Beyond the FUPA

Monday, November 5, 2018

As I type this out I think I am the lightest I have ever been, I am currently 63.2kgs. To be honest, I do not think I have weighed this much since I was 25 or so. I got pregnant when I was relatively heavy for my frame and went ahead to put on about 13 kgs by the end of my pregnancy. Despite loving being pregnant selfishly I detested going for my doctors appointments. I would scowl at the super friendly 5 foot Filipino nurse who probably weighed 30kgs as she joted down my own 78kgs in her notes. 

Fast forward to giving birth, making lots of milk and having a boob dependent little boy, I managed to lose most of my baby weight in the first 4 months. A huge dose of over confidence and I smugly shared pictures of me in my pre-pregnancy jeans on Instagram. 
This was all short-lived though because as soon as the boy started solids and the boobing sessions reduced, my weight slowly started creeping up. By the time he was one, I was probably 70kgs. I had resigned myself to buying clothes in a large or UK size 14 which I excused with "Oh well, I did just had a baby" and "I am a mum now, let the fupa live". 
The moment where these thoughts were banished was when I saw a picture of me that a friend had taken and my upper arm spread was as wide as a Rhino's thigh. I quickly dashed to my husband and shouted at him, "Why did you not tell me how big I had gotten". That was in July and since then I have gone on to lose 6.5kgs.

Here's how I did it;

September 2018 in my size Large dress that is now too big.
  1. Intermittent fasting. I had tried doing it in 2014 and been successful. This time I started skipping breakfast and having my first meal at 12pm and then my last meal before 8pm at night. I fit in 2 healthy meals with carbs, protein and veggies and made sure to keep my calories below 1200.
  2. I downloaded Myfitnesspal and religiously counted the calories from each meal as well as weighing out my portions with a food scale and measuring cups. To determine my recommended calories per day for my lifestyle, I calculated my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and then reduced my calories by 500 a day. 
  3. I did not cut out any food and still ate chips, chocolate, bread. I just made sure that I calculated the calories and kept them under my daily allowance. This was the same for beer and wine. I did not deny myself a few glasses of wine or beer and made sure to only drink during the weekend. 
  4. This is controversial but I weighed myself every morning for the first month on a digital scale. Weighing myself everyday and slowly seeing the number going down, helped me stay motivated and keep going
  5. More controversy! After about one and a half months, I started doing longer fasts. I started off with not eating for 24 hours and then tried 36 hours. After reading the books The Obesity Code and The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr Jason Fung, my whole outlook on eating and food changed and I now consistently do two fasts a week. I make sure to eat healthy well balanced meals after my fast and eat till I am satisfied and again, I do not deny myself any food!
I will probably share more on Intermittent fasting and how I make it work for me and my lifestyle. Do you guys have any tips for weightloss?

My Hair Now

Thursday, October 18, 2018

My hair has taken a backseat in my priorities! The heat and air conditioning means that I have to baby my dry skin with daily self-care. Despite my hair being relegated to the back of the bus, it seems to be thriving. My edges that were snatched by the unwanted postpartum hormones have grown back!

I have been day-dreaming of how lovely it would be to have a short crop and maybe go platinum blonde or grey! How quick my mornings would be. I would love to chase those day dreams but I think this is my time to grow out my hair and see how much length I can retain. 

Not having time to deal with my hair and a toddler has helped me have the best hair of my life ironically. I think the following has helped;

Simplifying My Regimen - Currently I have my wash day every two weeks. I shampoo with Tresemme Botanique Nourish and Replenish Shampoo and then deep condition with wait for it....Plain Mayonnaise mixed with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner. This deep conditioning mix gives me the best slip ever, makes detangling a breeze. It is also the perfect blend of protein+moisture.

Protective Styles - I have learnt how to do box braids for myself. These are super for not having to deal with my hair for 4-6 weeks. 2012 me would be aghast that I don't moisturise my hair in braids every three days. 

Not Fussing. However unconventional it sounds, I think reducing manipulation has helped me retain a lot of length and volume. I have so much volume now and I love it. 

Wish this revealed more elaborate tips, but my low maintenance reality is whats working for now. 

Minimalism - My Take

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

It's almost two years since my Husband and I moved to Abu Dhabi from Nairobi, we uprooted our lives in 3-4 suitcases and had to start afresh. As we did, along the way i decided to fulfill my minimalist dreams some part due to the lack of permanence as a new expat and some part because I do not want to be tied down by things.

Reusing old leggings as a Headwrap.

