Notes: Recovery

www.It was all started in 2009 when a doctor told me that I would only have another 10 years to live if my liver problem was being treated. He did not give me any choice because he saw me as a poor student and the treatment was expensive. I was only 21 years old university student back then. So he only gave me some dodgy vitamin. I was afraid & terrified.

What would I have achieved by the age of 31 y.o? Would I be a successful woman?” I was terrified. I was in a relationship that time, I told him & gave choices either to stay or to leave. He stood by me, so he said. He did, he still is. He then found one of best doctor in Southeast Asia.

We met her in SG. After test & consultation, she told me that everything would be okay as long as it is treated properly. I was not really convinced but we went ahead with the treatment. It was a strong drug. After 2 years, it showed a significant improvement and the doctor stopped the treatment. I was very happy. I thought the first doctor was full of b.s.

Yet, I was still afraid that I might die at the age of 31. So I worked so hard to achieve everything that I wanted in life. “I only had 10 years, got no time to waste.” That’s what I said to myself. Jakarta’s life was not that easy & it made life circumstances harder. This led me into #depressionand #anxiety.

I must say that time I often felt that I was worthless, no point of living this life and I always kept distance from anyone. I became an unpleasant person to be around with and I built Great Wall from my friends and family. I would not talk to anyone unless I wanted to. It came to the point where I tried to kill myself and landed in hospital several times. Pills, knife and car accident. I was out of my head. And yet, I was still alive.

Nobody told me that I needed a help but I thought that I needed professional help. So I looked around and found one. Unfortunately, some physicists that I saw were being judgmental. It didn’t work. Yet, they prescribed me with anti-depression. I become dependent. From 0.125 mg to 2.5 mg. Higher & higher. The 2.5mg didn’t work anymore.

Out of the unknown, these anti depressant pills were bad for my liver. My problem returned & worse. It got me more depressed. I then started believing what the first doctor said that I am indeed going to die by the age of 31 y.o I was lost & didn’t know what to do. And one day, a friend took me to #running track to cope with my depression for the very first time & it was hard

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Notes: Losing Your Body? Nah!

www.catatanfani.com (1)Many people say that once a woman becomes a mother, she will lose her body, become fat and have jiggly yet flabby body especially those who has baby delivered through c-section including me. Don’t even dream to get your body back, so they say. But here I am, I prove them wrong. You can still have a well-shape body even you have many children be it through normal delivery and/or c-section.

I started getting back to my training regime at seventh weeks postpartum. I must say that I didn’t find it easy. Sometimes I got frustrated because I didn’t seem to lose any baby fat after working out for one month. Sometimes I got frustrated or even depressed because l only run at the slow pace. Sometimes I even gave up, just sat down, did no exercises for hours and just played with my phone because I felt that I did not make any progress. 

But one day, I said to myself “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just started again,” so I started to take it easy that time. I just forgot about the aesthetics result and just focused on the form of my exercise as well as my diet.

At the end, aesthetic result is not my main exercise’s goal but sanity is. As a result, I got my body back faster than I expected as you can see on the picture above. 

Ps: no whey protein is being used. It’s all natural diet.

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Kitchen: Cauliflower Spinach Pizza

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Cauliflower Spinach Pizza [2016:EO]

Ingredients:

  1. 3 head of medium size cauliflower
  2. 6 tbs of grated parmesan cheese (divide into two for the dough and toping)
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 1/2 tsp of oregano
  5. 6 cloves of garlic (finely chopped and divide into two)
  6. 60 gr of block cream cheese
  7. 1/2 cup of skim milk
  8. 1 tsp of butter
  9. 1 package of spinach

Directions:

