The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Pareto developed both concepts in the context of the distribution of income and wealth among the population.
The Pareto principle can be applied in all aspects of life. When applied to healthy eating it basically means consume healthy food 80% of the time and fun food for the remaining 20%. The 80/20 rule is really an approach to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. It’s about eating the foods you like, losing the weight and keeping it off. Is it possible that you can have your cake and eat it too???
Can avoid that failure-prone mindset
Keeps you motivated
Able to enjoy your diet more
Don’t feel so restricted
Get to enjoy the foods you love
Able to maintain your eating plan long-term
Determining that 20%
Falling back into old habits
Winning at Life
10 months into my journey I managed to lose 15kg, but here’s the catch … I still ate carbs and sugars (in moderation of course).
Seeing as I am an absolute foodie and have been basically all my life, this flexible approach to weight loss serves me well. I love food, the yummy, tasty, hearty not so healthy kinda food.
I aim to eat clean from Monday to Friday. I’m however less restrictive over the weekend and tend to eat the food I love that may not necessarily be on my eating plan. This may or may not include the occasional glass of G&T.
I’m a true Libran, always looking to sustain balance in my life. The 80/20 rule allows me to live my best life, while I smash out my goals. If I slip up in the week and don’t achieve my 100% clean eating I no longer beat myself up about it. I no longer feel guilty about the occasional piece of decadent chocolate cake and I refuse to allow minor slip-ups to derail me.
Lets be real people. Life isn’t perfect and life “happens”. Setting a goal like 100% clean eating can and will only set you up for failure, making you feel despondent and even depressed. This often leads to us just throwing in the towel, because the situation has become too overwhelming. So instead of setting the bar too high, rather set small goals and gradually work your way into a lifestyle change. Do everything in moderation and focus on positive and happy vibes. The rest will eventually fall into place.
As a woman who’s all about women empowerment, education and living our best lives, I absolutely love attending events that aim to do exactly that.
Yesterday fellow blogger Nadia, the mama behind The Non-Adventures of a Stay-at-Home-Mom and I attended The Women’s Wellness Event The event was hosted by the charismatic and uber-talented Sarah Graham and super inspirational and energetic Jeanne van Zyl in Pretoria.
Sarah Graham, the well-known food writer and TV host, along with nutrition and wellness expert, Jeanne van Zyl joined forces to host this years women’s event. The event was held with the aim “to help you cultivate a lifestyle that promotes balance and inside-out beauty, and that gives you quick tips and tricks on healthy eating that is actually attainable”.
Here’s what our morning entailed
Shortly after our arrival and check-in, I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of meeting and having a quick chat with Sarah. Okay, so my day was made there and then. I love her approach to food and I’m definitely a huge fan. She’s as sweet and friendly as she comes across on television, and is also rather candid and funny about her journey.
After grabbing a quick coffee (because we needed to warm up due to the cold rainy weather) and welcome, we went straight into the pilates session with Jeanne. I’ve never tried pilates before so I was looking forward to it. Firstly, don’t let Jeanne’s petite physique and bubbly personality fool you. She took us through our paces and dished out a killer workout that not only left me sweating up a storm, but I had pains in places I didn’t know I had places. Nadia on the other hand looked as fresh as a daisy.
At the end of the pilates session we made our way downstairs and took our seats, so that we could enjoy a super healthy brunch. We had beetroot smoothies, mini egg quiches, banana bread, an OhMega Nut Butters almond butter and Nature’s Choice fruit bar. This was accompanied with Nature’s Choice coconut water, and Dr.Toms Kombucha both of which are my drinks of choice. Sarah went on to tell us a bit about herself and her journey. She then taught us a few healthy eating hacks that I am so going to include in my cooking shenanigans. She really made it look so easy. Another round of food arrived and this time it was chicken skewers in a tahini sauce, pancakes drenched in chocolate and tumeric milk.
