Unemployed: The pressure

Hey fam. I’m about to roast you here, but it’s all with love

So as soon as you leave school, most people are hoping that you get a job as soon as you possibly can. Of course there are so many people that don’t go the employment way but this is to the employment folks. For most people, from the day you leave school, to the day you actually get to secure employment, you will spend every other day job hunting. Having recently completed school, I have obviously been on the job hunt side of life so basically I am airing my sentiments from experience – haha! and the process is faaaar from interesting.

Let me tell you why, everyone and their mother will be on your case about it. Mostly indirectly and though they mean well, the resultant pressure is not funny. Those comments of  ‘”Usijali, utapata kazi tu”, “don’t worry, God will make a way” can feel heartbreaking and sad . Maybe you’re not even looking for a job, or you’re looking at totally different opportunities but noooo…. You need to be employed ASAP. Some messages of reassurance are always welcome, but when every time you meet some people all they do is ask about your employment status then send some motivational statements your way, you’re going to feel pressured.

Lets say you’ve been sending applications to several places. In the fortunate event you get an an interview call.. This is how things go down..

So your interview is on day X, if your people are anything like my relatives, they will need to approve of your outfit, your makeup, your hair etc which is amazing!! Mine are so extra you just might go shopping for some outfits. They will all wake you up early (my grandmother included) just to ensure you’re not late, they will call you at the time they presume you should leave the house and about 20 minutes to the interview time to ensure you made it in good time. My family is bomb, right?! All the concern… I love them to bits.

In the event you have something like a presentation or a pitch as part of your interview, you will need to run it through some of them and even present it to them, you know, for practice and to get their feedback in case you need to make some modifications. In short they have done their best to ensure you’re well prepared, so if things don’t go well for you, you have very many people to deliver disappointing news to… and that’s where the pressure comes in. If no one knew about it, it would just slide away quietly.

There’s also a bunch of people who just …I don’t even know how to put it. One, you’re not that close but they are probably related to you somehow and know that you are jobless. You normally don’t talk much but now because you are unemployed they only contact you to ask whether you actually got a job. And if you say no, get ready to receive all the unwarranted advice the world has to offer. They will advice you on how to structure your resume, how much perfume to wear during an interview etc. So basically, you don’t have a job because you wear too much perfume. Of course, some help is most definitely appreciated but some people are just too much with it. And they got all this info off the internet and you probably already have this information because you looked it up too.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is if someone is actually seeking a job, they already have enough internal pressure. Sometimes all people want is just a day without having someone point out the fact that they don’t have a job.

No one likes to be broke, so trust me, they’re looking.

Love,

Sally

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting Started: Figure out your workout

Disclaimer : This is my journey, it’s not the right one or the wrong one, it’s just what I did. I have nothing against any other method one may use to get to their goals, I am just sharing my experience.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started.

I am a strong advocate of starting small then building up with time. I find it more realistic and bound to survive time. It’s okay if you do a total diet overhaul or go full vegan or go extremely high impact for a start. If that works for you then do you boo.

I first noticed that my weight may have been a problem around November 2012. This was after I had security guards telling me that they weren’t allowed to use metal detectors on expectant women and I was heartbroken. That I guess was my turning point. I brought up the idea of gym membership to my mum but she wasn’t too enthusiastic about it at first so I decided I was going to work with what I had.

I’m going to tackle this in the two obvious ways I had to make changes in my life: working out and eating clean. This will be done in two posts to avoid making this one too lengthy.

Incorporate small sessions of physical activity: As a beginner, you may not be able to go very high impact, but trust me with consistent practice, you’ll keep getting better.

Back then in 2012, I lived near Strathmore University’s field so every evening after school I’d try and run around that field. Initially, I could barely complete a single lap but in about a month, I could do one to two laps.

It’s important to have fun when working out. You’ll be able to do it longer and enjoy rather than feel like its a chore you can’t wait to finish. There are numerous workout options which I may cover in detail in weeks to come.

Running every other day got boring real quick and I had to switch it up, else I was going to give up on working out.

Then I happened to stumble upon Tae Bo by Billy Blanks. I can’t seem to find the exact workout I used sadly. This was so much more interesting for me and I would wake up earlier to get my sweat on before school. Working out in the morning gave me mad energy levels for the day.

