A total of 2.6 kg (5 pounds / 3.6 stone) lost so far. Not much is it?
As I write this, I have two choices: I can focus on how little progress I've made, OR I can celebrate the fact that I'm slightly lighter than I was on Halloween and that I can now walk 3 - 4 km with little/no breaks.
Being thankful for little mercies does wonders for a journey to joy, so this year I chose to be thankful for the progress I have made so far. [Also for the fact that Thanksgiving food isn't a thing down here too. #DodgedACalorieBullet]
How It All Went Down
Weeks 1 & 2
There were no exercise goals for the first 2 weeks, but the end of October was already looming and I knew I had to start something right away. Basically, most of the talking happened over these first two weeks.
Having already quit smoking in August, I resolved to make sugar my first priority (ie avoiding it - must read those labels!).
The rest of the babbling also brought forth these nuggets of wisdom:Fructose in fresh, wh…
The ghoulies must have been working overtime this year.
On the last Thursday before Halloween, I was overcome by a strange masochistic urge to - gasp! - weigh myself.
It was horrific. I've had a faint idea of how high my number must be for some time, but as I stood on that scale, it felt as if those three red numbers seared themselves into my brain. I tried to convince myself that it was a good thing to know and understand even the hard facts (knowledge is power and all that). My true self was not having any of that mind-over-matter bullshit and my mental defenses soon crumbled.
I moped around whilst biting back the tears. Crying about my weight felt like a right I had not earned. If you don't vote, you can't complain. So where exactly could I go with all my weighty woes?
First, I prayed. Then, I could not stop talking about it. Oh boy! I kept yapping on and on to anybody who'd listen (or failed to flee the line of fire fast enough).
Luke 1 & 2 tells us of divine interruptions in the lives of Zechariah & Elizabeth, Mary, and some shepherds out in a field. In fact, Luke is the only Gospel writer who gives us the details of the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary (refer More Moments in #First5 on 'Who I am doesn't feel good enough' by Lysa TerKeurst).
Zechariah's interruption meant that Elizabeth was finally going to be a mother and give birth to his son. Something they thought would never happen. ["But the angel said to him: 'Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth... And he will go on before the Lord...to turn the hearts...to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.' " - Luke 1:13-17]
Mary's interruption meant that she was going to be the earthly mother of God's only Son. As a virgin, I don't thi…
How are those New Year's Resolutions working out for you?
Sticking to my new morning routine is one that continued to kick my ass right into October. I was pretty motivated to kick off my newly designed routine but a few weeks into 2017 it tanked. Hard.
Living comfortably is a privilege not afforded to many and all things considered, I must admit that my life actually is quite plush. I have room to be lazy in, including - but not limited to - sleeping in almost daily. Maybe that's how I got all fluffed up. (I literally - and I do mean LITERALLY - piled on the body mass of an average sized person*, except it was all excess fat.)
Whatever the reason(s) behind my massive weight gain over the past 15 years, I've finally had enough when it dawned on me that although weight has nothing to do with worth or beauty, lab results are the kind of numbers you need to pay attention to (more on this later).
Leah DiPascal made some valid points in The Secret Things*.
We don't know everything, because God keeps secrets from us. Now that I have learned more about God's character, I am sure that He does it for us. ["The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." - Deut. 29:29]
There's been no one on this planet who knew it all (not since Jesus, that is). There are many who study, theorise, deduce, estimate, guess. Some have even been able to scientifically prove a multitude of facts & findings, but some answers continue to elude us.
There is such joy in searching for answers!
Think back to the last time you learned something new. Did it also leave you with a giddy sense of accomplishment? That joyous feeling is why I think He takes His time in revealing all His secrets to us.
Maybe you think this elaborate tactic seems like overkill - a lot of effort just…
I have sore muscles this morning, but a smile on my face.
We had a great time with our JC Le Roux buckets at PiP's Haunted Forest on Saturday. I was just a little disappointed that some of their stands along the Forest Walk was empty*.
What did you get up to? Or do you have actual 'Trick or Treat'ing planned for tomorrow?
Mentioning Halloween without mentioning Halloween is just not possible. The film crowned Jamie Lee Curtis as The Scream Queen and so far no one has knocked her off her pedestal yet.
To me she is as synonymous to October as that striped sweater or those masks.
I get such a rush watching horror movies. Don't you?
Scream is one of my favourite scary movies. All four of them really.
The film series is also the reason for this week's gloomy tune, because I fell in love with it when I watched the first installment at Kimberley's drive-in theatre in 1997.