Next up was Jeanne and she discussed wellness and nutrition. She kept it real and stressed that there are no quick fixes. That nutrition and fitness go hand in hand, so instead of crash dieting and extreme challenges, that we should take the approach of just living simply by making small changes. She suggested that each and everyone of us develop our own action plan to a achieve a balanced life. Here are her 4 step to creating that tailored lifestyle plan :
Identify obstacles, hindrances and/or boundaries
Have a vision
Take small steps
The event was sponsored by the following awesome brands:-
Capital Hotel School
The recipes for the delicious and healthy brunch we ate can be found in Sarah’s new book WHOLESOME, which was unfortunately not available. Sarah and her team however promised to get our signed copies to us once the printing issues were resolved.
All in all this was a fantastic event which highlighted that a balanced life is the key to good and sustainable fitness and health. I absolutely related to everything these ladies had to say and in some way it was the validation I needed, to say that my plan of action is in fact the correct approach.
While Nadia and I both have fitness and health goals, what we are truly striving for as mamas and wives is a balanced life. Our fitness and health goals do differ and so to does our approach. For instance, Nadia enjoys yoga and pilates and I’m inclined to gym and running. She likes tumeric lattes and me, not so much. The point I’m trying to make is that it’s vital that your action plan suits you and your life. That you find solutions that both appeal to you and that you enjoy, as this is the key to a balanced lifestyle.
Busy Corner is an African cuisine restaurant based in the heart of Tembisa, Midrand that celebrates the authentic African culture, heritage and lifestyle. From very humble beginnings of a container, this restaurant has transformed into what it is today.
I was introduced to Busy Corner soon after my return to Gauteng. I’m always keen on new experiences and I’m so glad I tried it. This now happens to be one of my favourite places to eat out. This display of the authentic African culture and heritage make this a truly unique South African experience.
It’s all in the name
Imbizo is taken from the isiZulu word biza, which means to call or summon or a gathering of people, and is usually a spectacular affair. Shisanyama is a colloquial word derived also from isiZulu meaning to braai or cook meat over an open flame. Essentially, at Imbizo Shisanyama it’s about family and friends getting together to braai meat on an open fire in traditional African style.
What’s on the menu
The menu comes down to braaied meat, pap, dumplings (african steamed bread), spinach and chakalaka. Oh my word, everything tastes amazing and I’ve never been disappointed. The meat is braaied to perfection. I always order liver which just happens to be something I don’t normally eat, but the braaied liver at Busy Corner is the absolute best and a must try. They definitely make the most amazing chakalaka and as for the dumplings, I really need to get the recipe for that light and fluffy steamed bread. There are other local dishes on the menu like chicken runners or hard body chicken, but everyone seems to stick to the basics for the most part.
You can select your meat from the butcher or alternatively just tell your waiter what you want and the “braai boys” will braai your meat for you. There’s also the option to braai your own meat; take your meat home to braai or have them braai your meat for you to take-away. They have truly thought about everything at Busy Corner.
Beers and ciders are bought by the bucket. Those just keep coming as the day turns into night. Busy Corner does have an extensive list of wines and liquor as well.
The atmosphere is a true reflection of the South African culture. The music starts softly, slowly progressing into jazzy old school tunes that transport you back in time. As the night progresses the African rhythm takes control and the party truly gets started with people dancing wherever they can find space. This place is always packed,with it getting busier as the day progresses.
Kids are welcome but only until 6pm. They even have rides to keep the little ones entertained. My kids absolutely loved it there and on our way home, asked when we can return because they really enjoyed the food.
Busy Corner with its great African identity, excellent service and absolutely amazing food can definitely be described as one of Jozi’s hidden gems. Step outside your comfort zone, get your favourite humans together and head on over to the Ultimate Braai Experience in the township of Tembisa, at what’s been rated as 2017’s best shisanyama.
In January 2017, when I started this journey I decided that the gym was the way to go. As the year quickly progressed, life got more and more hectic. Time became a seriously sought-after commodity and my commitments as a working mom escalated like never before. So I found myself searching for more hours in a day but that never materialised. The next step was to make some changes to my life so the important stuff got priority. Something had to give and in this case it was gym. I found myself going to the gym less frequently each month. I did find a solution and that was attempting home workouts for the first time ever.