Build a program that works best for you. I know some people say working out in the morning is better than the evening or vice versa but I’m just going to say: workout at whatever time works for you.

Eventually, my mum gave in to my gym demands and I was sooo excited. I gave the gym a try and it turned out not to be what I expected. There are machines and equipment but very little input from the trainers, besides maybe aerobics classes. That may not be the case for others though. So I’d just jump around the machines as I pleased and it was not satisfactory for me.

So after the month I had paid for, I quit and went back to Tae Bo. The gym clearly wasn’t working for me. My cousin, whom I lived with had joined this band wagon and she introduced me to Zumba. Anyone who knows me well knows I love to dance and Zumba was going to give me that and a good calorie burn.

Make it consistent, at least 3 days a week for a start, then you can build up with time.

So I had these two options to work with. Initially I would alternate them i.e Tae Bo today, Zumba tomorrow every weekday and then I would take a break on weekends or do something light like leisure swimming on weekends.

After some time, I did Tae Bo in the morning and Zumba in the evening every weekday.

Don’t get too comfortable with your workout. Keep challenging yourself

If you’re going to the gym and have a trainer, they will keep it challenging for you so you’re safe. However, if you’re on your own and are following one routine, your body may get too comfortable with it so you need to take it up a notch and get something more challenging. Over the years I have followed different workouts. You can look them up (if you wish).

  1. Tae Bo
  2. Zumba
  3. Swimming
  4. 30 day Shred by Jillian Michaels
  5. Insanity by Shaun T
  6. T25 by Shaun T
  7. Chalean Xtreme by Chalene Johnson
  8. Yoga by the Africa Yoga Project

Ocassionally I may try Matt Stefanina’s dance moves in the name of working out but the above are my basic go to.

I have tried to keep a consistent workout regimen over the years. Every weekday if possible and so far so good. With time you get so used to it that your day feels “incomplete” without working out.

I hope this helps.

See you next week for the eating clean section.

Love  always,

Sally

My Weight-loss Journey: Checkpoint

Lately I have been getting a lot of  “oh my God, you have lost so much weight” comments especially from people who haven’t seen me in like 3 years or more. Of course I am beyond elated to receive such compliments considering I may have struggled with esteem a while back and my weight was definitely a factor.

Yes I have shed a lot of weight between 2013 and now and I am happy to have changed my life to sustain this process .

Just to bring into perspective exactly what I’m talking about take a look at this

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I was definitely not a thirry four bae.

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I look at these photos and now I see why someone once told me I could pass for 26 at the tender age of 17.

Now, several years later I have significantly shed some of that weight off.

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I rarely take full body photos but these are the latest I have from my trip last month.

I have so many people asking me what I did and what I still do to maintain it and I’m always happy to share my story to anyone who cares to listen. For that reason I will be sharing my experience as well as giving tips every now and then.

A few points to note:

  • I began taking this healthy lifestyle seriously in 2013.
  • Since then I have been to the gym for a total of 2 months – I did a full month, did my thing from home for a while, tried the gym again for another full month, quit to do my home workouts and have never been to the gym again – so don’t despair if you can’t go to the gym for whatever reason.
  • I have done no ridiculous diet. I see so many floating around.
  • I have lost about 20kgs to date.
  • Patience and persistence are key, our bodies are very different and comparison may not always be a good thing.
  • You will feel amazing when you feel better about yourself. That confidence boost will definitely make an impact.

Having said that, I will see you in a few days with tips on how to get started.

Love always,

Sally

Geneva: My experience.

So as promised  in my previous post , I am sharing some of my experiences from the trip.

After a 10 hour or so trip, we got to Geneva. We had been given instructions to board a bus that would drop us to our hotel. My mind was picturing either Rongai kind of matatus or KBS at most and I was like with all our luggage, why would they tell us to get a bus??? Also turns out a cab costs close to a plane ticket soooo….

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That’s the Interior of a bus…A baby stroller can comfortably fit leaving space for more stuff

So first, we had a hard time figuring out how to leave the airport (Airports are really huuuge elsewhere) and find the right bus.

French is the language of the place!!! So finding someone to give instructions that made sense in English was a hustle. We took about half an hour to get to the bus which was just a stair case away FYI. But we got to the hotel in peace at least.

