The Other Side

On being on the other side of the grass…

The side that doesn’t seem so green

 

Things may seem like they aren’t going in your favour right now. Your plans are on paper, while others’ skyscrapers are out there..for all to see.

So you’re not married yet? Sure that sucks…but you will find someone, one day, who you’ll want to spend the rest of your life with…and you will be grateful for not rushing it because of the pressure. The loneliness? It will pass. It will…

Don’t beat yourself up about it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be in love. Your time will come.

Continue reading “The Other Side”

Journey Out of The Uncomfortable: Trying Again

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve had a longtime battle with my image. I spent a good number of years hating my body. I tried all kinds of things to lose weight. Some were very destructive.

My attempts always ended the same way — Gaining more weight.

I’ve watched myself fold away a favorite pair of jeans because they don’t fit…one too many times.

My chest would tighten whenever I heard the words “Let’s go shopping”

I’ve been homies with the struggle of seeing an awesome dress and realizing that it most definitely is not my size.

I hated taking full-length photos of myself because…well, I hated the way I looked.

It didn’t matter how many times I heard someone telling me how “beautiful”
I am…I never believed it.

 

Then July 2015 came and I had a *moment*. I was about to watch one of my favorite shows, and I had my junk food lined up. Halfway through my meal, I stopped and asked myself, “What am I doing?”. That was the umpteenth time I was having junk food that week, and well, it wasn’t doing my skin, my body or my general health a favour.

I guess that’s where I can say my journey started. I did a lot of thinking. I researched different recipes. Upped my water intake. And so started my “Lifestyle” journey. It wasn’t a diet, well that’s what I kept saying. It was me, making alterations to my lifestyle, for the benefit of my body.

I pushed away my mental calendars and expectations, and took it one day at a time. I gradually lowered my sugar intake, gradually upped my water intake, and changed the contents of my meals, bit by bit.

If I wanted take out, I opted for something that wasn’t a burger or fried chicken — that was not easy. But it was working. I was just taking joy in the little victories that were coming my way. And the changes came quickly. My skin ceased from being a disaster. My sleeping habits were improving. And my confidence increased.

After two weeks of working on my eating, which was the core issue of my weight gain, I joined a gym and went three times a week. My exercizes weren’t hardcore. I wasn’t in a rush. I was serious about getting my body into the groove. I know myself. If I approach things with too much energy and way too many changes, I quit after a while.

I was losing weight quicker than I’d anticipated. The bloating was gone. I felt good. I actually looked forward to shopping.

I put some of my ‘health’ smoothies and alternative meals up. I received a lot of encouragement. And a lot of judging too. It hurt me at first but I didn’t care. This was about me.

 

But somewhere along the lines, I lost focus. I became obsessed with the weight loss. Everything became about losing weight. If I ate too much, I’d starve myself the next day. Soon, that same old complacent feeling returned and well, the lifestyle stopped. Kind of.

Those six weeks of extreme caution, helped me regain power over my eating habits. All my money used to go to food. But now, I think before I spend. I’m not as fond of junk food as before…If I try pig out, I feel really sick the next day.

I soon learned that, caring for my body didn’t necessarily mean giving up all the foods I loved. No, it just meant moderating what I eat. Not everday fried chicken or a burger. Sometimes, just chicken and salad.

It took me a while to write about this because I felt like a real failure. Putting my health life out there on Instagram, only for it to fade. Some people had a field day with it.

At one social gathering, this girl, in front of all these people, shouted “Chipo, I thought you were on a diet.”

I wasn’t even eating anything hectic. It was party rice and chicken. I just smiled and let her go on.

It got to me for a while. But things changed.

Sometime last week, I was going through clothes I’d stored away as ‘too small’. And I tried them on. They fit! High-waisted jeans that I couldn’t wear in August? I wore them yesterday. I found a pair of leggings that were too small in July. They fit now. A couple of dresses I was about to give away? They fit. And awesomely.

I’d been so caught up in feeling like a failure, I missed out on the long-lasting effect of that…er..shall we call it a detox? Lifestyle change?

I’d put on weight in December, but within six weeks, it was gone. I didn’t do anything extreme. I just watched what I ate, and took long walks — and stressed a bit.

But there’s progress.And that’s what it’s all about. Progress.

This journey is a long one. And I’ve realized that I may fall a couple of times, but what matters really, is when I get up.

There will be hecklers. There will be skeptics. There will be times I’ll look at myself in the mirror and wonder where I went wrong.

But for every low moment, there is a high one.

I am beautiful.

I am precious.

I am a wonder.

I am beautiful.

And I love myself, and I will only make changes to my body, because I believe that it will benefit. Not to fit some other person’s perception of appropriate.

And with every single bit of progress that comes, I smile. It reminds me that I am capable of doing anything when I put my mind to it.

And to anyone out there who may be going through a similar struggle, know this.

If I, with all my procrastination and laziness at times, can do it.

You can. I believe you can.

