Friday, November 7, 2014

Looking for myself. Again...

I've come to a humbling realization recently. One that I think will be a difficult thing to write about (and a bit long, sorry!). At the same time, I feel I must.

The truth is, I feel like I haven't been an honest blogger.

It's a terrible thing for me to admit, because from the first day I wrote my first blog post back in 2010, I based the idea on basically two foundational pillars:

The first was honesty. The second was being interesting.

It was a good system. When it came to my writing blog, it meant that I had to keep writing in order to find interesting things to blog about.

Later, I started this blog, which was about me going after my dreams and sharing some of the lessons I learned from experience along the way.

Honestly, I think that for the first two years, this was a great blog.

It was honest.

It was interesting.

And truly, it was something positive. Living breathing proof that things do go well for people who go after their dreams.

Then came 2014.

I can safely say that I completely and utterly lost my mojo this year. Which really, isn't a bad thing, per se. Except that I lied by omission.

When stuff went wrong with my publishing deal, I wrote about how determined I was to bounce back. I did not write about how soul crushing it was to have this happening while my business, my only source of income, was failing.

It wasn't the failure of the business, really. Businesses fail. It happens. And honestly, by the time the critical break came, neither me, nor my mother (with whom I owned the business) were happy in it.

The real crush was that we put what we had left into the farm. Which for a while was a source of hope. Except, it took all of our savings and produced not a cent in return.

To give you an idea of sheer hell: All this was February. If you click the link, you'll see me mentioning that I was a "bit blue." It was me practically crying myself to sleep because my first publishing experience had all but turned into my worst nightmare. And it was only the start.

My family put all of our time, energy and money into making the farm work. Which meant that activities I'd always loved like singing, dancing, fencing, even painting got put aside to "when things are better."

I focused on my writing, more determined than ever to make that gig work. But with every passing day, the strain of having to put a happy/determined/brave face on it all when really, stuff sucked... It just wore me down to the point where I no longer felt like writing. And really. I didn't feel like blogging here either.

Because the truth is that I didn't want to admit that things were bad. This was the HAPPY!!! blog. The one where I encourage others and myself to go after dreams! To dare more! To dream more! To remember exactly how much we have to be thankful for.

And yes. I realize that I have a LOT to be thankful for. Through everything, I still had my amazing family right there with me. And I still do. We are all still healthy and together. (Except for me getting a bout of what I suspect to be Strep, and my brother getting tick bite fever last weekend.)

But there remains one point:

Being positive when everything you've accomplished in recent days goes to hell around you is actually a lot more soul-destroying than your life all but imploding in the first place. 

But keep a determinedly brave face on it all I did. But that's the thing I didn't realize at the time. I thought: It's just for a bit. Things will turn around. No one will ever notice. 

But when I started filtering my experiences for public consumption... I sanitized my life right out of a blog... about my life. 

Which meant I wrote less and less and less. And when I did write, it came through this fake, bland filter, which made everything I wrote seem like the worst ever case of sitting with strangers and discussing the weather because there's nothing else to discuss. And this blog all but died. 

And really, it deserved to. I lied. I. Lied. After taking it on myself to show people of how awesome things could be when things go as planned, I didn't give this shitty year the same treatment. 

Which I feel terribly enough. Although I think that subjecting you to the downward spiral that was my life this year wouldn't have been good, I do believe that if I had stuck with being honest, I could at least have made things interesting. 

I might have made things easier on myself too. Maybe, if I'd admitted that yes, my life sucked ass for the past eleven months, I wouldn't have gotten dragged so deep under towards the last few months. 

Full disclosure: No... I don't think I sank into depression yet. But the shoe business really started at the exact right moment.

Even with it, though, I'm fighting to get back to the place I was in December 2013. Full of optimism and full of belief that the year had unlimited potential. 

We're building back up, and today, we got a string of great news that's giving me hope that things are turning back around at last. 

But with this turnaround, there came a sense that I needed to take stock. That I needed to learn my lessons before I can move on. 

But it's good, I guess, because I can share my lessons and, who knows? Maybe help someone else. I guess that means that I'll have quite a bit to write about as I take stock. 

For now, I'm taking the blog feed off twitter and Facebook. Because really, I think I don't need the added pressure of trying to attract readers while I'm trying to find me, my life and my voice again. So if you're here for the upswing in the ride that's my life, I thank you. 

And if you are, and you pray, please do pray that the upswing keeps going. My family and I can really use the break. 

How are you doing, really? 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On trolls

It's been a long time since I last shared a though-provoking video on this blog, but when I saw this tonight, I knew I had to share.

Especially since trolls seem to be so prevalent these days...

Friday, September 19, 2014

An Update and Shoes

Wow. I can't believe two months have passed since last posting. I definitely didn't think it'd be so long before returning to this blog.

Still, some pretty huge things have happened in my life, which has mostly been taking up my time. But before I get to that, I want to thank everyone who shared about my prayer request.

Right now, there's not really news on that front. We're now sitting tight and waiting until April 2015, during which parliament will decide whether or not they're going to pass the law granting 50% ownership to people who haven't paid for it.

