me Life and Times of the Fireflies: February 2016

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Battle of the Bulge - Starting Slow

2015 was a year filled with distractions! Weddings, babies, family commitments. Everything was a priority except me and even though I tried to maintain regular gym sessions; they were haphazard attempts at maintaining my fitness levels...a few good weeks followed by a couple of cancellations and just as I start to find my rhythm, a new distraction would come along and keep me from my goals.
By October, the frustration was starting to mount! Summer was approaching, my clothes were fitting a little snug and I wasn't feeling good about myself at all.  That was when I decided to get my mind into gear once and for all in order to achieve some sort of progress.
Previously on the yo-yo diet express, I would start with great gusto and enthusiasm; head full throttle into the realm of lettuce leaves and tasteless food, only to have it wane after a few weeks. This time I decided to slow down the pace. Make small commitments, stick to it and then build onto it from there! I decided to throw out any ideas I ever had about diets and dieting and start from the very beginning...without being boggled down with the expectation of instant results. I shifted my focus from "weight loss" to pursuing a healthier lifestyle! I knew that before I got things right, I first needed to figure out what I was doing wrong. I knew where I needed to be, but I also knew that in order to reach there I needed to start with basics.

One thing that played in my favour is that I've maintained a relatively active lifestyle. I love exercise!! It's the one thing I can't do without for long periods of time. I figured, what better way to start this journey than to start with what I know, what I'm comfortable with! So my initial plan of action was just to get moving more consistently again. This was hard for me because my mind was telling me to go wild and crazy...but I also know myself well enough to know that if I started that way, the momentum wouldn't last. At this stage I didn't make any drastic changes to my diet. I was obviously a bit more conscious of what I ate, made a few healthy changes here and there, but didn't embark on any particular plan. I knew that any small change was a significant change. That it was at least a step in the right direction, even if just a small one.

The first few weeks were predictably great! I was mentally committed and it showed in the effort I put in. By the third week my momentum fizzled out a little. Fatigue settled in and I slacked somewhat. If it wasn't for jotting down my progress, I'm sure I would have allowed the slump to continue...but once again, the power of the mind proves to triumph! I had to give myself a good talking to and reignited my desire to succeed.

Through this exercise of trial and error and jotting down my progress, I was able to see that my weakness lies in the weekends! Underactive and overeating sabotages my own progress. I know that investing an hour at gym (or outdoors) over the weekend will make a huge difference, not only physically, but mentally too. Somehow a good workout has the power to propel me into making better eating choices too. And so decided I to incorporate some weekend classes to my routine. By the end of the month I was feeling fitter, healthier and very much determined to continue on this path!

* If you've missed the first instalment, read here

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

A Birthday of Love

Nothing has made me value Time more, than this blog, the preserving of my memories, and writing these birthday stories for my family. Before, time would pass swiftly. One year would roll into the next. Old memories get replaced by new ones. We'd grow, get older, wiser, gain a few grey hairs...things would change and we managed to embrace it and move on. Now, I love that I get to capture the essence of each year as we go along. Birthday stories has become so much more than just well wishes to my's become somewhat of a beacon...a little peephole into the year that has passed. A frozen capsule of time, memories and the people we are slowly evolving into...

Our lives have always been tightly woven siblings, sisters, women, and through the incredible connection our kids share. Our burdens always shared, victories celebrated together. Reliant on each others strengths to get through the days. That is the bond I have come to know and rely on.

In just the space of a year, so much has changed; mostly for you! For the first time in a long time it was more than just your birthday, but it was Valentines Day too. Love came knocking and next thing we knew, we were planning a wedding! We've had to let go of things as we knew it and evolve with our changing landscape, but it has been such a privilege watching you blossom and bloom.

We tend to take for granted how circumstances shape us...but you are a perfect example of how new circumstances reshape us. Gives us hope, courage, faith. This will forever be the year that you found love, happiness. The year you got married and forged a unit of your own. Not only for you, but for Agu too...

And as we look forward to the days that lay ahead, always know that wherever the road may lead, you will always have your sisters by your side... like your very own shadow. Some days we will stride in front and sometimes we will walk behind. But just remember that on the darkest days you won't see a shadow at all....because those are the days were all stand united as one....those are the days were are the strongest of all!

