Thursday, July 20, 2017

Note to myself: diet related once again. Here we go.

1: Clearly I am a little diet-obsessed. Wish I weren't, but I am a bit. Sorry.
2: I can still let go though, and enjoy a holiday. We just went away for three nights to Cathedral Peak Hotel in the berg, and it was LOVELY and I had a blast and I ate whatever I felt like. I only gained 500gms, over the holiday, so I feel good about that.
3: If left to my own devices, I will not overeat.

4: However, if I start to try to manipulate things too much, like I did yesterday, I will compensate, like I did today.

Here is what happened. We got back from our holiday, I was happy with my lack of weight gain, so the following day, it was my period, and I ate a shit ton of chocolate and some cake. Oops. But so what, right? I weighed myself, which is not the right thing to do around my period, and then felt bad at the weight gain. Then, even worse, I went shopping at PnP clothing, and the lighting and all those mirrors had me feeling really, really shitty about my body. I have gained weight lately and I don't like how I look, and I am feeling pretty miserable about it and seeing it reflected back at me was not pretty. I got a heavy dose of reality. I was zero carbing yesterday in order to lose some weight. I did lose weight - 500gms to be exact. From yesterday to today.

But after zero carbing yesterday, I was craving carbs like crazy today. I had bought a packet mix chocolate cake that I was intending to bake with my son over the holidays. Today is the second last day of the holidays. I decided to bake with him, and eat a tiny bit of cake.

Well, I went bat shit crazy and ate a ton of the cake. You see, it broke up into pieces, because it stuck to the crappy cake tin, and so it was all bits and pieces. We made the icing, so my son and I just iced random bits of cake and ate them. He is a typical healthy child: he stops eating when full.

I could hardly stop. I did stop, eventually, but I must have eaten about three people's serving of cake and icing. Goodness it was delicious. Now I feel full. And a bit sick. But also happy.

I simply cannot diet. I CANNOT diet. I cannot follow any single particular diet anymore. I can't eat high fat. I did it yesterday and it was great, I felt good, but today I just wanted carbs.

I also cannot cut fat out of my diet either. I have learnt that the hard way. I did it quite well during my gym days, but it made me deranged.

My only sane solution now is to eat a balanced mix of fat, carbs and protein.

If I Bant, which is healthy, I have to Bant on the carbier side and eat sweet potatoe, butternut and the like. And not drown food in fat.

I have to unwind my mind, now.

I think I may have stuffed my mind up when it comes to food.

I am not normal anymore.

I go crazy.

I need to stop weighing myself. I need to stop thinking about diets. I need to simply aim for healthy. I know that what I just did now, which it to eat my body weight in cake, is NOT healthy. I COMPLETELY pendulum swung. I know that I need to simply be normal.

I can only follow my own internal plan. I can't keep living with this fucking obsession. I need to stop reading diet and health books and magazines and TRUST my body.

Louise, I am you. If you read this again, let me remind you to trust your body and to listen to your TRUE needs. Your body needs healthy food, not cake. But cake now and again is ok. In SMALL amounts.

Today you read about a mechanism by which the body can store dietary fat. Of course it can. The body can store fat, protein and carbs. I believe it. I believe the body can do all these things.

My belly is getting fat and flabby and I believe it's from messing about with my diet. I believe it's time to clean up my diet and get healthy now. I know what healthy eating looks like. Time to implement it.

Friday, June 23, 2017

My current headspace: Quit Social Media

I am quitting social media. For how long, I have no idea. But for now, I have saved my Instagram pics that I wanted to keep and I have deleted that account, and am going to do the same with Facebook. I watched this simple, yet powerful video but a guy called Dr. Cal Newport, who has never had a social media account of any kind. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram. He makes a good case for quitting social media.

The point that hit home for me was this: social media is designed to be addictive. It's meant to keep you scrolling, to keep you on that screen for as long as possible.

