Losing 20kg and keeping it off

I started my weight loss journey in November 2015, I reached my goal weight in 2017 and I found my sweet spot in 2018. My body in 2018 has been nothing short of flames and perfection, YES, I just said that! I love my body and that is something I have learnt to be unapologetic about.

In 2017 I wrote a blog post about how I reached my goal weight so I won’t dwell on that on this post. To read more about how I lost 20kg in less than 2 years, please click here

In this post I want to talk about all the questions people have been asking – my main detox recipe, what’s on my shopping list, maintaining my body as well as the misconception some people from the black community have about health being viewed as “expensive“. Sometime in 2016, I wrote a blog about all the stereotypes associated with weight loss/weight gain in all the different cultures.

I was in King Williams Town in November/December, and people who haven’t seen me in years are always startled when they see me. The occasional:

Yho nimbonile? Inoba uyagula sana

Akabhitye umtana kaNophumezo bethunana. Abantwana basekapa batya amagqabi kaloku

Bathandana nabelungu kaloku abantwana ngoku benza ezi zinto zimhlophe

Loosely translated losing weight is often associated with being sick/unhappy in some parts of the black community and it is frowned upon. A healthy lifestyle has always been associated with a certain culture and status, hence why so many people who aren’t exposed to different cultures still see it that way and don’t understand the thrill of climbing up a mountain or running.

Losing weight and keeping it off requires two things – Discipline and Self – Control. In church we are taught fasting and most people can’t do it because they lack these two traits. The late Dr Myles Munroe gave a sermon about fasting where he said such profound words:

if you can’t overcome the power of your belly, how can you overcome the power of a demon?

The great thing about discipline and self – control is that it comes in handy in almost every other area of your life – career, academics as well as relationships. You will not get to where you want to be in life if you lack discipline. It is imperative that you do not succumb to your cravings if you want to lose weight and keep it off.

So how am I maintaining my body and ensuring that the 20kg I lost doesn’t come creeping back in?

The first thing I do when I feel bloated is to take a liquid detox:

I only drink liquids for those two days (Green home-made smoothies, vegan soup with only water and salt – no oil or flavorings. I ONLY drink water and green tea – No coffee/ store-bought juice or sodas).

What’s on my detox smoothie:

  • Apples
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Green Tea – Frozen into Ice Cubes
  • Kiwi
  • A pinch of lemon juice
  • Water

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What’s on my vegan soup?

  • Broccoli
  • Split Peas
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Baby Marrows
  • Garlic
  • Almond/Coconut Milk
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Vegetable Stock to taste

As an alternative, Woolworths also sells great soups but be sure to read the label to ensure they don’t have any milk or animal products. When doing the detox, it is important to ONLY drink fruit and eat vegetables.

 

Out of all the diets I have ever tried, the two that worked well with are the Vegan Diet and the 3 Day/Military Diet. Now I go vegan every month for a minimum of 5 days a month. The only reason I go vegan is that after I joined the vegan diet for a total of 3 months my body was never able to fully appreciate meat like I did before, so if I eat meat all the time I get sick PLUS when I am on the vegan diet I feel most alive and refreshed, the reason I didn’t fully transition to a full-time vegan is because of my egg-white omelette obsession!! Oh! That’s another thing – I don’t eat egg yellows because I have to balance my cholesterol levels.

A normal day for me is:

  • Wake up at 5am and go to the gym for an hour
  • 07:00am Drink a Cup of Green Tea
  • 08:00/08:30 Drink a Cup of Hot Water with Apple Cider Vinegar/Lemon
  • 09:30 – Drink Coffee (A bad habit I’m struggling with letting go)
  • 10:00 Eat Breakfast (Egg-White Omelette or Plain Yoghurt with Fruit)
  • 11:30 -Have a snack (Raw Almonds/Apple/Banana/Sweet Melon)
  • 13:30 – Eat Lunch (Yummy Home-made Vegan/Vegetarian Bowl)
  • 15:30 – Drink a cup of Peppermint Tea
  • 17:00 – Prepare Dinner (Finish water for the day)
  • 19:00 – Eat Dinner (Chicken Breast/Salmon with Spinach and Mixed Vegetable)

I don’t eat after 20:30 and 80% of the time I don’t eat breakfast before 10:00am. The other 20% is when I’m stressed and starving – I listen to my body. Guys listen, I EAT cake. I LOVE pizza. I think McDonald fries are life. I need my Speckled Eggs to survive. I don’t deprive myself – EVER!

