We need help!

I am disturbed, I am sad, I am worried about the state of the human race.

You would never normally find me writing about One Direction but this whole Zayn leaving thing has caught my attention. There have been some really funny tweets about it but on the complete opposite end, there has also been the serious side – the #cutforzayn hashtag! I heard about it and shrugged it off until I heard how many posts there were under this hashtag. Curiosity got the better of me so I searched it…. worst mistake! I have this horrible feeling in my stomach, this pure sadness because seeing what people are doing to themselves over a band member leaving is scary!

I am an obsessive person but I cannot imagine being so obsessed with something that I would harm myself over it. As an anxiety and depression sufferer I know what it feels like when things get out of control in your mind, when you experience feelings that nobody can understand. I know what it feels like when your mind goes to worst case scenarios and you just want the feeling to go away but I am so stunned at the triggers nowadays.

Of course, these people have problems and some of them are just looking for a reason to cut but then are the others that are genuinely that cut up about Zayn, that they want to cut themselves up.

Now I am wondering if this has always been something that happens? Did people do this back in the day and it wasn’t known about because there was no such thing as social media? Or have humans just completely lost the way? Are we way too involved with pop culture? What is happening? And how can we fix this?

I don’t know how to process this, I feel sorry for them and I feel sorry for him, can you imagine hearing that because you have made a decision you feel is right for you, people are hurting themselves? Can you imagine what these people are feeling to want to do this to themselves? It is just genuinely sad!

I don’t suggest searching the hashtag because you will feel how I am feeling now, but I do want to know your thoughts.

Stand up for what you believe in

I was reading an article about my soul sister, Lena Dunham this morning and it inspired this blog post.

Basically, Lena will not marry her long time boyfriend Jack Antonoff until there is marriage equality (you can read more here) . Some may say this is silly and she is only spiting herself and her partner, but others, namely me, think that standing up for something she feels so strongly about in such a powerful way, makes a statement about who she is, it says that she will stand up for what she believes in and not doing it in a small way, or sitting behind her computer saying she wants change and expecting it to happen, which once again so many do, namely me.

Another example of standing up for what you believe in is blogger and business owner, Talya Goldberg, recently vegan and making her own differences. In her recent blog posts you will read how she turns down events if it is for a product that is not cruelty free and vegan friendly and how she has taken on brands that don’t know their status.

We need more of this, we need to be stronger, as women, as voices of our generation.

I am guilty of just letting things go because I would rather avoid conflict or because I am not sure what the outcome will be but the truth is we can never predict the outcome of anything and there are always going to be those who disagree with you or your opinion.

Here goes my first attempt at voicing my unfiltered opinions;

In the news

Gavin Rajah needs to take a serious look at his career – changing the colour of a dress doesn’t make it different. Being so blasé about the allegations only causes more irritation amongst those who want answers. We also don’t need someone who obviously sees nothing wrong with copying representing our country in anything. Plagiarism is fraud and we have enough of that!

Body politics

As much as I am all for the fight of plus size being accepted, etc. I think that it’s not only plus size ladies that have body issues or face daily battles so we need to stop focusing on one body type or women of certain weights and work together to help all women, of all shapes and sizes. There is such a focus on plus sized women being victims but all women are victims of the media feeding us with a load of photoshopped crap.

Bloggers

Popular bloggers need to start remembering they also started at the bottom and their readers are who make them who they are so don’t forget to show them appreciation and reply to their comments. Also, be nice to one another, the internet is a world wide web, there is space for all of us.

Social media

This is a space to have your say, but don’t go down hard on people who have their say and you don’t agree. Also, can we just all agree that sub tweeting is for cowards and it is annoying.

Now, I want to hear your opinion on whatever it is you feel strongly about.

Entering the 8th week of F2F Challenge

My weight is an ongoing battle, my regulars will know this as you have followed my journey on Weigh Less, my Well I Am challenge and all my attempts at trying to lose weight. The fact is it is an ongoing struggle for those who are addicted to food, or have come to rely on food for a lot of emotions. As much as I and so many wish we could wake up one day with a changed mindset (which I have done so many times) and it will be enough to drive us to our goal weight, most of the time (well in my case) it is not! Somehow I have always managed to let myself down and fail.

