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.

Ride the bus

Catatan: Simbok

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Hampir lima bulan terakhir ini, saya telah menjadi seorang ibu. Hal yang sama sekali tidak terpikirkan oleh saya satu tahun lalu karena saya terlalu menikmati pekerjaan dan hobi saya. Belum lagi saya berencana untuk meneruskan kuliah di Kanada setelah saya diterima di University of Toronto. Tapi, apa boleh buat. Kata orang yang percaya dengan adanya Tuhan, Tuhan punya rencana lain. Saya hamil dan lahirlah baby A awal Januari lalu, my monkey fire baby.

Meskipun tidak direncanakan, jujur saja, saya sangat menikmati menjadi seorang ibu apalagi setiap kali menyusui. Somehow, it comes across as a very special moment between myself and him. I even often say to myself “I will do anything to make him happy and healthy. I will always be there for him” As they say, breastfeeding helps a mother bonding with their child. So, I guess it is true.

Kalau boleh berterus terang, awalnya menyusui adalah sebuah momok bagi saya. Mengapa? Well, baby A lahir melalui operasi caesar di mana tim dokter harus memberikan bius lokal di tulang belakang. Efek bius tersebut sangat amat mengerikan, saya terus menerus muntah setelah melahirkan. Bahkan saat saya memberikan asi untuk pertama kali, saya pusing tujuh keliling dan muntah. Bayangkan saja, bukannya saya bahagia melihat baby A untuk pertama kali tapi malah muntah-muntah karena efek obat bius tersebut. “What kind of mother am I?” Saya sangat frustrasi kala itu. Sampai-sampai, sambil menangis, saya bilang pada perawat yang membantu saya malam itu “How can I breastfeed my baby if I cannot even sit up right and I continuously throw up?

Tidak hanya efek obat bius saja yang membuat saya takut menyusui tetapi juga my engorged breasts. Pada hari pertama, payudara saya langsung membengkak karena produksi ASI yang cukup tinggi atau oversupply. I did not know whether I should consider that as a blessing or a curse because it was very painful. I even got angry, “Why nobody told me about this horrible breast engorgement?” Well, it’s easier to blame on other people, right? 😁

Kebayang dong, masih dibawah pengaruh obat bius, payudara membengkak dan harus belajar menyusui baby A. It was very stressful and frustrating. Untungnya, dengan sabar para perawat dan konsultan laktasi terus membantu saya bagaimana untuk menyusui baby A dengan benar. Tetapi jujur saja, entah mengapa rasanya sulit sekali untuk menyusui saat itu. Bahkan, saking susahnya, setelah pulang ke rumah, saya sampai harus memanggil doula ke apartment untuk kembali mengajari saya bagaimana untuk menyusui baby A dengan benar.

Lucunya, meskipun baby A belum punya gigi, saya takut digigit; sehinggasaya pun membeli peralatan perang untuk menyusui mulai dari nipple cream sampai nipple shields yang pada akhirnya pun enggak pernah saya pakai.

Boleh dibilang bahwa setidaknya dua minggu lamanya saya mengalami kesulitan dalam belajar bagaimana menyusui baby A dengan benar tanpa menderita. Bukan cuma itu saja, dalam dua minggu pertama tersebut, saya pun sempat kena mastitis dan harus bolak-balik ke konsultan laktasi di rumah sakit. Thankfully, setelah berbagai kesulitan tersebut selama dua minggu pertama, sekarang baby A langsung ‘nemplok’ tanpa digiring setiap kali mau makan. And, I must say that I do enjoy breastfeeding him. Again, it’s a very special moment especially when he looks at me, smiles at me and hold my shirt so tight as if he doesn’t want to let me go. Bahkan, saya kadang takut kalau nanti dia sudah tidak mau minum susu dari saya. I guess, this is the joy of being a mother.

But yeah, I swear to God, it was very difficult at the beginning. I even thought that nine months of pregnancy was actually way easier than the first three days of being a mother. I vividly remember, there was even a moment where I even had a breakdown and cried “I have never been so dependent like this,” because I could hardly do something, I couldn’t even get a glass of water for myself or just take a look at my phone. 

Anyway, boleh dibilang, meskipun saya sangat menikmati setiap detik menjadi seorang ibu karena bisa terus berinteraksi dengan baby A dan juga melihat perkembangannya, saya juga sangat rindu dunia kerja. Entah mengapa saya jadi merasa sedikit dungu akhir-akhir ini. Oh well, I really need to get the wheels turning either by going back to work or doing some study.

