November used to be the month that I'd reflect on my scooter accident that took place on 3 November 2010 - it may have been the 4th of the month for all I know - it was a blur of Morphine, hospitals, operations, Tramacet, anti-anxiety medication, having my arm in a sling for almost the entire following year and - of course - the associated weight gain that took place.
Last November, the 6th (I think - again, another blur) added another 'I'm going to learn a big life lesson moment' when I was attacked, stabbed and robbed, whilst on my daily exercise walk - all the while in broad daylight with people driving by. Not really caring. Not offering any help whatsoever - I will never forget how I ran all the way home straddling the white, dotted centre line of the road in my socks, sans stolen shoes - it wasn't until Chris pointed out that I was bleeding, did I realise that in the mayhem that was the ambush and attack, I must have put my hand out to block the knife and was stabbed (superficially luckily, but still). Traumatised.
Above is my Big Boy scooter - we still have him - admittedly he hasn't been driven in a while, but he is safely parked and covered and will always be my first mode of transport. He has become a part of the family really.
Prior to the accident, I honestly was under, underweight - at my skinniest, I weighed about 65kg (for someone who is over 6ft tall) - I recall a friend of mine saying once that one could see my hip bones sticking out on my back. I did a lot of yoga - on top of - three times a week, I would go to gym, set the cycling machine on it's highest tension setting and cycle 10km but every time I would try and improve my own 'record', think I managed at my peak just over 10 minutes - not too bad considering I survived on coffee and cigarettes, well mostly.
Then I was involved in the accident, all activities came to a halt - in fact - I had no choice but to just stop. At the time, some people would ask why my collar bone was taking such a long time to heal - I had crushed (think bone disintegrating) it, not the usual snap - so essentially I had a 3cm gap in the centre that was missing. Never underestimate losing the ability to use a limb for a year. Also, just my luck that I'd crush my bone as opposed to a simple break that would've healed in six weeks!
The Titanium plate and seven screws holding it in place - note the gap between the 4th and 5th screw - that's where my collar bone disintegrated - the first operation, my surgeon attempted to bridge the gap with synthetic bone material in the hopes that my collar bone would regenerate - think along the lines of a grit of sand getting lodged inside an oyster and forming a pearl - that in theory - was what my surgeon thought would happen but alas.
Me, shortly after the accident.
The December after the accident, Chris thought it would be a good idea to get away for a few days - so we road tripped down from Durban, ending up at Oudtshoorn. One night, whilst on the trip I woke up in agonising pain - a screw had started to work itself out of my collar bone. Pain. Pain.
After a second opinion, because I was not convinced that my first surgeon knew what he was doing, it turned out that the synthetic material had been rejected by my body and so after 6 months with my arm in a sling - I had to have surgery again but this time bone was removed from my hip to build up my collar bone. All the while, I was being less active, as at this stage I had my arm in a sling, was walking with a crutch and on very heavy painkillers and anti-anxiety meds - which left me no other choice but to turn to the one thing I found (and still do find) comfort in. Food.
The bruising after they removed roughly 3cm of my left hip. The body weight gain was considerable - hell, I was so skinny people would've noticed an extra 5kg but as I don't do things half-measure - I gained over 30kg in that year.
It's sort of surreal looking back at these photos, to think that I had allowed myself to balloon to - at my heaviest - roughly 112kg. What compounded it was the fact that I was originally on the opposite side of the weight spectrum but as I mentioned earlier, all or nothing for me.
I am the first to admit that I allowed it, like I had an excuse - a valid reason - naturally this was distorted in my own mind as I obviously had and still do have self-image issues, as I'd never have been so skinny to start off with in the first place but I reached a turning point - I needed to lose the weight - my 'fat years' were coming to an end.
So after many km's walked - I also eventually found an awesome Yoga Ashram in Johannesburg, which I relished for the last few months of us staying upcountry - the weight started to melt off.
The two photos above represent my 'after photos' - I have managed to keep the weight off (give or take a kg here or there).
Before starting this post, I even climbed onto our scale to see what I weigh. I can gladly say that I am currently 80kg - that means I have lost over 31kg - or 62 blocks of 500g butter.
Yet, the odd thing thing is, if you're underweight you worry about picking up weight, and if you're overweight you worry about losing the extra kg's. It really is a fine line and I empathise with both sides - as I have been both thin and fat.
I like how I look now, I will never be skinny again - nor do I ever want to be but I will never be borderline obese again. Never. Promise. Hopefully!
It is about finding that balance, which is never easy.
Until next time,
PS: Can anyone in Durban town recommend a good Yoga school?