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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The VICTIM deserved it!! - Nigeria's Abia State gang rape's continuing saga.

OKAY – I am now officially incensed even further by the Abia gang rape! Puffs of furious smoke are spiralling out of my ears. Please keep away! Mad blogger on the war-path here!

So, what has brought this about?

Comments from a small minority of otherwise intelligent decent Nigerians BLAMING the victim of the rape! YES, YES, YES, according to them, the VICTIM deserved to be raped, brutalised, torn apart for HOURS, by FIVE, yes FIVE GROWN MEN! IT WAS ALL HER FAULT!

So what was this young lady’s supposed crime that debased and dehumanised her so greatly, that she became a worthy object of being treated less than an animal? Ah well, according to them, it must have been  the way that she dressed that led to her rape! OMG!!!!  Rape by dress sense??????!!!!!!!!

Ummm, I believe there are still a few villages in Africa and even in Nigeria where native dress means women go topless and wear just a wrapper around the waist? Hmmm, wonder why we don’t hear of mass rapes happening in those places?

Ok, ok, ok. Let’s be logical here and examine this argument carefully.  According to its advocates and proponents, if a woman dresses ‘seductively’, she brings rape down upon herself! Her poor hapless male rapist has no choice but to pounce upon her, tear off those offending clothes and brutalise her.  Now seductive is in the eye of the beholder, but if a woman wears a mini skirt, leggings, tight jeans, a figure hugging top, or a tight dress, then she is obvious fodder for rape. GOD help her if she is also pretty, fair-skinned and has a good figure! (Then she ALSO has a ‘mammy-water’ spirit and needs deliverance!)  From this, it is clear the real VICTIM is not the raped but the rapist! He is FORCED to do it! WOW!

I’ll offer a counter argument following this same logic: Nigerians who are attacked by armed robbers DESERVE to be attacked! After all, in a country with great poverty, how DARE the victims FLAUNT their ASSETS by driving flashy expensive cars and living in big houses? C’mon, it is OBVIOUS that victims of armed robbery are clearly ASKING for it! These wealthy aristo’s entice and tantalise the poor thieves who have no choice but to ROB them. As for the ones who come from ‘Abroad’, flaunting their $$$$ and £££££, it is the armed robber’s RIGHT to brutalise them! 

I DARE you to make the above argument to any Nigerian who has experienced the traumatic horror of an armed robbery. See if you’ll remain standing after ‘they DEAL with you!’

If we follow this thesis further, there should be NO rapes in Saudi Arabia or Egypt, both conservative Muslim countries where women dress modestly or ELSE! In Saudi, all women are forced to wear an Abaya, the long flowing gown which covers them from head to toe. Despite this, rapes still happen. Now it is true most of the reported rapes are of domestic staff but ordinary Saudi women get raped too. One very famous case involved a girl of 17 abducted and raped by SIX men! The Saudi Court’s judgement?  The VICTIM be jailed for 6 months and whipped with 200 lashes. What was her crime? Wasn’t she raped?  The court agreed she was raped by SIX men, but when the six men abducted her from a taxi, the young man she was with was not a family relation (which is a crime in Saudi). By the way, the young man was also raped by these SIX thugs. I wonder what my Naija peeps will argue HE did to deserve getting raped?? HMMMM!

What of Egypt? Sexual harassment is so bad in Egypt that Egyptian women try not to walk alone despite being dressed modestly and covered with a head scarf. Their modest dress does not prevent them from being groped and sexually and verbally harassed as they walk down Egyptian streets.

Seems like the power of conservative dress does not always protect against rape. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not advocating women should be half-naked – just pointing out that in societies where women dress modestly, rapes still happen.  There is therefore NO excuse before GOD for raping another human being.

