#GetFitChallenge – Recap of Week 6: Training to be a badass!

I’ve survived 75% of the challenge and haven’t given up yet!!! GO ME! Even when I am in the middle of a class, screaming silent profanities in my head (directed at the instructor) and my body is plotting its revenge on me… I still keep going back. Post a double class I voice-noted a friend – who thought I was intoxicated by substances… I sounded so “happy” – yet, it was just endorphins!

Stats

And… I gained weight. It was not a measurement week so I have no idea what THAT will say. We are supposed to take photos of ourselves every week. I have not… I’m not photogenic at all – less so with nothing but a sportsbra and leggings! I did bite the bullet and take pics this week *cringe*. The result….

large_wordprops_omg

THERE ARE CHANGES! Like visible changes. 

Side by side photos from the beginning of the challenge to the end of week 6 shows a HUGE difference… even though my weight has not dropped a lot. I have felt some of the clothes being a bit looser, and my butt feels more toned but other than that I just figured I was working off the excess food I was consuming (more on diet later). But FLIP! It actually works. And I have a two-pack developing ūüėÄ

Training

I only arrived back in Jozi midweek so managed to fit in a double on Thursday and my second triple on Saturday. My second barre class on Saturday was my first with another instructor… awesome! Lesson of the week: Pilates before barre is a challenge! I usually do barre class (or a double barre) then pilates but Saturday’s schedule has pilates sandwiched between two barre classes. It was only a total of five hours of training this week but judging from the pics… it works!

No additional training with P or hot yoga this week… Yet, from the progress pics I can tell my body is really responding to barre and pilates. It is VERY different from standard training or even hot yoga and dance-based training is something I thought I could never do (thanks to my lack of grace and coordination).

Diet 

Sigh, still not the best but I’m still ready-made meals, ready -made drinks, fast food, added sugar (to cereal/ hot drinks) and confectionary (excluding dark chocolate – in particular Lindt Roasted Hazelnut Dark Chocolate goodness) FREE!

I wanted this challenge to be a lifestyle change and yes, by not eating a lot of “junk” I do feel less lethargic. The withdrawal symptoms are still there – headache mostly – but otherwise, its been good. I feel a lot better – less moody – than I used to be. One of the aims of the challenge was to get into ketosis – something I wrote about here and it is something I don’t want my body to get to – it is not sustainable for me or my body. My personal aim was to get into a healthy eating pattern.

Thanks to #vegetarianproblems I have been supplementing with Omega 3 and a probiotic. Still searching for a good protein shake though…

Emotions 

I feel as though I am dealing with one crisis after another… so I haven’t really had the time to process and figure what what exactly I am feeling. I was surprising chilled while I spent five hours waiting at a government office… I think the lack of sugar is making me calm? And less agitated…

Deciding to document my weekly progress by blogging has actually kept me disciplined and parts of the discipline is seeping into my daily life. I’ve got a long way to go but it is pretty good to be focussed again.

In terms of my body, I have never been this fit, strong and toned before. It was always skeletal anorexic or chubby. As the featured image says; I’m not training to be skinny, I’m training to be a fit badass. There is something so empowering to be strong – physically and mentally… I believe those two are linked. The more physically strong I feel, the more challenges I can handle without freaking out (mentally, that is). I LOVE IT!

Looking ahead: Week 7

Only two more weeks! I’m traveling again this week (thanks to work) so can only really fit in a triple class and perhaps hot yoga… Hopefully I can take some time to run a bit or even try one of my sister’s Zumba videos!

Just a closing thought….¬†images

Till next week…

k x

#GetFitChallenge – Recap of Week 5: Sore…but worth it!

These weeks are flying by! Officially only 3 more weeks until the end of the challenge! The Core-Barre¬†GetFitChallenge has kept me inspired, motivated, determined and disciplined – something I definitely wanted… and I have not quit yet!

Stats

Nope, no stats this week.. However I did formulate a document for myself, which includes a comprehensive measurements. I just need to get hold of a body composition scale so I can assess my health more carefully.

While there are only 3 weeks until the end of the challenge the “finale” is only on the 16th of September… so in my mind I have six weeks to further improve of my health and wellness. It is a goal for myself and the challenge is keeping me focused and disciplined!

As I’ve mentioned in one of my very first posts about this challenge, I’m doing this as a kickstart to a healthier lifestyle – more “real” food, less ready-made, fast-food; more movement. A healthy lifestyle is something I am craving – being confident in myself and my body, being present and living in the moment, feeling healthy – fit – strong, being productive and efficient, being disciplined, being able to have good sleep, being able to conquer any challenge that comes my way. Too much to ask?

I’m considering booking a photo-shoot – just to be pretty and have cool pics taken… I’ve never had one and perhaps it will be good for my self-worth? Or maybe I will overanalyse and hate myself even more… I’m definitely in two minds about it. Anyway, on to the rest of my Week 5 summary…

Training

I completed my first TRIPLE! Two barre classes followed by a pilates class! In the moment during each class I felt every muscle hurt, yet after the class I felt good! I also had an hour training with P the day after…followed by a double barre the next day… Six hours of training in three days. ¬†And… I FELT it!

I absolutely adore barre and pilates – even though I lack coordination and grace! It does make for funny classes and loads of laughs! How am I supposed to remember those combinations? ūüėõ

2017-08-02 08.30.28
Accurate depiction of myself in barre..particularly the “help” one!

For the GetFitChallenge, we aim for four classes a week – I must say I’m leaning more towards five a week… especially if I do doubles or a triple. My body feels good! It was also great to get back into training with P… I’m doing about six hours of training a week (well, for the past two weeks) and it feels amazing! The “high” I get post-workout – and the ability to sleep deeply – is something I can get very addicted to!

Now to try add a hot yoga class to the mix ūüėÄ (yes, I am a sucker for punishment!).

Diet

This has been the one area where I have not been so good ūüė¶ And I have not taken my supplements… or my protein shake (it is currently discontinued and I’m currently searching for a vegetarian/ vegan alternative)!

I’m trying VERY hard to “eat clean” however with the travel and odd hours – I’ve been succumbing to hazelnut latte’s and energy bars… Weird observation though: I find these items too sweet now! I have never added sugar to hot drinks and now I find the flavoured lattes too sweet!

I am at my parents for a bit of a long weekend/ family break and they do not believe in any diet (perhaps because they saw me through my disordered eating). As a result, I have been consuming a large quantity of “sweet” foods… Not part of my clean eating plan!¬†However, I am just going with the flow… There are always going to be days when I fall off the wagon but I must remember to not be too hard on myself.

