CANDID TALK

what we don't say out loud.

June 29, 2016
by Kate Mwamba
0 comments

 

A famous saying goes thus: “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go further, go with others.” Another one says that, “He who travels alone goes fast, but he who travels with others goes further.” I would like to remind you again that if you really want to go beyond the limits in your life, you only need three things: people, people and more people.

The struggle between the book smarts and the street smart

The struggle between the book smarts and the street smart

In my past experience as a credit officer I had many chances of interacting with all sorts of business persons and I can tell you for free that most successful and influential business persons are not book smart but street smart. The stories of success are most humbling yet they upheld a vision and sought the opportunities in smart way. In a book written by Robert Kiyosaki titled, Why A Students Work for C Students and B Students Work for the Government.  Simply explains that because C students are known to be street smart and charming. They are very good with people and very good with numbers. They can easily influence and are convincing because they have what I call ‘likability.’ They are likable and like people too; they know how to treat people, respect them and make them feel valued. They are less egocentric and more people empowering. They understand the universal truth that the greatest desire of every human being is to feel important, and whenever they interact with others, they apply this law. They make others feel superior to them and in the process, find their way around them, cross all barriers, go beyond limits and reach the summit of their potential.

Examples the late, great Steve Jobs dropped out of school before graduating. Thomas Jefferson dropped out after only a few months of formal education. John D. Rockefeller dropped out of high school two months before his graduation and decided to go off and start a little company called Standard Oil. Walt Disney, Richard Branson, Elton John, James Cameron, Frank Lloyd Wright all dropped out of school to pursue their passions. These are just a few names on a very long list of brilliant or ambitious individuals who gave lackluster performances in the classroom but crushed it in real life!

We know now that there are many different types of intelligence and grades only measure a select few, and poorly at that. A GPA does not measure a person’s emotional intelligence, it does not measure their leadership ability, it does not necessarily measure their ability to think outside of the box and solve problems. It does nothing to evaluate a person’s ability to predict the needs of society or consumers. It does nothing to illuminate the ability of an individual to work with others and find middle ground in standoffs or conflicts. All of these things are vitally important to an individual’s success in life and almost none of them are measured by grades. Grades, GPAs and standardized test scores largely measure one’s ability to answer questions and regurgitate information and not much else.

Think about this. Throughout history, legendary leaders have had great people skills. Your people skills will take you to places where your brain and papers cannot. A book  by Robert Shemin titled, How Come that Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not? Well  most ‘idiots’ outsmart most educated fellows for the simple reason that for their advancement, the ‘idiots’ solely rely on their gut and power of leverage. What is leverage? It is simply using other people’s goodwill, other people’s intelligence, other people’s resources, other people’s influence, other people’s ideas and other people’s contacts

 

June 18, 2016
by Kate Mwamba
0 comments

How to mind your own business at a work place

office-gossipESTABLISH YOUR BOUNDARIES

“Train your colleagues to know that you won’t engage in drama,” Walk away from gossipy or negative conversations. Ask for facts and ignore rumors. Some people thrive on drama—it fills a need for attention or for feeling good about themselves at another’s expense. If you deprive them of that, they’ll stop looking to you to fill that need.

LIMIT THE TIME YOU SPEND WITH GOSSIPY COLLEAGUES

If one co-worker in particular consistently stirs up negativity or gossip, make a point of keeping your interactions to a minimum. “Don’t respond to emails that may be fraught with innuendo,”  “Keep your conversations short and work-focused.”

GENTLY CALL OUT NEGATIVITY

“If someone’s being super-negative and it’s getting you and others down, give them gentle feedback,” like “Hey, I’ve noticed when we chat, our conversation is so focused on the negative. I don’t know about you, but I could use some positivity. What’s going well for you?” It suggests that you’re in this together, reminding your co-worker how important optimism is without actually placing blame on him or her.

MAKE IT ABOUT YOU

Rather than go on the offensive, tell your colleagues that you have a personal policy not to get mixed up in drama. A suggestion like, “I don’t really like to talk about stuff like that,” or “It’s none of my business.” Then, change the subject.

ASK FOR THE FACTS

When gossip comes up, put it in its place. Say, “Oh, wow, that doesn’t sound right. Is that a fact or did you just hear that from someone?” You’ll probably be the last person they want to share rumors with in the future. “It may not change their behavior,” I say, “but it will take all the fun out of sharing gossip with you.”

 

June 18, 2016
by Kate Mwamba
1 Comment

TITTLE TATTLE TALK..

This is a re post but oh well…A gossiper [talebearer, slander] goes around telling secrets; so avoid anyone who talks too much. We are what comes out of our mouths.For those who know me well then you know I love inner peace and I avoid stressful people or stressful situations at whatever cost .I take pride in myself in the achievements I have made so far in life because it has been a journey to get here and while am here I will not apologize to anyone for how I or my family lives and why I regard myself highly, if God does not judge me otherwise then any other person’s thoughts and sentiments are irrelevant. If you make decision to stop and throw stones at every dog that barks then you will never reach your destination.

Gossip is that “secret” that people try to conceal with superficial concern and erroneous motives but really it does nothing but stir up conflict because it comes from an impure place. 

Gossiping has two sides to it; first gossiping is when you say something that is true but with the wrong motives causing them to look bad to others. Secondly, gossiping is sharing information with others who were not meant to know such personal details even if without evil intent.

