Chapter 29: Don’t be dumb

I remember ugly crying at my final high school assembly.

Which was a super chill, cool move for 17-year-old me.

But the worst part wasn’t the puffy-faced photos or “Ermahgerd, I didn’t bring a tissue!” snot disaster, it was that people assumed I was crying because school was finishing.

Mortifying.

Although, perhaps not as embarrassing as the real reason … which is that I was spiralling into a nerdy abyss of despair upset I didn’t get Dux.

Two of my very clever dude pals, Chris and Prashant, tied to receive it and I came in a very bitter third.

Like a real Prince George (He’s third in line for the throne. You should know this stuff, guys).

I did actually get the English Cup and Creative Writing Award (#humblebrag), so really shouldn’t have complained with my leaking eyeballs quite so much, but c’est la vie, that is the life of a maniacal hormonal nerd.

Fun fact: Prashant bet me in academic awards so regularly that one of my mum’s good friends only knew him as “Effing Prashant”. She knows how to flick that pageant mum switch.

“What has this got to do with anything?”

Solid question.

It’s mainly just funny. But also, I feel like it illustrates the sincerity of my Leslie Knope Energy.

Which is an important part of this post’s story, because it’s all about lifelong learning and bettering yourself.

Which I think we can all agree is a lame title, and that’s why I went with: Don’t be dumb.

As a side note, I was actually very tempted by Nobody likes a dumb-ass. It’s my second-to-last blog post in this series you guys, and I’m getting loose.

What I’ve been learning lately

So you know how I’ve been writing a screenplay (see: Chapter 28: Writing a screenplay), well, fun fact, I don’t know how to write a screenplay.

Cue: Montage

So I’ve been reading these books from the local library …

My fave.

Listening to this podcast …

Reading through screenplays of movies I love and know like the back of my hand (like Mean Girls) to learn their form.

And researching what further education options there are for screenwriting in Wellington (where I live in New Zealand), or online.

I think it’s safe to say, I’m a real Harry Hard-out.

“But what’s this got to do with me?”

Solid question.

And if I may ask you a question in response, dear reader, what are you learning about right now?

What are investing time and mental energy into?

And if your answer is:

Don’t feel bad! Feel like a badass, because you’ve just had a wild opportunity come knocking.

This is your chance to do something different, to chase your dreams, and to invest in yourself.

As some smug, smart person once said:

“Dreams don’t work unless you do” – John C. Maxwell

“Where to from here?”

The first step is to work out what you actually care about.

Some questions to ask yourself that might help:

    What job would I do for fun? Even if no one ever paid me to do it.
    What’s a problem in the world that interests or enrages me, and that I’d like to help fix?
    What was a subject I always loved at school, but haven’t done since I sobbed at that last assembly …?
    Who do I look up to? What is it about them that I would like to be able to do too?

And then what I would do, is exactly what I did with screenwriting:

  • Go to the library
  • Research different resources online (YouTube tutorials, blogs, online courses, higher education options)
  • Listen to podcasts
  • And talk to someone who’s doing the thing you want to be able to do. That’s always my favourite. I love learning from people.

“Then what”

Start! And know that you’ll probably feel confused, overwhelmed, and generally like an idiot when you first try something new.

We all do.

But then you learn, and you grow, and the new thing isn’t so new and scary anymore, and actually, you’re a little bit badass at it.

“Why bother?”

Apart from the obvious benefits of increasing in personal fulfilment, achievement, purpose, self-belief and self-esteem ... sounds terrible, right …?

Learning is incredibly good for your brain.

It’s basically anti-aging cream for your mind, and helps to grow and improve your memory and mental sharpness as you age.

Avoiding the end of The Notebook

On a slightly more serious note, as someone with Alzheimer’s Disease in my family, I’m pretty personally invested in doing all I can to keep my brain and mind healthy and well.

If this is something you’re interested in, I recommend having a read of this article about Alzheimer’s prevention.

The pillars of brain health are actually quite surprising. Let’s gooo, Mediterranean Diet! *Swells with Italian pride, olive oil in hand*

What would you love to learn more about? You should totally do it. I believe in you.

Kate x

Chapter 25: Banter

I don’t like conflict.

