10 Exciting UnPlugged Facts

UnPlugged is back again this Sunday!  I am already doing a mini countdown.  If you have never been then I suggest you save the date because this is an event that you don’t want to miss. I know you are here because you know I like all things exhilarating and UnPlugged is definitely one of those few things I can never get enough of.  When you go make sure you are seen but whatever you do please don’t cause a scene! Today on my blog I give you, 10 Fun UnPlugged Facts, this is the only place you have seen this because I am always a step ahead on my blogging journey.  Read on…

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1. Unplugged got its name from the initial intention to introduce acoustic performances but the event quickly morphed to being electronically amplified and the name stuck.
2. The first ever Unplugged was held in December 2014 and was attended by just 150 people.
3. It’s a roving event with no fixed abode.
4. The two childhood friends who started Unplugged share a passion for homegrown music. They have known each other for over 30 years!
5. The heart of Unplugged is artist development – providing up and coming talent the space and audience to share and develop their craft.

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Prince Musarurwa & Pah Chihera

6. Unplugged Zim, the company that manages Unplugged, is actually an Arts Organisation whose work spans across various Arts disciplines.
7. Over 150 artists have performed on the Unplugged stage.
8. Unplugged was a loss-making business for close to two years, when it finally reached break-even.
9. Unplugged’s first Bulawayo event happens this year in September, the 3rd to be precise.
10. Unplugged is looking across borders, hoping to penetrate other markets.

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*BONUS FACT* 

Artists interested in performing at Unplugged can fill in the application form at:

http://unpluggedzim.com/artist-application/

See you at UnPlugged!

©MaKupsy 2017

You Can Make It Happen!

I like to describe myself as a “Go Getter” because from a very young age I have managed to make things happen on my own.  I think the huge age gap between my siblings and I played a part in that because I felt like an only child.  They were in boarding school the greater part of the time and I was at home with my parents with no one else to play with except myself. That right there is the one reason I became one adventurous child.  I had nothing but time on my hands and I experimented with climbing trees, playing tennis and attempting to walk from preschool to our house because my dad had delayed in picking me up.  The adventures are plenty and I am going to tell you all about them.

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3 year old me 🙂 Kariba

Swimming

Anyone who claims to know me will tell you that I LOVE to swim.  That’s my summer highlight.  I am out in my swimwear ready to dive into some cool, calming water.  It’s my next exercise of choice, actually, it’s not even an exercise it’s one of the many things I love to do.  How did it all start?  Everyone in my family can swim and the time we stayed in Kariba we would all go to the pool for an afternoon of fun in the sun.  They took me with them, put some floaters on my arms and let me enjoy the water.  When we moved to Chinhoyi a few years later my swimming obsession went crazy because we had a swimming pool by our house and at every given opportunity I was out there trying to learn how to swim with or without supervision.  I remember the one time I slipped and nearly drowned; I thought if my mother had found out  I had gone unsupervised I was going to die twice!! I continued to teach myself how to swim and by the time I started preschool I was water confident and remember graduating from the shallow end to the deep end in a matter of weeks.  Years later, Miss Kupsy has inherited my love for swimming and I take her with at every opportunity.

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Image from Google

Riding A Bike

I had a cute little red and yellow tricycle. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of it but I remember it very vividly.  I loved that little tricycle, it got me to the swimming pool faster than the speed of lighting. I soon outgrew it and got a bicycle with helpers as a birthday gift.  Seeing that my parents were at work the greater part of the time it was up to me to learn to how to ride the “big bike”.  I don’t know how many times I fell off that little bike but with every fall I kept getting back up and trying again.  That very day I remember my dad driving in and me racing my bike down the drive way to show him that I had figured out how to ride my bike.  He was so proud of me and promised to let me ride it to see one of my friends who stayed close by after a few days.  I still have scars on my knees from the countless falls I had on that day but they were all worth it because if I had not pushed myself I probably would have never learnt how to do so.