Exercising with people with similar interests helps create a motivational environment
Different workouts available which gives your more options
Option to work with personal a trainer
Various specialists at your disposal (eg. biokineticists or massage therapists)
Allows you to have some “YOU TIME”
Gym mirrors are damn amazing
Fees are generally high
Can be time-consuming
On busy days you need to wait to use equipment
Being hit on by people
Training restricted to operating times of the gym
Child-care facilities not necessarily available.
Can be intimidating
Convenient as it saves you time
Can train whenever you want to
You can wear whatever you want
Private environment so no reason to feel self-conscious.
Initial set-up costs can be expensive
Too many distractions
My Final Verdict
Making decisions that affectours lives, health and well-being are never easy, but they are damn important. I’m a social butterfly so the gym is the ideal solution for me. I find that working out with others keeps me motivated and pushes me to work harder. To be completely honest, home workouts are cool and you can most certainly achieve the same results as you would at the gym. Your results depend entirely on your personal drive and commitment and it comes down to your preference. So as much as I’m not the biggest fan of home workouts, I will tell you not to underestimate them at all. Those 30 minute HIIT sessions are savage. After much deliberation I have decided that in 2018 I will combine Gym Workouts and Home Workouts into my weekly routine. This way I will meet all my obligations and still be able to stick to my exercise schedule. I’m basically removing all excuses and opportunities to fail. I’ve drawn up a schedule to ensure I have a plan and I will be gyming 4 times a week and 2 times at home. So even though I have a 6 day plan, I’m a mom and life happens. I may not always meet my goal of 6 workouts a week but I have committed to definitely doing 4 per week.
So what I’m really saying is that there is no room for excuses. It’s time to take ownership of your life and your health. Whether you prefer the gym or home workouts, figure out what works for you and what best suits your life. Then make a commitment to yourself and honour it. The time is indeed now.
Eggs glorious eggs!! The superfood of all superfoods (well as far as I am concerned). An egg only contains one ingredient – “eggs.” So there’s no sugar or carbs. Now that is bloody amazing is you ask me. Eggs are a source of high-quality protein and a number of other nutrients. The other thing about eggs is that they are easily accessible and egg-cellently versatile (and yes I just used an egg pun).
Physical Performance The high-quality protein in an egg is essential for building and maintaining lean body mass.
Weight Management & Satiety The high-quality protein in eggs can reduce hunger and facilitate weight loss as well as help with weight maintenance
101 Ways to Cook Eggs
As I have already mentioned, eggs are extremely versatile and can be cooked in 101 ways. Eggs are also the kind of food that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even as a snack. Here are some of my fav egg dishes.
Caution – reading further may stimulate your appetite
Poach one egg. I no longer eat fried eggs but you can use a fried egg if that’s your preference. While your egg is poaching, heat up 1 teaspoon of olive or coconut oil. Chop up some kale and throw into a pan on low heat. Allow to cook just for a few seconds so that’s it has a slight crunch. Add a handful of chopped mushrooms and sauté. Add salt and pepper to taste. I cooked my diced bacon in the airfryer but you can cook in the oven or in a plan. In a plate, layer the kale and mushrooms, then the bacon and the poached egg.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Cut an avocado in half. Remove the seed. Place the halved avos into an oven tray. Carefully crack an egg into each half. Place into the oven and cook. Remove according to how you like your eggs done. By the way, isn’t egg and avo just the perfect combo.
Egg cups are my favourite and they are super easy to make. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Using a muffin baking tin, spray it with spray and cook. Line the side of each cup with a piece of streaky bacon. Then crack an egg into the center. Pop the muffin tin into the oven and allow to bake.
We spoke about the versatility of eggs, and curries are no exception. This is a dish I grew up eating and I absolutely love it. “Tinned fish curry” aka Pilchards. I fry some onions, chillis, extra tomatoes to make a nice yummy base sauce then I add the pilchards. Don’t forget to remove the bones from the center of the fish. Boil the eggs, shell and add to the curry. This dish could definitely fall under healthy budget meals. You can also add eggs to veg curries to up the protein content.