People start arguing, and I’m like:

Which is unfortunate, because I’ve just joined an all-dude fantasy football league, and they have precisely three core values:

  1. Banter
  2. Commitment
  3. Contribution

In that BCC-email-acronym order.

Men are from Mars, and women are confused by them

The thing is … I don’t do banter.

Me and my gal pals never just hang out and roast each other.

We’re into:

  1. Deep and meaningfuls
  2. Quality time
  3. Bridesmaids GIFs.

*Struggles to find anything funny about the acronym DQB … Googles … apparently it’s a nerdy game to do with dragons. What a triumph.*

To help upskill myself on what the sweet hell banter is, I did a very simple, obvious thing.

I asked.

“What is banter?”

Any my homeboys actually had some really good responses.

Well, minus the couple who thought the question was a weird power play of feminine wiles, so I clearly already have them beat and abstained from answering.

Their answers ranged from …

The Tweetable:

“I would say banter is a discussion with the intent to entertain at the expense of others.” – Hiro, League Commissioner

“When you’re bantering you can sort of take on a character and push that character to the extreme … The more absurd the thing is that you say, the more obvious it’s banter.” – Liam, Press Sec

“Banter is a way to make your match up for the week mean more.” – Taka, FLOTUS

To the quietly savage:

“I like banter cause I can be mean to people and they think I’m joking.” – Roy, Chief of Staff Salt

“I find it it fun cause I like to have a laugh. Also have to admit I love to see people shot down due to quality banter.” – Ropata, Chief Executive

And even some official “#bantz rules of engagement” from Karan, Head of Legal:

  1. Build rapport with your league mates (the better you know them, the greater the understanding of their limit and acceptance of said banter)
  2. Research the target of the banter thoroughly (have they claimed something in the past that lends credence to the banter)
  3. Make it funny and/or insightful
  4. Minimal self-depreciation/maximum ego
  5. Adopt a persona and build on it
  6. Play mind-games to break them down, but keep it above board
  7. Foster a rivalry
  8. Have fun.”

With all of this in mind, dear reader, I have a question for you …

Have you ever watched WWE?

Rivalries. Personas. Fake feuds. Entertainment.

Banter is basically that big wrestling energy.

Becoming ‘The Man’

I’m going to be honest with you.

For one emotionally-charged moment, as those first banter bombs fired at me from across the group chat, I did think of throwing the “Ross Finger” and bouncing.

But I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t be that weak chick who left as soon as she was let into the big boys’ room just because it was difficult.

So I picked myself up, put on some It’s Britney, b*tch, and I thought:

What would Ruth Bader Ginsberg do?

Spurred on by my new spirit animal, the Notorious RBG, I started taking baby steps towards banter bad assery and defeating my fear of confrontation.

1. Remember who you are, Simba

Generally speaking, I dislike conflict for two reasons:

  1. I have people-pleaser tendencies, and I like to be liked
  2. I like people, and I don’t want to compromise relationships for the sake of getting to be “right”.

Which sounds very nicey-nice, but is actually pretty problematic, as in healthy relationships you should definitely be able to have disagreements without fundamentally rocking the relationship boat with how you view and value each other.

But that’s a therapy session for another time.

To help bust me out of this Swiss shell of neutrality, I had to have a “Come to, Jesus Mufasa” moment and remembered:

I’m a third speaker, damnit. 

Uh what, Kate? 

Oh yeah, I forgot – not everyone’s as much of a nerd as me. Let me explain.

I was in my high school debate team. 

Debate works by having two teams of three argue ‘for’ or ‘against’ a topic.

The earlier you speak, the more pre-prepared your speech is, and the less rebuttal (read: logically and articulately explaining why the other team’s argument is trash) you do.

I was third speaker, so 75% of my speech was rebuttal.

For someone who doesn’t like arguments, I’m actually very good at arguing.

And I do improv … so on the fly funny is kind of my jam.

And banter kind of is arguing + improv …

Oh my gosh … I’m about to kick some candy ass.

I also come alive for any kind of boxing or fighting sport. Which is neither here nor there, but I think probably embodies why this is my all time favourite quote:

2. Starting small

It sounds silly, but those first little banter battles on the Facebook Group chat would have me STRESS SWEATING.

Confrontation (even when it’s make-believe) makes me uncomfortable.

