The pregnancy weight gain (and loss)

*3 weeks post partum*
Today I wore a pair of jeans from before. Before I had a baby. Before I was pregnant.

It took 9 months to grow a human and 3 weeks to shrink it. I kept my jeans on for one outing of a little over an hour and then came home to change back into fat pants (also known as joggers in the fashion world). The jeans fit. They just weren’t very comfortable. But we take our wins where we get them.

*7 weeks post partum*
Because as it goes, with a newborn and with Instagram scrolling, I’m finishing this blog post 7 weeks post partum. And 4 weeks on since I started it. Its not that I battled to find the words to explain myself, but rather… well, Instagram.

Unfortunately that miraculous shrinking that took place after 3 weeks stopped there. 12,5kgs up – I’m 8,5kgs down with a stubborn 4 to go. And by stubborn I mean, thank God I’m not another 9kgs up as I have definitely left my eating well habit back in September 2015.

Everyone (most people) know I have a small obsession with weight. No one else’s, just my own. I weigh myself every day. Twice a day actually (close your mouth). I suppose its an obsession with the scale really. Yep, I don’t even step on the scale after a shower as wet hair weighs more than dry hair. A theory I have never actually proven but it makes sense no? This doesn’t mean I have an eating disorder. Quite the contrary really. I have no self discipline to have an eating disorder and I like food (all the food, the bad food) too much. I just like to know what I weigh. Every day. Twice a day.

I weighed myself every day during my pregnancy. And I watched, with great trepidation, as I approached and exceeded numbers that I had ever been before nor imagined I’d ever be. Yes past that dreaded first year syndrome weight, and into the next ten of kgs. Luckily, and I really mean luckily as I wasn’t exactly careful, it stopped there and didn’t reach into another ten. It was frightening seeing those figures on the scale. But not frightening enough to stop eating scones for lunch. Woolies take my money – just take it.

I didn’t gym during my pregnancy. Well, I did. I sat on the exercise bike in trimester 2. Trimester one was rough, emotionally and physically, and by trimester 3 I was just feeling enormous and uncomfortable. I yoga’d, but lets be honest that was just a peaceful hour of stretching more than a workout. I’ve never really understood Savasana (I’m not a real yogi) but when you’re pregnant. Its a great cuddle with a pillow on the floor while noone judges.

Being a new mom is difficult, for so many reasons we’ve all read and heard about – sleep deprivation, incessant crying, 3 hour cycles of Groundhog Day. But no one talks about, or takes as seriously as me clearly, is what the hell to eat!

So you finally give birth and yay! You can eat sushi and drink ALL THE WINE. Except you can’t. Well you can on the sushi and possibly you could on the wine too, but you don’t because that’s stupid with the incessant crying and the sleep deprivation.

What no one tells you is all the things you can’t eat. Chocolate, tomatoes, dairy (DAIRY? I mean, dairy!!), coffee (coffee? Yes. I haven’t had a cup of caffeine in 6 weeks + 4 days. If I’d known life after pregnancy would be this, the morning of my labour I would’ve had a coffee instead of a hot chocolate. What was I thinking? Oh wait, I was in labour and I probably had some ill logic that chocolate would make me feel better). I didn’t even finish it.

So between feeding, burping, changing, and instagram stalking, there are little functioning hours in the day to eat. Or to eat real food. So there are rusks. And there are biscuits. And there are handfuls of milo cereal (no milk. That dairy thing. Clearly I ignored the chocolate thing). And after your mom visits, there is also millionaire shortbread (she makes the best kind!) Before you know it it’s 3pm and you’re only changing out of your PJs to prove to your husband who’ll be home in 3 hours that you did. Lunch? Agg I’ll just have another rusk then.

I’ve lived on jungle juice (juice that’s packed with sugar and rehydrate that really just keeps a new mom ticking over and functioning because she hasn’t seen caffeine in weeks!) and biscuits for the past 40 days.

