Question part 3

We all thought that Haddaway solved the million dollar question. We were all shaking our heads to it after all.

What is love?
Baby don’t hurt me
Don’t hurt me
No more

But no.

He only said it how he saw it. But that song was very popular not only because we saw Will ferell shaking his head to it but because it was good music that was super relatable. Love is pain right?

I asked someone very dear to me, what is love? They said you are love. As flattering as the answer was, I don’t think I’m completely pain. So what am I then? Am I pain, pleasure and a little bit of awkwardness thrown in the middle?

Some say that Love is indescribable and there have been amazing love stories out there and songs. We all know John Lennon when it comes to love. Ah yes! All you need is love la la la la …All you need is love, love, love love is all you need. This is the same guy who beat both of his wives, abandoned one of his children, verbally abused his gay Jewish manager with homophobic and anti-semitic slurs, and once had a camera crew film him lying naked in his bed for an entire day. There you go ladies and gentlemen John Lennon has defined love for us.

All you need is Love is just too easy because Love wont put food on the table, love won’t helps us stay committed. Saying all we need is love is pure lazy. I’m getting off topic here. We still don’t know what love is.

Is it Romeo and Juliet where if my wife happens to poison herself I follow. Or is it Gandi’s love for his country that made him starve himself till they all listened to him. Some even go as far to say that Love is a choice and we have a say in whether we fall in love or not. Contrary to popular belief where you don’t choose who you fall in love with.

So what the heck is going on here and who do we listen to? It all seems to extreme but our society idealizes love and the problem with idealizing love is that it causes us to develop unrealistic expectations about what love actually is and what it can do for us. These unrealistic expectations then sabotage the very relationships we hold dear in the first place.

It’s a very very hard question where many great people have taken the liberty of answering this question where we all supposedly know what it is.

There is no one answer for what is Love. This question like my other questions here and here is very subjective. Love comes in all forms, shapes and sizes too. There’s that popular but shaped heart, and then theres the real heart that looks pretty messed up. It comes with pipes around it and stuff. Nasty stuff. But there’s a lot of love in there to give.

Love meaning care. Meaning understanding at the hardest of times. Meaning let downs and forgiving. Love is responsibility. Love can be blindsided by lust, fame, money and other interests that come in handy for each individual.

What is love to you ?

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How they digged their own graves

There he was. Smoking his way to the grave. A pretty good way to go if, if you ask me. If you enjoy it. Until you’re almost at the grave and then you really don’t wanna go. It’s not that you just don’t want to go anymore, cause who does? It’s what happens to you before you go. He was detoriating slowly. Deteriorate here means die slowly and painfully without you having any control over it and no amount of painkillers can stop it, but maybe deteriorate it even more ( make it slower ) which is bad news really. You’re just staying alive to be punished. Maybe that will make it easier after you’ve died already.

I asked him after his second diagnosis of confirmed cancer if it was from all the smoking, but he was quick to reply “NO”. I’ve been smoking all my life, can’t be it. If it was, it would have killed me a long time ago. But his premature aging and wrinkly cheeks were signs that this was coming sooner or later. Bless him.

This other guy I knew was convinced that he’s healthy and that his oversized gut was genetic and that it runs in the family. After a stroke he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol ( heart disease) and high blood pressure. He was later served the same food he always ate and refused to make any dietary changes or take medication because he was healthy and the stroke was just an incident that had occurred and was unavoidable. The next stroke he had numbed half his face leaving him partially blind and they had to amputate one of his legs due to poor blood circulation. He wished the stroke took him all the way to the grave instead of the emergency room.

What did these 2 stubborn but loving men ( to their families ) have in common ?

Well for one they became a damn burden to their loved ones and society as  a whole. They were living on the concept that if we have all done this for a long time then it’s perfectly fine. Their loved ones now had to take special care of them.

I like how the word “special” can mean the exact opposite depending on context. You’re a special boy, can mean you are mentally retarded ( literally and/or figuratively) and it can mean you’re wonderful ( Extraordinary). Their kind of “special” treatment led to others being handicapped by serving them in “special ways” no one had the pleasure of doing.

