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My Weight Loss Journey – Week 7 & 8

My Weight Loss Journey

Week 7 & 8

Summary

As I mentioned in Week 6, I was afraid I was losing muscle instead of fat, so I began doing exercises next to my yoga. As I had been doing yoga for six weeks, I felt my joints were ready for some more movement. My dear Canadian friend Stephanie mentioned HASfit to me, an online exercise program. She has been doing the daily exercises religiously for a few months already and has lost over 10kg. This result convinced me to try it out. You can do it from home, whenever you want (but daily with two rest days per week), and on the fitness level that suits you. I’ve started the foundation program, and I can tell you; it’s hard work! My body isn’t used to all that movement anymore and tries to fight me, but the HASfit instructors keep me focussed and motivated. They show you how to down or upgrade every single exercise, which is great when you have joint problems.

Strawberries_Champagne

I can’t seem to get my weight under the 76kg on Tuesdays as the last two weekends I have been indulging myself. My weight drops, only to rise again after the weekend. The weekend before last I had a birthday party, and my husband took me out for a delayed Valentine’s Day celebration (see the temptations above!). This last weekend we went to Glasgow to see Imagine Dragons. Of course, this came with a lovely Sunday roast at the Rait Antique Centre (including sticky toffee pudding!) and a scrumptious dinner at TGI Friday. No wonder my weight loss is going so slow! 🙂

Results

My weight this morning was 76.1 kg (11.98 stone), but most of the time it’s been under 76kg. I’m confident that next week I will officially go beneath the 76kg! I’ve given up on measuring my waist with my belt and have given in to properly measuring it with a measuring tape. Last week, it was 83.5cm (32.9 inches) and this week 82.5cm (32.5 inches). Whether this is a result of the diet or the exercise, I don’t know. My bet is on the exercise, considering what I’ve been eating and drinking 🙂 . I did notice that I can almost tighten my belt a notch further!

Here are the photos of Week 7.

W0-7F

Not much change again, at least not visible.

W0-7S

No other change than that more rounded belly. Now on to Week 8.

W0-8F

And sideways…

W0-8SIt’s a slow going process, but I’m okay with that. I’m still enjoying nice food in the meantime and not completely starving myself. I like the salads I make for lunch as they are more appetizing than plain sandwiches. I do need to curb my dinners crawling back to the way they were, with rice, pasta, and potatoes. Now fingers crossed I don’t need to celebrate anything soon!

Here are some images of the lovely stuff I’ve been eating the last two weeks:

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My Weight Loss Journey – Week 6

My Weight Loss Journey

Week 6

Summary

Something’s wrong. I’m not sure what. I was on the scales today and I lost weight. Yay! Not a lot, but we’re on a downward spiral. So what’s wrong? When I was compiling my photos for today, I had the enlightening idea of pasting a shadow of myself today over the photo I took when I started out. And guess what? Nothing has changed!!! That’s what’s wrong. Great disappointment.

I guess, like I said last week, my fat is getting less dense. Or I’m losing muscle. But nothing in my body shape has changed. At all. Very depressing. I’ve almost finished my book, just missed the deadline yesterday. I only had ten pages of correction to go still (also very depressing). But it means I will have more time to be more active in and around the house. I hope this will burn more calories than sitting on my butt behind the computer all day.

Results

I weighed 76.2 kg this morning (11.99 stone) and my waistline hasn’t changed.

W0-6F

No change.

W0-6S

No change.

I haven’t been sticking to the diet either. On the weekend we went to the movies and I had a fast-food burger. I only found out afterward that it contained 1100kcal. 1100! And that was without the fries I had with it. I didn’t take a lot of photos of my meals this week as I have been too busy working on finishing my book. My husband cooked most of the time and, I’m afraid to say out loud, they weren’t the most conventional meals. I am grateful he did it without complaining, though. I love him to bits!

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I wonder why I starve myself if nothing is changing, but my weight is going down, so I keep on going. Maybe I’ll hit the gym this week now I have more time.

