The Simple Life

The Sugar Process!!


Strength is found in asking God to help and having people who keep me in check too.

Yes, I said people who will keep me in check. These are travel companions; people destined to be by my side and me by their side as we all rise into the fullness of who God says we are. These are people willing to seek God about me and ask all the hard questions I need to ponder and answer to trigger the next step. People who love me enough to keep me accountable and hold me close when I don’t have the strength to walk. Indeed, this is my walk and I must choose to remain in it but I need people I love enough to be totally honest with and ask hard questions too.

Why do I need people who ask questions?

analysis blackboard board bubble
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Questions are the key to really deal with the issues of life. They bring thoughts and emotions to the surface and show us what to deal with. I have found that the things that bring tears to our eyes or make us blazing mad are the things we need to deal with. When we add God to the equation it may feel like being between a rock and a tough stone with no escape but it ensures all things are dealt with making life smoother. God knows what can break us or make us mad but He needs us to depend on Him and rise above emotions and be fully dependent on Him.

It’s part of our training to be soldiers in His army.

The intention is to move our allegiance from the things we can do to the might and power of God and dependence on only those He has highlighted. The first step is to strip us of all their comforts and dependence on self and then build up total allegiance to and dependence on Him and His word including those assigned to us; think of the buddy system in the army. Yes, we are human and do have emotions but His intention is that we connect to His emotions, His heart, His mind, His people, His way. Remember how Jesus was mad about what people had done in the temple? He was upset about how people were dealing with God and His word not his own flesh.

Moses was angry when the Israelites wanted God’s presence yet when he left they turned and did their things that satisfied their flesh. He expressed God’s heart but broke the tablets… So he had to make a new one. I realised that when we express emotions outside God we cause harm to others.

close up of fruits hanging on tree
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Emotions affect how we deal with life. They affect how we respond to everything including food, exercise, stress, joy and everything else. So I wonder, are my emotions causing the distraction by sugar? What is the trigger? How do I get past them and focus on the road ahead?

The support to deal and overcome is a guarantee; I just have to decide to deal and overcome.

 

The Simple Life

Ah…The Root of Sweetness


Remember how I said, I am learning to deal with my stuff? What are the odds that a conversation with one of my young people would be the trigger to confirm the urgent need to deal? That simple conversation was the key I needed to begin unpacking this matter.

I don’t understand why I am still here…I thought I had dealt with this matter?

What happened?

I got really mad with someone and it felt like it was all coming back.

What do you mean?

I was chatting with Sue and she was annoying and I asked her to stop but she wouldn’t and just like that I was raging mad. If she wasn’t my little sister I might have snapped harder.

Oh wow!

How do I get past this?

Remember the secret place?

Yes, I remember that.

What is it?

A personal place where I meet with God and connect to His word over me!

Absolutely! This is where all dealing happens and change starts.

How?

It starts with finding God, spending time with Him, learning to hear His voice and know His heart, mind and His plan for me.  Learning that His ways aren’t like ours and even when it does not make sense, there’s still a solid plan. In the end, it is about knowing He’s got us no matter what.

But it is so hard.

It could feel like that but even though it takes a lot of patience, it is worth it.

Ha! There it was…the one thing I needed to stop at and understand. “It takes patience but it is worth it.” My mind came back to my dealings with sugar and the challenge it has been getting over it. I sat at my desk wondering what skills have I had learnt from this walk to ensure that I deal with this sugar thing decisively.

shallow focus photography of chocolate cupcakes
Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush on Pexels.com

What had I forgotten in the process that would be the key to overcoming this challenge? It had to be thinking not ordinary aimless thinking but deep and focused often described as meditation. Choosing to be immersed in the truth of the situation and finding the root of the challenge. Thinking is the key to getting out of this space and I have lots of questions.

  • How much sugar do I actually eat? This is in all its forms including cookies, biscuits, cake, fruit, chocolate, drinking chocolate, sugar in coffee…everything
  • How often do I take something with sugar? It takes a little tracking including photos to understand the frequency and portion size of the same.
  • How much is my limit? We have to determine what the maximum intake is and stick with it.
  • How do I get to and stay below my limit? This is the big one. It takes effort and commitment and it has to be consistent.