My latest journey is the Fat 2 Fit Challenge with A New Weigh, which I started at the beginning of the year. With my wedding on the way, I really wanted to shed a few kilos and start toning up for the big day. Naturally, I started off so motivated and that motivation has been up and down since then. Because of this, I haven’t lost what I wanted to lose to date however this is nobody’s faulty but my own. I have moments of weakness, I fail to plan, I get so wrapped up in other things that I completely lose focus on my goals and myself. Despite this, I have not given up and that is because of the challenge itself

The support is unbelievable, any time of the day or night I have a question about ANYTHING, the girls who are part of the challenge and Gaelyn and her assistants are there to answer or help. The meals are delicious and don’t cut out any food group (which I am in huge favour of) and it is all simple once you get into it.

I always let myself down but these ladies are preventing me from doing it this time which I am so grateful for.

Today marks the beginning of the 8th week and I plan on going full speed downwards until the end of it and until my wedding.

A New Weigh and Fat 2 Fit are definitely something to look into if you are anything like me.

Books without batteries

Reading is one of my only constant obsessions so I know a thing or two about the magic of a book, I have a serious appreciation for a well researched and curated plot and of course, about reading an actual book and reading an e-book.

I purchased my first e reader about four years ago through Kalahari (I really wanted a Kindle but at the time couldn’t afford one and the Gobi that Kalahari stocked was reasonable and came with a free book voucher so I jumped on it). I was a little disappointed when it arrived because I expected more, nevertheless I read a few books on there, swopped between books and e-books and eventually it just lay there.

In December last year I decided I wanted a Kindle for Christmas because I battle to read books at night, without doing proper research and jumping the gun, I purchased a second hand Kindle in mint condition. I was disappointed in this too because a) I expected more and b) I needed a Kindle paper white (I think) because the one I got was no good for reading at night but rather for in the sun. Within a few days I re-sold the Kindle.

Since then I have been reading actual books and I purchased a bright desk lamp to use at night.

I have nothing against e readers and would like to buy a Kindle (the right one) one day, but I will never, ever, ever stop buying/borrowing books. There is just something I love about holding a new or used book in my hands. Of course, there is also the bookshop trips which I will never give up.

Every time I see a magazine closing down due to lack of sales and each time I see something go completely digital, I get a chill because I will literally cry if this happens with books. As much as I know there are thousands of books out there and that we will never be left with zero books, I am so afraid that authors and publishers decide to start going digital only – perhaps for the environment or because that’s what sells more. Does anyone else worry about this?

I vote for books without batteries!

*Update: I saw this article this morning about books being more in demand than e-books and it made me really happy.

Two months away

This morning I woke up with exactly two months to go until I become a Mrs, until I say my I do’s and till I change something that has been with me my whole life – my surname.

The planning of 2 May has seen me throw tantrums (well, not quite, but almost) it has had me depressed one minute and excited the next, it has made me want to just go to court or elope but most importantly it has taught me that there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I am ready to be a wife and also that I have really chosen a partner who is a good fit.

I have spent so much time trying to get the day to be perfect that I haven’t taken any time to reflect and think about my future as a Mrs. Basically, my thoughts, my planning, my future has gone as far as 2 May 2015 and not any further.

All my effort, all my money, all my time has gone into the 2nd of May but then what?

I don’t want it to be an anti climax, I don’t want to put everything into one day and then feel a sense of purposefulness after the day has passed and it is “back to reality”.

So I have decided to take some time out to start planning mine and my husbands future, think about ways to keep things fun and alive, to be the best fiancé I can be and then the best wife I can be.

Of course, I want the beautiful day and I know that I wont have any regrets about the planning, time and money spent on my special day but seriously only once you are planning do you realize how much you want to impress other people rather than create a day for love and to what extents you would go to have one perfect day and not even think about the rest of the days.