But the more I did it, and the more I overcame the temptation to have a little freak out, the easier – and funner – it became.

3. The Shark

Today’s #bantz was about comparing league members to different animals, and I was given the Tiger Shark along with this explanation and link:

Tim and I had some jibes at each other last week.

I think I might of done quite well.

I’m now so into banter, I accidentally burned someone at work yesterday. I need to reign it in.

What a fun, new problem to have.

That RBG spirit

Confrontation is my thing.

What’s yours? 

What makes you nervous, and shrink away.

Because I think you’re probably stronger than you think you are.

You tell that thing, ‘Not today, Satan’, and you walk towards it – not away.

You got this, girlfriend. Go get that RBG spirit, and go get your victory.

Kate x

Chapter 23: Brainy Talk

I have an attention span shorter than that tiny tyrant, my son Ezekiel Napoleon.

I get bored easily, and just as easily excited by shiny new ideas and hair clips.

Which basically makes me a toddler.

If a toddler was an enthusiastic go-getter, and also a little bit of a flake.

Loves the start of a new venture; hates the daily grind of making it happen.

This personality quirk is particularly unhelpful for long-term success, because as any cheese or wine advertiser will tell you, good things take time.

Long-term success requires long-term commitment and hustle, which if you ask me, is a giant pain in the ass.

But – and I mean butt – this blog has helped me turnaround that tendency.

I’ve had to stick at things: regular writing, weekly podcasts, Instagram content, I’ve completed two terms of improv, and I ran a bloody half-marathon.

Through thick and thin, long after the excitement and novelty wore off, I stuck with it. And heck, you can too.

“Dreams won’t work unless you do,” – John C. Maxwell

Psych 121

Have I mentioned that I have a Psychology degree?

I actually totally do, so let’s put it to good use for a hot second.

The human brain is very clever, but it can also be a real jack ass.

I’m talking about neural pathways.

These are the well worn tracks in our mind that have been created through repeated behaviours. They’re the bunches of axons, called tracts,  that have joined up through repeated use – like a well-trodden path through the bush.

These pathways create efficient shortcuts in our mind so we can do things easily and without thinking – like driving a car, or applying contour.

Which is helpful, but also incredibly unhelpful, when that habit or behaviour isn’t a fun or healthy addition to our lives.

What has this got to do with anything?

Homie, it has everything to do with everything, because it means you not screwed.

It means there’s a reason why some behaviour or ways of thinking feels like it comes naturally to you, but it also means you can create a new reality and a new you.

You just need to create a new pathway.

But, howww?

Repetition.

It takes around 66 days to create a new habit.

That’s 66 days of consistently, mindfully choosing a different path.

Which tbh, seems like a long time. But the time will pass anyway, so you may as well be moving in the right direction.

I’m still confused Kate, give me an example

I always wanted to do a half-marathon.

But I’d never trained outside before, and I’d never run more than 10km in my life.

From past experience, my subconscious knew I would give up, because that’s what I’ve done before.

My battle was to not give up, and to convince my brain I wasn’t going to by consistently hacking at that scrubby bush to create a new path.

How did I do that?

Tiny victories.

  • Doing a 15min jog outside
  • Doing a 5km ParkRun
  • Cracking 10km (that was such a good day!)

These were all milestones that continued to prove to my brain that I could do this thing it thought I couldn’t.

And the rest, as they say, is history … See: “Chapter 20: Half-Marathon

Learn more about brainy stuff

Want to know more about neural pathways and changing habits?

I recommend checking out this article. I used it as a reference, and it definitely explains neuroscience better than me!

What habits would be at the top of your to-change list? Or what positive, new habits are you going to try and form? Go on, give it a go – I dare you!

Kate x

Disclaimer: I do have a Psychology degree, but I’m not actually an expert in this field. This is just the Basic White Chick explanation of neutral pathways and habit changing/forming. I recommend you do your own research if you really want to knuckle down and make some changes, or to talk to a professional if you have significant mental health concerns you want to tackle. Much love. 

Chapter 19: We started a podcast

I did a Rachel Hollis exercise with some friends recently where you visualise what the best version of yourself would be like.

What do you do for a job? What do you dress like? How are your relationships? What are your priorities? How do you feel? How much sleep do you get? What do you eat …? 

