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How I got my writing groove back

For almost three years now, I have had issues with my creativity and writing. If you have been a consistent follower or reader of this blog, you should be able to testify as to the change in my write ups.

I have not been able to write creatively for sometime. I have not written my usual witty, comedy, tragedy posts in years. I have written very few spoken word poems, and it was because I couldn't get away with it, as they were paid jobs, in which I had to deliver.

Thankfully, I knew when my problem started, and the factors that triggered this unfortunate circumstance. I noticed that as soon as I got married and moved out of my parents house, something changed in the way my mind was working. I moved from a very big house to a tiny two bedroom flat in a high brow area in Lagos. If only I had known the effect of this, I wouldn't have agreed when me and my fiance-turned-husband were looking for a place to stay. It was a big compound with several blocks of flats, and ours was just a tiny flat amongst other tiny flats. I never felt like I was at home, neither did I feel a sense of ownership. But worst of all, even though the house wasn't small for my husband and I to occupy physically, the space was too small for my brain to operate.

Immediately we moved, my creativity moved, spontaneous ideas ceased, I became increasingly sad, and sometimes depressed. I just couldn't write again. My personal blog and African Naturalistas blog were greatly affected. Before this, I never knew the correlation between space/dimensions/comfort and creativity/inspiration.

Thankfully, we have moved out of that place, most especially because we outgrew it in just over two years, though my mind had outgrown it from Day 1. We are now in a far bigger place, with a wide space I can solely call mine. My mind is free to roam, just like my hands are free to plant. My creativity is back, and my family and I are more settled.

Thank God. I will be writing again. I'm so happy.

Yes, you a man! No, I will not serve you!

Last month, I attended a digital marketing training organised by a bank, at Sheraton hotel. At the end of the training, there was a buffet.

While serving myself fruit salad, a young guy dropped his plate in front of me, smiled at me lightly, and walked away to serve himself another type of dessert. I was confused so I asked him “what?” He said “serve please.”

I was so shocked and mumbled “no” just because I assumed he must have thought I was a waiter, even though I wasn’t dressed like one, and it was a serve yourself buffet. He then drew out a long “plsssss” and laced it with a patronizing smile. In my mind, I was like “you can’t be serious. So you even know I’m not a waiter.”

My BBC Interview - Hair Loss in women and the several causes

Hello beautiful people. Earlier this year, as a Trichology Practitioner, I had the privilege of being interviewed by BBC World about Hair loss and the several factors that cause them. This is a section of the interview. Watch, learn, and enjoy.

The Vain Body Journal: Sixteen types of women you find in the gym

A year ago, I gave up on home workouts, and signed up at the gym. Even though I am not much of a gym buddy, I am very observant, and I am writing this funny fitness post from what the few things I observed. Read, enjoy, and share.

1. The oppressors
These ones have a banging body, and they know they have a banging body. They walk into the gym with confidence, with shoulders up, aware of both male and female eyes on them, and they love it. They came to oppress, and the more eyes that ogle them, the more accomplished they feel.

2.The snap back gang
These ones just had a baby, and are desperate to get their pre pregnancy shape and weight back. It doesn’t matter how their health is affected. Whenever they remember their days of past glory, it inspires them the more. Who cares about breast milk supply or a crying baby? They are the ones who will come to the gym with a new born baby. And if they have more than one child, they hire one nanny for every additional child they have. They will come to the gym with their whole entourage if that’s what it takes.

3. The club bangers
We know Nigerians love to party but these ones take dancing to the next level. They constantly have headphones on, dance while walking round the gym, dance on the treadmill. And when the class instructor is dishing out steps, they turn it to dance. Instead of them to do a side step, they do salsa. Instead of squatting, they twerk. Na so so dance full their head

4. The husband searchers
These ones come to the gym, claiming to lose weight but you never find them in the cardio section. They always loiter around the strength section where they believe the strong eligible bachelors are, yet they don’t lay a finger on the machines. They are always smiling and shining teeth with the men there, praying someone takes their phone number.

