My home-made stretch-mark remedy

Stretch Marks.jpg

In one of my blog posts I wrote about how developing stretch marks was the main contribution towards my attempt to lose weight.

First let me start off by saying there is nothing wrong with stretch marks and it is very pleasant to browse through social networks like instagram/facebook and find more and more people embracing their stretch marks and cellulite. There seems to be this misconception though, that stretch marks are unique to women, this is wrong. Both men and women develop stretch marks, although it is popular amongst women because of pregnancy and weight gain/loss.

Personally, developing stretch marks shattered my confidence, I couldn’t wear my swim costumes or any other variation of clothes thereof. I found that the more stretch-marks I developed, the more weight I gained and vice versa. I let this thread go on for a while until I eventually decided to do something about it. When all of this was happening I was a student and didn’t have the luxury of purchasing expensive products to help me.

I remember spending the better half of my day researching remedies to get rid of stretch marks and I came across this girl who testified to using Vicks Vapour rub and cling wrap and waking up the next day with the stretch-marks having “miraculously disappeared”. I tried many products, lemon juice, coffee, Vicks vapour rub, tissue oil and so forth, but nothing seemed to work, until I discovered a combination of ingredients that, for lack of a better word “changed my life” – Spirit, Happy Event and Bio Oil!!

The below is what you need:

  • Cotton Wool
  • Happy Event
  • Bio Oil
  • Methylated Spirit
  • 1 Large Container/Bowl/Bottle (Empty)

Process:

Mix the entire content of the Happy Event and Bio Oil into the bowl/bottle and mix/stir accordingly until blended.

Every day after washing (Preferably 2-3 times a day) take the cotton wool and pour a little of the spirit, rub this on the area with the stretch marks (After applying, your cotton wool should have black stains on it, to be sure you are using the correct spirit)

Once done rubbing, apply the bio oil and happy event mixture on the area with the stretch mark and rub in thorough and accordingly. Do this consistently every day, 2-3 times a day and you will notice the difference.

Extra Tips:

  • Ensure that your skin in moisturised at all times, dry skin prolongs the process.
  • Drink enough water for hydration and to allow your skin to heal itself
  • Exercise and eat healthy food (Believe it or not, this actually helps).
  • Be consistent and remember patience is a virtue!!
  • It took me 3 months to see extremely noticeable differences, if you do this everyday it will work.
  • There are many products that claim to get rid of stretch marks and are ridiculously expensive, don’t fall prey to this. Always do thorough research!!

PS: The above remedy diminished the appearance of stretch-marks!!

Always remember that every body type is beautiful. If you don’t like something you have the power to change it. The level/severity of each person’s stretch marks is difference, thus the level/timeline of results might vary.

Should you have any questions or enquiries about my remedy, please let me know on the comments section. Good Luck!!

 

 

Dear Little Me…..

Me

“Dear Sibahle,

Unfortunately time machines are still a thing of the movies, I have not yet seen unicorns  nor pigs fly, and wishes on a star still barely come true. The former makes us hopeful though.. hopeful that we are yet to witness miracles happen, the hope saves our sanity.

People have found solace in materialistic gratification. Trips to Dubai, 18 inch Brazilian hair, instagram popularity and plenty of other temporary high’s seem to be the height of aspiration.

Amidst all the crazy, there is one important thing I need you to do for me.. and that is to relish in each moment. Life on earth is a temporary gift that we are given and no moment should be taken for granted. It is never about who has lived the longest but about who has made each moment count. Just as wisdom comes with time so does contentment come with gratitude. You will meet people along the way, just know that each and every person you come across was meant to cross your path and teach you a life lesson. Some will make you laugh, smile, dance, sing, jump, and some will make you angry, doubtful, cry and sad…Take each moment with a pinch of salt.

I can promise you that things get better from the 10th grade but you need to forgive all those bullying you. Holding on to hate and grudges is tiring and I don’t want that for you. When they call you “ugly, stuck-up, bad body structure, coconut, teachers pet” and all those hurtful words, it is never a reflection of who you are as a person but rather a reflection of the person uttering the words. For all the days you cry yourself to sleep because you never felt good enough, there is greater joy coming. You are phenomenal and no amount of hate from others will ever change that. Learn to keep your head up… it’s only sticks and stones.  People fail to realize how much power their words carry, but you need to forgive even those who haven’t asked for forgiveness. Free yourself, save your sanity!

You are enough, in fact you are more than enough, never let anyone tell you otherwise.

I’m still trying to figure out the rest but I am eternally grateful that you have turned out the way you have, because even though you are still a mystery to some, I am thankful for your strong spirit, your undying will and your love for all those around you. It’s okay to cry and be angry, but after the storm always comes the sun.

There is so much I wish I could keep you from doing, but, without stepping on those thorns and falling on that rock I wouldn’t have learnt these life lessons.

I love you… Always!

Sincerely,

2016 Sibahle “

 

Say my name!

It is quite strange how some of the things we take for granted have such a significant impact on who we are. A week ago I had a very bizarre epiphany while having a conversation with a certain lady in an elevator. This conversation has actually had such an impact on me as a person and how I choose to address myself, or not. The conversation was as follows , for privacy purposes I will call her Mellissa –

Mellissa – I’ve seen you quite often at the brackenfell gym. Do you stay that side?

