On the dark days

Sometimes it feels like you can conquer Everest without even preparing for it and on other days it feels like you can just pull the duvet over your head in the hopes that your bed will swallow you in.

I’ve struggled with depression for the most part of my teen and adult life. Without going into major detail there has been catalysts in my life that were really hard for me to handle at that stage. More recently I was told by my Doctor that I mainly struggle with Seasonal Depression and anxiety. You see, my head is a busy space. Grand Central of brains, and I retract and sort and work through things there and then I go quiet. Very quiet. And this causes even more problems because my “mood” is mistaken for rudeness. Plus I have bitchy resting face, so fun times all around. 

But I don’t get to lay in bed and eat slabs of chocolate and little pots of Haägen Dazs because I’m an adult and I have responsibilities. There’s no such thing as slouching around in your pajamas with messy hair and to care for yourself. I’ve been having a few of these days as of late. 

As the end of my contract creeps closer and closer, I’m left wondering what’s going to happen with our household. Our family. I lay in bed restless at night and if the slightest thought of job hunting sneaks in, I can kiss my dreams goodbye. 

I guess where I’m going with this is that you just can’t always have a perfect happy sitcom life. These dark days are there to ground, and sort and file through the library that is my brain and get on with life again.

I’m now going to pull the duvet over my head in the hopes of my children thinking the bed swallowed me for real.

A new month closer to the next chapter 

We’re already two days into August and as much as I wish Spring with all the promises of newness will come now (the Winter lurgies just won’t let go of the Martin family) I am scared. 

I’m scared for the main reason that my temporary contract will expire in the beginning of September and so far nothing has come from any of the leads I had or positions I’ve applied for. The unemployment rate in South-Africa has recently been reported as 26.6%. That’s just a little bit above a quarter of our workforce. 

So with my clever Human Resource Degree let me tell you what according to the clever people unemployed is defined as.

Unemployed individuals can be categorised into two groups. Group One which is individuals actively searching for employment and want to work and Group Two whom has no prospect or willingness to work.

I’m in Group One, actively, on a daily basis sending CV’s out. There’s just no way in our current Economic climate one can be without a steady and definite income. There’s bills to pay, cars and insurance, the never ending story of nappies and hungry tummies to feed. But what if nothing comes at the start of the new month? People assume yeah she’s got an older husband, no worries he’ll pay for everything. No, I didn’t marry my husband for any kind of meal ticket and secondly I’m not a lady of luxury. I want to work, as much as the guilt eats me up when I miss an extra hour with my girls because of traffic, I have a want and need to succeed in life in order to provide for them. 

Come September I might just have something going for myself or I might be unemployed. But whatever it is, it all will work out for the best. There is a plan for me.

Life Lately

After my last post it has been way too quiet on the blog. The same can’t be said for my “real” life.

Let’s catch up!

Finishing the Well I am Challenge became my main focus, and let’s face it, nobody wants to read about bland chicken and broccoli. Dieting was strict and my training programme became even tougher. The challenge came to an end on 16 June 2016, on Youth day. I thought it was quite an apt day to have the challenge finish on a day where we celebrate the youth of our country. Although I am still classified as a youth or a millennial, being only 25, I didn’t feel like a young mommy. I went from muffin top to almost mean abs, from lethargic all day to Duracell bunny. If it wasn’t for the support of my husband in the final days, which competed in IFBB for close to 10 years, I don’t think I would have made it. He stuck it out through my hangry moods and sore muscles and even patiently took my after photos if I didn’t think they looked good enough. I love my husband dearly, and the patience he has exuded during the challenge was admirable. So a shout out to my wonderful husband for keeping the balance in our house, bathing the girls on the nights that I went to gym, gave sound advice and kept me from cheating on my diet. You allowed me to find myself again, and I am glad that the old me is back as a new and improved version.

