The Simple Life

Drill Master Needed


How often do we say we don’t know the way forward yet all we need to do is to reconnect with who God has said we are and ask Him to clarify everything all the time? I’d say too often. How often do we use common statements when we don’t really understand what they actually mean to us and how we must live them out? What are those things we do just because we have always done them yet we don’t understand the reason behind them?

I dare say it is time to question everything, absolutely everything in and around us.

There are things I need to understand and grow into that only God can highlight, explain, and shift for me. There is nothing impossible with God so as long as I concentrate on what He has said and how He has instructed me I will be able to deliver the same. Yet I cannot concentrate if I don’t have a full picture of Him and where we are going… the guiding light. The picture that would give me the capacity to keep walking and remain committed to the path no matter what. A real picture of whom I am in God and who I need to become that I can hold onto.

I must begin to ask God questions about things around that He may make sense of it.

Several times in the last week or so, I have found myself correcting my posture; tucking in my core and sitting straight up, shifting the position of my legs and how I lean forward and how I rest until my body says ‘That’s the right way.’ In the middle of one of the posture corrections, I saw the picture of soldiers standing in a parade, tall, straight, solid, fully alert, looking straight ahead no matter what passed near them. In an instant, it hit me like a great bolt of light I understood their posture was important because it allowed them to focus on what is important.

buckingham-palace-guard 1Even when they are at ease their posture is strong, solid and alert, always ready to step up and make the right move for the sake of the nation. I think of the guards on sentry duty outside Buckingham Palace. They don’t move a muscle for the duration of their shift even if people take photos with them. Yet if they notice an attack about to happen I am sure they would respond with precision. Imagine these are just ordinary soldiers so what do the Generals go through to reach the fullness of who they are and who they must be always as they lead their teams.

God has made me His Special Assignment Soldier, and there’s a very specific way I must train to rise into that. Training needs a good drill master who pushes me relentlessly past my perceived limits into new territory, who sees the potential in me and will pull it out even if I feel like I am breaking. Who will notice when I am overextended and ensure a pullback to avoid injury. Who will ensure the right measures are taken for cheeky behaviour.

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This helps me deal with any limiting thought patterns I have and break down barriers that hold me back. He is there to push me past the things I have feared doing so that I can see myself as my Father does and become all that He has said I am. He functions as a vessel to push me into the fullness of the divine plan!

Wah!!! I must remain in this place of accepting who I am in God and connect to the deeper expression of the reality of Him. This time it is more than just words and must be about true and lasting transformation on the inside that will overflow to the outside. It is all about knowing who I am in you and becoming it. It is about a consistent walk with him, not one hit wonders or one-word wonders.

It is open eyes living based on what He has shown me; being the best I am in Him; taking daily walks with Him as a partaker into a deeper reality of Him.

 

The Simple Life

Keep Going…


Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be. God isn’t finished with you, so keep on moving forward. Even the snail reached the ark by persevering!         – Ps Rick Warren

I am very reflective and introspective. I love to look back and think through life, learn from my challenges and responses and know where I am in reference to where I am going and how much more needs to be done before we get there. Many days I find that unless I have spent time in reflection, it is harder to keep walking with a spring in my step and joy in my heart. So I sit and reflect and tag coach along to assess and contribute.

Meals were on point! Kudos! Did you manage to work out as well?

Saturday and Sunday are my rest days so no work out, unless standing in the parking lot for two hours talking counts 😎.

Ha! You have jokes. Rest is important for recovery 👍.

I have been learning the importance of rest. In fact the break I took has been helpful… I’m able to push my body because I know where we’d got the last time.

Push your body as in endurance?

Yes.

Gotcha!

This morning one of the exercises was sidekicks and I was amazed at how my mind didn’t freeze when it showed up but begun to figure how to do it. Wasn’t easy but I completed the set.

👏 👏 👏 👏👏👏👏👏.

☺ It was exhilarating.

I bet it was. That’s fantastic! You’ve come a long way, grasshopper 🙂.

Indeed! Its mind blowing to realise that just 5 months ago exercise terrified me now it’s exhilarating. Thank you for your steadfast support.

Power of transformation!

True, now I know change is possible no matter how hard it seems at the start.

You committed and did the work, which combined with willpower and determination goes a long way.

It helped that I had a drill master by my side 🙃; and I mean that in the nicest way possible.

Ha! Drill master

Yup! Recently I was thinking about who God has made me and He reminded me one of the names He calls and then I realised that there’s a very specific way to train to rise into that and a good drill master who pushes you beyond your perceived limits is an important part… Thank you Capt. Drill master

Wow! What’s amazing is your commitment to stay true to the course and be honest about the journey given the distance. It’d be easy to lie about progress, workouts or lack thereof since there’s no “Drill master” physically present to watch your every move. I hope you give yourself plenty of credit for that.

