Changing It Up

That old adage “change is good” is sometimes something that I dread. I get comfortable with something and I don’t want things to change. I fear it most times. The unknown is pretty scary. But lately as I’ve been thinking about this journey of mine to getting healthy and losing a lot of weight, I’ve come to the realization that I need to try a different path. Oh, the end result will be the same (I hope) but perhaps my choice of a route isn’t the best. At least not for me.

So it’s time to flip the switch.

Time to change it up. Get a new perspective. Take a new path. And maybe gain some new inspirations. Get it from anywhere you can and from anyone you can. If it comes from someone you admire because of their commitment, then by all means, grab it and gooooooooooooo. Run with it. Because if you’re like me and you struggle daily with your battles, then you take any inspiration you can in order to “feed” that beast called “Motivation”. And if you’re like me, despite struggle after struggle where you’re nearly constantly reminded of not only your failures but you question how it is that if you know what you need to do, you can’t just do it.

As you know, I’ve struggled with not only getting motivated but keeping motivated. No matter how bad an experience has been for me, and I’ve had some doozies, it boggles the mind how come those horrible experiences – let alone even one of them – haven’t been enough to push me over the edge. To get motivated. To push myself to give it my all.

I’ve said I’m tired before. I’ve said it often. And I don’t mean just mentally tired of all the battles that go on in that hamster-driven brain of mine. I also don’t mean just the physical tiredness that comes around from literally and figuratively dragging around this ridiculously large body. But I’m also just tired of days, weeks, months and years going by and I have nothing to show for all the “trying”.

I will not give up. But I want to stop trying. I want to succeed. Finally. I want to just stop being so tired.

This certainly is in no way meant to take away from all the other love, support, inspiration and devotion I’ve received from others. I’ve had so so many people inspire me. Not just strangers who I’ve read about who have been successful at their weight loss struggles, but my family and friends who have been a great inspiration to me in so many different ways. Whether it be their own struggles, their constant support of me through all the ups and especially the downs, but even their complete and utter faith in me – even when I had none in myself.

I’ve had and continue to have support from so many people that it blows my mind. And I’m grateful for every single one of them – every single one of you! So I’m not going to say that any one thing or any one person is the focus of my renewed sense of getting healthy because I’ve been spouting about it for some time now. New Year = New Dani.

And please believe me when I tell you that it’s that continued support from all of you that keeps me going. Gives me the drive to not give up. And now, to learn that sometimes you have to shake it up to get results. So thank you all for all that you do for me, no matter how little or insignificant you think your help might be. A kind word. A “way to go, Dani”. An “I’m proud of you!” Or even just telling me you love my blog and it’s inspiring to YOU.

But I would like to thank one person right now – who through his own journey  – has given me another spurt of inspiration, if you will. I’ve had the “I will not give up” mantra for some time, even when the days seemed the darkest, but as I said above, there are times when I forget that inspiration and/or motivation, and I need something to give me a jolt.

So I want to thank Brandon Auret. His “story” is far from mine but the principle is the same. Brandon is a talented South African actor and as such, many of his roles require him to have a certain look. And I don’t mean just his hair color or length, or facial hair or the like, but also in his physical body. Many of the roles Brandon does are physical ones where he’s playing a tough guy, so it requires him to alter his body.

So when he was preparing for his role of “Troy” in the upcoming feature film “Last Broken Darkness” (of which I’m totally SOOOOO excited for!) opposite Sean Cameron Michael (remember him?), Brandon took on a fitness/diet regime in order to get into shape for that character. While I didn’t really know him at that time, I suspect he did the same for his role of “Hippo” in last year’s movie release of “Chappie”, in which he really bulked up:

The way to a man's heart is through his Africa tattoo

Brandon Auret as “Hippo” in Chappie

A few days ago Brandon posted on Facebook that he was starting a new role in 9 weeks (still at present a secret) so he was going to be “cutting” for this role. I admittedly had to look up what that was. After all, you’ve all SEEN me so obviously I don’t have a clue what that means/entails.