Yes, I want to eat healthier but I also do not want to deprive myself. From past experience I know depriving myself will only cause me to binge and go four steps back in my health journey. I’ve been down that road too many a time to revisit the patterns.

I am considering a juice cleanse – but I do not know how my body will react. Not a long cleanse, perhaps just one day? Has anyone tried one?

Emotions

A much, much, MUCH better week! Week 4 was probably the lowest I’ve felt during the challenge: sleep deprivation, headachy, moody/ grumpy/ bitchy/ withdrawn aka PMS, overwhelmed and emotional. I was a bit more of myself during Week 5.

My headache is still ever-present but I think it’s getting better? I’ve realised my low moods and dull headaches were as a result of sugar withdrawal (I used to eat a LARGE amount of sugar). ¬†Damn, the withdrawal symptoms are painful (to say the least).

I’ve also learnt the hard way that I must not sacrifice sleep… Waking up at 3am to watch Game of Thrones before working a full day followed by two hours of training does NOT work for me. Good, deep sleep has been something I’ve struggled with for a few years. Sleeping pills make me depressed and ‘out-of-it’ the next day so I stay as far away from them as possible. I generally fall asleep to some series playing in the background – yes, I know electronics should not be in the bedroom but it is a hard habit to break… I also should switch off my phone (we may be pushing it, there!).

Looking ahead: Week 6

I’m only flying back to JHB on Tuesday evening… so my exercise regimen will start again on Wednesday morning with a P session before I drag myself to work (on a public holiday). I’m scheduled to have double barre on Thursday and a triple on Saturday – my first ever barre-pilates-barre combo (and my first class with another barre instructor).

The “goal” I am adding to week 6 is deactivating Facebook (again), and taking time off Twitter and Instagram – kind of like a social media detox. I hope it will give me a chance to “reboot” and focus on other priorities (not indulging in work-avoidance-behaviour (WABbing) by scrolling endlessly through social media). With this “detox” I also want to try and put my phone off for a few hours every day while I focus on certain tasks… easier said than done!

Until next time

k x

#GetFitChallenge – Recap of Week 1: Internal Struggles

Week 1 of the #GetFitChallenge is over… Seven more weeks to go…. ¬†How do I feel?

Finding my feet and struggling with comparison. 

Here is a quick, raw, honest overview of my experience during Week 1… As always these are my personal views and opinions.

Training

I think I did well… I successfully completed 4 sessions – including my first double: barre followed by pilates. My sessions included 3 Barre and my first ever Pilates workout. I wrote about my first Barre session here.

2017-07-08 07.21.23
Early on a Saturday morning, getting ready for my first double session of Pilates & Barre… Classes 3 and 4 at Core-Barre for Week 1!

Fifteen minutes into starting my 3rd barre class I began wondering HOW THE HELL I would be able to complete the double. But, head down and had to just do it. It did help having a fellow challenger do the double with me…

DoubleBuddy
Lezanne and I did our first double-class together!

Furthermore I successfully completed a 90 minute Hot Yoga class on Sunday the 2nd and a 30 minute session with P (after which I did a Barre session), as well as just 30 minutes of light cardio by myself. It felt good! I’ve been drinking my protein shake loads, always with L-glutamine.

Robyn, the director and mastermind of the challenge, joined in for our early sessions of Barre and Pilates on Saturday. It was awesome to have her there training with us. Inspiring and motivating. Thank you, Robyn!

Overall this past week, my body worked with me and I felt ok. I’ve struggled with the emotional side of life and my personal demons, which I will get into a bit later. ¬†However, I don’t feel comfortable enough to take a weekly progress photo or weigh myself… but I just need to bite the bullet. Just. Do. It.

Diet

EEK! While I stayed clear (!) from all confectionary and adding refined sugar to any of my drinks and meals (yay for me…it’s the little things, people)… I did “enjoy” a single Jungle Oats Peanut Butter Energy Bar – every day for four days (including BEFORE Barre class on two occassions)… Naughty, I know.

I’m also struggling to drink enough water – and at some stages I feel as though I may not be eating enough – which is perhaps why I craved something sweet before bed (hence the energy bar). So I do need to look at that for this week. I did get some Lindt Dark Chocolate with Mint (and Lindt Dark with Roasted Hazelnuts) so I’m hoping a block or two before bed will do the trick.

In better news I have not had my go-to hot drink! I, quite frankly, am ADDICTED to the Hazelnut cappuccino from a local brand flavour – ¬†Pour a packet into my mug, add boiling water and stir. Quick, easy… and full of unhealthy “stuff” – I read the ingredients and nearly passed out from the amount of chemicals in it! I’ve been putting all that in my body… multiple times a day *cringe* ¬†Does my body really need anti-foaming agent? Um, I think NOT!

I must admit I do absolutely adore the smoothie treat after classes on a Saturday – so yummy and combinations I would never think of! Now, if only I can make the time to make myself these every morning….

2017-07-08 09.30.19
Delicious, healthy, nourishing smoothies on a Saturday post class!

Other goals: 

Work has been busy and at times frustrating. It does leave me a bit drained – so I need to focus on increasing my energy levels. When work gets too much, I do find it hard to eat regularly – something I need to work on.

Completing a major non-work related project is one of the goals I want to complete – and unfortunately I did not get a chance to even look at it… more honestly, I’m too overwhelmed to even start looking at it again. Fear of failure is very real in my life and is something I am trying to overcome.

Discipline is something I want to work on in all areas of my life. In fact, it is what I want my 2017 to be defined as…. disciplined and accountable to myself.

Emotions, Emotions, Emotions

Toward the end of the week – from about Thursday – ¬†I’ve been struggling. Its been tough. I’ve been very self-conscious, to be honest. There has also been body-hate. I’m not sure why but its just how I feel.

Everyone at the classes for the GetFitChallenge look AMAZING and could be models in their spare time. I feel very…frumpy, ugly and lumpy.¬†I go to work in jeans, sneakers and hoodies, with no makeup (at most, I will have eyeliner and lip gloss on). After work I head off to gym. For the challenge, my fellow challengers look flawless and are all very sophisticated. I do feel a little intimidated… and as though I need to wear makeup every time I go to class.¬†Wrinkles and dark rings under my eyes have become insanely worrying. I feel as though I’m getting and looking very old, very fast.

I know I need to get out of this mode and slay these demons. Its hard, though. However, one of my goals for the challenge is to be more confident and comfortable in my own skin. Week 1 was a step back – and sharing this so openly is scary.