This hit home for me, along with an episode of Carte Blanche I watched a couple of weeks ago which makes Facebook seem quite creepy: even if you have never used Facebook in your life, it has collected information on you. Scary. It has some profile on you.

Here is a freaky thing: I deleted my Facebook account around three years ago. I was off it for about six months. It was great. Then I found I had all these photos on my phone and didn't know what to do with them. So I reopened a Facebook account because it's so easy and convenient to upload pics directly to Facebook from the phone. I was using it as a sort of photo storage thing. Same with Instagram.

But now with Google photos, my photos all get stored automatically, in chronological order if they are dated, and it's private and easy. Well, they are private to me.

I google searched myself and the images that came up were from my blog. So my blog pics are all public. Which is fine. Cos I obviously chose to share those.

The main point and reason that I, personally, am quitting social media is so that I can focus my mental energy on things that really, actually matter. I keep talking about writing a book. I have started many books. I have never finished one.

I want to actually finish writing a book in THIS LIFETIME.

To be honest, even blogging is a distraction, but it's also a form of writing practice.

I already feel clearer being off Instagram, and I have deactivated Facebook until I can get my pictures downloaded.

Lastly, I feel it will be setting my son a good example to be off Facebook. He already talks about "posting" pics and videos. It's not entirely healthy, I don't think. If I want to share a pic of him with my family, I can email it to them or I can whatsapp them.

So long Facebook.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Comrades, and a get together.

Taken by my son
I am staying with my mom in Durbs for a night so we can go watch my brother run the Comrades. This will be his second run, and it's an up run this year, meaning they start in Durban and finish in PMB.

It's always nice to see my family and for them to see my son.

Yesterday afternoon I caught up with three of my closest, lifelong friends from primary school - we stayed friends during high school too, but we all met at primary school. The four of us catching up together doesn't happen that often now that I live in a sleepy coastal village, but now and then, when we do catch up, it's great.

I couldn't help but notice how we all are aging. The wrinkles. The grey hair. The extra bit of weight on all of us. The stress too, etched in our faces. I can see that we are all at the most stressful point of our lives. Three of us have kids, one is a single career woman who takes on far more work than she should. We all have pets and homes to look after. We all have huge financial loads to carry. I mean, we ended up talking about finances - life insurance - for goodness' sake! On what planet do four women get together and talk about the benefits of life cover? But we did.

It's a sign of our age and I just thought "I am really and truly middle aged now."

Our parents are aging. Two of us out of the four have deceased fathers. Two of us (not the same two) have three children each! Not me, clearly and I once again knew in my heart that having one child was, for me, the right decision.

Not only is education ludicrously expensive nowadays, but life in general is so costly. And things break and don't last, so now, you get families who constantly have to factor in buying new cars, new laptops, new appliances, all the time. I mean, on what planet do people replace their cars on a yearly basis? But one friend's husband wants her to do that.

In my dad's house is an old fridge/freezer that he had since he moved in to the house 28 years ago! Where do you get that nowadays? Modern life is crazy and greedy and too busy and nuts. It's also beautiful and vibrant, but mostly, it's nuts.

My one friend told the tale of her cousin, a gorgeous blonde woman, mother to three kids, who is going in to rehab for a cocaine addiction. I mean, what the....? And none of us were that shocked. This is the tale of modern life.

My other friend likes her wine. Heck, I like my wine too! I even know women who drink in the day.

I just thought to myself "We all have our coping mechanisms," and some of us cope worse than others, but at this stage of our lives, we really are all just coping. I don't think any of us has it easy.

I think the only way to stay sane is to realise that we are ALL going through the same shit. Different shit but the same, essentially. We need to be super kind and super gentle with ourselves. We need to throw judgment out of the window. We need to also let go of a lot of "stuff" we carry with ourselves.