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My Weight Loss Journey – Week 5

My Weight Loss Journey

Week 5

Summary

It’s not been easy, and I haven’t lost as much as I hoped, but we’re on a downward curve again. What I noticed the last week or so, is that my skin has been itchy, especially around my hips. Could it be because I’m shrinking??? LOL! That would be great. I’m not feeling any smaller yet, but my belly fat feels softer. You know, when I started it was hard fat, now I can actually feel the muscles underneath the fat.

Yoga_Lunge.jpg

The yoga is also not as bad as I thought. I’ve been doing the new routine for two weeks now, and I haven’t had a problem with my hallux limitus at all. When I do the Lunge pose (see image above), I turn my foot slightly to put more stretch on my other toes and my big toe joint doesn’t hurt. When I began this pose, I actually cheated. I put my knee of the leg going backward on the floor instead of being on just my two feet. For the last two days, I have done it properly and, to my surprise, without falling over. It is a difficult pose, I’d even say the most difficult pose (for me), but I’m persevering. One day, I’ll be able to do it without any effort 🙂 . I still can’t get my leg to move from the Downward-facing Dog into the Lunge (in between my arms) without taking one hand off the floor. Not sure if that’s because my belly is in the way or my arms are too short. LOL!

Results

As expected, no change in my waistline. I weighed 76.7kg (12.07 stone) yesterday (I did all the measuring and photographing yesterday, I just didn’t have time to put it online) which is almost a whole kilogram off last week’s weight.  I was worried I didn’t lose any, so I’m quite happy with this result.

W0-5F.jpg

I don’t know, but I think I’m beginning to get a bit of a waistline. It’s hard to see in the W0 photo, though, so not sure. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking.

W0-5S

Not much change in this view. Maybe a smidgen of fat off my back behind my arms (shoulderblade height). Could be my pose though.

Diet

I’ve not been sticking to my diet. I had carb cravings all the time! Caused by all that eating of nice food in Holland, I guess. I’ve been eating ice creams for dessert over the weekend, and had some alcohol-free beers. Not as bad as real beer, but still 50kcal per bottle. I’ve varied my nut intake, adding walnuts and pumpkin seeds to the mix. I’m curbing the walnuts a little as they contain quite a bit of fat.

My husband has also started to curb his carb intake! We’re all going to be so healthy 🙂 . I tried to make pancakes out of almond flour yesterday (Shrove Tuesday), but that didn’t work. First of all, it tasted like carboard. And it burnt before I could flip it over. So the pancake you see in the images below is a normal pancake (with bacon, raisins, and banana; mjam!). The Mediterranean vegetable pie was made by my husband.

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 Even though I was tempted by my family’s desserts, I did lose weight. Let’s see what next week will bring.

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My Weightloss Journey – Week 4

My Weight Loss Journey

Week 4

Summary

This week has been a step backward. I was doing pretty good, sticking to my diet, even got under 76kg (11.9 stone) just before the weekend. Unfortunately, we went to Holland to celebrate my father-in-law’s eightiest birthday. This, as you can imagine, the party included lots of food and drink.

Needless to say, I didn’t lose any weight this week. Even though I have moderated myself, I actually gained weight again. I suppose it could have been worse if I had let myself go completely, but it is still depressing. But, I’m not going to quit my diet completely now. I felt like it yesterday when I had a vanilla slice for dessert, but I keep that lean body image in front of me and want to get there. It’s a shame I didn’t see that image when I held that vanilla slice in my hand, but oh well. Two steps forward, one step back! 🙂

Results

My scales went up to 77.5kg  (12.2 stone) this morning. My belt is still closing in the third hole, so not too bad. I’m feeling very full still, so I think the coming week will be a good week for weight loss.

W0-4F

If anything, I look wider around the hips.

W0-4S

As you can see, no improvement at all. I even have a tiny bit of that bottom lump back 🙂 I think it’s also visible I feel full (my abdomen is slightly more extended than in Week 0).

