It may get hairy…

I know I’m posting a lot lately, but I came across a pretty cool (and probably entirely incorrect) site/tool, that you should try out, just for fun.

Simply put in your text and find out who you write like.

I’m concerned that my political blog says that I write like H.P. Lovecraft, but my blog on weight implies I write like Cory Doctorow. Overall, I write like a science fiction author. Even though I read no science-fiction, perhaps I should try my hand at writing some.

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software.Analyze your writing!


I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

 

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My blog is becoming slightly higgledy-piggledy – lurching from politics, to literature, to ramblings and dieting. After writing the political post a few days ago, quite a few of my friends and family have suggested that I concentrate on political pieces alone. I considered this, but then realised that would entail me reading the news more.

So, this is what you have – my personal back and forth, my apologies…this is a long ‘un.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, knowing that I’m bound to get some criticism, I had some hesitation, but after struggling to find personal blogs that could help me along my ‘medicinal’ path, I knew I had to post, at least to help others in my position.

Firstly, I’m not advocating anything other than diet and exercise to those trying to lose weight. Had I not tried everything and had I merely used a ‘quick-fix,’ I wouldn’t be writing this.

Long story not so short: Returning from the UK in March 2011, I decided I had to lose a few kgs, only 4 and so hopped onto one of what would constitute part of many fad diets. From that time until around November 2011, I tried everything from the Atkins diet to the Soup & Yoghurt diet (yes, it is only these two things for two weeks). Mention cutting out carbs and I may punch you in the face, I barely remembered what a carb was. Everyone had a ‘secret’ that had worked for them – I tried them all. I’m sure somewhere, under some rock, in some Persian garden, there’s a diet I didn’t try, but they’re few and far between. I still picked up. So I went the logical route, exercise and healthy eating. I followed a normal, healthy diet. A lifestyle. I ran three times a week, I did yoga twice a week and callenetics three times a week (it’s like aerobics on steroids). I still gained. I continued gaining, but slowly and only in December did I start to realise I had a problem.

In the beginning it was just an inkling…an idea that something just wasn’t right with my body. I do fully believe that we know when something’s off in our bodies. I once forced a doctor to do an operation to find out if I had Endometriosis, with him insisting I didn’t…only, sadly, to prove him wrong. At the bottom of it, we’re animals and basically instinctual, when we bother to listen to ourselves. Come April, I was getting very concerned with my weight, but was still trying.

And then, between April and May alone, I picked up 10kgs, while dieting.

Those of you who read this blog will know that I tried a dietician, who made me eat more than I could imagine, I tried diets recommended by the doctors, I took appetite suppressants even when eating only 300 calories a day. I then followed a friend’s diet, which recommended under 1000 calories a day, combined with either a 70 minute brisk walk or run. I couldn’t manage even 600 calories, so I ate 500 calories a day and I ran. Every single day. I started to lose, but only a bit, but then I picked it all up again, in one single day. It was then that I knew I was pretty much doomed.

I’ve been through some pretty rough patches in my life, but the fact that so few people believed me (the amount of people who looked at me with blatant skepticism when I said I was running 6km a night, or said ‘if you just eat healthily with moderate exercise, you’ll lose’), that one doctor said I must just get used to being this way as I’m no longer an adolescent and the fact that my body seemed to be conspiring against me, took me into a bonafide depression, that lasted a long time.

I would wake up in the morning and want to cut the fat from my bones. I felt sick, physically and violently sick, then I looked at myself in the mirror. My ‘fat’ clothes were cutting into my skin and my ‘thin’ clothes hidden so far into the closet, they could be in Narnia (where the thin people reign). I felt like I was walking around in a fat suit. I was uncomfortable when I sat, when I walked and even when I lay down. I’m not going to lie, I considered suicide a number of times. I wouldn’t do it, mainly because we’ve had a suicide in the family many moons ago and over two decades later you can still see the effects. I couldn’t do that to them, but it did come close. I can’t count the number of times I cried in my many different doctors’ office. My Google search results had nothing but diet tips and even eating disorder forums (which I got kicked out of, because even though I was only eating 300 calories, I wasn’t losing weight and when asked for help, apparently I was advocating anorexia, not desperately seeking someone to talk to).

I’ve had my thyroid checked three times, I kept hoping they’d find something wrong with me. At least it would explain it and I could tell people ‘I’m not just fat.’ So, I took what I swore was my final visit to yet another different doctor. I have only one kidney and suddenly thought, ‘perhaps something’s wrong with this kidney now and that’s why I’m picking up weight.’ This doc is the only one in town with an ultrasound. Expecting to be scanned and ignored, like always, I was shocked when he sat me down, called the path lab and asked about my previous blood results. He took more blood and then…listened more. He actually wanted to know about my weight gain, he believed me. He was slightly shocked when I rattled off the types of drugs that didn’t work, the different diets I’d tried and a lot of indepth research into weight gain. He believed me when I told him I was running every night and when I told him my diet. He then gave me a sliver of hope (I know it sounds stupid and corny, but there it is), he told me that even if my blood tests were ‘clean’ of problems, there was a drug he’d put two prior patients on, that had really worked: Victoza.

