ASA and GOOD MORNING. As I am writing this I wish I was in Costa’s with a nice medium wet latte, instead I am having a protein smoothie with bananas, strawberries and spinach, hoping that, in sha Allah, it’ll give me the energy kick I need to finish writing this post and get on with the busiest day of the week. It won’t give me that spike in energy a latte does but it sure makes me feel healthy and strong 💪🏽. The latte also happens to have the same amount of calories as my smoothie with none of the vitamins and minerals that I so desperately need today. I will in sha Allah have a coffee after this smoothie but instead I’ll have a white coffee with 1 sugar and save my calories.
According to many articles and research papers have I read, as part of my job, calorie restriction can improve memory and increase our life span by 20% yet despite all this information at my fingertips, it never triggered in me the will to loose weight.
Food can make me happy and give me energy but a slice of cake or a packet of crisps at 10pm when I am prepping for the next day are not the right food to eat. After having children and a hard day at work I have not been making good choices and within a blink of an eye my children were outrunning me and I could not recognise the person staring at me in the mirror! I stopped reaching for fruit and started reaching for my trusted chocolate and crisp combo that hit just the right spot.
Last year, I took some time off and decided to spend more time reading Quran and learning its meaning and history. Whilst listening to a Bayyinah podcast, brother Nouman spoke about the fact that heart attacks and blood pressure issues are not the Qadr (will) of Allah but the effects of bad choices people make in regards to food. Adding that to the information I already knew regarding calorie consumption and obesity, I could no longer deny that overeating is a no no.
Allah (swt) warns us of excessive eating in Surah al-A’raaf 7:31:
يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُوا زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ
O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.
Prophet Mohammed (pabbuh) used to say to eat a third, drink a third and leave a third empty. UzI had to do something so I decided to…. wait for it…. LOSE WEIGHT!!! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
Now this was not an easy decision by any means. I chewed on this (probably whilst eating a my fave combo) for a few months. I also had to accept the fact that the Michelin woman staring back at me in the mirror was not a product of water retention but a labour of love for food and unconscious eating.
It is hard work changing your lifestyle! I have spent hours building Pinterest boards and researching healthy food that I would actually enjoy eating. I debated on wether to go organic, how often to have meat, whether I should include the whole family or cook for myself on the side. In the meantime I started watching what I eat, I got a notebook and wrote down what I was eating. I started walking more and working out to YouTube videos after my Fajr prayers.
Changing the way I eat has been a full time job on top of all my other full time jobs and it is not like I can get an assistant, a nutritionist, a cook and a chauffeur (if you can Alhumdulillah but in the UK, that’s expensive!). It took time, late nights, patience, money, brainpower, and most of all Faith that Allah (swt) would help me in this journey.
Before you ask I am not on a diet, I am on, what fitness bloggers call, a lifestyle change. I got myself a Personal Trainer downloaded myfitnesspal and 6 months in I have, Alhumdulillah, lost a total of 17 kg (37lbs) and counting. I now can do all sorts of squats and dead lifts and exercises I don’t even know the names of and I feel better in myself. The whole family eats better too. My five year old still struggles with the amount of vegetables on her plate but I think that’s mostly due to her age rather than the change.
It is not easy, SubhanAllah! Everyday I consciously make better choices for the sake of my faith, my health and my children, yet not everyday day I succeed in sticking to healthy options. But now instead of letting it defeat me I draw a line under it and I move on.
I plan my meals for the week ahead, so no food gets wasted. When I am going out I ask to choose the restaurant and/or ensure it has something healthy on the menu. I invite my friends over more often than going out. Having people over when you are starting out is great because you are busy, so you don’t notice time pass, and I have told everyone about the lifestyle change so they always have something to say about what I am eating and how well I’m doing MashaAllah!
I still have two squares of dark chocolate when I really need it (#totm 😉) but I will no longer have a whole bar, in fact i now find it too sweet! Treats are no longer the cherry on top of the cake but part of my daily calorie intake. I started following some pretty cool fitness Bloggers and Instagrammers and my Pinterest is now a picture of fitness, health and spiritual well-well being (not to mention fashion, beauty and entertainment, I mean a girl’s got to live a little right?😉).
Are you trying to loose weight? Do you have any handy tips or useful information?
Leave a comment or a question let’s start a conversation so that we can help each other in sha Allah. Also if you would like some fitness tips, advice and healthy recipes let me know and I could make this a weekly blogpost.
I want to leave you with a verse from the Quran
Surah Al’Baqarah 2:22
الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَّكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّهِ أَندَادًا وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
[He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling and sent down from the sky, rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. So do not attribute to Allah equals while you know [that there is nothing similar to Him].