So please, do continue praying for this, for the farm, for my family... Please don't stop praying.

Now, on to the good news:

About two weeks after my previous post, my mom/business partner signed the sole distribution for these shoes and others like them:

Since then, we've been on a roller coaster ride like none other because it seems like every second lady who sees the pictures wants to buy a pair. Or five.

This is amazing, of course. A complete blessing that fell out of the sky when I had started to think that all hope was lost. I thank God for this, because I truly don't think things would have gone this well without His help.

Without a doubt, this is a gift straight from His hands. It came completely unexpectedly, without us even really looking at shoes before the day my mom paid attention to them.

So yeah, if you think hope is lost, just keep praying. I'm pretty sure God has a solution around the corner just when you think there's nowhere left to go.

How are you doing? Anything you need prayers for?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Prayer Request

Hi all.

Yeah... I'm just not going to rewrite what I've written for my other blog. So if you could please click over, I'd be most thankful.


Friday, June 27, 2014

How I'm Doing on My 2014 Goals

Hey all! So sorry for my absence. I've been having a rough couple of weeks. I don't really want to go into things too much because complaining really sucks. But let's just say that life is putting me through the wringer and it's making it really hard to concentrate on finding things to blog about.

That said, today is the last Friday before the end of June, so I thought I'd do a post on how I've been doing on my goals lately. The colored sentences are my comments.


Read 75 books.
Behind on this, mainly because of the bad start I had to the year. 

Read more William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and other classics.
Will get to this as soon as I've finished Les Miserables. I'm three quarters of the way through, but it's taking long because I'm reading bit by bit. 


Research relevant time periods and facts for various works in progress.
Haven't started on any works needing research. And once again, for everything I say that's behind, it's because of the first four months not being productive. 



The Countess
Haven't started. 
The Wedding
Haven't started.
Haven't started.
War of Six Crowns 4
Postponed until completion of Wo6C3 rewrite.
Optional: One other on my to-do list
Working on a non-fiction book about writing just to give me something to work on if the fiction doesn't feel like coming out.


Rough Draft.
Opsies and Lysties
Rough Draft
Rough Draft
Rough Draft.
Optional: One other on my To-Do List.
This will probably be one of the three books listed in Edits because I still need to rewrite them all. 


Eden’s Son
Postponed due to rough draft not being suitable for rewrites. 
Rewrite not started.
Rewrite not started.


Will be self publishing all of my books for the foreseeable future, but will update on each book's status: 

War of Six Crowns 3
Book being drafted again due to not being suitable for editing.
Birds vs Bastards
In process of being prepped for publishing before the end of the year. 
Any two of the “Edits” projects.


War of Six Crowns: The Heir’s Choice
Being prepped for publishing in October.


Make a point of visiting every follower and commenter on both main blogs.
Working on this, but probably will put this on the back burner.
Weekly posts on my War of Six Crowns Blog.
Not yet, since life in general is keeping me from regularly posting on any of my blogs.


Weigh 65kg by end March.
Maintain weight for the rest of the year.
Obsolete, since my new diet means I can't really pick up weight for as long as I stay on it.
Do yoga.
Do more exercise in general.
Trying to walk more and play tennis, although the rainy winter here puts a damper on those plans.
Eat healthily. I.E. The minimum refined carbs.
This I am doing. Since I'm eating NO refined carbs.
Do other arts. E.G. Paint. Needlepointing.
Doing needlepointing and crocheting at the moment. Want to paint, but the light's bad this time of the year.
Get involved with people with similar interests to me.
Got involved with a group in my church, so at least we have our faith in common. 
Get back to singing regularly.
Nope. And this is probably the one frustrating me the most. 

So yeah... Even optimistically, I'm not ever going to catch up on most of these things. And I'm not going to push myself to. But what I will do is check up on myself at the end of the year to see exactly how far I managed to get with everything. 

How are your goals going?

Monday, June 16, 2014

So what exactly am I eating?

I received a comment on Friday from someone else who's on a low carb diet and although the overall news was good, I realized that people have this misconception about what a Paleo Diet (at least the way I'm eating it) consists of. 

Most people seem to think the secret is in the protein. Well... Actually... not so much. The real secret is in the fat. 

This isn't a high protein, low carb diet. It's a high fat, low carb, moderate protein diet. So no, I'm not glutting myself on protein. The portions I'm eating are pretty much the same as before. In fact, it's not recommended that I should eat more protein than I ate before. On the contrary, I'm starting to eat less. (But I'll get to that.) 

Instead, I'm increasing my intake of natural fats such as cream, butter (not a good idea for the lactose intolerant), olive oil, some nut oils, palm oils etc. while cutting out vegetable fats and oils like margarine, sunflower oil etc. 

At the same time, I'm cutting out refined carbs and even whole grains and starches such as corn, wheat (ALL forms), potatoes etc. However, I'm still getting carbs in through vegetables and fruit. Just not in the huge amounts people assumed to be healthy, but isn't. 

Does this mean I'm now stuffing my face with fats, putting undue pressure on my heart? 

