How to be Authentic in 2017

*LANGUAGE WARNING*

Inauthenticity by definition is: not authentic

Pretty simple really. I don’t think you could get a simpler definition. So here let me complicate it for you. If you are not being authentically you, you are being inauthentically you by trying to be someone else. If you go from being YOU to being a new inauthentic YOU then you are still not being you at all. People are pretty good at ready between the lines and smelling the bullshit. It’s a thing called “gut instincts”.

Being a new inauthentic you is not to be confused with being a new version of you because change is something we all do. We grow. We change. We become different, hopefully better, interpretations of ourselves. We go through dark phases, light phases and full on neon motherfucking bright phases. It’s an ebb and flow. But if you try to fill those spaces with something that is not in alignment with who you really are then you can expect not much to change. You can expect people to withdraw from you. People to question you. To feel a little unsure around you. Trust me. I’ve been there. Being inauthentic is a turn-off and not just for some rolling in the hay loving but for relationships in general. So…

How to be authentic, trustworthy, credible and legitimately you?

  1. Become more aware of your actions. Your voice. Your persona. Don’t be too hard on yourself but if you notice you are speaking with an accent even though you haven’t left the country for an extended period of time or you’ve suddenly woken with a plum in your mouth then you are probably being inauthentic. The people who know you, deeply, will know this is not who you truly are. If you sense they are beginning to feel uncomfortable around you ask yourself “WHO AM I RIGHT NOW?”
  2. Stop pretending that perfectionism exists. None of us are perfect. There are no perfect parents. No perfect life. No perfect human. No perfect holiday with kids, now ain’t that the truth! But imagine the boring life we would all lead if we were all perfect. *Yawn* Give me imperfect any day.
  3. Find what resonates with you. It is different for everyone. Some people like to blend in. Some like to stand out. Some can do the jig in both of those worlds. There is nothing wrong with any of these as long as they are authentically you. Sometimes being able to do both, or being a chameleon, is a gift. It means you can walk into any situation and fit in like you are made for the space you are standing in. It’s not a mask, for some of us it’s a skill. But if you have to adjust your soul to feel accepted by others than you are not being authentic. If they don’t like the real you than they are not worth your time.
  4. Forgive. Yep, fuck it, I know it’s hard but you have got to forgive because holding grudges isn’t you being true and authentic to yourself. Plus it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die – something Buddha or Carrie Fisher said depends on the Google search. It’s a cute little hardcore quote but I love its analogy all the same.
  5. Keep growing. Learn from the past. I know people say don’t look back but I think looking back is empowering. Looking back and saying “Holy Shit! Look how far I’ve come!” Here I was, for 20 years, TRYING SO HARD to fit in when I was BORN to stand out! Don’t think this doesn’t apply to you because it does. Stand out by being unique. Not being a follower. Not being someone who is constantly looking at others and wanting what they have but looking within and thinking, FEELING, what it is that YOU NEED to be authentically you.
  6. Stop being agreeable. Stop saying yes when you really want to say no. My god I spent years, YEARS, doing this and the resentment I felt was, at times, unbearable. Then when I started saying no people became offended because it wasn’t something I normally said. So don’t be like me. SAY NO. You don’t always have to be the yes-man or yes-woman or yes-gender-neutral. The word no, when it is authentically said, is empowering because it puts YOU in the drivers seat. Don’t be scared of being in control of your vehicle because it is a bit fucken crazy if you’re not at the wheel. Oh and honour your boundaries they are like the lines that keep you on your track.
  7. Practise what you preach. If you are going to preach something then make sure you are living it. It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect at it but it does mean that it should be a part of your conscious actions. In fact if it is something you truly believe in then it will also be a part of your subconscious actions. Preach away but keep it real. And finally….. Mum cover your ears… or better still close your eyes…
  8. Don’t be a cunt. Sorry I know this is a very unladylike word and I actually really dislike it but it’s a beauty. Being a cunt isn’t anybody’s authentic self. Being a cunt means you are being totally inauthentic and that nobody is going to like you, even probably yourself. Just be nice. Be real. Be kind. Less cunty. Be authentic. Be in the natural state of you. It’s a beautiful state to be in.

One love,

DRK xxx

 

 

Five Tips to Stop Over Eating and Start Losing Weight

If you’re anything like me, or the me of old but the not-so-old-me-that-I-don’t-remember me, you know what it’s like to obsess over food. Obsess over weight. Over calories. Over good food versus bad food. Over punishing yourself for wrong choices. As a compulsive dieter and emotional eater you’ll understand what it’s like to go all day eating “good” foods, sticking to the plan you stayed up til midnight devising and promising to yourself that THIS TIME you will stick to it and then all of a sudden your face down in a pool of curve embracing carbs and the only way out is to eat your way through it all. I’ve been there. Often. Not too long ago in fact. I’ve found myself time and time again resisting food for most of the day, eating healthy meals and snacks and then WHAM! 3pm hits and it’s like the fridge automatically opens itself up and empties its full contents into my mouth leaving only the well meaning carrot sticks and grapes behind.

