An ode to #Movember

A Movember poem

Twas the last day of November
And all ‘round the world
Came screams of delight
From all women and girls

No more dodgy ‘taches
No caterpillars on lips
The mo’s came and went
Like a lunar eclipse

But money was raised
And for that we shout: “YAY”
Awareness was spread
Every. Single. Day.

To all the mo’s we say bye-bye
Hamba kahle
Until next November of course
When we relive the horror

Movember and I have this love/hate relationship. I simply love the fact that awareness is being created about cancer – particularly cancers that face men, because us men, generally, don’t care for our health the way we really should – and that funds are raised in the process. But I hate the fact that, basically, I have to have a moustache. I also hate the many people just grow moustaches and don’t go any further than that; they don’t go for check-ups, they don’t try raise any money for CANSA. They just grow the mo for gits and shiggles. It frustrates me, because Movember really could drastically change the face of men’s health if it’s used correctly by every person that decides to have the lesser-spotted Lip Caterpillar for the 30 days of November.


Anyway, let me get off my soap box and tell you what I did for Movember this year.

Unlike last year when – led by my awesome older brother Andrew – I raised as much money as we could, this year I decided to take the theme of “MOve” seriously. I got active. Changed my diet. Went to gym. Stopped drinking Coke. Seriously cut down on my alcohol intake. If Movember is about men’s health, then I guess using this month to get myself healthy is probably a good thing to do.

Sidebar: I had all my blood work done just a few months ago when I applied for life insurance, so I already knew that my cancer markers were clear, cholesterol level was excellent, I had no risk of diabetes, etc. So I didn’t do all of that this year, unlike 12 months ago.

Anyway, back to the being healthy thing. By all accounts, it went quite well. Most weekends I cheated a bit and had things that I probably shouldn’t have had. But I honestly could never live a life where I don’t actually have things that I want. Cutting back on them, yes, but not eating them at all just because I’m trying to drop some weight? Nah. Sorry. Not going to happen. But I digress…

This all coincided with me being the heaviest I’ve ever been. 111.9kg. Yep. Basically, that’s kak heavy. In fact, no, let’s not use the word “heavy”. That’s kak fat. Seriously fat. Unhealthily fat. You get the point. But since November 1, I’ve dropped down to 106.8kg. That’s 5.1kg in a month. I feel more energetic. I feel healthier. And the best part? I don’t have to take my wedding ring off all the time because my fingers were too fat for me to wear it properly. It feels pretty damn good.

Please don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a self pat on the back. I’m not trying to brag (I’m still fat, so there’s actually nothing to brag about here) in the least. The point is that I used the growing of a moustache to get healthier.

And it goes back to the point I made at the beginning of this point: campaigns like Movember are only worth something if they’re used to make differences in our own lives or the lives of others.

Me, during various stages of Movember. Top left is on November 30.
Me, during various stages of Movember. Top left is on November 30.

So next time you all decide to change your avatars to boobs for breast cancer awareness, or to a red ribbon for World Aids Day, or grow a moustache for 30 days, think about how you can do something extra to actually make a difference. Can you can donate to breast cancer survivor charities? Can you go get your breasts checked for cancer? Maybe you can go to an HIV/Aids children’s home and see if they need help (we don’t just have to do this on Mandela Day, by the way). And maybe you can consider using your powers moustache-growing for good by encouraging your friends and family to have that annual physical exam they’ve been putting off.

Because, after all, shouldn’t there be a point to all of this? I think so.

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