I’m leaving…

I can’t tell you how many times I sat down to write a blog post. 2018 has been one manic ride! Every time I sit down to write I become so overwhelmed with the reality of it all that I simply abort mission…”it’s not the right time.” I keep telling myself.

[INSERT Chris Brown “There’s never a right time to say goodbye”] LOL

In less than 2 months I will board a plane with my 3 kiddios (yes…THREE…say a little prayer for me) to Auckland, New Zealand to join my husband in our new home.

Darling husband (bless his fineness) has been there since August setting up (our new life basically) and the 4 of us are set to join him as soon as the kids finish the school year – which I cannot wait for because 1) I miss his fineness and 2) I’m tired (parenting is currently 80% driving & comforting crying kids!)

Uprooting our lives, leaving our place of birth, our family (this is the worst), friends, our church, a business, a home we’ve lived in for 12 years, our dogs, a comfort zone, everything that has made me me up until this very moment is no mean feat! The stress has me piling on the kilos fast  – so there’s that! Needless to say, I feel somewhat lost in the chaos…kinda in a state of limbo…

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Prayer, hard work, conflict, prayer, sacrifices, exhaustion, some more prayer, doubts, fears, more sacrifices, prayer and copious amounts of tears (AND there’s more to come) is just some of what this year has been for us – Jesus take the wheel! We’ve been tried, tested and stretched in every way imaginable and yet – we’ve learned to rely on God for absolutely EVERYTHING and anything, we’ve learned to trust Him in ways we never could before and therein lies my silver lining…GROWTH!!!

Hard as it’s been – I stand in awe of God’s faithfulness. Man, oh man! God. Is. Good. All. The. Time. And. All. The. Time. God. Is. Good!!! Jehovah Jireh has provided everything from significant people to a home and everything in between (job, cars, furniture, you name it)  – God has provided! And all in like 2 monthsTHAT’S MY GOD!!!!

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I know there will be hard days and probably some VERY, VERY hard days – days where I’ll miss loved ones so much it will physically hurt – but I also know that it will make me run deeper into the arms of God.

 

 

 

My husband asked me if I’ll continue blogging and the simple answer is…absolutely YES…plus size fashion & writing are two things very dear to me, it’s taught me so much about myself and helped me out of a very dark place once upon a time. I probably will be taking some time to get settled into living down under and trying to make the transition as easy as possible for my kids but soon I’ll be back, bigger (not in surface area though), better, stronger & wiser!

So while I don’t know what the future holds – I can rest in the fact that I know the One who holds it!

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xoxo

Lauren

This is no longer MY story…but God’s Glory! (Pt2)

I’ve received an overwhelming response since posting Part 1 of “My Story”…THANK YOU for taking the time to read it!

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Friday, January 12th 2007

I’m in ICU, have been for a couple of days…I have a 2yr old daughter and a husband whom I’ve only been married to for a minute, I’m 25yrs old and I’m dying!

Doctors are talking about cardiac arrest, renal failure and a host of other things if I don’t see a specialist neurologist immediately only…there aren’t any available to attend to me.

But God…

A Pastor we knew came to see me in ICU, he prayed for me, anointed me with oil and asked me to say the sinners prayer with him – well…since I couldn’t speak it was more grunting – but God heard me.

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Suddenly things are happening & I’m transferred to Milpark Hospital ICU where a specialist neurologist is waiting for me (FAVOUR right there). The next day my husband finds me sitting up in bed – not fully recovered BUT it’s a vast difference (Jehova Rapha) and within 2 weeks I’m out of ICU.

Doctor’s prognosis…

“The op needs to be reversed as soon as possible – the medication is only a short term solution and it’s not guaranteed – the problem is – your organs have taken strain and having major surgery is a great risk. You’re not going to find a doctor willing to take that risk!”

Impasse…

“There’s NO way I’m going back to being fat”…I would take the meds…I’d be ok…I’d live…right?!?

