Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Wobbly bits

I used to love my granny's skin.  She was the softest person I've ever met.  And she had very wobbly arms that I loved to play with.  I don't have the same warm feeling when I see my arms move that way!

In fact, I have noticed that I have grown quite jelly-like over this winter.  It was those damned doughnuts at the coffee counter outside Woolworths!  I am tempted (in the spirit of this blog) to take some pictures of me in my knickers and show you what I look like at the moment.  I think most of you would either gasp or shriek!  But I think my son would simply fall to pieces if he knew that people could see me with skant clothing on on the internet.  So we'll keep the picture for when I look a little less flacid! 

So how do I deal with this post-winter-stress-disorder.

I've joined the gym. 

I currently weigh in at a chunky 78kgs, which 9kgs heavier than this time last year (which was when I had the kidney stone and did the fast).  I'm not big on scales.  I developed an allergy to them when I was in my teens, and my peers were comparing notes in kilograms.  The numerous diets and weight loss programs that I was encouraged/forced to engage with really spiked my reaction to them, so they have been avoided where ever possible.

But I cannot dispute that they are a good gauge for someone like me who enjoys the ostrich approach to the creeping weight syndrome.  I generally ingore all the symptoms, the following indicators being the most telling.  We have "the pants must be loosened after dinner","the bra strap stopping blood flow to the arms", and my all time favourite "the belt has shrunk!"

So gym it is.  I'll track and share my progress.

I have decided to view my extra padding as more of a fun project than a teeth gnashing excercise this time. 

I now imagine this body without a shock wave reaction when I move!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

When are we successful?

I am intrigued by success stories, rags to riches, sickness to health, born in a trailer park, becomes a multi-millionaire.... and all that jazz.

And there is no better way of evaluating self success than running one's own business.  This activity has made me question many things.  What is the goal, what is the aim?  When am I successful?  How is the business preceived by others?  Do people see me as an expert in my field?  Does any of this matter?  And so it goes on.

I have recently ditched it all for a much more interesting and fun perspective.  How little time can I spend on the business and still maintain a handle on how well it is run and keep the standard of the product up to scratch.

I was taught from a young age that working hard is one of the finest attributes, first at the office, last to leave.  Sacrifice your family life and you will be rewarded.  So I swallowed and took it for 20 years as I accepted my 15 days leave per annum, worked as hard as I could every day, often working late into the night, with not much of a mission except to show the people around me that I was a hard worker.

What a bunch of bollox!

It is amazing how the words in a book can change one's perception, and two books have done that for me this year, namely the E-Myth by Michael Gerber and The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris.

I have been duped.  From now on if it doesn't bring me pleasure or make me money, I'm either not doing it, or I'll out source it!

Outsourcing is the most fabulously obvious way for us to have more time to do the things we want to do.  Let me set the record straight right here. I'm not encouraging anyone to become a lazy arsed slacker, just the opposite in fact.  All I'm suggesting is "Why do the things you don't enjoy when you can pay someone to do them who does enjoy it"?

Take spreadsheets for example.  Not my thing, but I have a crack squad of spreadsheet developers on board with me.  We all meet once a week, I give the brief and the team makes it happen.  I get to use that time to write my blog and create delicious recipes.  My team gets to eat beautiful food when they are here, we test new recipes on their taste buds. Win win.  In only a few hours I have the sexiest buying, packing and recipe sheets, all my quantities and pricing are sorted and worked out.  Outsourcing.  My new favourite word.

So now I measure my success in how much time I have to dedicate to other interesting things in my life, not on how many hours I'm burning the midnight oil!  And I am so done telling everyone how hard I work and how tough it is.  No.  People, I only work a few hours a week, I check my mail once a day and don't expect a call back within the hour.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Hg free

I have often wondered whether we ever truly heal.  There is always some kind of scar.  It can be big and lumpy, or small and dicreet, but there nonetheless. Once a part of ourselves is scarred, can we ever reclaim it?  It becomes more of an issue of management.

This was highlighted to me over the past few weeks.  I have been having some dental work done, mercury out, some other white stuff in. 

There is something about the memory of physical pain that floors me.  Takes me straight back to the original event.  And dental work is right up there with my most painful experiences.

When I was about six, I had a rough dentist who hurt me, so I bit him and then refused to open my mouth.  The result was a hiding and a threat about "open my mouth or else".  So, new dentist, trying to inject me (how enormous is that syringe? was it designed like that on purpose?) and then the glass vile exploding in my mouth, the anesthetic dripping down my throat, I can hardly breath, the glass is sucked up, .... I must lie still or else... and so a very terrifying experience is imprinted onto my small being. 