Now, for all my friends/family and acquaintances who say being healthy is expensive. What are the basic necessities of being healthy on my grocery list?

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (Around R20 something)
  • Broccoli (R30 something)
  • Apples (R20 something)
  • Spinach (R20 something)
  • Eggs (I buy egg whites) (R40 something)
  • Grape Fruit (R20 something)
  • Raw unsalted Almond Nuts (R100 something)
  • Cucumber (R10 something)
  • Virgin Oil (R100 something – Canola one is about R30 something)
  • Green Tea (Invest in two different ones for R40 something)
  • Oats (R30 something)
  • Water (If you’re not based in Cape Town then you can have free tap water)
  • Basically fruit and LOTS of Vegetable

It is quite possible to get all your basic necessities for under R600.00 and you are well on your road to being healthy. If you can’t afford gym, get a group of people and start walking or running together, you’d be surprised at the number of people who WANT to start living healthy but need a partner or some motivation. There is absolutely no such thing as health being too expensive, that is if you want it bad enough. A meal at McDonald is R50 or a R100 and it has millions of calories whereas a nice chicken salad at Pick ‘n Pay is R30 something with fewer calories and is also quite filling. Better yet, a homemade salad is much cheaper and is guaranteed to be healthier if prepared with all the right ingredients.

To maintain a healthy body one also needs to be active, everyone knows I am a gym/active freak so I go to gym quite frequently or I run outside – anywhere between 5 to 15km and I also do lift/ weight training. By now you should know me and my SQUATS!

There are people who are referred to as “AskHOLES”, those are the people who ask you something like…

Oh how did you lose weight I definitely want to start leaving a healthy lifestyle

…and then they go around and do the opposite of what you tell them. Don’t be that person!!

I know there are so many people with weight loss/healthy lifestyle resolutions this year and all I can say is that it is very possible. I will always motivate people to be happy and that should never be based on the number that reflects on the scale. True happiness is feeling your best and doing all the things that contribute to your overall health. As a women you literally don’t owe anyone a summer body or a flat stomach. However, as a person who has been overweight and had a eating disorder I will always share tips on how to get the body you want because I know what its like to feel miserable because of how you look, especially feeling like there’s nothing you can do. There is ALWAYS something you can do to be the best version of yourself there is, and, a healthy lifestyle contributes SIGNIFICANTLY to being happy.

AND! Since I didn’t write a “2018 In review” post, I thought I’d compile a little 2018 slide show for you all  🙂

 

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The road to being a Trophy Wife

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I am astounded dear reader! I am dumbstruck! I am extremely upset that my dreams of being a “trophy wife” have been shattered!! Seriously! How did I let such an opportunity pass me by? Since I was a little girl this has always been my dream – not having a proper job, looking good, catering to my man, doing brunch and Pilates for a living, maybe I’ll even start a vegan blog that won’t go anywhere, you know? (Don’t fall over the sarcasm there!) That dream is now gone, all because of my smart mouth. Damn Sibahle, you’ve done it again!!

Before we dive into this blog, some facts for you to know because you might find yourself wondering!

Fact 1 – I LOVE gym clothes so I wear them even if I’m not doing anything active. AND I always ask random people to take pictures of me wearing gym clothes. Even if I’m not wearing gym clothes, I ALWAYS ask random people to take pictures of me.

Fact 2 – I am attracted to “people”, gender, race, age is not relevant. If I like you, we have more or less the same values and we have good chemistry, that’s all that matters. Hence, my dating history.