I am a work in progress!

The Simple Life

Oh Sugar!!


There have been days I wondered why I haven’t written for a while then I realise that my process has been changing. I cannot begin to explain all the changes I have been through but let me just say all the changes have been hard to attain and worth going on.

Food has been something I continually have to deal with so let’s talk about it.

At the start of the process, it was evident that I needed to deal with the sugar factor. I have said before that I didn’t even realise just how much sugar I ate, however as the days have gone on it never ceases to amaze me how much I still love sugar. Yes…I have said it…sugar still has an impact on me.

shallow focus photography of chocolate tube
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There was a time when the pull was less but over the last few weeks, it has become really hard to keep away from sugar. I don’t know why but I am working hard to unravel the truth of it. Chocolate has and continues to be a good friend but I have to be stronger than it. It is even harder when my favourite local shop is now stocked with all the imported chocolates I love. HA! Life has jokes.

 “You can tell the truth of a person by their appetites,” Daddy Chigbo.

What does this need for sugar especially chocolate, say about me? How come sugar still has such a pull? How come I haven’t got past this point or how come it comes back again and again? What do I need to crack and who must I become before I can say I have overcome this mountain completely? What is holding me back?

Remember I keep talking about having a picture from God about where we are going? Well, I wonder if I lost that picture for a moment when I struggled to overcome sugar. Looking back, my life hit a wall and I couldn’t see a way out and wait patiently wasn’t working for me so I allowed myself to wallow in the situation and I allowed emotions to determine how I responded to life and the rest is history.

battle black blur board game
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Allowing the wallowing enabled an emotional imbalance that opened the door to finding solace in sugar…a place I had left. I didn’t really declare the truth of how much I was eating to anyone other than coach and though he didn’t say anything at first I could hear the wheels in his brain working. He has the gift of asking deep leading questions that get me thinking and I avoided each question by saying I don’t know.

Ha! God’s wisdom is amazing because even as coach seemed to be ignoring the matter he was gunning for the day he would ask the question again and because God is wise and above all, it would be the day I was ready t0 deal with the matter.

Rest assured that God is not mocked or duped and when I think I am hiding things from Him, He is simply waiting for me to choose to be honest with Him and myself. The work He is doing is all about me and not about showing off to the cloud of witnesses. I cannot blame anyone for my current state and I have to look inward and deal honestly with me…that is what I am doing…dealing

The sugar challenge is simply the excuse God has used to get my attention.

The Simple Life

The Road Out


wide angle photo of road
Photo by Voicu Oara on Pexels.com

In the face of the doubt I was facing, I needed to find a better out. In the past I would take a scripture and stand on it, repeating it in my heart and out loud hoping and praying it would become a reality. It didn’t!! Now for those of us who are honest, it never ever works well. You don’t believe me? Let me ask…How many times have you received a word, stood on a scripture and nothing changed? Or only small things changed and you wondered what was wrong? In the end it left you feeling that you have done something wrong or said the devil has blocked your blessing. Had he?

I determined that my walk was going to be different.

I reached back for help and found it in something Coach always says; ‘Embrace it.’ What he means is simple. Do not deny the situation at hand; face it head on, analyse it and deal with everything that rises sector by sector. Sounds simple enough? Believe me it is but the simplicity comes from practise.

My first look into the face of the doubt was jarring because it exposed my underbelly in ways I wouldn’t have even anticipated. It showed areas of weakness, unresolved issues, hurt, fear and shame. It showed the genesis of the struggle that was in me and that I would never have known existed and for a split second I felt weak and useless then I caught myself.

Yes these things existed but they did not define me and they didn’t have to stay. Yes, I had failed repeatedly but that didn’t make me a failure. Yes, I had been stunted in my growth but I am mot unable to grow. This was the seed of hope I needed. Hope arose that with God, I could deal with this matter once for all.