No. You see... you can't eat too much fat. I mean the moment you do, you start feeling nauseous. But you probably won't want to, since fat is in fact what satiates you when you eat. So when you eat healthy fats (and yes, I'm aware that a lot of people are screaming I'm not. But I am.), your body can actually be relied on to tell you exactly when you're no longer hungry. 

And that's why I'm eating less. 

Ever notice how that never quite seems to happen with bread? Yes people, before I cut out carbs, bread, not sweets, was my enemy. Because I was eating way too much of it, and didn't even know. 

Usually when I mention that I cut refined carbs out, people usually act like I've gone insane. Like I've finally lost my senses in my quest for a healthy weight. Like.... mine is a sacrifice no one should make. 

Thing is... I'm not suffering. I'm not hungry. I no longer have cravings gnawing at me as I go about my day. My energy no longer fluctuates. And yes, I'm losing weight. 

I'd love to be able to update you on how much, but I actually forgot to weigh myself this morning. Yep. Forgot. See when I started with this grim determination to cut carbs and lose weight, I thought I needed to keep track of my weight every single day or else my cravings would take control and I'd start picking up again. 

But no. I have no cravings. Sure, sometimes I feel like something sweet, but nothing that hot chocolate (sugar free) or warm milk with vanilla, stevia and butter (aka food of the gods) can't counter. 

Still, some of you will want a number: so I'll just say that on Monday last week, I'd lost about 30 pounds. That's in a bit more than a month. And the best thing is that I probably won't pick it up, because I won't stop eating the way I am. 

I've finally found a way of eating that's sustainable and healthy. And more than that, I'm going in for week seven and I feel amazing. 

Anyone else try cutting carbs? How's it going? 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Hey all!

So sorry to not have a proper post up again. :-/ I caught a cold on Tuesday and have basically been out of commission until this morning.

And now... I'm catching up to everything I missed in the past two days.

So hopefully on Monday, I'll have something worth reading up.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 9, 2014

A change in perspective...

I was staring at this blank page for a moment when an interesting thing occurred to me.

I mentioned in April or March that I realized that I was stuck in a rut. And at the same time, I spent a nice amount of time before that complaining on both this and my writing blog that I've been struggling to get things done. 

It felt at the time like I was spinning my wheels with no real hope of getting anywhere. 

Once I started working on getting out of my rut, I started moving. Yep. Doing other things like meeting new people, driving around, reading etc. all helped me get through my edits, and much faster than I thought possible. 

I did a huge revision to my book, and it didn't take me a month to finish, and the book is 300 pages long. 

So how is it possible that I finished my revisions faster by not focusing on them? 

Well. The book I needed to revise is The Heir's Choice. And if you've kept track of my going's on since about December, you'll know that I was supposed to edit this book last year already. Except things went south with my publisher. 

The thing is that my emotions and thoughts came so entangled in the souring relationship with my publisher that no matter how long I focused on editing, no editing could be done. Not for as long as my concentration kept going to the crap going on around the book.  

The lucky thing for me was that I spotted that I was in a rut around the same time as I got the rights to my book back from my publisher. 

Once I decided to get out the rut, I could change my perspective. 

I'd been looking at the bad stuff associated with the book so much that I couldn't even think of making the book itself better. It took me doing all sorts of other things in order to pull back enough and see the good things as well. 

And when I did, I could actually function the way I'm supposed to. 

So if you're stuck and can't seem to do what you know you should, maybe all you need to do is do something new instead. Just to get that much needed change in perspective. 

Anyone else find that doing completely unrelated things helps you do things you're struggling with?

Oh yeah! Before I go:

Weight: 91.5kg (201lb 11.6oz)
Total lost: 14.2kg (31lb 4.9oz)
BMI: 31.66

Friday, June 6, 2014

Day 36

Hey all! I already posted my life news today on my other blog, so I'm going to cheat and direct you there.

But before I do:

Weight: 96.4kg (212lb 8.4oz)
Total Lost: 9.4kg (20lb 11.6oz)
BMI: 33.36

Just to reiterate in case you missed it: I've lost 20 pounds in five weeks with no hunger, no cravings, no injections, no diet pills and no wishing the diet was over.

I love it!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Gun laws suck (when you have to study them.)

Wow. I was going to post on Friday to show my triumphant attempt at cake decorating without my instructor. And... well... it didn't go quite as planned...

In fact, I finished the cake at 11pm on Friday night. (*sob*)

But if you want to read why it took so long and see what the cake looked like, feel free to click over here.

Needless to say, it's been rough.

The good thing is it's been a learning experience.

Speaking of learning experiences, I'm about to sit down and crack open some books. On Thursday, I have to go write an exam to prove I'm capable of and responsible enough to own and carry a firearm. (It's required in my country to be licensed.)

The annoying thing is that this will be some seriously dry reading. Oh well.

Why the need for a gun? Mainly to chase vermin away with. (Pigs. Baboons etc.) So yeah, it'll mainly be just another farm tool.

