Day 23: Are You Wifey Material?

Scratch that are YOU husband material?  Society really needs to take a chill pill and stop putting all this unnecessary pressure on women.  We already have this thing called treating ourselves with tender loving care first and then add labour to deal with so y’all should just give us a break.  I laughed out loud the one time I had a conversation with an unnamed man and he told me that some of the qualities he looked for in a woman who was going to be to his future wife included:

  • going to church every Sunday
  • wearing “decent” clothes
  • someone who didn’t smoke or drink
  • someone who wasn’t on social media platforms
  • someone who didn’t question his whereabouts

Basically someone who lived in the 1960s because he certainly won’t be find her in 2017 we now know better!  Ain’t nobody got time to be babying grown men and reacting to their every whim.  (Please note that I’m not married so of course I will say crap on the subject matter because I have zero experience)  Then again we all have preferences and if that’s what he is looking for who am I to stop him from choosing what makes him happy?

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Photo Credit: @riso_jeradi (Twitter)

 

In the real world a lot has changed and most women are now looking for a man with qualities that excite her loins.  There is no way anyone is willing to bend and break with the wrong person for the rest of their lives so women now have a “husband material” list as well and qualities obviously vary.  However, in as much as times have evolved there are still some men who want to be the head speaker when it comes to what his woman should or should not wear that time they aren’t even taking her shopping.

My opinion when it comes to this subject is that life is too damn short; dress for occasions, dress comfortably and always dress to kill.  Then again what do I know, I don’t even like wearing clothes in the first place and that’s why today’s post features guest blogger Chantelle who knows all about fashion!

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Photo Credit: @riso_jeradi (Twitter)

Fashion is an art form that allows you to create and inspire through fabrics , textures , colors you name it. I love expressing myself through what I wear and revealing a little bit of my character, who I am, what I am about with what I wear. As a creative , it’s always evolving; I can be a siren today through a little red dress and a powerhouse tomorrow through a black tailored suit.

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Photo Credit: @riso_jeradi (Twitter)

Fashion Tips
Know yourself 

When you know who you are and what you stand for , trends, especially the idiotic ones will come and go and you will not be swayed by wearing a see through fishnet as a whole dress in the name of fashion. When you know who you are, you will have your own style that will be timeless and unique to you.

Know your body  

Are you top heavy?  Bottom heavy?  Do you have a small waist or a bit of a belly?  Thick thighs?  Long legs? There is something that works for everyone. Knowing the right fit for your body type will give you a fitting silhouette and Knowing the shape of your body is a sure way to wear flattering clothes that will give you a confidence boost and a nice ass! I mean , don’t we all want a nice ass??

Dress to make yourself happy

When you dress for yourself you take back your body from the body shamers and oh so entitled critical pigs that we often call Men Are Trash and I said it! You take back the power because you are no longer allowing them and their opinions to matter.  You’re telling them I will wear this flowy short little print dress because it’s very hot outside and my legs give Venus and Rihanna a run for their money.  You are standing up to the bullies who told you no and basically dressing for yourself is a big fuck you to all the self esteem bashers out there. Plus you will love what you see every time you pass a mirror. Hello mirror selfies!!

Dress codes👗👒👜
I love guidelines especially for events, is it black tie, formal, casual, high fashion you name it.  I personally follow guidelines because it’s showing respect to someone’s vision. When people take the time to plan an event, bring it to life and invite us to be a part of their vision, the least we can do is bring a bottle of wine if it is a friends dinner party or wear what the invitation says to wear.  Although my Zimbabwean beloved country people do not have a regard for dress code as I have seen many wearing jeans and sneakers at a red carpet even, I have hope. Dress code allows the vision created to line up accordingly and as how the planners wanted it to be.  If it is a grand soirée, bring out that long train and sequins , if it is formal casual , those nice fitting jeans you have been saving and a nice tailored blazer.

A big thank you to Chantelle for sharing these priceless fashion tips with us.  She’s a Zimbabwean Fashion Blogger and you should definitely check her out her work on:

Instagram: @riso_jeradi

Twitter: @risojeradi

What’s your take on your partner policing what you wear?  Do you also have a husband or wife material list?  If yes, how’s that search going for you so far?

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

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Secrets To Body Weight Training

Paul Bako is a vibrant young man who always had a passion for fitness. He attained a Degree in Business Management at Solusi University and worked for NSSA.  He decided to pursue his passion full time. He is a self taught Yogi who still practices Yoga regularly but he focuses on Calisthenics. Calisthenics is a discipline of body weight exercise that builds strength, increases balance, physical ability and flexibility. Paul is also an avid reader and a writer. He believes that life is meant to be experienced and not just lived so you may find him doing crazy and even risky things. An ambivert by nature he exudes positive energy and enthusiasm but you may not see him out and about too often.

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What makes you tick?

Life itself makes me tick. Just the knowledge that there is so much to see, do, know, experience and cherish makes me get up every morning. I wake up so excited to live because I don’t know which day will be my last so I make the most of all of them.

You could have chosen any form of exercise to stay fit, why did you choose calisthenics?