Yes it’d be easier to lie but I learnt that the loser if I lied would be me, my son and the generations tied to my out coming. As for ‘Give credit and amazing,’ those have never really crossed my mind 😎. I simply thought this is what people do when they give their word. Thanks for pointing another point of celebration. It’s really been school… Learning to keep my word no matter what and put in the needed effort

Amen to school. Learn and grow. Even when it is slow going and everyone is passing you, keep walking, follow the dream that God has given you. Keep walking because every step counts.

Stop, listen to God, learn and grow no matter how slow you seem to go.

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The Simple Life

Still…I must get past it


‘What is the plan for this new season? What is God saying about this new start?’ My mentor asked.

I know she wasn’t just putting me on the spot but she was asking from her meditations. She was asking because it was important that I kept in mind the reason I was on this path. After all, nothing works like a clear vision and reason to keep going.

‘I am still on discipline and consistency, it hasn’t changed.’ I replied.

The word ‘still’ caught my attention. Still presupposes that there is more learning needed as the thing sought hasn’t come fully or reached the fullness of what could be. Still means there is space to grow from the constant presence. Still means the mark is yet to be fully attained. So I was still in the class about discipline and consistency.

It is four months and twenty-three days since we started and we were still on the same learning curve with God. Is this where I should be? Is it that I hadn’t reached a certain target or I hadn’t connected to something? Is it that I am or have been lost and need course correction? Are we working on a higher level of where I have come from? What is it that we are back here for another season?

Consistency shocked me because I had become totally consistent to a fault. My body would refuse to rest if I hadn’t worked out but the fact we were still here meant that something hadn’t been attained. Discipline too had been attained for a period and progress has been made, so what is it? Several things stand out for me:

  1. I haven’t reached my target weight.
  2. I was still on the elementary stage of the workout regime so there are still stages to reach.
  3. I have been avoiding certain exercises because my mind would say they are too hard and I’d change to something simpler.
  4. The fear of failure still sat somewhere in the vicinity waiting for me to miss a step and then run roughshod over me.
  5. A deeper level of faith still has to be activated through this process
  6. Class isn’t finished

So I am still growing into the fullness of who God sees me and there are challenges I must overcome that I may be the right person to help others. He showed me that this process is less about me and more about the lives for which I need to show an alternative. There are others who need to understand the possibilities by watching my journey. I have to become the fullness of God or we will all remain at the same level until I learn it all and commit to keep learning.

Learning never stops! I cannot say that I have been here for X months I need to move on.

Moving on is premised on my capacity to learn everything for this phase and then move on to the next phase regardless of the pain or process. Moving on demands I get comfortable with change and challenge, accept that life isn’t all smooth sailing but is a great mix of growing through the hard times and moving forward step by step.

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There is no downtime or space to just sit and do nothing. To walk with God is to be constantly about his business and doing what needs to be done to honour Him. Period!! ‘Still’ has to become fuel for the next level.

The Simple Life

From Mindlessly Scared to Trust


A few days ago, I was thinking about this journey and I realised that it is like none other I had ever done. I thought it was just about weight loss and health but have discovered that is the excuse God has used to get my attention and teach me many lessons.

I write for a living and some of my recent work has been more intense than I could even explain. It was sectors I had never tackled and with intensity and short notice like nothing I knew. It was easy to stop and panic and a couple of times I actually did. Several times I sat at my computer to work and my mind went blank… totally blank. A couple of days I sat there all day and nothing came. That is terrifying especially when there is a deadline fast approaching. Yet only God could get me out of there and He was strangely silent.

One of those days, I was off kilter because of the pressure. I couldn’t do much until God impressed a good friend on my heart. As I settled in to pray with my friend I was led to listen to the words coming out of my mouth in prayer. Alas!!! It was as if as I was praying for her I was also praying for me from a place of deep understanding that I didn’t have before. I could clearly see where she was, what she was going through and how it tied into my own process. Later God highlighted another friend and as we prayed together, He once again tied my prayer and process to my friend’s life. The terror they both felt was the same terror I was feeling. It was like we were standing on faith but seeing no visible intervention. We were at the very end of ourselves and there was no solution in sight.

It was standing on the edge of a cliff and God says jump and there’s no visible safety net, just His clear command in your ear. Yet despite the terror in your soul, you jump because the God of all creation has said jump. You go free falling at one hundred kilometres an hour seeing the solid ground getting closer alarmingly fast and you scream at the top of your lungs in sheer terror then peace, bliss, arms around you. At that moment you discover that He was always flying beneath you ready to pick you up as a mother eagle swoops done to catch her chick that she has actually tossed out of the nest.