5. The gold diggers
They are similar to the husband searchers but they are always shaking bum bum up and down, and are more intentional with their search. They only want the big boiz who can fund their lifestyle, and not some broke yahoo boy wannabe who doesn’t mind spending the entire day at the gym

6. The "I too knows"
These ones get to class first, and are always in front. Their goal is to nail every single move of the instructor to the tooth. Mistakes send them to depression. If this were school, they would be called efiko

7. The single-minded ones
These ones came to the gym for just one thing... to be fit. All other things are distractions. They don’t mingle with people, they don’t joke, and definitely don’t shake bum bum up and down. They are focused on their goal, come into the gym at a particular time, workout, attend class, and get out.

8. The baffers
They have the most beautiful gym wear and trainers. They match it up with interesting accessories like the sport hat, head band, ankle braces, knee braces, hand bands, water bottles, etc. Their sports wear game is tight because they have invested heavily in it, and they are peppering everyone with it by showing off

9. The networkers 
These are more interested in striking profitable relationships than keeping fit. The come ready with their business cards, marketing pitch and product catalog. They talk with people but are strategic about it. If your portfolio seems attractive to them, they position themselves next to you in the weights section and stylishly strike a conversation with you.

10. The gossips
These ones know the stories of everyone in the gym. They know the car everyone drives, where everyone lives, who is eyeing who in the strength section, who does more cardio than strength, who hasn’t dropped 1kg after 7.5 months at the gym, etc. No matter how much of “the single-minded ones” you think you are, they got something on you, and they will share this juicy information amongst themselves

11. The self deceivers
These ones will spend 5 hours at the gym, burning 1000 calories, and head straight into to mega chicken afterwards to down 2500 calories in form of two loaves of milk bread and 3 bottles of chilled coke

12. The envy of the class
These are by far the best students in class. The instructor always uses them as example and motivation. They are the instructors’ best friends because they are evidence that he’s doing a good job. They partner with the instructor for doubles and everyone just wished they could be like them in class

13. The last resort
These ones are desperate to lose weight, either as a result of health complications, constant complaints from their husbands, or a sudden awakening to the fact that if they don’t change their unhealthy habits, it would lead to an unpleasant end. They always ask questions and are very attentive. They might not be “the envy of the class” or “the I too knows”, but they always make an effort

14. The class monitor
They are always on correction mode, pointing out everyone’s flaws in class during routines. They let you know how you are not bending well, how your back is not straight, your knee is not touching your chin, etc. Instead of them to concentrate on their own routines, they are bent on cherrypicking the flaws of others

15. The lazy ones
They have this constant mindset that they are too heavy to lift their feet off the ground, hence they don’t push themselves. If the instructor tells them to bend and raise hands, they will stand and throw hand. They can’t touch their toes, can’t raise their hands, can’t jump, can’t bend, can’t do anything. The only reason you know they are not paralyzed is that as soon as the instructor gives 2 minutes break, they join the club bangers gang and start doing zanku. It makes you wonder why they even bother coming to the gym in the first place

16. The groupies
They don’t do anything on their own. They are always in groups, skipping in groups, doing jumping jacks in group, doing HIIT in groups, etc. They find encouragement to continue with their fitness journey only when they team up with people of like minds. You never find these ones doing things like treadmills or ellipticals because those are solo exercises. And of course, they never attend classes since it will mean having to listen to the instructor, along with everyone else, and putting their groupie goals on a hold

Do you go to the gym? Is there any type of women that I haven't mentioned? Please, let's know in the comment section

The Vain Body Journal: How gyming while pregnant saved my life

As you might know if you are a follower of this blog, I work out regularly, even since my single days.

After I got married and became pregnant with my first child, I continued working out. At about 6 weeks pregnant, morning sickness kicked in full time and I was feeling terribly nauseous. I had been doing water therapy since 2011 but after about 2 or 3 occasions of vomiting the water, I gave up on water therapy and on working out. My mornings were filled with lying in bed and feeling depressed and resentful of my husband for not experiencing the same pain I was experiencing. Some weeks later, I was hit with red degeneration of fibroid which kept coming and going until my first trimester was over

If only I had known

I resumed workouts lightly when I was 35 weeks pregnant, and continued till I delivered

Then I resumed workout 2 weeks postpartum, in form of running. By the time I came back to Nigeria, it was hard to continue because I needed to adapt to my new life.

For about 9 months, I kept jumping off and on my workout radar. It was very hard to be consistent and motivated. So I tried controlling my diet and making sure I eat healthy.