The finalists were announced on 27 June, which was a day of total torture! I was stalking the Well I am Facebook Page like a pro. I can safely say that when I went onto the page at around 08:00 there was 13504 likes on the page. At my very last look the likes had gone up to 13514 (and it has increased to 13990 during the course of the week!) During this last check-in, I was actually finishing up my ab training for the day and then I saw the photo. At first I thought nah, can’t be. I was one of the finalists and out of pure joy and excitement I burst out crying in the gym (I’m that person) and then I phoned my husband to tell him about the news.

 If you would like to give support to the 12 Female and 7 Male Finalists, please go and have a look on the official Well I Am Facebook page and give someone a like or comment. These men and ladies have gone through some remarkable transformations, even the ones who did not make it to the finals.

The Grand Prize winners will be announced on 5 July 2016! Good luck to each and every challenger, all the best.

Mothersday and Fathersday also happened since my last post and I will be posting about these two events as well in the course of the new week. I received the nicest Foodie Box from Date Factory for Mothersday, and I will be giving a review on the box. On Fathersday we had a whole Dads weekend celebrating the husband, with some “tourist” type travelling and exploring our vibrant city.

I don’t have many other predictions for the coming month, one little long weekend away to Mpumalanga for the Jock Classic, which the husband is training hard for at the moment.

Keep warm and keep healthy.

It’s all downhill from here

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There is officially 22 days left of the Well I Am Challenge, and from here on out it’s all downhill. But, in a good way.

I’m starting to become a bit antsy about the preparation that still needs to take place before I take those after photo’s. Thinking along the lines of getting a spray tan because I can actually give the friendly ghost a run for his money. My competitive side however is starting to frazzle! I keep having these thoughts of “did I go to gym often enough, how badly did my flu filled week affect my results, was I strict enough with my diet…” All normal thoughts I guess.
However, I am continuously comparing myself to other competitors. And I know that I really shouldn’t be doing that. My start can’t be compared to someone who’s been on a lifestyle change for the past two years.

For the life of me I know I’ve got no upper body strength and it’s taken me forever to get some sort of definition in my biceps. So I do feel a smidge envious when members post pictures of their biceps, because I also want sleek sexy arms and no flabby chicken wings.

So that’s all I have to do. Keep pushing through these 22 days, take the after photos and be happy with the results that I have achieved during the 100 healthy days. Because at the end of the day these are my achievements and my body. Not someone elses.

When the mom guilt consumes you

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Personally I think I have been the unluckiest person when it comes to the 8-5 grind. I compare myself to friends from university and from where I’m sitting, it feels like I’m three steps behind everyone. After leaving my last job, I did a lot of soul searching regarding where I see myself in a career. I don’t know why or even how it came about that I ended up studying and finishing my degree in Human Resources. I’m an introvert and on top of that a pessimist, therefore it becomes challenging to see the positive of things when you’re constantly dealing with all the nitty gritty of an organisation.

Finally I’ve found something I like doing in the Human Resources field, that doesn’t drag me down. But it’s coming with a hefty price tag.

There isn’t money to be made on the East or South side of Johannesburg, as payscales differ immensely from what someone with the same job description is earning for example in Sandton. Now, I’m working in Bryanston. Which from home is a 45km commute to and from work on a daily basis.

If I’m lucky I get to see my girls for maybe two hours at night. In between cooking and dishes and prepping meals and school bags for the next day. What happens to me time and relaxing? That unfortunately isn’t bestowed on a mother. And on a weekend? With shopping for the coming weeks food and maintaining a fit body, I’m becoming increasingly guilty of not spending enough quality time with my girls. What are they going to remember me for? The mom who drops them off and just goes through the motions of getting everything done so that I can get a few hours of sleep before the whole routine starts again in the morning.

With sitting in traffic with rude drivers I am so scared that I’m going to become the shouty mom who takes her frustrations out on her kids. Then I’ll be the mom who never appreciated the little nag of a little girl who just wanted to tell me about her day at school.

I’m feeling like I’m missing out on little things with my monsters. And with limited time spent with them is it really enough? Will they grow up thinking that I neglected them or that I was selfish following my passions and dreams or will they think that mom followed her passions and dreams in order to provide and give them a chance in life?