Food has been constantly on my mind for, at least, the past decade. At least. I have had a war with food for a long time and it has been torture! And for those of you that get it you will get that after the binge comes the guilt. Then with the guilt comes the feelings of being a failure and so therefore the intake of more food before finally the promises that tomorrow will be different. It’s tough. It’s a daily, fucked up, tough cycle. Something only first worlders have to whinge about which then makes us feel even shitter about the fact our problem is that there is too much food and yet somewhere else in the world children are starving!

Some of us use food like a drug. We become addicted to the short term joy it brings us. It’s like a security blanket. It keeps you safe. It never lets you down. The food is always there for you. The hollow fullness is always there to comfort youBut it’s not really. I made this discovery recently. Although I can admit that I’ve really known it for a very long time. I’ve also known the reasons why I have spent way too long overeating which is, ironically, to feel small. To stay insignificant. Because being small and insignificant meant I was safe and hidden. That my low self worth and insipid guilt of my past actions couldn’t be seen. That because of these past actions I must remain with my head bowed in an apologetic stance for the rest of my life. Not worthy. A failure. A fat failure.

In my recent revelations I’ve learnt some new ways to move beyond my decade+ long food struggle. I’ve seen the light so-to-speak and my entire day is NOT filled with food thoughts. I eat when I’m hungry. I eat what I want. I am smiling. I am happy. I am still considered overweight and my outer body doesn’t yet reflect my inner body but I’ve let my security blanket go and I want you to join me in the revolution of being in control of food.

So without further adieu here are my five tips.

1. Quit dieting. 

For food obsessors dieting is like putting a lit ciggie in a smokers mouth and telling them not to suck it in. Right? It’s torture! Dieting instantly fills you with a mix of hopefulness and dread even more so if you’ve been dieting on and off for years. Dieting means restriction, not having what you like – or think you like. Dieting means failure. Failures mean bingeing. Bingeing means you are back where you started. Get off the cycle! Ditch the diet books, like, seriously, throw those fuckers out don’t even try to sell them on Facebook Buy & Sell – they are not worth a cent! Steer clear of gossip magazines with a bikini clad celeb on the cover and the headline “How she lost 15kg overnight”. And run the fuck away from googling anything keto/paleo/atkins/dukan/cabbage soup diet related and unfollow all those instagram feeds where the motto is “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. None, and I will repeat this for you, NONE of these diets are helpful when you are obsessed with food, an emotional eater or compulsive dieter. I don’t say this to take away the hope for a slimmer you I tell you this because our “diet” begins in our minds and not with a restrictive food plan. So I am sorry but what works for your best mate, your father in law, your sisters-friends-mister isn’t the kind of diet you need. For most of us it’s a mind thing not a diet thing. Please remember that. 

2. Keep track. 

No not of your food! Keep track of your emotions. Your thoughts. When do you start obsessing? If you feel like it is all of the time, which was me, then think about when your food obsession is at its worst for you? Is it after dinner is finished? Is it after a session at the gym or is it, like me, the minute you get home from school pickup? We are a slave to our thoughts so recognising where they happen, when they are the strongest, what can set them off and what can ease them will really set a solid foundation of understanding your triggers. With understanding comes power and with power comes the confidence to move forward. We want to move forward because I sure as eggs don’t want to be an eighty year old woman still bitching and moaning about my weight. I want to fucken live a full and exciting life. Something I have been working on A LOT in the last 12 months and I have to say I like this moving forward trajectory thinga-me-bob.

live in the moment

3. Pull the Wonder Woman Pose. 

Yep it sounds silly and it’ll look silly too when you are standing all super powerfully in front of the fridge or in line at Maccas but guess what? It works. It is proven that standing in the Wonder Woman pose will give you more power and more confidence which then gives you the capability to make a better choice. Even if it’s assertiveness towards a kitchen appliance and all it’s contents or the pimply boy waiting to take your order. This power pose communicates not only to others but more importantly to yourself that you are serious and in control. You. Are. In. Control! Hold it for two minutes. Chest out, shoulders back, feet apart and fists on hips. Oh and remember to breath! You can also use a power pose while you are eating! Yes good posture will slow your eating. It’ll raise your awareness and it will make each mouthful mindful. Shoulders back. Head held high. Eat with purpose. Eat with control. Why? Because food does not control you. Wonder Woman is your girl! Channel her.