What does this teach me though?

It teaches me to look past culture and society. It teaches me that cultural habits can be very damaging if done long enough and it can damage myself and others around me in the long run. It teaches me that to deteriorate through cultural habits is bad. It teaches me to have an open mind when someone tries to teach me or even tell me something new and not be dogmatic about it. It teaches me also to be bare the pain of seeing dogmatic and stubborn loved ones dig a hole while I can’t do a single thing about it. That’s always the hardest part.

Good news for the diabetic dude though. The next stroke took him. Not sure if it was good or bad news for his loved ones. Maybe a little bit of both. A sort of a mixed feeling.
God rest their souls, and ours too while I’m at prayer mode.Amen.

IRONMAN BAHRAIN RACE REPORT 69.1

The alarm went off and it was 4:15 am. I slept at 12 cause who sleeps on race night right? The dude on stage said even pros don’t so I figured I won’t even try and just stay up and stay relaxed. I had slept well 2 nights before so all was good I guess. The alarm goes off. I wake up, drink water and figure it’s still early anyways, so I lie down a little more. It’s funny how I’d fall fast asleep an hour before transition opens but no sleep would come to me 5-7 hours before. Weird.

I wake up again, have some more water and make a 7 banana smoothie not because I want to but because I have to. So I force some down. Gotta get a cleanse going. I then mix 2 electrolyte drinks with powders I got online and are suppose the best stuff out there. I have never tried them before. I always try new stuff on race day. A friend of mine recommended I take his pre work out powder supplement because it helps so much in the gym and it would keep me going long and hard. Now this is some funky stuff. Basically it’s a shit ton of caffeine with some anti-oxidants thrown in. Now, I NEVER drink caffeine anymore and haven’t in over 2 years. Which is great cause that will make me caffeine sensitive and it will work even better, right?. The container said take one scope but my friend recommended a scope and a half since its a long race. I was heading there not knowing that  the swim has been cancelled, we were suppose to start at 7. So I took it at 6:30 so that the caffeine kicks in. The swim got cancelled due to strong currents ( which I was disappointed about but applaud Ironman Bahrain for putting out safety first ). Race started at 8:15. I was jumping around the start line waiting for my batch’s turn. ( Every 5 athletes were sent out to the bike transition within a period of 15 seconds or so) . I had one gel on me only for emergency just in case I needed it. It was caffeine based, it was GU caramel macchiato caramel machiato

MY turn came up! I sped to T1 and passed my bike, had to run back and look for it carefully. The adrenaline was really kicking in. As I took my bike and took off, I saw the GU gel on the floor, had no idea how it fell off, I picked it up and got on the bike and away I went. ( Later saw another Gel on my race belt. Turns out someone dropped the one I picked)

All I had for nutrition were in my bottles and I wasn’t going to eat anything. That was the plan. We had one lane to ourselves and  the other 2 were for drivers. This year the race was way more organized, less people were complaining. The wind was brutal, at first all we had was head wind and I was just pushing through. After passing the Bahrain Bay bridge and heading towards city center mall was super windy that a few bikes in front of me were going side ways due to the head wind.

At the 22km mark exactly, my stomach began to hurt a little, then the more I pedaled the more it hurt. At 26km the pain was unreal. I don’t ever remember having this much stomach pain. I was riding with one hand on the handle and the other rubbing my stomach. I was barely pedaling. All I could think of at the time was is this what woman have to go through every single month? MY God. The pain was getting worse and then at 36k I stopped on the side and got off my bike. I was butt sore from not spending nearly enough time on the bike and my stomach ache nearly put me in tears. Lots of athletes passing by asked if I was okay, everyone’s trying to be nice while fighting their own battles. You can always appreciate a good gesture knowing what everyones going through. That’s it I wanted out, but the only way out was to get back on my bike. It was a tough time and not a porta potty in sight. I wasn’t sure if it was the pre work out supplement or my mixes or the combination of it all. It was then just me and the highway and everyone else passed me by then. All eyes were on  me.Some looked at me with pity, some with sympathy, some with curiosity.I felt like Simba when he was deserted and left for dead   ( for some reason Simba always pops into my head )help simba

10-15 minutes later I got back on my bike and slowly pedaled, just wanting to get somewhere I can get off. At 50k the pain was completely gone and I began to push real hard to make up for lost time.I must have passed around 20 cyclists and then I decided to finish the bike leg. I was getting hungry and took the GU gel and stared at it for a second, feeling very afraid. This gel was either going to make me or break me. I took it. Thank God I didn’t get anymore stomach ache but got a burst of energy. And from there I went head to head with the wind.