Now let us look at God’s perspective on this gossiping. Proverbs 26:20 tells us, “Without wood fire goes out; without a gossip a conflict dies down.” When you choose to not listen to gossip or to not spread it you help quench the problem. But when we listen to or partake in gossiping our words do nothing but add fuel to an already burning fire.

But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so(James 3:8-10)

Next, Proverbs 20:19 clearly warn us that, “When someone tells you something in confidence do not share it with anyone else. If they want others to know their business let them be the ones to share it. Your job is to listen, support and pray for them. Compromising that trust and spreading gossip to others that are not involved create a bigger problem and that is something God hates. God wants to use a mouth that is not suited for the gutter, but suited for grace

 Being overweight or underweight

Enough with this “I just don’t have time to work out; I have this or that  problem; I just got back from vacation” It doesn’t matter that you don’t replicate the painfully impossible standard of beauty that ruthlessly invades our sore eyes from the altar of billboards and magazines, so STOP justifying it. Own your size — for there is nothing sexier on the planet than being comfortable in your skin. Remember this: Beauty is health. Healthy comes in a plethora of sizes, so as long as you’re treating your body like the sacred temple it is, you’re beautiful.

Children or no children

Let’s get real: We don’t all want the same things out of this precious life, and that’s OK. It’s actually kind of great, for it gives the otherwise dull planet the sparkle of diversity. Whether you bear ten children or none in marriage, the society will talk, whether you bear children of the same sex or unable to bear more children, society will still have something to say. When will society mind its own womb?

Read an interesting article on the same https://nadirahangail.com/2016/05/25/mind-your-own-womb

I understand society has made all of us feel as if we’re missing an essential chip for not wanting children immediately, If you don’t want children, simply don’t have them. You’re still a warm, loving, wonderful, and fabulous and person. You don’t need to sprinkle sugar on the truth by earnestly claiming you have a family history of mental health problems, or your spouse is not in proper order for motherhood, or you will think about it when once in a stable relationship bottom line is just be happy with the path that you choose, the choice is entirely upon you.

Wanting or not to be a career woman

You can still be a liberated, forward-thinking woman while choosing to stay at home with your children. Feminism is doing whatever the hell you want, unabashedly living a life packed with personal happiness and wonderful fulfillment. 

“Reckless spending heaps of our own money”.

Why do you need to justify spending your own hard-earned money on cars, house, steaks, salacious trips, and rounds of top-shelf beer and whatever else it is you feel like to indulge in?. Society will talk whether you choose to constantly justify your spending on the hard earned cash on things that bring you pressure or whether you give away all your cash to charity .In my opinion I say YOLO (you only live once).

Jesus told His followers, “Whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops” (Luke 12:3). As Believers we must recognize the power that is in the tongue. They have the power to tear others down and even grieve the Holy Spirit. But when our tongues line up with what God proclaims in His Word, we are on the right path.

I sincerely hope I spoke to someone!

 

June 9, 2016
by Kate Mwamba
2 Comments

Your personal budget simplified

money flow chart

The flow chart above depicts the flow of money.

Part of the reason we accumulate debt is that there are so many distractions in our lives – things we want to buy but don’t need.

But we also ring up debt because we simply don’t understand the flow of our income and expenses, so we can’t accurately estimate how much money we have available to spend.

Last year, I put in place a “Money Flow” system to help my family track our spending.Asimple way to plan your personal finances as below;

Set Super Strong, Meaningful Goals

What’s the point of even having a financial plan if you don’t have any goals? There isn’t one.

If you want to make headway financially you need goals that are strong enough to inspire you to action. Goals are what allow you to practice delayed gratification. For instance, if you have a goal of paying off $3,000 worth of credit card debt in six months, you know that if you spend $30 on a new dress that you don’t really need, you’re robbing yourself of debt freedom.(guilty*)

Prepare a Budget

Next comes either the fun, or horrid part, depending on your personality. I’ll go ahead and be the first to admit: I don’t like strict budgeting. However, I am very aware of what I spend my money on. There’s no right or wrong way to budget. You need to find what works the best for you.

 An Emergency Fund

You need a decent emergency fund before starting on other goals like accelerating your debt payoff, saving for a house, or saving for retirement. Emergency funds come in handy and will prevent you from paycheck to paycheck living.Most financial experts recommend that you have at least 3-6 months’ worth of cash set aside for emergencies. I agree, but ultimately, your emergency fund needs to be whatever makes you feel comfortable.

Debt Payoff Plan

I hate debts but we all must live with them somehow, after you’ve reached your desired emergency fund amount it’s time to really accelerate your financial goals. If you have high interest debt, like credit card debt, paying that off should be your main focus. Once that’s done you can choose to pay off lower interest rate debt or move onto saving and investing.one thing you need to be aware of, is retirement savings. You should have a retirement savings plan as one of your goals.

You can take all that cash you’ve been funneling toward your emergency fund and spread it between your financial goals.

 The Right Kinds of Insurance – You will Wish You Had it when You Need It

Insurance is often overlooked in a strong financial plan. The truth is, without the right type of insurance all of your hard work could go down the drain with one accident example the Auto Insurance, Homeowner’s Insurance, Health, Life Insurance.

 A strategy for increasing your income. We all know working hard only pays bill but does not get you the dream goals done, while working smart in the other hand would. For a lot of people, expenses aren’t the problem – its income. If you’re making $20,000 per year you’re never going to get ahead. You need to get creative and actively look to increase your income. It takes hard work and hustle but anyone can do it. You just have to have the right attitude.

