How we cater to obesity.

We were talking today in the break room and one of my colleagues felt very tired  cause they had walked a little today and we were then discussing how this country isn’t buit for walking at all. The weather doesn’t help, the dust doesn’t help, and clearly the lack of proper public transportation isn’t helping as well.

what are we to do when the infrastructure doesn’t cater to an active lifestyle? Here are a few tips that I do and some that I need to do more of. These were tips were discussed in today’s class as we brainstormed ideas

  1. Exercise: is a great way to get active, fitter and to improve our overall lifestyle. In Bahrain, we have many clubs that you can be a part of, think of something that you’re passionate about and go for it. Martial arts, running, cycling etc. This will help you stay motivated and will give you goals to work towards, especially if you’re part of a club/gym. A free option would be to gather friends/family and go to your nearest park and go for a walk/jog/run.ex
  2. Move a lot around at work : Use your workspace to walk around, every now and then. Get up and get moving. I usually go to an empty class secretly and do some jumping jacks or push ups. A more acceptable thing to do would be to just stroll around the office every 15 mins or so and slack off a bit.move
  3. Diet: I cannot emphasize how much diet plays a role in the battle against obesity, heart disease and even cancer. Eat a plant-based whole foods diet and beat all that preventable crap!fruits
  4. Active social activities: Here’s a fun one. Instead of going to coffee shops and staring people every week , a fun thing to would be bowling 🙂 or even billiards. We have plenty of those here in Bahrain, You’re being active, social and kinda getting fit there. Or go for a walk versus sitting down to talk trash. Think about it.bowling

Anyways, I’ll keep this short since I’m typing this as I’m standing.

Stay active and don’t let preventable diseases win.

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How to find our callings in life

We all want to do work that matters, work we love and work that just gets up in the morning ready to kick some ass!

BUT…. we aren’t. We drag ourselves out of bed and do what we have to do in order to survive. Here’s the thing, its hard to find it out and even if we do, we may not able to always do what we love. I for one think that one of my callings are to race in an  F1 Ferrari car. As hard as it calls me, all I can do is go karting and let my imagination do the rest. The truth is that discovering your life’s work is a challenging journey full of twists and turns. Along the way, you might need help knowing where you are and how far you have left to go.

Here are 5 ways that may help you know what your callings in life are:

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  1. People see it in you without you necessarily seeing it yourself: I have been told on several counts to be a comedian, but I don’t think that I’m that funny or that I have the discipline to write material, I’m just straightforward and honest I guess. People have also told me to get into teaching and I have. I have been praised as a teacher ever since I was 19 and Its something I passionately do now. Listen, to what people tell you and what you’re made for, it may just be one of them.
  2. It’s not easy doing what you’re born to do but it comes naturally: I was almost gonna cry when I was doing the body pump module ( which is course where I get trained to be an instructor for body pump ) but I didn’t quit and it came quite naturally to me eventually. Teaching is not always easy but I do it with passion and that comes naturally cause I love doing it.
  3. It’s full of failure: My placement test to be an instructor at an international center was so hard and I failed it miserably, I then begged them for a second chance cause I was good at it but was a just a little rusty. Then, after being hired I was evaluated and failed that as well. As I was being evaluated I left the class to drink some water cause I was just drying up due to all the pressure, that really messed it up for me. But I didn’t give in, cause I wanted to be a teacher so bad from all my heart and now I’m pretty darn good at it.
  4. It’s not just one thing but plenty of things : A calling is more than just a job or a career track. It’s your whole life, and it tends to integrate into everything else that you do, not competing with but complementing your values and priorities. If a calling takes you away from your family or loved ones too much, it may be more of an addiction than a vocation.
  5. It’s not just what you do but what you leave behind: Your calling must be so big that you leave an impact behind for the world to praise, live on and maybe even continue after that you’re gone. Examples may be leaving behind great children that will impact the world and leave it better than how it is ( my parents have already played their part with their calling and can now enjoy retirement) , or leaving behind a great business that will benefit society through employment and great service or a great book that will entertain or change lives.

Look for you calling, and don’t settle. I used to think a calling was simple and easy. Now, I understand that it’s so much more. It will take my entire life to find my callings, but the destination will be worth the journey. May the same be true for you, as well.

