Monday, 26 January 2015

I. Am. Mother

This is a weird post. A post that describes a week in a manner that may get me haggled or stoned in the streets – but, I know some of you secretly wonder, or severely berate yourselves inwardly because of this.

I was tasked with looking after my two cousins, aged 13 and 10. This is far from a difficult age, in the idea that nappies, milk, waking hours, weeping, teething and constant care aren’t needed. I am not completely discounting the fact that I had a pubescent teen on my hands, and who happens to tower over me thanks to lengthy genes and 3-day-a-week-gymnastic bouts. Let’s not forget the 10-year-old who is at the age of gimmick-games, and who can be heard pit-patting through the house at 5am to play xBox quietly.

I was prepared, having looked after these two a few times when they were babies, we’re family, I can handle it. HA! Was I wrong! I made it to Thursday till I completely cracked in half, weeping to my mother on the phone as she laughed back, I could almost hear her nodding in sweet revenge and thinking rather too loudly “I had the same thing with you”...

I wanted to write this post, not to pick apart how horrendous these kids behaved – because they were incredibly well-behaved, up and ready for school, and even though I had to ask a few times they always came to help with chores, but which kids don’t need coaxing with chores.

I wanted this post to explore the idea of parenting (and possible parenting for me). I am at that age where people now ask me at family gatherings or at events (even though I am single) “So, when are you going to start having kids?” My Dad would be over the moon if I announced, in whatever situation I find myself, that I was pregnant – I can almost hear him boasting loudly and tap dancing with joy.

So, I found myself as a single-mom to two kids for one week. It astounds me how any mother, single or married, or even dating/divorcee, gets anything done. I am running on about eight hours sleep since last week Friday, I have had one shirt destroyed to tomato-sauce; accomplished only 10kms of running (dismal!); spent money so rapidly on things such as washing powder and flip files; I have washed countless dishes to the extent my hands are cracking; my nails are bitten to the quick; the kids haven’t managed to eat one bowl of veggies; and we still have two Afrikaans speeches to write. And that all happened after work...

It’s astounding how emotionally available mothers are required to be, how confident they need to be as kids speak honestly about the lumpy-parmesan-mash they refuse to eat after slaving over it, the constant stress of if you’re late picking them up from school - someone will take them, trusting them to wash behind their ears and not send rude messages to their friends. You need more than monetary resources at your fingertips, almost willing an extra hour out of the already 24 just so you can have a bath.

There were amazing rewards after all the hocus-pocus of stress and emotional instability on my part – I watched the 10 year-old create a speech about superheroes, hitting the reader with the age-old question: Are you a hero or a coward, your actions will decide? I got to give the 13-year-old her prefect blazer – almost completely cracking on stage refusing to allow her to grow up (I even assured her – and myself – that she wouldn’t trip on stage).

It’s fun, and rewarding watching these humans evolve and learn and possibly become great forces in this world – it gets lost in the minute details that they haven’t done their chores, or talk-back, or just don’t listen.

I walk away from this week with a new understanding, respect and reverence for mothers; however this truly gives me the power of certainty that I am far too selfish to have kids, now. Purely because I don’t have the support emotionally from anyone – nor financially – nor am I ready to abdicate time and energy to someone other than myself. 

If I am going to raise a child, I want to be the best version of myself when doing it; every woman should get that option...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

I Wish I Was a Man...

Hi my name is Kelly. It has been four days since my last date and I am exhausted. Dear cupid, please forgive me. 

This is how the conversation started, a confession, a tear (a rather rigid tear) and I hoped a voice would boom down and bestow some profound nuance of advice that would cheer me up; a rather manly towel whip to the ass in the sports change room of life, right? Wrong.

I love being a woman. I love that we have suffered, endured and beat our emotions to our wonderbra-ed bossom. We are complicated, emotional, and subtly aggressive. I love that we actually think about sex more than men do, but we multitask, you see; we can plan a birthday party for a three-year-old, fetch and carry in a carpool, make sure dinner has five food groups, know that a sniff isn’t always just a sniff, hold down a job, do our hair, plan an outfit, be on time and still, yes, still think about sex. 

Our bodies are even more complex, our nether regions almost hidden and coy, still somehow, making men go searching, as if to prove his worth on knowing where it is. We do all of this, in the same amount of time it takes some men to type 'Beyonce's ass' into the Google search engine.

