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‘My weight loss journey’

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Shiko Ndung’u started her weight loss journey in December 2018. Since childhood, she had struggled with excess weight, but after hitting the highest weight ever — 114 kilogrammes — it gave her a new push. She spoke to Doreen Wainainah.

There was a point you were vegan, what made you want to try that?

I went vegan after two major life events. In 2017, I lost my father to cancer and I was moving to the UK for my MBA. While my father was ill and even after his passing, I was obsessed with cancer research. The one thing that stood out in terms of lowering the risks was diet.

At the same time, I had come across the vegan diet and decided to try it. I truly enjoyed the new food I ate, how I felt and my improved fitness. When I think about it now, I see I was driven by fear of becoming ill and gaining more weight given how cheap and accessible fast food is in the UK. Even so, it was a good decision at the time.

What made you stop being vegan?

Well, I took a different approach to my health, one not driven by fear. As a vegan, I felt my best, but the weight loss felt super slow and I didn’t feel like I had the luxury of time. I do have vegan days as my ultimate goal is to adopt a whole foods plant-based diet.

You are currently on keto diet and intermittent fasting. What guided this choice?

In my quest for yet another diet to solve my obesity problem, I came across keto and intermittent fasting online. It appealed to me because it explained the science behind it in a way that resonated with me. Moreover, I wouldn’t have to starve myself or eat boring tasteless food like many of the other diets I had tried. I really got into it, reading, watching videos and talking to anyone who would listen. The icing on the cake though, is that one of my mentors had lost about 25 kgs in about eight months on it and so I got someone cheering me on. Now I swear by it having lost over 15 kgs in the last six months.

Do you adhere to keto 100 percent?

Oh no! It has been a struggle because I am trying to unlearn a behaviour I have had for over 30 years. Besides consuming simple carbohydrates and sugar in every meal, I have overindulged all my life so on a very good week, I’m probably at 85 per cent adherence. But even the remaining 15 percent, I try keep it clean with eating complex carbs and natural sugars.

Yes. I take time each week and look for recipes online that are keto-friendly and I create a weekly meal plan. I don’t really enjoy meals prepped days in advance so I shop for the ingredients over the weekend and make the different meals throughout the week. Creating a meal plan ensures I am not tempted to indulge in old habits due to lack of preparation.

How did you deal with the keto slump (withdrawal of carbs aftershock)?

There are two parts to it. First, when starting off, I began by making healthier substitutes. So instead of my usual white bread, white rice, white ugali, I ate the whole meal options. Going cold turkey just made the slump really bad and pushed me back to old habits.

The second part is to then introduce the keto foods as you gradually eliminate the non-keto foods. So, for example, taking out the rice completely and eating cauliflower rice instead. You still experience the slump but manageably and after a couple of weeks, I could hardly feel it.

How do you keep within the plan with external forces like friends and relatives who are not on the same meal plan as you?

It is one of my biggest struggles. My partner, for example, is not on keto and we have most of our meals together. My friends and relatives as well. What I first did was share my journey. You would be surprised by how supportive people can be when you tell them how obesity can make you drop of a heart attack. They keep you accountable, in that if they see you making poor choices, they call you out on it.

The other thing is to always be prepared. For instance, when I have my food ready and my partner wants to get pizza, it’s easier for me since my food is right there and for sure he will not let me have his pizza.

I also eat before going to a party. It’s hard to overindulge on a full stomach.

It’s just better understanding how important my health is. On accountability, I have my friends and family cheering me on and an Instagram page @shikondungu_ where I share my journey; the real highs and lows of beating obesity. Because I have many people watching and cheering me towards my goal to get to 80 kgs by the end of the year, I get super motivated.

How long do you plan on being on keto?

For the foreseeable future. I probably won’t keep at it for six days a week after I get to my goal weight, but I will maintain it to ensure I keep off the weight for good.

The weight loss is the best side effect! The other one I found strange was the reduced number of trips to the bathroom, because you are eating less of course. Everything else feels normal.

Did you consult a nutritionist before you started?

I relied on several books written by nutrition and health experts.

How long do you work out daily?

I take a 30-minute walk on a high incline at medium speed on the trend mill six times a week. I have come to appreciate the truth in the phrase that “you lose weight in the kitchen and get fit in the gym.” As the kilos drop, I also gain more confidence in outdoor activities. So over the weekend, I go swimming or on long walks.

