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In My Humble Opinion

In My Humble Opinion

Body Goals – What Does That Even Mean?

The picture you see above is of me before I had our beautiful girl. Although if I am honest, in my head I swear I was closer to Naomi Campbell or Beyonce – I guess we all remember things differently. That’s why its important to take pictures, these images keep us all honest. 

How many times have you heard a now heavy set woman say, “Before I had Timmy and Jessie I was a size six, wafer thin“. You try to believe her but you can’t help but give her the side eye, like really?

Body Goals.  

What made it okay for those words to be married?

It is so misleading, adding to women’s already heavy mental load. Just one more thing to tack on to the unrealistic expectations of being a modern superwoman in 2017.

I have watched on as friends, family, and celebrities (are they even human?) have their babies and looked to immediately shed the weight and return to their “prebaby weight”. 

Not me.

I guess everyone is different, I told myself. Easy enough to say, but harder to swallow when that desired outfit doesn’t sit right in the change room or worse still in your own wardrobe – leaving you on the verge of tears.

When I look in the mirror I can see that the weight is shifting – but at a glacial pace. Yes, I am working out (two to three times a week) and mostly eating right but the changes were not as dramatic as my unrealistic mind would have liked.

After months of looking at the same number on the scale, I was just about ready to put my money where my mouth is and enlist the help of a personal trainer. I seriously considered it – but being the Scrooge McDuck that I am – I was still hesitant.

I had made some inquiries with some local personal trainers and was discussing this process with one of my friends. One friend simply asked me – why don’t you get a Fit Bit

To be honest, I had never entertained the idea of getting a Fit Bit – I always thought that I would stay true to my Apple affiliation and purchase an Apple Watch instead. As I did more research it was clear to me that for now, I needed a Fit Bit. The price also kept my pockets lined and that makes me smile.

This is not a paid endorsement but I can tell you that it has been one of the best fitness decisions that I have ever made in my life. 

Owning a fit bit has allowed me to join a real community. There is a group of us who compete in weekly and weekend challenges. Week in week out we compete to be number one. This is just what my competitive soul needed to get me moving and get me out of my mental “I am not losing weight fast enough” slump – each day I am moving more, keeping track of my sleep, what I eat, what I drink etc. 

I am happier and embracing myself. 

All of me.

Turns out it was never about the weight loss – it was more about being active and changing my mental state. Truly accepting that my body had changed. I had a baby. My body created a whole new human that I brought into this world. Things will never go back to the way they once were and I am okay with that especially when I look at my little one. My heart sings.

Comparison is the thief of joy. Your motherhood journey is unique. Embrace it and own it.

IamTinashe

In My Humble Opinion

Pursuit Of Happiness

Happiness

Pronounced [hap-ee-nis]

Noun

1. the quality or state of being happy.

2. good

I feel like as I get older it really doesn’t take much to make me happy.

If you had asked me to define happiness a few years ago I would have written paragraphs upon paragraphs of criteria to fit the bill.

Nowadays, it really is the simple things that make the difference.

In no particular order:

I married to the man of my dreams and have been blessed with off spring.

I am healthy, spiritually grounded, of sound mind and working in an occupation that I studied at university.

We have shelter, clean water to drink and freedom to do as we please.

My pantry and fridge are packed to the rafters, giving me endless options to create delicious meals for my loved ones.

Laundry, which can get out of control with a toddler is done – all our clothes are ironed and packed away nicely.

The house is super clean – floors are vacuumed and mopped, bench and table tops are wiped and everything is in its place.

My wardrobe is only filled with things I love and feel fantastic in when I wear them.

My make up collection is simple collection of things I need and use on a daily basis.

Above all I am surrounded by love and the people that I love, could not ask for anything more.

Practising daily gratitude has taught me to find immense joy even in the simplest things.

IamTinashe
Dress – IamTinasheCustom | Belt – Country Road | Shoes – Wittner
In My Humble Opinion

4:44 | Album Release

Those who know me know that I have always loved music. Music has accompanied me through the highs and lows of life and often given me the inspiration to want more for myself and to do better.

When I heard that Jay – Z was going to release a new album, I wasn’t really sure how to feel. To me, the last album was mildly entertaining – it felt forced, i.e. a track titled Tom Ford. This release back in 2013 had me wondering – has he lost his touch?

As a long time fan of Jay – Z, I was looking for something different. In this new album, titled 4:44, he didn’t disappointment – he came out dropping word bombs! The subject matter is on-point and he seems to have matured. The album content is like an early Christmas present for people aged 30+ who are going through real life events – sexuality, marriage, babies, buying houses, cars, working 9- 5. His audience has grown and Jay Z talks right at us – offering game.

I believe in full disclosure – and if I am honest as I write this I haven’t even listened to the album. I tried to sign up to Tidal just so that I could listen to the album – but being the true hustler that is Jay – Z, he was ahead of us and blocked that ability. I guess that’s what we get for “not supporting black businesses” right? Apparently, there will be a mass release later on the week.

