Vanity post baby – A Changed Body

It’s now 9 weeks since the birth of my lil girl and whilst I’m trying not to think about it I cannot help but notice the changes that no one ever mentioned may happen! Don’t get me wrong – I knew I’d gain weight and I KNEW I’d have to put in work to get my stomach back into the shape it once was but there are other parts I am surprised about…

My ribcage… Strange huh but I SWEAR this has gotten bigger/wider; I tried on more than a few of my dresses & whilst the zipper got up halfway up my back there was no way it was budging around the rib area… And it’s not about fat as far as I can see! It makes me wonder if that means that even though I may lose my post baby belly I’ll now be a little “wider” in my dimensions!

My hips & ass… Now I knew my hips would get wider but I didn’t realize so too would my ass! The two things I AM grateful for about the increase in hip & ass size is that: (1) hubby actually likes the “hippy-er” me (go figure!) and (2) when I was going Zumba+gym+raw food crazy leading up to my wedding I’d actually lost quite a bit of “butt plump-ege” so now having it back ain’t SO bad!

But I don’t want to be that person who only laments and focuses on the negative… I KNOW that I’m only this way about my body because I AM my own worst critic and I was rather slim pre-baby, so this really is going to take some getting used to (with the changed shape) whilst I TRY to work it off! Anyway, as I said, there are other things that I am VERY grateful for; I literally slathered on the Bio Oil all through my pregnancy from 7weeks to 1 month after the birth all over my bust, stomach, thighs and butt (husband would constantly make fun of the post shower “oil slick”) and now, thank goodness I have not one stretch mark! And I did take my mums advice with not wearing heels (except for 1 dinner function and 1 engagement party) to avoid varicose veins – whilst I HATED not wearing heels to work (it was reeeaaalllyyy hard in the beginning before I looked obviously pregnant – I do so enjoy wearing heels) I am grateful to report that at no point did I experience seriously swollen feet or hands & I didn’t get any varicose veins!

And let’s not forget the most absolutely amazing gift of all that I now have: my beautiful Amira! She amazes me and humbles me on SO many levels… I love her beyond words, she is my soul – I truly feel my heart beats for her…

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Anyone for a Burger or 10?

So I came across this very intriguing article that explains that there is tribe that practices the art of FATTENING their women to make them more ‘marriageable’!

There are some parts of this story that left my mouth agape at the extent they go to – imagine what these people would think if they realised that in Western Societies we have to treat Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa… Think about it – here is a country where the men would turn away in disgust the Angelina Jolie’s and Kate Moss’ of the world!

Very interesting food for thought indeed!

Here’s the actual article:

Girls being force-fed for marriage as junta revives fattening farms

The women of Mauritania

The women of Mauritania

Fears are growing for the fate of thousands of young girls in rural Mauritania, where campaigners say the cruel practice of force-feeding young girls for marriage is making a significant comeback since a military junta took over the West African country.

 

Aminetou Mint Ely, a women‘s rights campaigner, said girls as young as five were still being subjected to the tradition of leblouh every year. The practice sees them tortured into swallowing gargantuan amounts of food and liquid – and consuming their vomit if they reject it.

 

“In Mauritania, a woman’s size indicates the amount of space she occupies in her husband’s heart,” said Mint Ely, head of the Association of Women Heads of Households. ”We have gone backwards. We had a Ministry of Women’s Affairs. We had achieved a parliamentary quota of 20% of seats. We had female diplomats and governors. The military have set us back by decades, sending us back to our traditional roles. We no longer even have a ministry to talk to.” Mauritania has suffered a series of coups since independence from France in 1960. The latest, in August last year, saw General Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz seize power after the elected president tried to sack him.

 

A children’s rights lawyer, Fatimata M’baye, echoed Ely’s pessimism. “I have never managed to bring a case in defence of a force-fed child. The politicians are scared of questioning their own traditions. Rural marriages usually take place under customary law or are overseen by a marabou (a Muslim preacher). No state official gets involved, so there is no arbiter to check on the age of the bride.” Yet, she said, Mauritania had signed both international and African treaties protecting the rights of the child.

 

Leblouh is intimately linked to early marriage and often involves a girl of five, seven or nine being obliged to eat excessively to achieve female roundness and corpulence, so that she can be married off as young as possible. Girls from rural families are taken for leblouh at special “fattening farms” where older women, or the children’s aunts or grandmothers, will administer pounded millet, camel’s milk and water in quantities that make them ill. A typical daily diet for a six-year-old will include two kilos of pounded millet, mixed with two cups of butter, as well as 20 litres of camel’s milk. “The fattening is done during the school holidays or in the rainy season when milk is plentiful,” said M’baye. “The girl is sent away from home without understanding why. She suffers but is told that being fat will bring her happiness. Matrons use sticks which they roll on the girl’s thighs, to break down tissue and hasten the process.”

Other leblouh practices include a subtle form of torture – zayar – using two sticks inserted each side of a toe. When a child refuses to drink or eat, the matron squeezes the sticks together, causing great pain. A successful fattening process will see a 12-year-old weigh 80kg. “If she vomits she must drink it. By the age of 15 she will look 30,” said M’baye.