I guess only time will tell what they make of me. So for now, I’ll cherish the quiet and sometimes crying moments at night when they wake up for comfort and a cuddle even if it results in a stiff neck the following day. Because I’ve been blessed with two kind and strong little girls who are only lent to me for a short time in life before they become someone elses.

The last 30 days of Well I Am

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Today marks the very last month of the Well I Am Challenge. There is 30 days left before we have to submit our final stats and after photos.

The past week has been a bit lacking concerning my training with my husband travelling quite a bit and an eventful weekend with the lovely ladies from Zana Products.

There has been a few rough days during the past month, where I found it very difficult to maintain and push through my workouts. Generally because I know that I have no upper body strength so I don’t look forward to my chest workouts. One specific day I halfway through my exercise routine with no more energy left to go on, I actually got sick (because my sugar started dropping). I went to the bathroom and gave myself two options, either I sit there crying feeling sorry for myself or, I can sit for a while until I feel better and go finish that workout. I chose the latter. I’ve thought of myself as a failure for a very long time and I’ve made my decision to not put myself down anymore. My motivation has to come from myself if I want to succeed at whatever I attempt to do. That also keeps me accountable for my actions. So far, that is what I’ve been doing. Diet wise, I’ve let the ball slip once or twice over a weekend. I don’t pig out on the usual pizza or pasta, rather taking what is considered an unhealthy meal and replacing it with healthier alternatives. I’ll post a recipe of my version of the Seared Mediterranean Fillet from Primi later this week.

My online trainer is sending me my last change of routine later this week. If I thought she was whipping me into shape these past 69 days, I think I’m in for a major surprise for the last 30.

Here’s to a healthier fitter me during the last 30 days! In the end it will only be to my benefit.

Mothers day traditions

As a child I can’t think that we actually had a set tradition that we followed to celebrate our Mom on Mothers day. Our tradition probably progressed as most traditions do, starting with a hand drawn picture to a jewellery bowl made from clay (one my mom used for a very long time and then it eventually crumbled) to breakfast in bed or an improptu flower arrangement from the garden because we forgot and then to more expensive gifts because we could save pocket money to buy something for her. Come to think of it, we neglected my mom in this sense.

So, to save your mom from the same fate as our mom, I’ve come up with a few ideas for you to do around Johannesburg and Pretoria.

1. Irene Village Market

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The Irene Village Market now has a brand spanking new venue after 27 years. It has moved from the old premises to The Big Red Barn (if you’re a cyclist worth your salt, you’ll know all about this venue). They are hosting a market this Saturday, 7 May 2016 from 09:00 to 14:00. Swing Party Band will be performing, so grab a bite to eat let mom relax and sneak off to buy her a present from one of the craft exhibitors.
2. Venue Nouveau & La Farm’e Barn

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This lovely little gem hidden in Zwavelpoort, Pretoria will be hosting a Vintage Picnic. Starting at R165.00 per person you will receive a basket filled with yums. You are to provide your own drinks and glasses. Booking is essential, you can contact Riana at 084 447 5364.

3. Great Burger Co.

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Great Burger Co. will be giving moms a meal they don’t have to cook. Mom can enjoy a burger up to R150, minimum table of 4 patrons apply. Phone beforehand to book a table at your desired restaurant.

4. Milla Mae image

Sweet Stationary

If you’re mom is a stationary lover, doodle bug or maker of notes, why not visit the Milla Mae online shophttp://millamae.co.za? They’ve got designs for everyone and are offering 25% off your order valid until 11 May 2016, excluding shipping.

5. Janine Binneman Jewellery

Janine Binneman Jewellery has a few items available to ship immediately for the last minute shoppers. You can visit her Facebook Pagehttp://facebook.com/janinebinnemanjewellery/ for more details.

And if you’ve really really left it until the last minute, there’s always to good old Woolworths for a bunch of flowers and a quick gift.

Happy Mothersday all!