While I certainly wasn’t careful on my pregnancy weight gain up, I’ve been disgustingly bad on the way down. But now shit is real. I still fit into those pre-baby jeans…but I wobble. My boobs are remarkably large (I scoff in the face of my pregnant self, as she has nothing on my new mom self!) and I haven’t swiped my card at the gym since about March. Yes I know I had my baby 3 months later in June, but some people are better at that exercising shit than others. I am an other.

I have no idea how to successfully shed the extra kilos and convince my body it prefers muscles that work to rusks. And I have little idea how I’m going to possibly consider eating meals at lunch time. I even miss the chicken salad poison that I could get at the office canteen. Poison it was but at least it was ready to eat.

The scale may drop in kilos but let’s be honest, thin skin has nothing on toned skin. Which isn’t a saying like brown fat looks better than white fat (which it does and I really can’t wait for summer so that I can bask in the sun and at least bronze up this postpartum belly that remained untanned during the summer of 2015 thanks to baby human growing inside that was light sensitive – according to google.)

So I may be bronzed in 6 months time, but that isn’t really a plan to post-partum myself to health (yes I know post-partum isn’t a verb). I’ve pondered this a while (as its now 9 weeks since our baby human joined us) and my natural inclination would be to juice detox and then hit up Kayla’s workout. But according to doc I still have a few weeks to go before I do any core training (something about muscles weaving back together) and I can’t imagine functioning with a newborn on a juice detox. I recall the struggle well. I think it’d be easier to drink ALL THE WINE instead.

So, for now I’ll have another rusk with a cup of tea (only made to dunk the rusk into. Its rooibos and its black) and look at pictures of my former self in my former life, with smaller boobs (hips and waist) and get back to you once I have a plan.




the Hawks detox – day 1 and 2

I have wanted to do this juice detox for some time now, but reading Natasha’s post on how (relatively) easy while life-changing a juice detox was, it wasn’t long before we’d clicked, credit carded ourselves and purchased about a million bottles of fresh juice.

This is what a million fresh juices look like. The freezer was full. Who needs chicken anyway?

I am writing this from my bed, at the end of day 2. It is 8.24pm. My head hurts. A lot. I am irritable, and having an internal battle between admitting defeat (which would mean I can indulge a team breakfast tomorrow) and solidiering on.

I’m on a 5 day super detox with Juice Revolution. We did the 5 day detox, because I always wanted to just do three days (this would mean I would be finishing tomorrow, and a decision I’m regretting now) but a blog post made 7 days sound so easy, I thought 5 was a good middle ground.

Day 1, which was a Sunday on recommendation of friends, went well. I stayed in bed until at least midday. I did cause myself pain when I went to builders to buy some paint (because I still live in the burbs and there’s always something to be painted in this house) and all I could smell were the boerie rolls being braai’d. They almost got me. Lucky I know how they smell better than they taste. The highlight of the day was my night time treat – which is apple and cinnamon heated up. Besides a deep pain in my belly that could be called hunger… the day was ok. It was going to be ok.

Supplements. They taste hideous.


This one wasn’t too bad actually. Considering its celery, cucumber, spinach and other stuff I’d usually push around my plate.

Day 2. Today. I was wrong about being ok. A new level of feeling like crap. Take your worst hangover, and then deny yourself any food on it. That’s about 1 tenth of it.

I woke up this morning and I wasn’t too hungry. Which I thought weird as the last time I ate solids was on Saturday night. I thought I was sorted and that this detox thing was going to a breeze after all. I shouldn’t have thought anything. Little did I know what the day had in store for me.

What I realised today (amongst much hating of everything in my path) is that people who do detoxes genuinely care about what is going into their body. I don’t. I genuinely care about being in a bikini at the end of the year on a Maldivian beach. But how I achieve this, whether through banting, or intense gymming, or organic vegetables, makes no actual difference to me. I thought it did. I thought I could be someone who really cared, but I don’t. I will never shop at organic markets. I will never drive to Spier to buy my organic chicken. I’m not that person.

