My Story

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…Once Upon A Time…

In South Africa, the fairest kingdom of them all, there was a little girl who dreamed of all the magic in the world. Some called her quirky and erratic, while others saw her as being curious and peculiar. The child grew into a woman and finally realised what it was that made her so unique…

For where her peers had ceased to believe in fairy tales, she never did. In her mind, the thorns did not detract from the beauty of the rose… if anything, they added to it. Where other girls grew up wanting to be princesses, she always thought of herself as a fairy. Because although princesses were the heroines of their own stories, fairies were the ones who enabled the princesses to create their own happy endings…

‘You’re Entirely Bonkers.

But I’ll Tell You A Secret…

All The Best People Are.’

– Alice In Wonderland

Ahoy there! My name is Marelize, but you can call me Lize… and I am the brains, the boobs and the booty behind THE WHIMSICAL REBEL brand!

I am a Capetonian – born and bred! I grew up with a very proud, warm (and mischievous!) Afrikaans family who live to eat, and sometimes take a break to sleep, laugh or help their neighbours. I have a technologically-advanced, younger brother whose stature can be described as anything but “little”. Now, if I want to scold him, he just look down at little ol’ me and smirks… My parents separated when I was 7 years old and divorced a year later. My mother is my hero and one of the main reasons why I am where I am today – including why this website now exists. I could not have done any of this without her love, wisdom, support, patience and humour!

(If you’re reading this, Mamma, thank you again and I love you! Xx)

I went to Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof, a high-achieving, Afrikaans all-girls high school in Stellenbosch, where I, an outspoken, opiniated, pale, curvy midget obsessed with the fantasy worlds of Lord of the Rings, did not always fit in very well. Still, I enjoyed my time there, mostly thanks to the equally weird friends I made: Christine (a true bohemian artist who can answer any question about Potterworld even better than J.K. Rowling), Olivia (a quiet, clever soul with an amazing sense of humour, big heart and a love of all things fauna and flora), and, my best friend, Roné (a nerdy, curly-haired dog lover and the only person I’ve ever met who’s weirder than I am). I graduated with an A-average. In fact, I got an A in all my subjects, except in Physical Science (I was short with exactly one percent… gaaaah!!).

After high school, I attended Stellenbosch University (SU), where I was pursuing a Bachelor of Accounting degree. All in the hopes of becoming a Chartered Accountant – a CA(SA) – like my mother and grandfather before me. I had already been snapped up to do my postgraduate articles with Deloitte & Touche, a top accounting firm, back when I was still just 17 years old. My future seemed set in stone.

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But then, back in 2015, during my second year at Maties, my father passed away and dealing with the fallout of his death broke me, again and again, for almost two years afterwards. I was almost obliterated by the greatest villain of all – fear. My father’s death brought it all to the forefront. Denial was no longer an option. I was confronted, overwhelmed and at times defeated by my own inner darkness: the fear that I wasn’t good enough, that there was something inherently wrong with me, and that, sooner or later, I would fail in such a manner that everyone I cared about most would see it too, and reject me forever.

I dropped out of Accounting and took two gap years to receive intense therapy, process my grief and figure out what the hell I was supposed to do next. During that time, I was little more than a ghost. To be honest, I don’t remember much of what happened back then. Not because I did drugs or used alcohol, I was just numb and dead to the world.

I had three choices open to me: I could let my fear and grief define me, destroy me or let it strengthen me. And after being reminded by my mother and other loved ones just how much I and this life still had to offer, I chose the latter. Since then, my fears and failures have become my strength and inspiration. Ironically, it was from my own greatest darkness that my greatest, brightest light was born.

‘Life Itself Is The Most Beautiful Fairy Tail Of All.’

– Hans Christian Andersen

I became the whimsical rebel that transcends fears, because I refuse to give up on the dreams I have, the life I want and the person I am. I follow my heart and, although I’m still waiting for my magic wand to arrive in the mail, I’ve learned to make do with a pen (or you know, a keyboard), a camera and a good view.

The road to getting where I am now was a very bumpy, scary, lonely and often painful one. Many of my loved ones struggled to accept my change in career choice and I have had to make many sacrifices in pursuit of this dream. Rejecting a profession I had been conditioned to believe was right for me since age 12, losing my father so suddenly and surviving the fallout of my decision to pursue a less traditional career… I didn’t always deal with it as well I could have.