There are many variations to this dish and many names for it. The Israeli’s for instance call it Shakshuka, it is basically poached eggs in a “tomato sauce”, but if you are Indian then it’s called Egg Chutney. Cook up a “tomato sauce” by frying some onions and chillis in a little coconut oil. Add your chopped tomatoes and spices as required. Allow to cook into a hearty sauce, then crack the eggs into it. Stir in the egg whites (I like to keep the yolks whole). Cover your pot and allow eggs to poach on a low heat. I make mine super spicy but that’s because I can’t get enough of hot and spicy food. With the cost of living ever-increasing, we want to get bang for our buck, and this is the epitome of that. Cheap, easy, quick and nutritionally amazing.
This is one of my favourite dishes when I eat out (this is not a sponsored post). Poached runny eggs on a bed of kale and crispy bacon. It’s served with an avo and sprinkled with seeds and micro leaves. Eating out can be tricky, but it’s all about making good food choices. Notice the omelette in the background. Now what makes you think this family loves their eggs?
Just one final one, the humble egg muffin. Its super easy to make and one of the coolest ways to use up left overs (not that you will ever find leftovers in my home). Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Prepare a muffin baking tin by spraying with spray and cook. Chop up tomatoes, onions, chillis, mushrooms, chicken and bacon for example. Look, this is where you get creative and use whatever blows your hair back. Sprinkle a little of your ingredients into each cup. Then add some grated cheese. Beat your eggs, add some pepper and salt to taste (I add a touch of paprika to mine) then pour the egg mix into the muffin cups. I also add a touch of baking powder and cream to my mixture.
I seriously hope that I’ve given you some food for thought and I’m hoping that now you will be even more creative when cooking eggs.
An egg-ceptionally wonderful day for you Lovelies and happy cooking.
This self-declared Boss Lady of Meal Prep doesn’t just meal prep for herself, she does it for her kids as well.
Being a working-mom means that I’m a slave to the clock and time is pretty much never on my side. So meal prepping for the kids lunches saves me loads of time in the morning when all hell is breaking loose.
I’ve tried my best to keep it simple but my sons are like day and night, especially when it comes to their eating habits. My little one is indeed a picky eater and would rather starve himself before eating tomatoes, olives or cheese for examples. My eldest on the other hand is an absolute pleasure to make lunches for. He eats absolutely anything. All this means that I pack different lunch boxes for each child (yes this extra work is indeed self-inflicted).
Below is my standard list of lunch picks. All items listed below in blue are meal prepped on a Sunday afternoon. The key to success for me is to select at one item from each category listed below, keeping the specific dietary requirements of each child.
1. Main Course
In an attempt to reduce their carb intake, we aim for sandwich free lunch on most days. The rule however doesn’t apply on Fridays. Monday to Thursday Options:
Ham & cheese pinwheels
Beef or chicken kebabs
Bacon wrapped egg cups
2. Fruit or Veg
All the items listed below can be prepped in advance.
Bananas (we avoid this on super hot days as they spoil easily)
Power balls ( I make these on a Sunday during my meal prep)
Chocolate or yoghurt covered rice cakes
4. A Drink
Fruit infused water
Hot chocolate (in winter)
#PimpMyLunchbox game on point, so we are definitely ready to tackle the 2018 school year
The 14th of January marked my 20 year career milestone in Aviation. Looking back, my random and very spur of the moment decision to join the South African Air Force was the best decision I have ever made.
It was April 1997 and I was 19 years old. I woke up one morning and decided that I was heading to Pretoria because I wanted to join the South African Air Force. I really wanted to study but didn’t have the funds, plus now I needed to work to support myself. So I packed my bag and headed to a city I knew very little about. I immediately applied to the Air Force and not long after that I had my interview and psychometric tests. In December 1997 I received my letter to say I had been accepted and that I would start Basic Military Training on 14 January 1998.
So this young Indian girl from Durban who had no idea what she had signed up for was heading to the military. Firstly, my Afrikaans sucked. Secondly, I don’t take to orders or being screamed at too well. Thirdly, I’m as stubborn AF. Fourthly, at that age I was a rebel with a cause. I arrived at the SAAF gymnasium and reported to the rugby field, with suitcase, ironing board, a box of cleaning material and there began my career in Aviation. Now let me tell you, if you want to get fit then the military will whip you into shape in 3 short months. You literally run your ass off while being screamed at (for no apparent reason) all day long. You sing for your food (as crappy as it may be), do everything at the speed of light and the phrase “val saam” takes on a whole new meaning. Even though it was super tough, I had the time of my life and the most fun ever.