Wonder_Woman

4. Find your cheerleaders. 

Surround yourself with love and support. Find “your person”. Find your best supportive babe. That one person who will not judge you, the one who will stay neutral to how you are feeling now but will always offer encouragement for the steps ahead. Cheerleaders are the bomb. They get you. They also see you for who you truly are and they want you to love the absolute shit out of you as much as they do. It really is true. They can see all the good parts of you that you cannot see and they want you shine. So shine you fucking Goddess, SHINE!

Feel better

5. Enjoy food.

Don’t be scared of this one but learn to enjoy food again – for what it is. Food is fuel but food is also a part of daily life. We cannot just give it up, go cold turkey and wait for the shivers and shakes to stop. But food really needs to be put in its place and it is up to us to do it. See it for what it is. Tell yourself that because we are the lucky ones there will always be enough food. That chocolate will be there tomorrow and the next day and the next day. It doesn’t need to be hoed down in one go. It is not going anywhere. It will always be available. It is just chocolate. Don’t count calories. Don’t claim food as “good” or “bad” it’s just food. Once you tune into your body you will naturally gravitate to what makes you feel light and bright. It’ll take time but how long has it taken you to get to this point – with no success. 

Enjoy it all

What happens from here on in is a deeply personal transformation. Something that is not clearly visible to the eye but it is there. People will notice. The mental transformation, for us, is the most important stage. A body transformation cannot be sustained without a stable mental change. And let me tell you once your mental transformation begins the body transformation doesn’t have much significance anymore because you will learn along the way how amazing your body has been during the time of mental anguish you have just endured. You will recognise the strength your body has had to have over this time and how supportive it has been to you to keep getting up and trying again and again. Don’t blame your body. Thank it. What a gift you have been given. Now go. Go stand in that wonderful Wonder Woman pose. Because you, my friend, are not small and insignificant at all. You are purposeful and powerful.

Shine on Goddesses!

One love

DRK xx

Before & After – A Mental Transformation

Well this is going to be confronting & long. It’s going to be a case of personal oversharing including photos of me – yep, I’m totally freaking out here – but it has got to be said and it has got to be shared for clarification.


The photo on the right is me 4 years ago. Eating crap, exercising little (unless waddling is a recognised sport nowadays) and weighing the heaviest I have ever done in my entire life. Clearly I am also very pregnant, in fact I am 3 days overdue with my fifth devil spawn … and by devil spawn I mean my darling children. I was told during this pregnancy, around the halfway mark, by my doctor, that I was not to gain anymore weight. At that point in time I had only gained 5kg. By the time this photo was taken I had gained 10 in total. I’m such an over achiever … Actually thats a lie – I’ve never overachieved at anything. Let me tell you though that being told not to gain weight or even to consider losing some while pregnant by a professional really fucks with your head. Like really. Fucks. With. Your. Head.

The middle photo is of me at my slimmest – as an adult at least. Or as someone trying to be all adulty and stuff. This was me 6 months after giving birth to my fifth child and 6 weeks into a gruelling 500 calories a day supplement supported “detox”. I wasn’t allowed to exercise on this diet which is clear because there were no calories to spare. I cried many of those 42 days and would beat myself up when I ate an extra cracker or didn’t lose some gram of weight daily. Then at the end of all that, 10kg lighter, I still saw a fat, disfigured, heavy set woman. Although that is me smiling in the photo – posing even – in all honestly I had my daughter take at least 20 photos before I decided none of them were good enough to share and went into the bathroom to cry because I was just so fucking hideous. Which cracks me up now because I’d give my fifth child up (I’m kidding!) to look like that again but I wouldn’t ever want to go back to the way I felt emotionally and mentally at that moment in my life.

The photo on the left was taken 3 months ago. It’s a flattering photo of my current body & this is obvious to me because it’s the only full length photo I can find of myself recently. Which means that perhaps I don’t look like that in real life. Perhaps I am bigger and realistically I know I am. I know I am because I am pretty close to the weight I was in my pregnant photo. Yes the pregnant heifer on the right. The one who was warned to lose weight or face diabetes. I also know I am heavyset because categorically the BMI (or as I prefer to call it Bad Mother-fucking-mental-image Indicator) says I am either close to being obese or I’m too short for my weight.