Calisthenics as a word originated from two Greek words which in English are ‘Beautiful Strength’. I have always been into fitness but once I saw the ability, agility, strength, flexibility, coordination and graceful manner of moving calisthenics would grant me I was sold. I chose calisthenics because it resonated with my nature. I’m free spirited, creative and progressive. Calisthenics is the same and way more.

What are your thoughts on Rest Days?

Rest Days are just as important as workout days. Working out and resting are two sides of an amazing coin. There must always be balance. If you work out a lot, rest a lot. Muscle grows and conditions when at rest. To work out more than you rest leads to burning out due to the body producing cortisol which is a stress hormone but no need to get too technical. Just rest!

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What’s your favourite meal of the day and why?

I LOVE BREAKFAST!! Breakfast sets the tone for the whole day so it is my favourite. I also have time to cook in the morning so that gets me excited.

Do you eat carbs?

I eat carbs quite a bit. I prefer clean carbs like oats and vegetables. Oh yes, vegetables have carbs too. Occasionally I indulge my sweet tooth with a bran muffin or a chocolate croissant. I just stay away from heavy starch food like sadza.

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How do you grow muscle using body weight?

That takes a bit of time to answer but in a nutshell: few sets with lots of repetitions using compound exercises that engage a number of muscle groups at once. Eating carb based food then resting comes after. Increasing intensity of exercise as you grow bigger and finally, believing in yourself. Your mind is the real key to your fitness.

What do you love about Calisthenics?

I love how easy it is to keep your workouts interesting. You can regulate how hard or easy an exercise gets with ease. I also love how easy it is to see that you are getting stronger and progressing, not to mention the fact that calisthenics chisels the body to the point of making regular men Spartans.

How often do you work out?

I work out 3 times a week for a maximum of 45 minutes. However, I stretch every other day. Real stretching is its own workout as I have come to realize but I do it for about 15 minutes so it doesn’t exhaust me.

Say I wanted to start calisthenics today how long would I have to wait to start seeing results?

If you are really focused and paying attention to your form then 21 days is all it takes to start enjoying the perks of Calisthenics.

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What can people expect at the Fitness in the Park Event on Saturday?

They can expect to see me. LOL. They can expect the story of how I started doing Calisthenics, a breakdown of the big 6 moves that make up the back bone of calisthenics and examples of the big 6. They can also expect a showcase of the type of strength, agility and craziness calisthenics promises. Maybe some Yoga flow motion too!

Any life nuggets to share with those on their fitness journey?

I have a lot of those but the most important ones would be:

  • Remember the result you want but focus on the process. If you focus on the result it will seem unattainable.
  • Approach everything you do with positivity. If you make a mistake learn from it. If you are drained rest and pick it up tomorrow. Don’t think in terms of difficulty. See everything as a challenge you surmount because you can.
  • I’ll take it right out of Kendrick’s mouth and say ‘Be Humble.’ Pride limits growth and success. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Don’t spend time in front of a mirror searching for definition. Work out till everyone around you becomes a mirror that tells you how awesome you look.
  • Celebrate every little victory because life is too short to wait for the big ones.

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Love what you do and your love will be returned tenfold. Even if its fitness love it all the same and it will give you more than you could ever bargain for.

Thank you for the beautiful feature Paul.  I am looking forward to tomorrow’s event. If you have any questions for him feel free to drop them in the comments section.

Happy Friyay!

©MaKupsy 2017

A Man’s View On The Single Mother

In a thousand words, I will touch a potentially sensitive subject in modern day Zimbabwe. This subject is about, single mothers whom we as Zimbabwean society have called M1’s or M2’s. The 1 or 2 suffix being the number of children they have. M1 is basically mother of one, but in Zimbabwe it generally points only to single mothers. However, a married mother of one is not referred to by that label.

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Image from Google

Once again our plastic republic has put these women in a category, so that they can treat them differently or judge them. Automatically if I were to have a relationship with an “M1’, my friends  and family would discourage me from so doing and speak so much evils about the group. Family may dis-own me. Yes, we have seen this happen. The question is; are they really less worthy than single girls with no children? Do childless girls necessarily make better wives than single mothers? I ask because a lot of girls in modern Zimbabwe are already indulging in sex outside marriage, they just haven’t got pregnant yet. They might escape it before marriage too but many are also doing it. So, society is going to condemn the ones that made a mistake one-day and got pregnant?

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Image from Google

In modern Zimbabwe, a girl not having a child is not consistent with her being decent and Holy. Having a child does not make her evil either.  Have you ever thought that  an “M1” you condemn so much has done less damage than the “K1”. What do I mean by “K1”? “K1”- is a term I am using to say “Killer Of One”. While society and families are dumping garbage talk on the strong queens that decided to keep their babies, despite their fathers bailing out, there are those that seem not to have children because they did abortions. So Mr. I Judge M1’s before you go around judging single mothers and feeling special about your girlfriend not having a child. I want to tell you that in modern Zimbabwe, there is a possibility of your girl having had an abortion at one time especially if you found her already sexually active. (I am not saying she had one either, but it’s possible)

So here’s scenario 1; Janet is having a sexual relationship with Jack, they conceive a baby. Jack doesn’t want in, he tells her to abort. She aborts the child, so by the time I meet Janet; she’s not an M1 to me. I have no idea what happened. Deep inside only she knows what happened. She doesn’t hope to do it again, but she could do it again.