But yeah... I might be a bit quiet on Wednesday, since I'll probably be studying like a fiend. And I'm going to stop writing right now so that I can get started.

Anyone else having to study for something this week?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How I'm doing...

So I thought I should mention how I'm doing with regards to escaping the rut I recently discovered myself to be in.

Basically, it's going well. I'm getting out more, and meeting some lovely people at a church group I joined. I'm starting to get back into reading, which basically stopped at the beginning of the year when things went pear-shaped.

I'm probably going to start painting this weekend if the light's okay. (It's very dark at the moment because of the rain.)

I'm hopefully going to find a new vocal coach so that I can continue my singing education.

The wonderful thing about all of this is that it's actually helping me recover from earlier this year much faster. I'd thought at the time that resting and not exposing myself to more exhaustion or stress would be the better way to get through the difficult time I had with my publisher. But the truth is, I'm only now starting to feel like I'm moving on, and I think most of it is because of me getting out there and seeing new places, exploring new foods (no carbs, which means I actually have a lot more energy) and doing things I love that I haven't gotten to in months.

So here's to doing more of those and having a fuller life.

Anyone else working on escaping a rut you're in? How's it going?

Friday, May 23, 2014

About following the Paleo diet...

I've come to a decision yesterday that I won't be posting my weight every day any more. Instead I'll be doing a weekly post (starting next week since I already did week 3's on Monday.).

Basically, I needed to keep track of my weight during detox so I wouldn't be tempted to cheat.

Now, I'm enjoying my new lifestyle so much that I'm really not all that tempted. Still, I think there's value in sharing my weight loss experiences. Even if it's just to encourage one more person to take on the challenge of breaking that carb addiction.

So what exactly am I doing at the moment?


(Dun Dun Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhn!)

A lot of people are incredibly excited about this way of eating. Others are incredibly concerned about cutting carbs out of our diets.

Now... I can go into research etc. about these issues, but since most of us weight-loss or health lifestyles aren't all that interested (sometimes to our detriment in fact), I thought I'd go into personal experience and common sense instead. Make of it what you will.

Issue 1: Paleo is about eating like a caveman, but we're not cavemen anymore. We've evolved. 

No, we're not cavemen. We're a lot less active as a rule, which means that we really don't have the justification of consuming the vast amount of sugars that we do. And really, we do. 

You know all those light foods we eat? So healthy because it's low in fat? 

No. The only reason those foods are palatable is because extra sugars are tossed into them to compensate for fats being missing. (More on fats next.)

And if we were evolved as we're being told, we wouldn't be in the situation where our generation's average life expectancies are being lowered by "life-style illnesses" like diabetes. 

Issue 2: Cholesterol! Heart Disease! 

Uhm... actually it turns out that there isn't that much of a correlation between fat intake (fat being natural fats) and cholesterol. This "knowledge" comes from a study where the "scientist" researched 22 (yes. twenty two) countries and used the results from six (yes, six) in his paper in order to show a positive correlation. The other sixteen? No correlation whatsoever. 

So why are we being told carbs have to be consumed in huge amounts, and that the study above was scientifically sound? Economics, darling. Politicians needed to find a way to lower food prices while keeping farmers happy. And that meant subsidizing the cost of grains and telling the whole world that they should be eating more grains than any other food source. (Even when it's not even remotely true.)

Personal experience fact: I've never had cholesterol, not even when I only ate proteins. The only time when I get really low blood pressure is when I don't eat refined carbs. Curious, don't you think? 

Issue 3: But fat makes fat! 

Nope. Fat gets converted as needed by the body in order to make the sugar etc. needed for it to function. If you consume natural fats (IE bacon, cream, butter, avo, olive oil etc) your body uses what it can and expels the rest. 

If you eat carbs, your body uses a tiny bit (because that's really all it can use) and stores the rest, thanks to insulin. And the problem is that insulin also prevents your body from using its own fat for energy. Which is why you keep piling on weight. 

So needless to say, fat doesn't make fat. Carbs make fat. And you know what proves it? The recommended amount of carbs saying we should eat them most of all came in in 1977. Obesity, diabetes, heart problems etc. only really became a problem since. 


Actually... No. And if you're overweight, HELL NO YOU DON'T. As I said above, your body actually creates its own energy from fat, whether it's already in your body or whether you consumed it with your food. 

But if it still makes you uneasy, going the paleo way doesn't imply no carbs. You can still eat fruit and a ton of vegetables. In fact, you're supposed to eat a lot more veg than fats and meat. 

The point is just that you can't eat grains, refined sugars and certain high carb fruit and vegetables. 

In conclusion: 

Yeah, I know I'm probably going to get some schlep for posting this, but I do get tired of people bringing up these issues every time I turn down consuming something obviously unhealthy. 

No, I don't think this is the only way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it's the only way I've tried that's actually not really difficult. And honestly, why make things harder when you could actually enjoy the way you eat? 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 18

Sigh. I have to say I'm a bit out of it today. Partly, it's because of a flu or something I caught in town Friday night. It's really not all that fun trying to focus when your head feels stuffy and your throat burns. 