The next day, we were required to go to “Campus Biotech”. The instructions were pretty clear but they go like “walk for 3 minutes, take bus 8, alight after 4 stops then turn to road x  and walk for 7 minutes and campus biotech will be on your left” If you’re anything like me, I took those instructions so damn literally. I had to walk with a timer…you tell me to walk for 3 minutes and that’s exactly what I do. Unfortunately, 3 minutes did not get me to the bus stop lol. And we had to do another language struggle to get directions to the right place.

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Finally, we found it!!!

The next day, my mum left for a different city , Basel, and your girl was left in Geneva all alone!!!! One of the professors at the institute suggested that since my area of study deals with computers, I go check out some nuclear science place.

Sounds like a fun thing to do, right? so my map and I were going to get me to that nuclear science place. I had a map, clear demarcations on my map from the hotel reception and google maps screenshots (just in case I was in a wifi free place).

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This map right here… amazeballs!!

 

However, I managed to almost get lost. Let me explain myself!!! They drive on the right side of the road and to me they just look like they operate in the wrong direction. I took the right bus yes but to the wrong direction. Wasn’t such a bad thing though, I don’t mind the extra tourism so I went to what looked like the shopping avenue of the city. And the best part, right next to the lake!!

I know we have lakes in Kenya, many in fact, but I have no idea why Lake Geneva just stole my heart, maybe it was the water jet, or the fact that it is smack in the middle of the city, or the fact that it is soooo damn clean( the whole of Geneva is though) but I spend a ridiculous amount of time at it. I got back to the hotel past 9 pm (after remembering that I still had a whole city to see) . It was still sunny. My mum was already back and panicking that I was lost.

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The sun was still out at 9pm.

Back to the nuclear science place, I still had to see it without getting lost.

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Because I was alone without a tour guide to explain what was going on, I mostly just found the place fascinating but mostly weird. I took a walk around though and a bunch of photos (of course)

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I wish I could explain what is going on in any of those photos but I can’t haha.

One lucky thing was that I had a free transport card for my whole stay there so I could basically board any bus or tram to anywhere and boy didn’t I use it.

Before I forget, let’s talk about the food. Besides pastries and salads, I have no idea what I ate (with the exception of McDonald’s, Subway and Starbucks). Most menus were of course in French and some meals looked like nothing I had seen before.

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PS: Those are not carrots. Only the mashed potato looked familiar.

Starting from left, that was mashed potato – familiar. That orange stuff isn’t carrots, unless their carrots taste different. The next two look like some form of sim sim… no idea what they are. The last was probably a bunch of peppers, can’t quite remember.

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At least I know what I ate for breakfast.

If you’re one who takes really large food portions, you’re likely going to starve.

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Most people I know would find this portion really small.

The rest of my stay was pretty seamless. I had become a mwenyeji of the city. I’d wait for my mum to leave school at 5 then I’d take her around until around 10. Good thing the sun sets so late because she would have missed out on some stuff.

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The Mediterranean Sea : Perks of a daytime flight.

 

And that was Geneva for me, I of course can’t write everything but I hope you enjoyed the little I have.

Love,

Sally.

 

The Land of Chocolate and Watches: Switzerland

Looks like a little vacation is what I needed to get back here. It’s been so long…sigh

Early this month, I got the opportunity to travel to Switzerland… and I just can’t get over how beautiful the place is!!!

P.S I have never been anywhere out of East Africa before so if this looks basic to you, please don’t burst my bubble.

Geneva is a city in Switzerland, you may have heard of it from titles such as WHO headquarters etc. The population is quite low and one con, this city is damn expensive.. unless you work here then what you earn is adequate to sustain you. It is famous for amazing watches and of course chocolate.

The place is sooo clean, Nairobi needs to borrow a leaf or ten, with spot on public transport. You don’t even need a car there, in fact most people cycle or scooter around. How cute is it to see a fully grown man in a suit moving around the city in a scooter? I was just in awe.

Let me just let you marvel at these photos instead on going on and on…

Random public parks for people to chill and walk their dogs 

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The United Nations : P.S I’m crazy about fountains

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Lake Geneva and its water jet : The one that stole my heart

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Random Parts of the City

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I have tried really hard to refrain myself from posting all 1000+ pictures I have hehe.