Now some years later, I find out that I have a mouth full of mercury which should be removed as it is probably leeching into my brain and causing some of the dementia I am prone to.

So basically, I have to go through the same god-awful experience again, just because some genius decided that the mouth was an intelligent place to store the planet's supply of mercury.

After three years of back peddling and excuses, I made an appointment to see a dentist.  First appointment, always a breeze, all they do is have a look.  Five fillings, all leeching.  Fucking beautiful.

It must be hard to be a dentist.  No-one really wants to see you.  You are probably the least loved of all in the medical profession.  So if anyone out there is terrified, go and check out Dr Mo Karodia. 

He is a small unassuming man with a gentle voice and a sweet face.  This is a good start.  I like him at first sight.  He chats about this and that, taking your focus away from those dreadful pointy things that cause the nightmares. 

He talks of his parents from Persia and his desire to change dentistry to less more careful decisions around drilling and extractions.  He does not perform root canals.  Hey I'm liking the guy.  He can probably see from my uncontrolable convulsions that I am fairly nervous.  I puts his hand on my shoulder and speaks soothingly.  His nurse also helps by holding my hand as he administers the anesthetic.  And my rock, Noel, is there too, supporting me as always through my tough times.

The first session was full on.  I regressed onto the small six year old in the chair, uncontrollable sobbing, body jolts and spasms through most of the session.  I had the aid of an iPod to try and drown out the sound of drilling and coax me into a more relaxed state.  The glasses and oxygen all help.  I could hardly see or hear anything, just the vibrations of the drill keep me twitching...

After the third session, I feel as though I have dealt with some major past trauma.  Dr Mo is a really good dentist and I feel comfortable sitting in that chair, knowing that he will take good care of me not inflict unnecessary pain. 

Yet I still remember the feeling of lying in that chair all those years ago, and waiting for the pain to come.  I remember the feeling of being totally helpless, that the big people told me that this was going to be for my own good.  How I have carried that fear with me all these years.  A deep scar in my being.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Fabulous fasting

I have just completed my second juice fast.

It was a completely different experience to my first.  I had some interesting observations which I will share with you.

I didn't experience any obvious "spiritual revelations" during my first fast.  I was ill then.  I was seldom hungry and we went away for the second half of the fast.

This time round, I simply felt like I needed calibrating.

The first two days were a breeze.  No hunger at all, no detox symptoms, I felt really good.  Day three was another story.  My hunger kicked in at lunch time and snarled at me until I went to sleep that evening.

And sleep didn't come easily.  I discovered that fasting is very stimulating.  If any one has any trouble keeping their eyes open, stop eating for a few days and see what happens.  Millions of people out there must pay a fortune for medication to keep them hyped up.... just stop eating!

I began to think about the millions of people on our planet who do not have access to food or water (and certainly not delicious organic green vegetable juices made from a hi-tec juicing machine), who are hungry constantly, who really don't know when they will eat again, starvation.  I felt incredibly humbled and grateful in that moment for conciously choosing to stop eating for a very short time.  It made the hunger easier to deal with.  I felt very connected to another type of human experience.

On the seventh day, I drank water only.  Also, a lovely gentle experience on the day, I didn't have any hunger at all.  That evening though I think the candida realised what was going on and decided to protest!  It does this by sending reminders of sugary cream buns to your brain.  We think it's us craving something because we are daft enough to believe we are running the show.  NOT. 

I learned something interesting from my dear friend Peter Daniels at a fantastic talk on "Cleansing the body" last night.  There are more organisms of bacteria in your body than there are cells in your body.  So if those guys live on sugar and alcohol, and we stop feeding them, they freak out, just like anything else that stops being fed.  Have you ever heard a baby scream when it's hungry?  Same thing!

If I did not have some rather strenuous work committments on this week I would have taken the water fast further, because it felt like I was getting into some really good stuff.  

I first read about fasting about four years ago.  Everything about it resonated with me then, and I am delighted to have actually stepped into the experience because it is everything and more that I expected it to be.  Calm, clear, light, focussed, highly energised, more comfortable in my pants, a sense of wellness, gratitude and zero mentrual pain this week.  And more gratitude.  For the abundance that I have. 

A bloke came to my window on Tuesday evening and told me he was hungry. He needed two hands for all the change!

I am so committed to this modality of healing that I plan to include fasting into my weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual body planning along side our company strategic planning.  I found an excellent site called allaboutfasting.com, which has given me much to ponder over and rejoice about.