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As if that isn’t enough, He takes you back up to that same perch and tells you, ‘Jump!’ This time it is different because you jump again knowing full well that your Father is there and He will not let you shatter and if He does let you fall there is a reason. Yes! There is a reason. For so many years the statements that ‘God knows’ and ‘there is always a reason,’ were so cliché to me. It was the kind of thing that used to tell me someone has nothing to say so they latch onto these statements. This season has taught and continues to teach me that indeed, God has a plan and He knows the reason it all happens.

Trust your Father, just trust him. There is a capacity He sees in you so He has allowed your life to unfold as it is. There is a supernatural way He will cause you to understand His presence and plan then unfold and manifest Himself through you. The only condition is that you must give Him the reins and allow Him to lead you.

In these moments I learnt to trust my Father.

 

The Simple Life

Every Choice Matters


I’m sitting in traffic heading home after a long day and intense meetings and I’m so hungry I could eat a horse. As I try to figure what to eat that’s easily available understanding comes. First I want to buy roast maize then I remember its all starch 😔… Then I looked around and all the street food available starch. Yes, I’m a street food girl but my options are increasingly limited these days. Why limited? My new regime has reduced carbs aka starch and sugar.

The cab driver hears me say I am hungry and offers me eclairs. Maayooo! That is even worse than the maize now; sugar straight to the bloodstream, an instant spike in energy but no satisfaction. Oh, I learnt many lessons from the last time I ate lots of sweets. Anyway, eventually a lady with bananas rocks up, I buy two and eat and though I’m not really full it’s better so I go with that.

It’s interesting watching my food choices and seeing how they are affecting those around me. I have totally changed how I eat and shifted my boys slightly. My lil man was totally into chips (French fries) but now he’s like, once a week is enough. Chips are a staple in my house and have been for a long time but these days, the lil man determines where we buy them depending on how much residual oil the chips have after packaging. No! I didn’t tell him that. I’m so excited.

It’s even more interesting to walk this journey with him. Every time we are leaving the house together he’s concerned if I’ve had breakfast and if not have I packed it? Have I carried water to drink? What is the plan for dinner? When we are out he watches my plate to make sure I am on track. Some of my friends find these changes daunting and too much pressure but I love it. Why? It has taught him some simple lessons I will share today.

First, he now knows has influence. He knows that he can help someone work on a project from start to finish, be a great supporting cast and keep them accountable. He feels strong because he has coach’s number to exercise his right to ‘report’ me if I am being too much. Thankfully that hasn’t happened yet. His greatest influence though is in encouraging me to keep going when I don’t feel like. Simple questions like have you worked out today, what are you eating, do you need me to help…help me keep on track.

Second, he now knows that though the path to the goal may be difficult, consistent action makes progress possible. He’s watched me work through cravings and win some and lose others. He’s watched me pack food because I don’t know what will be provided where we’re going. He’s watched me blunder and get back up. He has seen me choose to remain on task even without immediate results so we keep walking and talking through the challenges and the lessons.

Third, he’s learnt to think through things, set goals and commit to the cause. We plan meals together and when there are challenges we find options. I watch him wonder what I’ll eat and he gives options for me. He has also applied these lessons for himself. Last term when he changed schools and dropped significantly in class, I watched him get anger at himself then get up, dust himself off, set a target, work towards it and he hit the target. He now knows he can.

Fourth, he understands the value of honesty. There have been days when I ‘broke’ the rules and ate or did things I shouldn’t. I could have chosen to lie to coach and say I was on track or be honest and post the picture. I kept my word because I was learning to be honest and he has kept his word to me. It has also opened up deeper discussions between us that I really appreciate.

I have always been a firm advocate for teaching children things when they are young but there’s more I’m learning. Our children learn more from our actions than our words. If I was talking about lifestyle change and cheating all the time he’d learn it’s ok to do that. He will either step in my footsteps or avoid them altogether but at least I had set an example.

Who would have thought a simple health journey would be so revelation?

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The Simple Life

Keep Going


Thanks for not pushing, I know it’s not easy to keep quiet about the lack of workouts… It’s coming back soon.

Trying my best… Now make sure the comeback is sooner than soon before bad man comes out 🙃.

I don’t like bad man at all so I’m working on it but hopefully by next week.

Good. When next week?

Tuesday.

When next week?

Chill man…I’m reworking my internal motivation.

Tuesday it is. Have to hold you accountable you know. 😉

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The question I was asking myself is how to make it a lasting habit. How do I enjoy working out for the rest of my life? How do I keep going even when it is a long day and I get home beat but didn’t get it done in the morning? How do I keep the joy of working out and not make it like a duty? I need my workout to be a joy because when it is a duty my body doesn’t respond as well and so the toning and weight loss are stunted.