In hindsight, the anniversary of my gran’s death is coming up and I’ve noticed I’m in a slump around that time… It’s been quite consistent for the past few months now so I have come to know and recognise know the sadness and withdrawal that clouds over me around and before her death day.

The cold-like symptoms I’m currently experiencing also do not make me feel any better…

Just hoping I can move past this, soon. It is nothing but self-destructive.

As ridiculous as it seems – trust me, my intellectual side knows this; the emotional side does not – I feel crap that I have not seen any change in my body yet – where are those damn abs… why are the love handles STILL there? Why is my butt not growing? Yes the instant gratification I expect is in full force. I just need to keep my head down and keep swimming…. progress NOT perfection.

Yes, that was my biggest lesson this week. I need to remember the little things, the little achievements and I always have to Strive for progress, not perfection”! As a perfectionist, I need everything to be perfect – but that is neither possible nor productive. I should be proud I managed four classes at Core Barre, a hot yoga class, a 30 min light cardio session and a 30 minute session with P this week… around 6hr30min of working out!

Looking forward:

Weeks 2 and 3 will be even more challenging for me…

Week 2 has not begun on a good note. I seem to have laryngitis (not sure what the root cause is: either bacterial/ viral or acute sinusitis). I did not take my a Hot yoga class and well¬†rescheduled some of my Barre classes – so I will only take two classes (a double) this week. Hopefully I can still make my two sessions with P. Yes I know I should not be exercising when I’m ill…but right now, the only organ affected is my throat. If I get worse, ofcourse I will slow down.

Thanks to my sore throat, I’ve been adding honey to my tea and living on lozenges (which do contain some sugar). Sunday the 9th has been a bit of a disaster… ready-made pizza (not good) and a lunch-size packet of ginger biscuits.

Toward the end of week 2 and the beginning of week 3 I am out of my normal routine. I am performing a ceremony for my late gran back home, which means lots of family and food (some deep fried and a fair amount of refined sugar!).

Being away and out of my normal routine means no training – no Barre classes, no Hot Yoga and no training with P for 5 days. And not the best diet in the world.

I do hope to focus on my emotional/mental side and put in a fair amount of work on my project, as well as try to be more grateful for myself and learn to not compare myself to others. This is my journey – again, intellectually I get it… emotionally I’m stuck in comparison mode. This body-hate needs to go down a couple of notches… it is not healthy in any way, shape or form.

Let’s hope my review of Week 2 will be a more personally positive one! Here is my current mantra for the next few weeks:

Unknown

k x

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff Cos Life Can Change In The Blink Of An Eye

It’s no secret I am a control freak. Stress and worry is my default setting. But something really rattled me today.

I’ve been having a crappy few weeks (written about here), what with death anniversaries, being reminded of those I have lost, those who have forgotten and abandoned me. All in all, I was just feeling sorry for myself – and not appreciating the present moment. That’s hard for me, you know – living in the present moment. I’m always over-analysing and over-thinking – freaking about the past and worrying about the future.

Yesterday – to top it all off – I locked my keys in my car boot. While at the gym. I am not impressed. Paulo stood next to me trying to come up with solutions (driving me home and breaking into my house – I have all my keys on the same set) and laughing at my stressed-out-control-freakness. After phoning a friend (Paulo really just laughed at me :P), I decided to call the assist company who would get a locksmith out to me. The locksmith was supposed to call me in 10 – 15 minutes. Trying to work off the excess anxious, stressed-out energy – my control freakiness went into overdrive when 15 minutes later…still no phone call. What the hell. Again, Paulo laughed.

Both Paulo and my chiropractor Kate (who is AMAZING at needling and did work away some of the stress I built up in my shoulders in the midst of the key episode!) tried to reassure me that I did all I could do to control the situation and it was out of my hands now. So did hearing it from two independent parties help calm me? Hell. No. I just needed my keys!

Eventually the locksmith did arrive. And I did get my keys. But boy, did I feel sorry for myself! Got home, stuffed my face with chocolate – sleeping aids and I feel into bed.

I woke up this morning still feeling all “woe-is-me”. However, thanks to my newest “Dancing with the stars” phase, I adore the “Clap your hands” song by LeoSoul. Here is a video of the pros dancing to it.¬†After purchasing the song on iTunes, I listened to it, on repeat, all the way to work (a 45 minute commute). And was in a much better mood.

Until some news rattled me. A friend was scheduled to have a¬†baby today. She would have made an incredible mom and was the most excited 9 month pregnant woman I have ever seen. Unfortunately, due to unknown circumstances, very early this morning she lost the baby. We don’t know details but I am in shock. It seems the baby’s heart stopped and doctors were unable to resuscitate.

The news is frustrating and confusing me. Why? What happened? What do I say? How can I help her? How do I fix this? I have an annoying ability to numb m own feelings and thoughts in order to ensure everyone around me is ok and getting the support they need. I break down months, even years later (which isn’t pretty but again my default setting and

I can only imagine¬†what she is going through. Hearing that news and knowing she will need all the love, support and strength from her friends has made me very reflective today. It’s made me grateful and appreciative of life, of the people I have, of the lessons I learnt. It’s also made me realise what an utter negative, complaining jackass I’ve been these past weeks/months/even years.

It will be a long and arduous path for my friend, but I will be there to support her. This has been a huge “awakening” for me. I have so much to be thankful for instead of focussing on the negative aspects and complaining. May this teach me a lesson to have a more positive outlook in life. It can do me no wrong… and being negative only makes me feel worse.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

k x

Miranda Oh

I previously reviewed the book¬†“Remember, no matter what; Chin Up Tits Out”¬†by Miranda Oh (you can find the review¬†here). Miranda has become a friend and fortunately she agreed to let me (me….a nobody!) “interview” her for this blog! Book 2 of the Chin Up Tits Out series is due in February 2017 and I, for one, CAN’T FREAKING WAIT! One of the things I’d like to do moving forward is to interview people in my life… and I hope you like it!

Miranda and I speak regularly (ok, we whatsapp regularly – time zones kinda suck) and she is definitely an older and wiser (metaphorically speaking of-course) “cyber-sister”. As¬†Miranda pointed out yesterday, we are two VERY different woman – different life stories ¬†and journey’s (I’m a scientist, she’s a published author), grown up in different countries (her in first-world Canada,¬†myself in third-world South Africa) – yet we deal with similar struggles, insecurities and challenges. I completely agree and it shocks me EVERY TIME I take the time to process it!