Diet

I drank four glasses of wine. Two red ones that were so tiny, you could count it as one big one. And two dry white wines. I chose dry as I don’t like this at all and hoped it would take me longer to finish them. It didn’t work. I’m very proud I kept to two alcoholic beverages over the five-hour party, though (the red ones I drank the evening before while catching up with my sister-in-law).

The food was plentiful, with four entrees, a huge banquet, and multiple desserts to choose from. The scrumptious desserts were plentiful and spectacularly revealed.

Next to the party, I had to deal with the Dutch cuisine. Fries drowned in mayonnaise, so much licorice to cover a wall, bitterballen and kroketten, enormous pancakes… Too much to resist!

Dutch_Lollie_Shoppe_W700.jpg

Here are the healthier things I ate this past week:

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This coming week, I’m going to be a good girl again. Fingers crossed I will not be tempted by my family’s desserts.

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My Weight Loss Journey – Week 3

My Weight Loss Journey

Week 3

Summary

I’m still going strong after twenty-one days! I lost weight, and I eat a lot better. I’m still struggling. I do. There are moments when I get incredibly hungry. I have cravings too. But I don’t give in. During these moments of temptation, I keep visualizing the body I want to have; lean and healthy. That keeps me going. It doesn’t mean I never eat when I’m hungry. What I do is, I eat a healthy snack like almonds and sunflower seeds (I must admit the latter are the cardboard version of all seeds).

This week, I’ve also begun a new yoga sequence. I had wanted to do this on Sunday, but I forgot, so I tried them out this morning. They are hard! My biggest problem is the Downward-Facing Dog (see the image for the pose. It always reminds me of Chuck from the Angry Birds movie 🙂 ). See, I have a hallux limitus. Hallux means toe and limitus refers to the range of motion. In other words; I can’t bend my big toe. It’s not the same as hallux rigidus, in which there is arthritis and the joint is painful. It’s only painful if I’ve been trying to bend it further than it can, like walking on high heels. It sucks (metaphorically, of course).

Downward-Facing Dog posedownwarddog_Angy-Birds.jpg

This wouldn’t be a problem if I could put my foot flat on the floor like in the image, but I also suffer from extremely short tendons. This means my ankles suffer the most from this problem. Walking uphill, in particular, is a struggle, causing cramps in my calf muscles as they are overstretched. You see my problem with this pose?

Results

Enough whining. Here are my results for this week.

W0-3F.jpg

Not too much difference, apart from the near absence of shade on my belly. I do realize I should have worn the same bra in W0, oops. I also realize now that I may be holding my breath in the W3 shot (my boobs are higher). Next week, I’ll make sure I don’t.

W0-3S

From the side, there isn’t much difference to W2 at first glance. Have a look again at the images below and note the areas the arrows are pointing at.

W0-3S_Arrows

The ‘apex’ of my belly has come down and is less pronounced, and the saggy bottom bit has disappeared! I’m most happy with that last item as I thought it was ugly. I hoped it was just my pants not sitting tight, but no, it really was my butt. But it’s gone now and I’m doing a happy dance 🙂 .

Diet

I stepped on the scales this morning (btw, did you realize that’s why I have a snake’s skin in my header?) and my weight was 76.2 kg (12 stone). I’m afraid I can’t do the comparison with my belt as I’m wearing pants sitting lower on my hips, giving a false reading.

My biggest struggle this week was deciding whether I want to go the keto diet route or the paleo diet route. Both have their attractions, both have their problems for me.

Going the keto diet way means no carbs. Not any. I can’t do that. They are reduced in my diet, big time, but to go without completely is impossible for me. I have a family to feed and they do want their rice and potatoes and pasta and wraps and don’t have time to prepare two separate meals types every day. I have had a look at the snacks and basically see triple bypass options, with hors d’oevres dripping with cheese and fatty meats. So that’s not going to happen.

