THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Start Where You Are…


We are never at our best when we start but it is possible to get past that.  Think of Why you want to lose weight or get fit; what you want to change (lose belly, more energy, better shape…etc); What you want to look like (smaller but still curvy); and how you want to feel (lighter, energetic, younger etc) then set a smaller goal to achieve….

My current journey is a result of 5 years of saying I will, starting and stopping and achieving nothing…absolutely nothing because I expected to fail and so I failed miserably. In Dec I had a casual conversation with a friend who offered to help but I had to choose my goals, set my targets, then tell him and he will hold me to account.

I honestly didn’t expect much because this was a familiar road of failure and I knew the excuses I would give. He listened each time I gave an excuse and responded with a firm answer and encouragement each time and of course the reminder that these goals were mine not his so all he had to do was ask. I began doing things so I didn’t disappoint him and it worked for a while. One day after binge eating…he asked me.. *Are you stronger than food or is food stronger than you?*

That was all the trigger I needed. I reminded myself that I am doing this for me, because I want to operate at optimum and make things work out better. So I shifted from making coach happy with the work out to is my body happy with this workout? Have I done all I could do to milk these few minutes? Is my food helping my body? Etc.

I must confess there are days when I don’t do it all the way I want to do it (like all the bread I have eaten recently) but I no longer wallow in guilt, rather I ask what I need to do to make this right.

It is a process that changes your body, mind and spirit if you allow it because it reveals the things you tell yourself and the responses you give. Accountability helps because initially coach would ask about my workout, now I send it in voluntarily…of course I also want him off my case some times.

The point is to decide to start…just start where you are; with what you have; for a reason that is dear to your heart. The rest comes one day at a time; an instruction at a time.

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK

When The Scale Doesn’t Move…


In the beginning of this process the scale was moving and the weight numbers were dropping; not as rapidly as I wanted but dropping all the same. Oh wow! I was excited, over the moon happy, feeling victorious…then it stopped! BOOM! No warning, no explanation, just stopped! After a bit it began climbing…yes, it went up instead of down as I thought it should. Wait a minute! This was a fitness and weight loss challenge to my body so the goals were to lose weight right??? Sure, but the scale was going up. Oh my God!!! What is happening? What am I doing wrong? Oh my God!!! Oh my God!!!

I shared with some people and they said, ‘Oh, don’t worry, maybe you are putting on muscle and that is good.’ ‘Yeah right!!!’ I would think, ‘Just shut up if you have nothing to say!!’ The weight gain caught me by surprise and flustered me quite a bit because I couldn’t understand what to do, if I should accept it and how to get over it all.

I stewed for a bit before sharing with coach because I didn’t want to disappoint him but I got to the end of me and needed wisdom. You know how you want to protect your image and come across as knowledgeable? Or how you don’t want someone to look at you in pity or sadness because of the reversed direction of progress? Well, this process is the daily stripping of that in me so I had to deal with those emotions. So I shared my latest weigh in photo accompanied by ‘😲…how could this be possible?’ This God! He knew I needed a calm coach who would deflect the madness that could rise in me. Coach calmly said, ‘Check the fit of your clothes.’

BOOM!!! It’s not rocket science! Why hadn’t I thought about that? I could be losing fat or mass. So I began to check how things fitted; were they too big or too small? Did they flow well? Did the fitted skirts sit well? Did the flowing skirts flow better? And my word…there was a difference indeed. Indeed! The fit of my clothes had changed; it was more comfortable, the length was what it used to be, there were less challenges and I was happy but there was another side…fewer things fitted now. I needed to let go of things that were too big.

I danced around then gave coach feedback and he was happy for me. I thought things were over but true to who he is in God, coach followed up a few weeks later with, ‘You mentioned a change in the clothes fit…how big/small is the change, where is the most change? Are there certain areas your trying to focus on?’