  1. For the cauliflower based pizza dough: Cut raw the cauliflower into small pieces and place them into food processor/blender. Pulse it until the cauliflower becomes the small grain of quinoa;
  2. Pour the cauliflower grain into a microwave safe bowl and cook it for 5 minutes until the cauliflower is soft (If you do not have microwave, you can steam the cauliflower in medium high heat for 7 minutes);
  3. Place the cauliflower grain into cheese clothes/ clean thin dish towel, let it cool and dry.  As it cool,  remove the cauliflower’s water by squeezing and twisting the towel; (the dryer it gets, the better crush it will turn out);
  4. Transfer the drained cauliflower grain into a mixing bowl; add the half of the finely chopped garlic, egg, parmesan cheese as well as oregano; mix them well together;
  5. Preheat oven to 200 C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, cover it with butter. Place the cauliflower based dough and spread it with finger in the form of circle with 1/4 cm thickness;
  6. For the cheesy spinach toping: In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium low heat and place the left finely chopped garlic for 30 seconds;
  7. Add the spinach and stir until the spinach soft for approximately 2 minutes over medium high heat;
  8. Add the cream cheese, followed by  skim milk and mix them well together over medium low heat for 5 minutes.
  9. Place the cheesy spinach on the top of the cauliflower based pizza dough, add the grated parmesan cheese. You can also sprinkle it with oregano and chile flake if you like it. Bake it for 15 minutes until the crush turns brown. You can add extra parmesan cheese and baked it for another 5 minutes.
  10. Transfer the cauliflower spinach pizza into a serving plate and serve it with chili flake.
  11. PS: do not expect that the cauliflower based pizza dough will be as crispy as the flour or wheat based dough.

Happy cooking!

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Notes: On Mental Health

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Drying and dying [2018:EO]

The world marks October 10 as the World Mental Health Day. It aims to raise awareness about the mental health issue. By raising awareness about mental health, people who have mental health problem could get help as soon as possible because they are aware that they have a problem. And I know very well how useful this help can be for one.

As you might have been aware that depression and anxiety are two of mental health issues which have been openly discussed on the Internet in these last few years. Prior to that, people used to hide those problems. They felt that it is embarrassing and they felt ashamed about it because many tend to bully or mock those who are suffering from depression. As a result, many who are suffering from depression do not get help and it could get worse for some people whether some would turn to be an alcoholic, sex addicts, smoker, drug users or even commit to suicide. 

It happened to me a few years ago…

After a piece of bad news broke in 2009, I have always been sad. I was afraid that I would not have enough time to fulfil my dreams. Since then, over the years, I tried to race with time to do as much as I could. Yet, I always felt that I only did a little and it was never enough. It made me upset. I often got home cried and felt miserable. Yet, I thought it was just a simple sadness. I thought I was just being a drama queen.  

It took me years to realize that it was not just sadness as I started to get suicidal thought or suddenly become hysteric. It even landed me in the hospital several times. Since then, I knew I had a problem and I decided to seek help. Yet, I could not seek help from friends or family. I felt that they would judge me or preach to me. So, I built a wall, kept a distance from people and I tried to seek helps from professionals. It was not easy to find the right one. They offered me various solutions including anti-depressant consumption, therapy section, engaging in a religious activity as well as being physically active. I found it hard. Later I figured that exercise was the best solution among others. Yet, it requires self-discipline. 

I vividly remembered one Monday morning when I felt down and my body feeling week because I did not exercise for nearly a week because I was being lazy. That day, I realized that wonderful effect of exercise toward my mood. Since then, I always tried to make time to do it even only for 30 minutes on a daily basis. I forced myself to run even it is only 4 am and many are still sleeping. As time passed by, I become an addict, addict of exercise.  Happy with the result, I maintain until today even with various adjustment. Frankly, I did not really care about the aesthetic result of exercise as my priority is to feel good about myself in mind, body and soul.

Hence if you have a problem, don’t be ashamed to talk about it and seek for bits of help. Share with those who have similar problems, they might be able to help you or they actually might not be able to help you. Nevertheless, it is all about your willingness to acknowledge it and get help. While for you who know anyone with mental health issues, please try to acknowledge it even only by listening to them. Never ignore them especially if they are the loved one. 

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Notes: The Ugly Truth

LRG__DSC6436When I returned to Indonesia last October, many told me that I have gained weight. I was afraid to admit and accept the fact that I have gained weight. Why? It is because I used to be very disciplined with my diet and exercise. It is just an ugly truth for me.