And then after imagining all of this – seeing it like a movie in your head – you quickly write it all down on a piece of paper, using “I” statements and as much detail as you can.

I really recommend giving it a go.

It’s a ridiculously helpful way of focusing in on what you actually want your life to be like, and then being big and brave and going for it.

Here are some of the things on my list:

  1. I am a famous writer
  2. I am a present, loving mum
  3. I eat fresh healthy food and regularly work out, and I feel amazing
  4. I set my own work hours
  5. I am confident and completely myself
  6. I influence people to believe in themselves and live their best lives, and to be kind.
  7. I make the world laugh.

Then we had to each look at our lists, and come up with a goal – just one – that would help us get closer to this bomb version of ourselves.

Get it, girl

My Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG, if you please) is to create a platform of smart, silly, fun, encouraging content.

Like what Leandra Medine has done with Man Repeller.

But more Kate-ish.

Which is difficult. And daunting. And exciting. And entirely achievable.

Kate, Media Mogul

I love podcasts. They bring me untold amounts of joy – like, Making a Murderer.

Kidding. I ain’t about that True Crime life. I live almost exclusively in the comedy section. See below.

Kate’s Top 5 Fave Podcasts:

  1. Jules and Sarah the Podcast
  2. Rise Podcast
  3. Fletch Vaughan and Megan
  4. Wobble
  5. Sports?

So when I was thinking about what I wanted to be a part of my platform, podcasts were FOR SURE on the list.

So I made one. Like a gangster.

I enlisted my husband Taka as Producer and Co-Host, and on Thursday night we sat at the kitchen table and chatted into a surprisingly phallic microphone about everything from our car being totalled by an ambulance, to the Netflix show Taka’s mum is currently obsessed with.

It was really fun, and we hope it makes you smile.

If you want to have a listen, we are now officially iTunes approved so you can find us there by searching Kate Takes Thirty (I’ve renamed it The Kate and Taka Show, but it’s just taking a little while to sync!), or listen online at https://thekateandtakashow.simplecast.fm/.

If you listen, please screenshot it and post it to your stories and tag or DM me at @katetakesthirty on Instagram! I. WILL. DIE.

You can also follow Taka at @takakauri.

Thanks so much for your support, guys. We will frankly be bloody beside ourselves if more people than just my mum listen (both because she’s supportive, and also because I talk about her confusion with “that’s what she said” … it’s a little rude …).

You are the best of all humans.

Lots of love,

Kate x

Footnote: Making Friends as an Adult

And I use the term “adult” very loosely.

Lord only knows my maturity levels are questionable.

What a Girl Wants

I was listening to an audio chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face recently where the author Rachel Hollis said the question she gets asked most at her Rise women’s events is – how do I make friends?

Which broke my heart a little bit.

Because I know what that’s like.

I have distinct memories of being at primary school and my two cooler friends (let’s calls them Kelly and Beyoncé) running away and hiding from me while I was in the bathroom.

I was Michelle.

And it was crap.

Hey, Soul Sister

Thankfully, I did end up making some awesome friends at school and uni, but other than my hilarious pal Vin, I was a relatively late bloomer when it came to making soul sister-level besties.

I was 19 when I first started going to church, and it was there I met my now-best friends and the wild, funny, clever women (and some solidly epic dudes) that make up my wolf pack.

But after this pretty intense period of getting to know lots of new people, I went on a bit of a friend-making hiatus.

My dance card was full.

Until, recently.

F•R•I•E•N•D•S

In the past couple of years I’ve made A LOT of friends!

First there was gorgeous Renee at my old new job.

Then the hilarious Mamae and Jacqui through my new-new job.

Then Janis, Haley, Nat, Leah, Cara, Sam and Liza from my antenatal group mum gang.

And then more recently Erin and Amelia through Improv.

I am awash with cool chicks to hang with!

And I couldn’t help but wonder (like a Carrie Bradshaw voice over) – why?

Why do I suddenly have so many cool new chums?

And then it hit me.

The answer of how to make friends as an adult.

You have to do something different

In every single one of the above new-friend scenarios, I was doing something outside of my normal day-to-day Kate-ing.

I started a new job (twice).