Once gain I realised, yes, it was important to celebrate the success and to the wardrobe clean up but I couldn’t afford to get stuck there…I had to keep moving no matter what. There was no room for laxity because all those grams will come back in full force and will probably bring some friends along. Wah! No rest for the weary! Wait a minute…that isn’t the right statement. It is…‘No rest for the committed!!!’

IMG20180324082524.jpgNow I could see it clearly…My Father’s instruction was because

He knew who He made me

He knew that path ahead and what I needed and who I needed to be for it

HE knew it was time to make me shift into the right gear.

 

He provided the internal prompt, the external source of strength, the internal determination to do this and finally a cheering squad to remind me how far I have come.

I love this my Father.

 

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Re-calibrate; Re-think


The sun shall no longer be your light by day; Nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; But the Lord will be to you an everlasting light and your God your glory; Your sun shall no longer go down nor shall your moon withdraw itself; For the Lord will keep your everlasting light and the days of your mourning shall be ended; Also your people shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting the work of my hands that I may be glorified; A little one shall become a thousand and a small hand a strong nation; I, the Lord will hasten it in its time.                                                                                  Isaiah 60:19-22

Arise shine for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.                                                                      Isaiah 60:1

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When He gives a game plan nothing can stand in its way other than me. As He works on one area He intends for me to use this session of shifting as a basis of lasting change and the lessons in other areas of shifting.

When I struggle with change, it is intended to reveal what really stands in my way. It reveals my real motivations, desires, hang ups and all those things I need to let go. When I see how far I have come it is intended to keep me celebrating His grace and strength for the journey.

It is He who is my light and my salvation

It is He who is the glory of my transformation

It is HE who is my righteousness

It is HE who is my strength

It is HE who is my inheritance

I do nothing and achieve nothing other than in and through Him and I only rise and shine because HE is within me.

The beauty you see, the glow in me, the grace you perceive is because of HIM at work in me.

Today it’s all about re-calibrating and sticking to the centre.

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK

It Wasn’t About That…


Oh I have always loved thick juice so smoothies weren’t a stretch too far from there. I learnt to make smoothies about three years ago and as often as I could I had one at home. This day I went to one of the hot spots in town and they add so much ice into theirs it waters it down completely so I stopped having them when I was out.

Imagine the day when I was told to add green smoothies to my life. My first response was eeewwww! Hahahaha! I entertain myself sometimes. How could I even add that to my life? Get this…raw spinach or sukuma (kale)…no way! No way…tell me something else but not raw spinach. I love raw vegetables but raw spinach or Sukuma…no way!!! Off I stomped!

Two days later the thought not only came back but a link was highlighted for me to see a seven day green smoothie challenge. It is called Simple7 and this time however, it wasn’t a suggestion, rather it was an instruction and there was no way getting around it, so I signed up and received an interesting ebook. What was interesting about the book? It was simple to read and short. Oh and it had lots of pictures.

The ingredients weren’t  too bad and I can find most of them around at a reasonable price or easily substitute for the ones I couldn’t find. Please note I am still thinking ewwww! I still want to hold my nose in anticipation that it will taste and smell bad. Hehehehehehe! Shock on me!!! The mango and banana made the smoothies tasty, smooth and oh so lovely. The added benefit is the support group on Facebook that makes it easier and better. So I joined and I realised I wasn’t the only one who had never done a green smoothie, I wasn’t the only one who was just starting. I wasn’t the only one who was learning.

Now I am in love with those smoothies. Many people around laugh whenever I talk about my smoothies because of the joy they see I have found in them. The thing that has surprised me is the number of questions and shocked looks I get when I post the pictures online. There is interest and disbelief in equal measure about the ingredients and the frequency I take them. A couple of people have even asked if I could make and deliver to them.

If I am honest with myself, the smoothies have really helped. Not only do they give that satisfying feeling with less but I have noticed my digestive system is more efficient when I am regular on the smoothies. For those two benefits, I will continue on this path. Yet there are bigger things in play here.