I did…I took the meds, (15-20 different tablets per day) and although the quality of life wasn’t great – I was alive, I was skinny (too skinny) and even fell pregnant with another baby girl!

Carrying a life but contemplating taking my own…

My pregnancy was agonizing – pain, complications and more pain!

Did I mention constant, breaking-out-in-cold-sweats-lying-awake-contemplating-suicide-PAIN?????

The pain was so bad – I considered aborting my baby – I couldn’t take it & ultimately had to undergo surgery at 19 weeks which relieved some pain…SOME!

I’d dropped another 20kgs during this time – weighing a meager 40kgs at 7 months pregnant – Aimee wasn’t doing well in utero  & had to be delivered prematurely – such a fighter though!

Every year I’d end up in ICU for a few weeks, this wasn’t a life, I wasn’t living,  wearing 9-10yr old clothing, my hair was falling out, my skin was dry and pale, my ribs & spine were protruding, I was withering away (the weight loss didn’t stop) and when it  dropped below 40kgs I had to be real…I had to undo this…I had to!

I’m smiling but inside I’m dying…

Thank you for reading Part 2…

PS: Part 3 is the finale I promise LOL!

Much Love xxx

This is my story…PT 1

I’ve been receiving a lot of questions regarding my “testimony” I mentioned in my previous blog post…so I thought I’d do a post around “My Story” to fill everyone in…it’s kinda long so I’ll do it in bits…

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A lil background…

 

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…committed suicide months before my birth…Mom raised myself and my 5 older brothers by herself (yes 5 older brothers) – twas a hard knock life for me LOL!

Early childhood was pretty normal and then at 8 I started gaining weight – it was only well into adulthood that I discovered the reason behind the weight gain… (#METOO).

Since then I gained weight at a steady pace and by high school I was hiding behind baggy tees and jeans ( it was easy to be a tomboy with 5 older brothers). Low self esteem, no confidence, insecure, constantly on diets – I despised the reflection in the mirror!  I started dating my now-husband when I was 17 which was another difficult thing to comprehend – I mean he’s a snack…what did he want with a fat girl like me?!?

Fast forward to 2005…

A year after giving birth to my daughter I’d heard about an affordable weight-loss operation being offered by a doctor in Pretoria – it sounded like a saving grace (and that’s probably what it was but in a totally different way).

I felt like it was my only way out! Being skinny or what was deemed an “acceptable” size was 1 of my dreams…right up there with all my other life goals – that probably sounds shallow to people who can’t relate but…DON’T JUDGE IF YOU’VE NEVER BEEN THERE! Society sucks!!!

I had the op…which worked like this…

A human intestine is roughly 7m long, so the average person would digest meals in 4hrs…mine was bypassed to a mere 30cm so food literally just ran straight through my system…LITERALLY!!!!

From the get-go I experienced various complications ie. Gallstones, acid reflux etc… but the doctor assured me that things would be ok…my weight-loss would eventually stabilize and then stop when I was at the ideal weight for my height.

Within 12 months I had lost an astounding 50kgs – MAMA I MADE IT!!!!! For the 1st time I felt “normal”, “accepted” and I was eager to start living (I was 23 at the time).

January 2007

3 months after our wedding…we were on holiday but something didn’t feel right…I was tired all the time and had muscle pain and then I woke up 1 morning paralyzed! I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t lift my arms or move my legs…that was the scariest moment of my life…I broke down because my husband had to bath me, dress me and comb my hair (AND HIS PONYTAIL WAS THE WORST – MY GOODNESS).

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I was taken straight to ICU with severely depleted EVERYTHING – electrolytes, vitamins, minerals (all stuff I didn’t even know we needed…but ok). Basically my organs were failing and I was dying…WHAAAAAAT – weren’t we on vacay like a minute ago?!?!?!

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But yes…I was in ICU, my organs were failing, all my muscles were in spasms which caused them to contract so I was curled up like someone that had just had a stroke, I couldn’t speak because my tongue (being a muscle too) was twisted and the doctors advised my family to come and say their goodbyes. Doctors didn’t think they could save me!

