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FIT&FAB: Lessons from one man's inspirational fitness journey

Wednesday November 29 2017

Paul's before and after photos. PHOTOS|

Paul's before and after photos. PHOTOS| COURTESY 

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I was in Form Four when Pepe Minambo, a renowned motivational speaker, visited our school to deliver a power talk.

This was two months to the much anticipated yet dreaded KCSE exams. We sat in that dining hall absorbing every encouraging word that came from this prolific speaker. His enthusiasm rubbed off on us and made us feel invincible. At the end of the talk, he introduced his book: Aspire to Inspire Before You Expire.

He read aloud thought-provoking snippets from a few chapters of the book. Being an avid reader, I could tell the book would be an absolute treat. We lined up in long queues to get our signed copies.

When it was my turn, Pepe looked me in the eye and asked; “What’s your name and what to do want to become in future?” Without a moment’s hesitation, l held my chin up and answered; “My name is Marion Maina and I would want to be the Chief Justice.”

He smiled and scribbled my name on the crispy page of the book. Underneath he wrote; The future Chief Justice and an inspiration to her generation.

I went back to my seat glowing with pride as I clung tightly to that book. I could see myself in those flowing judge robes, swearing in to office the President of Kenya.

Well, the chief justice ship sailed. In between my KCSE grade, Joint Admission Board ( JAB) selection and my parents strong belief in government-sponsored education, I ended up in Communications and not Law.

Although I am loving every bit of my career, law is still my first love. I stood with the judiciary when CJ David Maraga made an appeal for support from the public.


However, Pepe’s signed message on the book was not entirely lost. The inspiration bit came to fruition.

Over time, I have had numerous opportunities to inspire others to achieve their dreams, to overcome their fears and to dare themselves to succeed. I have endless stories of people who hit my inbox to say I inspired them to lose weight and be fit, I inspired them to eat organic food, start exercising, to enjoy their journey of fitness, to share their story and so forth.

One of them stands out in particular. I had just gotten my weight loss story published in the newspaper and that came with much attention and hullaballoo.

In the midst of all that frenzy, Paul Amisi caught my attention through a short and precise message on Facebook. He wanted to lose weight and be fit.

As I engaged him in light conversation, I sensed his determination. He was ready to do whatever it took to improve his health.

He had amassed a lot of weight over a short period and this not only took a toll on his health but also his self-esteem.

I walked him through the dietary regulations and simple workouts accessible on YouTube. He could sometimes inbox me to ask for meal ideas. When he got the hang of it, he started sending me photos of his plate captioned, “Nailed it, yeah?”


Paul called me one day after a few months, as I answered I could hear his excitement vibrating through the airwaves.

“Marion, I have lost 7kg! I’m almost hitting my target,” he announced proudly. He went ahead to ask me out for lunch. Later on when we were enjoying delicious chicken with veggies, he gifted me a tummy-trimmer work-out tool.

Last week, Paul sent me his before and after picture grid. He has done so well. He told me that his confidence had shot up making him more assertive at his work place. He is now fit and feeling fabulous.

The experience with Paul and the 1,500 people who follow and get inspired by the fitness page I run on Facebook; Organic Msosi has taught

me that sometimes we start and succeed in a difficult journey not only for our own good but also so as to be an inspiration to others. We become

pioneers and victoriously sail through uncharted waters so as to make the journey a bit easier for the many that come after us. We inspire before we



Fit&Fab is a blog series by Marion Maina who lost 30kg in her weight loss journey that started two years ago and is now in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Do you have feedback on this story? E-mail: [email protected]