Oh, I am not bashing men. I do love them. I adore and envy the simplicity of men; the way they require minimal effort in choice of clothing, emotional return, and what you put on their plate. They are the logical thinkers; they are hardly ever confused, driven, and playful, and with a single look can bring us women, the great and powerful woman, to her knees.

Our complex nature as two opposing genders is no secret; there are books about it, drunken conversations and debates, and even university degrees. But this doesn’t help me, and probably leaves you wondering why I am harping on about this.

Thing is all of this takes place in the rather complicated arena of dating. Two incredibly complex, emotionally charged and sexually driven genders in one room, add some candles, a few beverages (alcoholic) and mix it up. The world becomes even more complicated. 

Hello! It’s Kelly. Waving. Life. You. Yes, You. Duuh. 

So you nab a guy. He ticks all the boxes. You get emotionally involved. You even take part in an adult sleep over. But he doesn’t call you, but if you’re anything like me, you spend four hours in the mirror looking at your body the way a man would, tugging, pinching, oh and eating tubs of ice cream. It then hits you, since when did punching the guy you liked under the swing lose its appeal? 

Dating books tell women that you have to ignore the guy, he’ll come panting back to you, but the essay of my “self-satisfied feministic view” of how it’s high time he took me to dinner, really doesn’t get covered. Since when do we have to relinquish control in the game of dating? Allow the opposite gender to decide on our happiness – yes, men, this does apply to you; we know the lovely-lady lumps got you all shook up and dropping dollars like the Chris Brown impersonator you are.

It must be easy to be a guy in a situation like this, because you’re built of utter calm and logical thinking; you sit back and watch the hyena’s fight. Well, that is the dramatic image I have when you haven’t responded to my text in exactly three days. You need three things: sex, food, beer; or according to my cousin that is.

I am built to get things done. I have days to get through, a job, a life, and a scarf I have been knitting since summer. I don’t have time to ponder when you’re going to ask me out; Or if you’re mad; Or if you hated my laugh. It makes me anxious. I need you to tell me: I am just really busy. OR God help you: I like you, easy does. Why is that so difficult?

Oh for goodness sake. I ask you dear cupid, please. PLEASE send me a man with balls bigger than mine.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The New 'F' Word

We have been having this ongoing debate in a Whattsapp group dutifully named The Awesome Foursome. The debate always centers around the forcefully and rather emotionally charged use of the word 'fat'. I am talking the obese kind not the cool kind.

The conversation starts:

Me: OMG, she got fat
Friend 1: Why are you commenting on her body weight?
Friend 2: because she has?
Friend 3: LOL
Friend 1: maybe there is something else happening, you shouldn't judge her on her weight.

Now, I'll stop there, because reader you will lose faith in me as the post goes on. I have always championed women and the right to say what happens to their bodies, I am pro choice for abortion, because I feel, as women we reserve the right to know the limits of our emotional stability and physical well-being. I also feel that marriage isn't for everyone; that women can earn more than men, that women should have a life outside their significant others, and love is different for everyone: for some it's the simple breath of knowing someone is there at night, and others it's the constant reassurance.

I am not saying men have no place in our lives, far from it, they are the most undeniably interesting creatures I have met; the short, the stubby, the dumb, and the smart - it's fantastic. Yeah, ok, some of them haven't been the most diligent when it came to my feelings, but eh, nothing a good kick to the balls can't fix.

The world of women and the view of their bodies is as complex as chemical engineering; society has programmed us to gravitate to smaller and thinner, in all aspects, food portions included. However, I am not of the view that women should be judged on their bodies, but they should be judged on how they treat their bodies and the way they present themselves.

I am going to cause a hellish raucous chant here now. I commented on her weight because there is definitely something deeper going on. As a strong gender, we as women should have enough power to treat ourselves with respect; we certainly make a big hoo-ha when we want it from others?

I am probably talking from a corner that has just been deserted, but hear me out. I spent the greater half of three years demanding the respect I deserved from men, my family, my job; it wasn't until I demanded the same standard from myself that I found the groove.