Here are 50+ side hustles to get you thinking.

Review Your Financial Plan Often

As time goes by your financial goals and insurance needs will change. Review your financial plan often and readjust whenever necessary to see if it works.

 

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June 6, 2016
by Kate Mwamba
2 Comments

Ditch these bad, time-killing habits

TIME IS MONEYThe clock strikes 3:00 PM. Suddenly, you realize you’re not nearly as far down on your to-do list as you planned to be. You think: Ugh, who’s stealing all my time? But let’s get real: No matter how busy you are, the only person sapping your productivity is you.

The truth is, it’s easy to get into routines where you mindlessly waste the precious minutes of your day. These unconscious habits might seem harmless—or even, ironically, like they’re actually boosting your productivity—but ultimately, they slow you down, distract you from doing your work, and leave you scrambling to catch up by the end of the day.

Fortunately, there’s a way to overcome every bad habit. So if you’re serious about upping your productivity game, it’s time to ditch these three patterns and replace them with ones that work (pun intended).

Bad Habit #1: Slow-Motion Mornings

When you arrive at work first thing in the morning, head straight for the snack pantry, stop by your friend’s desk to discuss the latest episode of whatever you just watched, and then plop down in your chair to sort through your inbox, you might think that you’re just easing your way into the work day. But with that routine, you might not find your flow until an hour in or longer—and that’s not a productive way to get your day going.

The Fix: Go Straight to Your Desk, Do Not Pass Go

So, when you first step through the door, don’t get too comfortable—get working. And yes, that means delaying your morning coffee chat. If you don’t have time to make a cup before you head to the office, try picking one up before you get to the office so that you can head straight to your desk and knock out a few quick tasks, allowing you to set the stage for success. If you really want to maximize your efficiency, jot down your morning to-dos before you even get into the office. Even taking 10 minutes at the end of the day—or, if you take public transit, during your morning commute—can help you dive into productivity mode right off the bat.

If you struggle to get down to business right away, you may want to try standing up at your desk instead of sitting. It doesn’t take a specially outfitted desk—you just need to find an elevated surface to place your computer on. Many people find that it naturally launches them into action—you feel focused, energized, ready to conquer your to-do list. If standing’s not your thing, try putting your phone out of reach, or changing up your to-do list strategy, or seeing if listening to ambient noise helps you.

Once you make some headway and reach a good stopping point, reward yourself with a mental break and grab that second cup of coffee. If you bump into a colleague who wants to dish about the podcast you both listen to, go for it: You’ve earned it.

Bad Habit #2: Sitting Through Too Many Meetings—Literally

Few things are more frustrating than having a day so filled with meetings that you don’t have time to get anything done. But here’s the secret: You probably don’t have to be in all of them. And if by some chance you do, well, then, you need to make them a lot more effective.

The Fix: Stop Following the Meeting Herd—Lead the Efficient Pack

In an effort to clear their inboxes, plenty of people blindly accept invitations without thinking about whether or not they actually need to go, but prioritizing your precious time is key to productivity. If a seemingly non-essential invite comes through, there’s nothing wrong with politely asking the organizer if you need to be there or letting her know that you need to tackle some other urgent items instead. You’d be surprised at how accommodating people are when you directly communicate your position. No one wants a disengaged multi-tasker clacking away at her keyboard in protest instead of paying attention to the meeting’s leader.

But sometimes, due to pressing deadlines or simply office politics, there’ll be meetings you can’t get out of. In those situations, if you’re able to, get out of the conference room and organize a walking meeting. This is especially effective for recurring check-ins or one-on-ones, less so for large gatherings, but if everyone is game, it can work for four or five people as well. Making meetings mobile keeps the energy levels high and the ideas flowing, while giving all participants involved a much-needed break from laptops and phones.

Bad Habit #3: Hiding Behind Your Keyboard

There’s something about using a computer as an intermediary that makes a lot of people feel more comfortable weighing in on sensitive issues or sharing honest opinions. And often, communicating through an online chat system or email just seems like the quickest way to get things done.

The Fix: Get in Front of Your Team

The keyword here, though, is seems. Sure, typing out a quick question and clicking send may be a couple of seconds faster than walking over to your teammate’s desk, but think of all the confusion that can result from only communicating through writing. (Anyone who’s ever felt momentary panic after receiving a text that says nothing but “OK,” knows exactly what I mean). If you’re trying to problem-solve or have a deep, multi-faceted conversation through email or chat, you risk getting pulled into a thread of back-and-forth misunderstandings.

Kill the never-ending email chains once and for all by resolving to sort things out in person whenever possible. It might feel a little intimidating at first, but nine times out of 10, talking things through face-to-face will be quicker and less painful. And the good news is, the more you do it, the easier it’ll be.

Whether you find yourself constantly running out of time—or you just want to step up your ability to get things done—it’s worth keeping those little time-sucking habits in check when you can. If you want to win the productivity game, you need to make the most out of every moment you have.

Who knows? If you use these small changes as a launching pad, you might even become the office bad ass who gets a ton of work done, plays a role in major accomplishments, and still has time for the after-work happy hour.