We’re both “millennials” and it just goes to show that regardless of your background, we all go through the same “obstacles” in life¬†– I guess its the nature of human life…and the stages, the transformations we inevitably all go through – if we like it or not! Navigating this thing we call life is not easy – well, that is my perception of it. Having a sounding board, a confidante who has experienced similar situations in life is possibly the only thing that keeps me sane (ok, somewhat sane)…. especially when you can’t live in a therapists office! (Yes, I believe everyone should go to therapy – the objective viewpoint and alternate thinking is eye-opening… I wrote a bit about it¬†here).

It’s no lie, I have many people from different walks of life, ages, genders, family, friends who I can reliably reach out to. But each of them has taught me something different in my life – and made an impact on the person I am today. I learn so much about life, being human¬†from these incredible people; and Miranda is definitely one of them!

By¬†that fateful day in April 2016, I was a pretty lost cause (yes, the people in my life would agree to that… I can almost see them nodding)… There was no advice that was not given to me….lovingly and in exasperation, subtle and the not-so-subtle. The exasperation and not-so-subtle were the norm by April – for some reason i just couldn’t – for the life of me – get the advice to puncture my emotional side…. (I seem to have this problem often….intellectually I get it, emotionally… BIG PROBLEM).

The weird thing is, completely out of character, I reached out to Miranda after reading her book… to thank her for sharing her story – something in the chic-lit book jumped out at me… perhaps it was the signs I could see, perhaps it was M relating a bit more of the story? Who knows. But I knew I had to thank her. We started chatting and I recounted my situation… Miranda got it. She got me. Her advice to me actually got me. More than anyone else in my life at the time, she could relate to my situation. She not only survived something similar, she thrived!

So lets get on with the interview…. Interviewing Miranda didn’t really feel like an interview – it was pretty much us chatting… over email instead of whatsapp. My questions and comments are in bold, Miranda’s responses are italicised.

I’ve separated the interview into different sections:

  • Writing
  • Taking the leap and publishing
  • Personal

_________________________________________________________________

Hey M, thank you so much for allowing me to interview you (you know, before you become a world famous, best-selling, movies-are-made-from-your-books author)…¬†

Before we get to the “juicy stuff” can you please tell us a bit about yourself?¬†

A little bit about me, I work for a creditor insurance company as a corporate trainer. I love my job as it takes me across Canada, and it puts me in front of a lot of different types of professionals. I get to speak and assist them in their daily activities by training them on a software program created by the company I am employed by. As much as traveling for work is fun, it does have its downsides to it as well, in early December I stayed at a hotel and got attacked by bed bugs one night. (Gross and bloody itchy) And sometimes I am within 3 different time zones in a span of a few days. It is always an adventure when I travel for work, and I love it. It beats sitting behind a desk for 40 hours a week. 
I write on my off times, either in the evenings, weekends or flights for when I travel. I enjoy my writing, it gives me an opportunity to tell a story of mine in a new way. It comes out a different version of the truth, and it fuels passion and love within myself. I feel writing can be healing for me most times. (keyword… MOST times lol)¬†
I tend to live a healthy lifestyle; I go to the gym weekly; I try for 5 days a week, but minimum 2 times a week; it all really depends on what I have planned. I live off of lists, and calendars; for events or reminders, I have 2 cell phones that go off, my computer calendar and my written calendar outlining everything from events, monthly payments, and reminders such as; garbage days. I love going to the gym during the busy times, mostly because it works within my work schedule etc., but also because it is busy, I try and use the people around me as motivation to push harder. Also to check out good looking people working hard. I can appreciate someone kicking ass at their own workout. *fist bump*
My family is pretty close; my parents are happily married and living in their dream home, my little bro moved in recently with them to save some money for a bit.  We are pretty close, and like spending time with each other. They live out of town (about 30 minutes from my house), so I either see them on lunch dates during the week if they are around my office, and I try and get out to their house once every week or two. 
I live in a new apartment with 2 male roommates; both Nigerian. We are a little family, splitting chores, duties, and bills. The 3 of us have been living together for a few years now, we joke often that I am the adopted white sister they never had! Some people seem to believe us, we all giggle. Although most people’s initial reaction is WOW … 2 guys hey… well before anyone judges, I used to live with 6 men, and no it wasn’t a big orgy, it was more like communal living.¬† Honestly, guys are easier to live with, they are rarely emotional; unless I provoke¬†it. When they do something wrong (like leave the toilet seat up), I kindly remind them, and then it doesn’t happen again (I mean it ain’t perfect, but they try, and that’s really all that counts) I draw it up to good practice for when I have children someday.¬†
Yes, I would love to be a mom some day, when I was 20, my goal was the be done having children by the time I was 30 years old. I turn 28 in April. (Ironically Hitlers birthday and National Marijuana Day), when I discovered and realized that I wasn’t going to be DONE having kids by the time I am 30, it was a bit disappointing, but then quickly came up with the idea that it wasn’t meant to happen like that for me; I was meant to write my books, maybe have those ‘babies’ done by the time I am 30. I did get my tarot cards read in December and the lady I went to said I was going to have 2 kids in and around¬†4 years from now… so we will see. If not; I am not opposed to adopting around the age of 35.¬†

Book 1 was quite a rollercoaster… from the initial meeting to marriage! How does book 2 compare?

Book 2 is a whole new roller-coaster of emotion. Hadley is really forced to grow up fast, and behave in a way that is unimaginable. You will tell immediately in the writing; the writing itself is incomparable to book 1. While book 1 was fast paced, high energy, young and whimsical, book 2 is equally as fast paced, but written to make the reader feel what Hadley is feeling, and really capture the reader’s emotion to help them relate to how Hadley feels. You will immediately feel the shift in tone, and really feel how quickly Hadley grew up. I mean, I also grew up a ton after the launch of book 1, I learned a lot on my journey with book 1 and you can tell the difference in my writing. I can‚Äôt wait for my readers to get their hands on it.

Writing 

What inspired you to write?

I have always wanted to write. Write what; in fact… I had no idea. But during my own life experiences, I always joked about writing about my crazy stories. Monday mornings at my desk were coffee driven story times. I wanted to utilize that eventually and somehow I ended up with a series of books.

My life inspires me to share my stories, paying a publisher to help keep my writing on track is what makes sure I get it done. LOL I was blessed with a very theatrical personality with a very robust life, I think it would be a shame and a waste if I didn’t utilize my experiences in the form of an art where people from all over the world can relate.

Are you self-conscious in any way in your writing? How do you overcome that?