Okay, now that we’ve covered these facts:

9 February, afternoonish, here I am minding my own business. I decide to take a walk from Clifton beach to Camps Bay beach, wearing my gym clothes and just feeling really good about myself. I ask the “Umbrella guys” to take pictures of me. The guy is ecstatic and even shows me poses and places with good lighting. After taking pictures I go to Kauai for a smoothie, as I’m sitting here I see this lady who is evidently looking for someone, she smiles when she sees me, steps in and asks to sit next to me. Long story short, I find myself having left Kauai in a matter of 5 minutes and at Caprice with a very cute Canadian surrounded by bodyguards.

This guy is 13 years older than me, has one child and is a divorcee. He has 3 houses and is a globe trotter, very intellectual individual – (It doesn’t hurt that he has an accent) naturally, I am intrigued by him. He captivates me in his conversation, I love honest and open guys who know when to speak, when to listen, and when to enjoy the silence. Conversation flows, we stay at Caprice for hours, eventually we go for a walk on the beach for the sunset, in my mind I’m thinking – this is the perfect end to a perfect day. He asks to pick me up the following day for breakfast and we can do whatever I want, I get really excited about him.

You guys know how it is when you’ve had your heart broken and have been crying yourself to sleep almost everyday, here comes this amazing guy who treats you like a queen (Even if you just met him 10 hours ago), you become hopeful and you start fantasizing. You know in your heart you’re still in-love with your ex but you have hope that this might be the guy who will help you forget, the one you’ve been waiting for. NO? You guys DON’T do that? Well, I do!! That’s exactly what happened. I became excited about him, he had borrowed me his power bank and jacket, it was all so exciting.

The following day he picks me up for breakfast and it is even more perfect until now comes the conversation:

I like you and I didn’t expect to like you so much, there’s something about you that intrigues me. I mean at first glance, you’re a stunning girl and either you’re a gym freak or you have good genes but you’re also just really beautiful from within. My only concern is that your IQ might be too high

I laughed, I thought it was a joke.

I’m being serious. I’m 39 years old Sibahle, I don’t have time to play games. I’ve been married and I’ve been divorced, I have a 10 year old child whom I love with all my heart. I like you and I’d love to marry you, to make you mine in every way, I have conditions though which I’d never compromise on – I can’t be with someone who drinks alcohol or smokes. You can’t have a job because I travel a lot and you’d travel with me, you can’t get fat or let yourself go in anyway and I have no tolerance of male friends talking to you. I’m not trying to be an asshole but I have a type, I have a lot to offer and I feel like I’m not asking for a lot. I just don’t like being questioned which I feel like you’d have a problem with

Here I am at one of my favourite places in Cape Town with this amazing guy. Literally everything on my checklist of future husband he ticks, here he is offering things that weren’t even on my checklist, everything I’ve ever wanted and more. My heart and mind are once again in battle.

When you say being questioned, in what way do you mean?

Well, I mean, what I say goes. I’m old fashioned in that sense, the man makes the decisions and the female obeys. I believe in marriage, this is why I want to marry you. I don’t want to use you for sexual purposes or date you for years. I know what I want and I don’t have time to waste. I’ll take care of you, provide for you and love you. but my word is final.”

Come on now reader, don’t act like you don’t know how I operate. My heart and mind are always in constant battle!!

I should probably be embarrassed to say this, but I’m actually not! I considered this offer!

I looked at him, blue eyes and good looking guy and I thought to myself. Okay, there’s a high probability that our future babies will be attractive. Not working? Mhmm!! I can go to gym all the time and maybe invest time in learning how to cook and finally writing my book. Travel? Mhmm! I can see all the places I’ve wanted to see without worrying about the costs! Marriage? Mhmm! Marriage is a blessing from God and I’d finally be able to say “He PUT a RING on it!!” on Facebook and Instagram and I’d write blogs about being a globe trotter and a housewife! I’d still have JAGWAT and I can actually grow my business without having to balance school, work and writing! I CONSIDERED it, actually I MORE that CONSIDERED it. Go ahead and judge me if you want!

Me, trying to be calm and rational:

Lets continue with our date and see how it goes

After breakfast we took a walk around the pavilion at Sea Point and we passed by IceZeit, they are amazing!! They even have VEGAN gelato guys! HEAVENLY! I ask “Potential Future Husband” to stop so we can get ice-cream.