So... I'm just going to turn in tonight and will hopefully post something more meaningful tomorrow. 

But! The scales have returned, and with it, good news: 

Weight: 100kg (220lb 7.4oz)
Total Lost: 5.7kg (12lb 9.1oz)
BMI: 34.6

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Day 13

Sadly I'm still without scales, so I can't update on my weight.

I did think, though, that I should update you on how I'm doing.

To those of you who missed my announcement, I cut (almost all) carbs out of my diet in an attempt to break my sugar addiction. The plan is that I'm going carb-less until I feel bad, and then I'm re-introduce unrefined carbs back into my diet.

Diet here being what I plan to eat for the rest of my life.

And you know what? I'm at day thirteen, almost two weeks in and I'm doing great. I had one scone over the weekend because I felt my energy dragging after a fourteen hour day on Friday (carbless, I might add.). And you know what? That one scone held me up for a ten hour active day. (Arranged flowers for a wedding. We ate lunch etc, but I skipped carbs again.)

Which I think goes to show how much unnecessary carbs I've put into my system before. I mean, if one scone on an active day is enough, six slices of bread or equivalent on non-active ones are waaaaaaaay too many.

And I'm definitely feeling the difference. I have started to up my activity levels in general (more walking, mainly), but am staying away from jogging etc. for now as at my weight, it won't be good for the joints. And on next to no carbs (I do get a few in, but unrefined and not more than about 10g as a rule.), I feel energetic and much more alert than I've felt in months.

Also, more stable. It's like I have a constant source of energy going through my entire day, instead of buzzing and crashing in cycles.

So yes, I know that my body will need carbs (it's come up in the comments multiple times), but until I'm in a condition where I can exercise enough to need them again, I'm staying away. Why? Because I feel better without them.

Anyone else changing their life-styles? How're you doing?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Nope, still didn't vanish...

Hey all! Just want to let you know that I didn't disappear on you.

Remember last year when my mother, my gran and I did the flowers for my friend's wedding? Well, one of her friends liked the arrangements so much that she asked us to do the flowers for hers as well.

So that's what I did on Friday and Saturday. (In blistering cold - okay not quite blistering - I might add.)

And on top of that, the scale I use to weigh myself has died, so I'm forced to hold off weighing myself until I get into town to buy batteries. (Ah, the joys of living on a farm.)

I will say though, that so far, things are going well. I did cheat a bit on Saturday (blaming the cold, the smell of fresh scones and the place's amazing jam for that.) However, I didn't crave any more sugars after and still don't. (Yay me!) And I'm not letting myself feel bad for a minor slip because... well, I'd spent a fourteen hour day on Friday and a ten hour one on Saturday, both mostly on my feet and lugging heavy stuff around.

Now things are getting back to normal, and I hope I'll easily get myself into some sort of routine again. I let myself slack for the first four months because of the nonsense with my publishing house, but even though it's over, I'm having difficulties with getting back into the groove.

How are you doing? Been up to anything interesting recently?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Day 7: Priorities

Sigh. Yesterday was a bit of a mess, blogging wise, so I thought I should at least put a bit of effort into today's update.

But sigh. I don't really want to because today is a week in and I'm feeling like I'm achieving nothing. Because for no reason whatsoever, I gained half a kg back from Tuesday.

Needless to say, this has me frustrated beyond measure. Right now, though, I'm sticking to my cut-out.

Why? Because I know that the weight will come off, and because I know that the weight is really a secondary consideration here.

Sure, losing weight is a great thing, and keeping track of it is the only real variable I have. But the truth is that right now my overall health is more important. And truth is that I have felt more stable, more energetic this past week than I have for months.

Will I feel like this forever with zero carbs in my diet? Probably not. But hopefully I'll be free enough from my cravings to re-introduce healthy carbs without over-eating them or without reaching for the bad stuff long before I start to feel bad. If not, I'll slowly add in healthy carbs, even though it'll slow my weight loss more. Because that would be the healthy thing to do, and therefore it's more important.

So no, I'm not starving myself of carbs forever. I'm merely breaking the chains they had over me before so that I can better control what and how much I consume in the future.

My weight, I'm sure, will follow suit regardless. But I think how well I cut off my cravings now will have an effect on how long the weight stays off.

For now, then, I will continue with my fast.

Weight: 102.3kg (225lb 8.5oz)
Total Lost: 3.4kg (7lb 7.9oz)
BMI: 35.4

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Day 5

Still craving bread etc, but it's getting easier.

Weight: 101.8 kg (224lb 6.9oz)
Total lost: 3.9 kg (8lb 9.6oz)
BMI: 35.22

Monday, May 5, 2014

A further thought on getting out of the rut.

As you might know, I've become aware of a rut that I've been living in, and am now working on getting out of it. Today I came across this video, and I think it dovetails quite nicely into this theme...


Needless to say, I'll be turning off the internet when I'm outside my home.

Weight: 102.1 kg (225lb 1.5oz)
Total Lost: 3.6 kg (8lb)
BMI: 35.33

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Day 3

Headache's mostly gone, but cravings aren't. Staying strong, though.