Holy balls yes, I am. I fear that someone will hate what I have put on paper so much that it will compel them to send me nasty hate mail. LOL But to date, I can proudly say that it hasn‚Äôt happened, on the contrary the opposite happens, as you can see on my social media feeds, I post almost all reviews that come in to me personally. They are all raving positive and all my readers LOVE the book thus far. I don‚Äôt like using big words, since in my own life, I try and not use big words, I use words that everyone can understand. I also use topics that maybe we don‚Äôt all talk about out loud, but we definitely think about or do behind closed doors. I overcome my anxiety about my writing with the simple thought ‚ÄėI can‚Äôt please everyone‚Äô.

At the end of the day, if I am happy, then I have done my job. Anyone else‚Äôs happiness doesn‚Äôt fall on me. That doesn‚Äôt mean that if/when I do get my first hate mail letter I will be all cool and Zen with it, because honestly I think I would lose my shit, and cry until I had snot bubbles coming out of my nose. I can picture myself throwing a straw into a bottle of wine, lighting a candle, and sitting there in the dark guzzling back the wine and wallowing in my own misery. LOL I am far from confident with my writing, but I know in my heart that I am honest, and wholeheartedly putting thoughts down on the page and meaning every word.¬† That is really the only expectation I can put out there.¬†I overcome my anxiety about my writing with the simple thought ‚ÄėI can‚Äôt please everyone‚Äô. At the end of the day, if I am happy, then I have done my job. Anyone else‚Äôs happiness doesn‚Äôt fall on me.

Did this take you some time to get to a self-worth and self-love place to able to confidently say you can’t please anymore. I know it is¬†something I struggle with terribly. I know we’ll do a follow up after Book 2 is out, but can you share some of your tips for¬†prioritising yourself, confidence in¬†yourself and¬†your work?

My self love and self worth I go through phases with. Some days I think I am hot shit, and other days i feel like a bag of shit. It is a constant battle every day to ensure that I am being the best I can be towards myself. I am trying a new thing that before I answer a question I really try and think the answer through all possible scenarios. It is time consuming, and sometimes hard. BUT I find that I am getting a better response and more productive when trying to coordinate people, or coordinate my feelings. For example, if I am feeling a bit insecure or unsure or unstable, and someone offers me something nice; since I am feeling down, my initial reaction is to wallow in self pity and say ‘no, im good thanks’ and then I sit there and suffer in silence.¬†

So now I try and work through the idea of WHAT IF I say yes, please let’s do what you are suggesting to make me feel better. It is working for me. But it is a new resolution, so I will have to get back to you on the progress with that. I also try and brush off any negative energy towards me, so for example if I get a bad reaction or bad vibe from someone close around me, my intial reaction is to think it has to do with me. that their unhappiness is my fault some how. I have mentally stopped doing that, I acknowledge that this person is suffering or struggling some how, and then i immediately change the subject or stop talking. If that person wants to elaborate and chat more about it, I¬†leave it in their court to do so, instead of asking them to talk it out. and if they dont, then I have already mentally stopped thinking it was me, and just think about something else, if I cant drown out my brain I put on music that I can sing to. that helps my mind to move on from that thought.¬†

What challenges do you face when writing?

My biggest challenge while writing is reliving certain aspects of my own story I am using, and losing my cool about it. Since I write about some personal experiences, or experiences from others in my life, I am close to my writing, I take it personally. And I think the hardest part is to reread what I have written and judge myself on my actions. I think to myself that I could have done this, or that, and maybe it would have ended up differently‚Ķ but truth is… If it ended up differently‚Ķ would I be sitting here right here and now writing this masterpiece‚ĶNO; is the answer. And for that simple thought, I am grateful for my challenges.

I don’t suffer from writers block, I suffer from the opposite actually, verbal diarrhoea  I mean once it starts it doesn’t stop, and sometimes my brain thinks too fast for my fingers to type. Upon rereading a paragraph or section I have written, there will be 17 half thoughts in there, LOL. Before I can finish a thought, I start another. The editing is always the most grueling part for me.

I live with a bunch of men, some students, some professionals, we were a little community of individuals that lived under the same roof. During the writing of book 2, there was at least half a dozen times where one of them would come up to me; where I would be sitting there with my noise cancelling headphones blaring R&B music, a bottle of wine, with a straw in it, or a big ass glass of wine. They would tap me on the shoulder, as I am sitting there sobbing and typing a mile a minute. ‚ÄúMiranda, do we need to go for a drive to get some fresh air?‚ÄĚ they would hand me a tissue to clean up the mascara lines running down my cheeks and dangle the keys of a car in front of my face (like a dog on the treadmill). LOL I am beyond lucky to have such understanding people in my life.

Do you have a writing schedule? Or do you write when you have an urge?

When I make a commitment to writing, I have to get it done NOW, or better yet yesterday. LOL, I usually set myself a really tight goal, and try and work my life around that. I know successful writers have schedules, and/or a daily word count set. Since this is not my main career, I write when I can. If that means lunch breaks, after work, before the gym, or the entire weekend, so be it. I feel that the quicker I get it on paper, the longer I have to reread, edit and refine, which with my serious condition of verbal diarrhoea  It ends up being positive to have way, way, WAY more time to refine and edit.

Did you write book 1 and book 2 “off-plan”? Or did you have an outline for what each book will contain? How long did Book 1 take? Book 2?

I wrote book 1 with an outline, and that roughly took me 16 hours to do the meat and potatoes. Book 2 I wrote with more of¬†chronological¬†point form, and crossed off the point forms as I wrote about them. But the meat and potatoes with that book, probably took me closer to 100 hours. You will¬†immediately¬†see the difference in the writing when you open the pages of book 2. I had a rough idea of what each book would contain, but didn’t set myself a limit on how it portrayed in the book, the story came out as a wild beast, and then we spent months (for each book) taming that beast.¬†

Does writing energize you or exhaust you? Or is it release?

I think it has a touch of all 3, pending on what I am writing, and when I am writing; if that makes sense. Sometimes when I write a part that is exciting and happy, I feel accomplished and excited about rereading what I just wrote. There are times when I am writing about really crappy things, like hospital visits and drug addictions, and after I am done, I am defeated, exhausted and really depressed. Once it was all over, though, someone asked me if I felt a release after writing this book. The answer for this one is still undetermined. Honestly, I knew it was going to be healing for me to write this book, but at the end of the day, after rereading it a million times during editing, I quickly learned that it was no longer a release or healing, but more so like kicking the dog when its down, or continuously putting salt in the wound. I am beyond excited to release this second book, once that is out, the hard part is over. The final book of the series will be fun, light hearted and a lot easier to write. Maybe I get the ‚Äėrelease‚Äô once the book is launched, I will have to get back to you on that one!