So what was my thought process behind the fat comment? 
Sure, OK, I was grumpy, probably had a bad run, or the guy didn't call, sure, I could have said it better nicer. But she had got fat? Having been fatter, and uglier, I deserve the right to use the word that was thrown at me on a playground. Perhaps I shouldn't use it to describe others, and for that I apologise, women could do with less bashing each day. But why hasn't she said to herself: Why is this happening? I need to take control? Give myself the chance to be better? Eat cleaner?

Fat shouldn't describe the weight on her hips, it should be the word used for the lack of respect she has for her body. Health implications aside, because we all know where that leads. It also boils down to the way we shun from the word fat; we brag about "Last night I got so drunk" but never once have I heard around the office "I was so off my face on Cadburys bubbly last night"? Are we ashamed? Are we scared people will call us fat?  I am going to be brash here, but if you have to ask the question 'Do these pants make me look fat?' then you have your answer.  No, self respecting woman allows people to call her fat, she has done it herself, fully embodies it, and does something about it?

It was Caitlin Moran who said in How to be a Woman:
'I can't help but notice that in a society obsessed with fat – so eager in the appellation, so vocal in its disapproval – the only people who aren't talking about it are the only people whose business it really is’.

Why aren't we talking or shouting the word fat? Huh? Ladies... Why do we allow blame to be pointed at the food industry, the magazines, or at men? Perhaps a good run and a lettuce leaf is needed. Insecurity turns to blame. 
Take it from someone who has been there, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, I mean the good, strong, healthy skinny that wipes your brow and proves how hard you got to work for it. 

Be a fat bitch, be it on your own terms.

Monday, 16 June 2014

‘You saved yourself by running’ – Lood.

I started this blog to give me a sense of direction when it came to my body, my life, and my eating – ultimately anything that makes me feel, hear, or embody Run, Fat Bitch. I wanted this blog to cover topics that were real issues, recipes, even rants that we lifestyle-changers-binge-eaters-gym-goers-training-runners face every day; the mundane to the downright irritating.

My best friend, Lood, signed up for a gym contract two weeks ago; a short time in the grand scheme of lifestyle change, he is merely an embryo in his new journey. He loves it. Our conversations have stilted and shifted from penis sizes, wine labels, and relationship advice; to exercise routines, supplement advice and specific goal areas. We are those friends that now cease a conversation the moment we have laced up our shoes and head to our workout; it’s the silent rule ONLY CALL ME AT GYM WHEN YOU ARE DYING/OR ARE ABOUT TO DIE AT YOUR GYM – holding the same weighting system as ‘Never date my ex’. Simple as that.

So during one of these said conversations of in-depth routine comparisons, I mention that running saved me, and because he is my best friend, and the only man who can call me fat, he replies: ‘You saved yourself by running

It’s almost poetic. It needed a blog post; one that rang stark annotations to the art of running, and being saved with each hard step shuddering up your body. Runners are hardly ever quiet about how great running is, how it saves, behaves, raves and extends us past our graves (see, what I did there). There are articles in abundance on how running has saved lives (see articles, here, here, and here).

After an amazing run (which are few and far between), I posted this on Facebook:

Q: “Kelly, why do you run?”

A: “I run because I can, not because I am good at it (because I am not). The 'run' doesn't care what my hair looks like up, down, straight or curly; or if my dress makes my ass look big or even asks my dress size; it never expects me to 'give it up' after dinner; nor does it hold grudges, or call me a bitch when it's moody; it doesn’t care if I wore the same pants twice that week; it never asks when I am getting married; or why I ate that chocolate brownie for lunch. The ‘run’ only cares if I turn up and run, be it slow or fast, long or short. I run because if there is one thing I can do right each day, is not disappoint myself and give up” #RunFatBitch. [sic]

It was a very emotional post, if I do say so myself. Yet, it’s true.

Running saved me from me. I faced my scariest moments while running, staring the hard truth to heartbreak in the face, that insurgent moment of clarification in something bigger than yourself. My day would be a calamity of broken disorder, but the run would somehow blend it to perfect sense; I became my own person. I went from feeling like the loneliest person in a crowded room, to a person who could strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger 8kms into a race.