I care about eating well, sure. In the same way that I care about using dermalogica on my skin and sunscreen in summer. I don’t want to age badly, but I want to live while I’m aging. And by living, I mean eating and enjoying. That includes wine (the only thing I haven’t actually missed at all in 2 days).

Look, I like food. I like food a lot. Today my mouth watered at rice cakes with peanut butter. I was caught in the act of looking longingly at the rice cake like it was actually pizza. But normally I don’t like just any food (its just that its been 2 days without solids…). I like really good food. I never ate junk and fast food before – and I still won’t, regardless of my ridiculous cravings I had today (all the burgerking in the world!!). I’ll still pay the price tag and go to the nice restaurants. (In planning right now for Friday night. As reward for getting through Sunday – Thursday, of course).

They say you won’t be hungry. That the juices fill you up. They lie. Well, they lie up until Juice 4 of day 2. When quite literally, I’m not sure if I was hungry or not any more – but I just couldn’t any more with the juices. Juice 5 went the same way.

What does it feel like? This isn’t my example, but I have to use it as its perfectly apt.

Me, juice detoxing - day 2
Me, juice detoxing – day 2

I had little tingleys all over my body for most the day while feeling freezing (it was 16 degrees today, which is hardly cold enough for coat and scarf inside the office). At one point, I asked a colleague (thankfully who doubles as a friend) if I still had my jaw and if I was slurring (I wasn’t). My tongue felt thick, my jaw and skin felt numb. I was sure I wasn’t making any sense at all. The bathroom floor waved at me. I had to blink to be sure. (It stopped waving for just a moment, before it started again). The symptoms may be from general starvation, or this may be a detox. Whatever it was, I was coming down in the worst possible way.

But… let’s back up to my ‘Why Detox?’ post – as you can see. I don’t eat badly (one cup of coffee a day and some speckled eggs – it could be worse!). So why I wanted to hug my knees to my chest and rock back and forth for half the day is beyond me.

I just told someone that they’d last the not eating part, if they can stop themselves from clawing their brains out. Which is dramatic, I know. But I’m feeling dramatic because I haven’t eaten anything in two days!!
But really. The headache. I haven’t had a pain like this since my one and only migraine on a train from Milton Keynes to London after a Robbie Williams concert. (do you know how tragic it is to have a migraine on a train after a concert of the man that you are in love with? That whole concert is tainted with the memory of the headache. Anyway, I digress and RW is gross now anyway). The headache is severe. You get it.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to wake up with a flat tummy. A by-line to this should be that it would depend on the size of your tummy before starting the detox, whether a flat-tummy was possible. The way I’m looking this evening, there’s no chance there’s going to be any flatness going on in the morning.

Apparently we’re allowed to cheat once day. I found this out today. A small avo or a small banana. And only if you’re ‘physically‘ hungry. How I was supposed to tell the difference between physically and mentally hungry without knowing if my jaw was intact is beyond me. It was tempting though. So very tempting. However, that would be… as the name says, “cheating”.

My jury is still out. I’m waiting to get this boost of energy and happiness, and to loose the pain in my head. I’m waiting for my skin to glow. But mostly, I’m waiting till Friday when I can eat again.

Oh, I also learnt that some people want to see you succeed in this and are super supportive. And others can be dicks who email you pictures of pizza. (thanks to the team support – I didn’t receive any actual emails with pictures of pizza). Also, I don’t really think those people are dicks. I kinda laugh on the inside while throwing my tantrum on the outside. Because one time, I sent a picture of a praying mantis to my best friend who is petrified of them, and oh how I laughed. Shame.

Anyway. 3 days to go.

Why detox?

The question has already come up, and no doubt in the week ahead, while I painfully try and drink my juices, teas and don’t forget the yum hot water and lemon (but not) I will be asked it again, ‘Why the detox’?