 

Historians say the practice dates back to pre-colonial times when all Mauritania’s white Moor Arabs were nomads. The richer the man, the less his wife would do – the preference being for her to sit still all day in her tent while her black slaves saw to household chores. Ancient Berber quatrains laud tebtath (stretchmarks) as jewels. Even today lekhwassar (fat around the waist) is given lyrical pride of place and girls sent for fattening gain the stature of mbelha. They are taught to sit in the lotus position, speak softly, use utensils and to emulate the exemplary lives of the Prophet Muhammad’s wives. Fattening of girls is practised beyond Mauritania, in northern Mali and rural Niger – areas conquered, along with half of present-day Spain and Portugal, by the Almoravid dynasty in the 11th century. The practice of fattening also continues in Nigeria’s Calabar state and north Cameroon.

 

The resurgence of the practice in rural Mauritania is a depressing setback for campaigners after previous education and awareness campaigns were apparently having a tangible effect. “The challenge we face is that these girls live in rural areas and do not have access to information,” said Ely. “Until the military coup last year, we had made strides. Ten years ago we ran information campaigns about the dangers of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The government even commissioned ballads condemning fattening.” Many middle-class Mauritanians, among a population estimated at three million, claim the practice of force-feeding no longer exists.

Political scientist Mohamed el-Mounir, 38, claimed western influence had wiped out the allure of feminine fat. “Fattening is something from the 1950s. These days girls watch fashion shows on television. Their role models are American actresses or Lebanese singers in sexy dresses. Girls do sport. Yes, Mauritanian men like slightly round women. But there is no way we want them obese.”

 

Health and development consultant Mounina Mint Abdellah, 51, said she was force-fed as a child by her mother’s family. “Things have changed tremendously. When I left school in 1980 it would have been unthinkable for me to go abroad to study. But now, 30 years later, my daughter is doing her master’s degree in France. We owe a great deal to the fact that all girls are now expected to go to school. These changes have had a tremendous impact on ancestral practices. Fattening just seems out of date to a large part of Mauritanian society.”

 

But Ely and M’baye insist the fat “ideal” is back. Ely cites the life-threatening weight-gain practices of some grown women. “To remain fat, as adults, they take animal hormones or buy prescription drugs with appetite-enhancing side-effects. A woman died in hospital in Nouakchott last week. I’m afraid this problem is still very much with us.”

Bits that rendered me amazed, gob smacked and bewildered included:

The practice sees them tortured into swallowing gargantuan amounts of food and liquid – and consuming their vomit if they reject it. 

A typical daily diet for a six-year-old will include two kilos of pounded millet, mixed with two cups of butter, as well as 20 liters of camel’s milk. Matrons use sticks which they roll on the girl’s thighs, to break down tissue and hasten the process. 

A successful fattening process will see a 12-year-old weigh 80kg. “If she vomits she must drink it. By the age of 15 she will look 30,” said M’baye. 

It brings a whole new meaning to “fat camp” doesn’t it?

Sadly appalling.

Its all about Brad…

Listen Up Peeps!

My friend and work colleague Brad is creating his own blog (insert loud applause here).  I’ll give you the quick info about Brad & his Blog!

 

His concept is due to the ‘interesting’ questions that some dear readers pop into search engines to get to my blog… for some reason I think there a LARGE proportion of individuals who seem to think that Google (and the like) is a psychic fortune teller who will finally tell you when your man will propose! You cannot believe how common a question this is that leads individuals to my blog… there are other strange questions that include (but are no where limited to):

 

A) Where to find hot Arab men (ok, I am engaged now but seriously, if I had that answer I may have been engaged a lot sooner AND be pleasing my mother/family all in the one hit!)

 

B) Hairy Arab men (hmmm – its part of their DNA chickies – either learn to love it or introduce them to the art of waxing!)

 

C) Hot Arab girls (hehe – well, you’re reading the blog of one so I suppose I’ll let that one go!)

 

Rather than go on and on (because there are some seriously odd ones… stranger still that there are some really R-rated ones that make me think that “what the?”  and that some people really need to get a hobby!) I think I will quickly give you a basic idea of brad’s blog….

 

In order to cater to those who wish ask questions to their search engines brad will cater to YOU! He will answer your questions in only the most honest and hilarious of ways that only brad can! I am more than looking forward to see what he comes up with (as he rather of an icon in our department)!

 

To get him going I think I may pass on a few little questions to him…

 

If you’ve anything please give him a go – it’ll be funny to see what he comes up with!

 

To see read Brad pearly words of wisdom go to:

 

www.brutalbitchbrad.wordpress.com

 

Or see my blogroll people!

 

I'm talking to YOU

I'm talking to YOU

 

 

What am I doing again?