June 6, 2016
by Kate Mwamba
2 Comments

Some humor in marriage…

marriage humorI raise my hand super high that my marriage is NOT perfect. And, in case you haven’t heard this, let me be first to tell you, NO ONES is. It is so easy to browse Instagram or Facebook and see the “good”. You see the smiles, you see the happy family pictures, you see the good. People rarely post their fights, their struggles, or their bad days. So, while reading this, know that you are not alone. My prayer is that you would actively fight for your marriage and pray continually for one another.

Writers often get inspiration from the briefest moments in life. Something seen while driving, a headline on a favorite magazine, or something someone says that makes you laugh, instantly gets your brain thinking “How do I write about this?” This was one of those moments. Hold on there! Let me think like a married man..haha..i hope I pull this one off;

Wife says: “That guy over there is coming on to me.”

Husband translates: “You need to get up and go tell him to back off. Yes, I can see that he’s 6’2″ and outweighs you by 50 pounds, but grow a pair and go defend my honor.”

Wife says: “Are you gaining a little weight?”
Husband translates: “You’re fat, and from now on, all sexual activity will be conducted in the dark”haha

Wife says: “Can we talk?”
Huband translates: “You’re one response away from being a dead man because, make no mistake, I’m not happy and it’s your fault. So listen and think very carefully before you say another word.”

Wife says: “Do you think she’s pretty?”
Husband translates: “Alert. Alert. She’s absolutely stunning, but if you say that, I’m going to be forced to go all freaky ninja on your ass, so just look confused and say ‘Who?’”

Wife says: “Do you know what today is?”
Husband translates: “I celebrate all of our special moments. First date,  first kiss, first dance. Because this relationship is important to me. Isn’t it important to you?? Walk through that minefield, Big Guy.”

Wife says: “I’ve been thinking.”
Husband translates: “Grab a beer and a comfy chair, because this is going to take a while.  Forget the beer. You’re going to need Scotch.”

Wife says: “Notice anything new, dear?”
Husband translates: “You’ve got about 15 seconds to figure out what’s different about me (Did I cut my hair, lose weight) before I tell all my girlfriends that you’re a total douche who doesn’t pay attention to his wife.”

Wife says: “No, there’s nothing wrong.”
Husband translates: “You stepped in it, big time. But you’re going to have to figure it out because I’m too pissed to tell you exactly what you did.”

And so for all your lamenting over the years, guys, about how mysterious and confusing women can be, it would appear that you know us better than you thought. But all in all in my journey in quest to get near God this year I have learnt to seek the bible for most answers in attempts to become a better wife and mother. I have found that in everything;

Have Patience. Patience can be a hard thing. You sit in traffic, you wait in lines, you wait on the phone…. its takes patience. Your spouse leaves the dishes in the sink, you leave toothpaste on the mirror… its takes patience. Always practice and pray for patience with each other.

Love is patient.. – 1 Corinthians 13:4

Be kind. I know that this might sound basic, but it’s so basic that we can forget to be intentionally kind. By this I mean, have your spouse’s meal ready for them, make the bed, pick up their favorite snacks or surprise gift on the way home, do initially kind things for them throughout the day. Also, seek to be kind with your words. Having a patient and kind attitude can do so much throughout your day. Choose kindness.

Love is kind.. – 1 Corinthians 13:4

Do not compare.I slightly mentioned above that comparison is a huge struggle today that I feel social media makes even easier. When comparison sneaks into a marriage, it can be very hard to see any good. Be mindful of this and put things in place to combat comparison.

Love does not envy… – 1 Corinthians 13:4

Keep ego/pride away. Pride can be harsh. Pride can be ugly. Pride can be hard. Pride can make reconciliation hard or nearly impossible. Pride gets in the way. Leave no room for pride in your marriage. Instead, clothe your marriage in GRACE and humility. You are on the same team. Be quick to listen and apologize if necessary.

Love does not boast, it is not proud. – 1 Corinthians 13:4

Serve one another. I cannot stress this enough. Pay attention to your spouse and their needs. If they have had a long day, ensure dinner is ready and the house is peaceful when they get home. You could even offer a back massage or a fun movie. Serving one another is one of the best things you could do for your marriage because you put your partner first. Value them above yourself. Try no matter how tired both of you are from work or other chores.

Love is not self-seeking – 1 Corinthians 13:5

Keep a soft heart. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) When people ask me for marriage advice, the two biggest things I say are prayer and keeping a soft heart. I think it can be very easy to become hardened, so I always pray for a soft heart. We know that through our relationship with Christ, we are already forgiven.

Love is not easily angered – 1 Corinthians 13:5

Keep no record of wrongs. Many experts agree that a way to keep a healthy and strong relationship is to avoid phrases like “you always..”, “you never…”, or “I can’t believe you did this again..” Love releases past mistakes and genuinely forgives. This gives you so much freedom in your relationship. Don’t keep track of your spouse’s offences or label them for their mistakes. God loves you and keeps no record of your confessed wrongs. it’s hard but do able.

Love keeps no record of wrongs – 1 Corinthians 13:5

Above all, PRAY. Pray daily for your marriage. Pray for all of these things for your marriage (kindness, patience, soft heart). Never stop praying. Life can be hard, marriage can be hard, but with God, you can prosper. God is bigger than your struggles. He already has you and your marriage in the palm of His hand. Rely on Him.