Cut to the chase, after my ramblings, I’m now on it. I’ve been on it for nearly a month now. Victoza is generally for Type 2 Diabetics, but can be used as  a last resort for major weight loss. According to my BMI I had over 15kg to lose. I was sitting at 74kgs and I’m 5’2″.

It costs…a lot. R1000 pm ($115). I just have to stay on it until I hit my goal weight and then I go off it again. I have researched this like no other. I must have read over 2000 reviews (no hyperbole), only one person didn’t lose on this drug that I read of and she was a self-admitted chocolate addict, who was shoving her face full of chocolate on a daily basis. Three people gained after stopping the drug, and only because they went back to their original habits, which were high in carbs and no exercise. Some people lost as much as 9kg in a month.

As mentioned, it’s nearly a month for me. I inject myself daily in the thigh and have gotten quite used to the routine. The nausea and exhaustion in the first two weeks weren’t fun and again when I upped my dose, but after that, there’s no difference. It works two fold, as an appetite suppressant (which I don’t need) and as somehow increasing your metabolism (which I do).

For those wanting to know more about Victoza: I noticed my appetite came back after the second/third week. I don’t have a problem with this, though. I also noticed a significant difference regarding how much water I drink. With one kidney, I’m only allowed 3lt a day, and I stick to that. If I don’t, I don’t lose. My weight plummeted on the first day (I lost 2.2kg that day alone) and then continued, slowing down, until about the end of the second week, when I stopped losing. I have to say, I panicked a lot. I stopped keeping my diary, woke up in the night fearing that I’ll be the only person that doesn’t lose. Because of this, I stopped drinking as much water and stopped losing. I still find exercise more difficult than before, but it’s getting easier. Anyway, I have once again started losing, thank goodness, so just be prepared for waves and don’t stress.

I know a lot of people won’t agree with what I’ve done, but it’s not your choice. I hated life and now I don’t. Now I see some corny light at the end of the tunnel (be it a train or not). I made a decision that has allowed me to finally feel good about myself, to buy interesting jewelry, because I’m no longer afraid of people looking at me, to occasionally have a beer in public, without fearing that everyone will think ‘oh, and she says she’s been trying to lose weight” and to wake up in the morning feeling okay about myself.

I started Victoza on the 28th of September, it’s now the 25th of October. I have lost exactly 5kg, along with losing 6.5cm around my thighs, 6.5cm around my waist and 2cm around my arms.

I may suddenly die from unknown side-effects, but hey, at least my needle-mark riddled corpse will look pretty.

 

 

URUR by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Firstly – Loads of spoilers, do NOT read this if you haven’t read UR yet.

It’s been so long since a book has totally twisted my sense of reality and reading UR on my mobile has taken me back to times of reading The Dark Half and ‘Salem’s Lot…. not to mention The Talisman & Black House or so many others that loosely and surprisingly mention The Tower.

What an incredible story. The plot is good, nothing really to write home about, but it grabs you and pulls you in like no other. Low men in yellow coats make it worth the short read (it should have been so much longer) and, while you may not like the characters, you do become them.

I found myself mimicking The Walking Dead; roaming my house, phone gripped in one hand, bumping into things as I tried to make it to the bathroom without stopping reading. Much like Wesley, I too couldn’t put my ‘Kindle’ down.

A silly little book that has made my Ka-tet senses tingle.

Long days and pleasant nights 😉

View all my reviews

Looking for the audio book? Click here.

PS. This is the worst: When you finish a really good King and haven’t another to tide you over! I have In the Tall Grass and A Face in the Crowd still to read, but I have a feeling nothing will match this buzz. Excuse my total lack of academia and eloquence, I’m way to high on King at the moment.

Mile 81Mile 81 by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Right, seeing as I’m sharing this on my blog, I thought I’d best do a full(ish) review.

Spoiler Alert for those who need it:

King’s depth of characters and understanding of human nature and people always astounds me. I love how he understands children and remembers what it’s like to be a child. His books are often a portal to forgotten memories of my childhood. He brings us back with simple things, such as the misspelling of ‘swastika’ in Mile 81 (“Notzi swat-sticker”), much like mentioning that as a child, he thought that a ‘bitch’ was an ‘extremely tall woman’ in On Writing.

Along these lines, I have one negative with the story: I can’t imagine a 6 year old thinking the world ‘asshole,’ even if she didn’t say it. It seemed out of character, but perhaps that’s my rose-tinted view of children. Apart from that, he was dead on his description of the characters.