Oh no baby! That goes straight to your thighs and ruins all your hard work. Are you sure? Do you want to get water instead?

Are you joking? Hello! Its ice-cream. And its delicious and even if it goes to my thighs I can go to gym and work it out. Do you think I don’t eat ice-cream? Do you not want me to eat ice-cream? Are you really that shallow? What happens if I gain weight? Ha? What happens? I am getting this ice-cream and I don’t care what you say! You don’t have to marry me, if that’s the case.”

He hadn’t event proposed! This was our second date. Temperamental Sibahle! It was kind of a scene!

I just saw my life flash in-front of me. I’d have to spend the rest of my life counting calories, not giving my true opinion, not talking to my guy friends whom i’ve cultivated great relations with over the years, spend less time with my friends, never at home, never speaking up. I thought of all the hundreds of thousands of rands my parents spent at UCT so that I could contribute to society as an academic. Always looking proper, slaving off at gym, catering to someone. Although, I had never referred to myself as a feminist, that day I became one.

You know, there’s this African proverb that says that when you educate a women you educate a generation. Do you know it? By being with you, I’d be robbing entire generations off the knowledge I’ve acquired through academic progression. I would have no voice, no opinion, I would mentally and intellectually die. I can’t be with you. I’ve known that for 3 hours now, I was just in battle with my mind. I’m sorry. AND by the way, in it’s most basic form Ice -cream is made out of milk and eggs, eggs provide protein and milk – calcium. Perhaps, you might want to educate yourself about nutrients before you tell someone what they can and can’t eat“. And I left and blocked his number!

DRAMA!!! DRAMA!! DRAMA!!

He called two weeks later with a different number and we both laughed at how dramatic I was! He says he stood at that ice-cream stand for an hour thinking of ice-cream nutrients and African proverbs! I still never agreed to be his trophy wife though! Damnit Sibahle!! You and your smart mouth! BUT if I have to dumb myself down to be with someone, it’s not worth it. If I have to lead a superficial and materialistic life in order to seem “happy” on social media while my soul is dying, I’d rather not. Anything that comes at the price of my well-being and mental health is too high of a price to pay, I simply cannot afford it!

 

Beautiful Disaster

There was a time in my life where I was totally off the path! With this, I mean I did everything for the wrong reasons. I was confused, self-pitying myself for years. I even turned my back on God with the intentions of never opening a bible again. I didn’t want to go to church or even talk about Christianity. I just believed that if God loved me the way everyone claims, why did all these bad things happen to me? Where was He when I needed Him? (Can you relate to this?) I was angry.

The word “self-pity” came to me out of no where, and I decided to write about it, because I know there are a lot of people that struggle with this emotion, it is easier to blame someone else for your loses, then to actually blame yourself. You never look at what you did wrong forgetting that three fingers point at you when you point at someone else.

In my teenage years I was molested by a preacher, (I prefer to keep the person anonymous) for almost four years. I just could not get out of it. He was a well-known man in society, everyone believed every word that came out of his mouth. There were times that I wanted to stand up in church, interrupt his preaching, and let the congregation know what he was doing behind the scenes. He made me promise not to tell anyone, that I will never tell his wife… When she found out about this, she told me I was lying. Really?! It’s so disappointing when women don’t stand up for each other. I was 17 years old, by this age you know what is wrong and right. This surely did not feel right to me. I mean, this man was preaching everyday, telling people how they should live their lives and that they shouldn’t sin, yet behind the scenes he was living the complete opposite?

You made me hate God, you made me hate Christianity religion. You stole my Faith, you stole my belief. You completely tainted the image on God in my mind because of everything you did to me!!

When I graduated from High School, I packed my bags and left. I went to stay with my aunt and uncle. Just my luck, I had to get up every Sunday morning to go to church. In my mind I thought “Time wasting”!!! That is how I felt at the age of 19 about God. At this age, I would say that my life as a child was definitely not all moonshine and roses. Some of my clothes were hand made by my mother, which I was very proud of. The kids at school bullied me about this.

