Last week alone I was asked at least eight times by completely new strangers –
a) Is THAT your mom? or
b) How old is your mom?
Answer a) Yes, that is my mom. The woman who bore and raised me.
b) Umm, she’s old-ish (because I think it’s not very chic to disclose a woman’s age past her 40th year. She’s not 40, I’m 25 – do the math)
My mom has always been active and taken care of herself (by detoxing, clean eating and exercising). Ever since I was a kid, I remember her working out to Jane Fonda VHS tapes at home, whizzing to the gym after dropping us off at school and making it a point to eat relatively healthy. As I became a teenager, mom always ajak me to work out with her, but instead I would just sit in my jammies on the couch and cheer her on – lame, I know.
But I noticed that as she grew slightly older, she started to get a little curvier around her hips and waist. Only normal since she bore four kids! But last year when I came home for raya, I was shocked to see that mom had completely lost all her little pug rolls (my term of endearment for little chubby folds, please pardon me) and looked insanely lean.
I was slowly developing my own pug rolls after a decade of adolescent inactivity and years of KFC and Crunchie Bars, and asked her straight out what the effer she was doing. She told me, and I then decided, that after 24 years of sloth-life, I was ready to change.
And this leads me to a big issue I struggle with with a lot of young girls.
We know and can feel that we’re putting on body fat. Don’t lie to me, I know you know you do. But we don’t do anything about it, we are aware of it, but we don’t change.
I would take off my clothes before a shower and be unhappy with my bloated stomach, I’d pinch it and then stare at my flabby butt, sigh to myself, get in the shower, and ignore it. I did that for years. And now as I’m sitting here by myself, I’m thinking why?
Why did I let myself be unfit and unhealthy? Why did I not pick up the phone, call my mom and ask her what I could do for myself to be healthier and lose body fat? Why didn’t I text friends who had active lifestyles and say “Yo, I want to get strong, will you help me?”
Did I think they were going to laugh at me, or discourage me, or tell me that they were not going to help me? I highly doubt it. I was just making excuses for myself.
We know we need to get healthier, we know we need to have an active lifestyle – I’m not saying that you need to sign up for a RM300 boot camp or cut out carbs entirely!
Instead I want to encourage you to re-think that can of Coke, decide that you need to go for a walk around your neighbourhood, and decide that taking 30 minutes to working out at home as the best thing you can do for yourself today.
It’s about making the decision. To forget about the old aunties saying “dah besar macam tu tak apa lah, lagi senang duduk rumah jaga anak” – is that what you want for yourself? OR do you want to get strong, be healthy for your future (or current) family and do this for you?
I work my ass off for me.
A lot of people think it’s for my wedding and to look good for Mr. – partially yes, it is for those things, but those factors are 2.5% important. When I look in the mirror at 7 a.m. in the morning, sweating like crazy, lifting my 10 kilo weights and letting Jillian Michaels yell at me, I do it 97.5% for me.
I am not thinking about my wedding dress, or Mr. or the ‘nice’ things people are going to say about my physique. I am thinking about me, how hard I am kicking ass, how much stronger I am getting and how damn proud I am of myself.
A lot of girls usually don’t get to that point. They, or maybe even you, usually come up with excuses on why you can’t work out, why you can’t eat healthy, why you don’t have energy, why you have no time to take care of yourself or why you don’t have the money for nutritional help.
You make the time, you look for ways to be active, you choose what you eat, you find the money.
Excuses are always going to be there, de-motivation will strike and you will feel shitty sometimes. I am not going to lie, I’ve been there so many times myself. It’s almost became ‘glamourised’ to be a lazy couch potato or to be ‘too cool’ for exercise – I think that’s absolute bullsh*t.
To add on a personal observation: it is almost innate in the Asian culture, that when older ladies see other ladies who look thin, healthy and strong they will think/feel one of four possible things:
- That woman is ‘naturally’ thin and healthy (this is crap btw, some women seem ‘naturally’ thin because they take care of their health and fitness)
- “She’s probably starving herself”
- “I can’t do that”
But who’s to say you can’t be fit? Why should we feel jealous of other women who are taking care of themselves? Shouldn’t we be proud of them and ask them for guidance and advice?
Girls, this is the time to change that mentality.
Let’s break it, shatter it, be free from negativity and change for yourself
If you see a girl who looks amazing, go up and ask her what’s she doing, and make that change. Let’s build each other up. Let’s support each other, motivate each other to be healthier, share what works for us and be open to new ideas and activities.
Let’s toss aside the bitchiness, envy and awful assumption of “she’s trying to sell me something, she’s trying to get me to sign up at her gym, she want me to starve myself” –throw it away!
Let’s work together to be healthier and stronger women, for ourselves.
I am here, telling you this now, it is so much better on the other side (not that I’m fully on the other side, but you know what I mean). You can read a million of these blog posts, you can hear me rant and rave about this (you may even unfollow me on your Facebook newsfeed to avoid all my annoying updates!), you can jaga makan on and off for months, but until you decide that you’re over this, and you are ready to get healthy, be strong and make the right changes, things are going to stay the same.
This post is probably coming from out of the blue. You’re probably thinking “kenapa Iman tiba tiba nak write an obnoxious post macam ni?” – think of this what you will, but I am writing this and feel this way because I absolutely love you. I want you to be the greatest, healthiest, fittest version of you.
I’m not saying I have the all the answers or have the most bangin’ physique on the block, but what I have is the willingness and hunger to help girls our age become better women, better mothers, wives, daughters, and #ladybosses by firstly taking care of your health.
I was inspired to spew all this out because I was watching a YouTube video. The speaker was telling a story about how his wife’s friend yelled at her after finding out that she had been using some products for a year that worked wonders for her body and health.
The friend said to the wife “Something was working for you, and you didn’t tell me?! You B-word!”
And that’s when it clicked in me. Something is working for me, it’s done crazy amazing things for me, my body, my health and mom’s (for so long!), and when I reflect on it, I feel like shit that I’m not sharing it.
It’s my moral obligation to share, to help and (pardon my self confidence here) but to inspire girls that there is ultimate change and magic just waiting for you.
So Alhamdulillah we’ve been blessed with another opportunity to experience and benefit from Ramadan and Allah’s mercy. He is ever Knowing by putting us through a natural body detox and cleanse through fasting – Ramadan is also the best time for our bodies to lose body fat and go through nutritional cleansing. It’s the greatest time to feed our body with the proper nutrients it’s screaming for.
Girls, this is it. It’s time for you to decide for yourself that your moment of change is here. Only you can decide that for yourself.
When you’ve turned that switch on, you let me know, I’m here and we’ll do this together.