BUT what it doesn’t tell you is that in the here and now I eat a well balanced diet including eating some form of crap once or twice a week because I love food that is sometimes not classified as “good” food. It doesn’t tell you that I’ve given up the torturous yo-yo dieting, self sabotaging and body hating. I no longer drink coffee because of the horrible reflux, the side-effect-city medication I took for it and the anxiety those little brown beans caused me. I seldom drink more than one or two glasses of alcohol a week, though if I do it’s more like 6 or 7 in one quick sitting as I’m a irregular try-hard party girl who prefers her jarmies, a good book and her bed. But most importantly what it doesn’t tell you is that I am mentally stronger than I have ever been in my entire I-feel-not-good-enough life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “cured” of this mental torture so many of us have and in all honesty I can say sometimes when I look in the mirror I don’t love what I see. Sometimes I look at photos and it looks as though I am smuggling food in my mouth. But I’m not. My cheeks are just chubbier than they once were which would have been cute 30-something years ago. What’s more confronting is that I know you guys see it too. You see the extra chin, the bigger belly, the fatter arms. And it’s there for all to see. I get it I see it too. But whats more important is what you don’t see. You don’t see the real difference between those three photos, those fragmented stages of my life. The difference that actually matters. And that is my mental state. My happiness.


I can now honestly say that 97% of my time is spent with me accepting my body. But don’t you dare confuse acceptance with defeat. I haven’t given up on my health. I am not “letting myself go”. My health is top of my priority list as I get to the halfway point of my life – assuming I live to 70-something. I don’t want to hear the “no excuses” tag line anymore because I do actually have them. I have a few of them. But I will not justify any of them to you because this is my body. My life. My mental state in question. My excuses. My reasons. My body. My life.

Mental health issues are torture. Be kind to others – you do not know their insides and if you did you would be a really valued member in the X-ray department. Stay focused… on yourself. Your own life. Your own happiness.

One love
DRK xxx

Raise Your White Flag in the Body War

It was recently made very clear to me how far I have come in the body image war I have succumbed to for decades. It became clear when I was exposed to judgements, harsh and directed solely at me judgements, about my body not being the size it was pre-baby number five. For it not being slim enough. For it being not as attractive as it used to be… yes seriously. I was told that I wasn’t trying hard enough to “get it back” and that I needed to eat less (*hint* one meal a day) and exercise more (*hint* up to a couple of hours a day). *Hand slaps forehead* Really?! And all this from a man!

I sat and listened for 45 minutes to a mans attitude about my body. It was painful and it actually really hurt my feelings… Yes I have feelings. To think their opinions towards my body was more important than my own opinions of my body left me flabbergasted. It pissed me off because I had to defend my body like it was an object up for discussion and it gutted me because I have finally, FINALLY, embraced what I have in all of its womanly glory and yet that doubt, that ugliness of body hate still managed to creep its way back in, briefly.

I am not going to lie to you and tell you how fierce I was during this discussion. How strong or how awesome the comeback I had was. No. I am going to tell you the truth. I went to bed and I cried. Not a lot but a little. I cried silently to myself because I felt humiliated and angry that my body could be put under a microscope like that. I cried because it brought up instant dread of being stuck as me, in this body, even though I no longer despised it.

My body was not only scrutinised but it was also measured against my husbands. My body that is nourished with healthy food, rarely has toxic drinks poured down its throat, never faces internal rotting and decay with cool drink and is regularly nurtured through physical exercise was compared against a males. A man whose body, which obviously appears slimmer to the judiciary, is exposed to litres of cool drink, buckets of lollies and rarely sees any exercise – unless it is his annual 56km charity walk. I am not husband bashing here either because my husband is a very physically active man but to compare us, to compare our bodies is absurd.

My body has housed five babies, lived through over 200 weeks of pregnancy, suffered depression, been tortured with diet after diet, its been starved and then stuffed full for emotional protection. It has been through grief and stress and yet it is curvaceous, it is healthy, it is nourished with goodness and it can walk, stand, jump, hug, hold and move without much fuss (or pelvic floor stability – lol). It is pretty fucking amazing.

My body should not be up for discussion, yet I was body shamed pure and simple. I sat and listened to how huge an Australian size 12 was. I watched those words roll off the tongue with facial expression like they’d just swallowed a fly. A fly encrusted with maggots and then rolled and toasted in shit. But being a size 12 I guess I would still eat that coz thats what we ‘big’ people do – we eat anything and everything.

The whole 45 minutes was awful, it was embarrassing and it made me feel very self conscious about every move I made thereon in. BUT and this is a big but – I overcame it. A few years ago that kind of conversation would have destroyed me. I would have starved myself for a few days and then binged for a few more. I would have beaten myself up til I was black and blue with nasty self talk, daily mirror bashing and thrice daily body weighing – followed by uncontrollable crying. My anxiety would have been through the roof leaving me with panic attacks unable to leave the house without hours of trying on clothes that would cover up all my unsightliness. I would have retired all my shorts, figure hugging dresses, skirts and sleeveless shirts in the “I can never wear these again pile” and I would have cried for days upon days.

