THE SECRET OF KINDNESS

I pray that this kind of opportunity crosses my path, that I see it, and that I have the means at that time and place to do this:

Source: THE SECRET OF KINDNESS

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If only

You have taken your vows

You promised someone else eternal love

You have made decisions, and are sticking to them

And so have I

We promised each other no judgement

I mean, who are we to judge anyway?

We’ve all made our beds

And now have to sleep in them

I promised myself I wouldn’t fall in love with you

I promised YOU I wouldn’t fall in love with you

Was it my promise to make, if my heart had other plans?

If only

If only things were different

You are the person I would go onto one knee for

If only

 

I wonder…

It’s bed time, but I don’t feel like going to bed, or sleepy for that matter, yet tomorrow I will be tired and not be able to keep my eyes open by 2pm.

I wander through the house, wondering whether things could have been different, what I should have done differently, and whether I did the right thing?

I find myself worrying about all the things I can do, and need to do, to bring relief.  Financially, Emotionally, Psychologically…

What am I going to do to get that dream job, and in the meantime, what am I going to do about my current job in which I am so unhappy?

What am I going to do to get out of this financial mess I am in?

Will I ever find love?  Should I even be worried about that now?

I pray.  I pray to the Lord, I pray to the moon and the stars, I pray to ancients gods, I pray to nothing.  I pray for things to work out.  Am I being too impatient?

I try my best to be positive.  I am thankful and I appreciate everything I have.  It could be much, much worse.

I know that being positive attracts positive things.  I know that if I am happy with myself, I will be happy with everything else.  I know that if I dream, and that if I take the right action towards achieving that dream, NOTHING is impossible.

I absolutely believe that everything happens for a reason, even though we might not understand it at the time, and I absolutely believe that everything happens at the time which it is meant to happen.  I absolutely believe that what you give, you will be given.

How can I give more?  What can I do?

Why, why then, do I procrastinate on doing the things I can do today, to make a better tomorrow?  How do I get out of this negative downward spiral?

I wonder…

 

First few days of the Ultimate You Challenge

We are now on day 4 of 56 of the Ultimate You Challenge, and I’ll share some of my experiences so far.

Monday went well, I cut out sugar completely (except for the half a teaspoon sugar I have with my first (and only) cup of coffee in the morning).  I thought that this would be the most difficult part, but so far it has been quite easy.  I actually started cutting out sugar on Saturday already, and on Sunday I had a massive headache!  I see from other sugar-quitters that this is quite a common withdrawal symptom.  Luckily it was short lived, and I have not had headaches since then.

From an eating plan point of view, I have also cut out all carbs, except for those found in vegetables and fruit.  My fruit intake is limited to a maximum of two fruit per day, and starchy vegetables to one portion per day.  This has also been fairly easy to maintain, as I planned for the week’s meals ahead.

From drinking at least half a litre of coca cola or other soft drink per day, often eating sweets and chocolates, not to mention frequent take away junk food, to healthy eating, no sugar or carbs, and only drinking water or green or rooibos tea without sugar or milk), is quite a shock to the body, but a good one!

So there I was, on Monday evening after work, very excited to start doing training at home, because I don’t currently have a gym membership.  I looked at the suggestions that one could do, worked out my routine, and started (with push-ups).  Needless to say, by the 5th push-up, I couldn’t do any more, and moved onto the next exercise after a short rest.  I couldn’t do much of that one either.  After 15 minutes of trying different exercises, and feeling like I was about to die, I gave up.  I felt extremely disappointed and demotivated by then.  In fact, I sat on the couch and sulked for half an hour!

That time sitting on the couch was what I needed to reflect and think about the situation.  I realised a couple of things:

  • I am REALLY as unfit as I thought I was
  • Doing exercises at home, in my current (un)fitness state and with my current body weight was not feasible as a starting point, as most of the exercises you do at home you actually use your body weight.
  • I had to do something, because doing ANYTHING was more than what I had been doing.

I then decided that the only option for me is to get dressed warmly (as it was alredy dark and rather cold outside), and go walk!

I went for a 40 minute walk, and felt like a million dollars afterwards!  Not only did I enjoy the actual walking, but I had overcome my first major obstacle in the challenge!  Instead of giving up and disappointing myself, I actually got up and did something!

Tuesday went very well in terms of eating, and I also went for a walk, this time about 50 minutes at a slightly faster pace.  Something strange happened on Tuesday.  I am not sure whether it is because of cutting out sugar or just eating more healthy, but cigarettes started tasting bad.  I have been a smoker for 20 years, and never would I have thought of saying the cigarette tasted bad.  I still smoke, but can distinctly taste a difference.  Giving up smoking together with these major changes I have done might be a bit too much to ask all at once, but I’d like to believe that this might just be the starting point for me to quit smoking too.

