Posted in Christian living, communication, energy, Goal setting, health and wellness, Life, Uncategorized, weight loss

Staying the Healthy Course

IMG_24332014 was a massive year for myself and my family. It was the year of transformation for me from unhealthy to healthy: from overweight to slimmer; from near death to alive; from mind numbing work to fulfillment. So many changes, challenges, and victories! I saw these not only in myself but in my family as well.

In terms of weight loss I was able to shed nearly 40 lbs or 20 kilos. The change was so dramatic to my body, on a trip home after a few weeks away, in the dead of night Paul could not work out who was sleeping with him and freaked out!

Fast forward 4 years and many overseas trips and challenging dietary situations and I have still managed to maintain the weight loss give or take a few kilos. It has not been easy!

Less and More

One of the mind changes I had in 2014 was that this was no diet experience. This was a life-style change. From now on my life had to consist of less– less stress, less of amounts of food, less of fats and sugars,  and less of those foods that cause me pain – night shade plants. It also consisted of more – More regular exercise, more regular sleep, more regular examination of where I am at with calories and step counters, more fun paths, more laughter, more peace and joy, more of those things that bring me joy.

When we focus on the less so much we can gain a mindset of lack rather than abundance. We feel deprived and that in turn will cause us to falter and feel somehow we are missing out. With that sense of deprivation it may not be long before we find ourselves breaking out!

I also don’t beat myself up. If I find I have had more rather than less of or less rather than more, I get up and start again. I love that His mercies are new every morning! Every day when the sun comes up I have a clean slate to start again regardless of the day before.

Today is a new day and I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Stay the course. Keep going. You are unstoppable if you don’t stop!

Until next time

Blessings Narelle

 

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Posted in Christian living, Goal setting, health and wellness, Life, Uncategorized

Goals for the Year

The clock hits the 12 and the cheers go up! It is a new year! After the cheers go up the reflections for the new year start. Now it is February and those well thought out or emotionally charged goals are starting to hurt or are requiring effort. Some may have even fallen by the wayside already!

Goals – the desire to achieve a plan. We all would love to lose those extra pounds, get more dollars, find that new partner, or achieve those things we have wanted for a long time. We all have dreams, desires but seeing them come to pass is different to just wishing to see them come to pass.

Sometimes the goal is to complete the goals that we reset from the year before, that were set the year before that!!!! Hands up if that is you!! It is definitely me!

I once heard it said that the only difference between a millionaire and a billionaire is the billionaire looks at his goals twice a day and not just once. I love how we set goals and then don’t look at them for the rest of the year or if we do it’s with a slight glance not a deep longing!

Like everyone else, I have made goals, failed at achieving goals, achieved goals, and reinvented goals, and still continue to make them.  This year I wasn’t going to make any! I was going to sail into the new year on the boat of disillusionment and frustration .

But I succumbed! It took me about a week in to the new year. Paul and I were praying and each year we like to name our year prophetically. This year Paul called it – “Fulfillment.” We are in the process of a few projects and this thought started to resonate with me.

Eventually I started to set and refresh some goals and do the reset of the reset and start to believe that we will see them come to pass.

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Some are so big they really are dreams! One year Paul and I sat down with brown paper and wrote and dreamed of what we would do if we had 100 million dollars. I found it last year and all of a sudden I am starting to dream again! One first goal is to keep looking at the goals!

I also am dreaming and planning of ways to see those 100 million dollar dreams come to pass. The 100 million is not for ourselves. Recently we were listening to sermons and reading about Joseph who had a dream. The purpose for his life was not just about him – it was to save the nations. That is our ultimate dream: To see nations saved!

Goal Setting

There is a curve, called the Sigmoid Curve, or S curve. It is like the ascending half of the bell curve, which shows that once you reach the pinnacle of anything, what follows then is  a descent. The theory in terms of goal setting is that once you are half way up the curve, you need to set a new goal in order to keep moving upwards and not start the decline down the other side.

Sigmoid-CurveWhen I first learned of this curve it made a lot of sense to me and something I introduced in to my life.

To explain how it works think of an Olympian. They work for years for their 4 minute event. They win! Now where do they go from here. They have conquered their goal. They have made it! If they have no new goal set already they often slip into decline in terms of depression, substance abuse, etc etc.