Weight: 102.5 kg (225lb 15.6 oz)
Total Lost: 3.2 kg (7lb 0.9 oz)
BMI: 35.47

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Day 2

Okay. Today is my second carb free day. It sucks. Right now, me body is both craving for more carbs and detoxifying, which means I'm snappish and nursing a nice, throbbing headache. That said, I've had migraines much worse that this. I can, after all, still stare at the computer screen.

That's actually why I picked to cut out on Friday. Day 1's sucky because of cravings, but Days 2 and 3 never go well, so they're best spent away from work. Hopefully I'll feel better by tomorrow already, but I'll have to see.

In the meantime, I'm drinking enough water so my system can flush out toxins faster.

Good news is that I lost 1.7 kg (3lb 12 oz) yesterday. This will mostly be water weight, as that's the first thing a body releases if you change your diet.

Hopefully I'll be getting into fat reserves in this coming week.

Weight: 104 kg (229lb 4.5 oz)
Total Lost: 1.7 kg (3lb 12 oz)
BMI: 35.99

Friday, May 2, 2014

Kicking the habit

You can't imagine how much I don't want to write this post. See... This blog is about taking charge.... of succeeding. And the point is I'm not.

My weight seems to be something I'll have to grapple with for the rest of my life. There will be no quick fix. There will be no lasting success.

And you know why? Because I have an addiction. To sugars and refined carbs. Every time I make the same mistake of thinking I can handle it when I start eating them.

Short term, I can handle things fine, but once I start, sugars keep creeping into my diet and before I know it, I have a serious problem.

Right now, you might be chuckling, but I'm dead serious. The medical community is starting to come around to the fact that sugar and refined carbs can be as addictive as smoking and alcohol. Moreover, they're becoming more aware that such an addiction is about as dangerous to our health.

We used to need rapid releases of energy back when we were running from dangerous creatures, or hunting the ones we needed to eat. In those times, refined sugars would have been perfect, and that's why our bodies react to it the way they do. Most of us crave it. All. The. Time.

Problem is that we no longer run to or from creatures. We simply don't need rapid releases from sugar anymore. On the contrary, we need slow-release carbs in our diet as that gives us better stamina to get through the day. But see... our lives are more complicated. One can argue that it's much more stressful, which means we're living under conditions somewhat similar to having to face down a sabre toothed tiger.

Every day.

So our body's response is to want sugar, because sugar gives you energy to run. To run fast. To run far. And to run RIGHT NOW.

Except... we don't. We stay seated at our desks, we power through all the stress and the resulting high-crash cycle from the sugar we consume adds to our stress. Which means...

You guessed it. More sugar.

Add to that the fact that consumption of sugar desensitizes our bodies to its effect (yup, like an alcoholic needing to drink more to get drunk)...

Yes. More sugar. And more. And more. And more.

So yes. As you can see, I get it. I know that it's dangerous. And what's even more dangerous for me is that after losing 14lb after cutting back on my consumption, I regained 18lb since that post, simply because my body isn't wanting to let go of the habit. That's a huge amount to gain in less than a month.

I can't go on like this. My body can't handle the stress of the weight I lose and gain. So this is where I go cold turkey. This is also where a ton of you will be going on about it being unhealthy to cut out carbs. But the fact is this.

There is no cutting back for me.
Cutting back only results in my weight yo-yoing.
Which is worse for my body and my health than probably anything else I can do short of eating poison.
I have diabetes and hyper-insulinism in my direct family, and already have other hormone issues, so I really DON'T need more problems.
And no, the cut-out won't be permanent. As soon as I see I really do need carbs again - which might be a while, given the amount of fat my body can use instead - I will re-introduce them to my diet the healthy way. In other words, next to nothing refined.

But first, I need to kick this habit, and this time I hope that it'll be permanent. An in order to keep myself on track, I'll be posting daily updates, at least at the end of every post I do. I will try to post more than weight loss, in case you're wondering, but right now, this is the biggest priority when it comes to me controlling my life.

Weight Today: 105.7 KG (233 lb, 0.5 oz)
BMI: 36.57

Friday, April 25, 2014

Where did this rut come from?!

It's a sad truth in my life that I pretty much always lack balance. 

Right now, my life is actually so badly out of whack that my family's starting to worry. Or... they're starting to worry out loud. It's a good thing that they do, though, because that brings it to my attention. 

Because the thing with my balance issues is that it's rarely ever a big thing that tips me to one side or the other. It starts small, but grows until I look around me, struggling to understand why I've let things go so far. 

That's where I am. I mean, my life's good. It's comfortable... I'm in a routine and things are going, even if they don't go as smoothly as expected. 

But it took a long conversation last night to realize that I've somehow managed to let all aspects to my life except for the farm and my writing dwindle to next to nothing. 

And that just isn't healthy. 

In fact, as much as I love the farm and writing, it's not even living. 

So I need to get back into the living habit once more. 

