Revised Resolutions

On New Year’s Day I, like many other people, made a list of resolutions that I want to achieve this year. While they are still relevant (one of my aims is to stop swearing so much), I now realise that it is the simple things that matter when making such announcements. Therefore, my resolutions have whittled down and are now as follows:


1. Maintain a positive mental attitude.

For some, this comes naturally and I am a positive person most of the time but there are people on this planet whose sole aim is to test you, to start arguments and be a general nuisance. So it is important not to let the bastards get you down and know that for every arsehole you meet on the street or speak to on the phone, I’d say there are about five good people, one or two of whom may brighten your day in some way. Smile and think about whatever makes you happy or that you feel enthusiastic about. For me, this usually involves music or remembering a joke or anecdote which leaves me convulsing with laughter.

Although there will be situations which may leave you feeling aggrieved and generally fucked off (told you I need to cut out the swearing) and I heartily endorse healthy doses of realism and cynicism, positivity is key. Be good to your fellow person, even if that person is a prize prat, because to kill them with kindness will hurt them far more than a volley of abuse. So smile and think of things that make you do just that. Which leads me merrily on to number two…


2. Be happy and healthy.

(See above for the ‘happy’ bit.)

Meanwhile, the healthy part is underway- I have started using my exercise bike and can confirm that I am as unfit as I thought. Even though I walk ten minutes from the train station to my workplace at least three days a week and go for a walk at lunchtime, cycling on my bike left me a sweaty, breathless mess hellbent on boosting my endurance limits and persevering. I calculated that I am overweight by using my complex weight gain detection method (i.e.: my jeans are too tight and I’m wearing leggings more often, as jeggings, stiff cotton and my wide waist don’t mix). My willpower leaves a lot to be desired but I aim to curb my gluttony and be more measured with what I eat, especially when it comes to sugar. Damn my sweet tooth!


3. Be proactive.

Because I’ll admit that in the past, I waited for things to fall into my lap instead of being a go-getter. This was usually down to lack of self belief, fear of the unknown and/or not wanting to upset the applecart, so I would sit back and think ‘It’s ok, I will wait’ instead of being decisive and taking control. Every year that passed by where I said, ‘I’m gonna do an exercise class or a course or something’, would lead to my family and friends rolling their eyes as my indecision proved my undoing. Where others would leap into something new, I would ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’ about any-and-everything until I ended up doing nothing. Well, this year will be different- I plan on trying new things- some of which I will document on here -as there is so much I want to achieve. So no more procrastination as it’s a bitch and I have met her many times.

So in a few months, I’ll hopefully have lost some weight, become fitter and healthier and more of a risk-taker. That’s not to say I’ll start bungee-jumping or anything as mad as that, but I will be taking the plunge a lot more. Amen to that.


Newly Natural!

I can now tick off a major part of my ‘Things to do before I’m 35’ list. A couple of days ago, I did something I thought I’d never do. After four years of transitioning, deliberating and copping out while making shit excuses, I finally took the plunge and went natural.

That’s not to say I was confident when I did the Big Chop. Although my hair was two-textured (natural roots with relaxed ends), my hairdresser complimented me on how healthy and soft my hair was, which made me wonder if I was making the right choice. And I’d be a big fat liar if I said I didn’t want to shout ‘STOP’ before he wielded the electric trimmer.

But I knew it was time to venture out of my comfort zone and besides, I’ve done plenty of other things with my hair- bar shaving it all off. Relaxing my hair every few months got repetitive and I was fed up with my hair breaking off. Also my sister recently did the Big Chop and if she could do it, so could I. And I was tired of looking enviously at all the women rocking supremely gorgeous natural hair on the streets of London and beyond.

I have toyed with the natural hair route many times. Usually I stayed loyal to relaxing my hair but was had an on/off relationship with the transitioning method. I once transitioned for a year and then reached a crossroads: to chop or not to chop? So in an act of cowardice, I relaxed my hair. Again. But hair is to experimented with and I want to work with it in its natural state, rather than against it. That’s not to say I’m against relaxer. I decided to go natural because I wanted a change, that’s all. I’m not going to start getting all militant about not using the ‘creamy crack’, it’s a personal choice- whatever works best for you.