Regarding the Paleo diet, I like the idea. Going back to your roots. But eating legumes is completely against the keto diet. They clash in that respect. Also, it means a lot of foods that my kids don’t like. I tried for my daughter to eat blueberries. Didn’t work. Not even when I put sugar on them. She just doesn’t like any berries, hot or cold (and no onions, no peppers, no egg, and my son doesn’t eat cheese or fish. They don’t leave me many options).

This means I have to go with the flow. I do my thing for breakfast and lunch, but dinners are a compromise.

Here are some of the things I’ve been eating this week:

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Next weekend, we’re celebrating my father-in-law’s eightiest birthday, big party. Dieting will be hard, so wish me luck!

 

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My Weight Loss Journey – Week 2

My Weight Loss Journey

Week 2

Summary

I have good news and bad news for you this week. I’ll start with the bad news to get it out of the way and off my chest. I didn’t stick to the diet. Surprise! I knew this would happen, so I’m not so surprised myself. That it would happen so soon… yeah, I didn’t expect that. My dear friend Stephanie told me it is not a diet but a lifestyle change which means that habits need to be adjusted and this will take time. I’m all for that.

What did I eat that I shouldn’t have? Pizza, a hamburger, and an ice cream. Not too much, you’d think, but the results speak otherwise. I’m going to stick to the diet again this week.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Ever since I stopped eating biscuits with my tea in the afternoon, my daughter has stopped eating them as well. She is copying my healthy diet (well, not everything, but at least the biscuits thing). In itself, that is good. What scares the hell out of me is that I’m literally influencing somebody else’s life. I guess that’s what parenting is all about, but what if she’s copying my bad habits too? Scary!

My yoga exercises are going great. I don’t have the tight shoulder muscles anymore and am contemplating moving on to the next set of exercises.

Results

Not surprising, I didn’t lose a lot of weight this week. I was 76.9 kg (still 12.1 stone) this morning, so I lost 0.1 kg/0.02 stone. I’m still on the same notch on my belt (85.5 cm/33.7inch), but I am halfway to the next one which is encouraging. It’s an old, leather belt, so fingers crossed it doesn’t stretch anymore.

W0-2F.jpg

Even though I didn’t lose any substantial weight, I think I clearly lost some belly fat. Whether it moved up, I don’t know. Like I said, I’m trying to keep my belly in sort of halfway, but it’s hard to be 100% sure it’s the same every time.

 

W0-2S.jpg

Yep, still the same belly, but if you look at the next picture, you’ll see some progress.

W0-2S-b

I put the red line along the front line of my belly. It has certainly gone more vertical since Week 0 (the distance between the line and the front of my thighs is shorter now). This means that even without losing weight, my body is adjusting and losing fat.

Diet

Like I mentioned, I didn’t stick to the diet. I have been good in the fact that I didn’t snack unhealthily. The cravings were stronger than last week and I curbed them by eating walnuts. They are nice but have a bitter aftertaste which stops you from eating too much.

On Friday I treated my family (including myself) to home-made pizza. I thought it would be healthier than bought ones (it does make more mess). Maybe it was healthier, but the number of carbs was, of course, a shock to the system. I didn’t learn, and on Saturday, we had hamburgers, on a bun (those of you who follow me on Instagram already know 🙂 ). It was delicious, but again, my system that was starved the week before took in all the energy and stacked it all on my hips (or boobs, I’m not sure). I also ate an Orea icecream for dessert. One of my kids brought it from the kitchen for me (it’s very hard for them to adjust as well) and I kinda did them a favor by eating it so they didn’t have to put it back. I’m kind like that :). Did I enjoy it? I’m afraid not. It was awfully sweet and the cone was soggy. I’m going to stay away from the desserts again.

Here are some of the things I’ve been eating:

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There are three images of a dish I got from Pinterest: Avocado&Bacon&Egg breakfast dish. One of the images is the one from Pinterest. It looks scrumptious, doesn’t it? The other two are of my culinary attempt to recreate this. You have to scrape out the avocado, break an egg in it, put some bacon and cheese on top, and shove them into the oven for about 25 minutes. Sounds simple. Result: something that looks like ovaries after a cycle of IVF. Not very appetizing.