Ride the bus

Catatan: Skilled Workers

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I wanna see the world

Sejak melahirkan, saya belum sempat melakukan Brazilian waxing lagi. Selain takut akan rasa sakit di bagian luka operasi caesar, saya juga belum menemukam tempat yang bisa dipercaya kebersihannya di Dhaka. Ada sih tempat waxing tapi sayangnya enggak hygienic di mana mereka menggunakan satu mangkok besar dan satu butter knife untuk semua customers; belum lagi kain blacu yang dipakai sepertinya dicuci ulang -karena saya pernah lihat bulu rambut di kain blacu tersebut-. Ngeri enggak sih? Emang sih lebih ramah lingkungan karena enggak harus cuci mangkok dan buang kain berkali-kali. Tapi, gimana kalau ada salah satu customers yang punya penyakit kulit? Ya kan?

Anyway, kemarin saya baru ingat ternyata adik asisten rumah tangga saya bekerja di salon. Saat libur, dia bekerja sebagai freelancer mulai dari memijat, meni-pedi, scrubbing , eyebrow threading dan juga waxing. Dengan modal gula dan lemon untuk homemade sugar wax, baby powder dan kain blacu, akhirnya saya bisa waxing di rumah. Brazilian waxing dan half legs waxing. Cepet, bersih dan rapi.

Nah, kenapa saya cerita ini? Saya suka dengan orang-orang seperti perempuan bernama Rina ini. Dengan keterampilan yang dimilikinya, dia sangat passionate dalam melakukan pekerjaannya. Hal itu nampak ketika saya memberikan kain katun untuk waxing tetapi ternyata kain katun terlalu tipis, susah untuk angkat bulu rambut sampai ke akar-akarnya. Dia sampai kesal sendiri setiap kali mencobanya. “Huh? What happened?” katanya penasaran karena  tak satu helai rambutpun ketarik. Meskipun demikian, dia terus berusaha dan dengan cekatan, dia menyelesaikan pekerjaannya dalam satu jam saja.

Rina mengingatkan saya pada hairstylist langganan saya. Andre. Dia ‘pegang’ rambut saya dari tahun 2011. Kalau tidak sibuk, hampir setiap bulan saya ke salon. Entah untuk coloring atau haircut. Saya enggak pernah ke salon lain sejak kenal Andre. Atau Mas Boni, penjahit langganan saya di ITC Kuningan. Dia tahu bagaimana memotong batik menjadi dress tanpa mengubah motifnya. Atau Mas Otoy, anak buah Mas Boni, yang tahu bagaimana memermak pakaian tanpa merusaknya dan tetap nyaman dipakai.

Saya suka dengan orang-orang seperti ini,  mereka tak malu dengan apa yang mereka lakukan.  Selain itu, mereka make sure memberikan service yang terbaik untuk customer mereka agar mereka kembali lagi. Dengan demikian, saya sebagai customer tak rugi merogoh kocek untuk kinerja mereka bahkan tak enggak memberikan lebih.

Jujur saja, saya suka iri dengan orang-orang yang memiliki keterampilan seperti ini. Entah memotong rambut, memijat, memasak, menjahit, olah raga atau main musik. Mereka menggunakan kreativitas mereka dalam bekerja dan mereka tidak harus bekerja pada sebuah perusahaan, mereka bisa menjadi pekerja lepas di waktu tenggang misalnya dan dapat menggunakan keterampilan mereka di mana saja mereka berada.

Jadi pengen belajar menjahit..

Ride the bus

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. 

Ride the bus

Notes: Let ‘Em Talk!

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As I scrolled down my Facebook’s newsfeed, I came across to an article by The Guardian on a Philadelphia born model Amber Rose titled “Amber Rose interview: Even when I was a virgin, I was called a slut“. I must say that I have been admiring her spirit, I have also been listening to her interviews and following her Instagram as well as Twitter account to understand her perspective on women’s world, as a result, I immediately read the article because I think that Amber is an awesome woman who is outspoken about woman issue. So, I assumed that this article would be worth reading.

As I finished reading the last sentence, this article got me thinking about my personal experience. As time passes, we grew up, we learnt and we choose our own value of life. However, everything that we do, it often becomes the subject of discussion for others.

Why? First of all, because they have nothing else to talk about. Secondly, that is how society taught us. Our society constructs standard what we can and cannot do, the standard of what is right and what is wrong. I would understand that those standards are constructed based on scientific research with sufficient evidence but when it is based on morality, it is very subjective.

In my own experience, I have been called slut or gold digger even right in front of my face over and over again. It still happens until today sometimes. At first, I felt hurt but I grow thick skin by now. At least, I do something real and some (or many) recognise it.

So, if I may say….. do whatever you want to do as long as you do not hurt other people, as long as you are being responsible about it. Never do something just to please others while you are suffering from it.

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.

