“……Physicaaallly fit! Physicaaally fit! Physically-physically fit." Sasha Baron Cohen’s voice blasted through Clapham Junction. No it is not my theme song; it is just that we get all sorts on London public transport and this young commuter was hyping us up with King Julian’s heavily accented singing carousing from his speaker.
I love the song but lately I had been identifying more with the, “Big ship ‘pon di ocean that a big Titanic” bit of that song. “Yes King Julian”, I thought to myself. “Me da big ship that has to reach the other platform in approximately 6 minutes”.
That was me in March this year. I had been waddling, jogging and skip stepping my way through this station for a few months now and I was feeling especially lethargic that day. I let out a sigh of relief when the train doors narrowly avoided shaving off my behind.
“You okay mam?,” asked the young wanna be DJ
“Yeah fine”, I snapped.
Since when had I become the mam holding up trains? Since lately! This imperceptible shift from fit-young-chick to big-‘ol-ship crept up on me as was apparent on that day in Clapham Junction.
I wish I could write here that that was my turning point; that I went home and threw away the junk and made quinoa salad for the rest of my life. Alas no. I gorged on KFC and took a trip to Fiji but spent the entire trip being lethargic which I conveniently blamed on the weather. The truth was that I could not keep up with my energetic mother who I spent most of my time with. She is over 70 years old; keeps a vibrant back garden going and her yams are the talk of the neighbourhood. Things finally hit home and I knew I needed a bit of help.
My husband and I got back to the UK just in time for the lockdown and by a stroke of luck MAUK started their lockdown live sessions where I heard Audrey speak. The group session she runs interested me greatly as the cost was suitable for my budget and doing things with other sisters seemed fun. So I, along with five fabulous ladies, signed up to Audrey’s integrated health coaching program.
It felt so good to finally take a definite stand in addressing my health. Having Audrey show me how to make this lifestyle change was a bang for the buck best decision ever. Our group are into our 10th week of our six months journey. The camaraderie and motivation from each other have helped spur me on. It is not a strict regimented programme but looking at the other ladies taking on their respective journeys with discipline provides that invisible switch that makes one want to do better.
While I am a long way off from achieving all my set goals, I feel excited enough to share with you three insights into my journey so far.
1. The reason to has to be for something bigger than yourself.
At the start of the program, we were asked about our reasons and the goals we wanted to achieve from this coaching.
It was good chance to self-reflect and focus on a bigger why. Yes sure, the egoistical part of me wants me to run elegantly like Usain Bolt between platforms like I had shared before. However, my bigger why is that I want to live. To really live energetically and be there for everyone I love. The six months it takes to complete this with Audrey is an indication enough of the commitment it will require. It is a lifestyle change therefore you will need a bigger why to drive you when the going gets tedious.
2. Healthy living is expensive (but sickness costs more.)
We also started reading labels religiously and were encouraged to eliminate processed foods from our pantry. Out went the cheap ‘kakana ni lauqa’ and in came the “global chicken”, that is what my husband calls organic chicken as it seemed from the cost that it had crossed the globe to get to us!
Chickpea flour, every variety of pulses and legumes under the sun and organic fruits and vegetables have replaced most of our junk. My eyes watered at the checkout counter but it helps to remember that in the long run, it will all pay off. We discussed prioritising our wants to allow this new lifestyle to fit in the family budget. However, this is true for so many areas of our lives. From prioritising a functional wardrobe over the latest vogue, to nurturing your positive social circles over the toxic ones; when we strip our lives to its bare necessities we will find loopholes where our finances have been falling through. This helps offset the cost of organic foods which seem more expensive but not really in the grand scheme of things.
3. You don’t find balance; you have to create it.
Our latest exercise was to look at the wheel of life. The wheel is divided into segments like career, finances, joy and relationships and you asses yourself based on these. My wheel was so skewed but I have realised that creating a balance was totally within my control.
For instance, I intentionally get off a stop before my final destination so that I can squeeze in a 30-minute walk. Ways to find balance can also include tuning out social media, practising self-care by rewarding yourself and most importantly re-assessing yourself on a regular basis.
These are my three nuggets so far and I am happy to say that I am not holding up trains at Clapham, I am a bit more “physicaaaaly fit” and yes I do make a mean quinoa salad! You see, integrated coaching is for everyone! Why don’t you come on and join us. It will be the best investment you make this year.
1. Chris Davis, Platform and Cups, Clapham Junction. Available from : https://www.flickr.com/photos/chris_davis_photos/30309367382/