Didn’t Snooze Didn’t Lose


Everyday my mind wakes up a minute before my alarm goes and I have learnt to get up soon after. By get up I mean get out of bed and it is so funny that my body is so ready to go when that alarm goes. This wasn’t always the case especially as I was the poster child of the snooze button.

Thank God for smartphones so I can set more than one alarm. For a while now I would set four alarms half an hour apart, with the last one as the latest I could ever get up. Sounds ridiculous right? But that is how I used to roll. I’d snooze alarm 1, alarm 2, alarm 3 and think oh no…when alarm 4 goes off. In the process of thinking oh no, I would drop back to sleep and wake up like ten minutes into the pressure zone and from there on, the day is a mess.

Those days were relatively simple as I had to get the lil man and myself ready to run out the door. Not anymore. Now I needed to find at least forty minutes to workout before I start the usual school work routines. Initially I couldn’t see where to find the time. because I wake up at 5am and run out of the house at 7am having done this long list of things to get ready…where would I find the time?

Anyway, I decided to see how things would go from here. The next day, the four alarms went off, in their thirty minute intervals and though I was mostly awake between the first and last one I didn’t get up since it was still the holidays. When I finally I got up I went to apologise for not finding time and God stopped me in my tracks.

Do you seriously have no time to work out?

Just look at this routine…where is the time?

In the morning!

Really? Can’t you see how much I need to get done every morning?

There is indeed quite a bit to do but you waste two hours every morning?

You’re joking right?

Nope! Just watch yourself and see the truth.

Mmmmhhhh! How and where do I waste two hours a day? I’m sitting there scratching my head when in my mind I see my alarms going off…four alarms in half hour intervals…just do the math! Oh my! I snooze away two full hours every morning…two full hours…have I lost my mind? What a waste! What got to me even more is that I had done this for four years and never noticed it…what is wrong with me?

With a simple prod, my Father had I must deal with my perspective. I was so caught up in the middle of the madness that was life I couldn’t see it until he pointed it out. When he said two hours, I was like pssshhhh!!! Yet after careful searching there it was, two hours wasted but invisible because it was normal…I was used to it.

He didn’t leave it there though. So what if I had realised I was wasting time, what was I going to do about it? What else couldn’t I see about my life that needed his perspective? What was my next action? He prodded till I decided to wake up with the first alarm. Yes! Two hours earlier than I used to. It wasn’t easy but I was determined to make my Father proud, I was determined to follow His word over me and His faith in me!

He knows the plans He has established for me. He had gathered help from unlikely distances. He has gathered witnesses to learn from the process. He has said that all things are possible with Him, surely I can draw near to Him and hold on to the plan in total faith and fidelity!

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It is a daily walk to rise above the normal to see HIS reality and connect dots to the destination HE set out for me.

Beautiful Pain.


A while ago I stepped up the workout and entered the unknown. I opened up the app and it said Paleo Run. I thought, ‘Ok, not too bad they look simple enough,’ and I started. Wah! In the middle I wanted to quit but my Father kept asking me ‘What do you think you are doing?’ So I kept trudged on.

A few days later I switched the routine again and felt like my body was shaking, burning and crashing all in one. Oh I needed wisdom to understand this one. My God! How is it that my body is complaining so hard yet You had asked me to step it up? My body is on fire from the inside and relief only comes when I stopped the workout. Yet I could hear within me, ‘Just finish!’ So I slogged, dragged, crawled, clawed and finished, and I am not being dramatic. You should have seen me collapsed on my exercise mat once I was done…it was a sight!

In theory I had heard people say they hurt after workouts but oh I had never experienced it myself. I have worked out before and lost weight and gained definition but the pain I have felt as I have stayed the course and increased the intensity is totally new. Coach said it is normal so I went online to read and found it is true. Ok, did I doubt him? Tihihi…for a bit because I couldn’t get that this pain was good for me. In fact when I mentioned the aches and pain, his response was ‘Good!’ Like really? How now? Sometimes I think he is a slave driver then I remember how I asked God for help and he sent coach so I relent.