In all honesty, part of the reason that I wanted to downsize my possessions was financial. Leaving Nairobi meant losing my full time job and relying on my husband for most things. My disposable income was not as open-ended as it used to be. The boy was also going to be born in a few months. I needed to make sure we had all the things ready for his arrival.

We have managed to minimally furnish our house ( slowly making it a home as we are moving soon), have smaller but more efficient wardrobes, keep our baby clothed and entertained and live happily. Most importantly we are content!

My journey to trying out minimalism started off by watching two documentaries on Netflix; Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things and The True Cost.

This has led me to defining my own sense of minimalism as buying only what I truly need and learning to make more deliberate decisions on spending money.

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.
Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus 

My minimalism manifests in the following super simple ways;

  • I have a smaller wardrobe with pieces that I love and work for my day to day life. As I spend most of my time at home working, I do not need such an extensive wardrobe and my wardrobe is mainly jeans, tees and comfy dresses, This works for the husband as well who has 5 suits, a number of mix and match tees, chinos and shorts which work for his Smart Casual office environment. The boy's wardrobe is pretty similar and since the growth spurts have slowed down, we are only buying clothes every 3 months. 

  • I used to be a huge product junkie especially as a natural hair blogger, I have pared down my products to 2 bottles of conditioner, ! bottle of shampoo, 1 curling product, 1 gel, 1 hair oil and some edge control. This is honestly keeping my hair super healthy and its growing like a weed.
  • Every 3-4 months, I take on some decluttering and donate old clothes to charity. 
  • My make up bag is super pared down with a one foundation, concealer, mascara, highlighter, powder. Lip products are my crack though and I struggle not buying all the Fenty Lipsticks 
I may make this a series and go into more of my key pieces both home, baby and wardrobe. 

15 Things I've Learnt in 15 Months of Parenting

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

So it has been 15 months since I became a parent and it has been an all consuming, all encompassing job. In all of it, I have learnt so much and in trying to be as authentic as possible I will share all the juice and non-juicy bits

1. As a stay at home/part-time working mum the hours between 3pm- 6pm/ bedtime feel like millennia. There are not enough toys to keep your child occupied during this high energy period. Now that its getting cooler in Abu Dhabi (Thank Heavens), we normally go to the playground and tire the little man out.

      2. Your heart will turn into mush, every sad , heartbreaking story will bring out so much empathy and sympathy. I cannot read any stories about mistreatment and even hearing stories of climate change and how we are ruining the planet for the next generation bring me to despair

3. Getting angry at your child is perfectly normal, toddler tantrums are the worst. Do not rack yourself with guilt for getting pissed off at your child, place them in a safe space and take 5 mins to calm down and then get back to it. 

4. Do not let other Mamas and Daddy's influence you to make decisions that don't suit yourfamily, if your baby(ies) want to sleep with you and everyone gets good sleep then why not?

      5. Watching your child learn a new skill is the best feeling ever!

      6. Your child will soak up everything they see you do, you are their world. If you are a good,kind human then most likely your child will be.

      7. Let your child explore, if they want to pick up a stone, flower, leaf from the floor give them the opportunity to take on the experience of holding a new item. Remember, they are exploring these things for the first time ever.

       8. Waking up at 6 am is the worst but being woken up at 6.11 am everyday by little fingers pushing your eyeballs and big wet kisses from your toddler is the best feeling ever

       9.Mamas are never in the photo....this needs to change

      10. Always check your clothes before you leave the house, you may just have snot stuck to your                t-shirt or hummus on your jeans.

      11. NEVER expect your child to be an extension of you, they are their own human being with their own emotions and feelings. I am an awkward introvert, my son however walks up to                    people and demands smiles and conversation. He is currently trying to warm up our rather stern neighbour by dishing smiles and giggles. 

      12. Raising a child is the scariest thing in the world, you are filled with big fears like will he be successful and little ones like "I have to brush his teeth for a minimum of 3 years until he can do it himself".

These next ones are from my darling Husband;

     13. Be creative, find different ways to solve problems. If your child agrees to be fed one night and the next day refuses, don't force the feeding try giving him/her a baby spoon or fork and let them try to feed themselves as you die inside watching the mess being made. 

     14. Remain calm, it is the best way to try and read/understand a being(child) that is not able to communicate with words.

     15. Work with your partner to do what is best for the baby, it is not one persons job. You each need to step in to find solutions to problems, chart the babies path. 

Everyday seems to bring about new lessons for the boy and myself 

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