I don’t eat badly. I eat two boiled eggs for breakfast, a flat white (to go – a ritual more than an addiction), a handful of almonds at 11am, lunch of a salad (with ok… maybe some fried chicken – sue me!), some more almonds in the afternoon, a rooibos tea and dinner. Dinner which is usually mostly carb free – steak and veggies, chicken and salad. Or a combination of those. Once a week there’s salmon. All from Woolies because, well… I give woolies about 75% of my salary. The rest is bond, petrol, and all those damn insurances.

I eat well (relatively). I exercise (most mornings). So what’s with the detox?

Well, lets back up and be a little more honest. I may have forgotten to mention the packet of speckled eggs I often am known to inhale between making my woolies payment, my car and arriving home (hmm.. speckled eggs) or the half slab of chocolate I have after dinner. Or the milo (that sometimes… ok, most times I just eat out of the tin. 3 spoons in the milk, one spoon in my mouth). Or the wine. The wine on a Monday, a Tuesday. You know, days of the week should not dictate which wine you open, or how much you drink of it.

Some time before the onslaught of the Drake Hawkins Family time (some are winemakers, but that’s not necessarily the reason why we drink, but a whole post will be dedicated to them at some point), at the start of winter and roughly about when the ‘proverbial’ rug was pulled from under me… I decided to stop giving a fuck. It was cold and I  no longer cared for the gym or a treadmill. I ate entire chocolates (not half now, and half later). I had second helpings, I drank on Mondays, Tuesdays even. Hell, even Sundays. We partied till 4am, and slept in because we could. We indulged. And we didn’t care about the consequences.

It wasn’t nearly as liberating as one may think it should be.

The weight gain, that’s one thing. (And to be really honest, the scale actually hasn’t budged more than 1,7kgs. Which isn’t a lot to some, while is loads to me). The exhaustion, the sadness (my own term for where others throw around ‘depressed’ so easily – it is not a subject to be taken lightly), shitty pale complexion and general grumpiness coupled with sleepless nights (or perhaps its even insomnia?) – that’s another thing. Plus, booking our summer holiday to a destination worthy of honeymoons, special occasions, or bucket list tick marks, means that its time to kick start the healthy living programme in this household.

A Kick Start. This detox, is that. Mostly.

It’s also really very difficult. I like food. I like it alot and I especially like it on weekends. I also especially like it now that I’ve been eating so much of it lately. So its challenging. This whole, not eating thing. And its only day 1.

But, like every Sober October where I abstain from the necessary (generally just to recoup before the silly season kicks off, but also to prove I can), and every 40 (6) days of lent when I give up chocolate or coffee (ok, only once I gave up coffee and it was stupid), this too will strengthen my mind, and I’ll be able to last. Its only 5 days.

A strong mind. To tackle the second part of this year which is going to involve a whole heap of almond and coconut flour, lindt 90% chocolate only, oily black coffee, and the inside of that gym that debits my bank account every month.

My first time (up Lions Head)

Some people are just fearless.
I’m not one of those people.
I can’t be sure what I feared about ‘the chains’ of Lions Head, but there was a little voice inside me that was pretty certain I wouldn’t manage the climb. In fact, the voice (not so little – more like a shouting one) was scared.

As part of the fitter, faster, stronger resolution (which is more of a goal, and not exclusive to 2014) – I figured I really do need to tackle one of Cape Towns most loved trails. To the top. Including the dreaded chains.

Up at 5.30, I’d been given the advice about the challenge:
“Go early”, “take water, gets hot up there” and “you’ll need free hands” but the best tip was this
@thejollyjammer: The first part is killer. Get up the hill and it’s smooth sailing from there.

Thank God for Kirst. You park, you feeling good, you take a photo of the mountain, the harbour, even a selfie. You set off… And then you walk up a shitty tedious hill. For… ever.

But Kirst was right – it’s smooth sailing from there. We walked, we photo’d , we circled the head that we’ve only ever looked up at from every point in the city below.

Trail runner (type people) are super friendly too – which makes the whole outing give you an even warmer and more fuzzy feeling … That is if the endorphins and view weren’t doing enough.