As I searched I found out that it is important to keep switching up my workout so that my body doesn’t get used to it and slow down. This reminded me of Ma’s workout that was so diverse every day. If you follow her thread, it is such a diverse mix of stuff that blows my mind. As I paid closer attention I realised that she too talked about the pain, and the shakes as did my sister Mandarina. Aha!!!! I am not abnormal! I even found the hashtag #pushingpastthepain and found I am not alone in this journey.

You should have seen me dance and embrace the pain. Embrace it in the sense that this was part of the process to let go of the old form and sculpt a new form. It was part of the process to move from the old me to a new and better me. Oh there have been days when in the middle I ask myself what I was thinking and answer that it is all about obedience to God. Other days I want to just cry and give up but when I stop I hear my heart ask, ‘You are actually going to give up?’

My body has refused to let me quit even when every muscle is screaming. My body has decided she is on track to the prize laid out for her by her Father so I align and connect to that path fully and joyfully because this is the road to victory. It got me thinking…what else do I need to change and shift in other areas of my life. you see, I don’t believe this process is only about my health and fitness. I have come to see that it is a precursor for a life of #NoExcuses and #NoLimitations going forward.

IMG20180116184928.jpgSo Father, what else do I need to see that I need to grow and stretch and hurt through to become a better version of me for you? what other areas of growth are there for me to move through? How does this process intertwine with the other processes around me? Please help me see the real depth of what you are doing inside me and walk with you diligently as  you change me despite the pain of the change. Have you way!

No More Me Too


Over the years I have said over and over that each one must hear God for themselves and this morning I was reminded of that.

Health and fitness has been and continues to be a clarion call in the family with different people doing different things. There is one program that quite a few of us are on and the results are seen in days…literally. On the outside I was fine not to be on that program but as I heard from more and more of my siblings what they were doing I begun to ask if I too should be on it. Crazy right?

One day, in a conversation with my ma, I received clarity. She was sharing her journey and how God has been very intentional step by step with her and I realised that I too needed to remain committed to my process with Him. If I was honest with myself, for a moment I had lapsed back into the ‘me too’ thought process and walked away from my uniqueness in God. I had forgotten that because He made me specifically, He would have a specific plan for me and the levels of specificity would be so high that no one else’s plan would work.

Talk about course correction. I had to stop and ask God again, what the plan was for me. oh my! Speechless! There were things He planned to break and shift in  me that could only happen when I found out my personal self-limiting thoughts and destroyed them at the root. There were things he wanted to highlight so that I would never go back there. There are things that will only stick if I find them out the exact way He would have me find them out. You know how a parent shakes their head in disbelief when their child throws a tantrum? I could see God looking at me similar.

I have said many times to people that we all need to find who God says we are from before the foundations of the earth and live in that way and here I was putting that aside to be like everyone else. In the place I am positioned, this operating like everyone else will not get me more friends. My family is wise enough and have discernment to pick up on the things that are out of place and call them out without fear because God has commanded us to be true to who He has said we are and we will in the end be accountable for that.

This has allowed me to settle into my process and keep my eyes focused on the goal set with my Father in Heaven. It has also opened the door for me to be honest with myself and see perspectives I would never have seen. One of the greatest things I have found is a very deep faith in God and His word over me. The word that never changes and can be challenged and stand strong.

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His word is reliable because, He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Shalom.

 

Push Through…Come On!


In the past, I had convinced myself that I couldn’t do certain exercises. I had determined in my head that they were too hard and I would never be able to get them straight so I would injure myself. Where had this come from? Oh, quite simple, a corner of life I had refused to deal with…where else? Here I was in the middle of nursing an injury needing to push myself more and more daily but there was a corner of my mind I needed to deal with.

I had conquered sit ups with practise now I needed to use that strength to conquer the next thing…planking. For those who don’t know what it is…check this out. I also had to figure out variety because I didn’t want my body to get used to the same routine so I looked through the exercise book on the app I am using.

Oh the capacity to say I can’t do that, I can’t do that, I can’t to that was so strong I had to look it in the face and find out why. My maternal grandfather always told his children, thankfully not his grandchildren, ‘Can’t is a word in a fools dictionary.’ So I am no fool so I needed to get that word out of the way. However, the greater driver had to come from my walk with God.