Me – Yes, but I alternate depending on which side I am closer to, with work and all coz I work in Town.

Mellissa – Oh that’s nice! Sorry I didn’t even introduce myself, I’m Mellissa, you are?

Me : Haha no problem, it happens. Very nice to meet you Mellissa, my name is Sibahle.

Mellissa : Si? What? Oh gosh that’s too hard. I will call you cc *Laughs*

Me : *Joins in the laughter* No, not cc, just Sibahle.

My response is not something I planned, but in that moment it just hit me, I have a choice!! My name means “We are beautiful”, my parents gave me that name and it is how I choose to identify myself, it is a big part of me and who I am. When I first met Collins he asked me what my name meant, I told him and he said he thought it was a beautiful name (Excuse the pun!), as we became friends he always chose to call me by my full name regardless of the fact that we speak different languages. It is only when we became closer and fonder that he called me by pet names, (I thought it was cute), at that time it didn’t actually matter to me what he chose to call me, because we had known each other for a while.

A nickname is not forced upon someone, well, I mean 90% of the time our parents force nicknames on us which we grow to appreciate, but outside of your parents it is a CHOICE!! Someone should at least make an effort to pronounce your name and not impose some abbreviations on you and call it a name.

There is this post which went viral on facebook where people were informing others about correct name spelling –

My name is.png

Since I’ve started my new job people have been asking me about how everything is and what I like most, my top answer?

“I like the fact that since I have started working there, absolutely no one has asked me for a shorter version of my name. Not once! My head of development/mentor will introduce me to people and he will say my name in full, I absolutely love that. It’s thoughtful and respectful!”

I have been given nicknames such as Sibby, Sibs, Siba etc. and I have accepted these in the past but people are becoming lazy in name pronunciation hence I am exercising my choice of excepting or declining a nickname given to me.

Language barrier is never an excuse, say my name in full unless I state otherwise! It is my identity and should so be respected, and as people, we need to grant each other that courtesy.

 

The 30 day flat abs challenge

Since I started my journey with my gym and healthy lifestyle many people have been messaging and asking me for tips on how to get a flat tummy or to at least lose the belly fat they have. I have decided to write this blog so as to share my tips on how I lost my belly fat and got my “flat tummy” that I have been raving to everyone about.

Let me just put it out there that it is not an easy task, it requires discipline as well as dedication. We all know that nothing worth having comes easy and if one wants the results they will have to do the work.

I decided to take the “30 Day Flat Abs Challenge”, not with the intention of really having abs but just to have a flat stomach, and the results have been AMAZING to say the least, and I am currently on “day 25” so I have 5 more days to go.

30 day flat abs challenge Me

Just to reiterate, the glasses of water shown on on the “challenge” is EXTRA water given, I challenged myself by drinking at least 1,5 liter of water a day, drinking more water helps because water has NO CALORIES, plus it also gives you the impression that you are full thus enabling you to eat less throughout the day.

Although gym helps, not many of us have the luxury of gym or the time to go, these simple exercises take less than 20 minutes and they actually really work. I know a lot of people might have overdone it during the holidays and actually gained more belly weight, eating the right type of food also helps, as well as the right amount.

EAT LESS. I achieved this by eating smaller portions of food. Use a smaller plate than your usual big plate, you can fill a small plate with food but not actually eat a huge portion.

Small Food

EAT HEALTHY! EAT HEALTHY! I cannot emphasize that enough. I joined this challenge with my big sister and we both did the exercises, but because she is a fan of junk-food her progress has been rather slow. Try to avoid junk food at all costs, and stay away from situations which will tempt you to eat Junk Food. Do not tempt yourself!

FRUIT! FRUIT! You can never go wrong with fruit and vegetables. They are low in calories and very healthy for you. What I do everyday is I carry a container at work with sliced carrots and cucumber so whenever my colleagues go to buy snacks I also have something to snack on which keeps me occupied and is also good for my diet.

BE ACTIVE!! Walk to places which are near as opposed to using transport, it is both good for your pocket as well as your health.

Try using the stairs instead of the lift, it is good to stay active during the day because you burn more calories the more active you are and that helps with getting a flat tummy.

I have 5 more days to go to finish my challenge. If you want a flat tummy, I dare you to try this!! If you have any questions, drop me a line on the comments section and I will gladly assist, Let’s do this!!!!! Flat tummies for all!!!!!!

 

A step in culture’s scale

I recently embarked on a journey to lose weight, much to the dismay of my family. I had many reasons behind my decision to attempt to shed a few pounds, mostly because I started developing stretch marks and was also unable to fit into the clothing which I really liked. It was the response of my family and the stereotypes it awakened, however, which inspired me to write this blog.

Screenshot of family conversation

The above screenshot was taken from a conversation I had with my family regarding my weight loss. To summarize it all, my sister says she will not be going to places with me because I am too skinny and my mother goes on to say that she does not want me going to Eastern Cape as she is worried what people will say when they see me. Mind you in the above picture my weight was around 67kg, which is nowhere near being considered skinny.