Oh, btw, the victim in the Abia gang-rape was not dressed seductively. Her crime apparently is that she had OFFENDED one of the rapists. Hmmm, let’s think - what could her awful offence have been? Did he ask her out and she said no?  Did she look at him the wrong way? Or maybe she didn’t share her lecture notes? All we know is in his twisted mind, it was SO bad, the way to get even was to round up 4 of his friends so they could have a gang-rape 'party'! TEACH  her a good lesson! Don’t mess with the boyz!  

Can you hear how silly, stupid and totally senseless ANY reason justifying rape sounds?

All I know is this young girl is someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s niece, someone’s granddaughter, someone’s friend, someone’s future wife – so please before jumping on the she-must-have-deserved-it band-wagon, stop and think – what if she were my own ‘blood’? Ask yourself honestly - would ANYTHING that your (daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, friend, future wife) EVER does, cause her to DESERVE to be raped?

If your answer is yes, then you are a TOTAL MORON!


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Abia State gang rape - Nigeria's video-taped rape ordeal.

Nigerians have expressed shock at the case of the Abia gang-rape. 5 young men took it in turn to rape a female victim for hours, videotaping themselves while they did so, laughing and cracking jokes as they casually brutalised their weeping victim for hours. She knew them and begged them to stop but it made no difference. Afterwards the rapists put the video-tape on-line.

I was NOT shocked.  I believe the Nigerian society has failed to take rape seriously. Too often, we have turned a blind eye to rape’s existence or have blamed the victim. “Why did she go to her boyfriend’s house?”  “Why did she wear that mini-skirt?” “See the low-cut top that girl is wearing – if she is raped, she’ll begin to blame the poor guy!” For a rape victim to get sympathy and empathy, she had better be a conservatively dressed VIRGIN victim who is pounced upon on her way home with a knife held to her throat.

I have heard people ask why does rape matter so much and why do victims claim they are traumatised afterwards. “After all if a girl isn’t a virgin, then it is just sex which is not anything new to her, is it?” I have read contributors on social media forums claim this is another sign of Nigeria’s moral breakdown; such things did not happen back in the good old days.

Poppycock! Go back 20 - 30 years and many people know of friends who were raped by boyfriends or male friends in University.  I’ll share two stories of the many I’ve heard over the years:

A Muslim girl, shy and quiet but with a gentle sense of humour. Her life was changed forever in Uni after being raped brutally by the guy who was her bf. After that incident, she faded into the shadows, became a staunchly devout Islamist who began wearing a hijab (the scarf covering the head and wrapped around the neck) and no longer ever smiled.

A born-again Christian raped by someone she trusted.  Afterwards, she met another Christian student, got engaged and told him what happened. They got married but during the 15 years of their now ended marriage, he made it clear he could never forgive her for getting herself raped! She and her actions (his words) had deprived him of his right to have a virgin wife!

There are thousands of stories like that. Authorities are not informed, parents are never told and the woman tries to pick up the pieces of her torn shattered life and go forward with as much dignity as she can. God help her if she gets pregnant – often an illegal abortion is then seen as the only way out. If she is foolish enough to ask for help, she will be blamed, have her reputation tarnished and nothing will happen to the rapist. We are a culture that too often smiles and turns a blind eye to the antics of young men – boys will be boys.

The Abia State Governor at first denied the rape took place, said they could not be Abia State univeristy students, then ordered the state police to drop the investigation because in his words “the alleged victim had not reported the case!” Hmmmm, one wonders why a traumatised victim of a brutal gang-rape might not be in a fit state to come forward?? Fortunately the Nigerian Federal Government was shamed by 1000’s of ordinary dogged Nigerians on Social Networks who tracked down and identified a few of the men in the video. 3 of the alleged perpetrators have now been arrested and the alleged victim has also been located.

I see hope for my country. It gladdens my heart to see how ordinary decent men and women have stood up to say ‘THIS IS WRONG’.  It is a shame it has taken this shocking outrage to shock us out of our collective tupor. May we learn to ALWAYS condemn and speak against the evil thing that is rape. May GOD comfort and heal the victim mind and emotions.