Had he asked me to follow this path? Yes! Does he change his mind? Not often! Does he set impossible routes for us? Never. I know some will say that he puts things in our paths that are painful and we cannot bear but he also promises to never leave us nor forsake us, he promises to be our shield and buckler, he promises to lead us in the dark places…so why was I being so foolish?

‘Dear Lord, you say all things are possible with you as long as I believe, so I am standing on your word for this one. I cannot do it if I try and I need to be able to get past this fear so please help me.’ Oh and bit by bit he came through. I am seeing incremental growth; little steps from 10 second planks to 15 seconds to 20 seconds; from only two reps to five or six reps of planking; from 5 sit ups to 10 sit ups the list is endless of these little steps.

Every day I marvel at how we have done and then share with coach and true to form he celebrates with me but always asks, ‘Can you do five more and add one more rep?’ The other day I bit back with, ‘Surely give my body time to acclimatise!’ His response was calm as ever, ‘I didn’t mean you add today, I just need you to keep the thought of adding front and centre.’ Guess what…the next morning my Father in heaven asked, ‘So how many more can we add to this set?’ I’m like…really? Can’t these two give me a break?

You know the answer as well as I do; No! They won’t give me a break until we reach the goal and then God changes the course and we keep going. So I press on towards the mark that is set out for me because He who begun the good work in me is faithful to complete it, I just have to agree with him.

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Come on Mountain…Move!


This journey would not be possible without a level of faith. Oh I thought I had strong faith before but this journey has taught me that faith is a daily thing.

Twenty days into my exercise journey I hurt my leg in the most unusual way. Hahahaha, there’s no usual way to get injured but wah!!! We were setting up for a family celebration and there were challenges with some of the décor items. I had a brain wave and went to action it when I slipped on a stone and severely twisted a muscle in my foot. Oh how unexpected to get injured…how unexpected.

Now I know that seeing stars is real because I saw stars and was blinded for a quick moment as my heart cried out, ‘Oh God please stop any major injury that I can serve and complete my task today.’ It was as if my foot moved backward and something internally shifted but the pain was there. I finished my portion with a very slight limp then asked one of sisters to rub my leg because I needed someone who would not relent when I felt pain. We confirmed that it wasn’t a break or ankle sprain and for that I was glad

Oh but I felt pain to the point of seeing stars again. Wah! How can something be so painful? Surely, how can this happen just when I was getting the rhythm of regular workout? How oh how? I drove home as the swelling hit and the throbbing started but thanks to a wonderful lil man, there was hot water for soaking ready when I got home.

What surprised me though was that my biggest concern wasn’t that I was injured but that I wouldn’t be able to work out in the morning. Can you imagine just how much God had done in twenty days? As I lay down to rest my ardent prayer was ‘Lord, please help me find a way to work out even with this injury.’

By morning, wisdom had arrived…we’d take two days off major exercise and I would flex the foot as often as I could handle the pain. When we resume on Monday the focus for three weeks, would be exercises I could do sitting and without pressure on my foot. This meant exercises like planking, sit ups and push ups that I’d wanted to avoid for a little longer.

You know those things that just give you a brain freeze when you think about them that look like the Himalayas? These exercises did just that for me. My ready excuse to coach was I don’t know how to do sit ups, but quickly I found myself online looking through videos *hides*. There was one video I felt I needed to watch but wilfully decided to skip it but alas, that is the very video coach sent. Ah! This God, He was thwarting me at every turn so I decided to listen.

‘Dear Father, please help me shift the mountain in my mind and cause my body to follow,’ was all I could pray and He answered it to a T. Every day I slogged through the exercises until I could do them well. The miracle was after watching the video I had tried to skip I could do sit ups without residual back and neck tension meaning I finally got it right. For sure, God had shifted me, albeit by force but He had shifted me and I wasn’t going back.

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Every day I ask for a new level of faith to make it through and God continues to be faithful. Every day He says, ‘…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ Matt 28:20

Baby Steps


Once the exercise started, it was hard. I had to figure out what to do, how to do it and do it well. It came to me that when God sets out to do something, He does it in spectacular fashion. Think about how He created the world and filled it such beauty that we marvel every day. Better still think of how intricately each of us is made and how wonderful it is to be unique and special.