The physical changes didn’t matter, because running completed me. I lost the cellulite on my thighs, my butt, do I need to keep harping on about my ass. Oh, it’s lucious. People. LUCIOUS. (Ok, moving on – swiftly at that). I made friends, training schedules, pushed pace, learnt when to pull back, and when to push through. I wish I could give ‘the run’ more credit. It has seen more tears than the Oprah finale. It’s heard profanities flung at it for no reason but for it being there. I have hugged it, not intentionally, as I hit the floor with a bang. I don’t even dress up for it. It doesn’t care what I earn, or if I still live at home. I barely have to impress with a light blush and flick of the hair.

I really could bluster on and on, and on, and on. It’s the one thing that truly does give me the credit and control all at once. It is mine, and I love it. It doesn’t always treat me well – just putting it out there. 
So if you are looking for that extra ‘gees’ go for a run, the rest will follow.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The First 53 Dates/Kilos...

First things first, a disclaimer of sorts: Please don't leave this blog thinking that my weight loss venture had anything to do with finding a man, or anything to do with a man other than the fact that I had to prove my father wrong on shapely calves.

No one should HAVE to lose weight for any other reason than for his or herself, and if you are, then you’ll never you succeed. Stop. Now.

I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but I love my ass. My ass went from being a site big enough to host a family to a semi-tight, somewhat flabby and round butt. I won't go as far to say that BeyoncĂ© better step back, but there's a good handful, well a good two hands full, of booty there. It's the saving grace when I need to distract myself from my boobs, who by the way, decided to jump ship in the first 10kgs.

Three years ago, you'd have walked right past me. That's if you hadn't caught my over-compensating-joke or too-loud laugh, because fat people have to be happy, right? But, that's another topic for another blog post.

But 53kgs later, I have a runner's butt, no cellulite and boney shoulders (I still gots the hips my mamma gave me), and men do notice. Perhaps they notice a little too much of me when I walk past. This isn't a post berating men and their seemingly irritating dislike for chunky women - a clichéd remark for very ignorant women since there are men who love meat on bones, but we won't go there.

The better half of three years, a train wreck of a Kelly (waves hands in air, ‘Here I am’) tried hard to find her confidence; tripping over the Mr too-insecure, getting bitten by what my friend Dineo calls 'Fuck boys', the father-of-three-kids, and the ones that restored my faith in the male gender. Train wreck to say the least, but I can only blame the naivety of myself and the constant back and forth battle with my insecurities that led me to such horrendous relationships.

I have no shame in saying that I have had bathroom visits that lasted longer than relationships I have had - it's sad and it's horrible; perhaps even, discouraging.

Now I find myself in that post-life change limbo, where men like the feel of my body, that is until my top comes off. It seems that after 53kgs of weight loss one doesn't automatically look like a Cosmo cover mount.

It's all sagging skin, rippled-snaked stretch marks that river over my belly, parts that wobble hello in greeting and have I mentioned my lack of breasts? The meaty round lumps of lust when in a wonderbra changes instantly to strips of streaky bacon when said bra comes off?

I am too hard in myself - sometimes I know that - but it's what I do.

But I look at this body, bacon strip boobs and silvered stretch marks, and I love it. Oh god, I do. It's mine.

It's testament to the journey that proved me wrong every time I gave up and stopped running or chose the brownie. This is a tough act to follow any man. It's daunting and god-help me, powerful as all hell. I can't expect anyone to understand what I love most about the sagging lump on my abdomen I named 'Ike'.

So it's this sense of self accomplishment that makes dating incredibly daunting for me, I feel I am ready (all that bullshit, you are supposed to feel when asking the universe for something new). I can't exactly read this post on a first date? Or can I? Does one say: “Hi, I am Kelly, I used to be fat, now I am not, my tits are fake in this bra? Should I try the steak...?

People love hearing the 53kg weight loss story of success it inspires them and I am glad, but do they understand that I won't look like a porn star in bed, I won't eat pizza late at night, I'll pass on drinking binges because I am detoxing, and I would opt for a run over a movie any day. Are they prepared for the frustrating vigils on the scale every Saturday, early weekend morning runs, the stubbornness of counting calories and the incessant insomnia.

Surely a girl like me can have detox dates?

Friday, 17 January 2014

It’s all about the run...

Ready for a 7km run

I will never forget my first run; a mere 3km. An attempt that left me covered in mud grazes down my shins, blisters along the side of my feet, a sun-burnt face, and a wide-eyed fearful look on my face when my friend, Tarryn, came back to find me an hour later.