It was short, so there’s not much to say. Although, the obvious similarities to Christine aside, it’s a unique short story for him. It’s definitely not his best (not on par with something like ‘The Raft’), but it’s thoroughly enjoyable.

I picked it up, assuming that I wouldn’t be able to finish anything that wasn’t in normal paperback/hardcover format, and ended up being disappointed that it had finished so quickly.

All in all, worth a read and a whole $15.00 🙂 Now I move on to UR.

Want to get the book? Click here.

Right, before I start, I have to tell you honestly that I am an affiliate, so a very, veryyyyyy small portion of anything you buy through here will come to me, but from an equally honest angle, I love this site…a lot.

I first came across the Book Depository site in the UK,when someone pointed out the fact that you can watch people buy books all around the world…live. It’s pretty cool. Go onto the homepage and click the ‘watch people shop’ link. Perhaps you think it’s dorky, I think it’s awesome.

I won’t waste your time, but this is what’s cool about the site:

  1. The prices almost always better than other sites and if they’re not…work it out with delivery costs, as Book Depo has free delivery.
  2. As aforementioned, they have free worldwide delivery, which came into great use when I moved back to South Africa.
  3. You can get loads of books for under R50. I often top up my sales with little Calvin & Hobbes collections and the like.
  4. Sometimes you have to wait a little for delivery in SA (7-10 working days, I think), but it’s worth it, as they always arrive pristine.

I only buy my books through Book Depository…or the second hand book dealer at my local market, which is why I felt comfortable becoming an affiliate.  Anyhoo, here’s the site, visit it. It’s worth it (regardless of the fact that it makes me money, well…kind of).
Oh, and there’s an AWESOME brain teasing/thinking competition. Click the link below and then go to the competitions section (I’d link directly, but my HTML is playing havoc and it’s too early on a Monday morning).

I’m not sure why I woke up thinking about this, but I am sure that this will probably result in negative feedback, that being said, this is something I’ve been meaning to write for a while. I have no intention of offending anyone and if I have, I hope you’ll understand that it wasn’t meant.

I grew up in this wonderful country and I was raised to treat everyone as equals, regardless of religion, culture, sexuality or race. Colour has never been an issue for me and it took me a long time to realise what an issue it was for everyone else. South Africa has come an incredibly long way and I, for one, am proud of us as a nation. We’ve kicked anarchy in the head and so what if we’re stuck with cretins running our country – push ’em out and move on. We’ve dealt with a lot worse.

However*, there is one thing that I’m struggling to deal with – how we as South Africans have started to deal with race. I was once taught that it’s not politically correct to refer to ‘blacks’ and ‘whites,’ but rather black or white people. We are not a colour nor an adjective. We are all people, we just happen to come in different shades. Having said that, I’ve always believed that talking about issues helps us solve them. I remember an interesting comment from a colleague in the UK who visited SA: “I have never heard a nation talk about race quite as much as in South Africa.” It was an interesting observation, but I think it’s healthy. Our history is based on race issues. We (I use that term loosely) fought apartheid and won, as much as the Germans have the Holocaust to deal with, our cross to bear is race-related. Talking about it, joking about it and bitching about it is our nation’s form of therapy.

However, what was once an open platform now seems to have one of those terrible signs that we used to see everywhere, with one change: “Geen Blankes.** It seems as though white people are no longer allowed to voice our opinions on race-related issues and/or South Africa’s political state. I’ve always spoken openly about political issues and race (and sexuality and religion…etc.) and while I’m well aware that I’m not black and that I haven’t suffered, I am African and I live here too. Don’t take away my right to speak.

While in University, I had a wonderful ‘diverse’ group of friends and we all felt free to say whatever we wanted and joke about everything. Just as someone will tease me for being ginger, I was teased about being white and alternatively, I teased my friends about being black. It was an open, honest environment – we made light of our history. When I started at Uni, there was one person who made a drastic change in my life, without even knowing. My friend Nonny rocked up and my door and decided to introduce me to everyone. Long story short, I got to know a lot of people in a very short time and found they actually liked me. I went from an insecure, shy and moody post-adolescent to a confident woman…and a lot of it is thanks to a girl I used to mission around arm-in-arm with, calling her my fashion-accessory, making light of a current fad of preppy white students, making ‘friends’ with a black student (it was strange, but it was definitely a thing for a while). My friends were my friends not in spite of our differences, but because we could make light of them.