And did I mention gratitude?  For having decided to fast in the first place!  If you are thinking about it, just do it.  You will never look back!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Let there be chocolate

One of the things that I enjoy the most about hanging out with raw food enthusiasts is their ability to throw a feast.

If anyone thinks that this lifestyle has anything to do with deprivation, think again.  You should have seen what I ate this evening.

Craig and Vannesa are colourful, wonderful friends.  They make fabulous music.  And they make really great food.

I have just returned from a Raw Chocolate Feast.  I'm pretty stuffed so this entry will be short.

I'm also fairly wired, so I may ramble....

Chocolate tacos with guacomole and salsa, florentines, hot chocolate, chocolate pizzas (how could we not take up the challenge???), hand crafted rose flavoured chocolates, tahini nibs, chocolate date and coconut balls... it just didn't stop coming.

The evening included a beautiful guided meditation by Vanessa whose voice will take anyone to another planet, focussing on the love and healing energy that cacao brings.

Deprivation.  Not a chance.  And we celebrate in all we eat!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Nothing tastes as good as thin feels

I used to be fat.  At three different times in my life.

I was reminded of this last week when a friend asked me to send her some pictures of myself when I was overweight.  Keeping pictures of myself when I had three chins....no.  But I found a few with some help from my friends.  Hahaha, they were the pictures that were stashed away, only to be brought out on my command and when I needed a good laugh.

Any of you out there who are/have been fat will know that there are certain things that we do to avoid the truth about our size.

Don't look in the mirror.  If you don't see it, it can't be true.

Don't go clothes shopping.  If you do, always buy clothes that stretch around the middle so that they always fit, no matter what.  And do you ever find a comfortable bra?

"It doesn't count as a meal because I ate it in the car".  Therefore the car is a place where much food is consumed.  This doubles up as a good strategy, as no-one else can see how much I am eating...

I haven't eaten a thing....this actaully means, the two doughnuts I ate in the mall don't count because I wasn't sitting down.  And no-one saw me!

Excercise is what I did between meals.  It happened seldom.

We lie constantly to ourselves and those around us about why diets don't work and why we simply cannot shed those stubborn kilos.

My heaviest weight was 89 kgs.  I weighed this when I lived in Johannesburg.  I was 26, and probably the unhappiest I have ever been.

When I look back at the times when I was the most lonely, unhappy and disconnected from myself I was fat or overweight.  No doubt about it.

So what comes first?

I don't have the answer to that, but what I can say for sure is that if you are stuck in a fat body and you are unhappy, make a plan to loose weight and you will regain some happiness.  It may sound superficial, but that has been my experience.

My very wise sister Michelle once told me "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels!" I didn't get it until I had lost weight.  It seems like we store unhappy memories in our fat cells.  The fatter we get, the more unhappy we feel. 

This ties in again with my body chemistry argument.  I'll have to check this out with Carol, but can you be alkaline and fat at the same time?

I'll get back to you  on that.

Friday, 29 April 2011

The only way is up!

I have fallen off the coffee wagon.  Thankfully the experience was so hideous that I lept straight back on without touching the road!

Back from an Easter celebration, good vibes and happy feelings, surrounded by colourful people and great friends.  My Tuesday morning mission....go to the city of Cape Town council offices to sort out an account issue.

I skipped into the building still blissed out.  The traffic was light, not many people in the building, all the right signs for a swift experience.  I walked straight up to the counter, the lady looked at my paper, shook her head and pointed to another counter.

The queue was so long that it snaked back upon itself three times.

Now I don't understand what happens in my brain when I see a queue that long, but I am now quite certain that there is a gland somewhere which secretes something, making all rational thought impossible.

If anyone said to me "When would be the worst time ever to drink coffee, turn you into she bitch from hell and make the lives of everyone around you a sheer misery?" I would respond by saying "Sorting out an account with a lacklustre person who sits behind a sheet of bullet proof glass".

The next thing I knew I sitting in this queue with a coffee in one hand and a newspaper in the other.

I should have walked away when the lady next to me revealed that she had flown from Johannesburg to see this department about an electricity bill that remained unresolved for almost eight months. 

I won't go into the detail of my shocking behaviour, but there was a swear word involved. 

I watched myself plummet into a septic, sulky, moody cow which lasted the whole day.  As usual, I finished off with two sandwiches and a cornish pasty.  All my basic food groups covered for a particularly unpleasant outcome.  For Noel.

I am told that the best way to see how much progress you have made is to indulge in the thing that you have avoided for some time.  Point taken.  This experiment works!