Scenario 2: Alice is dating Jack, they conceive a baby. Jack doesn’t want in, he tells her to abort. She refuses to abort and Jack says he wants nothing to do with the baby or her. He says uncalculated cruel statements like, “Kana ariwangu murutse undipe,” (If the child is mine, vomit him/her and give me). She is hurt but keeps her baby. I meet that girl and think she has an amazing personality (you must have an amazing personality to keep your child in a judgmental society).

However society will not agree that she is amazing because she has a baby. Society will try and make me see Janet and say, “Why don’t you choose Janet instead? Do you not see that Alice is an M1?” The decision making is made harder for me now, because society is armed with daggers. There’s also a father out there whose child I have to carry the cross for. Let me say, to all those man, that have taken this load upon then, may there be increase in your daily work. To the men that refuse to sustain their own seed and further pressure our queens, if the law does not catch up with you, may you lose out on all the money you refuse to pay for the welfare of your child.

“Did you just curse them Michael?”  Oh so someone is going to see the evil in my curse to them, but they do not see the evil in society making girls that kept their children feel unworthy?

I applaud all the women that are the mothers and fathers of their children but hang on, work hard and have changed their perspective of life. Except for a few single mothers, those are some of the most hardworking women I’ve known. The family throws piles or verbal rot onto them daily behind closed doors. They silently cry and wake up knowing no one else seems to love their children and only they can go out there to get bread for the children. They have drama with the father over taking care of his own child in some instances; they still take that torture, get up and work hard.

This plastic society pressures girls that are already pregnant, to opt for “K1”. She is going to pay an unethical doctor large sums of money with the aid of the father, who is not ashamed to perform this act. They destroy that child’s life. Now all the activists that support abortion, hide behind the “what if she was raped” excuse, yet the average abortion happening in Zimbabwe is a product of sex given by consent. No matter how many daggers society will stab you with for having that child out of wedlock don’t be pressured to take your child’s life. Life is at conception. The only proven way to escape the trouble is abstinence before marriage, which most of you ridicule. It holds no regrets though in this type of society.

If there is a single mother in your immediate community whom you have been holding judgmental daggers to, may that attitude change from henceforth. In fact go an extra mile in appreciating her to compensate for the life sentence she has been given by society and her own relatives. If you’re a man and you think she’s a good woman, regardless her past, marry her.

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Image from Google

Let’s have this conversation on Twitter, follow me @Mcpotar

You can also check out my website www.mcpotar.com

 

©MaKupsy 2017

Woman Crush Wednesday : @TeteHumba

I am always on the look out for people who ooze positive energy.  My first Woman Crush Wednesday this year is this beautiful soul; Tete Humba.

Creativity

Some of the things that fire my soul include being creative and working with my hands; with that I can never go wrong. As long as I am making something, I am happy. It started off as a joke but the more I experimented the more I realised that that was my happy place. From headboards, to DIY beauty products, to wigs, to clothes, shoes, wall décor. I’ll make it all!

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Skin Tone

Coconut oil!  I use it to moisturize; in my masks and to remove my makeup. It’s incorporated in everything. But bear in mind I have dry skin so that makes the perfect combo.

 

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Life Lessons 

When it’s a part of God’s plan, it will happen.  The Year 2016 was a very difficult year for me, and life threw its punches of all sorts.  Life tried to get me down but God had His own idea and here I am.

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Your Centre?

My family. I cannot imagine life without them. They are my everything.

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You can get in touch with Tete Humba on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  For her hair products you can also find her on Instagram @hairbytete_h and @rtndphotography

Don’t forget the 8th of March is International Women’s Day, celebrate women!!

©MaKupsy 2017

 

The Power of Social Media

It’s a beautiful feeling to know that I have a positive impact on people that I have never even met.  The other day I received a message which actually brought me to tears and I felt I had to share it with you.  It reads:

Having been a terrace member(members who don’t participate in the group) of several fitness groups with so much enthusiasm and at the start of it, a week or two after joining, I feel tired, drained and overwhelmed by the number of messages blowing up my phone. I mute the group because I cannot deal with the endless notifications, I’m high key irritated.

Months down the line, I have removed myself from the group having benefited nothing from it.

Having gone through so many fitness groups I became skeptical to join yet another fitness group and so it took a while for me to make a decision.

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It was during my decision making when it dawned on me that, I had been joining groups for the wrong reasons. Yes groups are there to push and motivate you but I lacked that within myself. I had not even an ounce of self drive or motivation to actually get myself out of bed and work out. I was looking for it in other people from those different groups. I ALWAYS had one excuse after the other. I didn’t really eat enough nor did I care about what I ate, as long as I stomached a meal at the end of the day. I ate one meal a day(throughout 2016) which was dinner simply because I had told myself that I did not have enough time to eat both breakfast and lunch.

Now how the hell did I expect to workout with such a diet? After months of body shaming myself and feeling out of control, I messaged Fitness Bae on Twitter in October 2016 out of desperation. I wrote down what she had said and turned into 2017 fitness goals. I realized that there was a lot of changes that had to be done. The first step was to apologize to my body for that is where the healing begins.

