Successes and Surprises - project me post 860 #projectbody

There is something so refreshing about reflection. I've watched how much easier it is to do it in the good spaces and how I dreaded looking back on day when the days weren't filled with as much self confidence and worth.
There are the baby steps of ending my day and looking back at all I have to be grateful for. All the things that I did right, felt I did right or made right. I've watched how my list has gotten longer since I got back on the #projectbody horse and how this week I couldn't wait to climb into bed and count my self gratitude.

Amazingly, Pat was away for most of the week (no, that's not why I was counting blessings so eagerly ;p). If it weren't for healthy head and body space I've found myself in, that time would have been filled with loneliness. It's amazing that my mom was staying at my sis at the same time, so I literally was alone for the first time in about 3 years.

Whilst snuggled in bed with the cats and sipping on my green tea (which is a surprisingly easy change from the addiction to tea-tea), I found myself having little moments of realisation. I think the first one came after the huge success and even bigger surprise at my first weigh-in with Kilo2Kili. Oh my greatness, I lost 3.1kg! The whole week I had been battling with the fact that my diet was filled with carbs and we've been trained that they are so bad for us. Even more shocking was that I was eating them at night, which has been drummed into me that that's a no-no! Yet, there I stood and just stared at this number with genuine shock and joy. I lay in bed thinking about what it's like to just trust.
I decided to put my full trust in Joni Kowensky from Kilo2Kili and despite all my fears around the food I was eating, faith paid off. I'm gonna try more of that ... trusting in the support of others and the universe.

My next realisation was sparked from an?unbelievable event that I attended. Firstly, it was such an honour to be recognised for my social standing and I was asked to invite 10 women who I believe to be?influential in the social media space. Wow, not that I was surprised, but I truly am surrounded by successful and powerful women in my life. The event was for Always Platinum, a silky and luxurious feminine pad (yes, one for the girls indeed). There was well over a weeks' buildup to a secret location and 'luxury where you least expect it'.
You know when you think of every possible venue and option to be wowed, but what you get is beyond an amazing surprised. We were collected from a spot in Sandton and then shuttled off to a secret venue that I certainly never would have guessed. There in the centre of town, was Park Station. It's where the trains come and go, but tucked away in a place that used to bustle is The Blue Room. It's literally an old part of the station and I can't imagine what it must have looked like with the cold concrete and purposeful design. But, what we arrived to was a transformation into one of the most?gorgeous events I've ever had the?privilege?of attending. A gorgeous?lavender hazed every corner with lights, while food and entertainment truly revealed that luxury is where you least expect it. A brilliant tagline for a women's product I must say. But more than that ... another big lesson for me.

That night, I had yet another important #projectbody realisation. Because my fitness is so low and my body only knows cellulite and big hips and now it's time to visualise what I know I want to and have the ability to look like. At the moment, however, I feel like that cold and plain train station and it's time to visualise that?glamorous venue that just took passion, time and vision to change. And with that it's so much easier to end my day with a picture of me as I know I can be ...

So that's a panic attack - project me post 859

Last night I thought I was having either a stroke or a heart attack! Nope, that's not me being my dramatic self!

I have a confession to make! I've been relieved that I haven't had to blog daily, because I just wouldn't have had the know how to share what's been going ?in my life of late.
The upside of what's going on is always easy to talk about and when I was single it was much easier to say whatever I liked, but life's not like that anymore. I have a life partner to consider now and finding the balance of respecting our relationship and?committing?to share my life story is SO much harder than I thought.

I think I've been laying low for about two months now, not only with blogging (which we know is so therapeutic) but also dealing with my emotions. You see, it's tough enough when one half of a relationship is getting their business of the ground and not knowing when the next job is going to come from or who is going to have money to pay for groceries that week. Sometimes neither has money ... but we both have a dream. I never thought that it would be so challenging to start my business and I'm already a few years ahead of Pat, so to say that times have been emotionally tough is an understatement.

Nothing tests a relationship like money issues! That's one lesson I've truly had to learn the hard way. The very hard and scary way ... and last night I realised that I had to do something different or my heart was literally going to break.