Next to this, my avocado was way to small to hold even 1 egg, so it spilled into the tray with ceramic baking beans and I had to clean them all, individually, by hand. To my horror, the avocado, which I normally love, tasted like mushy peas after being cooked to death. I can tell you this recipe is no longer on my favorite list.

I’m going to keep strong this coming week! Why? Because I so want to wear this jacket:

My_Goth_Jacket.jpg

I bought it on eBay from Pixieknix last year (they don’t sell this one anymore though) and I love it. However, the sleeves are very narrow and my belly sticks out from under the zipper, so I really need to lose weight to look good in this!

Do you have any pieces of clothing that you want to wear when you’ve lost weight? Show me!

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My Weight Loss Journey

My Weight Loss Journey

Week 1

History

I decided on many New Year resolutions for 2018. Weight loss is one of them. Have I tried this before? Yes. Many, many times. I’ve done the lemon and maple syrup diet and the Cambridge diet. I tried boot camp (twice), swimming, boxercize, fencing, Zumba, Jazzercize, hitting the gym. You name it, I’ve tried it.

Did it work? Yes, most of them. Until mother nature decided that losing weight was not what she had in mind for me and threw a spanner in the works. I got shin splints, calcified tendons, torn tendons, and even a diagnosis of being ‘exercise intolerant’ (i.e. slightly asthmatic). I’ve tried going to the gym multiple times, but after a month I just get bored with it. Likewise with the diets. After three months of starving myself, I’m just dying for a snack and go overboard.

Do I really need to lose weight? Yes, I do. My BMI (body mass index) is 32, so just into the obese range. I nearly faint due to lack of oxygen when tying my shoelaces, and my clothes are screaming at me to buy a bigger size. Most of all, I didn’t look good in any dress I wanted to wear over Christmas, so something had to be done!

My Way

Kilted_Yoga.jpg

This time, I’m going to do it differently. I’m doing yoga, to warm up my body for some exercise in the future, probably karate (as half of my family is doing it). Not only is yoga good for your body, but looking at Finlay Wilson’s nicely shaped body is also good for the mind 🙂 (don’t worry, the book was a Christmas present from my husband, so he’s okay with the eye candy).

I’m not doing a particular diet nor counting calories nor measuring amounts of food. I’m just going to eat less. Cutting out a lot of carbs in particular. This means not eating the potatoes/rice/noodles that go with our dinners and not having any biscuits with my tea in the afternoon. It also means I can’t have sandwiches for breakfast or lunch and have to be more creative. Variety is the spice of life, n’est-ce pas?

Results

Every week I’ll embarrass myself and show you photos so you can see the difference. I’ll show you the first photos taken and then what I look like that week. You won’t be going ‘oh wow!’ if I show you the photos from the previous week (except for this week of course) as I’m expecting my weight loss to be a slow process. My GP once said to me, ‘It didn’t get there overnight, so don’t expect it to come off overnight.’ Wise words. So here are my results for Week 1.

I’m (still) 1.58m tall (5’2″), and at the beginning of the year, I weighted exactly 80kg (12.6 stone). I’ve never been this heavy in my life! This morning, I weighed… (drumroll): 77kg (12.1 stone)! I only began my diet last week, so I must have lost some weight in the first week of January. We were home again from our overeating expedition in Holland (visiting the family), so my diet was a lot healthier when I got back although not optimal.

W1F

 

Note the lesser amount of shadow on my belly. I’m trying to ‘keep my stomach in’ about the same on all the photos, so I’m not cheating. I’ll try in the future to keep my hands on my hips so you can see the ‘saddlebag’ I’ve got on my right hip. I suppose everybody is, but I hate being asymmetrical.