The kids and I went to the SAAF gymnasium last week, so that I could show them where it all began for me and so that we could walk that very path from my first day again.
I passed military training and then started my studies towards a qualification as an Aircraft Instrument Mechanic. After 3 years of exceptionally hard work, commitment, dedication and having to prove myself daily (because I was a woman in a male dominated environment). I qualified as an Aircraft Instrument Mechanic on the C130 aircraft at 28 Squadron, Airforce Base Waterkloof in Pretoria.
Shortly after that, I left the SAAF to work at the South African Civil Aviation Authority as an Airworthiness Inspector. Words enough can’t express how amazing this part of my career has been. My learning curve was incredible and the responsibility of this job was huge, but it wasn’t all work and no play. Working for the SACAA afforded me the opportunity to become a jetsetter and travel the world. In the past 14 years I have visited more than 100 cities worldwide. I have had the pleasure of working with truly knowledgeable, remarkable people who have played a huge role in impacting my life.
Due to personal reasons, I had to give up my dream job. It wasn’t just a job, I loved what I did and was truly good at it. Anyway, I resigned from the SACAA and went into a partnership where we owned two Aircraft Maintenance Organisations and a Consultancy. This was hard work indeed and even though it didn’t work out well in the end, there’s always the opportunity to learn and to grow.
Final checks on a helicopter awaiting delivery to a client.
I went on to relocate to Cape Town with my kids, where I was employed as General Manager at an Aviation Company. I helped run an Aircraft Maintenance Organisation, Aircraft Training Organisation and an Operator. The exposure obtained while working in the industry was invaluable and definitely served me well.
In 2012 I returned to the SACAA but only this time it was in the position of Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigator. This is a part of my career that was life changing, almost soul destroying at times. As an accident investigator you sit there waiting for an accident to happen. You deal with things after the fact and nothing you say or do brings comfort to the families left behind. Determining the outcome of the accident, does however bring some closure to them. During this period I was fortunate enough to be given the opprtunity to study towards obtaining my fixed wing pilots license. At the same time, there was an unfortunate spate of fatal accidents. So I spent weekend after weekend dealing with dead bodies, traumatised and bereaved families while trying to conduct accident investigations. Then came my normal work week where I spent the majority of my time flying. In retrospect being an accident investigator and student pilot concurrently didn’t make for the best learning environment. I passed several of my subjects and flew 20 hours, before deciding to call it quits. I didn’t feel that flying was for me. I’m definitely a far better engineer than I would ever have been a pilot. I’m a firm believer in following my gut, so I don’t regret not finishing but I’m super grateful for the experienced obtained as a student pilot.
To commerorate my 20 years in Aviation I got a half sleeve aviation tattoo. Of all my tattoo’s this is indeed the most sentimental. The tattoo specifcally designed for me includes a female aviator; the C130 aircraft I qualified on and 3 paper planes that are sumbolic of my life as an engineer, student pilot and accident investigator
I continue to work at the SACAA as an Airworthiness Inspector in the Consistency and Standardisation department. I absolutely love what I do for a living and I work for a really great Aviation organisation. A career in Aviation is and can be exceptionally demanding and it’s very easy to find yourself pretty much running on empty while you burn the candle on both ends. My previous jobs required a lot of travel and overtime which meant I was never at home. After 20 years I’ve finally found work-life balance, by making the decision to stop travelling. I needed to make this decision so that I could focus on my family and myself. This major decision (though I miss travelling tremendously) has been amazing for my life as a whole. I’ve managed to prioritise myself and in so doing, my health has improved and I’m most certainly living my best life, by having the best of both worlds.
Maboneng Precinct found in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa is a place that truly sets my heart on fire and makes my soul sing. It is a happy place for any creative out there.