 

 

 

March 22, 2016
by Kate Mwamba
0 comments

No one told me…

stretch mark

Now that am out of the bush, hiding face while laughing, into the clearing i would like share a few things that no one bothers to mention during the pregnancy journey to the time Baby is born. As much as that smile on the photo shoot looks very easy and all calm ,it is actually not the actual matter on the ground. I have been there twice now rest the aching womb syndrome comes calling again…

From decorating to your work to-do list, getting stuff done is your new specialty. You suddenly feel like a super woman, the energy surge is unbelievably high. You are here there everywhere handling everything!

You will become a bump-protecting ninja. HIY-YAAA commuter elbow! KAPOW!

Under wired bras are the enemy. Yes Mastitis is real! Keep off those beautiful push-ups and raced bras as much inviting as they look.

Everyone will comment on the size of your bump and nothing they say will be right. ‘Wow! It’s very neat!’ = ‘It’s unfeasible small, there must be something wrong.’ ”Wow, that’s a healthy bump!’ = ‘You got fat.’ I forgive my sister Shyro Njoroge  for utterly calling my bump fat and lazy,karma is catching up with you soon sister!haha..

You will burp, hiccup and have regular heart burn…unfortunately you will have to weather the storm since self-medication is a no go zone.

…but your hair will be real nice,full and shiny!. Everyone has an opinion on whether you should find out the sex of your unborn child. (Start practicing your nodding-along faces now.)

You will start to measure time in weeks and days. Downloading pregnancy apps while goggling anything and everything that you my strangely experience as the body adjusts to the new occupant.

Whatever their size, your breasts are about to get their moment in the spotlight. But fame and glory come at a price: Soreness and the sudden change of bra cups to a couple of sizes up!

Out of the blue, you will suddenly realize that there are two of you in the car / on the sofa / in the bath. Ha! you are a small giant

Your body stretches even in places you had no idea could stretch so as a natural order stretch marks become a familiar thing. Yes it at that point you get advises from everyone on all the remedies you can do to prevent this. Well, applying all the body lotions and natural oils in the world does not work. Accept and move on please!

You will be told – often – that you’re ‘glowing’. Sweating and panting like a pig in a sausage shop might be your way of putting it.

Pillows, pillows everywhere. Wedged in curves, stuffed in gaps, plugged between knees. Now let’s get some shut eye…and nothing! Sleep becomes a thing of the past.

Body aches and strain will be a familiar friend. Try stretching in the morning, muscle pulls occurs and other body pains that cannot be explained .The body feels like some hand me down piece of thing!.

The passage of time will slow to an almost imperceptible drip. Who knew nine months could take so freaking long? Especially third trimester…whooo!

Comfy pants are officially in. Good bye fashion sense.

You will be amazed at how many hours there are in the weekend when you don’t spend half of them hungovered. For those who enjoy a few glasses of wine, guilty…

You will worry about your unborn child not being cute. Then feel guilty you ever had that thought.(Hide face)

Even repeat episodes of “La gata” will have you sobbing like no-one’s ever sobbed before. It’s just all so amazing and terrifying at the same time. My husband doesn’t get it…duh!

Pelvic floor exercises will go from being something you vaguely read about in a magazine to what you do at the bus stop. When it’s time to go, its indeed time, waiting or postponing is no longer a luxury

Dead-eyed parents will eye your bump and say, ‘Just pray you get a sleeper.’ (This will make you anxious.).A crying baby will make you go utterly insane especially for first time mums. Whisper and talk to Baby to behave once they are out to the world.

Nobody can agree on anything (epidurals, soft cheese, formula, medicine balls, water births, riding a bike, wine, routines, co-sleeping, bouncy chairs, sleep nannies) except that having a baby is definitely and without doubt going to be the most awesome thing that’s ever happened to  any woman.

February 18, 2016
by Kate Mwamba
0 comments

Baby Fat be gone!

 

Whether you’re thinking about becoming pregnant, currently have a bun in the oven or, are already gazing into your new baby’s eyes, the topic of postpartum weight loss can instill feelings of anxiety, stress and fear in many (if not all) women.postpartum weight loss

Looking at yourself more frequently in the mirror to scrutinize the physical effects of a diet could actually lead you to feel less comfortable with your appearance than before you lost.

              Dr. Yoni Freedhoff in The Diet Fix

It’s natural and necessary to put on weight during pregnancy. During this magical time, there are a myriad of hormonal changes that happen within your body, personally in first pregnancy I added 5 kgs while in my second pregnancy I added 20kgs.Every pregnancy is different. What usually happens is that your body produce human placental lactogen (HPL) which promotes insulin resistance. This state of insulin resistance does two things, first it helps you increase your blood glucose to feed your growing baby and second, it increases visceral fat stores that will be utilized during breastfeeding. Both totally necessary and vital functions.  The truth is my second pregnancy wasn’t very conducive to staying fit and healthy. I’m not trying to make excuses (okay, maybe a little), but between my unrelenting, all-day, all-pregnancy morning sickness that made it nearly impossible to eat anything in the first trimester but refined carbs and my pelvic condition that make it hard to even walk from the bedroom to the bathroom, let alone workout, the weight piled on for me during pregnancy. And even more important to me than that, my fitness and general health plummeted—I had a scare with false  labor, and I figure my inactive lifestyle and poor diet during pregnancy probably contributed to that.

I pretty much took a 6 months’ vacation, I can feel it. My joints ache. I’m tired—and not just new-mom sleep-deprived tired. I have no energy. My hair is dull and lifeless. My nails are constantly breaking all the time. My skin doesn’t have the nice, healthy girl glow it once had. I just don’t feel good. And I used to feel really good.