Although people told me in a joking manner, hearing the ugly truth somehow made me a bit depressed that time. Even worse, as a sensitive person, somehow I felt that I was being mocked or bullied while they might not intend to mock or bully me.

Therefore, I was thinking of losing my fat in an instant way by doing some pricey treatment and went to nearby clinic. As soon as I was sitting at the clinic, the doctor offered me a various treatment, which is crazy-expensive. So I said to myself “Should I do it? But That’s not me.”

Yet, I took the cheapest treatment acupuncture on that day. But I felt so guilty because I have been always against an instant way to be skinny. In the end, what is wrong being curvy?

I forced myself to get back to my normal routine by doing my morning running, exercise and controlling my diet with the expectation that I could go be 43 kg and lean again. I mean I am still lean but I want to be leaner.

However, my personal trainer said to me that I look better now because I look healthier than before. I am fit and not fat. All I need to do is to ignore those, who have been controlled media about the perfect female body image.

At the end of the day, being healthy is more important than being skinny. Although I am 47 kg, all my extra small size clothes are still fit me well.

Notes: Jogging on Jakarta’s Road

My recent achievement [2015:E O]

My recent achievement [2015:E O]

In these past few months, I have been enjoying my new morning routine, which is an early morning jogging on the road.  What? An early morning jogging on the road in Jakarta? Really?! Yes! I do an early morning jogging on the road in Jakarta, one of the most polluted city in the world.

I actually have been enjoying an outdoor running since early 2014. I used to do morning jogging in the Soemantri Brodjonegoro’s jogging track, part of Soemantri Brodjonegoro’s sport center in Setiabudi Subdistrict of South Jakarta. However since companies rent the sport center for some company’s event week after week, I decided  to do my morning jogging on the road than running on a treadmill in the gym.

According to Nike+, I usually do jogging for as far as 4.5 kilometers on week days and go for as  8.4 kilometers on the weekend. It does not take me long to do 4.5 kilometers of jogging, it only takes me maximum of 30 minutes. On the other hand, it takes me maximum of 55 minutes to do 8.4 kilometers of jogging. Not bad ay? Not bad at all!

As an early morning routine, jogging on the road taught me three things – time management, which side of the road that I run on and the type of shoes that I should wear.

Coffee is the best mood booster [2014: EO]

Coffee is the best mood booster [2014: EO]

What is it about jogging on the road and time management? Well, if you happened to live or visit Jakarta, you would understand’s Jakarta traffic. It is insane and I don’t want to deal with it!

I don’t want to do jogging when Jakartans are going to work, which means that many motorist and kopaja (Jakarta public bus) would be racing and speeding recklessly because they don’t want to be late. They, then, would get their way no matter what…. some of them would drive on the sidewalk!  On the top of that, the air would be highly polluted, which then cause me difficulty of breathing. In order to avoid all of those, I must leave my apartment at least by 5:30 or 6: 15 a.m the latest. However sometimes I do it later than 7 a.m sometimes.

The fact that I am working as a jurno, I also have an obligation to submit stories first thing in the morning. Indeed time management become very important for me. Since then, I have been learning and trying to be discipline in managing my time so I am able to submit stories before I do my jogging and still be able to go to gym (sometimes) and followed by meeting some sources or attending events or discussion at the same time. It’s not perfect tho but I am getting there.

Believe me or not, I usually start my day by 3 or 4 a.m. I would brew coffee, prepare fruit salad, wash my face or shower, write story while having coffee and fruit salad and go for jogging, continue write another story and go to work. I would reach home by 5 or 6 or 7 p.m and I would immediately sleep so I could have minimum of 6 hours sleep.

I must say that it is not easy. It is not easy at all to be discipline and manage time properly. If I failed, my mind would not be at peace and I would be cranky for the rest of the day.

For me, jogging is very important. It is because I have been taking strong medication, which has nausea and anxiety as side effect. In order to get rid of those side effects, I must do some cardio exercise.