To be continued…

PS Please excuse the quality of some of the pics…it’s the only ones I have…being so accustomed to hiding from cameras!

PSS Joy comes in the morning…

Thanks for allowing me to share Part 1 with you…I’ll post the next one in a few days!

Much Love xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I forget but God…

Hey Beautiful People 

Here’s a funny story…not funny like ha ha but you know…

My confidence as a person and as a blogger has taken a serious beating since gaining weight. Last year I was able to drop a good amount of weight – not really intentionally though – I had a really trying year, my personal & spiritual life were a mess, I was stressed and depressed and honestly, I hardly ate. I’m a happy eater – so therefore we can conclude that I am happy a lot of the time…ha ha! 

Because of this I’ve been unmotivated to blog or even shop – I’m sure many of you can relate – but God has a way of always reminding me where He’s brought me from. 


This morning I picked up this stethoscope for a cousin (her kid needed 1 for a school project) but it instantly reminded me of the time I was expecting Aimee. 

A little scene-setting…

I’d had a weight loss op done a few years prior to falling pregnant and I wasn’t in very good health. I started off at 63kgs in the beginning of my pregnancy and by the 7th month I’d dropped to 40kgs. I was sick, in constant pain, I wasn’t eating and numerous times I contemplated suicide (the pain was that bad). I remember being in such tremendous pain and speaking such horrible words during my pregnancy – death, abortion, suicide – to name a few and yet at the same time I prayed that little Aimee would make it. 

I purchased 1 of these stethoscopes because I was so afraid that she’d die inside my womb. The pain would keep me awake at night and I’d lie there with my stethoscope trying to make sure I could hear her heart beat – I’m not sure if I did hear it – but that’s what I did! 

Aimee had to be delivered prematurely, she just wasn’t thriving inside my womb so at 7months she was born at a tiny 1.4kgs – literally just skin and bone. She stayed in Neo ICU for close to 3 weeks and it was the hardest 3 weeks of my life. I blamed myself for everything that happened to her – it was all those terrible things I spoke over her – I’d say – but I was in so much pain that I just wasn’t thinking clearly – I know that’s no excuse though! 


This was a month before Aimee was delivered ☝🏽


Today God reminded me of His awesome, miracle-working power. He reminded me where He brought me from ( a dying bed in Milpark ICU), He reminded me that my story, my message, is so much more than anything as superficial as my weight. I look at Aimee and I’m in awe of Him – that even in my weakness, my pain, my sickness, He had a plan for us. I am so much more than the number on the back of my jeans. 

I’ll be doing a blog post on my story soon!


Thank You for the reminder Lord. 

Stay Slayin & Stay Prayin y’all 

Lu xxx 

Chaos and the Calm

  
I’ve had this song on repeat today. Maybe because that’s what I feel like sometimes. 

You know when you’re on a path to recovery and you’ve actually been breaking ground and out of nowhere, someone or something comes along that threatens to shake everything? 

Yeah! I’ve had to dig my heels in deep. I’m not going back there. Nope!!! Not ever!!! I might visit sometimes (LOL) but I ain’t staying! 

I’m working on myself for myself because I don’t want to be that girl. That girl who looks for validation in others. That girl who wants to be accepted. That girl who spends her days trying to prove herself. I refuse to go back!!!

This might shake me, but I won’t let it break me! 

   
    
    
    
    
    
 Jeans, sunnies & earrings – MrP | Top – Gifted | Shoes – Fashion Express | Beads – RogéroStyle

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.” Psalm 138:8

Stay Sassy xxx

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Do you know what today is? 


(Singing in my Tony Toni Tone voice) – It’s our anniversary!!!!


Yep! 9 years ago I said I do to my BEST friend and 9 years later, I still do!

My husband and I started dating 2 days after my 17th birthday (his 19th birthday).