And then there is the weight thing. I don’t really put a lot of value in weight as an indicator of health on a global scale, but I do think it’s possible to use weight as one guidepost (among many) to help you gauge your health on an individual basis. I know what number feels good on my body. It’s the number where my knees stop hurting, my energy spikes, and I can enjoy going on a strenuous walk or run. And that number is about 14kgs away from where I am right now— 6kgs  of that is baby weight and the other 78kgs  is extra weight I was carrying around before I got pregnant.

It is important to me to give myself a pass of the first few weeks of motherhood. When we first came home with Baby Samarah , I gave myself a deadline. I said that I’d try to get back to living a healthier life from month one—and if I got the urge earlier, I’d go with it. Turns out, here I am three weeks shy of my deadline, and I’ve got the fitness itch again! Yay! I’m so glad I am taking the time to just focus on being a mom and letting my whole world revolve around my daughter, but I think it’s now time to slowly bring back in taking care of myself, and that includes getting healthy again.

I’ve been thinking of a plan for the past few days, and it’s really nothing ground-breaking. It’s doing the same things I did the first time I had 10kgs to lose ,only adapted to take into account the fact that I’m taking care of a tiny human.

  • Reduce sugar. I’m not one to believe a few sugary treats is going to derail a healthy lifestyle, but I do think my diet has been a little too sugar focused lately. I’d like to cut back on the amount of sugary treats (and I’m not just talking white sugar, I’m talking honey, maple syrup, etc.), and make them more of an accent to my diet.
  • Drink more water. One of the biggest keys to my earlier weight loss success was keeping very well hydrated. I’m not dehydrated now (I get my 8-10 cups a day), but I could definitely be better about it. I feel so much better when my body is properly hydrated. And I have to remember that since I have a little baby, and carrying around more weight, my body requires even more water than it did before.
  • Get back to food prepping.it may seem silly to prep food and pack my lunch considering I work from home, but I think going through the process of thinking about everything I’d eat in a day in order to pack my lunch when I was working in an office really helped keep me on track. Now, I can graze all day, or, more commonly, I can skip meals all day because I’m busy, and then eat a huge dinner to make up for it—neither of those are very healthy. Have a food regimen during the day is really helpful for me.
  • By far, the easiest way to lose your baby weight is to breastfeed. Remember that hormone HPL that helps you hang on to weight during pregnancy? When you breastfeed, HPL is replaced by Prolactin. Prolactin’s job is to support lactation, reduce estrogen levels (causing freedom from menstrual periods) and mobilize nutrient stores to feed your growing baby. Prolactin produced please DON’T starve yourself. Ensure you are getting adequate calories to support your body’s recovery and activity levels. If you drop calories too low your milk supply will suffer.
  • Estrogen: If you have suffered from PCOS in the past, aren’t able to breastfeed or you’re baby has weaned early you may suffer from a condition called estrogen dominance. In hormonally healthy women, estrogen levels should be balanced by progesterone levels in ratios of roughly 1:5 on day 21 of their cycle. Having too much estrogen or too little progesterone can create this state of estrogen dominance which can cause weight gain, fatigue, cravings for sweets, trouble sleeping and thyroid dysfunction. See your functional medicine specialist if you think this may be happening to you. There are a number of supplements and lifestyle changes that can support a healthy estrogen/progesterone balance.
  • Eat Carbs:Low carb or ketogenic diets are in vogue right now in the weight loss world. For most women, the childbearing years are not the time to experiment with ultra-low carb diets. Limiting carbs in your diet (below 100g/day) can cause a host of issues for postpartum women. It can stress your adrenals, tax your thyroid, and decrease your milk supply and cause insomnia or other sleep disturbances.  We’ll be sure to dive into the carb-conundrum and get into specific levels in the upcoming baby making and beyond program, but for now, just be sure to add healthy and friendly carbs like potatoes, yams, squashes and even some rice into your diet.
  • Stress-less: Stress can increase cortisol levels (produced by your adrenal glands) making weight loss very difficul. Limiting caffeine, practicing regular meditation and sleeping will all make the journey so much easier.
  • Spending time exercising outdoors is a bonus. Outdoor movement increases endorphins and dopamine levels helping you stay happy and balanced.
  • Exercise: A little intelligent movement will support muscle growth and help sustain fat loss. Please, don’t go crazy and don’t start too soon. Start walking around 2-4 weeks. After 6 weeks, you can introduce some light weight bearing exercise. The best combination of exercise for postpartum women is lots of walking, a little yoga and some form of weight lifting, or body weight movement.

Remember, it takes 9 months to gain the baby weight and it will take 9-18 months to lose it. Practice gentle loving kindness for yourself and don’t sweat the small stuff. In the grand scheme of life, 10 extra pounds is a first world problem, focus on the things that really matter like family, friendships and being an active and informed citizen of your community and planet.

 

September 25, 2015
by Kate Mwamba
1 Comment

…….IN THE HANDS OF A STRANGER

HouseHelpAs a mother I feel a grip of fear every time I leave our house and child in the care of others not very well known to us. If my husband and I happen to travel I constantly call home to check on my child every now and then; truth be told am full of fear of the unknown. I have heard of horror stories happen to children under the care of strangers be it your nanny, house keeper, school, playground, step parents , sometimes distance and strangely close relatives.