BUT I only cried a little. Then I put on my mum-of-five-appropriate short shorts and I got on with my life. I ate as I normally would which for those of you judgement focused people out there is actually balanced. My anxiety remained level and there was no beating up on myself at all. I’d like to even go as far as to say that this 45 minutes was actually a blessing because it taught me so much about myself. It taught me that I actually do love my body enough to accept it in times of examination. To accept it regardless of anyone else’s opinion of it and it taught me that I am miles ahead of the body hater I once was and this is good news! No fuck it it is GREAT news!

I’ve surrendered to the image focused world I live in and to the people who feel they have the right to make decisions about me based on my body. But my surrender doesn’t come feebly, it comes from power. A powerful position that I have long awaited to stand in. This is me. This is my body. This is what I am most proud of. It’s done me good. It will continue to do so and I know without a shadow of a doubt that when I die I will NOT ever question, care or have any concern for that kilo or ten I thought I had to lose just because society told me so.

I’ve surrendered because somebody else’s opinion of my body doesn’t matter. I’ve surrendered because I know how I care for my body. I know that I am healthy and I know that for some reason this weight is just where my body whats to hang out at regardless of what I am doing for it right now. I own this. I own this body I am in and there is no shame in my body what-so-ever.

Sadly I know I am not alone. I know there are so many people out there that are body shamed daily who are still where I was a few years ago and so I want to say this to you…

If you don’t stick up for yourself who will? If you don’t support your body and all of its amazing physically capabilities and glory than who will?! Who will have your back (and front and cellulite and butt)? Nobody can have it better than you! Only you can pull those shoulders back . Only you know that your body is nurtured, looked after and loved. There is only one person in your bodys’ world that has any importance – YOU. You and you alone have the power to surrender to the ridiculousness of this image focused world and truly shine as your unique self.

Find the love within. Your body can do amazing things – and it does them without you even having to think about them every single day. How fucking lucky are we!

One Love. Body Love.

DRK xxx

Egos at War

A little while ago I did something. Something that I wanted to do for myself but also to help others. Women in particular. I was so excited to be a part of a something bigger than my little world and to share a valuable message with as many people as I could. Just registering to do, for me, was life changing because it took so much courage to even get it rolling and once I had stepped over through the fear boundary I felt so empowered.

And then it all went to shit.

I was hit with obstacle after obstacle by someone willing to do anything to get their own way. But what hurt most was she came out looking like a goddess and I, a second rate try-hard. In truth I was completely cast to the side and forgotten about. She lied to me and to others, embellished her ‘story’ and bullied me into a corner. She was spiteful and used others against me. I sound resentful don’t I? That’s because I am.

I know if I was the person then that I am today then I would have stood up for myself a lot better. And this makes me feel so incredibly frustrated at myself.

Today all the disappointment and anxiety I felt during that time came flooding back because I found out she received recognition for her efforts. That she received a personal call and a huge pat on the back. Yet me, who never kicked up a fuss, who never stepped on anyones toes, who never wanted to take away from the message I wanted to share so I kept my mouth shut got sweet fuck all.

Don’t get me wrong I didn’t do it for the self promotion like she did but to be shafted, bullied and disempowered and then for the shafter, bully and disempowerer to receive all the credit hurts… A lot. I feel resentment that I was the nice girl and I walked away unacknowledged. She even took credit for my hard work and claimed it as her own!

But yesterday after I allowed the crap feelings to build to an extreme level I decided to do something about it because I sure as shit am NOT going to let this “inspiring woman” have any more of my energy and it starts right here… Right now.

It all starts with forgiveness and retiring the ego.

I am going to forgive her. I am going to forgive her underhanded ways. Forgive that her drive was more important than another womans feelings. Forgive her ego for feeling superior and mine for acting inferior.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean we are going to be best friends or that she is off the hook for the trouble she caused. Forgiveness just means that I will no longer carry the feelings of hurt and disempowerment around with me. I know my part. I know what really happened and shouting the truth from the roof tops will only make me look like a cunt.

It is our egos at war here and at the end of the day it is my hurt ego that is driving these feelings. It is my ego that wants people to know the truth but someone once said you can be happy or you can be right.

I choose happy.

One Love

DRK xxx

Gender Weight Loss Wars

Seriously this subject is probably one of the most annoying things in my life besides my husbands loud chewing and the kids toe nail/boogie picking. Don’t get me wrong I’ve come a long way in my weight issues and nowadays I actually don’t care about “the number” and I don’t even hate my body anymore. In fact I totally accept it and most days I quite like it. Sure it’s not a Ferrari but it’s a pretty economical and reliable station wagon and for that I am grateful.

BUT…. But. But. But.