Thank God for social media! I have pretty much heard all of the songs on YouTube (not in their entirety, just snippets) so I have a rough idea of the beats and production. Without the ability to listen to the music, I turned my attention to the lyrics and boy oh boy are they JUICY! Reading the lyrics you get the sense that Jay – Z is at a point in his life where he just doesn’t care what anyone thinks – letting it all hang out there – on his terms.


The key messages I have taken away, just from reading and absorbing the lyrics, are:

Generational wealth. My husband and I often speak about this at home. The reason people of colour often have to start from scratch every time is because parents don’t have enough or do to survive their lifetime – often unable to give their children a head start. Yes, history is responsible for a lot of this, but what are we going to do in our present to ensure that our kids’ future is different? Better education, Investing money for long-term gain etc.

That elevator incident? Solange whooped Jay – Z’s ass because he cheated (or was cheating) on Beyonce. On the album Jay – Z publicly apologises – they have moved on and as spectators I guess we need to move on too (yikes, the Beyhive will be mad as hell).

Like most of us, Jay isn’t feeling the new Kanye. We want the old Kanye, the soulful Kanye.

In the album his mother comes out as a lesbian and he supports her. Hip – hop is notorious for discriminating those that choose to have same-sex relationships – as a hip-hop heavyweight highlighting this subject matter in a positive light is important.


That’s all that I could get my head around for now, without having a listening party in my car as I commute to and from work. I just can’t wait until this album is widely available! Ten songs, thirty – six minutes long and full of loaded content. 4:44 is black art that will take a long time to be fully dissected.

One other thing – before I sign off,  I feel like I need to apologise to Beyonce. I have always been a massive fan of her – until ironically she released Lemonade. Back then, I thought she had become a sellout. A sell out because I thought she had created this fictional story of infidelity in her marriage to sell records. Jay – Z’s release of 4:44 proves otherwise. I am sure I am not the only one who is listening to “Lemonade” with a new found appreciation.

Marriage is hard – you and your spouse need to be reading the same book, on the same page, turning to read the next chapter in unison. Above all, it is nice to see a black family who, against all odds, remained strong and most importantly, together.

In My Humble Opinion

A Reminder: Blood, Bone, Melanin…


My parents came to Australia with four suitcases, three kids, and dreams of giving us a better life.

As a product of this migration I can easily say that we got the best of the best when it came to education and opportunities – all because my parents sacrificed a lot and worked hard. Now, as a parent, I am in awe – what they did was the definition of selflessness.

Generally speaking, I had very few reminders that I was different – different meaning that I am black and of African decent. However, every now and again I was reminded of my difference and each time it left a bad taste in my mouth. So, at a young age I developed the ability to a identify racism, even the subtle type. As an adult I can say that it has advanced to being almost at super power level – the X- Men kind.

So, what is it like being a black woman in Australia you ask? Well, I can sum it up in two words – Bitter Sweet.

Overall, people are welcoming and embracing of the diversity that I represent in my brown leather. However, I would also say that for every positive experience as an African Australian woman I equally experience subtle discrimination based on my skin colour, on a weekly basis. People fear me based on my appearance alone. For example, they might fear that I may be aggressive without provocation, illiterate, and the one I love most – not able to speak English. No matter how much I dress up, how much expensive perfume I spray, the degrees I acquire, the work experience I have and the love of life I demonstrate – I still have the ability to make some people very uncomfortable.

If I had my radar on, I would probably identify subtle racism on a daily basis. Whether it’s shopping at the supermarket, putting fuel in my car, in my work environment, ordering coffee, walking into an expensive department store, driving my car – the possibilities are endless. If I became ultra sensitive I would literally never leave the house. My coping mechanism is to remain unbothered by the comments, actions and hate – just brush that dirt off my shoulders.

I could document all the experiences I have had – but it’s a waste of my time and my energy. Plus, I really don’t want to relive it either.

Racism still exists. Point blank period.

I know there’s probably a cohort of people who are rolling their eyes to the back of their head as they read this – so let me address you. To be clear, I am not wanting your agreement. I am not even looking for an argument. I am simply sharing my experience living in Australia as a black woman. If you are not a black woman – you need not comment, as you just don’t know.

In all honesty, I can deal with being a black woman in Australia. I have been dealing with it since my parents left the shores of Africa. In fact, I forget that I am a black woman, but every now and again I get a stark reminder. It hurts, and at times in the privacy of my home I have even shed a tear. I have to let the emotion out so that I can regroup and go about my business.

To say it’s frustrating is an understatement – I just can’t help but ask – Still? Still people of colour have to feel like this? My grand parents probably experienced the most blatant forms of racism. My parents – they have been through it, my generation is still experiencing it, and more than likely with the way the world is today – the baton will be passed on to our children and our children’s’ children. Why?  Where are people learning this? Why is it acceptable? What causes people to form those beliefs? How can we over come it?

As long as one race feels superior to another race, racism will continue to thrive.

Given my own personal experiences I have never been one to judge someone based on their outward appearance (skin colour, age, dress etc). I judge people based on how they treat me and how they make me feel after an interaction with them.

I leave this blog post with a quote from an inspiring woman (you might know her) who was once the First Lady of United States of America – Michelle Obama, ‘when they go low, we go high”

IamTinashe