Why is everyone running?

Last night a crazy idea popped into my head and for a reason unknown to me, I followed through with it this morning. Needless to say it had rather unexpected results.

I generally don’t believe in getting out of bed before the sun rises. I like a lazy wake up. I need at least 30 minutes to drink my coffee and think. And then I like to stretch and yawn and throw the covers off and roll out of bed.

I’m currently on holiday. There is nothing but lazy days to look forward to. So you can imagine my alarm, when my alarm went off at 4:30am this morning. And you can imagine my shock and horror when my body jumped out of bed and my mind had to follow suit.

No, I wasn’t going on a road trip. No, I wasn’t waking up to watch the sun rise over the ocean. And no, I wasn’t waking up to catch a flight to an exotic location.

I set my alarm at 4:30am to go for a run. And I actually got out of bed and did it. Who is this person I hear you asking? Yes, I’m wondering the same thing.

Let me backtrack and explain how I got to the crazy notion of waking up at 4:30am. I’m still in Korea and its summertime here, which means it steaming, as in 26-28 degrees Celsius steaming at 5:30 in the morning. And that is when I normally head out for a run.  I’ve been struggling for weeks to run in the heat.

Now let me backtrack and explain how I even got into running. I had been planning for years to become a regular runner. These plans were all in my head of course and that’s where they stayed. Why? Well, because I have the ability to make up the most imaginatively convincing excuses.

Then one day out of the blue, I mean, I don’t even know how these things happen, my brother-in-law started running. And then my sister started running and next thing I know my niece and nephew are running. Suddenly I’m back in South Africa on holiday and the whole family is waking up early to exercise, my mother included. So what’s a girl to do but fall in line?

After this semi-active holiday I headed back to Korea and forgot about running until my brother-in-law invited me to join a World Wide Fun Run on facebook. You know that awkward second after you’ve accepted something and then you immediately think, why did I just do that? Yes, well I could’ve not done it and no-one would have known but I gave my word and if you can’t honor your own word then who can?

That first 5km was run run walk, run walk, walk run run, walk walk, run walk, run walk. I’ve kept going because the overachiever in me wasn’t happy with the run walk situation. I gave myself 2 big goals. Get to a point of running 5km without stopping to walk and then get to a point of running it in 35 minutes minimum.

Each morning that I’ve subsequently gone out to run I’ve made small goals for myself. Small goals like increase my run to walk ratio by a few hundred meters more than the last run. Or try to increase my pace by 10 seconds with each run. These small goals have kept me motivated to keep running.

Last night I got this crazy idea to set my alarm for 4:30am. This morning I shocked myself by getting out of bed at that ungodly hour. I stepped out into a cool morning breeze. Much cooler than any other morning and I just started running. In the dark. In the quiet.

After running for 2.5km I told myself I could do it for 3km. Then when I reached 3km and still felt good I told myself I could do 4km. Then when I got to 4km I told myself, you’ve got this, just 1 more, you can do this. And then when I got to 4.8km I remembered what I wrote last week about digging deep and pushing yourself. I managed to sprint the last 200m to my own surprise. I didn’t know I still had that in me.

This morning I achieved both my goals. I ran 5km in less than 35 minutes. When I woke up I had no idea I was going to do this. I didn’t know I was ready. I got a crazy idea and I followed through with it. I went out into the dark and focussed on enjoying the cool quiet morning without any expectations for a particular outcome. It just so happens that I achieved my goals along the way.

When you think big and set goals for yourself, take action. Small steps. Get into motion and the Universe will too. One day you’ll find that the accumulation of all those small steps and little actions will lead to the achievement of that big goal.

Sometimes you might think you’re in the dark with no idea of where to next. Sometimes you need to trust that crazy idea that came from nowhere because sometimes that is the Universe whispering that you’re ready, that it’s time. Sometimes you need to be quiet to listen.


Detox, de-tach, de- clutter

I think we all face the reality of a detox at some point in our lives. Sometimes we do it and sometimes fear stops us from taking the “next step”. It could be a detox necessary for our health, body, mind, spirit and sometimes just a toxic relationship. If you do decide to detox you’ll find that one area automatically affects another. It’s like a domino effect. The body releases toxins and you start to feel healthier, then your thoughts become clearer, feelings and emotions rise to the surface which can then be dealt with etc etc. I think this is a great blog to read if you want to take that next step or if you just curious to know what this detox thing is about.