It must have been a spectacle to watch, because how hard was it really? HA! My feet felt like they had been replaced with ten-ton bricks, and it seemed that my body was applauding me as my fat thighs slapped together. Traumatic to say the least!

Trying to be funny after a hellish run

That was a good four years ago. It is hard to believe, but I didn’t stop running, with the help of a few heartbreaks, determination, special friends and a book that inspired this blog (see Ruth Field’s Run Fat Bitch Run). 

So while I bashed, and sweated on the treadmill I managed an easy five-kilometre run – then I got faster. I went from the little train that couldn’t to a ‘runner’. I bought those lycra pants I envied on runners next to me, and the more I ran (besides being hungrier) the cellulite disappeared and my body found the elusive calf tone. 
Before every run I have one of these moments of "Do I have to?"

I found more runners. I ran more. I dedicated Sunday mornings to running further. I mixed running playlists for my friends to get them to run with me. I entered trail runs, ran them and live to tell the tale. I ran when I was on holiday, beach or road. I slowly became a runner. “She runs, you know” is what people said. “I am running this weekend” is what I said. I am not a comrade’s runner, I haven’t managed a ten-kilometre yet, but I will.

There was always one place I could go when I had a shit day, nursed a broken heart, needed a high, or just needed to think – the run. I didn’t need to dress up, hold its hand, wear an expensive perfume, be smarter, be prettier, like certain things, or be a body-type – all I needed to do was to show up, takkies laced and a great running mix blaring from my earphones.

Running and I have a love-hate relationship; I love the aftermath of endorphins, but by god I hate every run. I love that I can hate it but love it. 

The Modderfontein Reserve Park Run
Tips for Running (by Kelly)

  • Get your hands on a copy of Ruth Field’s Run Fat Bitch Run
  • Have a coffee before your morning run
  • Make a kick ass running mix that will keep you pumped
  • Have a fruit before and after your run
  • Get decent takkies (get fitted properly when you manage a 5km run comfortably)
  • Route a run through a residential area – houses are pretty to watch pass by
  • Join a local Park Run – They are Free!

Remember: Run, Fat Bitch.

You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter (Find the hastag #runfatbitch)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Don't school me in eating...

I have a few pet peeves when it comes to healthy living, some involve the selfishness of gym goers (machines and all), some involve the skinny girls calling themselves fat, most of it involves the stupid line “I just forgot to eat” – yeah, I forgot you’re a dumbass; and the rest involves food.

It really isn’t the food that pisses me off; I love food, if I could take food to Vegas and marry the crap-out of it I would. The world would be a better place if we all just had enough food to go around. What does piss me off is when I am told what to eat – I found this out very quickly when I started to change my habits, that and my gluten intolerance. I hate being held to a register of what-nots and have-nots of food. So when the grace of Diet-God bestowed upon me my fantastic dietician whose savoured line is: Rather be Fat and Fit than Thin and Unfit. A mantra of fully-fledged responsibility of what you put in your mouth as a fat bitch, and walk out as a skinny monk.

I really don’t take my eating seriously; in fact, I must be the world’s worst eater. So I never hand out advice like slaps in the face – the world can do without being bossed around for ten minutes more. Let’s get back to my pet peeve, imagine this: You’ve just started a healthy-living lifestyle, you’ve found your groove its working wonders – I commend you for this, I really do. So once you’ve found your groove don’t, I repeat, DO NOT sit and yabber on excuses about my eating habits. I found my groove, so back off bitch.

This is the pet peeve, being lectured about what I am doing wrong. I stand there and take your whining about how me not eating breakfast doesn’t work for you. Wrong. I don’t. It’s tedious and frustrating and frankly got nothing to do with your metabolism and mine, because unless you’re my best friend or my mother you don’t get the right too. I highly doubt you’ve seen me cry at the foot of a scale, or heard the horrible things I have said to myself while tugging at my naked body fat in the mirror, nor have you heard names I was called on the playground, or have you seen me cry while running my first 3kms, and I know you weren’t there when my world shifted and I wanted something different.

So yes it ticks me off, rubs me the wrong way, gets my goat and truly-honest-to-the-heavens pisses me off.

Now that I have that off my chest – I better get something to eat, all this ranting has made me hungry.
Run, fat bitch!

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