Interviewed a random, wonderful woman for my work podcast.

Had a baby (grow a new friend?)

And started improv classes.

All things outside of my normal routine.

All things that pushed me out of my comfort zone.

Feeling like Michelle?

If, like me in the primary school toilets, you’re feeling like a bit of a Michelle (kinda lonely and on the outer) – I really encourage you to try something different.

Or indeed, this four step process that I have just created …

Step 1: Work out what you like

Think about what you enjoy: sports, dancing, reading, fitness, comedy, music … and find a club or community group that runs something you can join.

For instance: a netball club, church connect group, dance class, book club, community bootcamp, improv class, or choir …

So. Many. Options!

Just have a Google.

Step 2: Sign up!

Take a deep breath and go full Nike and

You have far more to gain that you have to lose.

Step 3: Back yourself and be nice

There are so many different types of people on this earth, no matter how weird or niche you think you are, there will be someone else out there who will get your jokes and think you’re great.

You just gotta find your tribe. Put yourself out there. And be nice.

You might not find a bezzie pal in the first club you join, but by deliberately positioning your heart and mind to be open and welcoming to new friends – that’s exactly what you’ll attract.

(Literally the definition of “manifesting”?)

Or as no one’s put it, ever:

Let your openness be the light bulb of friendship to draw in your new moth homies.

Step 4: Have faith

Don’t force it. You don’t need to get weird and intense because you want that half-heart BFF bracelet.

Just see who you click with. Ask them to hang. Be interested. And have faith that everything will work out.

Friendships take time to grow.

Be patient and enjoy the process.

You are unique and wonderful, and anyone would be lucky to have you as a friend.

Side note: Looking for love?

These steps are also pretty comparable to how we used to meet dudes back in the olden pre-Tinder days.

Just a thought.

Do you find it difficult making friends? What’s worked for you? Can I get an Amen for the Michelle’s in the house!

Kate x

Chapter 11: Improv

Most of my Thirty Before Thirty goals are ridiculous.

However, today’s is my first seriously ridiculous one.

And it is …

I M P R O V.

What the Improv?

Improv is sort for Improvisation, or Improvisational Theatre, a comedy format where performers make up scenes entirely on the spot.

Think, Key and Peele (“A-a-ron”), Amy Poehler and the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and the entirety of What We Do In The Shadows.

It’s quick thinking comedy, and it’s what I’ve been learning to do for the past eight weeks at BaseJump Improv in Wellington, and on Friday I did my very first proper show.

As an attention-seeker who loves to make people laugh, improv is kind of my dream scenario.

But improv fun and games isn’t just limited to drama queens like me. There’s something for the whole Breakfast Club.

The athlete, the brain, the princess (hi), the basket case and the bad ass all have attributes that lend themselves to improv, and attributes improv can help improve in them.

For instance, the shy smart introvert might have killer wit, but hate being the centre of attention.

Enter: improv, where there is no such thing as failure, and your friends have your back.

Our shy guy gets more confident in himself and comfortable being in front of people, and the performance gets to revel and rofl in his brilliance.

Win win, cough cough, you should sign up.

But back to Friday and

Show Time!

Photo credit: Joel Luscombe

Our improv format is simple, if you know what you’re doing, otherwise it’s wonderfully confusing.

This is the breakdown:

  1. Ask the audience for a word
  2. A performer does a monologue (“That word reminds me of this short, funny/interesting story full of rich details …”) based on that word
  3. Performers do three distinct and seperate scenes taking elements from the original monologue
  4. Performer does a monologue based on one of these scenes
  5. Rinse and repeat.

It’s a damn thrill.

Although, full disclosure, I definitely had a low-grade sore stomach all day in anticipation for taking to the stage.

But as soon as I did my first scene, all of those nerves dissipated and were replaced by stage sweat and joy.

My favourite scene of mine was where I was pretending to be “Sex God Marlon Williams”, who is actually a real person, although heaven knows who. I hope he’s nothing like I played him.

My opening line was to tell my scene partner Will to keep his knickers on.

Real highbrow stuff.

I also loved getting to do a scene with my friend Mamae, who I peer-pressured asked to do the class with me. We were tourists in the South Island discussing why the people there were so very short.

Classic North Island jerks.

Why the Improv?