A few days into the new year, I got in touch with FitnessBae again, this time asking her to add me to the WhatsApp Fitness group. I was nervous because I had seen how obsessed she was with fitness while I was beyond unfit.

And so I joined the group “#RunWithFitnessBae”. Let me start by saying what a warm and welcoming group it is. Of the many groups I had been in, none of them where as warm and friendly(You would just join and only 2 or three members would welcome you). That for me was already a plus.

The group has an exciting twist to it and is not limited to fitness. What brought me to write this is how I have significantly benefited from the group in more ways than I imagined. Although most of the benefits are small they will go a long way.

I joined during the skipping challenge and my first skipping session was horrible, I could barely make it to 5 jumps. If I tell you now that I listen to the rope so much that I can skip on one foot from time to time you wouldn’t believe me. A week after joining I fell ill and was bed ridden for a whole week and a half. It felt bad and I was angry and moody. I was just there in the terraces doing nothing. My comeback was with the Old Mutual Run where I signed up for 5km bear in mind my longest distance was 1.5km

Then came the DT challenge, which ranged between 4km and 10km. I was nervous and told myself I would terrace on this one. But there’s something about the group that pushes you out of the terraces. People will post their workouts including their pace,elevation and total time (something I never cared about, but now, I look at all of those details) I found myself dressing up and going for the challenge each day. My body was in pain! I had never pushed myself so much in one week.

Im grateful for being part of the team. Even though my pace (which ranges between 08 and 09) and skips per minute are far behind, I’m at a happy place. When the team posts their workouts and I don’t post the level of guilt makes it hard to swallow sadza that night. And it’s because of this group that I found out that when I don’t workout I feel very cranky and moody. Once I get to workout, my mood changes. Not only do I workout, I eat healthy meals and portions too.

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I am still working on a few other things to catch up with the likes of Fitness Guru, Amy and DT😂 I have a long way to go but my motivation has significantly improved. I hope and pray that none of it is taken away from me by laziness, procrastination and all sorts of other distractions. It has taken so many falls,tears for me to get here, maintain and actually be happy. This is who and where I want to be for as long as I can.

Thank you again to the Team and these two quotes are what have been keeping me going;

  1. “Don’t listen to the pains, keep going”
  2. “Food is the most widely abused anti-anxiety drug and exercise is the most potent yet underutilized anti-depressant. Choose wisely”

You can find Leenah on Twitter she is such a happy soul and she has no idea how her message brought warmth to my heart.  Nothing brings me joy as much as knowing that my fitness craze has had people get up and do something about their health and wellness.  I live, breathe and sleep fitness and stories like this make me want to outdo myself each and everyday.  I am one person you can send a message to where fitness related issues are concerned and I will get right back at you because this is the stuff that fires my soul!

Thank you for the beautiful message Leenah and may you continue on your fitness journey with a positive attitude.

MaKupsy 2017©

 

Sweet Chilli Chicken Kebabs with Avocado & Mango Salad

I will tell you this for free, cooking for one is a real pain!  That’s the only downside that comes to staying on your own and personally, I can count the number of days in a week I whip up something to eat at the end of the day.  I mainly survive on fruit and water and on a good day I will grill some meat but trust me, it feels like a mammoth task! However, after seeing some of the pictures on Instaram the past few weeks I had a change of heart because following Tanyaradzwa will have you bringing out the Chef in you.  She makes mouth watering meals and she was kind enough to share a recipe for a delicious and healthy meal that won’t take forever and a day to prepare.

All the ingredients:

3 chicken breasts
3 peppers, different colours (red, yellow and green)
Fresh tomato
Cucumber
Lettuce
Red onion
Avocado
Mango

Dice the chicken and season spices of choice. I used:

Ground black pepper
Jerk seasoning
Cajun seasoning
Extra hot chilli powder
Paprika
Mild curry powder

  • Chop peppers roughly to the size of chicken pieces
  • Using large skewers, assemble chicken kebabs alternating between chicken breast piece and a chopped pepper.
  • Place chicken kebabs on oven tray and cover with foil
  • Cook in the oven. Cooking times will vary according to size of chicken chunks.
  • Remove foil for approx 10 minutes to allow kebabs to brown. Glaze with sauce of choice if you wish. I used sweet Chilli sauce.
  • While kebabs finish cooking, chop up the vegetables (and fruit if you wish) to make a side salad. I used mango to add a sweet element to the dish!

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Plate and enjoy !

I am still trying to figure out why I decided to share this post at this time of day because now I feel very hungry!  I will make sure I get some of the ingredients today and try this out because it is just the switch I need in my meals and it also looks easy to prepare.

In case you did not know some of the benefits of eating chicken are:

  1. Helps build muscles
  2. Keeps your bones healthy
  3. Relieves stress
  4. Promotes heart health

A big thank you to do Tanyaradzwa for featuring on my blog.  I hope you start on a Food Blog soon because you are really great at what you do.  You can find Tanya on:

Twitter and Instagram you will be sure to follow her because she definitely has a Smile So Bright!

