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Small milestones

I used to be very good at remembering dates. Attaching importance and sentimentality to dates was something I always did, automatically. I see now that it was a symptom of something.

I do feel like I need to put down some milestones reached in the last few weeks:

  • 1 Feb: My 29th birthday
  • 28th Feb: 2nd wedding anniversary
  • 1 Mar: 7 years working experience (and I used to complain about it being impossible to get a different job until I had 5 years exp)
  • 7 Mar: 6th anniversary of starting at Aurecon (wtf)
  • 7 Mar: 1 year anniversary of owning a house (wtf)

I’ve also finally, finally, started therapy. After a false start (always go with your gut people), I’ve ended up with a great counsellor who’s been an amazing resource so far. We’ve also been going strong on The Regimen for 2 weeks now, and I know that it’s working this time because my various forms of eczema and allergies are flaring up in response to the dietary change (the same way it did last time, but much worse). I also had the cramps/low mood associated with the instant removal of all junk food, so I know the worst is over.

Here’s to the many months of carb cycling, DOMS and whooshing ahead!

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Back

After taking some time away from everyone and everything to mourn the loss of our baby girl, I feel coherent enough to return to the blog and life in general. I’ve been wanting to get a tattoo for almost a year now, so I have decided to have her little name tag and initial tattooed on my wrist. I’ll probably go have it done in a few months’ time, as I’ll need to be strong enough to go the tattoo artist by myself.

As usual, I haven’t done much in the last few weeks. We did go see Lifehouse in concert last night (we left after their half, didn’t stay for Collective Soul) because Rahul’s never actually been to a proper concert before, and we have an attachment to Lifehouse. Their songs kept us going during our long-distance years, we walked out of our wedding ceremony to “Hanging by a Moment”:

and our first dance was “You and Me”.

We had supper at the Hussar Grill before the show, which was a first for the both of us. It was quite enjoyable, we will definitely be going back when the macros allow. It was also my 29th birthday last week. My husband and I have never been big into gift giving, we rather buy each other things as needed/wanted, or save up for experiences. Our rule for birthdays is no gifts, but the celebrant gets to dictate how the day is spent.

I ended up going factory shopping because our freezer was low on proteins, and then chilled with the cats for the rest of the day. Rahul cooked my requested supper (Indian chilli chicken, exactly how they make it in the restaurants in Kerala) and I had seconds while my mouth was on fire and my eyes were tearing. It was wonderful.

We also completed the 3 week transition to the Regimen. I sorted out the snags, so we’re kicking off properly today. I’ll be posting some back-dated blogs as part of my MCU review series as I’ve managed to stick to the viewing schedule.

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RIP Chris

So I haven’t posted on the blog in 2 months now. I have thought about it – there’s actually a bunch of stuff I’ve wanted to write about, like installing a Telkom landline (something I said I would need to swallow my pride to do), the 5 kittens we adopted (perhaps a post series is required for that), an update on my budgies, some movie reviews, how much I want to be friends with Keanu Reeves etc…

I haven’t done any of that though. But today, as I prepare for the memorial of a dear colleague, I’ve been thinking. Over the last few months, I’ve been steadily growing my FOC. I’ve been reconnecting with people who I thought were gone from my life. I’ve been redefining my relationships with others.

Since my return to Aurecon, I’ve been going through this process with my former colleagues. I’m at various stages in the process with all of them.

I’m not one for hyperbole (about people at least), but Chris was the most chilled guy around. No matter how hectic things got on projects (all the time, for every single project), he’d be like “Oh well” and get down to work. When I was losing weight during my epic revamp (the first time around), I would chat with Chris frequently about my boxing regimen. He would give me advice about techniques (he used to box at a club) and methods to maximise my calorie burn during an exercise session. I incorporated his tips into my routine when I was stuck in a plateau, and it made a big difference.

He was always willing to teach, and was always so patient – when I was starting to dabble in web development, he showed me a few things (before I went (temporarily) down a different path). After his baba was born, he’d deliver me regular photo updates, because that baby is soooo beautiful. He also got me into rap music (for a little while anyway). I’ve since compromised by no longer just putting it off, and listening to loads of EDM rap mixes.

He will be missed.

 

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Plotting the best course to Home Affairs

I seriously need to get to Home Affairs. I’ve been putting it off since March, but I’m tired of hanging around in between names. On Monday I got really fed up so I went to have photos taken.