W1S

 

As you can see in the W0 photo (when you take a loupe 🙂 ), I have an indent mid-belly that is almost gone in the W1 photo. Woohoo! My belly is still sticking out way beyond my boobs, so we have a long way to go still, but we’re working on it.

Did I notice losing the weight? Yes, I did. I was able to move up to the next hole of my belt, going from a waistline of 88cm (34.6inch) to 85.5cm (33.7inch). Also, my pants are feeling slightly loser around my belly.

Diet

As mentioned, I cut out a lot of carbs from my diet. No potatoes, rice or noodles. Did I cheat? Yes, I did. I had a small handful of french fries with my dinner one day, and I did have some licorice lollies when I had a sore throat. I managed to stay away from any biscuits with my tea, though. I didn’t cut sugar out as I can’t drink my coffee without it, but that’s the only added form of sugar I’ve head. Oh, and no desserts of course. I once had some yoghurt with raspberries, but that’s it.

Here are some images of the breakfast and lunches I’ve had this week.

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My breakfast for the last two days has been a berry smoothie: yoghurt, milk, rolled oats, raspberries, and blueberries. Very nice. I don’t measure or weigh anything, I just add them so I have about 250ml (8.8oz) in total. I try to fill my stomach with an amount of about the size of my fist (usually slightly more for dinner). One of the lunches with sushimi (love that stuff!) has a dollop of garlic and herb sauce on it (the light version). I’m not going fat-free. You need fats to be able to absorb certain vitamins (A, D, E, K), so I eat fat, but in the amount of a teaspoon per meal.

Have I been hungry? Yes, I have. But as my Mom always says, ‘when your tummy rumbles, it doesn’t mean you have to put something in it every time.’

Are you on a weight loss journey? Why not do it together? Let me know how you’re going and we can help each other staying strong!

 

Header Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

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Born to be a Writer

Or: Having an Exercise Intolerance

I’m sure I heard Irony giggle when I did my back in due to an exercise in the gym. I have tried again and again to get fit, with little luck so far. I’ll give you a list of what happened over the years.

  1. As a toddler, I have never been able to touch my toes (still can’t, never will), much to the annoyance of my ballet teacher.
  2. Inter-(primary)school running race:  A toddler crossed my path and I had to dive over it to avoid it. I still have the scars to show for it.
  3. Fencing at uni: I was diagnosed with, I kid you not, exercise intolerance. I now have a puffer I never use.
  4. I tried a boot camp: tore a ligament in my foot.
  5. I tried swimming: got calcifications in my shoulder tendons, first left then right side.
  6. Tried boot camp again: got shin splints in both legs.
  7. Bought a treadmill, so I could at least walk. But my Achilles tendons have shortened so much that even walking, i.e. lifting my feet beyond a 90-degree angle, is painful. I also have Hallux limitus (my big toe joint can’t bend normally), so can’t wear high heals either. It appears I can’t beat them but also can’t join them.
  8. Tried going to the gym: did my back in, twice (did the same thing last year).

So you see, I don’t have good experiences exercising. The problem is that I need to exercise if I don’t want to get morbidly obese. I just got my weight back to the border of healthy, but now, with this back problem preventing me from exercising, I don’t know how long this is going to stay there.

I could eat less. I suppose I could. I certainly don’t need the amount of calories with my sitting lifestyle. But food is nice. I like food. Especially the high calories stuff. I certainly have a choice to make here.

In the meantime, I’ll have some ibuprofen, some diazepam (why not get happy as well 🙂 ), and stick my cherry pit bag into the microwave for the zillionth time. Can’t live without my cherry pit bag at the moment.

Get your own  Cherry pit bags yellow/white Floral (24×24) Cherry pit pillow.

Diddly-Squats.jpeg

 

Banner photo by Keit Trysh, from Unsplash

Keit Trysh

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Writers’ Corner update 17/03/17

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 17/03/2017!

Due to health reasons I took some ‘days off’ this past week and hence am running a bit late. My apologies if you have been waiting for new articles.