Financially we were poor… I used to have toys, I think there was only a yellow teddy bear (that I named Buksie), a Hawaiian Barbie doll and a blue and pink bunny teddy that my parents bought for me. All my other toys was second hand. I can still remember my father cut my roller skates open in the front to make it bigger for me. This was a present from someone, I think. So I am used to having little, I am used to having second hand stuff…but all of this taught me to take good care of my stuff.

For almost 9 years I struggled to get through this. I just couldn’t make peace with it. I questioned God almost everyday. I actually prayed to God to just take me away, just let me die and all will be over. The problem was that I felt entitled, I believed that everyone owes me something, the world hates me and I will never be able to get over all these bad things that happened. I will never be able to apologise to the people that I have done wrong. Never once in this dark time of my life did I actually think I am contributing to all this heartache I was feeling everyday.

When I moved to Cape Town, I was forced to take part in a seminar called “Travel Lite”. I did not want to do this, I was not ready yet to let it go. I still wanted to self-pity myself. I was so scared, I did not want to tell anyone. Maybe this was the devils way to keep me in his hands. This seminar was for 4 weeks, once a week there was a get together. The best part is, you even got homework!!! (Yeah! Not my type of fun). As a sweet little girl I did my homework, told my story to the group, and this gave me forgiveness.

Before I wrote this post, I did a bit of research about self-pity and it shocked me to find out that self-pity can actually drive a person to insanity. You become so self-centred, focusing on disappointments, heartaches. Today, I write this blog post with a grateful heart. I am grateful that I was forced to deal with my demons and in turn it made ma take time to heal myself. My journey brought me closer to God. It helped me make peace with everything I have gone through in my life, I had to stop being so miserable. I also realized that self-pity will not bring me any satisfaction. No-one owes me happiness, I owe it to myself. I had to forgive myself for allow my mind to wallow in self-pit for all these years. Happiness is self-made and there is enough for everyone in this world!There is enough for everyone in this world! I am a beautiful disaster!!!

Impossibility of finding a life partner

I’ve often been told that nothing is impossible in life but for me that’s a “Big Lie”. If you think you’re going to find your ideal man “in this Era my Sistra” think carefully…
TOFEYAGWA = Never“.
Ask me, “Miss Know It All”
This was my list before I realized there is no such thing as a perfect man.
I NEED:
1) A man that will be a Daddy and not only a Father to my son
2) A man with a Genuine, Deep-level admiration for us as his family, this must come from a deep-place within
3) A man with realistic expectations, that wants commitment with no barriers and is willing to defeat challenges together
4) A man that will always make us his first priority as his family
5) A man that has a deep-sense of respect combined with trust, that is open, willing to tell me anything.
6) A man that is a happy individual with his healthy identity, appreciate me as his woman the way I am.
7) A man willing to embrace change that comes in unexpected ways that makes both of us grow (adapt)
8) A man that is eager to fight for our relationship, to thrive by dealing with conflicting situations
9) A man that is forgiving at all times, as most matters are not worth the fight

10) A man that is honest not only to me and the public, but also to himself

I know what you’re thinking “this has got to be a joke“!
Oh but wait, my list is not yet done.
Remember, I am highly educated, I have a great and successful career and I am ambitious, to name a few.
I also need a man that went to University, he must be ambitious, career-wise, modern  working-class and he must also be financially secure.
BUT Wait….!! I forgot the physical appearance:
He must be tall, dark-chocolate, hazelnut eyes, masculinized body, beard but not to much, deep manly voice.
Ok girl, let’s be realistic! Finding a life partner “Nie Eks Pap en Steak
I’ve always known what characteristics I wanted in a life partner and I’ve never been a fan of compromising. After all, I am not looking for the impossible, am I? There SHOULD be such a thing as a PERFECT partner shouldn’t there? If not, then what’s the point?
All the necessities I mentioned above, unfortunately, I didn’t even have a taste of how it feels like to be in a relationship with all the traits I needed from a man. I didn’t event get a single one of them. The checklist has not been checked! Sad isn’t it?
I always look at my checklist and it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. It makes it hard for me to be interested in looking for love again. Of cause I continued to date even though I didn’t get what I was looking for. You’re probably asking yourself “HOW” right?
Well, that Chapter is for another day…. TO BE CONTINUED!!!