The place to start dealing was the feelings that I couldn’t complete the assignment or keep consistent then deal with the consistent start stop of the process. The root of these feelings are past failures that I had worn like a badge. Failures become badges when we hold onto them as evidence that we tried something that didn’t work. We keep going back to that marker and say… ‘See…I tried and failed before why try again?’

Dealing forced me to see all the badges I had hung on the wall of my life that had become ungodly memorials. Yes, I said ungodly memorials because God didn’t ordain those memorials to be placed. These were standing in the way of His work because I couldn’t get past them and here I was asking Him to help me. Sha!!! Nothing will change if I don’t change my mind.

Do not be conformed any longer to the patterns of this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Rom 12:2.

This was the only way out I had. No more victim behaviour. No more it has failed in the past. No more I don’t know then doing nothing about it. The focus shifted to standing on the word God has spoken. What He said is all that I can stand on. Where He sends is where I will go no matter how ill-equipped I may feel.

It took effort to shift my mind to this plane but it has been so worth it.

road sky clouds cloudy
Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

The new mindset has shifted my focus in all ways. On a recent trip there were so many obstacles to the journey but the one thing I was certain of if that we must travel. The lessons of stand on the word, face the situation and deal with matters sector by sector is what kept me going.

Victory is sure when we hear the word of God and stand on it despite and in spite of the circumstances.

 

The Simple Life

Unexpected Guests


You know that day you need to just chill and do nothing? I have had a couple of those of late. It has been as if my mind and body needed a break and whether or not I wanted to I had to take it. What was interesting was the guilt that checked in. Yeah…it moved into my room.

It begun with the incessant thought that I need get up and do something but my body would say no. What do you mean no way? We have made a commitment to do something every day and yet here you are slacking off. Come on body and mind, align and keep your word. Join forces and keep walking.

Ha! This time the body and mind didn’t align…period. The next thing that packed was my writing. It wasn’t just staring at a blank sheet of paper for long. The words flowed but they were totally disjointed words. Imagine reading your writing and thinking, ewwwww!!! Who wrote that?

What did I do? Simple, I stopped it all!

black twist pen on notebook
Photo by Mohammad Danish on Pexels.com

I put my feet up and my pen down and spent time just being, reading and thinking. The only thing I didn’t really stop was watching what I ate. I was so torn by the situation. On one side I wanted to be up and about keeping things together and on the other hand I was like whatever…it will come back when it comes back.

It was also interesting that none of my accountability partners pushed me during this period. It was as if they knew something was afoot. My lil man sat back and watched while coach didn’t say a word. It was hard because on the inside I was feeling pressure to keep to the agreement I had made and I was beginning to w0nder what was wrong with me. What was most perplexing was that every time I asked God about things, He was silent.

For a few moments I wondered what I could have done to make Him silent. I was like why is God so silent? Have you ever had the thought that things won’t work out the way you planned because you have failed in the past? Or have you wanted to do something so bad but the fact that others have failed has you worried?

Say hello to doubt…that feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction. Guilt had opened the door for doubt to come visiting and doubt was a nasty guest.

Suddenly clarity came…exercise was always my greatest point of doubt. Oh food could have been an issue I had conquered it before, I knew my triggers and how to overcome them but exercise…that was a different story. In my heart of hearts, I had an innate fear of failing and didn’t think I had it in me to make it or keep walking all the way to the end.

Oh I had never really accepted that I could be plagued with doubt because all my life I done the best I could to conquer everything I did and never admitted publicly to the things that scared me. I kept it hidden from the world behind a veneer of confidence and hope.

Now was time to grow and live out the truth of Hebrews 11:1…

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

background black branches clouds
Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

The Simple Life

Unpacking Roadblocks


It had taken a lot of work to get to the place of balance in my walk to a new lifestyle but there were still hurdles to overcome. I’m wondering if there are other ways one could dissipate focus and achievements other than talking too much. After some thought, I began to itemise the things that could slow my process and make it less successful. In the process, fear, doubt, pain and people came to the top of the list. Then I realise that keeping silent has helped me begin dealing with them.

sunrise under cloudy sky illustration
Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

It started with seemingly mundane things and grew into the biggest things I could see but fear had taken root at a point.