1) Moving around more (yay exercise to help budge weight)
2) Connecting more with God, family, friends and even new acquaintances.
3) Getting out more, even if it's just to write in a new location. 
4) Changing up my activities. I have so many things I love to do, but just don't make time for. Now's when I start making time. 

It might sound strange, but life's just not all it could be when we're stuck in ruts. Luckily, changing things up is only as easy as changing up a bit. That's exactly what I'm going to do. 

Because I don't just want to write and work on a farm. I want to live. 

Anyone else feeling stuck in a rut? What do you need to do to escape yours? 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Post

Heads-up: this post will deal with Christian beliefs, so if you're not interested in reading about it, feel free to visit here.

Yesterday, I had a nice little bout of negativity hitting me. Like in really. I guess it's just all the bad thoughts and feelings I kept at bay for the past month, finally washing over me when I finally let my guard down.

So I moped and felt sorry for myself. And... well... missed the point of what Easter's about.

See... we Christians celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ this weekend. And it's really a major event for us. Because it's through His death and resurrection that we were saved, and that we could become God's children.

You see... Jesus went and basically took all of our sins and said: "I've got this." And paid the price for all of it in our place.

And because Jesus paid the price for our sins, we could enter into a much more personal relationship with God. The lovely thing about this is that (although He's been doing so from the beginning of time), God's telling us that He has everything in control. And that we need only trust Him as our Father.

We don't need to understand. We don't need to worry. We don't need to do anything special in order to gain His special favor.

All we need to do is seek His will and follow it. As long as that's happening, nothing can really stand in our way or bring us down.

Have a blessed Easter, all!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weight-loss update

Now that I'm really getting back to my more regular posting schedule, I feel I should do a bit of an update on my weight so far. After all, it's one of the last big things I mentioned. 

So the goal had been that I be at a healthy goal weight by the end of March. And... well... that didn't happen. See in the time I wasn't posting, I put some thought into what I want from my life and my body. 

And the point is this: I want to be healthy. 

I'm not going to be healthy by starving myself of something and exercising myself to death. 

So instead, I decided to try another, more intuitive approach. 

I'm listening to my body. When I'm hungry, I eat something. When I'm not, I don't. So yes, it means I skip meals, or that I eat later or whatever. But it also means that I'm eating less in general. I've also cut back on refined carbs by a lot, the exception being when I eat "mieliepap" (almost like polenta but drier and more crumb-like) for breakfast. But the lovely thing is that it's gluten free and it keeps me full until lunch. 

Bread, sugar etc I'm eating a lot less of, and I'm eating more and more veggies (which is something I never really did). 

Exercise wise, I'm moving around a bit more, but I want to get fit rather than skinny, so I'm going to start doing more intense cardio like rope skipping once I've shifted a bit more weight. For now, I'm playing tennis with my mom. I look stupid doing it, but hey, the court's in our back yard, so it's not like there's anyone to watch. And the nice thing is that I can be a bit more social (as supposed to being locked up in my mind all day). 

So... what has this achieved? Well. 

I lost almost 14 lb from the beginning of the year. Which really is huge for me. It's slower than I wanted, but healthier, and I think more sustainable than stuff I'd done before. 

Anyone else working on shifting some weight? How's it going for you?

Monday, April 7, 2014


Hey all!

So sorry for my absence lately. I've been going through a difficult time at the moment, involving my two fantasy books.

To be honest, it's dragged me down so badly that I couldn't really sit down and write anything.

I'm slowly getting back to it though, even if my problems are continuing. So I'll definitely going to get back into more regular posts.

In the meantime, I'm still crocheting like a fiend, so I'm hoping that I'll soon have a beautiful blanket to show you.

In the lieu of that, I thought I should let you know that I joined Pinterest lately. It's fun at the moment, so I might gradually add more of my personal content. At the moment, though, I'm mainly pinning stuff like templates, recipes and crochet patterns.

Still, if you're interested in seeing what's interesting me at the moment, feel free to follow me.

And now, time for me to get back to crocheting. After all, the guest house is getting closer and closer to completion, and the blanket's supposed to decorate it.

How are you doing?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Still alive!

Oh my word. I can't believe a whole month has passed since I last posted! Time really does fly.

But since I hate neglecting my blogs, I thought I'd at least share an update on what's going on in my life. And since I'm a bit blue today, I'm going to focus on the good stuff.

1) I've started to play tennis with my mom. The farm came with its own court and net, so we bought balls and rackets, and started to play. We've been doing this for a month, and already, I'm noticing the difference to my body.

2) The men on the farm took over the painting at the guest house. That's almost done now. Next, they'll be making the furniture.

3) But if you think that freed up my time, think again. Right now, I'm spending most of my time either writing, or working on some or the other craft required for the guest house. It's going to look gorgeous. I can't wait to show you all what it looks like!

4) My mom and I started a blog on Monday. It's all about living on the farm, so if you're interested in that aspect of my life at all (for whatever reason) go check it out. Also, do check read my mom's funny story about how dyeing her hair almost ended up in a disaster.

Yeah that's pretty much what I'm up to at the moment. What's news with you?

Monday, January 27, 2014

On anger.