During both books, you’ve juggled a full time job and writing. Was this difficult for you? How did you manage to keep sane ūüôā

Sane‚Ķ what is sane? LOL just kidding. My full time day job requires me to be smart, calm, cool and collected. My books allow me to be stilly, crazy and all over the place. I have found it a good mix while writing. I am also forever grateful to have a work environment that is so supportive of my ‚Äėhobby‚Äô of writing. As long as my work gets done and done on time, my team is satisfied with me. If I didn‚Äôt have my full time job, I probably wouldn‚Äôt be so productive with my writing. The more I have on the go, the more productive I am.

You write a lot about South Africa, having visited the country what are your impressions about it? How was the country different to your perceptions about it? Would you ever visit the country again?

I absolutely love South Africa, I love the weather, the culture, the food, not to mention the Biltong. (So much so, that I attempted to make my own!)

Prior to going to SA for the first time back in 2007, I was completely na√Įve about how it was there, the history, the struggles, everything. I mean to my knowledge, I assumed people lived there in manmade shacks, wore butt flaps, had bones in their noses, and did tribal dances every night around a fire‚Ķ. BOY was I ever wrong. I mean way before travelling there, I realized that my assumptions, or dreams about Africa were only due to education I found in TV and movies. But living there, and living in the complexes with the gates, and garden people, and the maids that came daily to tidy, it was such a culture shock. I was completely enamored by everything that was there. I was also in love, and madly na√Įve to the possible dangers lurking around every corner. I was lucky and always had people accompanying me and never felt unsafe once.¬†

My biggest hope for South Africa as a nation would be to try and find a way to love more. Maybe it was the people I was around, or maybe it is an overall consensus, but I did find there was a lot of hate towards other races and ethnicities. Growing up in Canada and being white myself, I never once (prior to my trip to SA) was in a racial issue, or faced an uncomfortable situation due to race. I wanted a friend’s co-worker who was black to come join us at our table for lunch, as he sat at the other end of the restaurant by himself. To me that was unacceptable, and I explained it to my group of people, and they all compiled respectfully…but who knows what happened after I left there. I would love to go back for business one day, I think there are a ton of opportunities there. As for a leisure trip…there are a ton more new places I have yet to visit before going back to SA. 

If you could write a happy ending for Hadley, what would it be? (Note: I have no idea what’s coming in book 2)?

If Hadley had a happy ending, one that we all hope to see at the end of a Disney movie…it would be that her an Riaan finally get settled in Canada. Riaan gets a good job, and they have a couple of beautiful children with blonde flowy curly hair, dark brown eyes, and sun-kissed skin. And I would be the next J.K Rowling Author of Chick Lit. (oh wait.. Hadley‚Ķ not Miranda‚Ķ LOL… aren‚Äôt we one in the same) You have no idea what is coming in Book 2‚Ķ I am excited for you. I wish I could be a fly on the wall to watch your reactions.¬†

I’m very excited about it and a bit nervous at the same time. At this point we’ve shared so much and you’ve¬†been a guiding light but I’d¬†probably message you at odd hours¬†with tears in my eyes or laughing like a woman possessed…or both!

My door is forever open. I am currently getting updates on every few chapters from another local girl who picked up my book from some where. I love hearing what my readers have to say, regardless if I have been friends with them for 25 years or have never met them before. My goal was for my readers to feel Hadley and her feelings, to feel the actual love, the pain, the excitment, the exhaustion, all the feelings that she felt in this part of her story. It was important for my readers to feel the overpowering feelings she felt. It really should resonate with all different types of people. at least that is my hope. 

Taking the leap and publishing 

What gave you the courage to send your book out to a publisher?

I needed the motivation to start writing, and I didn’t know where to start. Once I found a publishing company that I was comfortable with, we sat down over drinks, and I explained my story idea to Osamede; my creative director. He loved the idea, and loved me, and likewise. He gave me some insight and some research to do, and before I knew it, I had a contract signed, and a book outline was done.

Did you face any challenges when trying to get published?

I always pictured my writing life as; sending in the manuscript and having publishers gush over it, and fight over it, and then Miranda would get this big old fat cheque in the mail for an advance… boy oh boy… I wish I was that blessed or that lucky, or even that talented. I found a publisher that I was comfortable with and paid him to help me get it done. I think since there was a financial burden put on me, that I was so motivated to finish and get it on the shelves and start to make money off the book. I can only hope that one day I have big publishing houses fighting over me throwing book advance cheques in my face… A girl can dream, right?

Did you ever expect/ dream of being published, author?

Bahahaha ‚Äď NOPE. Honestly, I still don‚Äôt see it some days. I look at it as, that I had a story, I wanted to share it, and I did what I had to do to make that happen. It is often when people ask me how it feels to be a published author‚Ķ my response is always the same‚Ķ I feel the same as before. We all write out stories or tell our stories some way‚Ķ I drink a crap ton of wine and put it out there, no shame, no style, just me. And somehow in that mindset, I have become a published author.

Personal 

After reading book 1, I did something out of character and reached out to you. We‚Äôve become good friends and I know you’ve helped me in navigating through life’s turmoil‚Äôs and you are a role model to me… how do you describe your own inner strength?

My inner strength is nothing without people such as yourself. I am loud, outgoing, happy, and share all those feelings with as many people as I can on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean that I take those exuberant feelings home with me every night. 

There are times sometimes more often than not, where I cry every day. For what might you ask? Oh, you know‚Ķ I ran out of bread, dropped my make-up and it broke, realized I only have $25 to last me until pay day, someone‚Äôs tone with me at work was too abrasive‚Ķetc.‚Ķ (Obviously world ending situations!) I won‚Äôt cry in front of people, but mostly in my own home, in my room – in my safe place. As much as I pride myself on always thinking ‚Äėchin up tits out‚Äô there are just some days where you want to tell that slogan to go f*** itself.

I hear ya! But in those moments you know that you aren’t dealing with it alone. I am miles away but always an eye to listen and a metaphorical¬†shoulder to cry on.¬†Anytime, I get those days too (more often than not).