At first I thought it was indigestion. Pat went to get me milk after trying to sleep for about half an hour. The milk worked for maybe a moment (long enough for Pat and all the cats to fall asleep) and then it was just me and my thoughts. I knew I wasn't going mad. The chest pains were real. The heart?palpitation were definitely happening. My left arm was cold and my fingers numb and I wasn't faking the dizziness.??I think the panic truly set in when I was deciding whether I was having a heart attack or a stroke, so the feeling just got out of control.

At least I figured out that I don't have many regrets, because I had a good look at death (okay that was a little dramatic) but it was that frightening and my heart was that sore. Stabbing pain, it's going to crumble in my chest kinda sore. In the dark, I googled the symptoms and there it was ... every ailment that strikes with a panic attack. It immediately calmed me down, but also shook me up when I realised what extent my body had to go through to get my attention.

I wish I had dreamed of my dad when I slept. That's what I thought the moment I woke up, but I hadn't. Instead, my relationship rattled around in my head and I kept remind myself of one thing. 'I love him!'
I'm the first to say that 'love isn't always enought', but I'm also the one who always said, 'give me a man who has a dream' ... and I have that. I know what it's like to dream and I can only begin to image the torment of fighting for that but not being able to show the financial reward to the ones you love. I've learned how very different it is for men and women. I've also learned that a ?relationship takes more work than anyone can ever tell you and I have the ultimate respect for anyone who fights through and survives the years.

I want to be one of those people.

Yesterday I wasn't. Yesterday I thought I was handling everything right, but last night I realised that I had to do something different. What that is, I'm still figuring out but sharing my experience and my fears with you and with my incredible partner, is the first step to that something different.

I already feel better. We already spoke more openly. I already thought of some plans to do things financially differently. I already confirmed my unconditional love for myself ... and the man I want to spend the rest of my life with!

Kilo2Kili sponsors #projectbody - project me post 858

I've said 'I'm gonna do this' so many times that it's ridiculous. I've actually said that enough times that if I were talking to anyone else but myself, no one would believe me. But I'm not talking to anyone else. I'm talking to me. The me that never gives up and knows I can set my mind to achieve anything I want to.

I know that as I tell my story more, I'm going to understand what I did differently with each passing phase, but the one thing that shouts out at me right now, is that I learned that I don't have to do everything on my own.

Well, that's the one lesson ... and I think I discovered that a while ago.

The other lesson, that I only began to truly believe in a few weeks ago (and that I so nearly gave up hope on) is that I can manifest EXACTLY what I want. Not an almost version or a sort of resemblance, which is what I know I've settled for in the past. Well, no wonder it hasn't worked! I first started to notice it when the work started to come in for exactly what Lifeology wanted to do. I chose fun above all else ... I wanted to make money having fun and doing only what I love. Wow, that's a tall order considering everyone says that abundance takes hard work.
It was when I realised that the hard work doesn't come from the hours of slog, but rather from the work it takes to not fall apart, give up on oneself or throw in the towel. There are no hours of putting my nose to the grindstone that could come close to what it took to not give up on me.

If I can do it in my career, I now know I can do it anywhere. The same rules will have to apply though, so I'm ready for the emotional work it's going to take to get there but I also know that I want to do it my way. By now, I'm hoping that you know my way is filled with fun, nothing artificial and nothing that pushes me to a place I don't want to be in. That's a tall order for the journey of losing weight.

Well, when the time is right, the people you need to support you just miraculously land on your doorstep. Yes ... I'm telling you that's how life works!
I've done diets. I've worked with?dietitians. I've done gyms. I've worked with personal trainers. But for the first time in my life I have finally found the person who speaks my language both physical and mentally. Joni Kowensky from Kilo2Kili has stepped into my life at a time when I know I'm finally ready to do whatever it takes to lose this weight, get fit and put an end to a long and tedious chapter of my life.

Admittedly, there were so many fears that lingered considering my past experiences, but one by one, Joni has offered me everything I already believe in or know I need. From the smallest thing to knowing that if I eat right I will get all the nutrition I need and won't need to rely on?supplemental, to explaining to me about liquids so that I don't have to shove water down my throat out of force.

As for my eating, well I'm loving it. I'm finally eating the right foods so that I'm not starving a few hours after breakfast or when it's bed time. It's a lot of green and white at the moment and everything is as natural as possible. So it's oats in the morning, tuna or chicken at lunch and dinner and brown rice or sweet potato. The only thing I had to adjust to is less dairy and you know the tea and cheese tart I was. But I'm being adventurous with all my meals, keeping clean and nicely flavoured with veggies and fresh herbs.