This a post I have chosen to re-post for The Girl Effect. Rape is an evil that many African societies try not to mention and sweep under the carpet. Rapists are rarely ever charged and the victim is usually blamed. 

The Girl Effect seeks to empower society by changing the lives of girls -

Interested in blogging and being part of The Girl Effect?

Friday, 23 September 2011

My Body Fat calculation - Weight Loss Journey continued.

A friend asked me to check my BMI (Body mass index). I decided to go a step further and check my body fat too.

Now don't go crazy worrying over your BMI if you are healthy and muscular as a healthy muscular person with a low level of body fat can be classified as having a high BMI as healthy muscle weighs more than fat. But for the rest of us who know we are carrying a high level of fat, it might be wise to be CONCERNED! LOL

My current BMI is 27  (overweight) but it used to be 38.3 (Obese). My body fat percentage is 24.4% (Fitness/Acceptable). It used to be 41.3% (Obese).

BMI range for women is:
0 – 18.   Underweight
18 – 24.99.  Ideal
25 – 29.99.  Overweight 
30 & over.   Obese

Body fat percentage for women is:
Athletes: 16 – 20%
Fitness:  20 – 24%
Acceptable:  25 – 31%
Obese:  32%+

The inanimate body fat calculator made me laugh. When I entered my CURRENT measurements, the calculator tut-tutted like a favourite aunt and said ‘:
Your waist-height ratio is normal.
You may be overweight or have an unusual body mass.
Please eat 67grammes of protein daily. 

However when I entered my PREVIOUS measurements just to check how bad things were 22 months ago, the calculator went TOTALLY CRAZY.  I could almost see it sending red flashing danger lights my way. It spat out a list of instructions –

 You are overweight by 33.2 kilograms (73.0 pounds)
You need to exercise at least 30 minutes every day.
Minimum caloric requirements: 1721 Calories per day
Limit your food intake to 1462 calories per day to lose 1.9 pounds per month.
Your diet should contain at least 49 grams of protein per day.  

So what does all this mean? I need to lose about 8 - 10lbs  for my BMI to fall from OVERWEIGHT to IDEAL and about 4 or 5lbs for my body fat to be in the FITNESS level.

For my height, a healthy weight range is 110lbs - 136lbs (50kg - 61kg). I am currently 144lbs (65kg).  I want to lose about 24lbs (10kg - 11kg) as 120lbs (55kg) is the weight I have feel most comfortable at.

I still have a long ‘ways’ to go BUT I  have ‘come a long way baby’. Thank you LORD.

Here are links to a few calculators if you want to calculate your own measurements:


Thursday, 22 September 2011

I ate a MUFFIN - Day 5 & 6 of 30 day challenge - Weight loss cont.

Day 5.

Tough day. 

Messed up something. I was in the wrong and I really loathe doing the wrong thing. Arsenal lost 4-3 to Blackburn -*ouch*!!  I gained 2lb *double ouch*. I also ate the other half of the choc chip muffin in the fridge to feel better. Totally crazy because I don't even particularly like muffins. Ok, it is official - I am a comfort eater!!

Did I run? Huh? I wanted to back out so much I could taste it - my mood was totally low. But I did it. Was it easy? Heck no! The only good part of today's run was finishing! I don't run to music these days - I think, pray, live in my head.

So 5 days into this, do I see any benefits? Well, I have completed 5 days of this torture! Total mental benefit there. Isn't that good enough?? LOL.

The physical benefits: Calf muscles becoming more defined. Inner thighs looking better. Cellulite definitely improved. But hit by the dreaded lactic acid build-up though – legs were dying the last km.

Day 6.