I swear women are meant to be the soulmates of other women. Like we literally have extreme opposite lives, yet struggle with the same struggles, just in our own way. relaying and¬†exchanging¬†those thoughts,¬†struggles¬†and stories is what enriches our lives with hope, confidence and inner peace. (in my opinion anyways… some yogi’s will beg to differ, saying that breath in, and breath out will give us inner peace…. NO.. I want to know that I am not the only person who thinks these thoughts, and says these things… lol cuz in reality I am not the only person out there that has similar thoughts, etc¬†– I agree with you 100%! I’d rather know other people are in the same boat, too).¬†

LOL I also don’t cry long, like a minute or two or like five at tops. But nothing longer than that. My eyes swell and my nose starts to fill with snot and shit, and then it gets ugly. LOL But my inner strength is really reliant on the ones around me. I don’t ask them for compliments or anything like that, I just like to make people around me feel great and laugh and enjoy themselves, if I see happy people around me, I tend to be happy too. 

I am constantly working on my inner peace, and my ability to enjoy my alone time. I DO enjoy my alone time currently, and feel myself getting better at it. BUT it is a constant struggle to make sure I allocate enough time to self-love, self-heal, and self-grow. My relationship and love with myself will be the biggest most important relationship in my lifetime. It should be #1 on my priority list, for many people it isn’t.

As much as I try I can never get to a point where I “love” myself. How has your journey through this been?

Hell I am not even there yet. I mean I love myself enough to continue living my life and moving forward in my life. But honestly it is a daily battle. Some days are great and some days¬†aren’t¬† and the days where you dont have self love, as long as you do something, even the smallest thing to love yourself on purpose, it should make the tomorrow day that much better. If I am finding that my bad days are more then the good days, I book an appointment with my therapist. I am actually meeting with her tonight. I havent seen her since summer of 2015. So its been a while. BUT I am really excited to go see her.¬†

When trying to let someone go (someone who broke your heart) what is your advice?

Cut all strings, the good, the bad and the ugly. Refrain¬†yourself from sending the last text, and the check in text or the random good bye phone call. Silence is key. And move on, no matter how hard. I forced myself to date only a couple of months after my ex left. It was horrifying, literally … well you read book 1 prologue … lol but the more dates I went on, the less I thought about my ex, the more things I did, the fuller my memory became with all these new memories. and before I knew it we were months apart and my mind was else where. It is when you stop and stand still that the past catches up with us. Always keep moving forward. Forward always (gosh I wish I knew what movie that line was from, I love it)

Hadley had her fare share of heartbreak – Riann leaving, breakup, engagement. In retrospect should she have been a bit more cautious? Do you think she will ever love/marry again?

Ohhh this is more so after book 2 is over … I think living cautiously you run the risk of missing out on the joys of life. I think Hadley has enough love in her to find love again. I think love comes in all shapes and sizes and that the word love evolves into much much more than just a life partner. The journey has made me realize that I love my parents differently than I love my BFF, and I love them differently than I would love my life partner, I have taken time to realize the differences in those types of love, and am learning to appreciate to love the love I already have in my life. It gives me less of an urge to find the ‘true love & prince charming’ love. it helps give me peace that i have enough already and that i would be only blessed if I got more people in my life to love.¬†

In Chin Up Tits Out, Riaan seemed to be the love of Hadley’s life. Do you believe there is only one love, or are there different loves at different stages of lives – the trick is it grow simultaneously with that person.

I think at one point as a little girl we all want to find our prince charming, and i think at one point i believed in that. My mom and dad are happily married still after 30 years, they practically look like barbie and ken (in a more human fashion though.. I mean my dad has grey hair… but looks like George Clooney) I think that everyone has thier own path, and sometimes people find 1 true love, and sometimes people find multiple true loves. Those true loves can be in the form of partners, friends, family, children; whether birthed or adopted. I have seen so many different types of ‘true love’ over the last few years, that I have opened my heart up to any type of love that comes my way, and i am sure to work hard at appreciating what I have, instead of point out and stress about what I dont have. I think the trick is exactly that… both parties must grow, sometimes one will grow faster or different then the other, but thats when you lean on each other. sometimes you will be stuck and the other partner will grow and vise versa. I think the path is always changing, and at the end of the day if you choose to be a life partner with someone, than that someone is your teammate. you wouldnt go on the playing field (of any type) without your teammates, so why make life decisions without them knowing or understanding why. whoo whoo teamwork … ¬†

Miranda, thank you so much¬†for allowing me to interview you! I can’t wait for Book 2!!!¬†

_________________________________________________________________

I really hope you enjoyed my interview with Miranda. If you have any questions you’d like to ask her, please feel free to comment below or contact her via¬†website¬†(which provides links to all her social media)!

Please do check out her book,¬†“Remember, no matter what; Chin Up Tits Out”¬†and watch out for Book 2 – out in Mid-Feb!

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Heartsore

It’s been a rough week for me. The week started out “bleh”¬†and every day I felt a little more of my heart “squeeze” a little more (trust me, its real). It was a week of introspection and emotions – though there was not much outward displays of emotion on my part (which is a deviation from the norm for me…cos perhaps I am growing up).

Tuesday the 10th of Jan was the death anniversary of my paternal grandmother. She passed away in 2013. It was also the paternal grandfathers birthday – who, unfortunately, I never got to meet as he passed away before I made my entrance into this world. Because its my family, I guess they were trying to be economical…because January 10th is also the day my paternal aunt and uncle were married.. My uncle – my godfather – passed away suddenly, six months before my gran, in 2012.

Saturday the 14th of Jan would have been my maternal grandfather’s birthday. He passed away when I was 16. I was my first experience with death.

And I don’t think I’ve really death with it or worked through the “Kugler-Ross” grief stages. My default is to ignore and pretend it doesn’t happen.

So while I tried to ignore these dates and all the other feeling brewing inside me, I tried to keep occupied with work (I spent over 12 hours at work on one day trying to perform a two-day test in a single day). I also spent an incomprehensible amount of time on social media – which we all know makes us feel worse. I should’ve known better! Work – academic work has been piling up and I can’t seem to get to it…. I have opportunities that will only further my career yet I am scared. I worked out quite a bit, getting my ass kicked three days this week – thanks P – just to tire myself out to the point of exhaustion so I could sleep. My method, though highly flawed, seemed to¬†working.

And then came Saturday.

It was an easy, no-real-plan-in-place day, just a few appointments. I went to bed on Friday night with a bit of anxiety and woke up with it on Saturday morning. I tried to go drug-free and ignore it…. While I was getting my eyebrows threaded I started sobbing. Not because of the pain (though it is incredibly painful and not something you get used to… beauty is pain, right?), but it was as if the floodgates opened and my heart broke free. My beautician, Cookie, has been a constant in my life for the past few years and I trust her implicitly. Cookie is an eyebrow queen and has made my stringing, busy brows look amazing. I love her and truly treasure my time with her and she always makes me laugh. Cookie is beautiful and has an awesome, tell-it-like-it-is view of life. She’s almost like mom surrogate mom. While we were chatting and catching up… … I broke down. Mid-thread.