With such a Father in Heaven what excuses do I have? I also thought of my Daddy, the one man who has pushed me to this place of greater commitment to God and the one who has set a very high example. Daddy would never give up on an instruction no matter the intensity. So what was I doing thinking about not finishing an instruction?

As if that wasn’t enough, God highlighted other members of my family who are on this journey and are pushing on despite life. He reminded me that when He suggested I follow this road, I agreed to work with Him and when I asked for help, He sent Coach. Why was I looking for reasons to get out?

In reality, I didn’t have any valuable excuses. Since when were excuses valuable? I think I meant viable there but valuable could also work here. Ooops, I digress! There was no option but to go forward so I buckled down and worked hard…real hard. I couldn’t measure myself with my siblings because they are ahead so I had to find a way. I worked hard according to where I am in life; the statement, each one to his own, became my mantra.

When I stall, Coach keeps saying baby steps. It didn’t make sense until I woke up one day and couldn’t remember why I even started this journey. I didn’t want to get out of bed let alone work out. Yet the voice on the inside simply said, get up? Yeah, that one…every morning it got me up accompanied by Coach’s ‘let me know what you do today.’

If you know God like I do, you know He knows the exact help we need and provides it, PAP! The challenge is whether or not we accept the route provided. In this instance, I needed to make the choice every day to get up and work out. I had to make a daily choice. No excuses. Suddenly it was clearer why Coach has always said I had to figure out  what exercise I would do, the combination, intensity, frequency etc.

Right then I knew I had to do this but it would not going to be on my terms. I would need help every day and I would ask God for help daily. This way I won’t ever think about giving up. I know that He will provide help as He deems best and I will reach our goal.

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Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

Boot up


The conversation so far has been about food but exercise was in the mix from day six.

I was patting myself on the back about being good, posting pictures for coach to see what I was eating and really biding time; when I was younger we used to call it mark timing. It was interesting to see my food choices and I was so fascinated there so I simply stayed. I also too scared to exercise lest I made a fool of myself and stopped in the process.

Alas, nothing passes coach. You know those people who remember what you told them you will do and keep you accountable? That is my coach. He watched and waited and watched and waited but after four days of nothing, he voiced his concerns in his calm voice. I have never heard him raise his voice at anyone, and he has never told me off without a calm voice…oh, I digress.

You’re on point, so far, with food. Workouts are yet to be done

Yeah, I need to get gear and I don’t know what to do

Hahahaha….even as I said it I know that wouldn’t last and for sure a couple minutes later there are three sets of links in the chat (eye roll). How is it this one person is so intent on pushing me? Can’t a girl get a break?

Those two can be remedied easily.

Oh yeah?

Have you seen the links?

Yes

Look through them and let me know which works

Ok

So you will work out today?

Like really? Can’t I just have a day off and figure out what I am going to do and when and then tell him? Does he have to be so intent?

Yes.

Ok, I’ll check in later.

Sawa!

That is when it all came rushing in. It isn’t that I didn’t want to work out, not at all. I just didn’t want to say I would do something and then fail at it. Does that make sense? The thing that had held me in the place of indecision was fear. How many other times had I started a routine that didn’t go anywhere? How many times had I worked out and hurt myself? How often had I asked for advice and been told just look online?

If I was going to do this task and do it well I would have to dig deep and face these fears and uncertainties and win. I would have to be sure of the steps I am taking and learn to ask for help with I didn’t know. I would have to get out of my place of comfort and try new things and fail or not to them too well then rise again and conquer.

That is when I remembered that my Father in Heaven has promised to be with me even to the end of the age and since he is the one who got me on this path he has a plan for my good that begun here…facing the things I feared most, trusting him to carry me through to the other side and just stay the course.

So I started that day. It wasn’t all that but I was determined to start. I would do at least one exercise if that was all I could do and I did. Alas! First of all it wasn’t one and it wasn’t as hard as I had thought it would be. Oh I was out of shape but I was also not totally lost either.

I finished and was making breakfast for my boys when the lil man walked in, looked at me and said, ‘Mum you look really nice.’ Oh precious, even as it wasn’t about the fat I had lost, it was the strength I needed to commit to the process.

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Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deuteronomy 31:6