How is it that a man says “I’m going on a diet!” To then not only have his food served, his meals planned, his shopping done for him BUT he also only quits one or two things – like beer or Coke (and instead takes up Vodka and Red Creaming Soda), eats pretty much as he usually does after the healthy food thing wears off a few days in, then does a gigantic crap one morning and magically loses 6kg! Boom! Goal weight in well under a fortnight motherfucker!

Yet…

A woman says “I’m eating healthy and changing my lifestyle!” It is a serious declaration. She gives up coffee, she gives up wine, she gives up sugar and flour and starchy carbs. She takes up green drinks that taste like cold vegetable soup mixed with the grass out the back, in fact she increases her intake of everything remotely green grass looking. She limits her portion sizes at meal times using a side plate to trick her brain, she drinks 2lt of filtered water and exercises for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. She meditates and cleanses her soul, keeps a food journal and dedicates most of her day in the kitchen preparing and cleaning up healthy meals for her and her family. She has never been ‘healthier’ yet she is constipated for 6 out of 7 days and when she’s not in the kitchen prepping/cooking/cleaning she is on the toilet urinating like some kind of wee God. She resists the urge to weigh in because it is about a lifestyle choice and not a number but surely 18 days of pure good health will harbour some results that are worth seeing….

Am I right?

Arrrr.. Nup! A measly 300g gone! How can that be! Lucky for him that I feel good about myself anyway. I’m not hangry which means he gets to live and I am ok with not losing a single kilo which is good because otherwise I might just have to lace his food with laxatives BUT then he would gloat even more over the diarrhoea weight loss. He actually would.

So what the fuck is happening here?

Well this is what it FEELS like is happening…

The Man body says, “Lets not fuck around mate! We got a piss up next week and we ain’t telling the boys we can’t drink coz we are on a diet. So process every fat cell in sight at lightening speed and drop an ungodly 2kg log on day 6! Job done!” Cue the naked mirror happy helicopter dance and bicep pashing…

The Woman body says, “Huh? What? We are trying to lose weight? Oh I thought you said wait! Wait and hold on to every fat cell and digested green bit until it is safe to let it go… Let it go.. Let it goooo… Oh but I can’t. Yes you can! Let’s do this! This is your time! No.. No.. I’m not ready… Oh but you are… But what if we need to reserve our fat cells for possible starvation? What the fuck are you on about?” and on and so forth…

What is ACTUALLY happening…

Simply put men have more muscle than women and the more muscle you have the more fat you burn. Hence the reason they shed it quicker.

Men also have 10 times more testosterone than women which increases their metabolism at a rate of 5-10% faster than women.

Women have oestrogen – which helps with the obvious procreation thing – but this funny little word makes it harder for us to burn fat after a meal. Yes it makes us hold onto it! Which is great if we are in the dark ages and food is scarce then hell we are going to be ok.

Women also have more cravings – I don’t know why but the research says so. Research also says we are more likely to turn to emotional eating – yay for us!

And this all must be true because I Googled it! So blame the testosterone/oestrogen you don’t have/have. Men may have the weight loss edge over us but we can do so much more than they can – like get aroused without anyone noticing, have multiple orgasms, wear mens clothes without anyone raising an eyebrow, multi-task and (for some of us blessed ones) we can push a gigantic baby out of our vagina.

So fuck the testosterone and their fast weight loss. Feel good inside and outside because that is all that really matters!

One love

DRK xxx

boob-tribute

Ain’t this the truth!

fitness-dog

I had to share this one – too funny!

 

Part 1: My Story | Part 2: Grieving

Part #1 My Story

My brother passed away from cancer at age 27 in 2003. It was a long time ago. I get it. Why would I bring it up now all these years later? Why drag shit up from the past. Well because I have to. I have to because I have never actually moved very far forward. I have carried this hard and awkward grieving process with me this entire time which, I realise, is too long and to move on I need to let go. Not of my brother but of my grief story.

The final stage of my brothers life was during a time that I was facing difficulties in my first marriage. We were partying too hard, hating each other too much and trying to raise two and a half kids on a very tight budget and in a house that was falling apart. Life was, to say the very least, shit. 

But my brother was dying and there was nothing harder and nothing that could prepare me for it. He was dying but he had overcome his first cancer diagnosis at age 14 so I kept telling myself that he would be fine, that he would bounce back, that I had more time to be better. In his final days, watching his shallow, slow breathing, I remember thinking that he would, still at some stage, jump out of bed and say “Just joking!” He was the family jokester after all. But he didn’t.