The time it takes to get fat (Pt.2)

One night as he looked as his body, he felt disgust and he has been slightly overweight for as long as he can remember but all that changed for him in his university years. He went from fat to chubby in less than a year and stayed that way for a good 4-5 years.

That one night, it all changed for him. It was his breaking point where he has come to hate his body, his lifestyle, eating habits and wanted out of that dead-end life. He took a decision that night that changed his life forever to the very best and he keeps getting better and better. Not only was it a diet, but a whole mind-set shift where he wanted to be a new person, a shift in diet and lifestyle.

He didn’t let his emotions get ahead of him, because he as failed plenty of times on fad diets that has given him temporary results only, taking back to where he has started and maybe even gaining a few pounds over that.

He wanted SUSTAINABILITY and a change for life. So he took it slow, and started working towards his goal using baby steps. He started changing what he eats, eating mainly whole foods and eating a high carb, low-fat diet.

He began to lose 4-5kgs a month on diet alone, and then began adding a daily walk to his life every single day. Those simple changes made a tremendous effect on his life and he was able to do them because they were small, measurable, achievable goals. He began to add a little jog now and then just to get his heart beating. Once he saw the changes, he was motivated more than ever and would not stop until he has done a complete transformation. It took him around a year to just lose the weight.

He then was a transformed man, who wowed everybody he knew with how well he has done, after the big change and being so optimistic about life again, sky was the limit. He wanted to go above and beyond after he knew what his body and mind were capable of.

He then got a used up bike to train on. He would go for a 20-30 min spin on it and would sometimes jog. Then an opportunity for a challenge arose and that was a triathlon. That’s right, a triathlon, for those of you who aren’t aware what a triathlon is,a Triathlon is a multiple-stage competition involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines which are swimming, cycling and running that happen in immediate transitions. He did his first every triathlon and he finished it successfully. The guy who could barely walk a mile was now getting into races that the average people would think twice about.

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He then decided to get into bodybuilding and get into a whole new sport if its own. Ladies and gentlemen, it takes years of abuse for you to get fat and years to get fit, but the years spent getting fit and healthy are shorter, healing, exciting and bright. So make that change. I now share with you pictures of my good buddy Ahmed Awad and his transformation.

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And this is him now

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Here are Ahmed’s top 3 tips:

  1. Don’t quit: When you’re about to quit ,remember the pain is only temporary and then you’ll be happy for life.
  2. Eat clean and exercise: Eat clean, exercise/get moving at least 4-5 times a week to reap the health benefits of this lifestyle and add a cheat meal once a week only, so you can indulge when you have to
  3. Keep pushing : Number 1.

If you like this post, please share and comment. You never know who you’ll inspire.

How I learnt to need human beings less and make friends with freaks like myself.

It’s 4am and the sun’s coming out. It’s a Friday morning and I have been sleepless for a couple of days now, apart from the power naps I take while I’m in the office or doing something important. Why don’t we ever fall asleep that fast when we’re at home, tired and exhausted ? Probably cause I had the latest iMac and was too excited to sleep, even though id regret it in the morning.

I’d wake up drained and as the English say it “Knackered “. I’d wake up feeling very needy and would crave some attention from other fellow humans. I’d make up scenarios in my head and fantasize about how good friends/buddies we are.

I’d constantly call people and would like to do something, I needed the attention, I had so much to say, so much to give but I couldn’t get any sleep. I was constantly depressed. I saw a therapist and asked for a solution. She told me to love myself and get to know me!

I thought I knew who I was, I just needed to share it with someone, the therapist refused I call after working hours, unless I was willing to pay a certain fee. I couldn’t afford it, so I was back to square 1. Why can’t I sleep, make lots of friends and influence loads of people ?”

So I started a daily practice, and slowly did things that helped me be a better person to myself and be less of a drain to others. I started asking myself “what do you want?”  I need people to like me “why?” . There lied the answer! Why would anyone like me?  What do I have to provide? Friendship isn’t enough! How about money with that? When I finally decided to pay my therapist to call after working hours, that was also refused. So I guess money is out of the equation too.