So alrighty…

The idea was given to Brandon by Ross Learmonth. I’ve never mentioned Ross in this blog before but you’ve probably seen my tweets or FB posts about his band Prime Circle (of which Brandon was in their video called “Doors” directed by a friend Ryan Kruger – check it out:

Anyway, Ross suggested the Brandon post what he did to prepare for roles, besides learning lines. It’s an insightful way into how an actor prepares for roles certainly, but I think it also gives credence to how hard actors like Brandon work and makes you appreciate them all the more. And I have to give kudos to anyone who shows this kind of dedication in anything they do.

But I digress. Today (actually yesterday by now), Brandon posted his Day 1 schedule for working out and eating. And I have to say, bravo! It is impressive. And I’m not just blowing his horn. It’s not only extensive but for someone like me, it seems damn impossible. But more than that, it’s Brandon’s attitude and comments that made me really perk up and listen. And become inspired by him.

So I hope he doesn’t mind if I quote him a bit here:

So ‪#‎ROYL‬ it is.

The role of your life is the one you have now.

Make it count and be grateful.
Count your blessings and take nothing for granted.

Every time I get a job the minute a sign that contract.
I always close my eyes and say

‘Thank you for my talents’
I honor them with my performance.

That’s always step one.


CFOOgSSUEAAwdkO Brandon at the premiere of Chappie.

Now he may not even read this blog. And that’s okay. But one of the reasons I like Brandon is that he’s honest and true to himself. He speaks his mind (remind you of anyone?) and he’s not afraid to stand up for what he believes. So while I’ve told him several times over the past couple of days how much he’s inspiring me to try a new path to success, I don’t think he realizes or even believes just how much he’s affected me. How much he’s helped to inspire me to keep going and keep trying – including to switch it up.

And that’s a shame.

So I’ve already gone through my cupboards and put many things I shouldn’t eat in a box to give away to the people in my office. I’ve dumped out the remainder of the Pepsi I had in my fridge. I’ve weighed myself (see note below), measured myself and made a list of foods to eat this week, as well as exercises I can do, including going with Kimmy to her apartment complex gym sometimes this week.

Oh and incidentally, with that weight gain before Christmas because of stress, and having not gained or lost any during the holidays, I am happy to say that I’m starting this week with a TWO pound loss! Woot!

The need and desire to be successful must come from within me, I know this, but it seems so much more achievable when you can tap into the determination and inspiration of others. And that’s what people like you all do for me: my mom Phyllis, Anne-Marie, Glenda, Kimmy, Michelle, Paula, Ivana, Darlene, Beth (so very proud of you and how far you’ve come in a year!!), Annette, Susan, Suzanne, Stelio, Sean, Marijan, Bindee, Sommer, Jeni, Barbara, Brandon and so many others…what you all give to me. Even when you’re not even aware of it.

So as I write this, it’s now after Midnight Sunday night. And by the time I’m settled into my bed, Brandon will have started his crazy tough but fantastic 9 week plan, since he’s 7 hours ahead of me in South Africa. And likely he’s already up as I finish up this blog.


And wishing him “good luck” almost seems superfluous. Because with Brandon, it really is some kind of an amazing plan. One that frankly would scare a noob like me to death. But with Brandon, it’s not a question of “if” he meets his goals, because he will. And while it won’t necessarily be easy for him to do it, he seems to show no fear in even the idea of this plan – because he’s done it before. And that’s inspiring!

So I’m just going to wish him a GREAT journey and thank him again for his part in adding to my BFI (my baggie full of inspiration).

Bring it home, Hippo!

Love and blessings to all. Whatever struggles you might have, I wish them gone. Be safe. Be happy. Be YOU!



2 thoughts on “Changing It Up

  1. Thanks for your inspiring message this morning. What a great read to start my week. I’m off to the gym in a few minutes and am now inspired to eat clean this week!!

    Liked by 1 person

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