I don’t quite know what the point of this blog post is, whether it is to tell you that a wedding is just one day so don’t make that your be all and end all, or whether it is just me acknowledging that I have been so materialistic the last few months (which I don’t want to be). It could  also be me admitting that I got so wrapped up in this that I didn’t care for much else until I had a wake up call.

But whichever way you take it, I hope you gained something from it

Where does the time go?

Today I feel confused, excited and scared.. It is the fiancés birthday and while it is exciting that I get to spend another birthday with him and I get to experience his growth and maturity, I also cannot believe that it is already time for another birthday.

I met him when he was 20, today he turns 28, so yes, that means 8 years together (almost) and it also means that he has basically gone from a young adult to an adult. The change in him is huge – not only appearance but in all aspects. This is exciting, we have gotten to share so much together and still will experience a lot (because we tie the knot very soon).

The confusion and fear sets in when I realize that it has already been 8 years, but it feels like yesterday. He is another year older and I too will be another year older soon. Time has just run away with us, and as much as we have achieved and accomplished on our own and as a couple in these 8 years, I still feel shell shocked and overwhelmed because I really and truly only realized now how quickly time goes.

Shit is getting real – marriage, talk of kids and a bigger home (not that I want to do it with anyone else) but because time is just going so quickly. I barely feel like I have a chance to make these big decisions because it’s like now or never. Time is not waiting for us.

Am I the only one at 25 feeling like this? I don’t want time to move so quickly because I want more time to do things, more time to spend with him, more time to make decisions.

Naturally, the first solution that came to my mind is the old clichés – that I must use time wisely and make every moment count, stop wishing time away, etc. They may be cliché but they are the absolute truth so here is me, starting my cliché little timesaving life.

Let’s talk about Fifty Shades

I still haven’t seen the movie. I have read the books. I have also seen so many letters to women going around now that the movie is out – urging us not to watch the movie, telling us to think about the psychological side of this book/movie, advising us that this is abuse.

The concern is valid because this is the first book of its nature to go mainstream and it changed things, it gave more authors the guts to write about this topic, it created interest about “the lifestyle” and it has basically opened a whole can of worms which many don’t want to eat.

My argument is this; firstly, Fifty Shades is fiction and I am pretty sure we all know not to take fiction too seriously. Yes, the book is based on things that actually happen and what people actually do in their “relationships” but this book was never meant to be a life guide. There was no gun held to anyone’s head telling them to read it or that if they do, they must live that type of lifestyle.

The reason this book is so hyped and popular is because of the story beyond the “rough” sex scenes and abuse. Women love this book because they love the idea of someone loving them enough to change, to let them in. Women don’t literally want a Christian Grey (most of us would be petrified) but women do want cheesy romance, they wouldn’t mind a hugely successful and attractive man who basically falls for them instantly and is willing to do just about anything for them.
I enjoyed the story but that doesn’t mean I want it to be my story and I know many will agree with this statement.

I don’t feel like the book has made abuse acceptable. It also has not convinced someone to choose this lifestyle. If anyone wants to walk that path – they had it in them and would have eventually walked it with or without Fifty Shades. This lifestyle is something that many choose and enjoy and yes a lot of you will think that they have some psychological problems but who are we to judge?

I am in no way trying to defend the book or my reasoning for reading the book but I really don’t think women are so gullible that they are actually going to change or live their life according to the book? But maybe I am gullible for thinking that….

If you can remember a few years ago, every woman wanted to be Bella – every woman wanted to have two hot guys fighting over her. Edward Cullen was everything! People obsessed about Twilight but they didn’t go around biting each others neck did they? Twilight, just like Fifty Shades was fiction, it gave us a new story to love, new characters to envy, but not for the reasons all the anti’s think. Some people get overly engrossed and obsessed with novels yes, but that is not an authors fault.

Naturally I wouldn’t want my daughter (if I had one) to read this book and think that the way Christian treated Ana was at all acceptable but the way to teach young and even older women this, is not by trashing an authors work or even by trying to hide it. It is by educating each other. The fact that this book has brought the lifestyle into the open could be a good thing because it is educating.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic because it is highly debatable. Don’t attack me for my opinion, let’s play nice and each have a say.