Improv is something I’ve wanted to try ever since I read Yes, Please by Amy Poehler, but just never got around to doing.

That is, until I started this blog and seized the bloody day and signed up.

And I’m so incredibly, insanely, obnoxiously happy that I did, because improv is bomb.

img_4341

Kate Time

The lovely Amelia.

Not only have I made some great new friends (waves at Erin and Amelia), but I pushed myself to do something new, and different, and scary – and entirely for me.

As a relatively new mum, “me time” isn’t something I have in wild abundance.

Delicious, selfish snatches of the day are generally small and lovely – listening to music as I put my makeup on in the morning, laughing to a podcast on the train, going for a run jog (that one time)…

So having THREE HOURS to myself was so dreamy and self-indulgent.

Especially when it’s an activity where literally the entire point is to have fun and laugh.

How to be Funny

Taught be the endlessly encouraging James and Cailin, BaseJump’s Level 1 class lays out the basics of “how to do the thing” that is improv.

We learnt the flow and format of improvised comedy, how to initiate scenes, the importance of having your partner’s back (“yes – and!”), and importantly, just to let loose and be silly.

It was great. And so fun. And I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself this week now it’s finished …

Netflix Christmas movie?

Probably.

But … Level 2 will be kicking off next year, and you know your girl is an over-achiever, and will most definitely be signing up.

Thank you, Thirty Before Thirty, you have introduced me to a true new love.

What have you always wanted to try. Ps. You should probably do it. You’re probably amazing at it, and would have a disgusting amount of fun.

*Quietly chants, do it, do it …*

Kate x

Disclaimer: it probably goes without saying, but this isn’t some snazzy sponsored post. I just did the course, bloody loved it, and decided to overshare on the internet. Classic Kate.

Although if anyone would like to give me obscene amounts of money and chic freebies to do fun stuff, I’d be totally into that … I do desperately need a cut and colour, and some new Nike Roshes, and I’d love to stay in a yurt … wait, what was the question …?

(All photos from the show are courtesy of Joel Luscombe).

Chapter 7: Postpartum Body

I put on 30kgs when I was pregnant.

Half was literally a little person. And the other half was Bacon and Egg McMuffins.

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Side note: I’m pretty sure McDonald’s breakfasts are like crack for pregnant women. The McMuffin, hashbrown and orange juice combo was my holy trinity of cravings. I can’t even tell you how good it tasted, guys.

I.

Can’t.

E V E N.

But now, ten months on, I’ve decided to be more intentional with getting back to my regular Kate shape.

Disclaimer: I’ve been listening to a lotta Jameela Jamil (warning – her language is as colourful as her pantsuits) and Wobble (a podcast about happiness and body confidence), so am currently woke as hell to @i_weigh and body positivity, and thus need to say right off the bat …

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Jameela Jamil: actress, activist, queen.

To all the mums out there

  • Your body literally made a human. Then you birthed that human (which, SHEESH, any which way you do it is a beautiful, miraculous, horror show). And now you’re raising that human – the toughest, best, worst paid job there is. Wonder Woman ain’t got nothing on you.
  • You DO NOT need to “bounce back”. If all you do in a day is keep that child alive and loved, and yourself sane – then you have done plenty!
  • You offer the world so much more than your waist line. Whether you shrink a lot or a little after you give birth, it doesn’t change who you are. You’re still smart, creative, brave, kind, funny, talented, bold, lovely … all of the things that make you, you.

This is just my story. It’s not intended to be some sort of sage guide, or God forbid, something that makes you feel like you need to lose weight. Screw that.

You do you, boo.

Let’s start at very beginning, a very good place to start

img_3283
Back when I did boot camp with Change Fitness (ft. my sister-in-law Ari, who will really love that I’ve included this photo), and could bounce on a trampoline without wetting my pants. Heady days.

I tried a lot of diets in my 20s.

Whole 30, low carb, no sugar, MyFitnessPal calorie-tracking, Paleo, Weight Watchers …

I even tried Veganism for a hot second. (Not for admirable reasons, I might add … but because I read a book called Skinny Bitch. I think the premise was that you were meant to eat mainly plant-based … but I just ate a lot of toast.)