First was the fact that I didn’t have kit and I didn’t know where to start. Then came the fact that I didn’t know what set or sequence of workout was needed, then I didn’t know what to eat, then I had strained a muscle I didn’t know how to stretch it out, then I wondered if I would reach the goal I had set, then asked if I would look as good as I wanted, then…then…then…the list kept getting longer and longer and the fear got bigger every time.

Soon fear was something real that I didn’t really know what it was or how to deal with it.

What is fear? It is the emotion related to an expectation of danger, pain, loss or harm. It is fuelled by a sense of being inadequate or unprepared for the event at hand. It comes with a great sense of overwhelm and personal doubt and can be debilitating. Often fear causes people to freeze and lose their capacity to function rationally.

How did I identify the fear? That one was funny. We were reviewing progress with coach and I was hesitant and vague in some of my answers and he kept pushing as is his norm. I didn’t answer and the conversation kept ringing in my mind. I was certain I didn’t know the answer but twenty minutes later it hit me…fear was holding me back! I was terrified! In the past I would walk away but now I knew that if I didn’t tackle it, I would be at loss for a while.

What did I do? Oh I worked hard to deal with the fear related to the process and it went down enough for me to see the way but my introspective nature caused me to look at other aspects of my life and find fear in place in other places. It is ironic that growth in one area only opens up room to grow in another. I had heard it said that we must embrace fear but I didn’t know how to do so.

I needed tangible steps to follow or at least action points to deal with this now and always.

If  “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind,”* and “God is not a man that he should lie or the son of man that He should repent”** then there was something I hadn’t tapped into that I needed to. There is a process that I must connect to and understand to resolve these matters and move on.

*2 Timothy 1:7 /  **Num 12:9

The Simple Life

Laser Sharp; Eyes Ahead


I had never really understood how we dissipate the energy to keep to the process until I heard this…

Don’t pay lip service to what lifestyle should be speaking, don’t let your lips talk what your life should be living. Let your life live and your lips will follow one day. If you start talking you will never live it out because the pressure to live it out will be dissipated by the words we speak. Intellect has the capacity to turn the words into convincing feelings that you are on the way yet it is only the mouth at work – Daddy Chigbo Neil Ndukwe

pink and green water lily
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My lifestyle should be producing certain results; there should be proof of my walk in my actions before it comes from the words of my mouth. When I looked back, it had always seemed simple enough to talk about all that is going on around me but I never knew I was actually reducing my personal capacity to become. Who would have thought that speaking would be a way for the body to think it is doing more than it is?

Remember I mentioned earlier that I wanted to get fit for a long time and had been losing momentum? I haven’t mentioned how introspective I am. I like to know what is going on and why things happen and I want to be sure I don’t repeat mistakes so I go back, look through things and think through them. Is there a pattern or connection? Could I do something different?

For so long I had talked about how I wanted to lose weight and get fit. I talked about how I would be the best and achieve things but that is all I did. Talk! I would set a start date and it would come and go without effort. I’d set targets and achieve nothing over and over. Fast forward to 2017 and the suddenness of process onset, I only spoke with one person about it and it was the one person who wouldn’t give me gap. Oh, God and I were talking all the time but He is the source of the dream so He kept the pressure on.

The difference this time was that I spent more time talking only with the people who were instrumental in the process than sharing with others what was going on. This is how we have made more progress. I spent more time cataloguing progress and overcoming challenges than talking about what I would do and that pushed me to a greater level of achievement and success. Daily it became clear that I had to keep my eyes on the prize and the prize was God’s instruction to me and nothing else.

aquatic beautiful bloom blooming
Photo by Diego Madrigal on Pexels.com

What was my reality? The less I talked the more I achieved and so now I understand my father’s words above.

The thing I have now understood is that once I choose the path of honesty, the next step is to keep working on the instruction; front and centre, no shifting or looking aside. Laser sharp focus on the task ahead. There is no room for a double mind, fear or doubt. There is no time to lose focus or else I will not reach the mark set out for me. That mark has to be important enough that it becomes the one thing I am committed to no matter what. Choice made, mouth closed!

Hindsight is the story I will tell from now on.