Yesterday (Wednesday) also went very well, but I went to have dinner at my mom’s place, so did not have time to exercise.  I saw that as one of my rest days, which would have been Saturday and Sunday.  Now it is Wednesday and Sunday.

Due to the fact that I was not home last night, I did very little preparation for today’s meals, and paid the price for it.  I had a smoothie this morning before leaving home, but then had to buy a morning snack (in the form of Hazel Nuts) at an extremely expensive price at the convenience store at work.  I also had to buy lunch, but remained within the plan and settled for a chicken salad.  I’d like to go have a walk again tonight, as I cannot afford to have another day without doing any exercise.

I also made an appointment to see a consultant at the gym tomorrow (Friday) evening, in order to sign up as a new member.

One last option I am considering is to look at buying a bicycle.  I’ll shop around on Saturday…

Take care until next time!

How I came to be a SleekGeek

In my previous post I mentioned the Ultimate You Challenge and SleekGeek.  This post is about how I became a SleekGeek.

Firstly, if you want to learn more about SleekGeek, or what it is about, please go to http://www.sleekgeek.co.za/about/

So how did it all start?

A very good friend of mine, my partner and myself went for lunch about two months ago, as we and our friend have not seen each other for ages!  During the lunch she mentioned to me about this 30 day challenge that she was doing, which gives you something cool and inspiring to do each day for 30 days.  At this point, I have heard of SleekGeek before, as my sister is a “Sleek” (the name given for people who consider themselves “members” of SleekGeek), but I did not put two and two together that this 30 day challenge was run by SleekGeek.  I asked my friend to send me the link to this challenge, as it sounded quite interesting and easy to do.

When she sent me the link (I cannot remember whether it was the same day that we had lunch, or later that week), I saw that it was run by SleekGeek.  Now, for the record, at that point in time, I had not even thought of changing my lifestyle, getting more exercise – in fact, I thought that these “fitness freaks” all had a screw loose in their heads.   I signed up for the challenge anyway.  I think what motivated me to sign up was simply because it sounded easy to do, together with the fact that my friend was also doing it, so unofficially we were motivation to each other.

After signing up to the challenge, I also joined SleekGeek’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SleekGeekSA/ and started seeing the transformations that people, similar (or worse) than me, have achieved.  I was still by no means convinced that I would become any more involved than simply following their Facebook page.

So before I lose track, I did this 30 day challenge.  Each day, bright and early (before I even woke up), there was an email in my inbox with the day’s challenge.  The challenges focusing on 4 different topics, each day a different one: improving your sleep, healthy eating habits, training/exercise goals for the day and mental wellness challenges.  Each one was for that specific day only, and small, easy things to change to improve your life.  I completed most of the challenges, except for the fitness/exercise ones, which I mostly did not meet the requirements for the day’s challenge.  What struck me was how SleekGeek was not ONLY focusing on fitness, like so many other places do, but that they actually focused on your overall well being!

So the 30 day challenge came and went, and I kept following their Facebook page, often getting inspiring stories of how people have found their programme useful.  Then, one morning, I saw that they were running a special for the sign-up fee for their Ultimate You Challenge.

Before I continue, I am the type of person that immediately loses interest when I see or hear anything about paying to sign up for something!

This was different though.  The sign up fee was really not that much, AND it was on special!  Furthermore, after reading more about it, the value for money seemed great, because of what you get when you do sign up.  This was where the penny dropped for me, and I realised that I was the one with a few screws loose in my head, not those “fitness freaks”.  Here I was, 36 years old, overweight, never eating healthy, blood pressure problems, always tired, not motivated to do anything, in fact, I think I was borderline depressed!

The day came that the special was running, I had a few extra Rands available and like I said before, this was really good value for money!  So I signed up.

I was immediately met with details and the information that was promised was at my fingertips.  More information that I could process, and as I slowly worked through it all, the meal plans, the exercise tips, the healthy living habits, I became more and more excited to do this challenge.  Not for SleekGeek, not for anyone else, but for ME!  I was ready to take that first step to becoming healthier, losing weight, and actually feeling my age (or younger) again, and not feeling like a 50 year old.

Before I even really knew it, I was a Sleek!  I would encourage anyone else to just have a look at what SleekGeek is about.  Follow their Facebook page.  You have nothing to lose (except perhaps a little bit of weight?).

In my posts to follow I will update you on how the challenge is going (which started on Monday 16 May 2016).

 

 

 

Ultimate You Challenge!

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the long time since the last post, it’s been a busy couple of months, with lots taking up my time.  If all goes according to plan, I’ll be posting a little more often.