From the girl who isn't a fan of training at all and remembering that there are injuries everywhere ... this is where the fear sat most of all. When Joni told me that I had to cycle twice a week on a level 2 and 3 at a moderate pace for half an hour, I waited for the catch. None came. When I did my first training session with him and did 4 key exercises without hating the process, I waited for the catch and again, none came.
I am crazy about his process. I haven't trained in ages and my mind and body need to adjust, so it's working on the joints and getting back in the saddle (excuse the pun) and for the first time in my life ... I'm having fun in the gym!!

I've been doing #projectbody for as long as I can remember and if I dare read back in this blog, it's going to be riddled with start and stop attempts. There is one difference though ... each time before I was out there on my own and the process was governed by resentment and fear. Now I'm in a place of such pride in myself (for other areas of my life's successes) and I know that I don't have to endure any part of this journey alone. I don't have to guess if I'm eating right or fall apart when I push my body too hard and think it's the way it should be done.

I have a goal for this adventure and it involves a big birthday bash for my 40th! Yep ... that's 15 months away and about 35 kilos to go!

Watch this space 😉

In anticipation of SING IT! Gemma Donnelly tells her Project Me Story


Gemma studied at the Whitehall College of Performing Arts in England gaining a first class musical theatre diploma and her teaching associates in drama and vocals, as well as her advanced I.S.T.S. in Moden and Tap Dance. Gemma has performed professionally for 12 years, beginning her career in the UK as a dancer for Robbie Williams at Prince Charles's 50th Birthday celebrations at the Lyceum Theatre and Gerri Halliwells 'It's Raining Men' music video. She also appeared in variety shows at the London Palladium, Theatre Royal and Her Majesty's Theatre before joining Carnical Cruises as lead prodution vocalist. After travelling America and the Caribbean, Gemma came to South Africa to perform in 'The Buddy Holly Show'. From here she has performed in many major musicals including 'My Fair Lady' (Eliza Doolittle, 'Mamma Mia' (Wendy Jo) and most recently toured Australia and New Zealand as Agnetha in 'The Abba Show'.

In 2008 Gemma opened StageWorx School of Performing Arts, after seeing a gap in the Arts for training all kinds of children. After the students achieved some of the best Trinity Examinations results in the country, Gemma will now be working towards her Trinity Fellowship.

Although Gemma has given performing a backseat to concentrate on her students, she still believes that when possible she will perform, as she feels the more experience she gets, the more she can pass onto her students, plus it is really fun for her students to watch her in a show!

About SING IT!
After their successful sell-put production of "The Wizard of Fu" in 2011, the students from StageWorx are back, bringing a brand new story to their audiences, ready to tug at those heart strings once again as they weave their magic on stage!

SING IT! is a cross between High School Musical and Glee, with fun original songs written by Mike Marinus as well as the students. It follows the students of Gleeson High School coming together to try and win the local talent competition. We see how the stereo types of school groups come together through the love of theatre.

Performances are Friday 6th July at 7:30pm, Saturday 7th July at 3pm and 7:30pm and Sunday 8th July at 3pm.
Tickets are R100 for adults and R80 for scholars/students and pensioners.
Bookings can be booked through the Strictly Tickets website at or by calling 082 553 5903.

Gemma tells her project me story:

What is your definition of happiness?
To feel?fulfilled in everything I do, and be surrounded by people I love.

If you could have everyone say one thing to themselves every day, what would it be?
I am worth it, I can do it and I believe it!

We all need someone to believe in us. Who is that person for you and why?
I actually have two people, my mentor who was the principal of my performing arts college, who I still call for advice to this day. She constantly reminds me that anything is possible if thought through and planned correctly. Then my?fiance?Matt, his is BIG on realising your dreams and was the main reason why stageworx has?become?as successful as it is.

What quality do you believe we can never be taught because it it our birthright?
We can never be taught happiness, that is our birthright. We are put on this planet to live life and enjoy it!

Describe the moment when you realised that you could?achieve?anything?
I think for me it was watching our first full production. 'The Wizard of Fu'. Seeing that the children having such an amazing time and living something they will never forget. Knowing that you are responsible for that is amazing.