“There are far, far better things ahead than we leave behind” – CS Lewis
This once declared no-go zone, received a face-lift of note in 2008 when the area was transformed into a cultural haven. “The precinct has since grown into Joburg’s most unusual and innovative areas, offering live / work and entertainment opportunities within a fully integrated urban set-up”.
My family and I absolutely love the vibe and atmosphere that Maboneng has to offer. If you are looking for us on a Sunday morning there’s a very good chance we will be found hanging out at Market on Main. Sunday market vibes with an abundance of oh so yummy EVERYTHING. After we feed our faces, we then casually walk the streets looking for new artwork that comes in the form of murals, graffiti and structures. We love the Precinct so much that in December 2016 we did a family lifestyle photo shoot in the streets of Maboneng, which made for the perfect setting to showcase our new lives in the City of Gold.
Our most recent visit to Maboneng on the 30th of December 2017, saw us playing tour guides to some of our friends. Due to the festive season Market on Main wasn’t open and the same applied to several shops and restaurants. Despite it being rather quiet I must admit that it was an absolute pleasure to have Maboneng (literally) to ourselves. We took tons of photos and let our crazy sides take control. It’s a place where your creative side is unleashed and you get to play, be free and live in the moment. My kids in particular have the best time whenever we visit. I love the friendliness of the people and how everyone is so helpful.
I think it’s rather apt that Maboneng means “Place of Light”. This culturally diverse urban area overflows with amazing people who are blessed with an abundance of talent in terms of art, design, entertainment, entrepreneurial skills and music. Every inch of the precinct can be felt to your core, ensuring you leave feeling completely enriched.
Your first trip into Maboneng may leave you questioning your choices and could possibly see you turn your car around and head home without even making it to your final destination. Don’t let the trip in, scare you and put you off. This cultural oasis is a must see and its’s experience I promise you won’t regret.
In true form, I managed to squeeze in a few more adventures before 2017 came to a close. I’d been dying to make my way out to the Orlando Towers in Soweto, South Africa and on the 30th of December I did exactly that with a group of friends.
The Orlando Power Station is a decommissioned coal-fired power station in Soweto. The power station was commissioned at the end of the Second World War and served Johannesburg for over 50 years.
It was the windiest of days, but we were still able to make our way up to the viewing platform. Thankfully bungee-jumping was put on hold due to the extreme windy conditions so there was no pressure to jump. I need to mention that I’m absolutely terrified of heights yet I somehow always seem to find myself prioritising my adventurous side over my fears. Utter craziness if you ask me. So the way to the viewing platform comes in the form of a rickety cage that speedily makes it way up the side of one of the towers. The ride up is super intense as the shape of the tower means that the position of the cage is ever-changing. It’s also not the smoothest of rides and is insanely noisy which adds to the drama.
I can’t express enough how damn grateful I was to get out of that cage, when we had finally reached the top, with the only problem being that the cage was also our way down. We made our way up a flight of stairs and then I found myself crawling on the viewing deck. Yes, I crawled, like actually crawled on all fours. I immediately made my way to wooden crates positioned in the center of the platform and stayed there for a while.
The wind fortunately settled a bit, and I was able to check out the view and pose for a few pics (of course I made sure I clutched onto someone or something). The towers are unbelievably high and on a windy day it almost feels as if the towers are moving. The artwork on the towers themselves are super impressive and can be seen for kilometers. The view from the top of the towers however isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s cool to say that I made my way to the top of Orlando Towers despite my incredible fear of heights.
Even though the towers are commonly associated with “bungee jumping”, there are way more fun things to do. While the majority of the things to do at the towers are for the thrill-seeker / adrenaline junkie, I still recommend that you make a trip out to the Orlando Towers aka Soweto Towers and check out this iconic South African landmark.