Grasping at straws

Where do I even begin? I guess the beginning is always a good start (pun intended).

I met my “potential” ex-husband in 2006, it wasn’t love at first sight, it was rather “connection or curiosity at first sight”. When I met him, there was still a lot of controversy around xenophobia and the attacks, there were stereotypes around Xhosa women dating “foreign” man. It was never roses and peaches, it was a constant battle with not only being together but also having to introduce him to my family knowing very well the stigma that was attached to our relationship. I didn’t care, I was in-love with him and against all odds, he had my heart.

In 2008, we had our first child and in 2013 we moved in together.  It started out as a “weekend thing”, you know how it is ladies? You’re there every weekend and every other day, 80% of your clothes are at his place. Eventually, you find out that you have unknowingly moved in. That’s what happened, and in 2013, I was officially cohabiting. Life was good, we would go out clubbing, eating out every other night, it was all fun. Our child was staying with my mom. A few months later of cohabiting we both decided we wanted our child to come stay with us and even though it was against my tradition and without the blessing of my parents, I wasn’t really bothered. My head was in the clouds and all I could see was the three of us being one big happy family.

Cohabiting changed a lot of things for us. I was “expected” to do things – cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, taking care of things, doing all of this while also being a student at the same time. He would go out drinking with his friends and come back whenever he felt like it, sometimes in the morning. It wasn’t fun anymore, the going out stopped, the eating out stopped and I found myself stuck in this situation I had never imagined for myself. When baby number two arrived in 2015, I was an emotional mess. We were still cohabiting, my parents were still not happy with what I was doing and I still felt stuck in this relationship. After Jonathan was born, I knew the next natural step would be for us to get married. In my head I thought I had to show him that I was ready, even though I had said it to him countless times. I had to change my entire lifestyle to show that I was “wife material” – go to work, come back and look after the kids, make sure the house is clean, laundry is done, clothes are ironed, there’s food on the table etc. I did all of this and still, nothing changed.

In 2016, I took my kids to my parents and I moved out. He searched for me and apologized, he admitted all the wrongs he had done and ensured me that he would change and try to do better, I gave in and gave him another chance. I moved back in with him and the first few months were good, after some time things went back to normal, I moved out again. He apologized and this time he proposed, I said “YES’! He went to my parents to pay lobola and we came back, traditionally as “husband and wife”. Life was fine and in 2017 I became pregnant with our third child, it wasn’t planned. The routine started again, same behaviour, same pattern and I stayed. I kept asking myself why I had gone back so many times before? I always hoped and prayed to God to show me the signs and when He did, I prayed that He would change him. I always prayed for my husband, our union, our kids and it still fell apart. How does that happen? When prayer doesn’t seem to be working, what happens?

It’s hard to describe myself without mentioning that I am a mother, I am a mom of three kids. Out of everything that has happened in my life, I am certain of being a mother. My kids are the very essence of me and it has been that way since I was 18 when I had my first child. Everything has always been secondary, that’s the way I’ve always known it to be. When I reflect on the recent activities that have shaped my life I like to imagine a person who was born into a vegan family, deprived of meat their whole life and one day at University or something, they taste an omelette or a nice lamb shank, their taste buds explode. It’s either they will be repulsed by it or they will spend their entire life making up for lost time. That’s me, in a relationship for over a decade, 3 kids, married. Here I am now, staying with my sister alone, my parents have the kids and I don’t have a husband to worry about. What do I do? I make up for lost time, clubbing every other day, making bad decisions. I’m like a child left unattended at a candy store.