I began to learn new skills, read a few pages every night and found passion in sports. After, a while I enjoyed being with myself. I slept!!! I slept, oh man did I sleep! I no longer needed anyones attention, I shared the knowledge I learnt and that was enough, and then I finally knew how to choose my friends.  Here’s what I learnt:

  1. You have to give to take back : I was always such a drag and had nothing valuable to give sometimes, add that to lack of sleep and I could be a very unpleasant person to be around.
  2. Trust human beings: trusting that others will love you for who you are, letting everything else go. I just had to trust that my friends would want to hang out with me again, so I learnt to be patient by doing things I’m passionate about ALONE.
  3. Believe in yourself: “If you won’t then who will?” Just kidding, that a cheesy motivational meme I read. Believe that you possess the skills to keep yourself happy ( at least for a while ) and believe that you have the power to do amazing things while in solitude, just with a little focus and sleep.
  4. Choose wisely: if you’re circle of friends aren’t fueling you with passion, humor and acceptance, then its time to get out of the bubble and maybe draw a square to get into, and invite only those who are worthy of your weirdness.

I’m sleepy now, the lights are dim and I don’t want to need you more than you need me. It says that you’re on 33%, but I’m on 18%. Sorry laptop, but I can’t give you 33% This is a give and take.

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The time it takes to get fat

27 years has gone by and he’s now 28 years old. He has visited the gym quite a few times in his  life,  once for a week of intensive workouts that completely burnt him out and another time was when he was in his teens when he suddenly wanted to look good, cause you know..it feels good to look good. But that failed him as well, it was just too much work and it was too hard, the programs given to him were not properly designed to sustain, just focused on a lot of hard work too soon.

He has been a fat kid all his life, well, chubby at first and then fat. I remember being with him in the 6th grade and he was already overweight so its been a while, so it took him around 12-13 years to become overweight and he has been maintaining that ever since.

Last year, he was 27 and he was just as fat, maybe a little less or a little more. He finally decided that its time to change for good. NO more Mr. fat man, no more Mr careless eater and NO more junk food. He finally realized that he had missed out on so much in life and had the strong urge to look and feel good. It’s been a long journey for him but it was time to switch lanes.

So he decided to lose weight, the only issue was that he wanted that change to happen NOW. He starved himself, over trained, ate tasteless food (aka healthy bland food ) , but it just made him go back to square 1. He had to find a solution, so the easiest way was to take it one step at a time. He set a realistic goal and took it easy, and made small changes to his diet, exercised moderately avoiding injury and burn out and has lost 15kg ( 33 LBS ) since the last year. He looks better now, healthier for sure and is very optimistic of what more he can accomplish.

How to lose weight long-term:

  1.  Take baby steps. We have abused our bodies for years and years and years, and expect to fix that in a month, that is not sustainable, logical and will cause more harm than good. It will take at least a good 2-3 years to rectify all of the damage done to the body. So embrace the journey, be patient with it. As much as we have damaged it, it will take half the time to fix that but at least give your body half the time to do wor its magic.
  2. Don’t diet : Don’t put a lot of restrictions from day one. Take out one bad thing/habit ever week and take it from there. Ease into it, your body will be in less of a shock and you’ll be able to absorb the changes gracefully.
  3. NO 10-30 day challenges : This is not a crash course on losing weight, this is a journey, the new you. Someone you’re going to want to get to know and live with for the rest of your life, not for 10-30 days. So skip the bikini body challenges and the fad diets and do what’s good for you. recreate yourself and become a new you.

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These are my few tips on to lose weight term for overweight people and this applies to anyone wanting to live a better and healthier lifestyle. More to be posted on this but for now, lets take baby steps and ease into it.

To life, health and vitality.

Let me know your thoughts and criticisms.

The death talk

My chest was tight, it felt like my heart was skipping a beat. I told my colleagues what to do incase I had a heart attack or they found me lying unconscious at work. I explained where the nearest hospital was, who would drive me there while I was passed out and even who would accompany me.

Some laughed and some didn’t appreciate the humor, but I wasn’t really joking. I thought it was really important for others to know what to do incase of an emergency. We then delved into this topic a little deeper. I asked ” How do you imagine yourself dying?” and none of them had an answer, because they didn’t like to think about death, talk about it or even hear others talk about it.

