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Dr Esther Dindi: Why we started the group Thriving Couples

Marriage Advice - By Caroline Njoroge | January 13th 2021 at 09:00:00 GMT +0300
Dr Esther Dindi aka Dr Fitness (Courtesy)

Dr Esther Dindi aka Dr Fitness, the physician and fitness enthusiast turned relationships author speaks about love and the inspiration behind the Facebook group they started for a few friends but has grown to over 600,000 members in a few months.

Dr Esther Dindi is a ball of positive energy. While speaking to her, it doesn’t take too long to pick that hers is a warm heart.

In the past, many have referred to her as Dr Fitness because of her passionate pursuit for a healthy lifestlyle — for herself and others. But there is another arm to her gifts that has put her on the limelight lately. Her interest in the topic of marriage.

She is the co-founder of Thriving Couples, a Facebook group that gave Kenyans something to talk about in 2020 amid the gloom that many were fighting.

A consultant physician by profession, Dr Esther has refused to confine herself to just one thing, choosing instead to explore different possibilities she could thrive in.

The mother of three seems not to be dropping any ball in her quest to explore all her talents. The closure of 2020 saw her publish a book on marriage, “Thriving Couples.”

So how does she do so much with her 24 hours? She chats with Eve on love and all things life.

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You are an unconventional doctor in that you have your hands on quite a number of things, how do you manage not to drop any ball?

I find life boring if I just stick to one thing. Even when I was in a med school student, I looked for hobbies I could indulge in with the little I had just to spice up life.

I became a junkie of home workouts after I started having children but it was after I had my third child that I began to take fitness seriously.

I try as much as possible to have a structured way of life, planning well in advance and factoring in all responsibilities that require my attention daily.

When I was pursuing my master’s degree, I had to shelf quite a number of hobbies because the demands on my schedule were intense. My version of working out was taking the stairs instead of the lift and walking as much as I could.

I would have my house help prepare my breakfast the night before so that all I had to do in the morning was to warm it, pack it and leave. I would also leave well enough before the traffic snarl up to avoid wasting time.

In the evening, I would hang around school longer, finishing up on assignments and studying till the evening rush calmed down and traffic jam wasn’t as bad.

My grocery shopping was also done weekly with a meal plan to ensure my house help had an easier time.

I think planning helps me to pursue the different things I have interest in and give everything the attention it deserves in a given season.

Dr. Esther Dindi with her husband, Keith Dindi (Photo: Courtesy)

We know you as Dr Fitness but you have published your first book, and it’s on marriage…

It’s not an instructional book, my husband and I just share our story and practices that we apply in marriage. It is meant to inspire. So far so good, we have sold 300 copies in the first two days since launching it.

Where did your interest in offering advice on marriage come from?

I realised there was a lot of toxic information on social media about marriage. My husband and I just wanted to show there are marriages that are working. It’s not all doom and gloom.

I believe being intentional about creating time for each other and working to understand your differences goes a long way in streamlining relationships; we just want to share the insights we have and have others also share their own.

Does the success of the ‘Thriving Couples’ Facebook group surprise you?

Yes! When we started, we invited immediate friends. We didn’t expect the kind of quick growth we have seen. There are times we have had 50,000 people join in a day. We have also received numerous questions on marriage since then.

What would you say have been the challenges of being married to a General Surgeon, demands and all?

He was the first guy I ever truly fell in love with and he was the guy I got married to. From early on, we learnt the art of communicating and airing our heartfelt concerns. I believe that is the one thing that has made things easy for us.

As far as career choices are concerned, we have not experienced notable problems. Our challenges have arisen more from personality differences but even in this, we have learnt to work things out.

What would you say is your strongest trait as a person?

I am a focused person. I commit fully to things I believe in.

How do you make up for your weaknesses?

I make fun of things that would otherwise irritate me, that way I keep my heart free of baggage. I also tend to procrastinate, so I have had to push myself. My husband has been of great assistance as he pushes me to go for things that will make me better. Occasionally, studying on areas I am weak in also helps. Though I tend to focus more on my strengths.

What are you most grateful for?

That I am alive.

If you could change one thing about your past what would it be?

I wish my dad was around to see the impact he had on us as his children (pause), I’m sorry for breaking down. My father intentionally instilled confidence in us to pursue more. I miss him.

Dr. Dindi working out (Courtesy)

Do you consider yourself an ardent reader of books? Which are some of your favourite reads?

I tend to go more for audio books. Who Moved My Cheese remains my all-time favourite because it applies to so many areas of life – business, family etc. It taught me the importance of embracing change.

What are your thoughts on planning, goal setting and follow through?

I think the art of goal setting that makes things achievable is keeping things simple.

Complex goals tend to fail. You don’t need a long list of goals, for example I break my goals down to: business, career and family. Another tip to successful goal setting is to evaluate the areas you would like to see change in. For example, if you want to intentionally increase in finances, explore what options you have and what you can do to increase such options then break that down to a daily to-do list. Once you achieve your target, set new goals that will keep you motivated.

What keeps you going when things are tough?

Habits, I stick to the habits. If I said I will do something I will stick to it - challenges and all. My commitment to God is also an anchor for me when things feel rough.

What do you do when you feel like taking a break from everything?

If I’m in a position to, I organise a getaway with my husband. If I can’t, then I crotchet or work out. These are the things that help me to relax.

Final word of advice…

In each and every one of us is a gift. Identify yours and cultivate it. The choice to grow or change is entirely up to you.

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