How do you handle the anxiety?

You mean on my Instagram page? I use the anxiety to keep me focused. Because I know each Monday I have to post my weight on @shikondungu_ I have to give it my best each week. It’s so powerful that on a few weeks I didn’t weigh in, I didn’t actually lose weight. So, I just use the anxiety for my benefit.

What would you like people to understand about the journey you are on?

Keto and intermittent fasting is what has been working for me, we are all different so something else may work for you, the key is to just be consistent with your plan. Have an accountability plan and plan in advance. Within no time, you will be a completely new person; healthier and hopefully happier

By Business Daily


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The life lessons I learnt from a brief stay with my grandfather

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With the schools closed, my parents got tired of me and my three siblings quarrelling and sent us to the village to stay with my grandparents.

More than any book or class, this visit taught me so much about appreciating what I have in my life and being open to the differences that I was blind to.

I protested going to the village at first, but now I am happy I did.

I had never liked being around my grandfather for so long because he is such a strict disciplinarian.

However, staying around him taught me why he is the way he is. He taught me about the value of hard work and integrity.

My grandfather is not one to stand lazy and idle people. So he taught me that I needed to structure my day to the tasks I needed to accomplish and spend time in the evening enjoying leisure.

So in this plan, we wake up in the morning to sweep the compound clean. My sisters then join my grandmother in the kitchen to make breakfast, as my brother and I help grandfather feed the cows before milking them.

Tending the animals

After breakfast, we would all go to the farm to weed. The afternoons were more of reading and playing. My brother soon gravitated towards tending the animals while I enjoyed working on the farm with my grandmother.

I also loved fetching water from the stream. We then spent the evening watching television to catch up with the news.

The discipline also made us more mindful about how our lives affected others, even when no one was watching.

We carried enough sanitisers and face masks to last us the duration of our imposed stay. We were careful because our grandparents were at that age of being vulnerable to the virus.

I noticed that many villagers were sceptical of the existence of Covid-19. They argued and dismissed the global pandemic as a hoax.

Some said they were yet to see anyone who had succumbed to the virus. Some were really tickled to see us donning face masks all the time, but we stayed true to the act knowing my grandparents’ lives depended on it.

This is how my grandfather raised my father and his eight siblings, and I am happy I got to learn this.

by nation.co.ke


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Foul smell leads to recovery of couple

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Decomposing bodies of a couple that has been missing for more than a week were found in their house in Laini centre off the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, yesterday.

A foul smell emanating from the house of the 72-year-old-man and his wife, 62, led to their recovery. Police have launched investigations into the incident.

There were conflicting reports about the deaths with some claiming that the two were murdered while others suspected that they could have died of carbon monoxide emitted from a jiko.

Police declined to give names of the deceased until the next of kin are informed. Emotions ran high as locals viewed the bodies.

A village elder, Moses Mwathi, revealed that the couple was working in a quarry before they went missing.

Mwathi said neighbours thought that they had travelled to their rural home but got concerned after a foul smell started emanating from their house.

“On checking they noticed that the house was locked from inside and the bodies could be seen lying on their bed,” he said.

Police gained access into the house after breaking the door. The bodies were taken to the mortuary

Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru said initial investigations pointed to carbon monoxide poisoning from a jiko.

“We can’t, however, rule out murder at this moment and only a post-mortem examination will establish the real cause of the death,” said the police boss.

And in the nearby Kinungi village, a 35-year-old farmworker committed suicide by hanging himself in a house.

The body was found by his employer before police were called in. Jim Kimani, a friend to the deceased, said he was in low spirits over debts.

“He claimed that some people he owed money were harassing him but we never thought that he would commit suicide,” Kimani said.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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LET’S HOLD HANDS WITH OPTIVEN FOUNDATION

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By helping someone achieve their dream,
You are well on your way to achieving your own dream!

Together with partners like you, the Optiven Foundation is changing one life at a time, by reaching the most vulnerable and meeting their needs. Because the needs are growing daily, we are open to hold hands with you and make our world a better place. Make your donation to Optiven Foundation via Paybill 898 630, Account name: Mobility

For more info, call us on +254 718 77 60 33 or info@optivenfoundation.org
www.optivenfoundation.org
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