©MaKupsy 2017

A Journey Through Thick & Thin

We are investors in our lives, shareholders to the consequences of our actions. Shareholders because we never quite admit to all our mistakes, we apportion part of them to others.  Maybe that’s the reason why some people also lay claim to contributing to our successes when we do well.  That’s what l believe partly contributes to our natural denial as human beings.

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My denial for many years has been mostly about my state of health or rather “weight”. Growing up in an African setup the myth that weight signifies success is the very source of pride for many overweight people. We seek to hide using the complement of our culture giving respect to the large and hugely bodied figures who roam our streets. It is no accident that some even aspire to become bigger body wise while using the wrong route to getting there. However, my denial was slightly different from the normal African standard. I grew up in a middle class family that could afford to place before me a plate of sadza and meat more often than the average family in our country. We hardly lacked in resources and l was encouraged to finish my plate like “all good kids” are expected to. Unknown to my well-meaning parents is that l was consistently “slightly” overfed over a couple decades of my life as a kid and a teenager. During this process l came to be known as the chubby kid.

Chubby was a good thing and that was my means of standing out from the rest of the pack. The great irony is l never really sucked in sport, l made 1st team volleyball at all the schools l attended and l was on a good day, a descent goalkeeper. For me food became less about eating to live and more about eating to be always full. When you hardly lack you become very generous with your portions and portions eventually had me very rounded up. (So to speak)  My earliest memory of how much l was overweight was when as a 15year old l tipped the scale at about 80kg during a blood donation which l found to be quite amusing. Publicly l displayed pride that l was possibly in the top 5 heaviest students in our age group. Quietly though l was slightly embarrassed that l was one of the odd ones out. I wanted to belong not to become a freak show (no offense to my counterparts). By the time l reached University l had become quite obese. That phase of my life saw me pile on more weight due to the rigorous requirements of my program and my own share of laziness.

Fast forward to my 2012 l was weighing about 110kg and 2013 brought an extra 10kg onto my scale. By then my lifestyle revolved around long hours at work, a very outgoing weekend schedule filled with braais and not a drop of physical activity. It was amusing that even my workplace was located 200m from where l would drop off my lifts and l would use the elevator to our 3rd floor offices so that basically summed up an activity deficient lifestyle.

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Realities of being overweight

At one point in my denial that my situation needed a change, l got so big l blew open my work suite and had to ask my lovely girlfriend to buy a needle and thread for me. Yes you guessed correctly, she promptly delivered the goods and l had to sew up my trousers in the gents while she waited for me at reception in shock. She was always kind in her approach with me though she was getting extremely worried with each day passing. I had a challenge getting into high rise vehicles and there was always a risk l would blow a pair of trousers. I am a short guy, let’s just say am slightly below 170cm so carrying 120kg was a health hazard (this is the last time l will write the figure!) l was very huge. More shockingly l was on the chronic side of the BMI index. With time more realities started to settle into my life, for example during a boozers game of soccer l was out of breadth after every defensive play by the goals even if the goalkeeper is the least active player on the field. Whenever my work lift was not working l would have to remove my work suite jacket so that l could cover up my wet shirt by the time l got to our floor. It would be greatly embarrassing to face corporate clients in a wet suit. So the dry jacket covered up the wet shirt from the climb up. Soon even in winter l could no longer wear a suit without having a vest worn below the formal shirt. Sometimes l would sweat profusely if the air-conditioner was not working properly. Remember my point about denial? Yes, my denial only served to give me educated reasons on why all this was happening. I would blame the clothes and not the body. I would blame the air-conditioner, blame the flight of stairs, blame the hot coffee l just drank and sometimes blame the pressure of work on my state of sweat.

The wake-up call

There were a series of wake-up calls that came in slow succession which lead to some change.

  1. One day while l was on a business trip l ate so much l almost suffocated in my sleep. Seems as l was turning in bed after a generous meal the food found its way up my canal and l woke up without any air choking on my own vomit. Luckily the gag reflex we possess naturally assisted me somewhat to avert danger. This story is known by only 5 close people in my life, but it’s important that many more understand the dangers of over-eating.
  2. The next time l received my wake-up call was when my snoring got so bad that people l would travel with volunteered to have me get a private room to myself and not share the hotel room with them. I took that to mean more freedom for me but it was only when my cousins recorded me snoring on their smartphone that l saw how bad it really was. It sounded like l was dying, l was shocked and it was extremely embarrassing. The saddest part is l never had the maturity or enlightenment to do anything about it.
  3. For short stints l under ate because it seemed like l kept gaining. Soon l was hunting for trousers in the unlabeled area looking for old stock on the no size section of the department store. I would wear trousers for very tall people and have to get a tailor to cut almost half the length on the legs to get my fit.

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The unlikely invitation

I grew up in the lovely City of Kings, Bulawayo.  Late 2013 my job took me to Harare for a fixed term period to be part of a project at work. While there a brother of mine would ask me to meet him at his gym so l could grab a free lift home. It was during this period that his trainer became fond of me often encouraging me to come watch their sessions but l would laugh it off. With a society that does not see many thriving weight loss stories l stuck to television shows to get visual inspiration but l never amassed enough interest (read as courage) to start my own journey. Many weeks later my brother informed me that l had been offered free membership at his gym for a week and if l liked it then l would formally join and start paying subscriptions. Till now over 3years later, l have never tasted the hell l went through that week. The 1st day l could hardly walk, l was grossly unfit and l skipped the shower after and went to sleep in my brothers car. He found me snoring and till this day he tells anyone who cares to listen that l almost died at gym. But dying evaded me, the next day my joints were protesting, my lung capacity seemed hugely insufficient and l was begging to die. But my trainer assured me that l would not die! I never believed him, l cursed at him (in French) and l felt everyone in the class was showing off.