Well I have been besides my thoughts in the past few weeks watching also how a trusted Nanny or house keeper shows no remorse or concern for wastage. The pain of providing for the family is not something in curved in their system, i  stand corrected though I have not found anyone as such since the first one i employed. Sometimes the fridge is stuffed with a week’s untouched food as newly cooked food quickly disappear .If as a woman you’re not keen with the house hold it means the spending on food items may double or triple due to wastage which may tickle down eventually to breakage/damage of other items in the house too.In my opinion no one feels the pinch of protecting the family more than the woman of the house. We all need extra help around the house while raising a family and as a woman much will be off loaded in terms of house chores; in short we cannot live without help of some sort. While determining to hire a house help the below tips may help identify a reliable one and how to deal with them during their stay:

  1. Use a reliable agent, agency or referral

A majority of house helps are provided through numerous agents, agencies or an independent referral source. Naturally some agencies or referrals are more reliable and reputable than others. Agents or agencies should be able to guarantee each house help that they provide.

Usually when a serious incident occurs some agents feign ignorance. There have even been cases of agents conniving with house helps to rob or steal from their employers. A proper agent or agency will usually ensure that both clients and employees are properly vetted.

  1. Insist on referees

Almost all house helps I have come across feign ignorance about their previous places of employment. They usually do this to protect their reputations and to prevent employers from knowing too much about them.

The sad part about this is that employers know very little about their domestic staff while domestic staff knows everything about their employers. Where you can, insist on references. Usually this discussion should happen with the agent, agency or referral source that has brought the house help.

  1. Take photos

We live a new age. Most people if not everyone has a phone with a camera.

You should always have a picture of any domestic staff that works for you. You can take a picture when they are unaware e.g. simply pretend that you are taking a picture of the kids. When you have taken this picture send it to yourself by email or save it on your computer.  This way you will always have a picture even if your phone gets stolen. You will find that pictures are useful to have in cases where children are kidnapped or valuable property is stolen.

  1. Record important facts

As mentioned previously, your new hire will pretend like they don’t know anything. However over the course of weeks or months they are in your employment, you should be able to pick up their relatives names or places they have lived etc. It is important to record all these little details. While invasion of privacy should not be encouraged, you can also learn a lot about your new hire by going through their phones or personal belongings.

  1. Perform comprehensive medical tests

I know this sound out of line and some may decline to comply but this is highly recommended for families with little children. A lot of house helps come from questionable homes and you really do not know where they have been or what they have been up to. Most medical experts will advise that comprehensive medical tests be performed every 6 months to guarantee the safety of your entire family.

  1. Pay a decent and minimum wage

The absence of labor laws and the requirement that domestic staff be paid a minimum wage has led to many cases of abuse in the world. A lot of domestic staff are unpaid and overworked. He or she will do cooking, cleaning, ironing, taking care of kids and going on errands. Some house helps are even subjected to regular beatings. House helps should not be or are not slaves. They are human beings who offer a service, so pay a fair wage and offer good working conditions, the same way you expect good working conditions from your boss. Also no one can perform optimally doing the same work 24/7. House helps need a break, so offer them regular breaks and take over from them, once in a while.

  1. Be on the look out

Don’t ever believe that a house help is dumb or stupid. A lot of times house helps pretend like they don’t understand the language you speak in the home. Some even act slow deliberately to trick their employers, so they can later catch them unawares. Watch and observe, don’t talk too much around your domestic staff or discuss personal or private details in front of them.

For women with female house helps, try as much as possible to prevent your maid from being alone with your husband. Numerous stories abound of house girls getting pregnant for their boss lady and snatching, the man to become the ‘madam at the top’. These stories you have heard are as real as day.

There are even countless stories of house helps with witchcraft, bringing fetish things into their employer’s homes and doing black magic against them. Some house helps have also been accused of introducing the kids they look after to witchcraft and other sorts of mannerism. Do what you have to do, install Nanny Cameras around the house, catch them unawares by coming home when they are not expecting it, always safeguard the keys of your house or cars and never leave any valuables exposed.

Whatever you do, just make sure you ‘stay alert’.

 

  1. Be fair

My bad experiences with house helps, who worked for us before I got married, made me very wary of domestic staff in general. However I still make a conscious effort to treat her fairly, I feed her well, give her tips occasionally, let her pick what she wants when we go to a restaurant or eatery and I ask her if she’s ok or has any issues.

I’m not going to assume that by me being fair will make it less likely for her to steal or do other negative things, but the fact that she looks after my daughter that she is so fond of her makes it worthwhile. Besides I can live with myself in future, because I know I treated her well. In many cases, most of the house helps employed in homes are minors. Some of them are subjected to hardship and there are so many horror stories of owners of the house being cruel and inhumane to house helps.

Some house helps are sexually abused and molested by the men and constantly verbally and physically abused by the women. You should note that these people look after your children, they bath them, they feed them, clean up after them and play with them. Some house helps are even closer to your children than you are. You really do not want an angry frustrated maltreated hungry house help looking after your child. They are human beings like you but only less fortunate, so be determined to be fair and It is wise to treat them right.