When he finally passed away in the early hours of the morning of the 28th September I wasn’t there. I had gone home to have a shower. I was 28 weeks pregnant. I had, that very same week that he’d been placed into palliative care, gone into early labour and been admitted to hospital. I was embarrassed that my body let me down and had made this traumatic time in my families life all about me and so after my shower I remember sitting on the edge of my bed. It was 5am. I just sat there and cried. I cried for my family. I cried for my brother. I cried for my baby who was hanging in there and I cried because I didn’t no what else to do with all these emotions I had. I remember, after allowing the tears to flow for awhile, that I took the deepest breath in and pulled my shoulders back. It was a very deliberate move physically to get myself prepared for the next part of the day. It was time to get back to the hospital. Look strong. Be ok. Be supportive. Be good for once in my fucking life. It was time to get back to the hospital because I didn’t want to miss his last breath.

But I did.

He died a few minutes before I arrived. My other brothers face said it all as he stood on the other side of the hospitals palliative glass door to let me in. His red blood shot eyes. His head slightly shaking. The look of despair on his face. I had missed my dying brothers final moment and to me this was the catalyst into my guilt. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t a good sister, a good daughter, a good person. I left at the most significant moment in my families life – the last breath of our brother, their son. Our family, the only one I’d ever known, was no longer six, well at least not on Earth together and the realisation of this was soul destroying.

My story began to unravel from here. Guilt ridden for not being there, for not being a better sister, for being admitted to hospital the same week as him – like an attention seeker would – guilt ridden because I didn’t actually, at any point really think he would die. But he did.

At the time I really did expect the world to stop. I expected my friends lives to stop. I expected people to understand what was happening to me when most around me had never been through anything like this before. But their lives continued on as normal. Which to me, back then, told me I was shit. I was nobody worth caring about.

And so the spiralling of my story continued. I remember at my brothers graveside funeral that I chose to move as far away as I could once the ceremony was done. I stood in the corner of the garden bed because deep down I didn’t want anyone to hug me. To say they were sorry for me. To give me any comfort. I didn’t want it because I felt I didn’t deserve it.

At his wake my friends asked me if I would like to join them in giving Reiki to a girlfriend going through a hard time – a nasty marriage separation. I was so hurt and it reaffirmed to me that my pain was insignificant. I remember thinking that this friends pain was more momentous than mine because those I loved only saw the importance of healing her wounds whereas my pain wasn’t worth healing.

I began to withdraw from here on in and then the final nail on my grief stricken coffin was two weeks after my brothers death. A friend came to give me a “talk” and told me that I needed to make more of an effort in the friendship, that it was time to get over it and that I wasn’t the only one grieving and that she, too, was grieving him. Again, I didn’t understand. Was I supposed to help her through this difficult time when he was my brother and she had only spent a short amount of time knowing him. Was I doing this grieving thing wrong? Was I selfish and unworthy of these feelings I was having because I hadn’t been a good enough sister? Were these feelings even real? Didn’t I have any right to be sad?

It was all a very confusing time for me. So confusing that it has stuck with me for over a decade. There were so many other moments to my story that confirmed my feelings of guilt, unworthiness and shame over the months and now years. I’ve become like a snow globe where the confused feelings would settle for awhile yet they are always there and it only takes something minor to shake all those feelings up again. Something big gets them going real crazy and crazy is the only word that can describe it. It makes me feel like I did something wrong in my grieving. That I am going crazy to think that I actually had the right to be upset during that time of my life.

But this has just been my story. A story that hasn’t served me well at all. It is a story that has extended my grief beyond belief and one that holds me back in life and relationships because of the anger, guilt and confusion. Letting go of my story is not easy when I feel so much injustice was done to me at the time. Then I feel guilt for having had any expectations on other people. Then I feel stupid and unworthy for being all high and mighty thinking others might care the way that I do.

As I come through a challenging year now, I feel that it is time to let go of my story. It is time to let go so I can heal. It doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen or that I didn’t have the right to feel the way I did at that time in my life but at some point you have to grow and move forward – don’t you? I’m really unsure of the process but by acknowledging that I’ve had enough of the pain I carry, the guilt I burden myself with and the frustration I feel towards it may just be the first steps in my own healing.

Part #2 Grieving

In telling my story I want to finish with something useful. Something that may help others when someone they know is grieving. There are so many cliches that people say. Most come across as hollow and insensitive. So I want to share, from my experience, what you should refrain from saying and of course what you could say – but it is really all about how you say it. The words won’t always be right because for everyone the grieving process is different but I can guarantee if you come from a place of love and a place where you aren’t trying to fix them then you are in the right place to be there for them.

Things you don’t need to say to someone grieving…

* What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger: no this is not true and is genuinely insensitive. When your heart is breaking into a million little pieces you are already dying on the inside and being stronger because your loved one has died is not a comfort nor a support.

* Everything happens for a reason: whether it does or it doesn’t this is not the time to tell someone that the death of their loved one is for a higher or greater good because right now in their pain all they feel is … oh yes that’s it pain!