60e946cc-7cba-4ca4-b3ab-fdfc6e93561aSocial Media

I remember begging the father of my child to teach me how to use Twitter.  The guy would act like I was talking to myself.  He just said open an account and figure it out.  I was thoroughly annoyed.  I really thought he would sit down with me and give me a full on lecture on how to Tweet!  I was dying for a break from Facebook so I decided I would sign up and give it a try.  My first tweet read; “Tweet tweet hurray” not bad for a first timer right?  Don’t ask about the hash tags though, in my defense I was still new to the application and I was trying to navigate my way around it.  6 years later my followers have grown and not only do I have a Lifestyle Blog; I also have a Fitness Blog and a Fitness Movement that stemmed from my use of Twitter and social media.  My social media presence has exposed me to different opportunities and I continue to network with people who have dropped some valuable gems in my life.  I can safely say that the use of social media helped me to find my purpose.

If there is one thing that I have learnt through all the above experiences it is the fact that self taught skills are the best experiences life has to offer.  If you really want something sometimes waiting for someone to come and spoon feed you is not the best of decisions.  Get up and do something about those things you want to learn or do.  It can be writing a book,(watch this space for my book in December 2018!!) going back to school, designing a website, applying for that Visa and get to explore a whole new continent.  Whatever the case might be the power is within you to make it happen.

 

However, you must remember that it will take time.  If you want to build something worth your while make an extra effort to learn as much as you can on the subject at hand, network with those in the know, keep voice memos when an idea comes to mind; you don’t want to let it slip your mind!  Above all else, keep believing that you can do anything you set your mind to.

You are the creator of your own destiny.

Do tell me about some of the things on your to-do-list.  Have you already started working on them or you are waiting for a miracle to happen?

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

15 Ways To Mend A Broken Heart

You are definitely one of the lucky few people on this planet if you have not gone through a heartbreak.  In my opinion the pain that comes with it is right there next to labour pains.  It is something you don’t want to experience more than once because the pain usually scars you for weeks, months and sometimes years to come.  I asked some of my favourite people on Twitter to share how they managed to get over a heartbreak and as always they didn’t disappoint!  I like to keep opinions anonymous so names are not mentioned.  Their healing processes and some of mine are in the list below.  Kick back, grab your notepad and fix yourself a strong cup of coffee you will want to keep this!

  1. Cry. Cry yourself to sleep, cry yourself through the day, cry each time you listen to that sappy song that reminds you of him, heck cry yourself a whole river!  It’s the best thing you can do for yourself, crying will help wash away the pain.  Whatever you do, DO NOT internalise your emotions.
  2. Get high or die trying. Seriously.  Nothing makes you feel better like a good old smoke.  You are guaranteed of short term memory loss which is a good thing because you can focus on the feel good sensation and forget about your broken heart for a while.  Proven effects include joy, euphoria, contentedness and a care-free attitude!
  3. Cut contact, otherwise you will find yourself snooping on their social media this is very unhealthy.   I suggest you actually take a social media fast for the next 30 days in a bid to protect yourself.  The last thing you want to do is see your ex partner all loved up on Instagram.  That will actually do you more harm than good, heartbreak and social media are NOT friends!
  4. Get up under someone new.  Try this at your own risk.  An orgasm a day keeps the stress away.  Yes, I made that saying up but it’s a sure way to take your mind off your ex but just make sure whoever you decide to have sex with will actually shower you with multiple orgasms otherwise the whole act will be pointless and leave you frustrated.
  5. Listen to some music. Not the sappy sad stuff by the way. Something upbeat to lift up your spirits.
  6. Move to another place.  Try getting a job in a town hours away from your current location or better yet leave the entire country.  That way you can heal faster without any memory triggers.
  7. Keep yourself occupied. Spent time with friends, do your favourite things.  Try positive distractions such as going out and doing something fun especially something new. Amusement Park, dancing; getting out and not focusing or dwelling on the heartbreak.

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    Photo Credit: @tendai_angela (Instagram)