I knew from the moment we first met that he was very different to other guys. Apart from his charming good looks, ( wink) he had this “thing”about him, still has today. It’s this, I-don’t-care-what-people-think-about-me attitude and honestly, it’s what attracted me to him.

At 17 (and many years later) I was the complete opposite of this (what I thought), rebellious 19yr old boy. He lived in the moment, did what made him happy and never apologized for it. It was intriguing to say the least.

Today, after almost 16yrs as an item and 9 yrs of marriage, we’ve both changed and grown in many ways but he still has that “thing” about him. Although, not in a selfish, single guy kind of way, no, he still lives in the moment, only now, he lives to make his family happy – and still doesn’t apologize for it!

I would like to honour you today Brandon (this post is for you babe), beside the obvious; our 3 beautiful kids, the provision, the protection, the affection that you often have to fight for (sorry), you have loved me literally from thick to thin and back to thick again. Your love was constant, undeterred by the number on the scale.


You took care of me when I was as good as dead and you were right there when depression reared its ugly head (rhyming skills ha ha).

You are never afraid to let me & the rest of the  world know how much I mean to you. You love our children (and tease the heck out of them) unconditionally. You’ve taught me how to make my voice heard and how to say no when I need to. But most of all, I want to thank you for the laughs. You really do make me LOL and that’s my favorite thing.

Here’s to 91 more anniversaries with you babe ❤️

I love you more and more everyday (except yesterday, yesterday you were really annoying LOL). 

Is that a mush I see?

  
  

Mirror Mirror on the wall…


Are you happy with what you see when you look in the mirror?

Now, I’m not talking about your fabulous legs or your million dollar smile, no, I mean when you look long and hard – are you happy with the person you see looking back at you?

It recently hit me how far I’ve come in the last year. You see, a year ago I wasn’t in a very good place. Some relationships /friendships had gone sour and I felt betrayed. I allowed my feelings of betrayal to make me bitter and resentful and we all know how that just eats at you like poison.

I didn’t realize then what God was teaching me. I didn’t trust Him like I should’ve and my bitterness was a clear indication. Slowly, He showed me His plans and today I’m  grateful.

I’ve since forgiven  (even though the relationships might not have gone back to the way it was) , I’m moving forward with all the lessons learned. I can confidently say I’m stronger, wiser and better than my former self. Yes, I am (and forever will be) a work in progress but I do not despise the lessons learned, however small.

So, my answer would be yes, I am happy with what I see when I look in the mirror – because I am fearfully & wonderfully made!

 

  
  
  
  
  
Dress – Ackermans (old)

Sandals – Rockport (gifted)

Earrings – Mr P

Bangles – Truworths

Lips – LA Girl matte gloss in Tulle

Fun Fashion Fact:

” False eyelashes were first invented in 1916 when Hollywood producer, D.W. Griffith decided to enhance the eyelashes of Seena Owen for his film “Intolerance”. He wanted her eyelashes to brush her cheeks.These were made by a local wig maker using human hair woven through fine gauze.”

 

Thanks for stopping by and stay cute xxx

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Little Lotta 


Little Lotta was a nickname given to me when I was a little girl by an older cousin.

About Little Lotta…


Little Lotta Plump was a fictional character published by Harvey Comics, the same publishers of the famous Richie Rich comics. In fact, Little Lotta appeared in many Richie Rich adventures.


Lotta Plump, has an obsession with (drum roll…) food! Her insatiable appetite (being her defining characteristic) however, doesn’t make her on obese slob, but rather, the more Lotta eats, the stronger she becomes, giving rise to superhuman strength. Lotta is depicted as friendly, kind-hearted and readily uses her tremendous strength to do good.

Lotta has a boyfriend, Gerald, who is the complete opposite (physically). Gerald is a tiny, shy, nerdy-type of guy. Together with Lotta, the twosome go on many adventures.

About Lauren as Little Lotta…

I can’t tell you how much I hated that nickname (little Lotta)  when I was growing up  (mind you I didn’t care much for the person who gave it to me either).