Photo: Quick Visit To Oman

Walking away from the tourist [2015:EO]

Walking away from the tourist [2015:EO]

The Mosque of the Great Prophet, a Shia Mosque, in Muscat, Oman [2015: EO]

The Mosque of the Great Prophet, a Shia Mosque, in Muscat, Oman [2015: EO]

Photograph of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman in Nizwa Souq [2015: EO]

Photograph of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman in Nizwa Souq [2015: EO]

Fort at the old port of Muscat [2015: EO]

Fort at the old port of Muscat [2015: EO]

Omani Dhow at the Old Port of Muscat [2015: EO]

Omani Dhow at the Old Port of Muscat [2015: EO]

Nizwa Date Plantation [2015: EO]

Nizwa Date Plantation [2015: EO]

Beduin Lady [2015: EO]

Beduin Lady [2015: EO]

A clean yet modern city of Muscat [2015: EO]

A clean yet modern city of Muscat [2015: EO]

Trying to wear Omani veil of Bedu Woman [2015: ER]

Trying to wear Omani veil of Bedu Woman [2015: ER]

The Dome of the Great Prophet Mosque [2015: EO]

The Dome of the Great Prophet Mosque [2015: EO]

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Ztreet Queen: Dress For The Weather

Grey Turkey [2014: E R]

Grey Turkey [2014: E R]

For a slave of fashion, who come from tropical country, a.k.a myself, visiting four season region gives me a lot of imagination and/or idea about what kind of outfit that I want to wear during the fall and winter season. Whether it is what kind of coat, what kind of boots, what kini of scarf, what kind of jacket, what kind of hat, what kind of glove, what kind of dress, etc. While my imagination is going wild, the weather actually makes me having difficult choice because I have limited collection of fall/winter outfit. I just don’t want to purchase a lot of fall/winter outfits because I realize that I do not need all of those attire when I return to my home country, Indonesia.

The touch of red [2015: E R]

The touch of red [2015: E R]

Anyway, last Christmas, I travelled to Istanbul of Turkey to celebrate Christmas and New Year. Yeah momma…it was winter. On the first few days in Turkey, the weather was pretty good. It was about 17 degree celsius, I had no problem with it. It was cold but it was not freezing cold. I still could deal with it.

it is not real fur but faux fur [2015: E R]

it is not real fur but faux fur [2015: E R]

As the day passed by, the weather got worse and worse. It even dropped to 1 degree celsius. Not just that, it was wet winter with rain and snow. It made me very conscious about what kind of outfit that I was going to wear because no matter how many layer I was wearing, I still suffered from the winter cold.

Dress up for the weather [2015: E R]

Dress up for the weather [2015: E R]

As the weather got worse, I asked myself should I dress for the fashion or should I dress for the weather? I decided that I must dress up for the weather. I ain’t gonna let myself suffering from the cold while enjoying the beauty of Constantinople. Would you?

Cheers

Ride the bus

Ztreet Queen: Sidomukti Skirt

Sidomukti Skirt [2015: CP]

Sidomukti Skirt [2015: CP]

Years ago….. I used to be known as an ‘ethnic girl’ because I love wearing ethnic fashion outfit and accessories, be it necklace, earing or skirt, and that is how I called myself, ethnicgirl. However my fashion taste has been changing as time passed by. I left the ethnic girl within me and become some kind of edgy girl. Yet, I still heart some ethnic element in fashion.

I must say that I often find it hard to get something an outfit which bring together the element of ethnic and modern as one combination in fashion product. Many fashion producer might try but I think they fail or I just never like them. That is why ….  I’d always rather to purchase raw material and design it by myself or together with tailor. Why? So I can get the perfect combination of color, pattern and also unique design according to my taste. At the same time, I also could determine the quality of it.

Rocking Sidomukti Skirt [2015: CP]

Rocking Sidomukti Skirt [2015: CP]

Few months ago, I went back to my hometown, the city of Yogyakarta. There is one ritual that I always do whenever I go to Yogya, I always go to Mirota Batik in Jalan Malioboro for Batik shopping. Mirota Batik is one of the largest souvenir shop in Yogyakarta. The shop is organized, clean and has a wide variety of products with reasonable price. I got myself a couple of Batik Solo.

As soon as I returned to Jakarta, I asked a good friend of mine, who happened to be a fashion designer, to design a funky skirt for me. And this is it, Sidomukti Skirt by Dreu Lona. Look the different that she made for the front and the back of the skirt. Love it so much! Thank you Miss Naia.

Ride the bus

Notes: Judge Me

ORG__DSC6299When people judge me as a gold digger, heaux or even slut because I wrote book titled ‘Bule Hunter’ and talked about s.e.x. in some chapter, -which is part of the reality of life but some people are too afraid/ hypocrite to talk about it openly- I actually don’t really care. 

If you wanna say those things about me, it’s fine. Say it. Perhaps I was-am a few of those things, perhaps I have done things in my life that I am not so proud of. I am not a saint. But one thing that we have to understand that the good and the bad always come together as one package. Just saying tho