Hardest ‘horriblest’ day! Please don’t correct my 'colourful wrong’ grammar. It totally describes my mood. *giggle*

Went to North London & then to Brunel to see my awesome niece settled into uni. Smart kid. Very proud of her. Got back to sista's & ate TONS of rice! Even went back for 2nd helping! Ok, so both portions combined probably added up to just a full plate. No excuse - I am a disgrace! LOL

Came home & my whole body was saying – “It's 10:45pm on Sunday night - c'mon, let's skip this run. You don’t have to be a slave to exercise. Is it so bad if you miss a day?”

My body was speaking total sense - and I nodded in agreement.

But at 11.20pm, I found myself pulling on the running gear & stepping out. Anyone tell you there is no GOD, just shoot em! Only HE could have dragged my lazy b*tt out of the house tonight.  

I tell you, it hurt from the 1st stride! Every stride was painful - even my chest began hurting again. I could feel every grain of rice I had gleefully consumed earlier! I was tempted to change route - cut it in half but somehow did not. This wasn’t a run – it was a run/walk/crawl/drag self to the finish line. 

Never was a gal so glad to see her front door! 


Monday, 19 September 2011

Eating badly. Days 3 & 4 of 30 day challenge. Weight loss cont

Day 3

I sooooo did not want to run today.

Went to Starbucks and stuffed my face - however I did get lots of writing done soooooo now I can be a fat happy writer!! Yahhhyyyy!!!!! *sarcasm*.

I beat the inner voice that wanted to take another short route and went the a slightly longer route than day 1. 3km - 3.5km. Still wondering how I got through it!!!! At least I no longer feel like a heart attack is imminent! LOL.

At one point, I was wondering why the ‘actual’ running felt easier and then it clicked – I am no longer dragging an extra 65lbs (29kg) along with me. My goodness, I have dropped over a full suitcase in weight. I am trying to imagine running dragging a full suitcase along! *shudder*

This visual pic helps me imagine the weight I still want to lose. 24lbs (11kg). I have dragged hand-luggage of 11 -12kg behind me and I know how much of a drag it is and the relief I feel getting unto the plane and dumping that bag in the overhead compartment. Can I blame my body for wanting to dump the ‘hand luggage’ it really doesn’t want?

Day 4

2 bagels, 2 poached eggs, a slice of ham and a tomato for brunch - cup of milky coffee. Bad Bucky!!! Only good thing is it has left me too stuffed to eat anything else today!

Went appliance window shopping with the guys. Confession time – I enjoy hanging with my son/and my siblings. Ah well. We've decided on the colours for the kitchen. Glossy red units, stainless steel worktops. Shiny black American fridge-freezer. And as for folks who don't like my colour combo? Ah well - that's why it is MY kitchen, innit!!! LOL

Stopped by DFS to look at sofas. The open-plan kitchen will be something like what Yanks call a ‘great room’ or what we Brits call the 'kitchen as the heart of the home'. Kitchen, dining table and sofa area with tv. What this means in reality is my son will take over this reception area when he’s home from Uni with his games. Ah well, that way the living room upstairs gets to be the grown-up space! Everyone is happy. LOL

Got home after glorious day of window-shopping with NO money spent & my mind had conveniently totally forgotten running was on the cards. Oh GOD. Why did I agree when YOU suggested this challenge?

Ok, is the running getting any easier? Yes and no. I can breathe afterwards which is a bonus! My legs are shaky which isn't great. Still run, stop, walk, run, walk. But walking less and running more. Did the 3 - 3.5km route again. 

And a lil voice says - "Can we try for 4km tomorrow??" ARE YOU MAD??? Ok, ok, I'll aim for that  later. Let me first try to build up running without walking first.


Teen terrors! Day 2 of 30 day challenge. Weight loss cont

Day 2

Ran a shorter route - 2 kilometers instead of the 2.5 yesterday. It felt hard. Then I realised I was running on the main road and on tar instead of block paving. It feels a lot harder on the feet let me tell you. I felt like giving up soooooo many times. Today I decided to set a new challenge for myself.  Run every day for 30 days. It will be interesting to see if I get through it!