But even if you can’t right now, don’t let it get to you. Just get up, and keep trying until you win.

Have an awesome weekend everyone.

Photocred: R3VD Photography

Victory: A Dedication to All The Survivors

Beat down. Beat up.
You rose from the pain.
Torn down. Ripped apart.
They beat your body. But you still have
Your heart.

Words like knives cut through your
Pride.
Their laughter kept you down.
Smile, dear.
You’re standing tall. Let them see your Crown.

Gagged by oppression.
Bound by their deceit.
They locked you in with their misery.
They took joy in yours.
Look at you now, fighter. Six feet high
And flying through those doors.

They tried to make you lose.
They celebrated your demise.
Oh how they ran when you broke free
And began to rise.

Smile, you survivor.
Laugh. You’re stronger now.
The worst is over. Your battle’s won.
Don’t you ever let someone take your
Crown.
You’re too loaded to fail.

Smile, you survivor.
Raise your hands up high.
Victory is yours forever.
Don’t you ever let anyone
Tell you
Otherwise.

To every single one of you who has been subject any kind of oppression…smile. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are a survivor. Victory will always be yours.

If you have a story of victory you’d like to share please send it to chipobiti@gmail.com or catch me on Facebook: Chipo Faith Biti.

I’d love to read your stories and maybe share them too.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/daily-prompt-victory/

Power, Pleasure, Pain

Write whatever you normally write about, and weave in a book quote, film quote, or song lyric that’s been sticking with you this week.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/daily-prompt-inspiration/

Image

So, I’m the type of person who will hear a song and abuse it until the end of time. When I came across an acapella version of Seal’s Kiss From a Rose a couple of weeks ago…well…

A particular line in the song caught my attention –

“You became my power, my pleasure, my pain.”

Imagine that. Being someones power…pleasure…and pain. I don’t know if I’d go around walking on clouds if someone said that to me. I mean if you really look at that line. What does it mean to be someone’s power, pleasure and pain?

You’re the source of that person’s power. Their will to get up and do something revolves around you. You are their motivation. Their inspiration.

You’re that person’s source of pleasure. Their smiles, laughs, and warm fuzzy feelings and butterflies, are because of you.

But…you’re also the source of that person’s pain. They feel your tears. They feel your heartache. They feel your sadness. They also feel the pain you inflict upon them. They feel the fire in your angry words. They suffer as they feel the sharpness in your cutting words. The pain you cause them is real.

Sounds like a lot of pressure, huh?

My mind can’t help but wander to the side of the possessor. You know the person who’s made you their “power, pleasure and pain”.

So often we throw ourselves into a commitment – be it a friendship or an intimate relationship – and we give people the authority to control our state of being. We base our emotions, moods, and stability on the state of being of another person. Why? Because we love them. I have no problem with that. Who am I to judge? I’m guilty of doing such too…

The problem comes, though, when people make well…the wrong people their “power, pleasure, and pain”. Abusive people. Manipulative people. People who just don’t deserve your affection but you choose to give it to them anyway because you’re hooked.

Because you need them. Because…you love them.

I’ve seen enough of my friends and peers tear themselves apart – emotionally and mentally – because they’ve given their all to an individual who’s taken that affection and turned it into something so…sad.

It’s a cold world we live in huh?

But there’s hope…a glimmer of hope…

A fraction of these people realize their errors and withdraw from these parasitic relationships. They learn from their mistakes and manage to invest in people worth investing in.

The others?

Well…some never learn…some never leave…

But we keep praying that one day they’ll wake up and smell the coffee. And when they do…they’ll realize that the coffee they’re stuck with sucks. So they’ll throw it out and get new coffee. Better coffee.

Worthwhile coffee.

Lessons and a Bowl of Frosties

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/daily-prompt-learning/

“Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure  – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.”

My eyes opened. I looked to my right and found my best friend still sleeping. I sighed as I found that she’d managed to kick me to the edge of the bed. I wasn’t surprised, though. I knew. Whenever I had a sleepover with my best friend I knew that there was no point in fighting. She’d always kick me to the edge – she was a soccer player and a damn good basketball player. How was I supposed to compete with that?

I sat up and stretched. Something felt strange. I couldn’t put my finger on it, though. I suddenly felt the warmth coming from the sunlight shining through my window. I adjusted the blinds and sighed with relief. I wasn’t entirely relieved, though. The nagging feeling that something was amiss was still there. My stomach grumbled loudly. My friend stirred in her sleep. I jumped out of bed and headed for the kitchen. The house was quiet which meant that my sibling was still asleep and my parents had already left for work. I opened the pantry door and began to search for my favourite cereal – Frosties. I located them, took joy in the fact that no one else had finished them, and proceeded to empty the entire contents in a bowl. I filled the bowl with a reasonable amount of cold milk and extra sugar (do not judge me). I shoved a spoon into the sea of flakes and made my way to the lounge. Someone had left the TV on. There was a soppy movie playing. I plonked myself onto the couch and decided to give the movie a shot. As I lifted my spoon to my mouth…it dawned upon me. I dropped the spoon back into its bowl. The nagging feeling. The feeling that something was missing. I realized what was missing.