I had judged the idea of smoothies to be unsavoury. I had judged the situation to be below me. I had determined that I would never ever take a smoothie that wasn’t really sweet and flavourful not knowing that a green one could be just that. So what else is God asking me to do that is good for me but on the outside doesn’t look as pretty? What do I need to shift my mind about and just do before I experience the goodness of the benefit? How must I be from today onwards to become all that He has said I am?

 

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Unexpectedly In Water


Unexpectedly I found myself in the pool recently. Yes unexpectedly because I am not one to seek out going to the pool. I don’t even apologise for that. I was out of town and it was really great to be able to work out in a new environment with new routes to explore and different exercise combinations.

Lo and behold, one day I woke up knowing today was the day I would get into the pool. I’d been there for three days and my lil man went in for several hours every day but I didn’t ever remember there was a pool. Talk about focus, hahaha! On this day, it was late afternoon and I was hanging with the lil man who had already spent three hours in the pool yet as soon as I walked out in my swimsuit he quickly dashed off and changed and off we went to the pool. Talk about a nice small, warm pool with the warm evening sky, lots of greenery but the sun was hot.

It had been a crazy hot day and so this was indeed to cool things off yet it wasn’t a lazy dip. I just don’t know how to play in a pool. It was a work out regime so I began laps as the lil man timed me and oh what fun. After a while I did laps on the length and he did laps along the width till he ensured I had done forty six laps.  Now for the seasoned swimmer, this less than twenty meter pool is nothing but for me…eish, it was big because the last time I was in the pool was more than five years ago. Key word being more than…

It occurred to me that I should make a point of waking up to do more laps for the morning workout. Now life conspired to ensure I did laps because it rained all night and into the morning so all the roads I usually walk on and the beach were soaked. I slept in and still finished the workout before the rain stopped so off I went to the pool. What a blast. Coastal areas a great because the rain doesn’t chill the environment as much as it does higher up.

Oh that wasn’t all, an hour and a half later, I just wanted to go back to sleep because my body was just tired. Worn out tired!!! Then I understood something. Swimming is a whole different animal than all the other workouts I do. It is deceptive because water is buoyant and depending on the stroke you do, light and smooth but later you realise that you worked more muscles than you are aware of. Hahahahaha. Oh ask me in person!

Even as I sit to write this, I am still sore but because my body is getting stronger I am able to do more and keep going. As we worked our way through the train station with children and luggage it amazed me just how much I could do without having to stop and catch my breath. Every time I had to pick the bags and move I was reminded that I am stronger. Every time I have thought about the laps I did I realise I am stronger. So even with a tired body I celebrate that I am stronger so I keep going.

I realised that there have been changes in my muscles and posture brought about by the consistent exercise and the opposite would be true. It made me spend the rest of the trip meditating on the things God has allowed me to pass through and I have agreed and the end result it has produced. It got me thinking about how one experience could look like it is easy but the challenge to my system and the change internally may be unseen for a period. Above all, I realised that as long as I am willing to fulfil every instruction I receive from God, growth will happen even if it is unseen and one day when He asks me to lift something the growth will show.

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So I say that whatever he has asked of me to do, that I will do because I know that he is faithful to complete it and will support me all the way the way the water did as I swam.

What about you? What will you do with your life?

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Totally Phonestruck.


You know you are addicted to something when you keep looking for it or reaching out for it. I realised that I may be addicted to my phone. I say this hiding behind my hand…I actually want to hide away.

My phone died as I got onto the train to Nairobi from Mombasa. Before you judge, let me say that no, I don’t have a power bank and maybe I should get one, but the bigger reason was that power went out in the morning before we left so my plan to charge my phone was bust. After all, I do have one of those phones that hold charge well.

Anyway, back to the story…I am the kind who takes pictures of nature or am chatting or reading something on my phone. My life is on and around my phone and until this moment I didn’t realise how much. So here I am reaching out for it to check and it is blank; dark screen; nothing; nada. Wah!!! That was a new place. I hadn’t really intended to work on the trip but what else to do when my travel companions were asleep and I could use the laptop to charge my phone?