Here I am, like a child that was deprived her whole life. Living this “single woman” life. My children are with my parents and I’m standing at this crossroads making these not very good decisions. I’m not sure if I’m still trying to find myself, I don’t have the answer. I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t have the formula. I am just a woman trying to glue pieces of her life back together. At 29 years old, I am still “trying to find myself”. I am trying to identify who I am without first describing myself as a “mother”. What do I like? What’s my type? What do I want? WHO do I want? I certainly, don’t want to be resentful, I don’t want my kids growing up in a broken home, I don’t want to lose everything I’ve worked so hard to build. What I’ve come to realise though is that whatever decision I make does not only affect me, there are three other innocent souls that I must account for. They call me mom, they refer to me as their hero, they hug me tight, they give me those unexpected warm and sometimes wet kisses, they ask me what they’re gonna eat for dinner and they expect me to read them bedtime stories. If at 29 I feel like I’ve ruined my life, then God has granted me the greatest opportunity of shaping the futures of three incredible souls. It stopped being about me 10 years ago, now it’s about three other souls and that means compromising. Then again, that’s what mothers do, they make sacrifices.

 

Hello! How are you?

This question! I hear it everyday, people saying it to other people without even giving them a second look, repeatedly, tirelessly! Hello, how are you? It has become a mundane sentence that has lost it’s depth. I’ve seen and heard people say these words and not even wait for the other person to respond.

Hello. How are you?

What’s the point anymore?

Let me explain myself. There was a time in my life when everything fell apart, it was so bad that I didn’t even know how I would be able to pick up myself and face tomorrow. I was constantly in tears. I was in depression mode for months. My whole world was in pieces.

You know how they say, “when it rains, it pours?“. Well, it was pouring!

Three months pregnant, with a three year old daughter, I was put out on the streets because he never paid rent or even made an effort. Suicidal thoughts crept in, I tried to take my own life with folic-acid and iron vitamin pills, which only left me with a nausea’s feeling for two days. I lost my job that was paying peanuts and my husband  tried to kill me with a broom stick. I just got away.

I ended up in a save house for abused woman and children. (Yes, do not be so shocked, I am also a survivor.) Two months later this save house closed down, again I had to find a place to stay. A week later, an angel drove all the way from Gordon’s Bay to pick up myself and my daughter so we could move to Cape Town. Bless her soul!!! During this time period in my life so many people asked me how I was and my answer was “I am okay” LIES!!

How many times have you been asked this question and responded with a lie? How many times have you asked this question because you genuinely cared about the person and how they were doing? Not just as a courtesy but out of the sincerity of your heart? If you listen carefully, if you look closely enough you can hear the person screaming

I need help” please listen to me”. 

Have you ever been in this situation? Do you know how it feels when you’re screaming for help and no one is listening?

When I got to Cape Town, I was 5 months pregnant. I was scared. The Big City life!!! I stayed with my friend for a few days until she told me she got a place for us to stay, a save house for abused woman and children. Once again I was confused. The next day she and her mother dropped me off at the house, they made sure I was okay before they left. One of the ladies that stayed in the house, showed me around. I was in shock at the number of mom’s with children staying at the house. There was absolutely no shortage of anything. There was enough food, enough toiletries, more than enough bedding. The thought of this being my home for a few months was just too overwhelming for me. I burst into tears of joy. I will always be grateful for the love and care I received at the save house. 

It was a time in my life where I had to fight my battles alone, I had to get myself together. I used this time to heal myself, to get rid of the emotional baggage, to make time for myself. What about all those people who asked me “how are you?

Well. They never pitched up to help me.

 It was in this heartbroken, scared, confused time of my life that I made the decision, never will I ignore someone’s answer on this question. I will always take the time to listen, I will always try to help were I can, because when I needed that shoulder, or the hug, or those ears, very few people were there for me. No one took me serious enough to recognize that I needed help except for that one angel, which will always be the angel that saved me. 

So, hello how are you?

Do not ever ask this question just because it is a habit, treat this question with more respect! It is not courtesy if you ask someone how they are and not actually listen to them. If you’re not interested in hearing how someone is, then don’t ask them because they might just open up and tell you all their demons and what are you gonna do, ignore them? We are all fighting battles and kindness is important, however, dis-genuine care is not kindness at all. So, the next time you ask someone how they are be prepared to actually listen.