Noticed 2 black teenage boys no more than 16 or 17 were harassing female joggers by making comments as they ran past. All my fellow Brits were going red and crossing the road to get away from these 2 teenage terrors. The two young twerps were right across the road at the Zebra crossing and my route would take me over the aforesaid Zebra crossing to run right past them. They were already whistling at me on the other side of the road. At first I wasn’t going to cross there but then again, I have not raised a 21 yr old son by backing down from tough challenges. Rubbish!

As I came up to them, I gave them my best African mother patented glare. It said “I don’t care if you call yourself Dushawn or Derek or Deduval – I can recognise a Nigerian kid. Your real name is Dele and I will first give you a tongue-lashing in front of your West Indian friend and then drag you by that foolish ear back to your mother’s house! There you’ll find that old truth – all Nigerians are related! She and I will discover I am her 5th cousin 10 times removed and I am actually your AUNTY! FOOLISH BOY!”. 

The glare worked, both boys ducked their heads and politely moved out of the path. When I turned back to look at them, I noticed they had left their harassment spot and were crossing over to the other side of the road.

My entertainment for the day over, I crawled into the house at the end of the run and collapsed in a heap at my front door! LOL


Death by Bra! Day 1 of 30 day running challenge. Weight Loss continued

Day 1

First run in over 8 months. I was going for a walk when brother asked if I was going for a run. Stuck in my mind and decided to run when I got out of the door. Best run I've ever had. Despite not exercising for weeks, I was able to run more, stop less, walk less than normal. However heart began constricting towards the end but hey, no exercise in 2 weeks & a sudden 2km run? Do you blame the poor thing?  But no kidding, I worried for a few minutes I was having my 1st heart-attack.

Ok, 2 hours later and heart STILL hurting! Now googling ‘heart pain when running’. Google is spitting out dire warnings of; running related asthma, sudden heart problems, running in the cold air but all come with warnings to go see doctor immediately. A bit drastic if you ask me. Why doesn’t anyone say it will pass?

I blame my brother! This must be part of his devious plan to bump me off! LOL

An hour later – heart pain getting more severe. Okay, should I be getting worried? Then a eureka moment! I really am a dozy cow  – I am wearing the wrong bra! Hadn’t changed into my exercise bra while running and while the bra I have on is a great look and fit, it is now constricting my chest. My oxygen deprived lungs have literarily been gasping for liberation! Underwear removed and an immediate miraculous recovery! Phew!

Ten mins later, I think - Damn, chest pain excuse removed – nothing to stop me running again tomorrow. *pout*

Been blogging again & getting lots of views to 'Weight loss continued' post.


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A voice against torture! Weight-loss journey continued.

“Wheeze .. hnnn .. hnnnnn .. hnnnnn  .. she is trying to kill us again! Please .. pleeeeease .. pleeeeaase .. *moan* stop ..  stop ..  STOP!

“So who was the idiot who told her to take up running? Speak now so we can beat you to a pulp! Oh God, tell her to stop! Please! Shut up brain & don’t talk to us about healthy living! All this crazy 'keep-fit stuff & eat horrible nasty food' is your idea!”

“Don’t even try to blame it on her eyes o! Hmmm, but you have a point - it was her stupid eyes that began reading about high cholesterol, heart-attacks and diabetes, but if it wasn’t for your stupid braniac cells, will her yeye eyes have been reading that crap? I mean, take away the glasses from those uppity eyes, will they even be able to read anything??? Pchweew!”

"Abi heart, don’t you agree she is trying to kill us and we were happy and jolly as exercise virgins?"

"Ah heart, k’pele, you can’t talk now? You are still wheezing and trying to draw breath? Eeyah!  Awww, you are constricting and feel like you are dying? K’pele O! All this running & walking is clearly not good for the body – what is wrong with being a couch potato? This time 2 years ago, we would be seated in front of the telly, tucking into a plate of luscious basmati jollof rice cooked with oil and butter, topped with a delicious oil-laden fried stew full of luscious chucks of beef! Ahhhhhhh yummmmmmmmyyyyy – those were the good old days. *whimper*. Now she has us eating chicken with NO skin? And tomatoes and cucumbers!"