The old me would have made sure my hair was styled, the makeup was on etc…so naturally I went there with my hair in a bun on top with the obstinate small hairs quickly flattened with my fingers, along with a slick of lip gloss. Yay for being super chilled and not stressing anymore!

Now that I’ve got those, the only thing left is to go to Home Affairs. Problem is, only select ones are open on a Saturday (and not every Saturday, mind you) and the information on the internet is often outdated, so you have to phone them to make sure of their opening times for that week. Yet they very rarely answer the phones…

I thought about taking leave to go sort it out, but then HR went ahead and deducted the shutdown period leave (3 weeks!) so now I’m technically in minus days until Dec, which means I can’t take more leave 😥

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I won something for the first time ever!

This popped up in my twitter feed on Wednesday

So I did this

Then this happened

That’s how I ended up on the Nasdak last night with my go-to friend for nonsense and relaxation.

A lame panoramic photo taking with the weakass camera on my stupid phone. Does not do the view justice at all.

A lame panoramic photo taking with the weakass camera on my stupid phone. Does not do the view justice at all.

The Nasdak is a very chilled place to hang out, although the bar requires some restocking (seriously, how can you not have crushed ice when you know you are having an event). That aside, Chad and team gave an excellent performance – I really loved the stripped down versions of his songs. It was very interesting to people-watch as well.

Thanks to Spree for the tickets!

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Changing one’s mindset about weight loss

During my epic revamp last year, I changed my mindset about a couple of things to really bring about the change:

  • Carbs are not the enemy: Although in my case they kind of were, but I made the switch to low-GI, clean carbs such as oats and sweet potatoes, instead of cutting out carbs completely.
  • Protein is good: I spent a long time not really eating much protein, because I didn’t really care for meat and other protein sources were not readily available. I added protein powder to everything I could, in addition to eating lots of cottage cheese and chicken breasts.
  • Low-fat is wack: My whole life, I believed that low-fat was the way to go. This fallacy was taught to me at a young age, so for years I only drank fat-free or low-fat milk (even as a kid), and refused to add extra sugar or salt to anything. This while having unlimited pasta and potatoes. Point is, once I switched to full-fat milk and leaving the skin on the chicken once in a while, I found myself eating less and enjoying the little that I ate (relative to before).
  • Fat loss is not the same as weight loss: I managed to lose 25kg of body weight, but only lost 6% of my body fat. This is because losing fat is very hard, and that’s the loss that counts. What’s the point of losing a bunch of weight if it was all muscle and water? That’s what mostly happens when you follow a low-carb, high cardio diet.
  • Strength training is definitely for ladies as well: I can view the “only” 6% fat loss in another way – I gained 6% in muscle. Incorporating dumbbells and boxing into my workout was the best thing I could have done. You burn more calories at rest if you have more muscle, so what’s there to lose (besides fat)?
  • Cardio is fine – in small doses: For fat loss, you want to do strength cardio i.e. training which involves some weights which make you “work” that much harder, while incorporating lunges, flies etc at a faster pace so that your heart rate remains at levels you would normally only reach during cardio. Win-win!
  • Lose weight in the kitchen, get healthy in the gym: A lot of people try to make up for a poor diet with lots of gym time. The truth is, the amount of calories you burn in a tough gym session can easily be gained back by having that “healthy” Kauai smoothie and wrap afterwards. You need to eat filling, protein rich meals that are below your calorie allocation for the day, and combine it with exercise.
  • Eat less, move more is a lie: If you hold onto this catchy phrase, you will relapse into old habits as soon as you plateau. You will plateau. Accept it, and adjust your food and exercise schedule accordingly.
  • Cheat days are not a thing: Why do you want to hold onto the past? That’s what chips, sweets and processed foods are: a thing of the past.

I could probably go on a bit more, but I’ve run out of time.

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Casual Day 2016 – Upping my game

While I don’t have any sports clothes, I did put on a workout outfit and a natural makeup look (or as natural as I’m willing to go anyway)

bty

Tonight is my older sister’s bridal shower, so fortunately since I already have my workout clothes on, when I get home I can immediately do a 30 min lower body workout, shower and get my glam on. I may update this post later with a photo, although this phone‘s camera is so, so very wack, I prefer not to take any pictures at all.

I miss you so much