By | Rabia Khan
When it came to my weight, I always seemed to fall into a predictable yo-yo pattern.
Right from my elementary years, I would gain weight in summer, then would lose it all during the school year. This cycle continued throughout high school, and during my university years.
I am 29 years old, and I have been married for 7 years. Throughout my marriage, I suffered from uterine fibroid (benign tumors), constant back pain and exponential weight gain.
AlHamdulillaah, today, I am free from any tumours, back problems and I have finally reached a healthy weight.
This is my story:
In my university years, like many students, I began working out with cardio and strength training, with the help of my neighbor. I regularly filled an online diet and exercise journal. I felt and looked good, my friends complimented me, and life moved on…
Not single and not free
When I got married, I was about to start my last year of university. However, I had little time for myself, with the overwhelming lifestyle of looking after my home, going to school, working and taking care of a child. As many fellow moms can relate, my lifestyle was simply overwhelming. Soon after, my body started acting unnaturally and long and tiring visits to physicians and gynecologists began.
I was constantly tired, I had horrible back pains and I was unable to stand for any long period of time.
This affected my ability to pretty much do anything: from cleaning the house, washing dishes, cooking… It was a real horror story!
Some friends recommended I try dieting to lose weight. I started dieting… only to gain back double the amount of weight I had lost!
It was not until 2 years had passed (and my belief in conventional methods of treatment failed – I think I almost took a vow to never see a doctor again!), my friend Nobera informed me of a Naturopath and I immediately booked the appointment with her. That’s where the real journey of self-awakening and consciousness began. I went to her regularly for four months and not only did she advise me to eat healthier, but she actually gave my healthy recipes to follow. At this stage, I was over 180 pounds. My health was suffering severely, and I was not conscious of what or how much I consumed when I ate. I tried acupuncture, diet journals, different herbal tinctures and various other methods to get me back on track. I lost 35 pounds, made more informed decisions on what to eat, but I had to keep up with the program which became impossible to afford.
My Big Epiphany
My husband and I moved, and I registered to a full-time Hifdh school while teaching at two different cities. Life got me again and as my responsibilities grew, I forgot about myself and my health once again…
I was too busy to workout, research recipes or to cook.
By the time I realized what was happening, I was way over the obesity mark on the BMI scale. I had developed uterine fibroid (ouch) and was reunited with back pain. I also had trouble with my daily salaahs and was frustrated for not being able to do much ‘ibaadah.
RamaDan came in year 2012 and that’s when I decided I needed time for myself. I posted about my back pain on Facebook and my friend Hira suggested hijaamah. I booked the appointment with her hoping for some back pain relief! Hira was gentle and as a friend advised me to start losing weight and to think seriously about having a child.
I never gave up hope and trusted that my body knows best what it can do. I started looking for weight loss programs when I reached 250 pounds. I found a program which focused on fundamental nutrition and exercise, and began to adhere to a healthier lifestyle.
To this day, I follow principles for a healthy lifestyle, which have completely changed my view on not only WHAT to eat but also HOW to eat.
I stopped eating out and removed all my excuses of lack of time. I had no time to do grocery shopping, so I started ordering
fruits and vegetables baskets online – delivered straight to my door. I had finally found something that made sense for my lifestyle. For once, I was focused on becoming healthy, and not just focused on losing weight.
My transition to a healthier lifestyle not only caused me to rethink my food choices, but involved a complete spiritual, physical and emotional detox. I learned about stress, hormones, becoming happy, loving myself and how to be kind to myself.
As I became healthier, I hardly noticed that I had already lost 50 pounds, until my collegues started stopping me and asking me my secret
Then both my husband and I realized that my clothes had suddenly become too big on me! My back pain also was reduced. I had naturally cured my uterine fibroid. I joined fitness programs, training as an archer and finally enjoyed life.
Last summer after RamaDaan, I went on a road trip with my sisters and for the first time I had realized how much I have changed. We went to a dairy farm and while everyone was enjoying the fresh cream and milk, I was eating my organic fruits and vegetables. After a long trip, as everyone was winding down for the night, I got up with the urge to stretch and work out.
I have lost over 70 lbs in the past 2 years. Some of it came back after getting pregnant but I feel my best and most importantly I am able to worship Allaah subHaanahu wa ta’aala better.
My healthy lifestyle is not about obsessing over my weight. It’s about feeling my best and living healthfully, the way I know my body was created to be treated, AlHamdulilaah.