"Waistline, I swear, if you say one more word, I will slap your stupid face! Vanity is your second name jor! Who cares if you’ve shrunk? Did we not love you when you were 40inches?? Do you think we love you more now you are 28.5? Anyway, stop lying – you are 29inches O jare! In fact, now there is a whole less of you to love, so just sharrap! But for your vain posturing and complaining, she would still be feeding us well and none of us would be suffering this agony."

"Oh God, how much longer is she going to continue? Legs, c’mon, just stop! Go on strike – we will support you! Huh, what’s that you just said? You don’t mind? You don’t mind? Are you MAD? What’s that? You like knowing you’ve shrunk too? You, hips and waist feel really good that you could wear those jeans on Saturday that you could not even pull past your calves into 10 months ago??? WHO GIVES A TOSS! Jeans ko, genetics­­­ ni!"

"Brain, walai, I will konk your big head! So I mention genetics and you begin to lecture me?  So what if her mum now has diabetes? Mummy didn't get it until she was in her 60’s and she was never fat! Eh hen, now you think you are smart and are quoting statistics at me. Do I look stupid? So what if type 2 diabetes can have a genetic link? What if it can be triggered early by obesity and no exercise and you can delay it or stop it by keeping your weight normal and exercising regularly. Thank you for the lecture o, Ms brainy smart alec!"

"What – you are still going on? Now you are ranting about hypertension, high blood pressure & heart atacks being linked to obesity and no exercise? Yada yada yada, I am not listening!"

"She is giving us a heart-attack with all this! It is this crazy running that will kill us o! Stomach, or don’t you agree? Huh, speak up, I can’t hear you? Oh, oh, I see! Your voice has ‘shrunk’ ever since she stopped feeding you all that yummy stuff? You can now only whisper weakly? But you don’t mind? WHAT? You are pleased she’s stopped cramming you full of food you couldn’t digest, which gave you heartburn? YOU ARE A TRAITOR! I hope she starves you and you shrink and .. and .. IDIOT!"

"Am I the only one left who cares that she is killing us? Am I the only one to stand up for our rights to eat a high fat, high carb diet with none of those nasty vegetables? Am I the only one to say NO to exercise?"

"Ah, yes, there is a GOD! Thank you Jesus, she has finally stopped running. Hah, I can breathe again." *sigh of relief* 

"NO NO NO, she will not be doing this again tomorrow? I WILL DIE! She will kill me off totally. If she kills me 'Ms negativity-you-will-fail-so-dont-even-try-voice-of-reason', who will there be left to whinge & complain and tell her she can’t do it and she’s a failure and she’s fat and ugly? I will NOT be silenced! I have a function here! I deserve to be heard!"

"Noooooooo, the endorphins are kicking in! Exercise related dopamine is flooding her brain. She is happy. Look, she is drinking water instead of that high-sugar energy drink I tried to nudge her towards. I am done! How can I make her listen to me when she refuses to hear my 'truth'."

When that 'voice against torture' begins whinging in your head, get off the couch, walk, run, do some push-ups, dance to a music video, run up and down the stairs, ride a bike, join a gym, play with your kids, 'wrestle' with your spouse. Get moving - JUST DO IT!


Sunday, 11 September 2011

70lbs (31kg) lighter: Weight Loss – my journey continued

Ok, ok, I have actually lost ‘only’ 65lbs (29.5kg) but the other 5lbs (2.2kg) are coming off verrrryyyyy soon! LOL. Once that's done, I'll have 24lbs (11kg) to go to reach my target weight.