When I left the hairdressers that day, I thought I’d be hunching my shoulders up to my ears and feeling nervous about how other people would react. Instead I found myself feeling good- I had a teeny weeny afro! Apart from my mother telling me I look like a member of the Four Tops (thanks a bunch, Ma), I’ve had a mainly positive response to my new style. The main thing is I’m very happy with the outcome and am glad and rather surprised I’ve finally joined the Big Chop club.

More Fruit, Less Cake

Right, it’s official. My willpower has gone.

Last week was a pretty shit week for me (didn’t get a job I wanted, overlooked again, don’t even ask) and it seeped into this one, so I haven’t been in the best of moods. Thus, on Monday morning, I bought a pack of chocolate digestives to cheer myself up and devoured a few while sitting at my desk. Yesterday, I vowed that I would stay away from those bastard biscuits. So what did I do? I ate far too many of them. They just sat there looking up at me and I couldn’t resist which, considering I was wearing a skirt that was a tad too tight around the waist was a bad idea.

Where has my willpower disappeared to? I’ve always had a sweet tooth but it’s got worse over the past year. On one recent morning, I said I was going to have some porridge and Be Good. I ended up having cheesecake for breakfast. But the choice was between that or some shitty cereal that tasted like cardboard and didn’t fill me up in the slightest, so cheesecake was always going to win.

Then when I got to work I had some jelly beans. And no, it wasn’t to boost my energy levels, it was because they were in my drawer and I couldn’t resist, despite having two ripe, juicy apples in the same place. This keeps happening so I’m writing this to shame myself into doing something about it, because when you buy a large bar of chocolate and have to give it to your friend to look after while you work, things need to change.

Anything remotely sweet turns me into a sugar fiend, eating more and more until I feel guilty. The other day I ate an apple to ease my sugar pangs which always crop up during elevenses. But I also had some sweets in my drawer and despite having the apple about 30 minutes before, my mind kept demanding, ‘FEED ME SWEETS!’ I waited a good five to ten minutes before I relented and said, ‘I’ll just have a couple,’ which turned out to be wrong as I destroyed half a bag’s worth of jelly beans.

Some of you might say, ‘Oh, you’ve only had some sweets, it’s not the end of the world.’ True, but I know this has become a very bad habit. My weakness for sweets, chocolate and cake is a joke. If I don’t have something sugary, I can find myself getting a bit jittery and irritable. I know I’m not the only one either- it’s all part of the sweets and cake industries’ fiendish plan to get us all addicted to sugar. Or maybe it’s just me searching for an excuse (and a weak one at that).

The funny thing is that many years ago, I stopped having sugar in my tea. I used to have one or two spoonfuls in every cuppa until I cut it out. It took a while to get used to it at first as it tasted disgusting. Then one day I realised I’d stopped gurning whenever I took a sip and began liking the taste. Since then, I cannot bear sweetened tea but clearly I’ve been substituting for my sugar fix elsewhere. Cakes and desserts of all kinds become extinct once they are in my reach and as for biscuits…well, they are the work of the devil.

So I’ve decided to be good for myself and my health and kick those seductive sweets to the kerb. More fruit, less cake. Not to say that I don’t eat fruit, I just don’t eat enough. I’ve had a fair bit over the past couple of days so that’s a start. Even though they are full of natural sugars, at least I don’t feel bad after I’ve eaten them. Of course, I’m not saying I’ll avoid sweets and cake every day. Have you tried weaning yourself off sugar completely? It’s absolutely awful and almost impossible nowadays because so many foods contain sugar. Bread, pasta, it’s in everything and I am not giving up my carbs. Besides, you need sugar to give you energy and I’m not converting to sweeteners (vile!).

But then I must be getting better. I saw an article today about a London hotel that- for one night only –will be made of nothing but cake: the windows, the walls, even the cushions. A whole new meaning to (ahem) ‘sugar walls’. At first, I thought that was my idea of heaven- sensory overload, indeed! -but now I couldn’t think of anything worse. I’d be sick all over that meringue-laden decor and it all looks so pretty, I’d hate to ruin it. I wouldn’t want to end up shaming myself, sitting with a stupid, spaced-out look with cake crumbs smeared all over my face- I’ll leave that to the hordes of people that will go there instead.

© 2013