I hope you enjoy them.

Meanwhile, I am saving every last coin I have to travel someplace else.

This post is just to give you an overview and show you the beauty of the city…. Stay tuned for my adventures and experiences to be posted next week.

Love

xx

Sally

The Art of Resolutions

How are your resolutions coming along thus far? Probably not too good as has always been the case, right? lol 😀

Allow me to give you some insight on this whole resolution concept because clearly most of us have not mastered the art.

Don’t make them

Let me explain myself. I do not understand why a major change in your life has to be made at the beginning of the year. If you want to take some serious action about some aspect in your life, start now. Having to wait for the beginning of the year is procrastination, laziness and lack of seriousness. If you want to shed those pounds, eat your salad today.. don’t wait for this date when you’re likely not going to eat it anyway.

Also, change is a process so the sooner you begin the better. If you are already failing at something you were hoping to do this year, don’t you dare be waiting for 2018. Tomorrow is a new opportunity to do what you want to do, not next year

Don’t make them

You know how we have these people who claim to hate math and claim to be bad at it but can probably do some sick chemistry calculations or something like that. If you gave them a math paper titled “Biology” they would probably do well.  Same case applies here. Just because you have a bunch of pre-defined things titled “resolutions” is why your head is going to decide that you should fail at them. Give them another title or none at all, just work towards them without labeling them and you may be surprised to find out that your psychology is one of your biggest causes of failure.

 Don’t make them

I’m sure you get my point by now.

I’m not saying that you should stick to your old unproductive ways, don’t get me wrong, I’m just saying there is no set date to get out of your unproductive ways. It doesn’t have to be January 1st.. you have the freedom to make it whenever you want to.

Of course though, stick to whatever rocks your boat. 🙂

love always,

XO

Reflections: 2016

Is it too late to be posting this one week into the year? If it is, well… too bad because I’m still posting it now 😀

Hello there, I hope 2017 is taking you well so far, with all your resolutions and everything (that may already be failing). With the start of a new year, I tend to find myself doing more of an audit, appraisal sort of thing before deciding what steps to take moving forward.

First of all, 2016 was quite the year!! With it came major life impacting things and a few of those stood out quite a bit for me.

I am growing up and it’s both exciting and nerve wrecking. If anyone would have told me that I would be drawn to a crockery set or a set of bed sheets a couple of years ago, I would have laughed in their face.

Now, I have my own place, I have kitchenware and furniture to worry about. I have to make budgets and think about what to cook and what appliance I need to save up for next. I am trying to figure out what color pallet to use in my different rooms. It’s all overwhelming but I am more than happy to see what life brings with this “growing up”.

Close to the end of 2015, I cut my hair all off. It was a bold move but I felt it necessary. It may not look like a big deal but to me it meant a fresh start, a new journey of self discovery, a growing process. I have come to understand myself better, stand for the things I love, I have learnt to make time for what matters to me, to go the extra mile to get what I want and to do away with what does not make me happy, courtesy of my hair journey.

I know you’re thinking how can hair possibly do all this?? But it does. My hair has sort of been a metaphor for life. Obviously I’m Kenyan, so I have kinky type 4 hair as is the case for Africans. To most people, having hair covered up or relaxed or straightened out most of the time is the preferred way to wear this type of hair. For those of us who choose to wear it natural, it’s a task, a test of patience, an avenue for criticism, and most importantly a way to embrace and understand our true selves. Having to deal with my hair has taught me how to deal with some aspects of life. That being said, I have quite some natural hair knowledge up my sleeve, who knows I may decide to become a natural hair blogger.

I also had a few “achievements”/firsts during the year

  • I had my first visit to a dentist and lost a wisdom tooth.
  • I moved out of my parents’ home.
  • I went deep sea swimming and saw coral reefs – Absolutely breathtaking!!
  • I fell in love with green smoothies,  I went on and on about them here
  • I tried out yoga and fell in love with it. For all those that think yoga is sleeping and relaxing, you are beyond mistaken!!!
  • I bought and wore my first wig.
  • I learnt how to contour!!! lol 😀

In a nutshell, 2016 was quite interesting.

As this year goes by, I hope that all of you reading this get to achieve what you have set to achieve and that all of your hearts desires may be fulfilled.

Happy new year!!!

Lots of love, always.