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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hi Spark friends,

Sorry for being away for so long. But as you all know, life happens and we are taken away from things that are important to us. Spark people will always be in my heart; because it sparked the fire in me to do something healthy every day, even on days that I binge or don’t feel so great about myself.

Let’s talk about the good things first. I am now what people call, a happy person. When I started my weight loss journey in April 2012, it was the first time that I knew this was my destiny, I am not meant to be an obese, depressed, sad and lonely person; this is what I had turned myself into because my mind and soul were so weak and lost. I actually see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can feel it.

Another good thing is the fact that I know, without having to read the ingredients on the back of the box or without counting calories, what’s healthy and what’s not. I still rather enjoy working out, as long as it’s something fun.

I reached my lowest 118 kg/260lbs sometime in September, 2012. And then I stopped losing weight, for the next 3 months, but I was still happy and I lived a healthy lifestyle most days. In December 2012, I went on vacation to London, UK, and on the same day I arrived, my grandmother passed away. Granted, I was never very close to her, but my mother was devastated, and so were all of us. It shook me to my core, and it was a push to the dark side, because let’s face, I was headed that way after plateauing for over 3 months. I spent most of 2012 positively and to be sad again was excruciating and disorienting. I didn’t know how to get out of it and I tried every single day.

My grandmother’s passing was the last straw in a string of unfortunate events; first, it was my crush getting back to his girlfriend after we finally expressed our feelings towards each other, then, it was my best colleague leaving me and going back home, after that, it was the new managers hired with completely different visions from my old VP. The worst one of all, to me, was plateauing, even though I was killing myself to get to where I want.

December, January and February are a blur of binge eating, crying, and walking around so angry and unhappy with myself for being so weak. I loathed myself; I hopped on the scale every other week and saw the number going up, I went from 118 kg/260lbs. to 122 kg/268 lbs. to 128 kg/282 lbs. I would come home from work, feeling so angry, and craving carbs. I would have about 2 meals a day or pure crap. And I felt miserable, every single day. Mind you, I was trying to snap out of it; it’s not like I wasn’t aware of my state, in fact, I’ve never been more aware of my misery and my need to be good again. Every time I binge ate, I could hear myself screaming to get out, to stop eating, to throw it all away and start fresh.

In March, I knew I needed help, I knew the one year mark of my weight loss journey was just around the corner, and I needed help more than anything. I got online, read some quotes and watched some inspirational talks, I went to the grocery store and I bought some veggies and fruits. I made a plan to exercise and eat well and I promised myself to stick to it. I felt a little better, but I was still unhappy. I watched the premier of hungry for change and downloaded the movie, the mp3s, and the books and I bought the recipe book, it helped for a few days but then it didn’t. Needless to say, the plan didn’t work. I didn’t binge, I ate OK, but I didn’t exercise and I felt horrible because I broke my promise to myself.

I watched some more videos on YouTube, I read some books, and I spent hours going through fitspo images on tumbler, instagram, Facebook and even Google. I would lay in bed at night for hours thinking, trying to find the solution to my obesity. Honestly, I can’t tell you when it happened, but one of those nights, I saw myself, I saw a happy, healthy, thin version of me. It was the real me, the me that is trapped in my skin and that version of me shined like the star that she is. I cried that night because more than anything, I wanted to be her.

The next day at work, my friend/colleague gave me a sheet of paper with quotes on it. For her, this paper was for an assignment she had in Uni, and to me, it was the universe giving me the green light to move forward. The quote that hit me was “People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action” ^Steve Maraboli.

It struck me, and I kept thinking about it all day. I went to my friend and took the sheet from her to make a copy from myself. It was filled with quotes from successful individuals who managed to become and remain successful. I saw myself again, smiling.

That same day, I went home feeling good about myself. On the 13th of April 2013, I found a small notebook lying around my room, I picked it up, wrote some of my favorite quotes about patience, forgiveness, achievement, success, perseverance and weight loss, and on the back of it I wrote the plan. When I started this notebook, it was a way for me to shower myself with motivation every day, because unbeknownst to me, it doesn’t last very long, “Of course motivation is not permanent. But then neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.”^Zig Ziglar.

The notebook was also a way for me to keep track of my food, because I will always say that I haven’t had much to eat today, but then the notebook will say otherwise. Also, a way to make sure I get enough activity/exercise throughout the week.

Every day, I would eat well and drink my green juice (which I’ve been drinking for the past 2 months) and do something active. Every day, I felt good about myself, until last week, when I had a low day. And I felt like a few months before, sad.