* Only the good die young: well bring him back then! We’d rather he be ‘bad’ and still alive then good and dead! Someone grieving is missing their loved one – good or bad. The good die at any age. My Nana died in her 80’s which is, to me, a ripe old age but she was good… It’s a cliche don’t say it.

* Cheer up. He/she wouldn’t want to see you sad: we know, or at least we hope, they are up there somewhere looking down on us but for right now, in our pain, the last thing we need is a guilt trip. We miss them, we are heartbroken and we are entitled to feel sad.

* They are in a better place: Really? Because last we checked that better place was here in our arms. We have no idea what Heaven or the afterlife is like but don’t tell me at this stage of my grieving that there is a better place than on earth with us.

* At least they are no longer suffering: yes we are aware of that but please don’t place that heavy weight on our shoulders. Seeing a loved one suffer for years is painful enough. All the “what if’s”, “if only I’s” has placed enough guilt in our hearts. The younger they are the more questions you have and the unfairness of suffering and death.

* Be strong: we can’t. We do not feel strong and why do we need to be. Our insides are crumbling, every core of our being misses them and being strong is not high on our list right now. These are people who we’ve known all our lives who are no longer walking through our front door, sitting at the dinner table at Christmas and celebrating another birthday. When someone passes away we always feel like something is missing… because there is.

* You need to move on: no. No we don’t. Our grief does not have a time frame. It does not say 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years. It says there is a hole in your heart where a person once lived. A person you miss with every fibre of your being. A person whose memory will have you heartbroken and crying one minute and laughing like a crazy woman the next. Grief has no rules, timeframes or explanations and you have no right to place them on someone.

Well then Superwoman what can I say? Why are you creating a dictatorship on what’s right or wrong? I’m not and there isn’t. This is just advice from someone whose been there. Who has felt additional pain from insensitive moments and I’m just giving a heads up.

Things you could say instead…

* I’m so sorry for your loss: yes it’s not much when you want to say more and it is also said a lot but there is a difference when it is just words said and when it is FELT. So feel it when you say it. Hand on your heart feel it.

* I am here for you: Like, right here for you any time of the day or night… BUT only say it if you really mean it because when you try to reach out to someone and that first person you try isn’t there then you rarely try someone else.

* I am here to listen: And then listen! Listen with ears and hearts open. Laugh at the funny memories, grieve with them during the painful ones, hold their hand, pass them a tissue and hug them when that moment is all over. Listening is the greatest skill human beings can acquire and we all can do it better.

* I wish I had the right words. Just know that I love you. Own it. We know you aren’t mind readers to be able to deliver the right words but the pain you go through when someone dies is immeasurable and love is the only thing that gets us through. So love us through it ok?!

* I remember when…: share your favourite memory of their loved one. A happy one. One that will remind them of love, laughter, happiness. Don’t force it. Don’t pretend. Just remember their loved one with tenderness so that moment of happiness fills their heart with joy for a little while.

* Say nothing. It is golden. Saying nothing but a gentle squeeze, a loving touch. But saying nothing doesn’t mean avoid at all costs. Saying nothing doesn’t mean pretending it never happened. There is a difference between a heart felt nothing and a I-can’t-deal-with-this nothing. Always lead from your heart.

REMEMBER: You can’t fix it. You cannot take away their grief or put a timeline on it. Everyone grieves differently and just because you see them laughing, momentarily, a week from death doesn’t mean they aren’t crying, in solitude, for the next 12 months. You cannot put your own grief on top of someone elses. You do not have the right. And remember… Grief is a process. There are many stages of grief and none of them can be solved with a cliche life quote from Pinterest.

Only support can help the process.

Only love can help heal the pain.

Much love.

DRK xxx

*** Aside from some editing this was written in 2013. It has sat unpublished because I wasn’t ready to let go of it. I wanted to so bad but I didn’t understand how to or even why I should have to. But I understand now. I understand that holding on and not forgiving people only hurts me. Only holds ME back and only makes my pain last longer and feel harder than it needs to – than it needed to be. 

I post it today not to cause trouble. Not to make people feel bad. Not to get responses. I post it because after much growth and self awareness I realise my story is just that. I’ve carried guilt and shame around with me for so long and it has affected me in ways that you can not believe. My Mum has her own guilt as I found out yesterday. My Dad, I’m sure has his too. But I don’t  know why because to me they were amazing parents who did everything in their power to help him. To prolong his life and to make the life he had safe, fun and as carefree as possible. It is clear that we all have our own versions of guilt and who hurt us during this time. 

I post my experience for others who feel the same because if I could just help one person grieving let go of the guilt, the injustice, the anger. To forgive quicker, to feel normal and comforted in their grief and to not allow these parts of our stories to hold them back for as long as I have then I’ve done something good with my life ~ one love, DRK xxx *** 

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