It got me thinking though, that there are aspects of my life that I am not aware of. Don’t get me wrong, I knew what I was working on, I knew when I was getting up and all but there were habits hidden under the layers of life that have been coming up one by one to be dealt with and my phone activity has just popped up. For a while now, I have said that I have hold over my phone and how I can control my use and interaction. Ha! That isn’t really looking true right now.

As I have spent time working on what I eat, how much I eat, when I eat, how often I exercise, how intensely I exercise and seeing the results, I have found heightening awareness of the rest of my life. It is heightened to the point that I can see the places I am lying to myself about things. So how addicted am I to my phone? Very! How do I know? Because the separation anxiety I felt this afternoon as I sat on the train with a dead phone was too real.

A phone isn’t a bad thing really but the hold it has on me is what caught my attention. In all honesty, my phone is important because of the nature of my work. I am consistently writing, posting, reading and all those essential online tasks yet I suddenly realised that I was too connected to it and I need to find ways to actively disconnect. It was easier before I was in this line of work but I need to find a method and the Father who has helped me to make the life change will help me make the phone change.

Something has to be done and soon and I know it is possible and I am excited to do this thing. Why am I confident I can do it? look at me seventy two days into my life shift making better choices than I have made in the last few years. As we packed to travel we opted to make juice to carry that we can account for the sweetness instead of buying soda on the way. We opted to look for healthy snacks as long as is possible. Even as I have been away on holiday I have been waking up and working out every day just as I do at home.

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Oh if I have grown so much in one area, surely what about disconnecting from my phone will be impossible to do? I am sure that we can conquer this.

For nothing is impossible with God.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Internally Driven


Automaticity is when a habit becomes so ingrained that you do it naturally without thinking about it: Robin Sharma.

It is the point in life when the mind and body are one in a task because of doing it over and over in a set sequence for a set reason to a set outcome. Let me break it down.

It takes 21 days to break or gain a habit, however for many people, the habit learned doesn’t always last. Why? Simple, because it is important to practise that habit until it becomes very close to a reflex and this takes time. in reality, after the 21 day period, you need to practise it for at least forty five (45) days to ensure that it sticks for good; i.e. becomes automatic…that is automaticity and it takes 66 days.

I learnt about automaticity a long time ago but doubted it 100%. I even tried it but it didn’t work so I decided it doesn’t work. Don’t judge! That was then. My current life has not only reminded me of its reality but has proven that it actually works. The fitness and health journey has made it possible for me to shift and in time things have become easier to do. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the workouts are still challenging and I am still changing it up to keep the body guessing but there are things I have learnt that help me push on daily.

The funniest one is that I work out in one form or the other every day or I feel sick. Yes! I feel sick to the point that one of my friends was laughing at me. Even funnier is that recently I was travelling and couldn’t work out in the morning because of how early we were leaving, yet as soon as I was up my body was revving to workout. I actually felt a little bit off that day because my body hadn’t broken into its daily sweat yet. Hahaha! Yup!

Automaticity is of great benefit because it is the point where our bodies flip into gear and operate at full capacity for the intended period, goal and outcome.

A friend who runs 13 km every morning before work has found that once he gets past the 5km mark his body regulates and picks a rhythm that gets him all the way to the end. The first 5km are a stretch, a fight and a push but once over that, he  is able to keep going after that with ease.

It is important to hit this place where I am trained, primed and tuned to things and make it easier to work on. This is achieved by consistent effort, with a defined goal, over a given period to yield outstanding results. Now in the body it takes 66 days to retrain the mind and body so it is realistic to set four big goals for the year.

Let me take this a little further. I am reminded that God doesn’t necessarily need such practice through He allows it for his glory. I could gain a new position in the 66 days or by his grace he can give me an instant solution. Either way, God is the one who shifts positions when I work with and for Him. Once He shifts my position I must practise the position and commit to the change and become everything He has said I am. It is one thing to be shifted to a new position but I must put the work in to grow in and maintain the position.

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What are you doing to retain yours?

What are you allowing God to build in you?

As for me, It is a daily walk and work. I am working; daily practice.