boyfriends when you’re 30 and above) were sitting in a coffee shop. I ordered a whole bottle of wine, he only had one glass, I had the rest. He seemed distracted. He’d stare at the wall, then at my face, then at my nervously intertwined fingers (it was a serious talk and I’d given him the good old – “we need to talk”), then he’d steal a glance at my stomach. And at some point, he found himself, transfixed, at my 6 week old bun. A burger bun! “Wamuyu, I know no one is perfect, but you’ve let yourself go. I’m saying this with love. You’re not an amateur. You know you can’t do the same things in the gym and expect different results, so don’t tell me things are slowing down. Again, I’m saying this with love.” and I believe he was. And I took it positively. Why? Because of humans who tell you you’re GLOWING; It must be the new job…..it must be the new guy……it must be the go fuck yourself……sometimes, glowing = fat.

He’s seen a better version of me, and for some reason, this time, I didn’t realize that what I have done for so long, wasn’t working for me anymore. I’d boast that I have the metabolism of a 20 year old because I could eat anything I want and drink a whole bottle of wine (OK, maybe more) by myself, but the world is quick to remind me that that’s not an achievement by any measure. And that’s the little growing up I had to do in a very short time, perspective-wise. And to be honest, I was grateful I had that moment with him, rather than anyone else. Also, because of how skillfully he sandwiched that observation between two compliments……nice one babe!

There’s nothing quite like a hiatus to recharge, get ideas, get fitter, progress and show the world what you’ve been up to……..And after one of those, you’d obviously think I’d come back bigger and better. Well, I am definitely one of those….bigger. I had a conviction last year to find a job that would allow me more time to take care of myself, mentally, physically and spiritually, and to write more. I’ve been writing, but obviously not anything worth putting up (or rather worth complaining about). Things have been good, until now. Everyone around me knew the hectic schedule I had at my previous job, and I felt at the end of it, I barely made it out alive. It was physically demanding and that, I can say now, I took for granted. I have quite a relaxed job at the moment, and I generally felt I was getting enough sleep, time to exercise, time to socialize, weekends off etc. A balance. But what it’s done is really slow down my metabolism as I am now seated for 8 hours a day rather than up and down on my feet. I woke up one day six weeks pregnant with a beautiful baby burger bun. And I felt disappointed but at the same time challenged to get back into shape now that I’d settled into the job.

I quickly took some time off work, and decided to do a 1 week cleanse that would shock my body back into health mode. And afterwards, the plan was to slowly re-introduce healthy food and hopefully, snap back. I’ll get back to you on this in about 6 weeks. But during this cleanse, there are some things I have learnt about my body and some things I have to let go. I have been talking to my friends and family about my experience so some of the things written below may be familiar to some of you:

  1. I haven’t farted since I started the cleanse: I really didn’t realize that just because I drank 5 cups of sugarless tea a day that it’s good for you. It’s not! I’ve had to give up dairy. But for sure, I’d rather drink black tea and coffee than that nasty unsweetened almond milk that tastes like distilled camel piss.
  2. I went for evening mass one day to pray for a flat stomach. Sitting down. It didn’t work. I never thought the day would come when I’d have to actually eat less carbs. I’ve talked about it for years, but that’s all I’ve ever really done, talk about it. It’s hard, but definitely worth it. I already feel a lot better.
  3. My struggle with acne is purely hormonal. Not entirely!
  4. Cleansing is expensive. I spent 5000/= on a weeks’ worth of fruit and vegetables. Was it worth it? Yes! But I really need to find a sustainable way to incorporate more fruit, veg & protein into my diet.
  5. I have to cut down on deep fried carbohydrates and stuff with additives and preservatives, bread, chapatti and mandazi and unfortunately these cannot be compromised. They have to all go. All of them. Not once a week, not once a month, not at Christmas (well, maybe at Christmas) and I’m gonna try this for life.
  6. I’d rather give up chapatti for the rest of my life, than give up my beloved glass of wine. I love it more than words can say. But I think I may have to have less of it in general. And this makes me very very sad.

All in all. Sometimes you need the people around you to keep you in check. To give you a little bit of a shove in the right direction. And it may hurt when you’re told something you don’t want to hear. But what you need to do that information is use it to sweeten that vegetable smoothie and take it like a man! Or a woman in this case.

And for heaven’s sake, just call it dhania, not cilantro. I’ll respect you more for it.

Nice to be back.

Lots of love.

W.


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