What have you always dreamed of being or doing and have your reached that dream?
From when I was a child I always wanted to perform as a career in musicals and I have successfully done that for 10 years. Then my dreams changed and I wanted to pen a school to help children who had the same dreams of performing and also use the arts to give ?children a sense of worth and respect and confidence. This is now building so watch this space!!

When life gets in the way, what do you always remind yourself of?
That no matter what happens, if you are surrounded by people who love you, everything will turn out fine and?everything?happens the way it was supposed to! You may not know the reasons why straight away but it certainly?becomes?clear at a later stage!

We all have something unique to offer the world, what is yours?
Bundles of?enthusiasm! I will throw myself into any project head first!

How do you deal with the fears that could potentially hold you back?
I ask a lot of questions to the people who may know the answers!

What do you believe we have lost sight of in the world as a whole?
That living is not about what you earn or what you accumulate in possessions, its about the legacy you leave for others to follow.

My rising star moment - project me post 857

Look at me!!!

Okay, between us, because we're so close, I'll share with you that I was in my pajamas for this pic. Isn't it amazing what a little foundation, eyeliner and lipstick can do?

Honestly, today I have been a combination of exhausted and excited, which has almost left me dizzy and despite it being way past the end of the working day, I couldn't end it without sharing my very special moment with you.

So last night was the finals of the South African Rising Star Awards ... no, I did'nt win but I sure was a winner!!

The goal of the awards, in the words of the organisers, is:??"The Rising Star Awards have been designed to unearth & recognise these inspirational & passionate individuals who have a capacity for achievement & success - young people who through their work are shaping the future of South Africa with tremendous dedication and energy"

That's me ... I was one of 40 people who did that ... who continues to do that. How could I not feel like a winner. But there's another amazing reason why, by the time that someone else's name was called out, that I had already won. From a few Tweets and a Facebook Status that I did a just hours before the awards began, the messages began to flow. My timeline was filled with the #FollowSA hashtag and the theme was the same throughout. Everyone was telling me that I was already a rising star in their eyes. Wow!!

Between the blogging, creating what #FollowSA is today, finding my place in the social media world & fighting to hang on as an entrepreneur, I can honestly say that I so deserved this moment. I am so touched by every person who supports me, but I also know that you are in my life because I've opened myself up and welcomed you in. There were countless times that I wanted to give up blogging because I imagined every post would be filled with me wallowing in the struggles of a business owner that I lost sight of the fact that one day I would blog about a moment so extraordinary that it would have made every sad blog so worth it ... that's now ... that's today!

My journey would be a fraction of what it is if it weren't for my amazing Lifeology business partner who doubles as my awesome best friend. Thank you for keeping me on the path when I wanted to tumble off it, Greggie! This one's for both of us 😉

I don't have to go it alone - project me post 856

One of the first lessons I learned (but certainly haven't mastered) along my journey of self discovery, was to not focus on the 'how' of life. I've read more self help book that imaginable and I've worked through every possible process of manifestation that is out there. On days of frustration and crisis I always think I haven't done enough. I think that the one type of manifestation tool that I didn't feel appealed to me would be the one that was sure to work. I think of all the things I didn't do enough of and I blow the dust off an old self help book thinking I should flip through the pages again.

Then I remember that I've done that over and over and over again.

One of my cheats is for Greggie to read the book and to fill me in on the juicy bits. He reads the ones that usually make my head boggle, Malcolm Galdwell being one of them. So although I didn't go through the Tipping Point in depth, I totally get what that point is. I also know that I've felt like it's been coming for ages.

On the other hand, I'm grateful that 'project me' has taught me to focus on the little things and be grateful for every milestone. Without that I think I would have given up, thrown in the towel and had a day job doing what I hate by now. The irony is that, on the days when I ask myself what the hell I'm doing, is the day that I get an email saying I'm someone's inspiration, or Klout for social media, or taken to coffee by someone I admire because they want to tell me how much they admire me.

But what about the moments when I have to distract myself from the 'how' and do only what I know I can do? I've been thinking a lot about what I can put my energy into without forcing my success. Nothing flows with ease when there is force and nothing happens when there is panic either.