They say never compare your journey to that of others. There were figures in the gym that looked bigger than me and l never understood why they were having a good time while l was suffering. I have no academic reason for this but somehow when the week was over l paid for the whole month in one go. I never stopped attending and within two weeks l saw a lot of changes. An old pair of pants that l had decommissioned suddenly started fitting, l could go for 10minutes in class and not need a break then soon l could talk during the session. Interestingly round about that time Corporate24 opened their premises in Harare and they had a machine that could record height, weight, and temperatureplus body fat percentage. It was during my soon to be many visits there that l started seeing the weight fall away as their scale machine offered more privacy than the public scales out there. Soon my belt loops started moving backwards. I was ecstatic!However the process is never smooth, many before me claimed not to see the changes and many more felt it was a phase. Somehow the maturity started settling in and l needed less re-assurance from people and more assurance from my clothes that l had really shed weight. That is when the best days of my life became sculpted.

Research is key

Many myths exist on the road to weight loss. Many supposed scientific researchers exist in the world of fitness.

  • You will meet those who tell you not to take carbs as the means to real weight loss.
  • Some will advocate for a meat free diet.
  • Others will swear by a liquid only diet.

Put simply, you will bump into a lot of different theories.

When l successfully lost my first 15kg the situation changed for me. I could no longer sustain a good rate of weight loss on my once a day gym session and eat whatever l wanted. That’s when l taught myself nutrition through our dear old cousin Google, some books and expert advice through various trainers. I found that there is no one size fits all approach to weight loss. I soon found out there is no such thing as being big boned and small portions do not necessarily lead to weight loss (its actually the quality of your nutrition and of course limiting serving size that leads to long-term success).

 

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What my breakfast now looks like on some days.

l began doing morning runs, threw away my over –sized t-shirts l used for running and invested in fitness clothing even to the extent of buying my 1st running shoes. Starting at 3.1km l would finish that distance in 40mins. Soon the time started dropping; l asked my trainer to include me on his weekend schedule.  In 5 months l had lost a whooping 20kgs and l was more confident and focused.

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I rewarded myself with regular cheat meals. I started to challenge myself, increase my running distances and train the right way so as to avoid injuries. Soon even the skeptics began to throw good vibes my way. By the time l had lost 25kg l became swamped with enquiries and my trainer who was now a very close friend of mine was on the receiving end of new clients. Life changed, l fell from size 46 to 38, couldn’t remember when the last time was when l last wore trousers or shorts in the 30’s. By the time l moved back to Bulawayo l had a plan once back home.

  1. Within my 1st week l had joined a gym.
  2. I was now running 5km 3 times a week and using jump rope heavily.
  3. By the time l went below 90kg l was running 6km 5 times a week.
  4. l was doing morning runs, aerobics after and to top it up an evening session.

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I have to clarify that l hit 85kg 2years after l started my weight loss journey so take your time to build descent consistency. When l hit the 40kg lost mark l was now rocking size 34pants with descent loose skin. 78kg l became a 10kilometer specialist and then l became a competitor in distance races. 2015 October l ran my 1st competitive 10km race. March 2016 l ran my 1st 21km race the PPC Matopos Ultramarathon then July 2016 l ran my 2nd Half Marathon at the Victoria Falls Marathon.

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The realities of an unlikely journey

Yes l have fallen off the wagon, had bad weeks and many more better weeks. The art in this journey is to never quit. To be mature enough to take criticism constructively and to also embrace pain. There is a lot more happening in my life now, l’m busier with my job but l have created a schedule around all this chaos around me to keep fit. What many should know is keeping fit to maintain weight loss is a lifestyle. You can’t really take a year off this journey, it’s a continuous journey.

My milestones currently are that l do not snore anymore, so it’s safe to sit next to me on the bus on a long trip. Somehow l haven’t had a flue in 3years and l credit my morning runs for that. I have a totally new wardrobe now with much nicer gear than before. I have made friends through this lifestyle but the best part is l have become a positive influence on many individuals. Two friends l recruited have lost a combined 30kilos this year alone and it keeps getting better. I have a lot planned ahead and l look forward to doing more. Maybe run the Comrades Marathon one day, do the Ironman Race and participate on the Spartan Race. But before that l need to learn how to swim!

Unlikely journeys have unlikely results, l set out to lose a bit of weight to retain my old clothes. I ended up getting rid of my new clothes to purchase new ones. I hope this unnecessarily long biography helps someone out there who has no idea what to do; to believe and pursue lasting change.

I am not losing weight, I am getting rid of it.  I have no intention of finding it again!

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Feel free to get in touch on social media on either Instagram or Facebook for inspiration on how to go from obese to healthy and active.

Thank you to Chris for featuring on my blog today, you are a real gem!  I hope this inspires anyone going through a tough time with trying to lose weight.  It is possible to get the body of your dreams.