Yep, there are the chains. And to be fair, I was more than a little nervous as I grabbed hold of the first metal rod stuck into the rock by those who’ve done this a thousand times before me. But the metal steps and the chains are just the beginning of the scramble over rocks (so glad my hands were free), the wobbling knees (stronger is definitely key in the list of resolutions) and the slightly deeper breathing (looks like I’m not kidding about fitter either). The fear however, well that eeked away as I took in the 360 degree views of camps bay, bantry bay, sea point and tamboerskloof.

I made it to the top.
There was only one point when I thought I wouldn’t (it may have involved looking back down to our tiny car below and being just a little scared again).

I can’t say it was spiritual or meaningful up there. But the moment definitely occurred when I confirmed (again) that this is the best city I’ve ever been to. And that Id like to start more mornings this way in 2014.

Overheard at the top
“Yep, I do think dinosaurs came up here”
“Something about it makes me want to jump off”
“Wish I had a parachute”

Me, on lion’s head.. obviously

2011 and all that may happen

So its here, 2011 – the year after 2010… it actually arrived rather quickly and… apparently seems to be slipping away rather quickly too. Its half way through February and 9 days away from payday! sjoe, its going to be another close one.

So now that I’m officially Cape Townian, I’ve wined and dined, met new people and said “yes” to most invitations over the last year… what will 2011 offer?

Empty frames on a wall
If only my empty frames looked that stylish

Well to start, I hope I finally hang the photos on my wall. I’ve been in our flat for a year, just signed up for another year… and still I have a big blank wall waiting for pictures. Beats the other wall, that has empty frames up. This is goal number one. Its a small and achievable goal. I estimate by May it should be done.

I’ve been promising the talented Cheryl McEwan that her and I will ‘Rock my dress’. That is, my wedding dress. So goal number two involves some weight loss and a whole lot of training. The amount I want to lose fluctuates. As of today, its 3.6kgs.

I really want to try and cook more this year. Its hard, because I love a) eating out so much, and b) Woolworths. It also does form part of the next goal, saving money.

Saving money. Hmm, to buy a house. This is a long winded, I mean term, goal. The plan is to buy this year. But will we ever find something that matches our dreams. Someone, write me into their will and donate me a house!

All the things I love most – restaurants, food and wine. This year is taking a certain “saving money” theme, and so I have to make strategic monthly choices on where to eat. Once a month, I will book a new restaurant, and maybe return to an old one. Two outings a month. Ok, and maybe a breakfast, and a wine farm. I don’t see this working.

Nike+ sensor
Powersong please

Running. I hate it. I don’t see the point. And I don’t get why people do it. But I have to do it, to prove I can. So the goal is to run 5km straight, without breaking to walk, by the end of the year. A word of warning, I’ve had this goal for the last 3 years and never achieved it. Its just one of those things. I have however equipped myself with a Nike+ to track my runs and inspire me with powersongs. I’ll let you know how that goes.

As much as I love wine farming – its like wine-tasting but you go to see the farm too, I’m not a fan of drinking and driving and now that Mrs M has had her baby, well – there’s no designated driver. So this year the challenge is to not only stock up with wines from farms, but to trust my twitter friends, read more articles and buy wine from Pick n Pay. Or even better Ultra Liquors! (Bargain prices!). Feel free to send suggestions of wines I should try.

Creation Wine
The first wine recommended on twitter

I spent most, actually ALL of 2010 reading Shantaram. I really want to say its a good book, but its completely tainted by the fact that it took a year to read. Really, I’m not a slow reader, for this book you need time – which I didn’t have much of. So this year I really want to try and read more.

Quality time, with Mr H, good friends and my parents. Its important. 2010 was fun, but relationships matter and we need to remain focussed on that.

Obviously there are other goals… career objectives and places that need to be visited. Both are fairly open ended, I think the main goal is to make things happen. But if 2010 is anything to go by, things will most definitely happen.