We’re all bound to die, so I think that this is a very important topic. I think about death all the time and sometimes even fantasize about it. I imagine different ways that I would die and how people around me would be affected, and this kind of makes me feel good sometimes. We all like to feel important and we all want to be missed and acknowledged.

We all then opened up to each other and shared some death stories, I always thought that I’d be able to get over someone’s death pretty quick but then someone told me that she had lost her father at the age of 16 and until this now she misses him and thinks about him everyday. I guess I was wrong, she has a better perspective on death, cause she had someone extremely close to her die, so she has first hand experience with that. My grandfather died exactly on the day of the Egyptian revolution ( January 25. 2011), I guess it was a good thing, the last thing he needed to see before he died was his country being torn apart. It affected me deeply and until this day I think of him and pray that he is in a better place but I have moved on, and I moved on pretty quick, I tend to let go of things such as death, cause we’re all going the same way, but I may not be able to get over someone who is even closer. We’ll see, unless I go first and then I’ll definitely have no first had emotional experience with this.

After a few discussions, I felt relieved, energized and ready to take on my class full force, I just had such a good feeling after talking about death because I was even more appreciative that I’m still alive and I didn’t want to waste more time. I just wanted to be the best that I can be while I still can.

I told them “good talk, we should do this more often”. No one agreed that we should talk about this quite often but I think that this should be small talk conversation, what mean could attract a better conversation than death? Sex maybe? Music? I still  think that death beats them all, but not everyone will want to speak to you that often after that. One of my colleagues seemed a bit down after the talk, she ended up calling her mother and just saying “hello” . I think that was good, that’s what I mean by feeling energized and positive. It made her call her mom, and it made feel very positive and good cause I was still alive and I could so more good.

Anyways, I’m heading into 600 words, I’ll just mention how I Imagine myself dying. I imagine myself dropping dead randomly, sometimes I think that I may die while running a marathon or a triathlon and just falling down and not getting up. A funny way would be crossing the finish line embracing all the cheers and just falling down after all that, people not knowing whether I’m exhausted, excited or just dropped dead. But how I’d really like to die is while I’m praying.

How do you think you’ll die? 🙂

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DOCTOR, DOCTOR

So we walked in to the hospital, a family member was sick and felt a little dizzy. The doctor finally saw us, checked her temperature and all that jazz, then checked if she had insurance, as soon as that was confirmed, he asked her if she’d like an IV?

We were both unsure of what to say, so we said no, the pills would be enough. She had a slight fever, but we good enough prescriptions to last us a decade, oh and it had to be taken in a day ( one of each )

Another instance, a friend of mine had a shoulder injury so he had taken an appointment with a doctor and he was told that he needed surgery, he didn’t want to go straight into it so he went for a 2nd and 3rd opinion, and they all said surgery, He waited on it because he was afraid of surgery. A month went by and BOOM, his shoulder was better, so he decided he’ll wait a little longer and see what happens. A few months later and an x-ray is taken, he no longer needs surgery!!!!

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We often think that the doctors have the solution, and they want what is in our best interest, but that is rarely the case. ( Most) doctors nowadays especially in the private sectors are mainly salesmen unfortunately and cannot be trusted a 100%

We usually think that they have the final and ultimate say, but it’s your body and its your life, don’t let just anyone fiddle with it as they please. Do some research, ask lots of questions, we have a right to know whats good for us and not just take their word for granted. Private hospitals in Bahrain push surgery like it’s band-aid for God’s sake.

Do not be afraid to challenge your doctor, do your own research and always look for alternatives that are natural such as remedies and do no jump into surgery without taking more than one opinion and even then they could be wrong.

Now, don’t get me wrong doctors and modern medicine definitely have their place and they save lives as well, and there are many good doctors out there,but lets not abuse modern medicine and make it part of our daily lives.

Challenge your doctors, and think for yourselves, do some research before you juggle down a cocktail of pills and in some cases we should also research when is it absolutely necessary to take an IV.

I leave you with this quote :

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Which ultimately means, eat well and you’ll almost never have to visit your doctor, eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water before meals so you ensure hydration. Wishing you all health, vitality and ever lasting positive energy.

Oh and my favorite doctor joke: “Doctor, Doctor, I feel like a needle”. “I see your point”, replies the doctor.

Have you ever had any similar experiences?