Have you gone through a weight loss journey?  What prompted you to finally make a change and get active?  I would love to hear from you.

 

©MaKupsy 2016

 

There Is A Real Person Behind That Twitter Handle

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I love Twitter, I really do. The football banter. Tweeps discussing tv shows, the endless jokes, the funny videos, the memes oh gosh the memes are always funny. The constructive conversations where we all actually learn something new. I love it. However there’s a side to Twitter I absolutely loathe and that’s the constant trolling, twaring and not forgetting the mob psychology mentality that is ever so prevalent on the Twitter streets.

Last week this side of Twitter was working overtime. Every single day there seemed to be one twar after another or someone being trolled. There was one particular conversation that caught my eye. I logged onto Twitter on Friday morning and quite a lot of people on my timeline were talking about this one girl. She was called all sorts of names which I shall not repeat. I didn’t pay much attention to it because I don’t know the girl so I just scrolled past. It was only much later in the evening when this girl returned to my timeline and this time I paid attention.

A Twimbo I follow retweeted some this girl’s tweets. Bottom line a picture of this girl with no make-up was posted on Twitter and tweeps went crazy trolling her. My heart broke as I read her timeline especially some of the mentions she retweeted. Tweeps were really nasty. One particular tweet caught my attention when she spoke about how the week before one Twitter user wished this girl would get raped. She then stated how tweeps laughed at this tweet and some even shared the same sentiments. Now I don’t know this girl, had never heard of her before this incident but one thing I do know without a shadow of doubt is she is a real person with real feelings.

If there’s one thing I would like this side of Twitter is there’s a real person behind a Twitter handle. That’s right, there’s a real person behind that Twitter handle you troll, a real person with real emotions, a real person who hurts just like you do. You see before you jump onto that mob psychology bus and troll someone just because the whole TL is doing it, ask yourself how would I feel if the tables were turned? Ask yourself how would I feel if the entire timeline was trolling me and calling me all sorts of names and wishing me harm? Imagine yourself being the victim. It would hurt right, hurt a whole lot and hurt real deep too. Imagine tweeps who don’t know you, who don’t know what you’ve been through, who don’t know what you go through daily trolling you and making nasty comments about you simply because they can or that’s what everyone else is doing on the TL. That stuff would mess with someone’s emotions. Contrary to sticks and bones may break my bones but bones will never hurt me, words DO actually hurt.

Before you troll someone, remember there’s a real person behind that Twitter handle.

Glossary

  • Trolling: Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.
  • Twaring: To have a war of words with someone over the social networking site Twitter (or various other apps. that support it).
  • Twimbo: A Zimbabwean with a Twitter account.
  • Tweeps: Any person with a Twitter account.
  • TL: Twitter timeline.

By Colleen

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I blog at Life Through The Disability Lens.

Meet Fortunate Molai

What is your full name?

Fortunate Molai

How old are you?

27

What are your hobbies and interests?

I LOVE reading; mainly fiction but I am now expanding my interests. I also like watching movies and I think I go to the cinema once a month alone or with company. I love braaing, taking walks, researching on things I plan on doing and I like travelling.

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What did you study?

I studied Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) for my undergrad and Supply Chain Management for my Honours. I am currently studying for (MCIPS) Member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply and I am on the last stage.

What are top 3 skills for Procurement Officer?

This differs from industry to industry as well as from company to company but from my own experiences here are the top three:

  • Negotiation skills
  • Contract management
  • Category management

What is a typical career path in this job function?

Well it could start from being a graduate trainee, assistant procurement officer, procurement officer, procurement manager. This is the best you can go if the company does procurement just as an administrative function. For companies that view procurement as a strategic function it will actually be under a department called Supply Chain. In this regard there are so many paths which include relationship management, contract management, logistics and category management to name a few.

What do you wear to work and what inspires your look?

I wear slacks mainly and maybe once or twice a week I wear a dress. Mmmmm I like clothes I feel good in and that look good on me. My look is made up of different sources. I can see something online, whilst watching a movie or series or someone I bump into. I don’t necessarily take notes but it’s something I take note of and I blend it with my own style.

Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?

God willing if what I am planning pans out, I would want to be a procurement manager in an industry that has a supply chain department.

What is the highest-level job one can hold in this career?

Supply Chain Director and you can also get a board seat.

Tell me about your work experience? How has it prepared you for Procurement Officer job?

It has been varied I have worked in four different sectors and from each experience I learn something new. I started working as a warehouse intern straight out of varsity; this company had a supply chain department instead of just procurement. Warehousing is closely tied with logistics and it was quite overwhelming but it provided valuable experience. After that I was a procurement graduate trainee and it was quite DIFFERENT from the internship job. Unfortunately I didn’t like this job because it was repetitive, routine and monotonous. On the other hand, this is where I learnt and applied my negotiation skills, budget skills, relationship management. I moved from “branch to branch” and even though the processes were the same there was something different about each place I went to. Whatever situation I find myself in I always look at what I can learn from it and how I can improve myself from that situation. So I learnt as much as I could. Each job I have had has moulded me and shaped me into the person I am now. With procurement you need patience and being quick on your feet. You also have to quickly adapt because it’s so dynamic. All these experiences have helped me observe patterns, avoid pitfalls and draw conclusions on the behavioural patterns of certain industries.