Obviously my cousin was referencing my weight when he gave me the name (because everyone knows that all fat people spend their days stuffing their faces with copious amounts food right?!?!)  For years that name gave rise to many negative emotions, especially when I knew I’d be seeing said cousin.

It wasn’t until recently that I actually learned more about Little Lotta’s character. Like the fact that she was friendly and kind-hearted. Or the fact that she used her strength to good in her community. The fact that she didn’t care how silly she and Gerald looked together. Or that people thought he was diminutive and weak. Lotta didn’t let her bullies get the better of her. No, she did what she deemed good regardless of anyone’s opinion.

So to you, my ‘dear’ cousin, thank you for the nickname. I own it now.

I am indeed friendly and kind-hearted. I am now using my strength to uplift and inspire many women, especially in the Plus Size community. I don’t care that my husband weighs half of what I do, and I certainly don’t care if people think we look odd together. I will no longer allow bullies, like yourself, to diminish me for looking different. I AM DIFFERENT DAMNIT! I will continue doing what I deem good – regardless of anyone’s opinion (even Nicole Arbour’s) AND I’ll do in style!

Me and my Gerald…  image image image image image image image image

Style Breakdown:

Cardigan – PEP Stores

Top – Truworths

Ripped Jeans, earrings, necklace & bag – Mr P

Shoes – Makro_SA

Sunnies – China Town

Lips – LA Girls Matte gloss in Tulle

Hair – you know my signature bun by now!

Here’s a Fun Fashion Fact:

Napoleon wasn’t just about war. He contributed to fashion in many ways too. The reason we have buttons on the sleeves of our jackets is because Napoleon got tired of his soldiers wiping their noses on their sleeves. 

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Stay Cute xxx

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Me In the Middle…


[Disclosure: This is just Another Random thought!]

Have you ever felt “in the middle”?

I suppose we’ve all felt “in the middle” at some point in our lives, for some maybe being the middle child and living with “The Syndrome”, or being “in the middle” of a conflict (boy have I had my fair share of THAT) or just stuck in a place in your life/career or whatever where you’re just kinda in limbo – neither here nor there.
Yeah, I guess we can all bare witness to that sort of “in the middle”.
For a long time I’ve looked at myself as “in the middle” – an average-kind of girl. At school, I was an average student, I did ok I guess, I mean I never ever failed but I wasn’t top of my class either. In sport, I wasn’t great (I do get points for participation don’t I?!?!) but I didn’t suck either (I think LOL). I’m not the world’s greatest wife (although my husband would disagree – love you babe), I’m not the greatest mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, worker, blogger etc. I’m just “in the middle” and for a long time I felt that this was negative thing. A dark cloud that loomed over me, banishing me to a life of mediocrity.
But *What IF…
*What if ‘in the middle’ means ‘halfway’ to something great.
*What if ‘in the middle’ means ‘between’ – where you come from and where you’re headed to.
*What if ‘in the middle’ means ‘surrounded by’  – opportunity.
*What if ‘in the middle’ means ‘seperating’   – the old from the new.
*What if ‘in the middle’ means ‘enclosed by’ – Grace.
*What if ‘in the middle’ means ‘inserted’ – into a specific place and time to bring about change.
That’s how I feel about being ‘in the middle’ right now, no longer a negative thing but rather preperation, a period of reflection. I’m not where I’m supposed to be but I’m definitely not where I used to be.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” Anonymous

“Never despise small beginnings, and don’t belittle your own accomplishments. Remember them and use them as inspiration as you go on to the next thing. When you venture outside your comfort zone, wherever the starting point may be, it’s kind of a big deal.” ~Chris Guillebeau

“Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just the edge of beginning. Probably that’s why we decide we’re done. It’s getting too scary. We are touching down onto something real. It is beyond the point when you think you are done that often something strong comes out.” ~Natalie Goldberg

“So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.” ~Florence Nightingale