One day, I looked at my hands and thighs, and just disliked myself. I hated what I saw so much that it almost made me puke. I wasn’t fat or big but my body wasn’t toned, and my thighs and arms were full and flabby. Immediately, I sent my husband a Whatsapp message saying “I’m signing up for the gym tomorrow.” With a tone of finality. He told me not to stress too much and that he doesn’t have a problem with the way I looked. I told him I wasn’t happy with myself, and that’s what mattered. When it comes to a woman’s postpartum body, everyone has different opinions, but ultimately, I must come to the point where I am confident in the body I carry.

Prior to this period, I had never registered at a gym before. I did all my own workout routines, as a single lady and after I got married, at home. I assumed gym was a waste of money for me since I was disciplined enough to do my own workouts. But now, I had to admit that this new phase of my life required a different approach.

The next day, I signed up for the gym and in two weeks, I was toned everywhere and back to my pre pregnancy size. A month later, my son was 1 year old, and six weeks after I started working out at the gym, I found out I was one month pregnant. I did not do any pregnancy test but my period was regular enough for me to know that if I miss it, I must be pregnant. It meant I was pregnant 2 weeks after I started gyming.

When I found out I was pregnant, I resolved to do things differently this time around. So when the morning sickness hit at 6 weeks pregnant, I continued going to the gym. My stomach was as flat as a drawing board but my I was not alright at all. I was sick, depressed and very tired but I kept up with my intense workouts. In fact, the only time I felt like a human being and was actually happy was when I was working out. As soon as I leave the gym, the sickness and depression came back full force. It confirmed to me that working out was really beneficial, even in sickness

Also the second time around, I never stopped my water therapy. I drank my 1.5L dutifully every morning no matter how funny my tongue tasted

... and I never had red degeneration of fibroid, thereby saving my life and saving my baby’s life. This wasn’t a surprise to me as I had prayed against it and had enough fluid in my body to guard against it.

I kept working out all through my first trimester. A few times, I felt really tired and dizzy and had to lie down on the bench in the changing room. Apart from that, there were no serious incidents.I pushed and pushed myself because I knew that if I could see it through till the end of the first trimester, I will be the one to reap the benefits. And if I gave up in the first trimester, it would be very hard for me to resume in the second trimester

It wasn’t until I was about 4 months pregnant that my stomach started showing and my gym colleagues knew I was pregnant. By then, I was already in second trimester and my energy had tripled.

I did heavy and intense workouts till 32 weeks. I didn’t go all the way to 40 weeks like I planned because I didn’t want to be too fit and have my baby come out before my trip or on the plane since I had a little hitch in my travel plans, and had to stay in Nigeria longer than expected.

View this post on Instagram

Guess how many weeks pregnant i was here? .. Don't mind my serious face. I was having mad fun, .. All through my pregnancy, I worked out heavily, till almost the end, when I had to start mentally and physically preoare for my trip .. I did everything I could do, heavy skips, super circuits, treadmills, curcuit selection, zumba, spinning .. This was me at 30 weeks ( I know I don't look it) at an intensive zumba class, following my instructor @sandraosaigbovo .. I'm glad I was able to keep fit all through my pregnancy journey and even lost weight in third trimester, though that was not the goal. I believe I inspired many ladies at the gym cos they always told me that they kept going on with their fitness journey because of a heavily pregnant lady like me could do it, who were they to give up? The guys at the gym just always looked at me and my growing stomach in awe πŸ˜€ .. I travelled at almost 39 weeks, and looked about 25-28 weeks pregnant, if at all, that i wasn't even asked for fit to fly or medical report. .. The downside of this is that my husband always called me “strong pregnant woman” so I couldn’t even form “damsel in distress” πŸ˜” .. What is your opinion about heavy workouts while pregnant? Yay or nay? #pregnancy #pregnantlife #fitpregnancyjourney #fitpregnancy #pregnantbelly #rebellingagainstculture #mumofboys #twoundertwo #mumoftwo #30weekspregnant
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Above is me at 30 weeks pregnant

I was very fit throughout my pregnancy, and didn’t gain a single weight apart from baby weight. In fact, I lost body weight in my third trimester.

My delivery was uneventful. I healed pretty fast, in about 3 days. I snapped back pretty fast, in about 2 weeks. Although my stomach is not completely flat as I am 9 weeks postpartum but it is a million times flatter than what it was at 4 months postpartum in my first pregnancy. In fact, everyone says I don’t look like I just had a baby.