The Big (well 12km) Walk

The motto of saying yes to just about everything that interests us (read: me) rang true yet again. Email received. Email acknowledged. Email forwarded. Entry booked. All in the space of about 15 minutes one morning.

We’d signed up for The Big Walk which sounded like heaps of fun… and for a good cause – Breast Cancer (amongst other charities). It is deemed “the biggest timed walking event in the world” not that we were doing it as a race, just for fun – big group, lots of laughs and a braai afterwards (hint of bitterness…)

Well, after people found themselves in Joburg, pregnant or too annoyed to stand in the queue to get their entry form, on the 14th of November it was just Mark and I waking up at sparrows to walk The Discovery Cape Times Big Walk. I’m glad we did though.

Starting point of the BIG (or not so big in our case) walk was the Green Point Urban Park. Which we, living in Green Point, had no idea where that was. Turns out, its actually not open yet to the public except for this special occassion (opens 1 December). I slipped into London mode and squealed (yes, it was definitely a squeal) with excitement at the idea of reading my book in this park as I did during lunch in London’s Green Park. To which Mark casually reminded me – we now have a beach and no need to sun in the park. (Good point).

Being the beautiful summers morning it was, it was easy enough to stand around in the morning sun. Of course, being Cape Town,  it turns out we stood around in the sun for quite a while with a relaxed starting time of roughly 7am. While everyone buzzed with excitement there was the promotion of the USA vs Bafana game on Thursday, followed by a big countdown and finally we were on our way. The view while we waited was worth it. Without a doubt – this is the prettiest I’ve seen the stadium look.

Green Point Urban Park
Starting Point for 12km BIG walk

Our morning romp followed the fanwalk which, I’m ashamed, but have to admit, I never walked during the WC. (I live IN Green Point! There really wasn’t a need). We passed Bronx (which was still going strong at 7am) and down to Adderley Street. Our first water/coke stop had highly enthusiastic and entertaining Cheerleaders. (I think they may have been recruited from a nearby club).

Big Walk Cheerleaders

Up Adderley street (and past Brio!) we were heading into Company’s Gardens. Now if I admit this, don’t think that I’m not a real Cape Townian. Actually, wait… I’m not a real cape townian (I’m working my way up to that status). I’ve never been into The Company’s Garden. I always thought they were a dangerous place and best avoided. I admitted this to Mark. He laughed. And then we walked through a beautiful part of the Mother City I wish I’d found earlier. These Gardens are so pretty and I’ll have to go back for a wander (as we  quickly realised we were in the front of the pack… and yes, Mark wanted to now win!)

Company's Garden
The Company's Garden
Company's Garden
Our lovely Mountain

Further along the route, we past the quaint St Mark’s Anglican Church in District 6 and soon enough, I saw the sign for Mowbray (which as I got closer, actually said Observatory). But at least we were nearing the end. My legs were starting to hurt. We turned onto the N2 and saw the first distance sign we’d seen all morning – just 1km to go!

1km to go

As we turned into the River Park Office Complex, we were met by paparazzi snappers (I wonder where those photos will land up?). I smiled a charming (perhaps cheesy – we’ll see) smile and we crossed the finish line to cheers of the supportive crowd.

At the Finish Line!

A medal around my neck, we flagged a taxi from the main road to take us home. We were dropped at ‘the deck’ (a huge taxi rank I didn’t know existed) and directed to a seapoint bound taxi. At the risk of sounding completely like a tourist – taxi’s in Cape Town are incredibley organised. I also learnt that taxi rides are only R5! (cheap as chips?)

While I know we left the festivities of the finishing area early and that we did the majority of our walk at the front missing the crowds of walkers and probably most of the spirit… our reward was brunch with a view that I love (because of the view, or because of the cafe itself? I’m not sure) followed by a lazy day on the beach.

This to me was such a Cape Town day. I thought I was going to be doing a bit of long-winded exercise, but instead I saw and experienced things I would never have normally. Feeling very Cape Townian right now 😉

Cafe Neo
Cafe Neo