A few pointers before you head out
No valuables are allowed on the viewing platform (things like bags, caps, cellphones and cameras)
You can ask for a photographer to take photos of you when you are on the viewing platform (for a price of course)
There is an age restriction for kids to partake in the various activities
I often hear parents and grandparents talk about the dangers of the internet and social media. I’m going to be honest and say it infuriates me to a certain degree. Don’t get me wrong here, the internet and social media used incorrectly can be extremely dangerous and can easily expose any of us. Geo-tagging and inappropriate photos of our kids on the web can make this already convoluted situation much worse. My big issue is that we don’t warn our kids with the same tenacity about the possible dangers looming from the people closest to them. Where’s that tenacity in warning them against the people they spend most of their time with or people we assume will always love and protect us because they are family. My personal feeling is that we can educate our kids about the internet and that we can put measures in place to help aid these efforts, but as human beings its instinctive to trust family and why shouldn’t we? It is however unfortunate that we live in a world surrounded by monsters who abuse, deceive and manipulate without even batting an eyelid. It really has nothing to do with the times we live as this problem has existed for centuries.
I’ve carried this secret with me for more than 3 decades, but there are a handful of people (who I trust) that know my truth. As a little girl l was sexually molested by a family member. It was a hot summers day and I clearly remember his sister and the domestic worker watching through the window as he penetrated me. It only happened on the one occasion (one time too many I’d say), probably because I never returned to that house ever again. I also chose not to tell anyone. Back in those days you didn’t speak out. Children were meant to be seen and not heard. After all, who would believe me and I already lived a life riddled with chaos and drama. I just wanted to forget about what happened and move on. I couldn’t deal with anymore turmoil in my life.
At that point, my secret was safe and nobody was the wiser. Forward several years later, and another family member chose to target me. He would constantly touch me and feel me up, always waiting for his opportunity. Peeping around corners and through windows while I bathed or changed. This time I was older, confident and stronger, okay maybe the correct word was angrier. I wanted justice and I wasn’t prepared to keep yet another secret. So I told my family, but to my shock and horror I was asked to keep this a secret. I needed to protect his family because they would be hurt by his actions. Really, like seriously WTF!!! His family would be hurt!!! What about me???
Here began the unraveling of my life as a woman in a world that protected and empowered men over anything and anyone. I turned into an angry and rebellious teenager. I can honestly say I was a teen from hell. I was so angry with my family, with myself and basically with the world. I felt short-changed and unloved. I felt worthless and didn’t see that l was beautiful and gifted. Worst of all, I felt empty and this is where my comfort eating started. I ate irrespective of whether I was hungry or not. I just had an insatiable appetite to fill that emptiness. Aside from the comfort eating I spent most night’s punching the walls. I was consumed with anger and hurting myself became my outlet.
As I grew into a young woman I found myself constantly attracted to the wrong kind of males (notice I didn’t say “MEN”). My choices weren’t the best, but then again how do you make good choices when you don’t even love and value yourself. Why would anyone else see the value in you when you couldn’t see it in yourself? In my recent post about My Insane Self-Love I mentioned that there were other reasons for my lack of self-love, so this is the story for another day I mentioned. I may have lacked self-love and was totally oblivious to my good attributes, but my life had turned me into a fighter. There was a part of me that just wasn’t prepared to give up on myself. I fought for myself day in and day out. but sometimes it wasn’t necessary. I turned into the person who was permanently in self-preservation mode and I’d hurt you long before you hurt me.
About 10 years ago I finally made the decision to see a therapist to work through my horrid childhood. There was so much to process and it was probably one of the best decisions I could have made for myself. After months of therapy and years of journaling, I have been freed from the shackles of my past. I no longer needed retribution from the people who hurt me. I’m not angry anymore and speaking my truth today is not about hurting the people who had failed me. It’s about empowering myself and in so doing, encouraging and supporting others.
To be totally honest, I have to admit that the fighter in me that I mentioned earlier is alive and kicking and is a part of me that will never die. I now value myself and I know that I am worthy of the right kind of love. I refuse to settle for less and I certainly deserve only the very best. As Oprah said in her speech “I want all the girls watching here now to know that a new day is on the horizon.”, so to do many people associate sexual abuse with just females or girls, but I’m here to tell you that abuse of any kind does not discriminate in any way or form. Nobody is safe from the monsters that surround us on a daily basis, as they are hidden behind the many disguises of life.
To you, the perpetrator I want you to know that “YOUR TIME IS UP!“
And to you my Lovelies, I want you to know that your past doesn’t define you. I want you to know that you are enough and you are worthy.