This has been brewing for a while now. Trying to figure out what to focus on without becoming obsessed with the 'how' of my career, money, my future. I've learned that it's when you turn your attention to the things that might not be on your priority list, that things slowly fall into place. Okay, I've heard that but never taken my eye off my career and putting everyone before me to actually figure it out.

And then I met a very special person who swept into my life and held a neon sign (not literally of course) saying, "focus on you!"
Admittedly, I've started and stopped focusing on me all my life. I've done as many diets as I've read self help books and neither of them got me very far. If anyone reading has followed 'project me' from the beginning, you'll know this is a recurring theme in my life. However, there's one difference ... Miss?Independent isn't going to try do it on my own. I'm not going to tell you I know my body well enough to figure out what to eat or how to train. I'm not going to tell you that I've joined a gym class and because I like the instructor and he like me I'm not going to give it up.
I'm going to tell you that for the first time EVER, I'm saying, "I can't go it alone!"

It's with the amazing encouragement from Joni Kowensky and Kilo2Kili that I'm re-opening the #projectbody chapter of my life. I'm facing my eating, exercising and injury issues. I'm letting the vulnerability and anxiety all hang out and I'm taking the hand of someone who has been there, done that and now fits very comfortably into the T-Shirt.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared. Of course the fears are there that I've done this all before and never succeeded, but I've reverted back to something I truly believe in. I keep reminding myself that today is my truth but it doesn't have to be my reality. In my reality, I don't abuse my body when I'm stressed. I eat healthy and sensibly because I'm worth it and I use my exercise time as my gift to me.

How do I know it's gonna be different? Because I woke up today and still have the flu and on any other day I would have told myself to wait until I get better before I make the appointment to start with Kilo2Kili. Not today! Today I made the call anyway I know there is something we can do to get me started while my body takes its time to heal.

Tomorrow ... 10am ... weigh in!



Untitled by choice - project me day 855

I sat in a church then other day and wondered whether certain things in my life weren't going right because I had chosen an alternative path of belief. That's how far I have stretched my self worth and esteem over the last few weeks.

Of course, what is life without extreme highs and lows to stare us in the face and test our belief system when the cracks of daily living tear at our foundation. Yes, it's been that desperate and?exciting within hours of each other.

I'm grateful for the sporadic blogging and see the flaws in forcing myself to stare at my life on a daily basis, in comparison to being in the moment and then taking time to reflect. I think I would have told myself some far stretched truths in my desperate state that has made up the last while.

It's a freezing day!

How easy to distract myself with the weather, when all I want to think about is reaching an incredible milestone and then tripping into a dip of reality. I miss teaching so much! That's a huge realisation. I miss saying things like, "this moment is your truth but it does not have to be your reality." I miss the expression on people's faces before I go on and explain how telling the truth of the moment your find yourself in is a vital step before looking at the changes that need to be made to create the reality you want.

My head is so filled with moments, that I contemplated taking out a calendar and sharing bits of my days in sequence, but it's not about the days. It's about the rolling down the hills in giggling joy of my own creation, then slogging up again in?despair of what I still long to achieve.

I guess I should begin at the root of the issue! A rehashing of my very old vision board and a cleaning out of my dreams and desires. I thought of starting again, but so much of what I want to achieve is still stuck on that crumpled piece of cardboard. Instead, I cut around the pictures that still resemble my dreams and let the outdated ones go.
The last time I did a vision board, my life turned upside down and I ended up letting go of things I never would have dreamed. My first business and my oldest friend being the two tough ones to realise were outdated in my life. And as I work my way through my new dreams I've had to face how a 20 year friendship can no longer serve me and said goodbye to someone I thought would never leave my side.

While still wiping away fresh tears, I received a phone call that turned one of my visions into a reality in an instant.?Literally, there was not time to even acknowledge that I had affirmed my desire to appear on SA's top talk how, Three Talk, for countless years. The lengths that I have gone to try and get my spot on the show and the friends I have wished well when they told me that had been called for an interview have been countless. I don't have to say that if I can manifest that then I can manifest anything. I know I can create whatever I want in my life, I just don't know why it's taking so freakin' long.

If I lived on recognition, respect and invitations I would be beyond rich. Actually, I am beyond rich, but those cliche self help affirmations aren't helping me right now.

Something different has to happen ... and soon!

I'll be blogging tomorrow, because today you heard some of the madness, but there is light and conclusion ... someone inside of me!