In Writers’ Corner I have an article about Character Development. I put it in the magazine 8 days ago, so not sure if you’ve already read it. There’s an article for sci-fi fans which explains how we can now store data in DNA, which blew my mind away. Another article is from the psychology department and explains Why We Feel The Need to Conform – Safety in Numbers. I couldn’t resist putting in an article explaining Dexter’s Darkness. He is my favourite serial killer 🙂 . Get all eight seasons here.

Dexter

I’m afraid there’s nothing new in Focus on Filming. Filming is not a subject that a lot is written about, other than movie reviews and which actor has done/is doing/is going to do what, which is not really about filming itself. Such a shame.

Health Herald has quite a few new articles. One is about an Ancient technique that can dramatically improve memory, but I can’t remember what technique that was (LOL!). A study found that Violent video games DO NOT cause antisocial or aggressive behaviour. Thank heavens for that as my son doesn’t do much else. There’s articles on Why men die earlier than woman, 6 warning signs your body give you before a heart attack, the first physiological test for schizophrenia and depression, and according to another the use of Ibuprofen appears to be linked to increased risk of cardiac arrest (which, btw, is not the same as a heart attack. Just in case you wanted to use the other article for it). And there’s another reason to drink more red wine as a Study Finds Red Wine Compound Slows Aging in Muscles and Neurons. I knew it!

The only article in Sci-Non-Fi is the one on DNA storage. It’s pretty impressive though. If you haven’t read it yet, you should.

In contrast of the amount of articles on filming, there is an abundance of articles on photography. For Pretty Pictures, I try to pick out the ones that are do-able by people like you and me, not the ones describing how to use a multi-thousand dollar lens. So, to start off with, there is an article on 9 Common Photography Mistakes – And How to Fix Them. One article talks about Sensor Noise. There are 10 Tips and Tricks for Making Difficult Selections in Photoshop (for if you want to change the background for something else for example). I was very pleased with Adobe’s ‘Make It Now’ Series that Teaches You Photoshop Tricks in Just One Minute. Awesome! Most favourite of all this week was the Landscape Photography Composition Rules You Need to Start Using Today. A fun one I added is on how to Make simple and cheap DIY smoke for photos and videos. It’s very small scale though, but fun. And last I added Tips for Photographing Waterfalls by the Washington Trails Association. Now I wished I had a Neutral Density filter when I was photographing waterfalls in Karijini, Western Australia.

KarijiniWaterfall700.jpg

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Writers’ Corner update 01/03/2017

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 01/03/2017!

Flipboard finally seems to be working as per normal, yay! In Writer’s Corner, there are lots of articles for you to ponder over that you could use for your writing. You could polish up on your Books for Understanding Global Politics, find out about what happens during CPR, get your sci-fi story going with the article on the TRAPPIST-1 System or the one about When The Lights Went Out In The Universe. I couldn’t help myself and added an article on Justin Trudeau’s Butt. Something for the romantics amongst us 🙂 .

In Focus on Filming I have an article on what it means to have ‘Green Light’ for screenwriters, an article about The Dark Knight’s Pencil Scene, and a good one on how fighting scenes of Jackie Chan are filmed.

JackieChan.jpg

In Health Herald there is a very interesting article that tells us about a Giant Neuron Wrapped Around the Brain that may hold the key to consciousness. Another article tells us that Under-25s Turn To Mindful Drinking (at last!), and yet another how Good Gut Bacteria Could Transform Your Health. And while you’re reading this, why not do 5 Joint Mobility Exercises to Improve Flexibility and Function?

Sci-Non-Fi has 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017 for you. Apart from the TRAPPIST-1 System article earlier mentioned and a video example of Future Medical Learning (I just love this one, you’ve got to see it. So cool!).

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I’ve been pretty busy in Pretty Pictures this week. Photography has always been a hobby of mine and I couldn’t resist. I also couldn’t resist adding a few articles beside my pretty pictures. There’s one about Why Black and White Photos are More Elegant at Times and one about Why The Camera Matters, But Not in The Way You’re Thinking. Hmmm, what way could it be then? Go check it out!