I’m not sure why (airbrushing, the mid-drift baring 90s, or that I was a little barrel-bellied as a tween…?), but I always felt like there was a cheeky 5kgs I could do without.

And the silly thing is, when I look back at photos of myself now – I was tiny!

All I see is a skinny little fool who thought she was chubs, and I want to give her a hug and a piece of cake.

Nothing like gaining nearly half my weight, and a whole lot of perspective!

Self-love is my home girl

This reality check was a real proverbial slap to the face, and because of it I became determined to take a slower, kinder approach to getting back to my usual size.

I was also very conscious that diets made me sad and weird, so I did this instead:

Post-birth

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I gave zero craps.

I ate proper meals to set me up to survive the no-sleep nights and milkshake production line that was my chest – but also drank all the coffee and ate all the baked goods (because, “no-sleep nights”).

I had also just

Given.

Birth

A few months later

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✌🏼✌🏼

When I was physically able to, I started doing Saturday boot camp with my friend group and it. Was. LIT.

I had really sore hips in my last trimester of pregnancy (cue: all the hobbling), and then an episiotomy (don’t Google it), and was even more hobbly post-birth.

So being able to move again made me ridiculously happy.

I was off my face on endorphins by the end of each workout.

I also started doing my own weights and HIIT circuits at home (I love Blogilates on YouTube, and had a good 12 week stint with the Sweat with Kayla app), and went on lots of evening walks for self-preservation (they were to make sure little man had at least one nap in the “witching hour”).

To fuel these workouts I started making sure I was eating lots of veges and protein, and less takeaways and processed stuff.

I remember being into Pita Pit’s Chick’n’Fala Salad in a VERY big way.

All this, combined with the fact that I was minus a baby and a significant amount of water weight (my hands and feet had finally deflated), meant I was down a solid 20kgs by about 6 months postpartum.

And then winter happened

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And the weather kaiboshed boot camp.

And I got sick. And my husband got sick. And little man got sick.

And I didn’t exercise.

And I ate all the Gingernuts.

And I plateaued.

Until

Now.

Two weeks ago, I started eating differently.

I thought about how I didn’t want to go on a diet.

I thought about everything I knew about healthy eating.

And I picked up my copy of Nadia Lim’s Fresh Start Cookbook.

The literature.

The “Say goodbye to fad diets” tagline spoke to my damn soul.

Her advice is sensible, kind, and actually relatively easy to follow.

It’s about eating a range of food groups each day, keeping your portion sizes in check, having whole foods (she calls it “nude” food 🍒🍑), and eating to add nutrition to your body – not eating to minus food groups, or calories.

Which I respect.

I also found it a more helpful mindset than the diet headspace of deprivation and being “good” (at least in my experience).

Yesterday, for instance, I knew we were having a family birthday dinner and I had a double-layer carrot cake with cream cheese icing (I dieeee) in my fridge – so at lunch I chose to go to The Lab (genuinely the most Millennial eatery you’ve ever seen) for pea and broadbean smashed toast with poached egg, halloumi (food of the heavens) and a beetroot saucy bit, and (the nicest) green smoothie (I have ever had).

And it was delicious. And colourful. And full of happy-body stuff.

And then later that night, I throughly enjoyed dinner and (a slice and a half of) cake.

Because, #balance.

You should go and love yourself

One of the hallmarks of body positivity is to let each person decide for themselves what is good and healthy for them – and not to judge them for it.

People are all different shapes and sizes, and that’s how it should be.

As for me – I’d been the same relative size for about 10 years, so that’s what I’m aiming to return to. It’s my comfy Kate size.

I also have some fly ass clothes that I’m looking forward to shimming back into …

But that doesn’t mean I don’t love my body right now, just the way it is. Because I really, truly do.

And I hope you do too.

Your body that it is.

Not mine.

That would be weird.

“You should go and love yourself.” – Justin Beiber

I_Weigh

To finish this odyssey of a post, I wanted to do my own @i_weigh.

It’s Jameela Jamil’s campaign for ‘life positivity’, and how we are the beautiful sum of our parts – not a number on a scale.

I recommend it. Not even to post, if you don’t want to.

Just to think about and acknowledge all the awesomeness that is you.

Because:

Possibly the smartest thing John Meyer has ever said.

Have a lovely weekend.

Kate x