Now when it got really windy I would tell my legs,” easy girl, easy”. Don’t know why i’d call them that but it worked and I’d spin on a low gear with high cadence and just embrace the head wind. I reached  T2 in 3 hours and 32 minutes ( not counting the 10 mins stop). I got off the bike put on my running shoes and visor cap and surprisingly didn’t quit yet. I continued running. I decided to use the bathroom to urinate because I didn’t want to half way of the run. Legs were mush but guess I was going to run anyway. Entering the bathroom, luckily saw a cleaner there who was kind enough in helping me unzip my suit from the back ( also the 1st time wearing this suit to a race) . After the bathroom, I started jogging again and maaaaan was it hard to get running again. My legs were so stiff, mainly my thighs felt locked up. I asked myself whether I really wanted to do this. “Are you really going to run a half marathon Hady? really? Your longest run being the 10k a month ago and before that…? ” So I felt an injury coming. I could have run it but I don’t have that racing mentality anymore. That do it no matter what mentality, even if you finish crawling. I have nothing to gain by doing it and a lot to lose. I could have done it and injured myself and spend time recovering. I’m all about health over fitness. I used to race no matter what before and I did finish races and ended up injured a lot. Not doing that ever again. I don’t have anything against that mentality IF you’re well trained. I know my body very well and it was trying to tell me something and I listened. Sure this is a mind game but we need to get out of this physically well or as well as we can.But me knowing what I knew, training for a month, that was enough reason to get out of it. So after 2.2k I headed to the finish line smiling and everyone cheering me thinking I actually finished the race. Awkward moment there.

After the finish line we had chiropractors and physiotherapists to work on us and boy was that that the highlight of my race. I had a sore upper back and burning thighs. The physiotherapist did some voodoo on me and I was up and cracking. Fantastic work, I felt rejuvenated. They’re an awesome clinic called In touch, and they definitely In touched me very well. You can check them out here

One of the main reasons I wrote this post is tell people that “it’s okay “. It’s okay to forfeit a race if you feel you’re going to get injured. It’s okay to listen to your body when everything else is telling you to push. It’s okay to tell people you DNF ( did not finish) . This doesn’t mean you’re a quitter, this means that you have raised above opinions and criticisms and you listened to the one most important and sacred thing to you. Your body. But if you want to go all out, knock yourself out, i’ve done it a lot in the past and it’s an experience. It’s worth it for some and they love it!! It all depends on what it means to you. I choose health over fitness and I urge you to do it at least the majority of the time.

And here’s how I celebrated my DNF . Best vegan pizza I’ve had so far.
pizza

I want to personally thank Sh. Sager and the Ironman Bahrain team ( Suzy, if you read this, awesome job) tri life for being there for the athletes and for taking customer service a notch up, and for always looking out for me. Endura, the amazing volunteers, and everyone who cheered me on, and last but definitely not least Intouch.

How I stay trim year round

I’m trim all year long with sometimes little to no exercise. I remember winter last year I was super busy and was ordering and eating out every single day, and of course what do we do on the weekend? You guessed it We eat out some more! I gained 8 kilos, and no not muscle but by fat! Fat that gave me man boobs, a horrible belly and maybe a cute butt.