How infuriating! It's 2017. Something should have been done about gun violence by now. Instead, we woke up on Monday in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting and a rising Marikana death toll.
Many people are shocked and saddened. As a global spectator, I seem to have skipped right into the Anger Stage. I'm angry that hearts are breaking in grief. I'm angry that people still choose to hurt other people. And I'm angry that those in positions of authority with the power to initiate change are allowing this to happen in exchange for their gun-loving voters.
Oh, the month of Halloween!
Indecision's haunting me this year. Other than adding some ghoulish decor to our little Garden of the Dead (and wanting to dress up, of course), I'm not sure which event to pick this year. What are you guys all up to? Any cool ideas?
Whatever we do, one of my favourite things to do is to stretch out the suspense for as long as I can, so to start off our 'Mexican Wave' of chills, here's a creepy little story wrapped up inside a weird music video.
Have I mentioned the significance of September 1st yet?
Well, in South Africa we celebrate it as the first day of Spring.
And each year since 2013, my husband & I also celebrate our wedding anniversary on the same date (exactly two years before that, to the day, he asked me to marry him). It has less to do with Spring Time being synonymous with "the birds & the bees", and more to do with the fact that Franscois chose this date because he'll remember it easier than any other one.
Four years this Friday. The poopies & I are such lucky ladies!
God does not tempt. He tests.
We should know this already because the Bible told us so. Centuries ago. ["Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness ... to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart..." - Deut. 8:2]
Now if you didn't know about this, or if you keep forgetting, don't feel guilty. Same here - if it wasn't for Lysa TerKeurst's First5 teaching on Deuteronomy 8 last year, I'd probably still be confused. In it, she asked, "Might God be using these humbling circumstances to get you to a place of deep and unshakable trust in Him?"
What a #TruthBomb moment, right?
Now before I chatter on, let's make a mental note NOT to confuse His spiritual tests with temptation, though. According to the main definitions on Dictionary.com, there is a clear distinction between the two words:
tempt /tɛmpt/ verb ~ to attempt to persuade or entice to do something, esp something morally wrong or unwise.
Fisgard. It sounds like something out of a Kim Wilkins novel, but it's actually the first lighthouse built on Canada's West Coast.
"Built by the British in 1860, when Vancouver Island was not yet part of Canada, Fisgard's red brick house and white tower has stood faithfully at the entrance to Esquimalt harbour. Once a beacon for the British Royal Navy's Pacific Squadron, today Fisgard still marks home base for the Royal Canadian Navy." [- Fisgard Website]
This wasn't my first tango with a cheesecake.
First time around (a few months ago) it came out all cracked and spotty-looking, despite the fact that I had set my sights on the simplest recipe I could find.
Before my second attempt I changed tactics. I did some online research before firing up the mixer and it totally paid off! No cracks, an even colour all around and a way creamier texture.
I'm THE WORST at absolutely everything in the kitchen, so to all my fellow Kitchen Catastrophes out there - here's what I did differently for Baby Brother's 21st birthday lunch @ Mom's: Cream Cheese - looks like Philadelphia Cream Cheese disappeared from South African shelves, so I used 3 tubs of LANCEWOOD® Full Fat Cream Cheese instead.Cookie Crumbs - using my mortar, with a double-lining of cling wrap to keep the crumbs from sticking to it, I pestled a box of BAKERS Nuttikrust® biscuits until reduced to fine crumbs. (We have a granite set like this one at home and I was able t…
I will never be a summer person. The sunburn, heat and sweat... Yuck! It quickly turns me into a puddle of lethargy every year. Now Winter, Oh My!
Snuggles become cosier and everything smells crisper.
When I feel that chill in the air, I want to move and do things. The tingling cold always gets me going (and moving around is a sure way of staying warm).
Suffering from depression is like stumbing around in familiar territory.
Just as you catch a glimpse of an exit, you take a wrong turn and 'round and 'round you go.
In her teaching on Deuteronomy 2 'Turning North' Lysa TerKeurst wrote, "He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear".
I find enormous comfort in this revelation. After their exodus from Egypt, the Israelites found themselves wandering the desert for 40 years. They must've felt hopelessly lost most of the time, but God always gives you a way out. For them, it was Moses. For me, there are numerous healthier options.
From an environmental point of view, there are many things I should be doing differently (or not doing at all). That does not mean that I've stopped trying.
I'm still #WithNature.
The fact that people are such assholes, reaffirms this choice every day.