The Bible puts it beautifully in Proverbs 29:18 Without a progressive vision, people dwell carelessly – or another translation says they cast of restraint. Goals keep us restrained and focused.

Turning 60 this year means I have a whole new set that I am looking at on my dream board but I also still have others to see eventuate.  Yes I have a dream board as my screen back ground!  I will not stop dreaming until I dream my last!

What about you? Next time I will talk about planning. This is the why and how of goal setting. It’s how we see them accomplished.

Until next time

Don’t stop dreaming!

Narelle

 

 

Posted in camino de santiago, Christian living, energy, health and wellness, Life, Night shade Allergies, Uncategorized, walking, weight loss

Weight Loss Confusion!

Watching someone try to lose weight rapidly and discover the “journey” of weight loss and awareness of calories etc, has reminded me of just how consuming the whole concept of weight loss can be.

In 2012 when one of my daughters was encouraged to go on a Paleo diet for urgent health reasons, we both emptied our cupboards and cleansed! I also remember the absolute shock I felt as I discovered for years I had been looking at charts rather than the ingredients on products – sugars, salts, fats etc as compared to what was actually in the product. The shock stayed with me for months as I navigated the labyrinth of labels and what I thought were healthy alternatives only to discover they were laden literally with “poisons.”

I also remember the confusion of what is “healthy” and what diet is best etc. etc.

Here are 5 keys I have learned to help people maneuver  the “diet” world.

  1. Dieting sucks – lifestyle change has to be your mindset.

A “diet” insinuates a limited time span; a beginning and an end. Dietary changes have to be a life time mentality – unending. There may need to be a period of getting back on track or staying on track which requires a kick start but then you have to always be conscious of what you are putting in your mouth and why!

2.  Mindset is priority – Why do you overeat?

There is a whole psychology around overeating and I don’t intend to get in to it here as there are many reasons why people overeat: sadness, grief, rebellion, laziness, low self-esteem, comfort and the list continues. The benefit of a “time-frame” or health scare  can push us on-wards to changing our mindset to want to change our negative life habits permanently. That is only a kick start though and you have to realize this has to be a life style change – otherwise that weight will come back and stick like glue!

3.  Find what works for you – Find what will keep you motivated.

For me doing life in a gym or pool is never going to keep me motivated. Fresh air, meeting people, walking a dog, finding new paths, these are motivating and invigorating. Finding foods that work for me without making me feel I am missing out also helps keep me motivated. High allergies or intolerance from night shade plants, cause me some issues and can become frustrating but I have discovered that I love feeling well so not feeling well for the sake of a few mouthfuls is a high motivating factor! I really recommend initially working with a health professional to ensure there are no underlying issues and then find what will keep you motivated and interested in food control.

4.  Moderation – How much and what to eat!

There is so much confusion in terms of, “eat this – don’t eat that”. For example, eat eggs; don’t eat eggs. Eat butter; Don’t eat butter. Eat meat; Don’t eat meat. The lists go on. I believe God gave us everything to enjoy! It’s the over indulgence that is the issue for most western cultures. Limit the sugar, salt and fat products and you will see a change too.

So long as you use more then you put in you can keep the weight down. My husband, Paul has no issues with this one and really doesn’t understand my struggles  because he is constantly on the go and utilizes all he consumes. I on the other hand am more sedentary and have to work hard to do the same. My last few kilos I need to lose and have struggled with, mean I have to increase my burning and decrease my intake even more.

5. No Excuses

I can make all the excuses for why I am obese – too tired, too sick, too old, too much work but my health has to remain the utmost priority as it affects every area of my life. There is no excuse to maintain unhealthy life-style habits.

So these are 5 keys I have discovered over the past years of food issues and I will explore them more fully as I continue my journey of lifestyle habit changes.

Until next time – keep persevering. You don’t stop if you don’t stop!

Blessings Narelle

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Making it to the top of the ridge, following the thousands of pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago or the Way who have passed this way before: a far cry from the couch potato of yesteryear! Determine today to follow the lead of those who have walked the paths of life style change!

 

Posted in gardening, health and wellness, Hobby Farming, Uncategorized

Bee Keeping

As I said our year was pretty hectic last year and one of those challenges was keeping up with the bees! We purchased two hives but unfortunately due to the nature of beekeeping one hive disappeared.  For some reason, probably an unsettled queen she left and we watched as her workers cleaned the hive of every trace of wax and honey! They don’t waste a drop. We heard somewhere that in their short life they will only make a teaspoon of honey! So what they have worked for they intend to keep even if they move house!

Talk about amazing processes. These beauties will vacate for various reasons and you can never be quite sure why. The hive might be full of mites, overcrowded or it could just be the queen is immature or vying for position with an older or newer queen and decides to move on taking most or all of the hive with her.

They did help us out though during summer with so many flowers and vegetables needing pollinating. It was wonderful listening to them so busy at work pollinating our vegetables.

We were so busy with the new store that we weren’t able to give the necessary time to the hives though that we  should have. Bees are experiencing challenges world wide and our little hive succumbed. But we will continue to persevere. We won’t give up just because we failed this time round.

It reminds me that no matter how well you set things up you can not just set and go on somethings. You have to keep focused, put effort in and persevere. The good news is that somewhere, someone gained a new hive or our beauties went on to greater, and freer heights.

We are hoping our other hive has weathered well the blizzard conditions and hive beetles to see a spring and summer through. Right now it is hard to tell but Spring is coming so we look forward to trying again so that we can reap a harvest if we don’t give up.

Don’t give up today! You will reap a harvest if you persevere whatever your situation!

Until next time!

Blessings Narelle

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Bearding outside the hive.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in cross cultural living, health and wellness, travel, Uncategorized

Silence of the Blog!

Travels, bomb cyclone, new store – VOIAJER, bees, gardening – Wow! No wonder I have not written a blog since September last year! Life really got the better of me in lots of ways – mostly good ways!

In June/July last year Naomi our youngest daughter wanted to open a store selling her cereal box jewellery and other fair trade products in her store called “VOIAJER”  the phonetic spelling of the word “VOYAGER”.

For around 8-9 years Naomi and I and some others have been selling the beautiful jewellery crafted by her “Kado”  girls, keeping them employed, building houses and looking after around 100 children through the profits.

Last year was time to develop it further. She now has a shop front where we are enabling support of more groups through sales and profits. It is very exciting but not without its challenges.

Between setting up the store, travelling back to Australia for business and family and cruising through the Panama Canal, then a very hectic Christmas time for VOIAJER; writing took a firm back seat! But now I am back on track and will be posting more regularly as winter keeps my life stationary.

We started our year with an incredibly cold “bomb cyclone” which caused blizzard conditions! We were snowed in for a few days but welcomed the rest! We didn’t even go out for our “bread and milk” – the crazy things people buy when they think they will be unable to get to the store for a few days!

Kids loved the snow days but are a bit bummed because now they have to make those days up – going to school on some public holidays!

These are some of our fun pictures from the bomb cyclone! Even the Chesapeake bay froze! So it was a refreshing,  freezing, fun-filled few days!

So the year began slowly for us and we didn’t set goals or even wonder what the new year held. Eventually we did and I will start sharing some of those to encourage others to consider and plan their year – considering we are nearly into February already!

So the Silence of the Blog is broken and I am back!!!!

See you again soon!

Blessings Narelle

 

 

Posted in Christian living, health and wellness, Life, Love, Parenthood, Uncategorized

The Birth of

I wrote this while waiting for my 6th grandchild to be born in 2012. What was it? Tell you later…

Well today is D-DAY Delivery day. What a long 9 months it has been. But we have so much to be thankful for.

Where do we begin with this past 12 months? Josiah’s diagnosis of A.L.L. Acute Lymphatic Leukemia saw us in and out of hospital until just recently. We have traveled a long road; diagnosis; shock, treatment, ecstatic as responses to treatment, and pain of watching him go through the distressing mucositis which ulcerated his entire mouth and esophagus down to the anus; loss of hair; ballooning and gorging from the steroids to all the fevers and sicknesses from a compromised immune system.

After finding out in April this year intensive chemotherapy was over and maintenance would begin we were shocked to discover Sherri was pregnant.

They were not sure how it happened. Come on – after 3 children! But the treatment of Josiah had caused a bit of a mental block as is often the case with parents with children undergoing treatment. So number 4 is being awaited. We are sitting here in the labor ward as I reflect on the past year and its highs and lows.

After the high of Josiah finishing his intensive program early, and discovering Sherri was pregnant, we were hit with another blow. Sherri was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension: A disease of the heart and lungs that ultimately and worse-case scenario ends in death of the mother, or perhaps requiring a heart lung transplant. However, after weeks of levels climbing we called for prayer!

Doctors were amazed when after only a few days in hospital undergoing bed-rest and no other intervention, her levels came down! Doctors went back to the drawing board because the levels of this disease, NEVER go down. Despite another diagnosis of some “Anomaly”  levels have not gone back up over the past 9 months. After a projected delivery date of 28 weeks, here we sit at 36 weeks awaiting the birth under very calm, happy conditions with Sherri’s strength intact and in fact stronger than at the beginning of the pregnancy with no symptoms of breathlessness or fatigue.

So we stand amazed at the hand of God over her life. I remember after spending a night of research lying, crying in the arms of my husband saying, “I wish I could take this on myself – I have had our family she has 4 little ones.” When all of a sudden even as the words came out of mouth I remembered that I didn’t have to take it on myself…that is what Jesus did at the cross. He took our sicknesses and infirmities upon Himself!

That same morning Paul came in to my office and said, “No one has to die to give her a new heart and lungs – Christ died to give her those.” With those two revelations we have been able to stand in faith and in her healing, praying and believing for safe delivery for not only her but her child also.

We also heard a tape on how Satan wants our Seed. But that is another story…Oh by the way – it was a boy!

 

Posted in Christian living, communication, grandparenting, health and wellness, Life, Love, Uncategorized

Finish the Race Well!

Finish well.

Recently in my bible study I have been reading about the Kings of Israel and Judah. David’s kingdom was split early and there was contention thereafter with not only their common enemies but between themselves as one nation – a very sad state of affairs for a people who had been chosen by God to bear His presence in the sight of the nations!

What struck me though is how often the kings would start off well and due to influences of those close to them or other nations they slipped into ways that forsook their God who had delivered and set them free! They forgot the One who loved them!

I was extremely struck by one King. Uzziah. Uzziah was 16 years old when he became King and ruled for 52 years.  He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord – until he didn’t! He started off so well – setting his face to seek the Lord while Zechariah the prophet was around, and it caused him to prosper.  He fought battles and won; became famous and strong; built towers and cisterns; had large herds and incredibly productive farms because he loved the soil; made amazing weapons of war; and built a great army – until he became strong! Then he became proud forgetting God and becoming unfaithful to Him.

He became so proud he entered the temple to burn incense before the Lord something only the priests were permitted to do!  Azariah and 80 brave priests confronted him and drove him from the temple.  As he became angry at the priests, his forehead immediately became leprous. He became separated from his world at that moment. He lost his kingdom as his son took his place on the throne and he had to live separately from everyone until his death, and as well was excluded from the House of the Lord.

Pride and anger- these are what caused him to be struck by leprosy. We see from another example of Miriam who also suffered this fate, hers being a judgement for her jealousy and criticizing of Moses. These sins opened up their lives to this form of judgement. Uzziah’s case of leprosy started on his forehead which was a virulent form of leprosy.

They are good examples for us to learn from. So often we can run a great race in our faith early on and as Jesus warned in Revelation, lose our first love! Anger, pride, jealousy, a critical spirit, all of these can rob us of the final victory lap to the finish line.

A friend of ours recently said he has asked his father to show him how to age well. I think that is such an important aspect of this walk of life. So many elderly end up proud, critical, and angry causing people to shy away from them. There are others who maintain a sweet, positive spirit and they are a delight to be around. We can run a sprint powerfully but life is a marathon and it’s the finish that really counts!

As I consider some of the aspects of aging well, I think it begins and ends with staying in the Word of God, continually renewing our minds and spirits: Staying on fire with the Holy Spirit: Staying sweet in the spirit and not letting bitterness and regret, or resentment creep in and become like leprosy – a scaly disease which overtakes our lives! These will separate us from the Lord, our family and from our position in the Kingdom.

Live life well – until the end and hit your targets!

Until next time

Blessings Narelle

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