It was a harsh time. Then I cut down eating out to 90%, eating the same exact foods I eat out but home made. I lost half the weight. I was shocked. I’m eating the same amounts and eating the same type of foods, why did I gain weight at the time? It’s the sh** they put in our foods. That’s what got me big. I really hated my man boobs. I’m glad to have regular boobs right now. Really puts me at ease. Then came ramadan and I went like 80%-90% raw and lost all the weight that I put on. I was literally stuffing myself with bananas, mangoes, avocados and watermelon. What a beautiful month of raw foods. Miss it. I vlogged about it almost daily on my Youtube channel, you can check out the series right here

So what do I eat to stay lean all year round? And mind you, I’m a foodie. I’m all about the vegan dishes that make you go…mmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmmmm. Here’s a typical day in the life of what I eat. In the morning I always start with a liter of water. Then depending on if I’m working out or not I eat. If I am then I just have a date or 2, or nothing. Smash in a liter of water while and then hit breakfast. Breakfast consists typically of fruits. I usually make a smoothie in the morning. Here’s a recipe that’s a staple for me. Coconut water/milk or regular water, 12 bananas, blueberries and chia seeds. The base is always at least 10 bananas, the rest I just throw in what I have that day.

Lunch would be a cup of rice ( a cup of rice is what some cook for a whole family of 4) , some steamed veggies, or a vegan stew along side that.

Dinner maybe another 10 bananas, or some baked sweet potatoes. Sometimes around 3-4. It’s great with cinnamon and brown sugar. Ahhh man, I’m drooling.  But here’s the thing most of my food has very very very little to no oil or salt on it. We condiment our food using spices, herbs, lime, homemade sauce/dressing etc. My food is always naturally low in fat, and high in carbs. I don’t mean processed carbs, but whole food plants. All from mama nature. Mother’s always got it right.

This is a typical day for me and slightly varies from time to time.

Welcome to the high carb world where restrictions of portions isn’t just in my dictionary. To see more of what I eat or my shenanigans, follow me on Instagram @elcotth or add me on Facebook: Hady Elcott. Here’s also another way I stay lean.

Cut carbs Cut life.

 

 

5 days to ironman 70.3 Bahrain

I’m sore  and haven’t tapered yet. Ordered top of the line nutrition and a wrong order arrived. I have been swamped with work and cannot say no to it, because as a freelancer you just can’t refuse work, not at this stage of my life at least.

I’ve trained for this race for under a month. My longest run was the 10k I wrote about around 3 weeks ago. And it wasn’t even fast. I’m trying to sleep more, but it can be challenging.

I have a few ticks up my sleeve and will see how it goes. Humble goal: 6:30, non realistic goal: beating last years time of 6:10 ( which I was kind of in shape for ) and the  unattainable goal under 6 hours.

For now, eat super well, try and get as much sleep as I can and easy workouts. Work load is increasing by the day. That’s good if it was any other time. But that’s life. Throwing curve balls at me. Just have to me focus and deal with it the right way.

To all you tapering. I salute you. See you at the start line.

How to be pure

He was staring at me non stop. It was probably my man bun. I was looked at in weird ways by abusers, liars, hypocrites, cheaters with a few thieves thrown in. But they were better people than I was. They were the chosen ones, all hand picked by God himself. Anyone to forfend by what they believed was wrong, were WRONG. There was no messing with those people.

I was covered in shame, trying to hide my face using my hair. Since they weren’t pleased by the man bun, I untied it and let my shoulder length hair cover my face so I could hide behind it. I took a peek through the layers and they weren’t happy at all. It felt like they were casting me out of heaven forever. I left there with hate and promising to grow my hair even longer. I have now become stubbornly hateful because I was jealous of those who had the key to heaven. Since I was out anyways I was gonna be bad to the bone.

After watching Terminator 2 for some motivation on being bad to the bone I got even more upset because the bad guy was liquid metal and there was no way in hell I could be like that. Great, now hell too.

I took a good look at myself in the mirror and realized that I wasn’t casted our of heaven yet. I am not dead yet. I have time to redeem myself and have a clean bun instead of a messy one.I figured I’d start there. I felt better about myself. I went in to work lifting my bun with pride. It was all neatly tucked in and I was getting less dirty look and more clean looks.