  8. Put yourself out there. You don’t have to rush into another relationship but just go on dates and feel wanted. It helps to not be lonely and also just for the confidence boost.
  9. Alcohol! , it numbs the pain.  Those who don’t drink can safely turn to ice-cream or comfort foods; hello calories!!  I have tried and tested this one and all I can say is that alcohol will fix the problem for that day but when you wake up sober all the pain will come rushing back.
  10. Accept that it’s over.  This is probably the most crucial point because without this you won’t be able to.  Accept it and do not be bitter, okay TRY very hard not to be bitter.
  11. Positive self talk and reflection.  Remind yourself it’s their loss and not yours. BUT also look at your contributions to the demise of your relationship.  Avoid self blame at all costs but focus on reflecting. This usually happens further down the road to mending your heartbreak.
  12. Let go completely.  You are not trying to do the whole “Oh we’re broken up but we’re cool and modern so we can be friends” – it just prolongs the pain! CUT TIES…Cut it, Cut it, Cut it, you need to cut it!!
  13. Be kind to yourself.  You will have days where you will be upset with the world.  It happens, embrace it.
  14. Time.  It mends the heart.  I know others believe getting straight into another relationship helps you get over another one. This is not everyone’s portion.  Avoid going from one mess straight into another.  That way when you say “I am over someone” you really over them. There are no comebacks.  Time is often under estimated; especially nowadays because everyone wants an instant fix. There is NO QUICK FIX for heartbreak. This is why we end up having relationships with broken people who haven’t healed from past mistakes. Be fair to the next person. Take your time, you do not heal overnight.
  15. Understand that heartbreak is a part of life.  Not just in romantic relationships but in life in general.  Lovers, friends and family will disappoint you so always be prepared to find a way to deal with it.  Learn from your experience and remember that you are not the first or the last one to experience this.  This too shall come to pass…

How have you dealt with heartbreak in the past?  How long did it take you to finally reach the point where you could bump into your ex and they will have zero effect on you?

Let’s talk about it, I would love to read your thoughts.

©MaKupsy 2017

Is This Your Enemy Of Progress?

I believe we all have that one thing that we know is an enemy of progress.  It can be laziness, lack of faith, that one ex who calls and suddenly has you thinking of taking them back, the love for money and even sex! Being an adult comes without a manual but through experience you get to know yourself better and realise when certain temptations hit all that progress you had made is about to come crumbling down…

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Image from Pinterest

My love for natural sweet white wine will be the death of me!  I just love it so much it may as well be my best friend.  Last year my poison was Vodka but it came with stomach cramps the next day.  I had an affair with red wine that didn’t last for long because I would have a splitting headache the next day.  I finally decided to try out white wine and I absolutely loved it!  I remember Chef Takura(single and very sexy but he has a beard so he isn’t a potential candidate) recommending it to me and it listening to him was the best decision I ever made.  The one thing I love about white wine is I usually have it from the comfort of my warm bed and just after two glasses I am off to la la land.  I prefer having it on the occasional weekend that way I don’t feel so guilty for indulging in something I know is an enemy of progress in the fitness department.  I have a bottle all weekend though, that’s much better than having 3 bottles during the course of a weekend, yes, no?  (trying to defend the error of my ways here)

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Image from Pinterest

I have had days were my whole day has been mapped by the things I have read, seen or watched on social media.  There was a week when the #MenAreTrash hash tag was trending on almost all social media platforms.  It was the most heartbreaking week of my life.  The stories I read about what women go through left me feeling blue.  I remember sharing my own story on my timeline and after that all the negative thoughts and feelings from the past came back to haunt me.

The very same platforms that bear sad news also come with beautiful things such as travel, love, relationships all wrapped in one.  Now this stuff will make you wish you can order a partner just like the one you saw on Instagram!  Don’t do it to yourself, take it from me.  People will always show you the bright side of their lives and hardly ever the problems they are going through.  Next thing you will contemplate breaking up with your partner because they have not taken you for a surprise getaway weekend to Italy, you will die from stress o!  To make matters worse you can actually go an entire morning surfing through the internet giving yourself self inflicted stress.  This is why you should stick to reading blogs like mine instead, nothing but good times only here.  However, I have found a way to deal with this and that is by simply taking time off social media.  Spend your time on other fulfilling activities that will not leave you green with envy or constantly comparing your life with the next person. Remember that comparison will steal your joy.  Do not let this be your enemy of progress!

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Image from Pinterest

Negative energy is real.  Ever noticed how some people just love to complain about any and everything and once you are done talking to them you wonder why you are feeling miserable.  I am one person who values their peace of mind.  There are so many things going wrong in our country that could easily send you straight to your death while you are asleep the last thing you need is spending time with a “Negative Nancy”.  I understand that we all have problems and sometimes all you want to do is vent and get someone else to listen to you.  That’s perfectly fine but it is NOT okay to vent for an entire day.  Do you have any idea how that drains the next person?  Please do not do it to your loved ones.  If you decide to vent by all means do so but with all the venting make sure you come up with a solution to the problem together and act on it.  No one wants to spend time with negative people, they steal your joy.  Next time someone tries to ruin your day remember that it is your right to protect your peace and you can politely tell them to take their negative energy elsewhere.