As a bonus, I also leant that  if there is no adequate jogging path or sidewalk for jogging, I MUST  jog on the left shoulder facing on-coming traffic  and I should not wear training shoes for jogging on the road. Training shoes are fine to run on the treadmill or jogging track but they are uncomfortable yet painful for long distance jogging in rough surface.  Unfortunately  3 out of 4 my sport shoes are training shoes! So does it mean that I need to get new pair of running shoes? Well, perhaps! Ha ha ha!

My first 2015 jogging by Bosporus Strait, Istanbul, Turkey [2015:ER]

My first 2015 jogging by Bosporus Strait, Istanbul, Turkey [2015:ER]

Recently, many people often questioned me whether or not I have participated in the running event or runner club in Jakarta. Even one guy suggested me that I should be a running athlete. O.M.G! What? That is actually not bad idea at all. But I must say that I actually do jogging just because I want to be healthy and get rid of side effect of my medication. That is all matter to me.

Having said that I have never participated to any  running event or join to runner club. One of the reason is because  I don’t really have much time to do such a thing right now. Perhaps when I have been able to be discipline in managing my time properly, I would do it one day.

In the end of the day, health is the most important thing. I should not force myself to do all kind of activities -work, sport, hobby, socializing- as I am not a robot. I am just another person who wanna be healthy. Cheers!

Jakarta 140315

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Notes: Playing Around with Your Genital? Get Yourself Tested!

Many people love to play with their genitals. It gives us joy and satisfaction. Unfortunately many of them (or us) do not like to talk about it openly in public. Well, I do understand. Talking about sex is considered taboo in our society as we are living in a society, which is full of social norm and also religious restriction. But in the end of the day, we are human and sex is one of our basic needs.

Why do I want to talk about sex again here? Well, few days ago I went for Voluntary Counseling Test (VCT) HIV at Ruang Carlo, St. Carolus Hospital. It  is not that I am playing with my genital uncontrollably but I miss to have a discussion with HIV consular about sexual health awareness. It has been for ages since the last time I did it (getting myself tested and having discussion about sexual health awareness).

This …. somehow brought back the memories to my days in  Yogyakarta. Once in three months, two of my best gay friends and I always went for a regular HIV VCT  in PKBI Badran, Yogyakarta.

I vividly remember when  I did the HIV VCT for the first time in 2007. The consular asked me what I would do if somehow the test result came up positive? I must say that it was a really good question! I was confused, I did not know what to say because I was not sure what I would do if the test result came up positive. “Well… I think I am gonna run away. I am gonna disappear but I don’t know where tho.” I said to the consular.

Anyhow, the regular HIV VCT has really created a sexual health awareness in myself and made me understand the important of latex a.k.a condom. For me as a woman, latex is not only to prevent pregnancy but more importantly to protect ourselves from sexual transmitted disease. Why? I’ll tell you why… it is because we never know how wild our sexual partner out there. They might claim to be loyal or have been using condom while fucking around but we never really know the truth. Would you trust them easily? No!

For me, the worst nightmare is having sexual transmitted disease such as Syphilis, Herpes, Hepatitis, Gonorrhoea and also HIV/AIDS. If you want to continue your life, you have to treat those disease. Trust me, it is not gonna be fun at all because you have the obligation to be discipline in taking medication and seeing the doctor.

Anyway, I don’t find talking about sex openly in public is taboo. It actually helps me to create sexual health awareness between me and my friends to remind each other the importance of safe sex. As many of us might have been aware that we cannot  go around fire expecting not to sweat especially when latex is not one of your best friend.

But ay…. HIV/AIDS  or some sexual transmitted disease is not only caused by playing around with your genital but also blood transfusion and also sharing unsterile needle.

So….. Do you play with your genitals a lot?  Do you have many sexual partners? And… have you ever got yourself tested? Well, if not…. get yourself tested buddy! Whatever the outcome of the test is, it is better to know earlier than later. Trust me! Don’t be afraid….

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