MCU :: Phase 1 :: Movie 1 :: Iron Man

I’ve decided to do the whole “watch one MCU movie per week so that I’ll be caught up by the time Infinity War comes out” thing. I thought about it watching it in chronological order, but decided to watch it in Phase order instead. I’ve seen all moves in the MCU so far at least once (with the exception of The Incredible Hulk), but I am not my husband – I have no problem with watching a movie multiple times. In fact, I should probably keep a list of movies which are good for repeat viewings forever. Hmm…

Saturday nights are the designated time slot for this experiment (we rarely go anywhere. Introversion FTW!). I started on the first Saturday of the year with the movie which kicked this whole shebang off, Iron Man.

Year of release: 2008

When I watched it first: 2008

Number of times watched: ~6

I really enjoyed this first one, mostly by ignoring Gwyneth Paltrow. It was fun, had good action and RDJ really brought the character to life. Not that I know anything about comic books really beyond what I’ve absorbed through popular culture and various animated versions when I was small – I have tried, many times, to try to read comic books, I just think it’s just not for me. One could also argue that these characters have long outgrown their comic book roots now.

I feel that the movie still holds up 10 years later.


Man of iron indeed.

Next up: The Incredible Hulk (2008).


Ramping up again

We’re finally back on the wagon, the wagon being the Regimen. We had a bit of a false start there late last year, but now that I know I’ve been using avoidance coping mechanisms, I know how to overcome the mental blocks in place to make this a permanent change.

I’ve been using the holidays to make adjustments to my workout schedule and fine-tuning my macro allocations. Today I kicked off the ramping up workouts, which is basically the lowest impact versions of the workouts in my routine for the LOSE! phase. It is very pleasing to me that Caleb has started including K-pop into his routines, so that provides added motivation to workout. We’ll be running at 50% nutrition and 50% exercise for 2 weeks, with a normal maintenance week at the end of the month, with a 100% LOSE! phase kicking off in the first week of Feb.

Things start getting dicey there, since we start the month on my birthday, and end the month on our wedding anniversary. However, life and shit always go on, so I’ve built in methods to accommodate these known events, and contingencies if unexpected things pop up. Things rarely just pop up so I think we’ll be OK.


Curly Girl Method update

It’s been 2 and a half months since I started the Curly Girl method. What have I learnt so far? Going natural is hard. It’s been a mission of trial and error, trying to figure out which products and techniques work for me. I’ve mostly found out which don’t.

I’ve discovered that while gel was the only reliable method to make my hair curly when I was using silicones and sulphates, it absolutely does not work for me anymore. My hair becomes crunchy and sticky, and doesn’t curl at all. I lost my shit when I discovered that Clicks was stocking the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie which I’ve seen people worshiping on Reddit. I was disappointed when it was priced much more than the American counterpart, and it didn’t really work on my hair.

That being said, the plopping technique has definitely improved things, and I’ve also added in some cold diffusion with my head upside down to create volume. Unfortunately I have to conduct proper trials, where I only change one product/method per week, and see how that goes before declaring something a failure. I also really want the Shea Moisture range to work because the fragrance gives me life.

Below are the results after brushing my hair out for the first time (I think this was around the 6 week mark and I only did it for a Reddit challenge):

And that, kids, is why curlies don’t use a brush.

Another surprising thing I discovered is that my R120 Wet Brush Wavy comb (specifically made for curly hair) does not compare to the R15 wide tooth flexible comb I bought at Dis-chem. My current routine (based on washing twice a week, current products in bold):

Exactly like this.

After doing all of that, my hair will start frizzing about 30 minutes later. Eh, what can you do. There are still too many variables in the mix for me to determine what the actual problem is (diet is a big one), so I’m just going to go along with it for now.


It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…

… is what I would say if I was an optimistic person. I am not. So instead of saying stuff like “2018 is going to be my year!”, I’ll just say that I hope that 2018 will be better than 2017. I know that if I can continue working on adjusting my coping mechanisms, I can carry on processing what has happened to me, and moving on with my life.

Also, coming home to these babies everyday really helps:

All of our cattens


Trying out new things: Going to the movies alone

The experience: Going to the movies alone

The location: Nu Metro, Canal Walk

The situation: The husband was working until 20:00, and we currently only have one car. Not because we rode on a slow puncture for 6 months or anything, which caused the tyre to go kaput, which then resulted in the biscuit tyre being put on, and after a few days of that the car is a bit unstable. Nope, it’s for unrelated reasons.