Cookie let me cry. She allowed me to let it all out. I always feel safe with Cookie and being so vulnerable with someone who respects and allows you to be free is rare.  And so so so so appreciated.

Feelings I buried within the depths of myself came up.

  • I miss those who I have lost. I have never truly mourned their deaths. Why did they leave when they still had so much to teach me? Why did they leave before I told them how much they mean to me?
  • I’m scared to take the plunge and try something new for my career…for fear of change and that I have to relocate when I have built my own eclectic family (and someone who is special to me) and community here. Even though I know the plunge only open more doors for me.
  • ¬†I’m frustrated, disillusioned and depressed that I do not know who I am, what I am meant to do in this world.
  • I worry I am getting older and won’t be able to have a relationship and family someday
  • ¬†I have been hanging on to false hope (with the someone who is special to me) – instead of seeing that I am being “used and abuse”, a toy to be played with then discarded. I love and care for someone who has given me every reason not to… yet, I can’t let go and walk away (am I an idiot). These feelings hurt – especially when the way I feel, care, love is not reciprocated.
  • Why do I hate myself so much?

After my “breakdown”, Cookie finished my eyebrows (they are amazing, as always) and just gave me a hug. I needed it. I managed to slot in a haircut at the same salon as Cookie and while I was getting my hair washed, Cookie made me the most amazing hot chocolate I have ever had. it was a regular hot chocolate but it really soothed my soul at that point and set me at peace… I think because it was made by someone who personally took time out of her day to make me hot chocolate, ¬†to show how much she cares about me. Its the little things in life. Cookie made my day and I got home smiling.

Until…now. I went to a Hot Yoga class this morning and made it through the class….only to get into my car and burst out crying. During class I looked at myself and could find rolls of fat that I despise. So much for me working out in a sports bra and leggings. Not the best way to handle yoga class at all. But I guess it is the state of mind I am in right now.

Crying is definitely the best release. I do feel more calm post-cry, but also exhausted… I haven’t felt this low about myself, my relationships, my body in a while and I do think the time has come for me to process the emotion of loss, move on and let go (for both the ones who are dead and the ones still alive). I also need to learn how to love myself – something I really struggle with. So I need to nurture myself a bit… while trying to be productive and disciplined… Life really is damn hard!

All in all, I’m still heartsore.

k x

hot-choc

 

#ChinUpTitsOut – Book 1, A Review

Monday, 4 April 2016, 9:35am:

I walk into a friend’s office ready for my mid-morning coffee and snack (I start work at 7:00am). The moment I walked in, my friend M looks at me with a very determined, enthusiastic, “you-will-listen-to-me” look in her eye, points to me with one arm,¬†hand gesturing with the other arm, says “Kush, Chin Up and Tits Out!”

Now M is awesome; energetic, straight-talking, creative lovable and the most positive person I know.¬†Definitely a role model and inspiration to me and definitely someone I want to be like when I grow up (yes, I’m still hoping I grow up at some point)! ¬†When M gets an idea in her head…come hell or high water, she will get it done. So when she stared straight at me, arms waving all over the place and screaming at me “Chin Up and Tits Out!” I honestly thought she had finally lost her mind. What the hell is this woman on about?

It came out in fits and giggles.¬†There was this book I HAD¬†to read. Called “Chin Up Tits Out”. Apparently this is something I can relate to it and learn from it. M knew the author and ¬†she had mentioned her to me previously (before we knew she was an author). M was a key figure in my life when everything around me fell to pieces. She helped me navigate through decisions and situations. Through my toughest days M was there to guide me, advise me and make me laugh. Make me laugh a lot. Even while crying. ¬†I was a sight! During one of my more quiet moments M mentioned that I reminded her of someone and if we ever met we could share war stories (so to speak). The person M mentioned was ofcourse, the author of a chic-lit book “Chin Up and Tits Out”.

After the initial pride, confidence and excitement exuded by M, she had a flash…”WTF, ¬†I really hope I’m not in the book”. ¬†Ofcourse, M was a little freaked out¬†– was there a character she could relate to in the book? She knew the author pretty well…and authors tend to write their experiences.

As I trust M with all my life, I purchased the kindle version of “Remember, No Matter What; Chin Up Tits Out” by Miranda Oh immediately. Being a Monday (and thankfully a slow day at work) I sat in M’s office devouring page after page. All in one sitting. (I did read out a few passages to M that I knew would make her a bit nostalgic).

Coming back to the present, I recently re-read the book and wanted to share a little review… (I have more urges to write these days – can you tell?) ūüėõ

“Remember, No matter What; Chin Up Tits Out”¬†takes the reader on a journey through Hadley’s life. Hadley, the protagonist, is everything I wish I was at her age. Sassy, confident, somewhat independent, free spirit. At 18, she had a serendipitous (or her mom may call it kismet) encounter with the exotic foreigner from Africa … who swept her off her feet… and the consequences thereof!

The book chronicles the journey of young love… the passionate, exciting and naive first serious love we all experience in one way or another. Yet, the prologue of the book hints at a deeper story… And then there are certain points in the book where you suspect things are not as they seem in the relationship… I almost wanted to shout out to Hadley, make her a.¬†But…at one point or another, we’ve all been in intoxicated and delirious loves where we ignore warning signs, so we can all relate. Truthfully, how many of us would have listened to ¬†the warnings of our nearest and dearest? I know I didn’t. In hindsight, yes it all becomes a lot clearer.

Overall, the book is perfect “Chic-Lit”, an easy but riveting read about young, free, passionate love. ¬†Reading “Remember, No matter What; Chin Up Tits Out” kept me entertained and curious, but also took my mind of my problems yet surprisingly made me ¬†change my perspective about certain things (mostly my relationships) – like any good book should!

After reading it, I actually reached out to Miranda on Twitter (ah, the joys of twitter). I introduced myself and mentioned the mutual connection we had with M. I also expressed how I could emotionally relate to Hadley’s infatuation. Since then, Miranda and I have grown to be friends – reaching out to each other for advice, for a random chat, for words of encouragement… and I think we share different perspectives on life, even if we are in the same situation.

Miranda‘s second book – part 2 of the “Chin Up Tits Out” series is due around February 2017. I asked Miranda if I could perhaps “interview” her on the book, her writing and publication experiences as well as a few personal questions thrown in…. Even though I’m kinda of a “nobody”, she agreed! Stay tuned for a very interesting conversation!

Till then,

k x