I then saw someone walk in with an undercut. How dare he walk in here looking like that?!!! Where does he think he is? This is the middle east. Then walked in a women with a pierced lip. HOW DOUBLE DARE YOU? You both ought to DOUBLE DATE. I then remembered how I was casted out of heaven with mere judgmental looks. I stopped casting them out and smiled at them. They looked at me weirdly. I smiled even more hoping they could the read the smile, which read ” It’s okay, I understand. I know what you go through sometimes. And I’m not casting you out of heaven, don’t worry.” They walked out and we lost 2 potential clients. But at least they walked out knowing I was with them.

I made another decision , to never try and cast anyone out of heaven again or give them judgmental looks. We are all going through our own journey and kindness always wins. I was gentle with myself and It worked. The gentler I became with people, the more they accepted me and I them. I formed a bond with myself and a pact to never judge anyone based on appearance, race, color or food choices ( I’m working on this one ) .

And how did I get my self out of hell after being casted out of heaven?! It was one good decision. And I think that’s something I ought to work on more often. Making better decisions. 

I have rid myself out of the purist mentality a long time ago and have met and made more friends with people from all walks of life. Some who didn’t even walk much. And I’ve accepted them in my heart. It all started with a better decision. So the next time I make a move, I’ll think of the better decision and take that one step forward. We will always be on a high horse and look down at other, the purer we are. Lets rid ourselves of purity. It’s non existent. Making a better decision exists and the next good decision will be to post this.

DONT BE A PURIST. MAKE BETTER DECISIONS ( Note to self )

 

Your most effective weight loss tool

I’ve seen a lot of people obsess about how many calories they burn while exercising. I never really understood that but anyways. I’ve seen ads of exercise classes mentioning burn up to 700 calories and that class would be filled with people and bare in mind that is a lot of calories for one class.

People would leave this class feeling burnt out, and sore for a couple of days to come. All that for maybe hopefully reaching a calorie burn of 700!! It’s up to 700, meaning if you give it your absolute all with a little vomit heading out of your system, you may be one of the lucky ones to make it to 700 calories.

Today morning I went for a bike ride which was a training ride for the upcoming ironman in Bahrain which is in 2 weeks. We rode just under 3 hours with police escort ;). We got to go on highways we don’t have access to as cyclists on ordinary days so today was the exception and I wasn’t going to miss it. Today was one of the very rare days that I was all wired up to my phone. I usually just ride for without anything on me but today I had GPS, maps, calories etc. After the ride I took a look at my phone and I burnt a total of 1,583 calories! Let me write it down in words. One thousand five hundred and eighty three calories! I was shocked at how much I’ve burnt having fun ( and the occasional pain and lactic acid build up ) IMG_2410

What other sport do you know of that can burn that amount of calories with very low impact? Nothing I know of. At least not in Bahrain. The bicycle is your biggest weight loss and fitness tool that you will keep you trim, fit and awesome.

The bicycle is a great way to get outside, get a good dose of vitamin D and stay trim without destroying your body. Since its a low impact sport, your joints will not suffer the way it does with running, weight lifting etc.

And if you’re in Bahrain visit Trilife or Endura and get a Bicycle. Winter is coming.

I’ll have a burger when I finish my diet

Its 9:49 pm now and I need to go to bed early so here’s 15 minutes of my time.

A client called me today and told me she wanted to try my smoothies but was on a diet and she was going to finish it in a week and she’ll call back then. I was silent and said “okay” . I can’t emphasize stronger on how a “diet” is just such a waste of life.

For the Love of God, just eat real whole foods. Do not go on a diet PLEASE! Stop eating crap, stop drinking gas, stop drooling over fake saucy food and start eating food that was intended to be eaten by human beings. SIMPLE!

It’s so simple that we complicate it and tell ourselves “No, no, no… I have to diet”.  I have to eat cucumbers for breakfast, carrots for lunch, drink diet coke and then binge on packaged foods when I’m done. Yes, that’s what will do.

Here’s a tip for you all that has done wonders for me: When you start a new dietary lifestyle, binge, binge and binge some more on the good stuff. Eat till you’re gonna explode and once you look at your favorite chocolate bar, you’ll wanna puke. It helped me, try it.