Before you go off at me, I’m not advocating that everyone goes around slinging racial slurs, but I do think we’ve taken a little step backwards. I would like to be able to have an open discussion that mentions race.  For Pete’s sake, I was chatting about my cat and actually stopped myself from saying ‘black,’ in fear of offending someone. I know this is my problem, but it’s something that I think a lot of white South Africans feel these days. We even fall short when describing a person. Imagine this: A man forgets his change at Checkers. The cashier is a white woman, about my age (still under 30, thank you!), she asks her friend to run after him and give him the change, but I can almost guarantee you that when she describes him, she’ll say he’s tall, with a small nose and brown eyes. The poor sod would have disappeared changeless before she mentions that he’s a black guy wearing a checkered shirt. I want to be able to mention race without people assuming I mean anything negative towards that race. I am not racist. I have never been and I never will. By mentioning someone’s race, I am not showing that I have ill-will towards them, I’m mentioning it because it helps me get whatever point I need to across, even if it’s something as simple as returning change.

If we write a political statement, say on Facebook, we’re swamped with angry, sometimes violent, comments about how we don’t have a right to say these things. Yet, we live in this country too. I’ve never felt as separate from my black friends, even those I consider family, as I do lately. I don’t believe I have the right talk about politics or race anymore.

I generally don’t do politics… it’s not my thing and I couldn’t be arsed. This kind of post is definitely a first for me, but it’s my way of saying I love my country. I love my country so much so that it hurts. Unlike others, I have a British passport, I can bugger off to another continent if I so please. I don’t. I’m a first generation South African. My family chose to live here. My parents loved this country so much so that they moved back to SA right in the middle of what they thought was about to be a civil war. My grandfather was taken to that terrible seventh floor, where they used to make you bungee jump sans cable (obviously, as he turns 84 on Sunday, they couldn’t prove that he was helping out a Chinese couple, as they suspected and which he was). My folks were at every ‘Free Mandela’ thing in the UK that they could get to, wearing hats and sunglasses, as they knew that the SA government was watching and recording faces, so they could stop them coming back into the country. I was born here, 10kms from where Shaka was, out of love for this country.

I have the ability to drop everything today and move. I could go live on the dol and stare at people’s shoes on the tube in a second. But*** I don’t want to. I chose this country. If that doesn’t make me African, what does?

All I’m saying, is that it should no longer be a case of black vs white, but Africans vs our pathetic government.

*Those that heard my rampage on sentences starting with a conjunction, this is my poetic license. It applies to *** too. 

**After much Googling, I still can’t find the spelling, so I hope this is right. 

 

We’re all aware that in the desperate process of trying to be unique and original, we become sheep.

Take Emos: Their lives are an endless fight against the crowd, the normal, feeling sorry for themselves, having a good ol’ suicide chat and vehemently hating the world and most of all, themselves.

In my day we called them Goths, they just didn’t have floppy girl-hair.

In some way, we’re all sheep. The pseudo-intellectual has something going for them, thinking out of the box…but they never seem to stop and enjoy life (how many of these do we know?). The narcissistic actor/journalist/presenter that does nothing but tell the world how amazing they are, through what they incorrectly assume are subtle techniques. And then there are those of us who desperately don’t want to grow up, they still want to keep going against the flow.

That’s me. I’ve always thought finances overrated. If we could go back to bartering days, I’d be as happy as a pig in poo. I’d trade poetry for potatoes and enjoy every moment of my life. I started my own business, not because I didn’t want to make money for someone else, but because each day, travelling back and forth to work, a sharp thought twisted and plunged:  So this is how we humans decided to spend our lives? Bugger that.

The bigger picture is a curse. I could be happily working in some investment (okay, I’m fucking terrible with numbers) media company, working my way up, meeting people, meeting someone, settling down and living my ‘life.’ I don’t judge people like that, I envy them.

Now my company is a year old, I’m going on 30, my friends have all risen high up in their respective companies and are raking it in. They’re no longer getting  married, they are married, or they’re getting divorced. They’re on their 2nd and 3rd child. They’ve bought houses, sold houses, bought and sold cars (I’ve bought one, but was saved the ‘selling’ bit by a friendly security company turning my little Uno into scrap metal), they’ve been given promotion after promotion and almost all of them have a pension.

I’m not doing badly, I’m earning more than I did in my last salary, which wasn’t bad, and this is after only a year of being in business. I’m pretty darned proud of myself, but I’ve started to realise that I have no investment, apart from my car. If something should happen, I’m screwed.

So now I find myself considering buying property. The thought scares the bejesus out of me. How grown up is that? Owning something as big as a tiny flat? Probably another copy & paste job? Only because I want some form of safety net. I’d do it wisely, keep a cheap ass rental for me and rent out the bought flat for an exorbitant amount of money that only barely covers the monthly installments.  I spoke to a bond guy, and I need to earn slightly more to apply for a bond. It’s easily done, I only need to make one more monthly sale.

But I don’t want to. I’m happy earning what I’m earning. I’m happy clinging desperately to my youth. I’m happy being transient and not being responsible.

This sucks.

So, my little sheep friends, what made you grow up and how hard did you fight it?

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