The big news is that I have started taking control of my health by signing up for the Sleekgeek Ultimate You Challenge.  Instead of me explaining what it all is, head over to this link, and see for yourself: www.ultimateyou.co.za

Although this is a South African based initiative, anyone from all over the world can enter the challenge, just make sure you familiarise yourself with the rules, terms and conditions, especially if you don’t live in South Africa.

I am very proud to say that I have entered this challenge, and started my heat (there are different ones) yesterday, Monday 16 May 2016. In my posts to follow I will explain where this all started, and how my first day (yesterday) went.

 

In other news, we had some lovely late rain this past weekend.  Over 100mm (4 inches) from Friday evening until Sunday morning!  As we are heading into winter, it is quite strange for us to have that much rain, but I am not complaining, and my plants are loving it.

In terms of the kittens, we found homes for all of them, and decided to keep one.  His name is Gizmo, as he looked like a little gremlin when he was small.  He has grown to be such a beautiful kitten, with his own personality, and driving the two older cats (and his owners, myself and my partner) insane with all his energy!  He is now a couple of days away from being six months old, and really starting to form his own personality and identity now.  I’ll try and get some decent pictures to post soon, but with a kitten with that much energy, getting them to pose and sit still for just a second is nearly impossible.

That’s it for this post, the updates on the challenge and other news will follow soon!

Keep smiling 🙂

 

Kittens all over the house 

I have promised a follower some pictures of the kittens, so here they are 😊
When they aren’t eating or running around the entire house, they sleep… Typical cats!   

 Nap time. These two are on top of the bed, while the others are inside.

 How perfect was the timing of this picture with the tongue sticking out? 😂
   
 Four of the six are featured in the pictures, will post some more pictures soon.

Sick over Christmas

Hi followers!

Here’s wishing you all had a Merry Christmas (for those who celebrate it) and happy holidays to all.

I spent Christmas with my parents and family, but got ill with flu about three days before Christmas.  The down side was that I was feeling terrible through the entire weekend, but the up side is that I didn’t eat as much (due to low appetite), and that I got two days of sick leave before Christmas, so I was at home.

We had some more rain in Johannesburg over the last couple of days, and my lawn is starting to really look nice.  Unfortunately, I did lose some of my bonsai’s and other plants due to the extreme heat we have been experiencing this summer.

In other news, my partner had a very successful interview with a Cruise Line employer, and it looks like he got the job.  I will post more details once things are a little more final, as I don’t want to spoil it 🙂

Our little kittens are 5 weeks old today, and they are taking over the house!  (Not to mention that they are eating us out of it).  We have homes for three of the six, and I need to start looking for homes for the other three.  I might post some pictures on here for you all to see how cute they are 🙂

Leave your comments and tell me what you got up to for Christmas, did you get any special gifts, how are you spending your holidays?

Until next time.

 

And some more rain…

On Tuesday I posted that the drought seems to have finally been broken.   Although South Africa as a whole is not out of the (dry) woods yet, we certainly had some good rains this week in Johannesburg.

We had at least 20mm of rain each evening this week, meaning that I did not have to water the garden since Monday.   The grass is starting to look fantastic, and I cannot wait to see all the new growth.

It truly is my favourite time of the year after the first good rains, and to see how nature evolves into the beauty it can be.

Rain! Lovely rain!

We have had the most wonderful rain storms yesterday.  Johannesburg, Pretoria and further afield have had some major storms, bringing some much needed rains.

That certainly doesn’t mean the drought conditions in other parts of South Africa are over, but every drop helps.

I cannot wait to see the landscape around us turn green after these rains, it has pretty much been brown and dead since winter.

The weather forecasters are predicting some more rain this week, so let’s hope for some more.

PS: I haven’t got a rain harvesting system as yet, would have been a perfect opportunity to start harvesting, but I won’t be able to.  Hopefully in a few weeks’ time…

Cats and cucumbers – a little bit of Monday morning silliness

There have been several videos on Facebook and Youtube over the last week or two about the manner in which cats react when they (unsuspectingly) see a cucumber.

However funny it is, I cannot help but wonder why exactly they react the way they do.

For those of you who have not seen it, this is what I am talking about:

So, here are my thoughts:

  1. In almost all of the clips, the cats are eating and when they turn around, and see the cucumber, they jump.  Is this part of the surprise, as they let their guard down while they eat?
  2. What exactly do they think it is?  Do they think it is a snake?
  3. Is there some historical, inherent, instinctive fear of cucumbers?
  4. Perhaps Bastet (the feline god) had some altercation with the cucumber god ages ago (the only reference I found of a cucumber god is this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Cucumber_God ).
  5. Do cats dream of cucumbers when they have nightmares? Like humans who are scared of spiders or snakes have nightmares about them?

I will be sharing the thoughts I have when I shower (and some other random ideas I get) on this blog.