Here’s what happens and I’ve seen it over and over and over and OVER again. Mr Jon decides to go on a diet, has a meal plan. Follows it for a month and does great, and now its time to go back to eating what he ate cause he deserves it. Oh, and guess what happens, he blows back up. Ever seen a Mr Jon ?

Here’s madame Tussade and she wants to go on a diet. So she goes to a nutrionist and she gets a super blunt meal plan that she absolutely hates. She follows it and loses weight, feels better but can’t bear any more cucumbers with chick peas for dinner, so goes back to being the madame Tussade we all love and starts feeding us her yummy oily cooked food with extra salt to hit the spot.

How about Mr yasser!? He starts eating nuts for dinner cause he wants to lose weight and then just gets a shawarma again.

My advice: DO NOT DIET. EAT A PLANT BASED WHOLE FOODS DIET. GO VEGAN IF YOU DARE.

it’s 10:06 and I took a break to burp the baby, not bad!

Healthy Hack

One simple hack that will get you healthier.   
Here’s one super easy and effective way to get healthier and that is ………*drum roll*……… Don’t buy unhealthy food for your home 😊😄! 
Boom! Done! You’re healthy! 

Let me emphasize a little more, what you keep around you is what you go for, so how about having some healthy foods around you all the time. 

If you’re going to buy an unhealthy snack, then buy it, eat and get it over with but do no under any circumstances take it into your home.
Here are some guidelines you can follow to NOT getting any junk to the house : 

1) As mentioned above, eat your unhealthy snack outside the house: when you crave something and it’s driving you bizarre, then buy it, eat it and keep it away from home so it doesn’t stay there for you to look at again.
2) Do not bring back unhealthy leftovers: if you ordered a Molten chocolate lava cake for your cheat meal, and you happen to eat half only, good for you, throw the rest. More good than harm has been done ( I, in no way advocate throwing out food unless it’s damaging and the food contains minimal to none nutrients) . If a birthday was celebrated at home and you happened to have a huge remainder of the cake, then by all means “sharing is caring” . (Note: only serve a slice per person)
3) Avoid the mega sale dessert bargains that always happen to be there weirdly! : Please don’t think efficiency but instead think diabetes, obesity, lethargy and non nutrient dense at all. 
4) Buy this instead: what I mean is for every unhealthy food you avoid, try and substitute it with a healthy alternative. (E.g canola oil instead vegetable oil, fruits instead of candy, water instead of soda etc)

 
   

Hope this post helps! Here’s to a healthier you! ✋🏻

Fast food is fast money! 

As I ordered my brown rice, broccoli, and tofu I was grateful for the option available to me and grateful that eating whole foods has become more common in the Arab world, but as I reach out for the bill, my wallet is very ungrateful for how light it gets every time (or most of the time ) I eat out or even just buy food. 

Then, I look around the fast food joints and see how crowded they are with customers and how they have conquered the food industry. The marketing, the kids meal and how they make the meals with a theme and how you have to come back and collect all happy meal toy figures. It’s all brilliant. I wish health food restaurants would put in the same effort, but most of them are too busy overpricing their foods or just surviving through this fast food epidemic

Then, I look at the price of their meals and its shocking how dirty cheap it is. I hadn’t eaten at a fast food restaurant in over 2 years, so I was kind of living in my own bubble for a while, but as I took a look inside again, it makes complete sense that people are fat, sick and nearly dead.

The food is so cheap and its easier and more convenient to feed a family of five, affordable FAST food. We are going through an epidemic here, and all we can do is vote with our coin.

Please let’s ask ourselves why is fast food so cheap?! How can meat be that affordable (hint: it’s not real meat) and why have we become sicker than ever. Just food for thought.

A  few simple tips to eating healthier whole foods would be to simply eat outside less, buy in bulks and invest your time learning how to cook simple healthy foods such as rice, corn, vegetables, wholewheat pasta etc. 

I urge you all again to vote with your coin, save yourselves and your loved ones from  diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol and boycott the fast food mafia with all you’ve got.

Please leave below your comments and criticisms.  Happy and healthy reading 😀