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And that was how we resumed gym at 6 weeks postpartum 😁. Was challenging the first day, but the body quickly got the message . It’s okay if you want to give your body some months to rest after pregnancy, cos as they say “it just pushed out a whole human being πŸ™„”. Also it’s okay if you are in the “quick snap back” category. Do whatever you want to do, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for your choice, as long as your health is not jeopardized . As for me, I’m in the “snap back immediately” category, cos that’s what makes ME happy, and that’s what I will do. I don’t have a big body or a big stomach, so this is not the time for me to start fitting into society’s expectations of what a new mummy’s body should look like . Beach body, here we come 😁. #fitness #sixweekspostpartum #fitmom #rebellingagainstculture #healthylifestyle #momofboys #momoftwo
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Above is me at 6 weeks postpartum

My baby is very strong and came out as an athlete, lol. His shoulders and neck have been very strong even as a newborn. He had been lifting himself since 4 weeks and people are attributing it my workout, lol

I resumed gym at 6 weeks postpartum and I have been consistent. To be honest, I could have resumed the next week if I wanted to because I didn’t feel like someone who went through labour. I’m working on regaining my core and restoring it to pre pregnancy.

I’m glad I chose to do things differently the second time around. I’m glad I pushed myself. I definitely reaped the benefits.

The gym saved my life because

  • It saved me and my baby’s life from red degeneration of fibroid 
  • The daily boost of oxytocin helped me mentally, emotionally and physically
  • I maintained my weight all through
  • I had a hitch free delivery
  • I snapped back immediately after delivery
  • My baby’s bones are very strong

Did you work out while pregnant? If not, are you open to the idea of doing it? What is your general opinion on working out while pregnant?

P.S: I will not advise anyone to workout heavily while pregnant if you have not been doing it before pregnancy. I was able to keep up that lifestyle because it was what my body was already used to. This is also what doctors and fitness experts will advise you. If in doubt, please consult your doctor.

Who said motherhood isn’t easy?

Hi people. How are we all doing? Sorry I skipped blogging for two weeks. I moved back home, and everything was in disarray cos we moved houses. I am basically just settling in, and it has been hectic with two under two. The tail end of last week was the peak of exhaustion because we were burying my grandmother and celebrating her exit in grand style. It was my experience that inspired the writeup below

You wake up with swollen breasts, then quickly pump before the baby wakes up.

No, You cannot feed my Child!

What is it with Nigerians and their lack of understanding of boundaries? When we were children, our parents constantly drummed into our ears not to collect food from strangers, so you would assume that in today’s world, strangers with good intentions would respect themselves and not even give your children food without the parents’ permission.

My first son is at that age where he’s too old of a toddler to sit in one spot, yet too young to understand instructions like “don’t collect food from strangers.” Because of this, I’m having to do extra monitoring because of some people who just don’t know better.

Earlier this year, I went to the passport office to renew my passport. In the room where I was to capture, my 17 month old son was running around freely and I was awaiting my turn, while monitoring him with my eyes in the very small room. I looked away for about for about a minute, and he had walked towards one of the officers, who was eating small chops, and she inserted puff puff into his mouth just as I turned my head back towards him.

Twenty minus one ways my pregnancy journeys were different

I discovered I was pregnant in September 2018. I missed my period, and that was it. Unlike my first pregnancy, this was intentional on my path. There was unprotected sex, and the period was unsafe, and it happened. You remember when our parents used to lie to us that if a man dare looks at you, you will get pregnant, I am that person. My initial plan was to start trying in October 2018, but decided to start in September because I was too eager, and to get a head start in case September didn’t work out. I have only had unprotected sex in an unsafe period only once in my life, and I have been pregnant twice. So it is safe to say, I need to stay away from men as from today, lol.

After getting pregnant, I expected many things to go the same way my last pregnancy went, except the red degeneration of fibroid of course. I was quite surprised when a lot of things went differently. Looking at it with a bird’s eye view now, I believe this pregnancy was better for me than the previous one. I’m not exactly sure why, but one thing I know is that I was far more active this pregnancy, and went to gym, did treadmills, skips, and hard core work outs well over 30 weeks of my pregnancy.

Below are the similarities and differences I noticed in my two pregnancy journeys. Some of them took me by surprise, but most were pleasant.