I took it upon myself, before writing this blog, to interview some of my friends from different cultures to get their perspectives on the stereotypes associated with weight in their respective cultures and upbringing.It was really interesting for me to see how much of a role culture plays in our weight.

Growing up my mom went to gym frequently and educated us about the health  dangers  associated with being overweight. From age 9 she often took me and my sister along with her to gym and we both grew up attending gym frequently… being overweight in my family is considered as a sign of being lazy and letting yourself go” Ashley, (Female, White) .

Growing up, my parents were never really into gym or fitness……As for healthy eating, my dad had a stroke when I was about 6/7 and it was caused due to his high level of cholesterol. This got my mom on high alert and started cooking healthier. It’s been that way ever since. ” Matthew, (Male, Colored).

My mother never went to gym because she said it was a waste of money and growing up in her culture it was considered taboo or too modern…. people who are skinny are frowned upon and labelled as either ‘sick’ or ‘poor’, being thick is celebrated and people are often complemented on it and are referred to as being happy because they can afford to feed themselves” Sisanda (Female, Black).

When I was younger we used to hike a lot and do a ton of outdoor activities. My step-dad is a previous athlete and so we were quite active. We were never into dieting, and we were always chocolate lovers. Also, as Indians our relationship with food was always good. Over the years my parents have become less active so I have taken my health and fitness into my own hands….I think all woman are built differently, and so should have an ideal figure respectively. It is less about having a “thigh gap” or a flat stomach, but more about fat percentage and living actively and healthily.” Zaheera (Female, Indian)

A recent study in America found that African American women had the highest number of obesity, one of the reasons for this is the fact that most of these women are not educated and thus not aware of the many health implications caused by obesity , like diabetes, high level of cholesterol, high blood pressure, strokes and heart diseases. To read more on these statistics click here.

The media also plays a big role in what people consider the “accepted” body type, although this has changed drastically over the past 100 years people are still being influenced by what they see on television. With celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj considered “sex symbols” of this generation you find that many people are even going through surgery to achieve the “perfect body” despite the many health implications and danger that they could encounter.

In a world where words like “selfie”,”hashtag” and”curvaceous” are part of the dictionary even the sky is unable to limit a persons unique definition of themselves and their body types. We are unable to choose our cultures, our upbringing or the stereotypes instilled in us but we do have the power to choose our own path. Zaheera puts it perfectly by saying, “Being healthy is the best scenario, but the tricky question is, how do I know that I’m healthy? Or even, healthy enough? Personally, I think balance is the key“.

At some point in our lives we are all influenced by our culture and our upbringing but we have the power of choice to determine what we want with our lives as well as our bodies. We all have the choice to conform or rebel, what matters is that we exercise our power of choice, I did. I have now lost more than 5kg since my last “weight loss” conversation with my family and I could not be happier. I feel healthier, stronger and more content. A step in culture’s scale should be merely a step towards figuring out the person you want to be, not a trap. Choose health, choose happiness, choose to be educated, choose life! We only get one body in this life, take care of it!!

References:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2913285/How-shape-perfect-body-changed-100-years.html

http://www.bu.edu/today/2012/exploring-the-causes-of-black-womens-obesity/

http://londoncollegeofstyle.com/blog/?p=752

Interviewees: Matthew Letting, Zaheera Rajab, Sisanda Langa, Ashley Hopping.

 

In aid of Black

Children at the beach

 

“A house divided against itself cannot stand” Abraham Lincoln

 

 

 

 

While driving past Khayelitsha this Sunday I came across an image which has awakened so many suppressed emotions and thoughts in me, but above all these, it inspired a question which I have been in constant debate about with myself. The question I frequently ask myself is  “As black people are we doing enough for our own community“?

I recently read an article regarding the recent matric pass rate in South Africa and it discusses how Menzi High School in Umlazi received a 100% pass rate for the fifth year running with one of its pupils receiving seven distinctions. This clearly indicates the potential we have to prosper as a black community despite our background and social constraints. When we do succeed, however, or make it past the township, do we remember to help those who are still struggling to make it out because of resource scarcity or social and economic constraints?

The daunting image of four children wearing Shoprite plastic bags as swimwear in Khayelitsha is one which is continuously haunting me. It is much easier for people to point fingers and ultimately blame the past misfortunes for the inequalities in our locations, (without disputing that), how about we take the hard route and actually invest in one another? Build each other up? Mentor the young to shape their future? Encourage one another? Start charities or join existing foundations in securing the future for the young? As a black community do we even know about volunteering? Do we know about giving back?

Before expecting help from outside communities how about we first attempt to build up our own community ourselves? As black people we make the majority of people in South, imagine what we could achieve if we all stood together, if we all contributed just a little towards helping those who do not have the means to help themselves. How about we start looking at the positive and bringing solutions instead of problems to an already damaged society?

With everything that is going on, let us always remember that as a black community we also possess the resources and capacity to uplift one another. It is said, after all, “charity begins at home” and “a house divided against itself cannot stand”.

Masibambhisane Mz’Onstundu!! #Ubuntu #BlackConsciousness #BlackMovement

 

References: