Walking the Camino – How to Prepare

The Camino de Santiago is an 800 km or 500 mile walk through France and Spain. It is a pilgrimage walk that has been around for thousands of years that has many trails originating around Europe. It was said that you could step outside your door and begin the pilgrimage from anywhere in Europe. During the time of occupation by the Ottomans in Jerusalem the Way of St James became a safer pilgrimage and acceptable in the eyes of the church for pilgrimage absolution.

St James was supposedly buried there after having floated there from Jerusalem on a ruder-less boat. I don’t know about that. There are many beliefs surrounding the pilgrimage that many believe or don’t believe but there is one binding factor with nearly all pilgrims who we encountered or spoke to had one thing in common: the sense of being called to walk The Way!

Many including myself when they find out about the Camino Way have a strong sense that not only would they like to do the long walk but there is a strong feeling of “having” to do the walk.

For me it started after I watched the movie, “The Way”, written and directed by Emilio Esteves and starring his father Martin Sheen.  It is the story of a father who completes the trek after his son dies on the Way getting caught in bad weather: something that is a common occurrence as seen by the memorial headstones dotted along the pathways.

Once I saw the film I knew I had to do it. But at the time I was pretty much chair bound with illness and pain. However, within a couple of years I set the date to make the journey.

It was 2 years down the track, the year we celebrated 40 years of marriage and Paul turned 60. Also, it would give me time to gain my health back, while starting to train for the walk.

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In training in the Philippines. Early hours of the morning because past sun rise, the heat was too much.

One of the first thing I did was buy a pair of comfy training shoes. They were light, a size larger then I needed (to help with blisters), and didn’t confine my feet and cause pain. The first pair of shoes that didn’t cause me pain!

I walked in rain, in the cold, the heat, the day, the dark, by myself, and with others. The time rolled by as the miles did.

So here are some of the preparations myself and Paul underwent to prepare for the Camino.

  1. Set a date – Setting a date  brings the goal into focus and plans will begin to take shape.
  2. Train – Set up a training program and stick to it. I tried to do at least 6-8 kilometers a day more on others in any kind of weather, wet, cold, hot, everything except for thunderstorms – They were a no go!  I would also recommend stretches to build strength. The one I didn’t do enough of was to door more hill climbs.
  3. Carry a pack – The more I started to walk I would add weights to a pack to increase my ability to carry a pack. I even used coral rock in the Philippines to get used to the added weight.
  4. Study – Increase your knowledge of the paths you will follow. Understanding the terrain and what is ahead in terms of weather, and accommodation. Also understanding how diet and water affects walking.
  5. Purchase the correct equipment –

       –  Pack – We changed Paul’s pack right at the end. It has to have a waist band to                 take the weight and not pull on the shoulders.

–  Rainwear  – A good rain coat is important. We will probably go with the Atalaa next time. Our ponchos were ok but not great. They needed to be longer although they were light weight – always a consideration. The Atalaa people seemed to just cruise by unscathed by the weather on themselves or their packs.

Footwear – Of course it goes without saying – correct footwear is a must. I was told to go a size bigger and it worked. Two pairs of socks fill the gaps. Duct tape is a must. Prevents blistering!

Underwear. We opted mainly for bamboo socks and jocks. I would hope for a better fitting pair next time that dried quicker. Also undergarments that wick moisture away from your body too.

 – Poles – this is not last for any reason but they definitely were our definite bring along. Some did walk without them – good luck to them. I would never think of it! They were invaluable. Spring loaded were good but not particularly necessary. We didn’t go very expensive due to financial constraints and it really didn’t seem to make a difference, except the tips do wear out after 40 days of pounding. They can be purchased along the way.

6. Stay the course – There may be  road blocks or at least detours so persevere. Keep focused. Don’t give up!

 

 

 

Auto Immune – It’s not in your head – It’s in your body!

There is so much to write about today I feel a little concerted. I will start with Auto Immune Secrets first though. Auto Immune diseases. As I have said before on a previous blog found here it has taken me years to recover and discover just what was happening within my body. Two burnouts took its toll on my immune system. Finally a diagnosis of Hashimotos and then a realization that food allergies, (night shades) primarily, were creating havoc in my system and finally as I undertook methods to heal with diet changes, medication, prayer, life style changes and I felt like I was a renewed woman

A crisis within my system this past week and a flair up of inflammation caused me to look again at just what is happening and then I found this!  AutoImmune Secrets . If you click on here it will take you to a link that you can join up. So far they are not selling anything except the understanding of what is happening to your body. I related particularly to the story of the first guy Arthur’s story at 1:32. It is my story! Even to the point where suicide became an invasive thought despite my strong belief about that being any sort of option! Praise God He showed me years back how to walk in healing and health that is why this weeks crisis was a real bummer!

I would encourage anyone who is struggling with autoimmune problems such as diabetes, thyroid conditions, lupus, or un-diagnosed issues or been told it is in “your head” when your body is screaming another reality, check this out.

I believe in Jesus as my healer and also believe we need to take care of this body we have been given in maintaining health. This is so hard to do in this day and age with the amount of environmental toxins, and food additives etc, not to mention the stress levels we live under.

But God is good and led me to this site!  AutoImmune Secrets   has come at a great time. I want to see my body completely healed – and this video offers insights and hope to the millions who like myself struggle with keeping on top of  living a healthy lifestyle.

I look forward to Episode 2!

Until next time

I will write the next blog while sipping my golden milk. Thanks Jo Kelvin and Naomi Darg for the recipe!

Blessings Narelle

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

Re-living the Pain of Tragedy – Grief revisited

crying lady

With all the blogs, posts and comments regarding the latest mass shooting of people in the United States, it is tempting to enter the debate on why? but I will not get into that. Evil is evil! The tools to deliver evil intent will always be found.

My thoughts run to those who have walked this path before – too many of them. The LA shooting, Orlando, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, the list goes on. So many have lost so many!  Can you imagine the pain each of them feels when something like the Valentine’s Day tragedy occurs again?

It would be like an almost healed wound being torn open again with fresh bleeding gushing out.

The reliving of dread as you hear through social media or friends or television that there is a shooting. The pain of the wait to know if your child or loved one is among the injured or dead. The agony of having to identify the shattered body of those who you saw only that morning wave their last farewell or kissed you on the cheek. The perpetual internal and external screams as you realize the finality of the outcome. Then the ongoing daily pain of grief flowing over you, only to be followed by anger and bitterness toward whoever is to blame for your loss.

Walking the path of the broken as you buried ones whose lives were cut short: Comforting others as you yourself struggle for answers and the what-ifs: Struggling with the knife of grief cutting through your heart every day as you struggle with survivor guilt and the pain of loss: The pain of obscurity as the focus shifts to the next group of victims and your pain is shelved with the faces of the quickly forgotten: These emotions are all that you have to look forward to in the aftermath.

There are few words to say at a time like this for those who are re-living all of those emotions. I have not walked in your shoes. I can not offer wisdom into a situation I don’t understand. I can offer the professional advice for grief management and these are helpful but your journey is your journey.

All I can offer are the words of the wonderful and truthfilled Psalm 23:

Yea though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death I will fear no evil because You are with me.

Evil can try to crush but love will prevail! He is with you at this time.

There is also the truth of His name – The Comforter, the Healer, the Prince of Peace.

Nothing can prepare us for the separation of death – It was not what we were created for. It is part of the death sentence of sin, but we can be assured that Jesus said, “He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.” The Devil comes to steal and destroy but He comes to bring us Life. He is Peace and although it may not feel like it right now, Peace and life will come. He is with you during this time of loss. It is times like this where your faith can bloom or shrivel. Faith is comfort.

Know that although I don’t understand your pain completely, myself and many others stand in prayer with you and those around you as you grieve again. We stand with you as you remember your loved ones and their loss. I may not know your name or who your loved one was but I still stand with you to offer you love, and prayer for strength as you face the tragedy again.

In love

Narelle until next time.

 

 

 

Posted in Beekeeping, Christian living, energy, gardening, health and wellness, Hobby Farming, honey, Life, Uncategorized

Tragedy of the Bees!

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Happier times!

So sad this morning as we approached the silence of the remaining hive. The recent blizzard conditions did the damage! The poor girls succumbed to the severe weather.

The wonderful aroma of honey left untouched, wafted up as we finally had some warmer weather when we were actually at the property. We lifted the lid on the bees to check out what happened over the severe weather.

It is an extremely sad sound not to hear the beautiful hum from an active hive.  As we lifted the boxes we came across the odd dead bee until finally we lifted the final box to the sight of our beautiful ladies unceremoniously piled in a heap at the bottom of the hive. I couldn’t believe how disappointed I felt at the loss.

So our first foray into bees this season has become part of the huge statistic percentage  of failed hives. The varroa mite is the largest contributor to a failed hive and we did have our share of them. Someone suggested “Whiffer” pads to trap them and we did find that worked.

However, I think our loss was the problem of lack of time to really “keep” our bees and pay closer attention to them, as well as the severe storms that we experienced on the Eastern Shore, Virginia and East Coast in general early, in January.

We will need to research the insulating of hives more thoroughly this year and do more homework on how to keep them from fleeing and freezing!

It was sad though and I can only imagine how farmers feel when they lose their herds or flocks as seen during some of Australia’s harshest drought seasons!

Anyway we will borrow a spinner and rob the hive of what honey was left by these before other hives become active and rob the honey.

The other hive was picked clean by the “cleaner team” who worked tirelessly for weeks to ensure nothing was left in the abandoned hive – not even a smidgen of wax or propolis  (the “mortar” they use to seal up the boxes) was left. When you consider the effort and time used to build a hive and produce honey I don’t blame them for not having to repeat the process if they don’t have to. This last hive didn’t have time to clean out.

I did find a site that discusses the aspects of insulating which we did attempt but didn’t follow through on, for various reasons. One of his comments is that the moisture content under the roof can sometimes layer, freeze and then in the melt down from warmer whether, fall down and drown the bees. I am wondering if this could have been a major contributing factor as I looked at the mildew at the bottom of the boxes. A link is provided lower down to the site that details more on insulating.

Here are a few lessons I hope we have learned and will remedy this coming year. They are also a reflection of life –

  1. You have to spend the time in “keeping” the bees.  – You can not leave it until you are able or feel like it. Paul  laughed at my blog about bee keeping. He said, “We are bee losers  not keepers!” Time in any animal husbandry is of the essence. You can’t put caring off. 
  2. Learn more. – Bee keeping is a science and we need more understanding and guidance. We have to be ever learning.  
  3. Learn more about wrapping hives particularly for winter – There is a lot of discussion regarding insulation.  I found a great site that explains some aspects of insulating. Click here to check it out  There are many opinions but you have to work out what works for you and learn from others’ wisdom.
  4. Don’t neglect the small things in every day life – There are so many little things in every day life that add up to the greater plan. These bees each only add a small contribution to their hive but each bit adds to the larger scale. They are content and faithful to their “call”. Do we have the same sense of purpose in doing the small things each day? Do the small things with purpose and sense of duty and destiny. 
  5.  Persist – Failure is bound to happen you have to keep persisting and try again.

That’s all until the next bee keeping adventure – Part 2

Until next time

Blessings Narelle

 

 

Posted in Christian living, energy, health and wellness, isagenix, Life, Night shade Allergies, Uncategorized, weight loss

VICTORY – WEIGHT LOSS + ENERGY + HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHANGES = 1 ECSTATIC WOMAN!

This is followed up my previous blog on how I gained health and energy. This blog covers the aspect of weight loss. It is a couple of years since writing this and I have maintained my weight but still continue to work at loosing the last 10 kilos I need to.

I have succumbed a few times to reactions to food as something slipped by me so I have still maintained my abstinence of nightshades. I also still maintain my Isagenix routine and swear by them!

Below are some of the other struggles I overcame in this area of weight loss I recorded a few years back!

Struggling with Weight Loss? This might help you however, if you have never understood the struggle of losing weight or being able to keep it off then this blog is not for you. In fact please don’t read it because you will most likely be critical and judgmental of those of us who have faced the struggle and until you have walked in the shoes of those of us who have fought to overcome in this area you won’t get it!

There are many reasons why people struggle with their weight gains. I think I have covered a few of them in the past 6 or so years and will share a few “reasons” here as to why weight loss is complicated for some and not just a matter of not eating too much.

  1. Genes – My family is prone to overweightness

This has been a problem within our family for many years. Our mother had a huge weight issue all her life. I don’t know how many diet fads she attempted in vain. We are prone to weight gain and my siblings and I put on weight as she did – all over. We are big-boned so we tell ourselves. We are just a big family. I always refused to accept that but found myself looking more like her. It has always been an issue for me and a goal to stay slim and to stay healthy. I achieved it for a lot of years but the past few years saw me gain kilo after kilo and the ability to shed them was becoming increasingly difficult.

  1. Comfort Eating and Depression

I saw this in my mother who used food as a comfort for some challenging issues within our family but I personally didn’t know I was also starting to use it to comfort myself. That was until I did a fast last year and realized each time I was starting to feel sad, worried, tired or angry about something I would head for the food cupboard until I remembered I was fasting. It was a huge awakening for me to find my “comfort” from another source other than food. The depression from the cycle of frustration and hopelessness is hard to describe. You actually might need to seek counsel as there may be even deeper roots to the cause of comfort eating that need addressing.

  1. Illness or injury

In 2009 two things happened to my health that was to affect me for the next 6 years. The first was the onset of Hashimotos Thyroid condition, which meant rapid weight gain and other issues that affected my ability to function at any high level of energy, at times even the ability to function for more than an hour or so before needing to rest. Thinking I was just becoming a lazy slob I embarked on a significant physical training program. All was going well although an hour’s exercise meant a recovery time of 3 hours at least. Then I twisted my ankle – ever so slightly. The injury produced a clot somewhere in my leg. Long story short the health issues continued as my weight ballooned. Depression set in and comfort eating became an issue. Cycles! They are hard to break. Exercise became associated with pain and when there are no apparent benefits, frustration and disillusionment.

  1. Food allergies

I started the same route as my mum exploring different diets and food regimes. I embarked on the various paleo diets around and found they worked at various levels. I grew my own vegies; ate healthy meals but still found weight loss illusive. “Just don’t eat as much” people said. How does about 1000kls a day equate to too much! Fasting produced some good side effects in that for that time I didn’t bloat or feel sick. But you can’t not eat forever! I discovered I had an allergy to nightshade plants. Elimination helped but still the weight was only slowly dissipating.

VICTORY!

Last year I undertook a Daniel fast. This means eating only vegetables, fruit and water. I actually found that having one meal a day in the middle of the day worked well for me regarding bloating, sufficiency and just all round health.

It started off with being very sick at the beginning of the year.  Flat on my back for about the third January in a row: Shingles, autoimmune issues, flus, bronchial issues, all occurred around the end or beginning of each year.

How I started my road to recovery.

  1. Prayed.

I spent days in bed with the virus I had. So I figured that I would make it work for me. I spent time waiting on God: Days of just being quiet before Him. Those who wait on Him will renew their strength!

  1. Fasted

Because I couldn’t eat from being sick I turned it into a fast. I was determined to see a breakthrough. I don’t believe in fasting as a form of twisting God’s arm but for me it definitely helps in clearing the airwaves between myself and God. I have found after 40 years of walking with the Lord that times of dedicated prayer and fasting definitely bring breakthrough in wisdom and understanding.

  1. Listened

Listened to my body and discovered what worked for me. I had a regime of vitamins I was on and have been for quite a few years but found that I may still have been lacking in a few areas.

  1. Did the Practical

Day by day as I started to improve I started exercises. I was doing my knee exercises in bed and strengthening my core muscles as well as my knees. I then started walking a little each day and building on that.

  1. Found supplements that worked

My biggest breakthrough came though when I discovered Isagenix. I have heard a lot of negative reports about the product since joining but let me tell you I have found they worked powerfully for me and thousands of others.

When I went back to my naturopath who for two years has been working with me to improve my health and weight, with little to no avail, she was shocked to see I had lost 5 kilos in 1 week.

From January to May last year after nearly 60 days on a Daniel fast I had only lost about 7 kilos. The fast was not about losing weight but you would think it would be a bi-product. On the Isagenix program eating more than before and taking the vitamins and minerals, I lost the 5 kilos in a week! Since that time with all the travel and the exercise producing muscle and toning my body I have managed to lose and sustain around 17kilos loss. This isn’t a diet it is a lifestyle change!

Now here is one of those frustrations. My naturopath knew about the products and agreed they were very good products and the balance of the regime was “probably” a good fit for the various conditions I had..!! But she doesn’t recommend them because they are “those” products!! What products? Multilevel marketing! Well really – because an ordinary person can sell them and not just the “professionals” means she didn’t recommend something that could have helped me..

Herein I put up a disclaimer. These products may not work for you. I am not a professional but I do believe in encouraging people who like me have struggled with the whole aspect of weight loss. I am also a trained counsellor and understand that weight loss is a lot more complicated than just not eating too much for many people. See my previous blog where I share some of these issues.

I urge you to consult a naturopath, doctor or health professional who is trustworthy and cares about your health. Mine did but also had some strong opinions that I was happy to ignore. You have to decide to explore your options. These are just my comments and discoveries.

FAQ and Common Comments

Is it for everyone? My only comment on that is that for many it has been the breakthrough they have needed for years. Is it for you? Only you can decide that. For me it has given me the energy that I had been lacking for so many years. The balance of vitamins and nutrients works incredibly well for me. This regime may not be for you but it is worth a try. More importantly, is to find what works for you and your body. It is not a magic pill to swallow but a system that does help many to improve the health of their bodies.

It is expensive!  For me as I did the math, meal replacement and vitamin exchange (remember I was on many vitamins prior to this) meant I came out about equal in cost. The products are good quality and if it works are a lot less expensive then healthcare costs. I haven’t been to a doctor, or even the naturopath since! You do the math. I also saved on my gym costs because I have my own motivation and love the freedom of exercising outdoors…..

It isn’t real food. I love real, healthy food. But I also have found that for the time being meal replacements are working for what I need right now by providing nutritionally rich foods. I still have a really lovely main meal at lunch time and find I am satisfied with that. When I attain my final goal weight I will be able to utilize introducing more foods back in to my diet. However, I will still maintain the cleanse aspect of the regime to maintain good health. This means a cleanse day ONCE (1) day a week. I have heard people “quote” you have to fast 2 or so days a week.

If I starved myself I would lose weight too! I have heard people on blogs say it is a starvation diet – wrong. It does take discipline and is controlled calories, no doubt, but you are satisfied and getting the right nutrients you just don’t feel like overeating and once you have cleansed your system from the sugars etc your cravings abate. I was fasting and still not losing copious amounts of weight. Starving yourself actually has the opposite affect which I will not go in to here as I have said I am not a qualified professional.

You just have to learn to eat smaller amounts! If I had a dollar for everyone who said that I would be a wealthy woman. It’s about what goes in and absolutely smaller portions help. But it is not always the easy answer. Again see my blog regarding this. I was eating salads and protein every meal and because of allergies was making myself extremely sick. Find out what is right for you.

You started to exercise – therefore your energy returned. It wasn’t the products. I don’t know how many people said this to me as well. However, for me the exercise even though I was doing better still left me depleted of energy. The products definitely improved my energy levels to the point I could function when I get back from excessive exercise. Also I gained 10kilos in as many weeks years ago, as there were health issues that needed to be addressed with a malfunctioning thyroid, even though I was jalking (jog walking) up to 8klms 6 days a week. So don’t assume exercising is the answer to healthier living and weight loss for everyone.

So in summaryfind what works for you. These products are worth a look and a trial. We are all different metabolisms and health issues so take responsibility for your health and don’t expect others to do it for you. Check out this site and look over the products I cannot recommend them enough but do your homework and start living the life your body deserves. Most people do not know what it feels like to be well. Some said I became fanatical when I started recovering and using these products to boost that recovery…I absolutely was! When you feel so wonderful after years of being unwell and unable to get through the day without energy and feeling well…who wouldn’t want to run a marathon and shout it from the rooftops. This excited over 50’s woman completed a 800 klm walk in 2015 and walked approximately 3000 km in preparation for the walk. Life is for living. Check it out.

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.

reset button

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 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, Life, Love, Second Coming, Uncategorized

Irma, Harvey and Jose

As Irma pushes towards the coast of Florida most people will be readying themselves, their homes and their families for what has been described as one of the worst storms in the Atlantic.

Having been in the Philippines post Haiyan, I have seen first hand the devastation a storm of this size can cause. Coconut trees which bend to the ground in storms, snapped off like matchsticks; almost 100% destruction of housing; livelihoods destroyed as the fisher people’s boats were smashed against the shores; I have to be concerned for the people’s of the Caribbean and also for those in the low lying islands off the east coast of the US.

It’s interesting the thought, “Believe for the best, prepare the worst!” So a many fail to heed the cry and can become complacent thinking, “They always warn us and nothing happens!”

It reminds me so much of what happens when we talk about the coming of the Messiah! Jesus told us to be prepared! Watching and waiting because we don’t know what time He is coming back. Like a good reporting agency He gave us signs to watch for and be alert. However, many have become complacent thinking so many generations have been waiting and saying it looks close! Complacency and apathy should never become part of our faith lives. Look up as we read the “weather reports”, He is coming back and we need to be prepared.

For those in the path of Irma- Be prepared. Stay safe!

Blessings

Until next time

Narelle

 

Posted in Christian living, communication, cross cultural living, grandparenting, Life, Marriage, Parenthood

Love is – Not Arrogant or Rude

20170112_153645Arrogant: having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.

Arrogant synonyms: haughtyconceitedhubristicself-importantopinionated, egotistic, full of oneself, superioroverbearingpompoushigh-handed, swaggering, boastfulbumptious, blustering, patronizing, condescendingdisdainfulcontemptuousimperiousproudvainimmodestloftylordlysnobbishsnobbyoverweeningsupercilioussmugpretentiousaffectedscornfulmocking, sneering, scoffing; informalhoity-toity, high and mighty, uppitysnootystuck-uptoffee-nosedfancy-pantssnotty, jumped up, too big for one’s boots, big-headed

Rude: offensively impolite or bad-mannered. “she had been rude to her boss”

Ill-mannered, bad mannered,  impolite,  discourteous,  impertinent,  insolent,  impudent,  cheeky,audaciouspresumptuousuncivildisrespectfulunmannerlyill-bred,  churlish,  crasscurtbrusquebluntungraciousgracelessbrashunpleasantdisagreeableoff-handshortsharpoffensiveinsultingderogatorydisparagingabusivetactlessundiplomaticuncomplimentaryuncharitableunchivalrousungallantungentlemanlyunladylikearchaic malapertcontumeliousrare underbred, mannerless

Love is not arrogant or rude. Hm..On looking at these I wonder at the times I have placed myself above others, with feelings of being of more importance. I also look at the synonyms of rude and see, sharp, short, offhand, unpleasant, disagreeable and see my myself in the mirror of His Word.

I know we are not condemned but the Word is a mirror and as I study the reflection of myself in it, I see the areas I still lack in walking in love!

Love is not arrogant, proud or rude. I am quick to judge others when they are rude to me, slight me, are disparaging, tactless etc, but judge my own self with a far less stringent measure, knowing I don’t intentionally aim to hurt others, yet think they do to me! I need to keep watch over my own self, my feelings and attitudes. It is no easy task and as I study this passage so easily quoted yet so hard to live, I am reminded that it is only by Grace are we able to walk this walk and live in that place of love. Love Him and others.

It is ok to love those who are friendly and loving toward us but when others turn their backs on us, treat us with contempt or hatred, are rude, arrogant, kill, maim, or torture us, how do we responded?

Do we respond in kind? One of my challenging scriptures (of which there are many) is the one that says we don’t trade insult for insult or evil for evil, but overcome evil with good! This is no small feat and again, it can only be done by His love outworking in us. We set the frame work of putting off those things of malice, bitterness, hatred, and putting on His clothing of humility and love.

Oh!!! This so easily flows off the keyboard or out of the mouth but to live this life…well like us all, I struggle to put off those things. Sometimes we continue to pick at the wound received, reciting, rehearsing the hurt, reliving the pain, and wonder why it starts to bleed again! Best to cover it with the soothing oil of love, and bandage it with His Grace and Mercy. Oh again so easily said, but such a challenge to do!

Anyway this is the mirror I stand in front of tonight as I think of Him and how He loved me even when I cursed His name and turned my eyes to the world, constantly looking for love, affirmation and security. His is the only love I can trust in fully and I must walk in that knowledge that I am so loved by Him and stand above reproach in the eyes of my God. So are you!