Happy Birthday!
Love Always,


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Battle of the Bulge

I am overweight!! There...I've said it! This doesn't always bother me...sometimes I pacify myself with the thoughts that "I'm not so bad"..."I have 3 kids"..."I have so many things to be grateful for", "There are people who are fatter than me", "Fat is not the worst thing I can be" etc. And though these statements may be true to some degree; it's also what's holding me back.
Lately this declaration has started to bother me a bit more. When I catch glimpses of my reflection, or try on a garment that fits a little too snugly or doesn't do a good job of concealing my curves, or see a picture of myself (not taken at the appropriate angle)...these moments make me wince and cringe. And even though my self worth is not dependant on my size; I know that my size is a result of my incapability to control my mind.
You see, the mind is a powerful tool and every time I feed it with excuses, I am submitting to failure. I make my present reality "okay" when in actual fact it's not.
I must've been on a thousand diets already in my lifetime. Starting and then failing and then starting again; only to fail once more. An endless cycle of enthusiasm followed by the familiarity of another failed attempt, pacifying myself with half truths to make it seem ok.
I realise that the difference between me and all those who have succeeded where I have failed; is mind set. That those who have succeeded were more focused and committed to their goal. I've realised that all this time I thought my body had failed me, when in actual fact it was my own mind. My own thoughts had manifested into my this instance, my failure.
The last time I picked up my pen, it was to free myself from the prison of my mind, my thoughts. To rid myself of negativity, feelings and emotions. This time I am using my words to take control of my mind. To hone in on my thoughts. To conquer my weaknesses! The minute you realise that the battle of the bulge starts with the mind -willpower, commitment, planning, education, goals- that it's not merely an aimless journey based on wish and desire. That it takes hard work...that is when you start to make progress.
Like countless times before, I am hoping that ink on paper,  fingers and keyboard, the rhythmic movement of pouring out my thoughts will unravel what's holding me back and help me condition my mind, keep me focused and hopefully conquer this battle once and for all!!

*If you liked what you've read and are keen to read more about my bumpy ride to a healthier "Me" then please let me know by liking/sharing or leaving a comment :-)
Thanks for reading!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Strand Waterworld

January basically just zoomed past us and here we are at the beginning of February; the last few weeks of Summer before we shift gears (and wardrobes) once again and welcome a new season. February is supposed to be the hottest month on our calendar, and with most of our week (and glorious weather) being either tied up in either the office or the school run, I intend to take full advantage of the weekends before the gloomy months hit us!

If you're looking for something fun to do with the kids and want to capitalise on these final weeks, then I suggest heading out to Strand Waterworld. It's a relatively old establishment, but I've been living in my own bubble for far too long that I've only recently discovered this little treasure.

Situated on the beaches of Strand and hidden in a lush, green nook; Waterworld provides you with an intimate and secluded venue - perfect for a fun family day out! Boasting five slides of varying sizes; suited for everyone from the mini adventurers of under six years to the more adventurous spirit with tummy churning vertical drop; Waterworld offers good, clean fun for the whole family! The no alcohol policy, is an added bonus! Lifeguards on duty provides some peace of mind for parents who prefer to escape the chaos  fun  while relaxing in the cool shade of the Bedouin tent and sipping/snacking on the delicious drinks and treats the informal outdoor cafĂ©  has to offer (or your own picnic goodies if that's what you prefer). What I like about it is that you have a birds eye view of the slides from wherever you are which means your kids are always within sight.

This day will forever stand out to me because it's the day I decided to let go of my inhibitions and have fun. It was the day I stepped out of the side line and rediscovered the child within. It was the day I walked beside my kids instead peering into their lives through parental lenses. It was the day I got to bond with my older Sister and laughed over song games in the hot tub (don't even ask) and it was the day we reclaimed some lost pieces of ourselves...Waterworld, you were lots of fun, it's only a pity we didn't drag Deed into the mix too...but then we wouldn't have these pics to remind us of the day ;-)






Thanks for reading!