As I dig deep I realise the answer stems from the desire to work out and my why. I have made it work before, was consistent to the point of being addicted to it yet now it is a chore. I have to find a way to dig back in, grab it and hold on. I must reconnect to my motivation, find the cause of disinterest, deal with it, see the triggers and set up mechanisms to deal with them too.

**********************

You need to get to the basics. What was your “why” before? What is it now?

It has been and still is “to be able to operate at optimum.”

Good. Glad that’s still there. So what has changed?

It’s just like I’m tired. I just don’t feel like working out, yet I know I need to and want to.

At least you’re honest about it but you need to chuck those excuses. It’s easy to give up when feeling drained. Ironically, that’s when you must push harder and find out what you’re made of. I’ve learned that the hard way and tend to feel ten times better afterward. It’s super rewarding to push and still achieve the goal even when you don’t feel like.

I know that! You know how at work sometimes things feel off but we are able to clear the mind and keep going? Why can’t I do the same here?

Work is different since there are people you answer to and consequences if you don’t perform. A workout is personal. You’re accountable to yourself and can make up reasons for when and where if you want to. Either way, you have a goal and I’m determined you get there. Remember… Commit and don’t give up and I won’t either.

I remember the disclaimer of “don’t start if you aren’t serious.”

Exactly… same one

I’m not saying I’m giving up, I just need to be real with me and find a reason to go on. If I don’t deal with these issues at the root they become too big and I’ll likely stop. I wish I could snap a finger and all the fat disappears, I have a fantastic body and deep commitment to working out.

Hahaha! You got jokes.

Just being honest.

I know! My prayer for you is that you find the energy and success in digging deep. It’s important that you do. Otherwise, you’ll continue riding the perpetual cycle and end up despising quite a few things and people including yourself.

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running-runner-long-distance-fitness-40751.jpegDear Father, This journey is all about you and bringing praise to you so help me find my way and stay the course no matter what. You set me on this path so keep me walking to honour you. This place of start-stop is not ideal or your will for me so help me stay on course, help me keep the faith, help me finish the race. I rest in You and Your love for me now and always.

The Simple Life

Busted…


Last week I was busted by coach…oohhh yes! It wasn’t pretty. I had forgotten to send in my digital food diary for a couple of days and when I did…let’s just say it was interesting. I’d eaten loads of starch and sweets and made no apologies for it and I was pretty confident it would pass after all I’d been good for more than 110 days.  Oh boy…wrong thought.

So, let’s discuss your diet this week.

What about it? I replied laughing.

The very fact you are laughing means you know what I am talking about? Where did the fruit and veg go to? Why all the starch and sweets?

It’s been a hard week so it was easier to work with what I had in the house and not have to stress myself.

Really?

Yes.

Why?

I just said it was too hard to deal with everything so I dealt with what I could.

That’s not like you.

What do you mean?

What is your credo? What do you live by?

What do you mean?

Don’t you live by #NoExcuses?

Yes!

So why are you giving me excuses?

It’s not an excuse…it’s a reason.

It’s an excuse as far as I am concerned.

Why do you say that?

Because you are better than this.

Huh?

After a long day when I want to just go to bed and forget the healthy dinner and working out, I remember that I have an agreement with someone saying no excuses. I know someone who daily says that then goes out and does what she needs to do. It makes me go out and do what I need to do and keep up with my goals. Then you come and tell me you were tired? That just doesn’t fly here.

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Oh wow! That one hit between the eyes. What was the real reason I was off track? Why was I covering my tracks with things like I am tired, it was easier, I didn’t feel like? Was that the real reason or was I refusing to deal with something? Later that day I was chatting with my mentor and updating her on progress or lack thereof and I got asked hard questions again. Now I was really listening.

Do you know why you lost focus? She asked

Things were tight so rather than figure it out I just used what was there.

So you went with your own solution instead of inviting God in?

What? Was that what I had done? Gone with my own way without reference to God? oh my! Not good at all

No worries, lesson learnt now what adjustment do we make going forward?

To ask God about everything.

Good. I need you to not hide. Reach out when you need to.

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Now I could see. It wasn’t coach going off on me but God using the people I am accountable to, to help me stay the course. To make me course correct for good so I dug in and sought answers. The reason I was messing with my food was simple…laziness. It takes energy to think through what to eat every meal and then prepare it as or after I prepare food for the boys. I do lots of fresh vegetables so I convinced myself it was because I was tired but it wasn’t. It was simple…I was being lazy and there was proof. I had put back almost one kilo since my last weigh in and the culprit is sugar. In my body, increased sugar intake = weight gain. Pretty simple equation!

Just like that, He stripped me of my excuses and foolishness and we restarted our walk.

#NoExcuses #NoLimitations