Blog: Rugby builds character
By Eric Njiru | Wed 14 Sep, 2016 14:03

The other day, Facebook decided to share a photo memory of me from four years ago. Ewwoooh!!! That was my first reaction when I saw that pic. I honestly couldn’t believe that was me. I was so unhealthy and overweight, yet in my head I pictured myself as well endowed, blessed in all the right areas and a proud member of team thick!! Denial is bad!

Funny thing is, every single year for the past three years the number one resolution on my list was to “LOSE WEIGHT”.

Wheetabix Fitbix challenge

As with many of us and our new year resolutions, I never focused on or thought about the details that entailed the steps I needed to take in order to achieve my desired goals.

Early in 2015, I began experiencing serious issues with both of my knees. I was unable to stand or walk for a long duration of time without experiencing a bit of pain.

Regular parts of my commute, such as crossing the road began to be risky for me. My knees would lock while I was in the middle of crossing the road. After much deliberation, I sought to seek medical attention. I went in for an X- ray and the results stated that all was well.

I was then advised to get an MRI, which I totally forgot about (I am not so fond of hospitals when it’s my turn to be the patient). Months later towards the end of 2015, my knee problem worsened and I had to face my fear of going to the hospital yet again.

I finally faced my fear in January 2016  and went to the hospital for a couple of tests. The doctor still couldn’t figure out what the issue with my knees was so he prescribed joint supplements and told me bluntly that I needed to work on my weight. I shared with my lovely mother and sister as soon as I got home that evening and their response was even worse.

Mama Daniella has zero chills and this what she had to say;

“It’s high time you worked on your body. People need to stop confusing us for being sisters. We are not competing on who is bigger.” Ouch!!! My sister on the other hand said; “This is not the first time you’ve said it an I am sure by the end of the year you’ll still be the same weight if not bigger.”

I finally decided that I needed to do this for my own health and personal reasons. I needed my knees to be healthy and normal again. I needed to build my self- esteem, my confidence and to be happy with my body because for a long time I wasn’t happy, I was in denial.

One afternoon as I was scrolling through my phone, I saw a post by Weetabix on Instagram. Weetabix was asking people to send in a photo of themselves and also to state why they wanted to be fit this year. I thought to myself, “this is it!!” 

No two ways about it, this is my year to achieve what I have desired for so long. On the other hand, the devil kept creeping in my mind trying to discourage me with thoughts like, “what if I am not selected?” He he! (I have never won any online promotion, so you can imagine how cynical I was).

Long story short, I made it!!! I was among 25 individuals selected to participate in the first ever Fitbix challenge. I was extremely elated because I knew that this was a great opportunity for me to have accountability partners I could count on. The challenge took part for four weeks. We had to perform different tasks each day. 

My knees didn’t hurt any more

What I loved about it was that we didn’t just focus on the physical part of fitness but rather, the mental and nutrition aspects of health as well. That was exactly what my body needed. Nutrition plays a crucial role when it comes to transforming our bodies in a healthy way.

Wait, did I mention that I play rugby? Or pretend to, to be that cool chic LOL! Every Tuesday and Thursday evening with, I made sure that I attended rugby training with KCB Ladies and good Lord, our coaches OJ (Jacob Ojee) and Benja were always on a mission to kill us! The runs, down-ups, agility exercises, drill and game plays…Maaaan!! I was done. I thought of giving up but my desire to attain my goal kept me going. Rugby sure does build character.

Four months later, I couldn’t believe the results! My clothes were too loose for me and my knees didn’t hurt any more when I stood for long hours or danced. I started to enjoy rugby training more and the runs were now my favorite part. Watu hutoka mbali jowa!

How we value and treat ourselves is a crucial aspect to our health and wellness. Please know that you are a valuable person and your choices impact so many others. You never know who you may be inspiring. Please stop abusing your body. Stop consuming unhealthy food and bad habits.

Leading a healthy lifestyle is not rocket Science. You don’t have to eat less; you just have to eat right. Jot down your goals then break them down into smaller goals that are doable and achievable. If I did it, I am pretty sure you can do it to! Don’t let anyone, including yourself tell you that you can’t do it.

Change is a process. It does not happen overnight. Mdogo mdogo tuu wakubwa! Baby steps!!! As @leesthetics says, “It’s a lifestyle.”

#PrettyHealthyAndThick

Eric Njiru
eric@ragahouse.com 0726205521
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