I would love to hear from you.  What are some of your enemies of progress and how do deal with them?

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

 

The Single Independent Mother

I have some saving tips from a single mother who is in her 40’s.  I think everyone will benefit from this post and I took this pretty seriously because she clearly has more years experience on raising a child single-handedly.  Take out your pen and paper…

  1. Cut your hair, imagine the amount of money you are spending on hairdos that you could be saving for better use for you and your child.
  2. Live within your means.
  3. Do not compare yourself with people who are married, they have a double income you only have one, stay in your lane.
  4. Save some money each month, it doesn’t matter how little, trust me it will go a long way.
  5. Do not buy on credit, especially clothes, save to pay everything with cash.
  6. Take a lunchbox to work with healthy home made meals or sandwiches.
  7. Make friends with women in a similar situation who understand your struggles better.
  8. Do what works for you, do not try to please anyone.
  9. Set targets for yourself and make sure you reach them, it might take time but eventually you will get there.
  10. Learn how to sew, simple things like replacing a button and hemming your pants will go a long way for your pocket.

If you live by most of these rules you might actually get round to going for that holiday you have been dying for!

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Photo Credit : @summer_rose_ (Instagram)

©MaKupsy 2017

Speak Things Into Existence

Believe me when I tell you that the universe pays attention when you speak.  Many moons ago I wished for a tall, good looking man who dressed up nice and would shower me with flowers; I have a serious weakness for them it’s insane.  I used to tell my colleagues almost everyday how my handsome prince would come for me and guess what, months down the line I was in a relationship with a guy who fit those specifications to a tee.   Like how was that even possible?

I remember this one time I tagged along when my friend when she was going to court.  I was heavily pregnant at the time and when I saw the women standing in line for Child Maintenance issues I said; “One day I will be standing in line too given the drama we are always going through with the father of my child”.  Again I tell you, the universe pays attention, I was in that exact same line 5 years later going through the most.  I spoke this into existence and I don’t even know why I was surprised when it actually happened.

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image from Pinterest

Thankfully, there are some pretty good things that have happened.  The one time I was going through pictures on the internet and wishing for a holiday.  Something about the Christmas holiday makes me feel like travelling.  I had my eyes on Cape Town and told myself it was going to happen and it did!  My sister is the best for making it happen and you should find yourself a sister just like her!

From my experience when it comes to self talk, the more positive things you say to yourself the better your experience outcomes.  When I started my fitness journey I was outspoken; most people didn’t understand how a “big” woman could have so much self love but they were never ready for the extra confidence that would come once I lost the weight.   I used to go for my runs without music just to have a chance to speak to myself and encourage myself throughout the run.  I would tell myself things like:

  • You’ve got this, just one more kilometer to go
  • Wait till you do your weigh in tomorrow and see how much work you have put in
  •  They are not ready for the after run photo I am going to post on Instagram
  • Who would have thought I would ever run 10K
  • The way I am smashing that cellulite on my thighs right now though
  • Girl you are on fire did you hear that pace on the voice over!

You see, all that self talk got me to push myself and my body to the limit.  Imagine if I had been telling myself negative things.  This body would have never come to life, it’s a pity I can’t show it to you, it’s still illegal to walk around naked this part of the world.

I have a whole list of other positive things that I have asked the universe to grant me after I realised she actually pays attention.  No more random negative thoughts because I certainly don’t want to end up in situations I will dearly regret.  Lately I ask for good health, success, financial security, a whole Land Rover Discovery (in red of course), to be the first Nike Woman in Zimbabwe and a rich husband.  Speak things into existence people!!

In whatever you do, be good to yourself.  Speak of all the beautiful things about yourself and those around you and the universe will also respond positively.

What are some of the things you speak into existence?  Have any of them come to life, care to share?

©MaKupsy 2017

I Will Marry For Money

“It’s okay babes; we sleep in this one room and eat our sadza and soup for supper the bottom line is we love each other…”

such fuckery!  Does this love you speak of swipe at Woolworths?