Leanne Tee

There is nothing heroic about doing a detox but the accomplishment can em-power you.

I’d like to say that the idea to detox came “out of the blue” but on reflection I think it’s more accurate to say it was a subliminal message (i.e. feeling) from my body to self that I happened to acknowledge. And then when I tuned into a testimonial TV ad about body cleansing and detoxing I took it as a sure sign from the universe. So I obliged.

After some research, I decided on a juice detox and went with the beginner cleanse option. Being new to the idea of juice for food I figured this would be best. The key concept here is to replace solid food for liquid food that contains combinations of greens and fruit. Yummy!


I wouldn’t want to overstate my position and say I was in a dire situation…

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I come from a family of big eaters.  If you had to ask me what I know for sure about my family, it’s that we love to cook, we love to eat and we love to laugh. And normally those three go hand in hand. My happiest memories revolve around sitting at the kitchen table eating, talking and laughing.  It’s the one place where we are able to engage with each other without there being any drama. Because if there is another thing I know for sure, it’s that when my family gets together, there is bound to be drama.

My grandmother was the doyenne of the kitchen. She could whip up a Michelin star meal from the scraps of nothing. I think she was the Food Whisperer. Ingredients spoke to her. They told her the secrets of which herbs or spices blended the best together, and how much of this goes with how much of that, to extract the tastiest flavours from whatever she was cooking.  When you ate her food you tasted love. This is probably the reason why she had so many visitors. She was always in the kitchen happily feeding everyone, and their strays.

And I’m sure this is the reason why I have such a healthy (side-eye) relationship with food. It represents love and happiness to me.  And yes I am still a slut of an emotional eater which you can read about here. But logic dictates that this all stems from food taking me to such a happy orgasmic place.

Now, if my grandmother was the doyenne of the kitchen, then my father is the king of comedy. He loves a good joke, especially a dirty one. And when he tells a joke, he is the first one to roll his head back and let out a roar so loud and so boisterous that you can’t help but get caught up in the tidal wave of laughter.  But as much as he loves a good joke, what he really loves most in the world is to tease people.  If you enter the Lawler household best you do it with your thick skin on.

So I know for sure that if I had to walk into my father’s house right now, with the current curves that I possess, he would say with a big smile on his face, “Ooh I see you getting nice and JANANDA (pronounced Ja-nun-da.). You must be hitting those pots in South Korea.” Cue for two minutes of earth shaking laughter. Now I don’t know where this term JANANDA comes from, but in my family it means that the cheeks on your face and your butt are getting nice and big and rosy, to be polite. And if you don’t have any curves and you’re looking a little mal-nourished then you can be sure to be called SKINNY MALINKS.



This is SKINNY MALINKS (Yes, that’s me)


When I return home in 5 months time and my father says, “To what do I owe this great honour, that my prodigal daughter has returned.” I don’t want the next words out of his mouth to be “ooh I see you getting nice and JANANDA , you must be hitting those pots in South Korea”.

I want to be somewhere in the middle, somewhere between JANANDA and SKINNY MALINKS. So I took the time today to write down the 5 biggest “white lies” I’m currently feeding myself with regards to food and exercise:

  1. When confronted with anything dessertified or sweet – If you don’t wake up tomorrow morning will you have regrets about not eating this fat slice of chocolate cake? Yes. Then eat it. The answer is always yes.
  2. When deciding on doing exercise – 90% of your weight depends on what you eat and 10% on exercise. (I’m delusional, I make up these stats, please don’t quote me). So, TOMORROW, I will start eating healthy.
  3. Eating makes me happy. I want to be happy. I’d rather be curvaceous and happy then skinny and unhappy.
  4. On deciding to join a gym – I don’t like sweating in front of other people.
  5. When confronted with anything delicious and non-healthy – It’s ONLY 878 calories, if I eat this now then later I’ll have ???Calories or I won’t eat at all. LIES.

I’m an intelligent woman, I know they’re lies but still I listen to them. I need your help. I’ve started the #STOPJANANDA2012 campaign.  I need to put an action kit together. Do you have any ideas? How do I stop listening to the lies? What eating plan or exercise plan works for you?