And then it hit me; the only reason the day was a low day, was because I ate something that I wasn’t supposed to eat, and I went for a run for 20 minutes. Why did I feel so bad for something so small in the big scheme of things? I am so hard on myself, and if I do something that doesn’t sit well with my diet, I put myself down. No wonder I get so depressed all the time. The way that I talk to myself, the way that my brain reacts to things I do wrong, is horrible; I would never talk to anyone like I talk to myself. So why was it ok to do it to myself? It’s not.

Whenever someone comes to me with a problem, I sit with them and talk the stuff out and help them find the way to a solution or a resolution. I am so kind to them and ask them to be kind to their selves. And I opened my notebook and wrote down how much I have to be thankful for and that this low day is NOT a low day, it’s a good day, so what if I had something not very healthy, it won’t kill me. And if I hadn’t felt so bad about my eating, I would’ve had a productive workout, and the low day wouldn’t have happened at all.

That was the moment I realized that weight loss has nothing to do with eating well or exercising or drinking water blah blah blah. It’s ALL about the mind. I haven’t reinvented the wheel or anything, and I knew that in the back of mind, but I just FIGURED it out, I am seeing the relevancy of this fact NOW.

I’ve been following some videos on YouTube and reading about the psychology of weight loss and the power of the mind. The video that got me on this path is about Janine Shepherd from her TEDx talk. Please watch the video, Janine Shepherd at TEDx.

She talks about how her body was shattered and she was told she could never walk but her mind was strong, and look how well off she is now.

I have to have a strong and positive mind to succeed in this journey. I will lose all this weight and I will be positive throughout this whole thing. I will look at the good things I’ve achieved so far. After all, I did lose 22 kg / 48.5 lbs. in a little over 3 months last year, and I maintained it for 4 months. Yes, I had gained some of it eventually, but I am learning from my mistakes instead of them pushing me further down the rabbit hole.

It’s not about the notebook, it’s not about the exercise or the meal plan, and it’s about redefining what a mistake actually is and how kind you are to yourself when you make one. It’s about the number of positive things your surround yourself with and the way you talk to yourself every single day. It’s about knowing why you want to be thin or healthy or 30 kgs lighter, and knowing how far you will go to get there, not because you have to, but because you want to reach that goal. It’s about making time to exercise on a busy day, because you know that it’s one workout closer to your goal. It’s not about depriving yourself from the food you love to eat, but it’s about eating what you want, but not going overboard because you know that, 1, you don’t need to eat the whole thing to satisfy your cravings, and 2, you don’t want to hinder your success.

I’ll leave you with this; it’s all about your mind. I am a firm believer or this fact. Watch me shrink even more, because I am only half way there. Here’s to the next 48.5 lbs. and more!!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You sure have gone through lots. You need to blog a continuation to what's going on with you.

    Take care of yourself and know we are here for you.
    emoticon emoticon
    1720 days ago
  • MAGPIE17
    It's funny (and not in a ha-ha way) how when I friend talks themselves down or screws up or is hurting, we do everything we can to support them and lift them back up, but when we're in the same spot we beat the hell out of ourselves for being so useless, or weak, etc. We should be our own best friends, but often we're our own worst enemies.

    I'm glad you're sorting out the psychological side of this, Reem. So many people ignore that side, manage to lose all the weight, but because they haven't straightened out their thinking, they end up right where they started, or very close.
    1786 days ago
    Thank you it does help I can see myself in your blog again thankyou
    1786 days ago
    Such an inspirational blog, and one I wish I'd read long, long ago, before I jumped on this merry-go-round of yoyo dieting. Finally I know I'm where I should have been all those years ago, because for 2 weeks in a row, my weight has remained the same, no gain, no loss. Before, this would have seen me heading to the supermarket to buy the biggest block of chocolate available, but somehow the weight loss has ceased to be my number one priority - being content with myself, realizing there will be good days when everything falls into place, and bad days when everything either falls apart or blows up in my face. It took SP to make me realize that, and just that moment when the truth hit me was one of the most life altering moments I've ever experienced.

    Wishing you all the success and happiness you deserve, not just when you reach your goal, but each day along the way. As you say, remember to be as kind to yourself as you would be to anyone else who was in your position.

    Chris emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1786 days ago
    Wise words indeed
    1786 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1786 days ago
    so true, enjoyed reading this. emoticon emoticon emoticon m
    1786 days ago
    Great blog xx you can do this and I just love your insightfulness.
    You can do this my friend xxx Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1786 days ago
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