August 22, 2015
by Kate Mwamba
1 Comment

A woman who saves…

Though born into slavery Biddy Mason gained freedom for herself and her children in 1856. Only ten years later she had saved enough money to purchase property, making her the first African American women to own land in Los Angeles. A nurse and midwife by profession, she helped found the first elementary school for African American children in Los Angeles.woman

Even as we grew up in our own family unit we all noted our mums were stingier than our dads when it came to flaunting us with present or we thought so. I would see my mum complain all the time how she does not have cash to purchase stuff in the household and Dad seemed to have float all the time. You know your mum has money because you accidentally saw her bank statement or saw her tuck away a few notes in her hand bag or like my grandmother would tie her money in an old Kanga and hide it away. Such cash would only resurface in secrecy to buy necessity for the house hold or later in life my mum always says it’s a loan she borrowed from her chamma (self-help group).
A woman should learn how to save herself money by performing basic but essential maintenance tasks on her own. (I call it empowering thyself) like how to change a tire, recharge a flat battery, check the oil, and assess tire pressure; what to do when a car breaks down or when an accident occurs; how to buy a car without being taken advantage of; and more. It’s also the perfect time to get in a good place financially. One important part of being in a good place financially is having an emergency fund in place. While experts have different opinions as to how much you should have in an emergency fund, almost all agree that some emergency fund is necessary. A woman shall have a little money of her own.

An emergency fund by definition is a bank account set aside for use in the event of an emergency. It is a “rainy day fund” used for unexpected life events such as a home repair, job loss, medical costs, car repair, or unplanned pregnancy. It is not an account you use for non-emergency things, like upgrading your current car or paying for braces.

Having an emergency fund will give you a cushion in the event that something happens that you are not financially prepared for. Not only will you feel better with an emergency fund, you will avoid going into debt when something happens that you weren’t planning on (and it will). The best part about having an emergency fund is that when something unexpected happens, you will still be frustrated, but you won’t be scared because you have money for it. Your emergency fund gives you security.

Having your own money means that you are standing on a strong financial foundation. When you have your own emergency fund, you can make your own choices without considering another person’s money. You have power over your life when you have your own money. Even if you are happily married, it is so important to be an active participant in your family’s finances.

If you are single, having an emergency fund for yourself is a no brainer. Additionally, if you are married, it is a no brainer to have a joint emergency fund with your husband. What may not be so obvious is why you should have your own emergency fund if you are married. I figure even if you are married an emergency fund would offer a last resort in case all other emergency backup are unavailable or have run out. I remember one time when we were dating, my husband and I went for a long vacation and when we came back home we could not access cash through the Atms slots since we had exhausted all our checking accounts. As we sat there scratching our heads I remembered I had set aside some cash in my back pocket and I took it out to buy dinner, my husband was impressed with the tactic. In short emergency funds are not necessary evil secret in marriage if the intentions are good willed.

Note that a separate emergency fund does not mean hidden. Complete transparency when it comes to finances is incredibly important. That said, only you know your situation and whether you need to save secretly for other reasons. But all things being happy and healthy, honesty in a relationship means financial transparency.

Your own emergency fund does not necessarily have to be a fully funded emergency fund, but it should be enough that you feel safe. Maybe you have a family emergency fund that is six months of expenses saved and your own with two to three months of expenses saved, for example.If you have any interest in planning for your financial future or in being on a good financial foundation, you have a responsibility to have an emergency fund. If you have any expenses at all, if you own a home, if you own a car, or if you are a human being who could get sick (which you are if you are reading this), you absolutely need an emergency fund. Without it, you are betting that life won’t throw anything difficult your way, which is a very dangerous risk to take.

Most financial experts recommend that your emergency be highly liquid. Usually, this means in a savings or checking account (where you can access it quickly and easily). Essentially, you’re just saving a bunch of cash in the bank. While the money in your emergency fund is not going to earn and grow like it would if it were invested, that is okay. The point of your emergency fund is not to build wealth; the point is to have money that is easily accessible in the event of a rainy day.

Note: An emergency fund is not a line of credit you have open or a credit card with a high limit. In case of an emergency, you should use the money you have saved in the bank – not a credit card that gets you into debt)

Financial experts vary in terms of what they recommend in an emergency fund. For example, Dave Ramsey recommends having between three and six months of expenses saved. Suze Orman recommends having at least eight months of expenses saved.For example, let’s say you make $4,000 per month and your expenses are $2,500 per month. A fully funded emergency fund for you would be $2,500 x 6 months = $15,000. You would not use the $4,000 income number in the equation.Factors that can help you determine how much you should save include: 1) the security of your job, 2) the number of income streams in your household, 3) your personal family needs, and 4) what makes your feel secure. How much you need in your emergency fund is a personal choice that you need to make based on your specific situation.

For example, if you have multiple income streams that are very secure, you may find three months is enough. Alternatively, if your job / business is not very predictable and it is your only income stream, you may want to save eight months to one year of expenses in your emergency fund.

If you want to start saving for an emergency fund, first figure out how much you need to save. Do this by multiplying your expenses by however many months you want to save for and then create a plan to save that amount. The easiest way to do this is to create a budget Plan where every penny goes, including how much you can save every month. Consider taking a second job or side hustle to make money for your emergency fund if you don’t already have room in your current budget. You may find it helpful to set up direct deposit into an emergency fund. Create a plan that works for you and helps you achieve your financial goals.

Whatever you do, remember that emergencies happen to all of us. Not being financially ready for a rainy day is no one else’s fault but your own. Let today be the day that you take control of your financial life and get a solid financial cushion underneath you.

 

 

 

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