 

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A life or death situation

About two weeks ago I read on Facebook that somebody’s friend had died of asthma. I remember thinking ‘do people still die of asthma?’ Apparently they do. My daughter has asthma. Not severely, thankfully, but when she gets a cold, she gets it extra bad and needs to use her inhaler. Again, she’s doesn’t get it as bad as some people do, but enough to worry you as a mother.

Last weekend I went back to Holland to visit my family as my sister turned fifty and her husband had a retirement party. My Mum and I met my sister for lunch and found out she just came from the breast clinic where they found suspicious lumps in her breast. She needs to have more tests done and will hear the results a week later. That means a whole week in anxiety for her (and us). Both my sister and Mum were coughing from the other side of the lunch table as they apparently had a ‘bad cold.’ As I was staying with my Mum for the weekend, I naturally picked up this ‘bad cold.’ It actually was a H1N1 flu strain and had me knocked down within a few days. A sore throat, headaches, snotty nose, muscle aches, vomiting, chills, and sweaty spells. I got the lot.

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I hadn’t had a cold in years and it knocked my off my socks, as a matter of speech next to literally, that I was so susceptible to it. I didn’t have any existing health issues, yet this tiny little thing had me crawling on hands and knees in no time. What would this bug do to people who do have health issues? People who’s immune system is compromised by an illness, elderly people, people with asthma? And then it hit me that it may kill my daughter.

I’m not so short sighted that I think that I can shield my daughter from any outside effects. But what if I’m the one that brings in the rot? What if I contaminate her with a bug that hospitalises her? As we will have no doctor close at hand over the Christmas holidays, I had another issue to deal with. Do I try my best not to contaminate her and keep my distance for a week until I’m no longer contagious or, suspecting that I can’t prevent contaminating her as we’re living in the same house, do I contaminate her asap in order to get it over and done with now we still have access to a healthcare professional? I felt I had become her judge, jury, and executioner. I had to decide whether I actively made her sick or not.

However, you don’t say to your child ‘come here because I want to cough in your face so you can get this horrible illness.’ There is always the chance that she doesn’t get ill at all. Maybe I was not as healthy as I thought. Maybe she had this flu strain before, when she had that awful asthma spell a few years ago in Australia (the strain did start in Australia in 2009). You try to think of all sorts of reasons not to make your child ill. You have got to keep weighing the pro’s against the con’s though. What if she finally picks this highly contagious bug up elsewhere and we haven’t got access to a doctor at short notice? Is it worth the risk? Of course not. So I try to cough as ‘accidentally’ as possible near her. Because I love her.

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Tomorrow is the day that my sister will hear her test results and the last day my daughter can safely show the signs of contamination. If my daughter has a sore throat, she will have a rough time ahead, but will be able to get the healthcare she’ll need. If not, I will have to keep my fingers crossed she won’t show any symptoms for another three weeks. For both a moment that could possibly decide their fate.

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Writer’s Corner update 26/10/16

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet lately. It was partly because of my shoulder playing up, partly because I was working hard to get a decent copy of my first novel on Amazon. The work is done now and it’s available for FREE for 5 whole days as of the 27th of October! Get it while it’s hot and download your copy soon!

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US copy of Living Like A Vampire (Suckers Book 1)

UK copy of Living Like A Vampire (Suckers Book 1)

AU copy of Living Like A Vampire (Suckers Book 1)

 

 

In the mean time, check out my Writer’s Corner update 26/10/16!

This week’s articles are about horror, haunted houses and what a little white lie may lead to.

Focus on Filming focusses on cinema’s scariest haunted houses and the stories behind them.

Health Herald helps keeps you ‘unscared’ with an article on how not to overthink things. And while you’re trying to keep your mind from worrying, why not learn to play an instrument. It’s appears to do good for your brain in the long run.