Image result for can you tell that im lying meme

I had some time to kill until he was done, so I thought that I’d go to a movie alone for the first time.

The test: Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle, 17:15 showing.

The analysis: I loved the first one, and heard a bunch of shit about the 2nd, but decided to see it anyway. After struggling with redeeming my movie and refreshment codes (the usual), I moseyed on into the cinema. Turns out I was the only person who bought a ticket for that showing, so I sat right in the centre and went into super chill mode.

The verdict: The movie was good. I get why people were hating on it, because people are always wanting something new and innovative, but people also be cray, so we shouldn’t listen to people. Kingsman 2 basically carried on the story from the first one, and continued using the camera techniques and fighting style from there. If this one had come out first, people would have been as blown away by it as they were by the first one. The movie gets a sin for only having like ten minutes of Channing Tatum.

I would definitely go to the movies by myself again. The ticket dude was all, aw are you here by yourself? I was like, yup, looking forward to it!

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Power to the people!


Finding the balance: Soul

What a glorious day it is today. Actually, this whole month has been quite glorious. I view October as a month of rebirth, transformation and renewal. After many months of reflection, I made a decision a few weeks ago and I’ve chosen today to as my coming out day: I am no longer a Christian.

To be honest, I was moving towards the agnostic path already over the last few years. After the big events of last year, I started questioning everything about myself. I’ve made great progress in many areas, but this part still bothered me. It’s only when I took a step back and saw how Christianity was twisted and used as a weapon against me that I realised that I needed to remove myself from it.

I have nothing against religion. As history has shown us, religion has been used for good and evil, depending on whose hands it is in. I need time to process what was done to me, so I can no longer participate in fundamentalist Christianity, nor do I want to.

I have been on a long, hard journey over the past year. My husband has been an incredible source of strength and comfort, giving me the space to find myself and rolling with the changes I’ve made. He mostly benefits anyway – I’ve become much more relaxed, no longer bound by ridiculous rules (self-imposed as well as external) and I’m much more spontaneous now. Case in point – a few weeks ago, I drove us 2 hours to have lunch, and then we drove back. Why? Just because we can, and I wanted to show him how good the food was at that place. I would never have done something like that on a whim a year ago.

The point is, I have undergone significant changes over the past year. My husband says it’s because I’m finally discovering who I really am, that my true personality is finally comfortable with emerging. He also likes to say now that he knew who I was all along, even when I didn’t, which makes me want to pinch him, but then I remember that he told me he would marry me a month after we started dating and I laughed in his face. Is the moral here that I should always listen to my husband? The feminist in me want to say no…

Anyway. The basic tenets of Buddhism have been appealing to me lately, because it echoes how we have been living our lives lately. Basically, question everything (always be learning and don’t just accept things because of “tradition”), be kind to everyone, don’t worry about useless crap like material gain, and strive to live a good fulfilling life. I’ve probably summarised it horribly, but that’s what I’ve gathered from my research. I am very hesitant to put a label on things anymore (yay for letting go of being judgemental!) so for right now I’m content with being “spiritual”.

Image result for church of the flying spaghetti monster

Or I could become Pastafarian. Who knows what lies ahead! 


Finding the balance: Body

I have always had an unhealthy relationship with food, the result of not having correct food relationships modelled to me in childhood, coupled with introversion and no encouragement to play sports which led me to detest any forms of exercise. Food was used to celebrate anything and everything, to excess.

I also used food as a mechanism to cope with the culture shock of going to Stellenbosch to study. I continued to do that once I was forced to leave Stellenbosch and Rahul behind (I’m not quite bold enough to share that whole shit show here yet). I was also body-shamed my whole life, though I did not realise at the time what was happening.

Without going into all the gory details, I have had a hard time finding the balance when it comes to food. I lost 25kg in 9 months through optimising my nutrition and exercise routine so that I would be happy about the way I looked in my wedding dress. I was. I was not, however, prepared for the shitstorm that would follow, so a year and a half later I am back to where I started. The old me would have been upset about this, but I’m not. I know what happened, and what caused me to give up on the path I was on. I prioritised my mental and emotional health, and I’m much better now.

What this does mean going forward is that it won’t be as hard as it was the first time around to lose the excess and become fit. It was so weird to me to actually want to work out, and to get the body moving. I’ve been meal prepping again for the last month, the food journal is back up, I’ve scheduled the carb cycles and have my exercise playlists configured for the different days. I’m going back in, and this time I have my husband joining me.