Why does level of forgetfulness increase with age? I think it’s comically unfair – as one gets old there is a need to remember things more… and there are (sadly) more things to remember… and yet our memory becomes worse… I had told my mum since our trip that I had (woefully) gained some kilos and was (desperately) trying to shift (more like eradicate) this weight… the other day as I am getting ready for work wearing this green top mum walks past and says; “hmm – you’re hips have gotten a little wider than normal; have you gained some weight?’

 

And I was thinking that I had the new found add-ons well hidden!

 

I’ll just go cry into my coffee now…

Trip Tid-Bits (part I)

Well; here i am finally able to post something… i am saying a huge sorry in advance regarding the possible copious amounts of spelling mistakes… i just really, really wanted to touch base and let you quickly in on the madness situation that is occurring here!

First off; Mr M is here – the guy arrived 2 days before i got here and hasn’t spoken a word or call to me! nothing at all! rumor has it that the prick guy is going back to Malaysia (KL) in the next couple of days… i am actually rather irate that he hasn’t gotten in touch with me! i mean really!!!! Its beyond words! How rude!!! to make matters worse things were as i suspected regarding the impending questiond frm said aunts and uncles tant ranged from “ooohh, mr M is here… did you know?” to “so- what’s hapening?” and the blatent “so, do you love him? why hasn’t he called you!?” i mean seriously!

As the days pass i am more and more certain that things will work between me and Mr A – we’ve been messaging heaps and calling each other every few days! as for the situation regarding any possibility of mum’s fondness for Mr A -well, lets just say; don’t hold your breath peeps! oh well… my uncle (mum’s older brother) has actually surprised me no end in saying that if he’s who i really want and that he’s a decent person and loves me and values the importance of family that he’s fine with it! well, wonders will never ease! you can imaine the tirade then ensued from my mum? my aunts (mum’s sister) has jumped on the bandwagon to get me hitched to some good muslim arab man… seriously, you can only imagine the tears tha are being shed and the dua’s (prayers) that are being read loudly in my presence!

the other night i sat at the dinner table wanting to scream as my uncle (the same one who said that Mr A would be ok) had just introduced me to some guy. the stats are: early 3o’s, never married, tall, rather good-looking (i suppose… although i wasn’t going gaga for him!), owns a hotel , well off, great family… yes people you read right… OWNS A HOTEL!  shit – if that’s not my uncle pulling out all the stops i don’t know what is??? let me say this – when i wasn’t all keen on Mr A where were these guys? huh? anyway – they sat there; three siblings ornately arranging my life -giving their blessing to this “union” while i stoicly sat there wanting to get away… the deafening silence from my end actually went unnoticed as the three of them sat there laughing and thinking that this was “the one”. frustrated, dispondant and saddened i went to bed… this cannot be it for me… why can’t any of them see that this is NOT what i want? my mum is so quick to throw in that a child’s obligation is to make her parents and family happy – where in all this am i am allowed to find my own happiness? apparently the answer lies in that when i make my mum happy i will be happy… and thus the situation continues!

my mum is a photo perso: meaning that she noe only likes taking pics but loves taking pics with her! as per a previous post i mentiones how totally smitten my mum is with pics of me wearing hijab (scarf) and totally indifferent to those of me not wearing one! anyway all the pics mum has brought here of me are (naturally) of me wearing a scarf… she shows them to people and family and says “oh, doesn’t she look better in a scarf?” to which of course they all claim that i do and then mum goes on at me about much better i look and that everyone said so, so it must be true! i told her that they were hardly going to tell her that i look like crap and that in the end the more she goes on about the more frustrated i get and therefore the more i will just ignore this whole maddening spectacle! so now she just tells them while i’m not there and then when i come back (from wherever it is i was) one of my cousins/aunts/uncles/family friends say “oh – you look so good in a hijab – you should wear one..”

smiling my mum will sit there and say “i never told them to say anything” hmmm – yeah, i’m sure i’m going to believe that!

as for the good stuff: the other day in order to avoid the constant discussion and insistance of getting me hitched i bribed my nephew with the purchase of comics if he took me to the nearest mall! thankfully the dollar to Rupiah ratio is rather good at the moment so i think i have become his favourite aunt with the purchase of 2 comics, KFC, J.Co Donuts and a milkshake! ahh – the joy of bribery!

i actually haven’t bought that much as yet; i suppose its still early days! i have been eating heaps though – me thinks that i have gained a little more than a kilo or two… oops! as per the norm for arab families, all i feel i keep doing is eat, eat and then eat some more! and its all SSSOOOOO delicious – sweets and rice, and lamb… i need to stop otherwise i’ll wanna get outta here now and buy something! hehe…

anyway people – for now this’ll be it! keep safe everyone. you are all in my thoughts… i am totalling missing coffee with susi after work! in saying that, there is a sick sadistic part of me that actually misses work… i’m totaly mad huh? i think its the fact that its 8 hours to myself -in that there are not any “motherly” expectations! i miss my driving my car… oh driving wherever i want to go to! the blissfulness of it all!

*ahem* well, cath you later people! lets hope i’ll still be sane when necxt you hear from me!

signing out for now!