It was so, SO good to see them again. These are the women I measure my life by. Not in a judging way, but in a marking-of-time way. As time moves us on, I see that we are all the same and none of us can escape the stress and the aging and the shit that life deals us. And yet, it was beautiful too. The one friend had her brand new four-ish month old baby with her, and his fat chubby cheeks and Gerber baby mouth were such a reminder that out of our old tired bodies comes new life.

And we reminded each other, in talking about the passing of a friend who is our age, 39, that our lives are fleeting but so precious.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Google photos and playing around.

From when our Frenchie was a tiny pup. 


I haven't posted in a while. Personal busy-ness. Life gets busy all the time, no matter what.

But on the plus side, I have deactivated from Facebook for a while. And from Instagram. It's giving me more time. I discovered Google Photos! A free photo storage place just waiting for me to use it! Duh. So now I am experimenting with dragging and dropping photos onto my blog. So this is a playing around blog post.

My brother is going to run his second Comrades tomorrow. He is really inspiring me because he was the teenager who would NOT get up until around midday. Lazy was an understatement. But now...he is doing this amazing thing. I cannot believe it.

From Nov 2016 - the white bikini I took with on our cruise. Oh how I would love to go on a cruise again. 

Things are wrapping up with my Dad's estate. His house sold. It makes me feel relieved and sad both. With his house gone, there will be nothing left of him in this world to show he was here. His house was still something of his that was a protection for me. It was my home. I lived there on weekends and during my Tech studying days. In fact, I lived there until I moved in with my husband. That house has been in my life 28 going on 29 years. Can you believe it? And even though it's old now and needs a revamp, it's been a good home. Solid and stable, just like my dad.

Sorry this post is just a ramble. I guess it's indicative of my emotions right now.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Rust en Vrede 1694 Classification review - red wine

So after watching two videos on You Tube where the presenters both raved about this wine called 1694 Classification, from wine farm Rust en Vrede, I decided I had to simply try it once in my lifetime.

It has an exhorbitant price, for sure, but not more than a dinner out, and seeing as the hubster and I hardly ever go out, and seeing as I have my inheritance from my late father, I thought now is the one time in my life where I can buy myself this bottle of wine.

A nice little surprise is that it came in a lovely wooden box, with a paper wrapping around the bottle. Very classy. I love small things like that.

And it didn't disappoint. Oh, it lived up to every expectation I had for it. It was silky smooth, fruity but not sweet, no trace of vinegar at all, which I often find in wines.  This wine wasn't chocolately, or mocha tasting, it was more fresh tasting, but very satiny. I don't know how to describe it, but it had nothing sharp. No pointy edges on the tongue. It tasted the way a good wine tastes in my head, but this time, I was drinking it FOR REAL. Bliss.

And luckily for me, this wine arrived on a day when a cold front hit. So the weather was perfect red wine weather. I sipped it slowly and savoured every drop, which, with this wine, I could.

The only downside is that I have laid off alcohol for the past two weeks, pretty much had nothing, so this wine hit me hard. This morning (the morning after) I can certainly feel it! I only had half a bottle, which is two glasses, and I feel dehydrated, and ill. Even though I took Panado's before bed. Even though I had water in between sips of wine. I am SUCH a light weight when it comes to drinking.

The other downside (with all alcohol, and by no means anything unique to this wine) is that it made my appetite HUGE. I have noticed this. I eat far more when I drink. I get far hungrier.

We had supper as a family last night, and I dished my portion and ate. An hour later, I was standing by the fridge, raiding the leftovers, eating again. And the alcohol also makes me crave sweetness, or carbs the next day too. I wake up hungrier. I lose all appetite control.

So I will enjoy the rest of this bottle but I will not buy it again. I don't think it's worth spending that much money, even on the best wine I have ever tasted. Perhaps only again for my fortieth birthday, or some such milestone. But I am really glad I got the opportunity to splash out and buy this for myself.

I believe that sometimes, such an experience reinforces your sense of self-worth. You say to yourself and to the universe that you CAN and you DESERVE such nice things. I fully believe in things like that. But never beyond your means. I also fully believe in having no debt.