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a piece about my weight - my most personal ‘postcard’ to date. I am very private about the things that go deep, so it was difficult to lay myself so bare. To my amazement, that write-up touched a chord with many others. The post, ‘Weight loss – my journey’ has got the most hits of all my blog posts. Here's a link to that first post:

So how is the journey going??? Ahhhhhhhhh! It is tough! It's been a mixture of road-blocks, diversions, traffic-jams, as well as smooth free roads and bursts of swift motorway speeds.

After losing 55lbs (25kg) over 18 months, my weigh-loss slowed down. Between Feb – Apr this year, I lost a few lbs and gained a few lbs. I have Olympic gold medals in both procrastination & gym-hating *giggle*, so obviously did NOT go anywhere near the gym or do ANY exercise. However, I did retain a vestige of sanity and pretty much kept to my eating plan;  a few minor slips-ups, but nothing scale-busting. Then in May, I began working on a work renovation project with a mega-tight dead-line. My life became work, late nights, fast food AND very very soon, the weight and inches came a'calling again. Before I knew it, the scales had crept up steadily until I was 12’ 2 (a gain of 16 lbs), my recently whittled 29in waist was a bulging 32 - 33in and my chin was wobbling dangerously. I was so shocked, the fog clouding my eyes cleared! 

It had taken long months of suffering & agony, panting in the gym, taking up the heart-stopping torture called running, being deprived of rice AND sweet luscious hard-dough bread, and now I was watching myself sliding back dangerously to being an unhappy fat blob? NO WAY!

I was still fitting into most of my new clothes (barely!) but weight was once again embracing my frame ‘with fat loving hands(les)’. One thing helped – the thought of my dad’s coronation in Nigeria. That was scheduled for July and I was DETERMINED not to be fat in those photographs. At my brother’s wedding 2 years earlier, I had been at my very heaviest. I absolutely HATE the way I look in those pics and swore NEVER again.

The fast food stopped. Normal eating resumed. I did not lose any weight before my trip but at least the lbs stopped piling back on.

Got back from the Coronation and holiday and I hadn’t put on a lb or lost a lb. I was chuffed as holidays are deadly for weight-loss. Gave myself a week to settle back into London and then adopted a drastic programme; shocked my body into a ‘we mean business’ regime. My diet consisted of chicken and vegetables, strawberries and cherries, and a handful of brazil nuts. Snacked on tomatoes and cucumbers when I was peckish. Drank nothing but water with a touch of lemon or lime in it. Went back to walking and walked at least 2 or 3 miles every day. And turned to GOD and asked for help. In three weeks, I was back down to 11 stone. It’s been a further 4 weeks and I have lost another 10lbs but more importantly, the inches have fallen off. Those new clothes that were fine in January but tight in June are now loose in September. Yahhhyyyyyy!!!.   

I’ve set myself short-term and long-term goals. I want to lose another 14lbs (1 stone) by the end of November so I am 130lbs by my birthday in Dec. I want to go back to the gym. I want to begin running again. I want to take up bike riding.

Long-term goals: Run a 5 mile race next year. Sign up for the 2012 Cycletta 40 mile bike ride Take roller-blade lessons – hey, I might fall numerous times but I just want to do it! Get down to my goal weight of 120lbs. Exercise regularly 3 – 5 times a week.

I have learnt that going to the gym every day doesn’t work for me. However, I enjoy walking so want to regularly walk 4km 3-5 times weekly. I hope I enjoy cycling so I can cycle regularly. It’s a healthy life-style I want, not just weight-loss. I still LOVE rice, pasta & hard-dough bread but portion control and the wonderful bulk-filling low calorie filler that’s called salad, nestled alongside my rice, helps. I also now totally adore tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, cherries and plums. A handful (6 or 7) brazil nuts will cure any craving I have for something to chew upon. 

Above all, I am learning NOT to beat myself up. If weeks go by and the scale doesn’t register a loss, I let myself know it isn’t the end of the world. If I get lazy and don’t walk or exercise for weeks, I try to start again. If I put on a few lbs, I grit my teeth and limit the damage by stopping whatever it is I am doing wrong.  I am a comfort eater who wants to turn to food on a bad day, so sometimes instead of hitting the kitchen fridge, I hit my wardrobe, slip on those jeans I couldn’t wear last year and grin. It’s calorie-free comfort! LOL.