I was recently invited to submit a short story for an anthology. I didn't think I'd submit anything, since I don't usually write short stories. Still, the people who'd invited me were friends, so I didn't want to let them down.

I ended up writing this story about a ghost. I didn't have even a tiny idea where the story was going, but as I went on, I realized what the truth in the story was.

The ghost was trapped outside of existence by her anger. She couldn't live, and she couldn't move on.

Sounds a lot like real life, doesn't it?

I mean, so many of us cling to anger. Like my ghost character, we do it without realizing it. And that anger keeps us trapped in a vicious circle of resentment and bitterness.

We can't just live our lives if we have anger in our hearts, so if you are carrying some anger around, I pray that you can find a way to forgive the person who angered you.

It's a difficult thing, I know. People hurt us all the time. They damage us, and forgiving them means we have to just let go of all that.

Which is the point.

I'm not saying you shouldn't get angry. That's impossible. But as it says in Ephesians 4:26 (New American Standard Bible):

BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger.

See when we're angry, the temptation to sin is always there, because any way you can think of to hurt the person back is sin. 

The thing is that sin doesn't only damage the person you hurt. It gets you too. It's the same thing with the person who hurt you. They're not getting away as scot free as you'd think. 

As for the second part of the verse, not letting the sun go down on our anger, that's so important. Anger festers when it's kept buried in our hearts, and it poisons us every day we keep it there. So long after the initial act/situation hurt us, we keep hurting ourselves by holding on to our anger. 

Don't do it! It's much easier to lay your anger at our Father's feet and let Him handle it. His judgement is always fair, and handing over our anger frees us. 

I pray that if you are hurt, or if you've been carrying anger and resentment around for some time, that God will give you the strength you need to escape the vicious circle. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Busy busy busy

I have to say that I find it strange that people buy farms for more relaxed lifestyles. Well... maybe it's more a reference to the stress levels on the farm than anything else. Because sitting pretty and relaxing isn't an option.

My brothers are all tending to animals. My mom and I are handling the guest house renovation and now, picking and packing figs.

Perhaps the fact that we're so busy is because the farm was uninhabited for seven years. Very little infrastructure survived, so we're having to put everything back together. Which means that although we now have pick-ups and quads, working on the farm isn't unlike what the first settlers here must have experienced.

We do, however, have tv and internet to keep us warm at night.

But yeah... it's almost 2 pm right now, and my butt is dragging. It's hard work to pick and orchard clean.

Still, I'm not really going to rest too much right now. I have a ton of writing, editing and needlepointing to do.

What are you up to today?

Monday, January 13, 2014


Hey all. I decided to link today's post to my other blog, since I posted something very serious over there.

I hope you'll check it out!


Monday, January 6, 2014

New Feature: A Prayer List

So I was thinking... There are so many people in need of prayers, so I decided to make a prayer list available. All you need to do is add a comment to  the prayer list page, and if you have time, please take a minute to shoot up a prayer for the person(s) who commented before you.

It's a simple concept, I know, but I think it can change the world. 

I hope you'd like to join in! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Moments: A Message from Above.

This morning, me and my mom were talking while prepping the next guest house room to be painted.

As the hours went by, we went into talking about some serious stuff, and we ended up talking about God's will.

Basically, what I'd said was that once we're following God's will, and sticking to it, we can always count on Him to provide what we need, or a method to get it.

My mom then asked if I thought that us being on this farm was His will. I said I thought it was, just for the miraculous way it fell into our hands in the first place. Still, the situation is scary. The farm is HUGE and has been neglected for seven years. And putting it into a state where it can bring in money for us is taking everything we've managed to put together in the past two years.

This is our do or die moment. Either we tuck tail and run, or we knuckle down and trust that God will provide the means with which we can make the farm succeed.

Sometimes, life is that simple and that difficult.

Point is, this is terrifying. Waiting on God and not knowing where to expect help to come from.

And then when we finished prepping, I went to my room and found a little card on my bed. It was the one I got when I had my first official communion.

It's basically a thing with spaces to fill in, like the date and my name and a Bible verse that our preacher picked.

I kind of rolled me eyes, because I remembered back to that day and how I thought: "Well this isn't what I need to read." I didn't even remember what verse it was.

But as I was putting the card away, I just got a feeling I should open it and see what the verse was.

And it says this:

"Laat jou lewe aan die Here oor en vertrou op Hom: Hy sal sorg" 

It's Psalm 37:5. I tried to find an English translation of the verse, but you know how translations go. None of them say exactly the same thing as the other. So. Here's the most direct translation I give you for the Afrikaans:

Leave your life to the Lord and trust him: He Will Provide. 

In case you missed it: 


My mind is blown. The day my mom and I have a worry party about provisions, is the same day my grandmother found a card I'd shoved into obscurity basically from the day I'd received it. In... Get this: 

In 2005. 


I think:


Moments like these humble me. They remind me the God truly is in control. So much so that He kept that little note back through a lot of times I might have needed it, but already had confirmation, until the day I needed it most. 

Anyone else get messages like these from time to time?