Cheers to Rust en Vrede. If I ever go to Cape Town, I will go to that wine farm.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Writing, glorious writing

I love writing.

I am really such a nerd when it comes to that. I love to sit and type and describe. Well, duh, it's obvious because I have a blog. I mean, who else CHOOSES to write but those of us who love to?

I was the type of child who actually used to LOOK FORWARD to school projects that involved a lot of writing. Because I just wanted to sit and write so much. I relished essays. I relished any sort of book project. I even enjoyed debating and orals for the writing part - the fact that I had to write out the oral excited me no end.

I am a dreamer, a bit of a "head in the clouds" type of person. I am not very practical at all. I can't fix anything that's broken. I can't take a machine apart and then put it back together again. No, not my talent, that.

But ideas. Concepts. Words. Now THOSE are my playground. Even images. Which is why I am an artist too. I can do stuff IN MY HEAD. I am good at formulating ideas. Communicating my ideas.

As a child, I created book after book. Character after character. My first story book, I wrote and illustrated at the age of seven, and it was called "Murtle the Turtle".

My son is interested in robots and robotics at this same age.

So, it's clear to me that I MUST follow this path, and write the book. It's about damn time. Soon I will be old and then dead, and my book will die within me.

I have always put too much pressure on writing. On my writing. I get such pleasure from doing it, that I haven't wanted to spoil that by making my writing my source of income. Perhaps that was right of me, I don't know. I could have possibly made money from writing by now. But in a way, I am glad I have kept my writing as a hobby. Something I do for fun and for me.

My art has made me money and it's causing me to hate my art. Sad but true. I hate that I have to paint what I am told to paint, instead of what I WANT to paint. Because, if I were free to paint anything, I'd love to paint bright stuff. Bold and bright. But anyhow.

So the whole point of this blog post is this: I love writing. I am nearly 39 and I believe that I am probably now old enough to have something of value to say. And it's probably time now that I put something on paper and say it.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Blood sugar and wine post

Blood sugar
Yesterday I had a smallish piece of cheesecake out at a coffee shop. I then tested my blood sugar when I got home, and it rose to 9.2 mml/dl. It stayed that high for about an hour or so and then slowly dropped down.

So even though I have been having the odd carb, this rose my blood sugar higher than I expected.

This morning I tested my blood sugar after a piece of toast with butter. The highest it rose to, after 45mins, was 6.3mml/dl. An hour later it was back down to 5.5ml/dl. Which is a very normal blood sugar. The body likes to remain within 4-6mml/dl generally, so it only rose above that very marginally. Phew. So one piece of toast, for me, is not a big deal.

But this just goes to show me how bad SUGAR is. If white toast, which is the most ground up and refined carb you can get, only does that to my blood sugar, but a tiny piece of cheesecake, which didn't even eat the crust of, raises my blood sugar and keeps it so high, then the main difference and culprit is the sugar. I am SO glad I did this little experiment and test. I will continue to test my blood sugar after a whole wide range of foods and drinks. I am seeing that anything with sugar in it is very bad. But carbs - whole oats, for example, or sweet potatoes - don't really raise it that high.

I had two tiny glasses of wine last night to finish off a bottle I had opened a while ago. I find that you can't leave a bottle open for too long else it tastes a bit yuk. Anyway, after not having wine for a good while, I realised how bad it makes me sleep - I battled to sleep nicely the first half of the night, and then this morning I felt puffy and just...not myself. A little irritable, actually. Just shows you, once you clean out your system, and then you re-introduce a toxin, how you feel it's toxic effects more. And it's amazing how quickly you get used to the toxin as well!

I definitely notice that I get a crampy-leg feeling the day after drinking. Drinking is really not good for me. Sometimes it takes pulling back from something to show me what it really is.

So yes, I will still enjoy the odd glass of wine now and then, but I will most certainly cut down.