That statement above worked for our parent’s generation not this one.  You will do the most and after all that you get nothing but stress and heartache out of it.

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I see you making a face and saying to yourself, “I don’t believe she just made that her blog title!”  Believe it or not that’s how I feel and I am not changing my mind anytime soon.  You see; growing up I read one too many story books and watched too many Disney Princess cartoons that left me feeling like love was supposed to be all rosy.  There have been hardly any happy endings for me in the relationship department thanks to believing that fairy tales actually translated to real life stories. I made a decision a few years back that if I do decide to get married I am getting hitched to a rich man and I don’t care what anyone else thinks!  I am not trying to have a $2 wedding, if it’s going to happen it’s going to be HUGE!

The great thing about life is that you get to learn from your past mistakes.  Thanks to them I know that even though love is such a beautiful feeling it is not enough.  Love will not feed me or put a roof over my head.  Love usually fades after a few months or years for some but guess what, money if used wisely will be forever ( insert Janet Jackson story here).  I don’t know about the rest of the women but I will speak for myself when I say if I am going to be with someone I need to feel secure.  I want to know that if I stopped working today my husband will not let me want for anything.  I can still go on lavish trips, go on my shopping sprees, those spa dates will keep coming and above all else my daughter will continue going to that good school we would have enrolled her in because well, I have a rich husband.

Money makes the world go round.

I love watching those historical series like Reign.  They constantly remind me that back in the day people married for power.  Parents made sure that their daughters got married to the “right” family so that they too would benefit from that union.  Love was not something that mattered, most times they were told they would grow to love that person.  Which usually happens anyway, what’s not to love about someone who makes sure you are well taken care of?  So if it worked for them back then, trust me it still works now.

I am not one of those women who believes in 50-50 relationships.  I believe that the man is the head of the house and he should go out there and make that paper.  I think I am a 70-30 kind of woman actually.  Let the man do the leading please and allow me to enjoy being a woman in the background.

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I like beautiful things.  I love to be pampered and spoiled rotten and you can just imagine how extremely happy I will be if I married a rich husband.  I would want to have just one more child if all goes according to plan and trust me I won’t be having that child with anyone who will give me headaches.  Let the headache be about which car I will be driving to work today thank you very much.

Two things will happen if the rich husband doesn’t come along.  Firstly, I am working towards being a rich woman myself so that when he does eventually come we will build a whole empire!  Secondly, If he doesn’t come I will stay unmarried with all my money and enjoy every dime of it.

You guys can do this marry for love thing while I chill and wait for that rich husband to someday sweep me off my feet while working hard towards getting my own money.  If anyone tells you that I got married, best believe that rich husband came my way.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

Women Creative Wednesday : Ameera Mimi

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Ameera Mimi is a Zimbabwe Fashion Week Blogger of the Year 2015 & 2014 , Blogger, Producer…everything else faded out after I read those first three things and I thought to myself I HAVE TO BE THERE!  Yesterday was the first Women Creative Wednesday of the year 2017 at Moto Republik and it was full house.  It’s great to see women come together and take time out of their busy schedules to get to learn new things and network.

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photo by @persuasioninczw

She gave a presentation on her journey thus far and I must say I was really impressed.  I don’t think most people realise the amount of power social media actually has.  She is Ameera is a great example of social media gone right.  She got to travel to Mauritius and a number of different destinations thanks to blogging.

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What I loved about her was her warm and friendly personality.  I think one can go very far with an attitude like that.  I always encourage women to attend these events and true to my word I only give out PART of the information I would have learnt from the do.  That way next time you will come along and experience it for yourself.  Yesterday the top tips that were shared were:

  1. Be yourself (people want that touch of personality in a blog)
  2. Stay committed to your passion.
  3. Be consistent if you want people to keep coming back for more.
  4. Research.
  5. Network, it’s important to build relations, you never know when you might need something from someone or vice versa.
  6. MAXIMISE ON YOUR STRENGTHS

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This time around the decor by Moto Republik was beautifully done with roses, lights, wine, juice, cupcakes and crackers served before and after the event.  You know that combination will definitely get people talking.  However, I didn’t stay long enough to enjoy most of it because I had to rush home and get a good nights rest.  You know me and my love for running.  Over and above it was a beautiful and intimate event and I am already looking forward to the next one.  They will be held every second Wednesday of each month this year so I hope to bump into more familiar faces next time.  A big shout out to Mama Moto for bringing creatives together.