Pain.

I felt normal. My heart was beating normally. My mind was calm – well as calm as one’s crazy mind could be. The urge to cry or sigh dramatically was gone. I stared at the flickering images on the screen. The thought filled my mind:

I was okay.

A couple of months before this moment of discovery, my boyfriend of three years had broken up with me – for good. I, a hopeless romantic at such a young age, was beyond devastated. My days had been filled with painful memories, numerous urges to cry, sad sighs, and other similar actions and thoughts of the sort.

So it was quite a momentous moment (ha. Ha) for me when I woke up that day with a mind devoid of thoughts of him and a heart that was finally beating normally. Peacefully. Properly.

I was okay. I was fine. Sure I still missed him but I was stable. I could say his name without wanting to bawl my eyes out and/or strangle him.

It dawned upon me. Despite all of the emotions I’d encountered in the past months, the tears I’d shed, the arguments we’d had, the futile hope I’d allowed to harbour, the painful realization that I wouldn’t be walking down the aisle looking at him (once again – do not judge me) – I was okay. I’d survived the heartbreak. Sure I’d always have thoughts of what we could have been. Sure my mind would replay that dreadful day it all came crashing down. But it didn’t mean I was going to die. I’d survived the worst. I’d moved on.

I realized that one day, I’d find the right one. The right guy.

I learned that there is life after heartbreak – a lot of life. Too much life to spend crying over one individual. Way too much life to spend sacrificing smiles and laughs for something that probably happened for the best.

I picked up my spoon and ate my Frosties happily. I was ok.

I was always going to be ok.

I was a survivor. I am a survivor.

A lesson never to be forgotten. A lesson I’m glad I learned.Image

Take That Jump!

Daily Prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/daily-prompt-jump/

 

jump

Alright so picture this:

A cool breeze tickling your skin, teasing strands of your hair – for those who have hair that can be teased. The fresh smell of the sea filling your lungs with each excited breath you take. The sound of seagulls, maybe a few dolphins – if you’re lucky, and the crashing waves below you. The warmth of the sun on your back. The uneven soil beneath your feet – a few rocks making you feel slightly uncomfortable. The feeling of standing on the edge of a cliff, probably a lot of feet above the sea below. You look down. All you see is clear, blue water. No rocks. No obstacles out there to end your life. If you take the jump, you’ll drop into the sea and come back up – a few waves may knock you over but you’ll come out alive. Knowing this, will you jump?

I’m sure a number of you will say “No.” A few of you adventurous folk will say “Yes” without a single moment of hesitation. As for me? Well, my “Yes” is a pending one. I’ll explain.

That scenario I told you to picture? That’s one of the biggest risks I’d like to take. Jumping off of a cliff and landing in the ocean. No, I am not suicidal. I intend on coming out of the water alive – and in one complete piece. This wish of mine has been on my mind since the day I dreamt it. That exact scenario I described graced my subconscious. I woke up feeling exhilarated. I woke up feeling inspired. I woke up feeling rather pensive.

As much as I’d like to take this risk, I can’t do so right now. Why? Well because I don’t know of such a place where I can jump off of a cliff into clear blue water and come out alive. I know it is out there though. The moment I find it – I will mentally prepare myself for the jump for about ten years. I know myself. My fear of heights will not allow me to take this jump comfortably. But I want to get to a point in my life where I will overlook that fear and just jump. Sure I’ll scream – and curse a couple of times – on my way down but the moment I hit that water and resurface, everything will change. I can already feel the sense of victory; the sense of accomplishment. The pride that comes with overcoming a fear.

The thing about this risk is that – there’s more to it than just the literal. Figuratively, I have a lot of cliffs I’d love to jump off of. I won’t name them now – those are articles for another day. Why haven’t I jumped? Well because I need to find the right time, the right people, the right place – stay with me. We all have those risks we want to take. That one person we want to give our heart to. That one change we want to make with our hair. A change in environment. A relationship we need to end. A change in ourselves we need to make. We can see the outcome – freedom. But it’s the thought of jumping and taking the risk that scares us. Fear that a random rock will pop out of nowhere – even though there is no chance whatsoever that a rock will appear – and hurt us. All sorts of doubts fill our head and keep us standing on that cliff edge, soaking up the sun.

I want to stop soaking up the sun. I want to feel myself drop into something new. Something awesome. A sea of total awesomeness – yes, “awesomeness”. I know I’m not alone on that. Think carefully. Think deeply. You know there’s something you need to do – something risky – but your nerve won’t let you do it. You’re waiting for a comfortable time to take that risk. Here’s some news friend: that time will not come. You have to make it for yourself.

I may still be standing on that cliff edge…but I can feel it in me that I’m ready to jump. Lifting my feet slowly…bracing myself…

One…two…three. Here goes nothing.