Some people turn to alcohol, drugs, over-the-counter medication, sex, exercise or even criminal activities when coping with grief and pain. I turned to emotional eating, binge-eating and at times, even purging. Since my father’s death in 2015, I gained more than 50 kg in my struggle at “adulting”.

‘She’s A Mess Of Gorgeous Chaos.
And You Can See It In Her Eyes.’

Last year on my 23rd birthday, I realised that I needed to take back my life, regain my health and be responsible for my own happiness. And so, THE WHIMSICAL REBEL was born on 4 August 2018, although I had been carrying around the idea of the brand for years before that.

While studying towards a bachelor’s degree in Psychological Counselling through the University of South Africa (UNISA), I am also in the process of becoming a Real Meal Revolution certified Banting coach. In addition, I am almost done with an internationally-recognised health coaching diploma from the University of the Free State (UFS) and Coaching with Impact!. I am also completing a diploma in counselling children and adolescents from the University of South Africa (UNISA) this year.

Once my studies are completed, I hope to specialise in counselling, coaching and mentoring individuals whose fear, unresolved traumas and insecurity manifest in their diet, health and lifestyle. Think emotional eating, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, anxiety, food addictions, etc. – all things I have personal experience in.

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Today, at 24 years old, life to me is still a fairy tale, a seemingly ordinary story where the extraordinary happens when we manage to do the impossible. I believe in fairy tales not because they tell us that darkness exists, but because they teach us that darkness can be overcome and used to create light and happiness once more…

The truth is we all make mistakes. We all experience darkness and despair at some point in our lives. And sooner or later, we all feel like giving up. We all have fears born of our worst memories that threaten to drown us. But in those moments… those terrifying, lonely, dark moments… it is faith, hope and love – the stuff of fairy tales – that make us keep going until we see the light in both ourselves and our lives once more.

My goal in life is to inspire others to do the same, to help them see the beauty, the strength and the magic in themselves and the world around them, and to motivate them never to give up while that potential for light still lives on.

To that end, I am sharing my own journey in becoming fearless in my passion for life and my faith in myself, while trying to soak up as much beauty and adventure in this world as possible!

‘I’m Going To Do What I Want To Do.
I’m Going To Be Who I Really Am.
I’m Going To Figure Out What That Is.’

– Emma Watson

Besides my busy lifestyle, I have a love for exploring the world around me and finding new ways to grow, pushing the limits and experiencing as much of life as I can. No regrets. I am continually searching for new adventures, looking to create new memories and wanting to add to my own life’s story.

When I’m not working or writing, I enjoy losing myself in different realities – whether real or fictional! Exploring the Winelands and Cape Peninsula with my friends and camera, reading books, watching movies or going out dancing are some of my favourite pastimes!

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I really do believe that we should all be FEARLESS in pursuit of the life we want, and REBEL against the voices that tell us to hold back. Who and what you are is up to you, however WEIRD your choices may seem to the outside world.

Besides showcasing my transformation of losing weight, becoming healthier and being more active, THE WHIMSICAL REBEL will also provide you with a window into my lifestyle and experiences as a health and Banting coach. You will find stories of my adventures, my thoughts on everyday issues and a wealth of information of becoming a healthier, happier you. Not to mention many tasty, guilt-free recipes!

This website explores my own personal tastes, experiences, memories and life lessons as a young woman with a passion for life and a hunger to become the best version of herself. I’m ready for a lifetime of adventures!

I hope that through reading the posts on this website and witnessing my own journey, you too will feel inspired to make your dreams happen and live your best life!

Follow my story as I pledge to become my best self, lose over half my body weight, and build a happy, healthy life! Join me in this fairy tale and share in the seemingly-ordinary things that add a touch of magic to everyday life!

HAPPY READING!

Be weird! Be random! Be you! With much love, Lize. Xx

‘Because It’s Never Too Late To Have Love, Laughter And Live Happily, Ever After…’

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Photos taken at the Ecology Lifestyle Farm in Botrivier during December 2018.

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