©MaKupsy 2017

The Year 2016

Hello my lovings, I hope this finds you well.  The past few days have been the best!  Who doesn’t enjoy staying in and doing nothing but relaxing, watching TV, cooking, having one too many glasses of Vodka and taking in every part of the festive season?  I sure do and I am still in that zone until sometime next week when my happy bubble is burst thanks to getting back to being a responsible adult!

I am writing this post to remind myself of the beautiful things that happened this year despite the different challenges I faced along the way.

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Travel

One of the many things I thorougly enjoy doing is travelling.  It’s a pity I don’t have bags and bags of money(yet) but when I do trust me this hobby of mine will be in full swing.  This year I travelled to Sanganai Creek, MazvikadeiKariba for the first time and Cape Town for the second time.  All destinations were a lot of fun but nothing can ever beat the Cape Town experience so far.  I want to travel some more next year but this time maybe concentrate more on local travel and post pictures with a #VisitZimbabwe hashtag more often.  I realised that sometimes we spend so much money visiting foreign destinations and yet we have never been to the ones right here at home.  The reason I love travel is it gives me a break from everyday responsibilities.  That time out is really important and I get to recharge.  I know for a fact that before my current passport expires I should have travelled out of Africa, facts only!

 

Fitness Bae

Fitness Bae is my “Cyber Name” and it sits right with my fitness addiction.  I am a lover of all things fitness related and when I started my fitness journey in 2014 I did it all by myself.  I had just the help of the internet and my personal motivation to keep me going.  However, through reading Twitter messages from people I interact with I realised that there was need for me to create something that involved other people to spice up the journey.  3 months ago I created a WhatsApp group and titled it #RunWithFitnessBae because running is the workout I am constant with and the one that mainly helped me lose weight.  I noticed that a number of people around me also liked running so I thought why not get everyone in one place and from a group that started of with 30 members we are now up to 80!  Feel free to join the team on Facebook and hit the like button and get to see what we get up to weekly if you are not a fan of WhatsApp.  The more the merrier.

Free Airtime

If you follow me on Twitter you know that I am a big fan of the One Fusion package by NetOne Cellular. The reason I keep hyping them on my timeline is because since I joined their network I have had zero headaches and my airtime does not disappear into thin air.  I made sure that my whole family is on this network so now communication is a lot easier and reasonably priced too!  I don’t feel like I am being robbed in broad daylight. Sometime last week I got a message from them telling me how awesome I had been throughout the year and they sent me free airtime.  Like how cool is that?  It came at the right time though because I was seriously broke and I was probably going to get airtime after a whole week after my package expired.

HKD Boss

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I have what I would like to believe to be a very unhealhty crush on Freeman.  I love his music and how he dresses up so this year my plan was to get a selfie with him.  I didn’t know the when and the where it was going to happen but I knew it was going to happen either way.  Does this make me a stalker?  LOL.  We will never know.  I really like his music and I can sing along to most of them so you can imagine just how ecstatic I was when I got to watch him perfom live for the first time.  I was in the VIP and over the moon taking videos like a crazy woman. Hahaha.  Anyways, you guys will never understand my crushing ways and its okay but trust me this incident really made my year!

Miss Kupsy

My daughter turned 5 this year. How time flies!!  Each time I look at her I still see the little baby girl I gave birth to but she is grown now and an independent little diva.  She has been on my case about wanting a baby sister and just the other day she asked me what we would name her baby sister.  If only she knew that chances of that happening in this lifetime are close to none.  Well, maybe sometime in the next few years but I can’t really promise.  She is the light of my life and I think life would have been pretty strange without her.  She carries my heart around and there is not a waking moment that passes without me thinking about her.  She always tells me that she wants to be a ballerina when she grows up and she also loves her swimming (read as jumping in and out of water) and it’s one of her favourite little hobbies.  Put simply this means I have to work extra hard to give her the beautiful life she deserves!

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The year wasn’t so bad after all hey.  I could write a whole list of all the other things that went wrong but today I will focus on the positive things only.  I pray for a more fruitful year ahead and I will continue to work hard towards my goasl and aspirations.

Have a fabulous year ahead and continue to do the things that fire your soul 🙂

 

©MaKupsy 2016

 

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