We're in love with Alyssa Rivers' Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken.
I found it on Pinterest, saved it, and haven't stopped referring to it again and again.
I'm a terrible cook. I always forget something, or take shortcuts when following recipes, and usually that means the whole thing implodes. Not the case with this batch of deliciousness.
There are a few differences between the creative genius' version and ours (some you'll notice straight away, others maybe not): The original recipe calls for garlic powder & chopped spinach (amongst other things). We have a brand-spanking-new garlic press, so fresh garlic (3tsp) was a "necessity" & I bought the wrong spinach, so we used baby spinach leaves.Her kitchen, camera and photography skills are miles ahead of our own.We should've browned the chicken a liiiiiittle longer.Our sauce is a little too yellow. Not sure why, but it still tastes great!!!
You can serve the creamy chicken with whatever you feel…
So hubby's birthday is on Star Wars Day.
Reaching the end of his thirties, it does mean that parties have fizzled out a bit (it takes us all a little longer to recover from late nights and hangovers). In other words, for the occasion this year, he decided on watching ALL the Star Wars episodes on a screen in the backyard.
Yes. Nerdy. Very nerdy.
Buuuut I was okay with it. It meant they wouldn't be tempted to drink & drive, and I'm always for that.
He worked hard getting comfy (old, scrappy) couches moved to the lawn, setting up the projector screen, etc. He's going to kill me for saying this, but it was just so cute seeing him be so creative. He had me totally invested in his birthday "party" idea.
A truly magnificent structure.
At 68 metres, Vittoria dwarfs Slangkop (South Africa's tallest), and the copper version of Giovanni Mayer's Winged Victory statue is just the cherry on top.
The fact that the lighthouse aides navigation on the seas at night comes as no surprise to me. What I do find notable is the fact that it was built to commemorate the Allies' fallen sailors of World War I.
The construction project was completed on 24 May 1927 and the lighthouse is still being used today.
As I first read through Deuteronomy, it seemed a neverending list of laws.
In reality, God was using Moses to show the Israelites how every choice they'd make would have a consequence.
Krista Williams' teaching on Deuteronomy 27, Life Is Not A Coin Toss, brought this home for me. I realised that these lists of blessings and curses weren't just strict ultimatums. They were guiding God's people by showing them the consequences of each choice before them: Follow God's Word, or turn away from Him and go your own way, alone.
You see, we always have a choice. In any and every situation, we have the freedom to make our own decisions on how to proceed. This freedom is a luxury gifted by God. Use it wisely.
Enya's lyrics are as hard to hear as any metal I've ever listened to.
Although, I must admit that I've always been mishearing lyrics. For years I was convinced that Def Leppard was singing a song about Lesbian Rock (whatever the hell that may be?!).
As an example, let's have a look at Orinoco Flow - the first Enya song I ever heard:
The Cow and the Calf. As I ventured into the land of lighthouses, I quickly learned that lighthouses all have different looks. Some are tall, some are short, some are bright, some are stocky, some aren't even round.
While some details were added as a result of the architectural trends during the years they were built, their sizes and locations all come down to visibility, which is also the reason why the tower of St Catherine's lighthouse is shorter than when it was originally built.
In 1875 it was decided to reduce its height by 13 metres because the light at the top was frequently shrouded in mist.
Notice the little tower to the left in the photo above? No. This is not a second lighthouse tower. This is what the locals refer to as the Calf - the location of the fog signal house until they stopped using it in 1987 (it was moved to this second little tower from the cliff's edge after cracks continued to appear).
Other Noteworthy Dates:
From 1323 to 1530, lights were shone…
The Mykines Holm lighthouse was built in 1909, but it wasn't the Faroes' first.
The first lighthouse was lit way over on the other side of the Faroe Islands in 1782, on the northern part of Nolsoy.
Towards the end of the second industrial revolution (a few years before the first world war), it looks like the construction bug bit the Faroe people, because they built the first bridge over Holmgjogv, as well as the first path from Mykines Bygd(the village) to Mykines Holm (the lighthouse islet) in the same year that they constructed Mykines Holm Lighthouse.
There have been twenty-one lighthouses on the islands to date (give or take a few that had to be rebuilt over the years).
During World War II all three manned lighthouses - Akraberg, Mykines and Nolsoy, were attacked (bombed). After the war ended in 1945, it took three years to set things in order, rebuild, and clean up the islands.
Did You Know?
Apparently the summer nights on the Faroe Islands is so light that they shut dow…