What advise would you give someone who wants to be a Procurement Officer?

You have to have a passion for it or else it will drive you crazy. Also be prepared to be lied to, let down and left in a lurch and know that it’s nothing personal. You also get blamed for things you didn’t even know happened LOL like you are getting to the office at 8am and you have people waiting for you waiting to have your head. That’s the “emotional” side of it since emotional intelligence is now a requirement in the workplace. You have to keep your cool always and avoid blowing things out of proportion.

Procurement spends a lot of money so there is quite a lot of filing you have to do, soft and hard copy. Monthly reports are order of the day. Adhering to the procurement guidelines because this is delicate area and if handled improperly it can land you in jail, worst case scenario or you lose your job. Do not accept bribes. Keep relationships with key stakeholders in a good state because they will back you up when your back is against the wall. It’s fun sometimes I enjoy it when I go for site visits. I am sure there is more but this is all I have.

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Did you always want to work in this field of work if yes why?

NOOOOO. I didn’t know about Supply Chain Management until I was in my second year. My then operations management lecturer has such a passion for this field that when he presented it I was hooked. After the first lecture I went online to research on it and from then….well the rest is history and I don’t regret it.

What are the words you live by?

I have lots of favourites. I will give you 5 including bible verses.

  • Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
  • The most important thing in life will always be family.
  • You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.
  • For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 

Many thanks to Fortunate for taking time out to do this interview with me.  Have a lovely working week ahead.

You can get a hold of her on:

Instagram

Twitter

 

P.S I follow some focused and talented people on Twitter!

 

MaKupsy

Wednesday Inspiration – Based On A True Story…

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Napoleon Hill”

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2005, I finish my A’Level studies at Marondera High School in Marondera, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is at the height of its socio-economic and political decay. I want to advance my education but the situation in +263 won’t allow. My father, knowing very well that his son wants to advance his education by any means necessary, suggests that I take a gap year in 2006 and help him run his businesses in rural Macheke, a small village town on the border of Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces, on your way to Mutare, Zimbabwe’s fourth largest city. I take up the offer and I run the family business to the best I could.   Towards the end of 2006 I told my dad that I really wanted to go to university to study and he understood but the sad story was that it was quite difficult for my family to finance my studies. Anyone who really understands the situation in Zimbabwe from 2006 will know what I’m talking about.

On the 19th of March 2007, I embarked on what I still consider as one of the most adventurous journeys of my life. I hopped on to a Greyhound bus, armed with US$52, which, at the time, was equivalent to R 1000, Destination: Durban, South Africa. To this very day I still remember the words my parents said to me on that day, warning me about the dangers of living in Azania! I arrived in Durban and managed to secure a job at a restaurant called Oscars Café in Essenwood Road. That job marked a watershed moment in my life. I was a waiter but because I had an unfulfilled dream and I was not prepared to let the situation in Zimbabwe dictate my fate, I then enrolled at the University of KwaZulu Natal Howard College Campus for a bachelor’s degree. I used the money I made to finance my studies. Four years of my life was spent at that restaurant then I moved to Market Restaurant when Oscars was sold.

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Working while studying was one of the most challenging endeavors I have ever embarked on. It was very tough. Varsity classes started at 8am and at 4:30pm I had to be at work. I worked till 11pm each night, 16 hour double shifts on the weekend. After work I would then start working on assignments and/or study, but I never lost hope. I wanted that degree so bad. Through restaurant work and the strength I got from the heavens, I managed to attain 2 degrees. The hours were long, the work was tough but working in the restaurant did not just help me pay for my education, it helped me develop excellent communicative, business and interpersonal skills, which are vital in the business world this day. After graduation I managed to secure good jobs and I haven’t stopped studying.  I plan to pursue a Masters in International Relations as well as an LLM

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A few months ago I was at a restaurant at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, waiting for my flight, I was travelling to one of the Southern African countries. The waitress who served me was a Zimbabwean girl. I had a chat with her and she told me she wanted to study and I shared my story with her, I was just having a conversation. Several months later, when I had long forgotten about my conversation with her, I was back to the airport and it so happened that I found myself at the same restaurant where she worked. Somebody else was serving me but when that girl I had spoken to spotted me she came straight to me…what she did almost got me into tears, she produced her student card!! My story had inspired her to take that leap of faith and had registered at the University of Johannesburg’s Bunting road campus in Auckland Park. I still cannot comprehend what I felt on that day.

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The main reason why I decided to share my story with the rest of the world is that I want people to know that the road to greatness is like that legendary narrow path, its full of obstacles but its up to you to give up or navigate your way around it. I’m not saying I’m a great man now, but I’m far much better than what I was in 2006. This is my message to you all, in whatever you do, be the yardstick of excellence, make sure you lead so that they can follow. Look beyond the obvious, in search of the unseen, as you establish yourself as number one, as the world’s greatest….you can do it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise, you can do it.

 

Tapiwa Munjoma is a Political Scientist, FreeLance Journalist and a Human Rights Activist who specializes on African Politics.

 

MaKupsy