Making GOD a part of the journey has been my greatest help.

Today I am 10st 4lbs, (144lbs), 65kg. I often scowl at the scales totally dissatisfied, but still remember the same scales reading 206lbs/210lbs (96kg) about 20 months ago. It teaches me to be thankful.

My goal weight remains 120lbs.


Tuesday, 6 September 2011


I have been feeling very sorry for myself today. I am in the middle of renovating my house, so I have no kitchen, no way of cooking and only one usable bathroom in the house. The dust & mess has gotten to even to me - and that takes a lot as I am not the tidiest person in the world (massive understatement! LOL). 

While flicking through Facebook, I came across a video link on a friend’s page and was so struck by the chap in the clip, Emmanuel Kelly, a contest on Australia's X-factor, that I googled him.

Very briefly – Emmanuel was damaged by chemical warfare in Iraq 17 years ago. He and his brother who’s also crippled, were found in a cardboard shoebox in the park, rescued by nuns and from that Orphanage were adopted by an Australian woman. He is grateful for his life and loves to sing. In 2010 Emmanuel was turned down by both Australia’s Got Talent and Australian X-Factor. Instead of shrivelling away and wallowing in self-pity, he auditioned for X-factor AGAIN in 2011.

I am grateful GOD shook me out of the destructive tangled jungle of my self-pitying bout and reminded me of love, hope, beauty and faith. A woman’s love for two crippled orphan boys, a new family that nurtured them, the plucky optimistic spirit in the heart of the grown up boys, the beauty of Emmanuel’s God-given talent, the tenacious faith in his ability that has stopped him from giving up.

After his performance on X-Factor, the judges and audience gave him a standing ovation. I am sure there were not many dry eyes in the audience. Mine were totally wet.

Fly Emmanuel. Soar High. You are not letting your physical disability define who you are – May your Creator, the Almighty GOD continue to bless you.

But above all, above doing well, above a great education, a successful career, the love of the right partner, I pray you come to know JESUS CHRIST the Messiah.

Instead of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ (which Emmanuel sang), as I watched this great kid sing, I imagined how wonderful Heaven will be. Imagine Emmanuel, his brother, and every other crippled, maimed, sick, disfigured, orphaned or abandoned child who has suffered the taunts of others, whimpered through unimaginable physical pain, sobbed openly, but more often cried secret pain-filled tears, longed for loving parents  – imagine them running strong and free in a light-filled place. Imagine never getting tired, not defined by pain, not shackled by infirmity, no longer a prisoner in a body that refuses to do what you tell it. Imagine playing hide and seek with JESUS. Imagine a football tournament with Angels? Imagine throwing hoops and flying effortlessly through the air to get that sweet shot right in the basket?

How wonderful Heaven will be. No pain, no suffering, withered limbs made straight, every tear wiped away, every sickness healed, all emotional suffering forgotten, all physical pain gone.

The bible does not describe Heaven as a boring place where mega boring straight-laced humourless angels play lousy boring music and everyone falls asleep (including GOD) from the sheer terrorizing boredom of it all. Heaven is described as a vital exciting Kingdom, where the child plays with the Lion, flowers bloom without dying, mosquitoes play violins instead of being vicious blood-suckers (ok, that's my take), folks with a burning thirst for knowledge ply GOD, the Father of all wisdom with questions; where there is no hunger, no thirst, no war. A place where Man finally comes into the very fullness for which he was created – an unshakable total relationship with GOD. We will finally experience the total fullness of the ONLY love that can forever satisfy the hunger and unfulfilled space deep in the heart of every created person.

JESUS is the reality of the love of GOD towards man.

Here’s Emmanuel’s performance. Hope y’all like it.