Many of us continuously feel unhappy about the way we look. Spending hours on end complaining about the same problem to different people we encounter. After numerous negative experiences when trying to fit into your own clothes or having trouble shopping for clothes that fit, you finally decide to start “dieting”. For the first week you’re able to keep the motivation high, eating healthy and exercising regularly. However, on the second or third week it gets too difficult and you find your self back to old habits and once again complaining about the way you look!
We effortlessly spend a majority of our time complaining about how unhappy we are with our appearance, yet we choose not to actually create a change in our lives. Why wait for adverse events to take place in our health such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer to finally decide on making long lasting changes in our health. Studies have shown that the lifestyle choices you decide to make in your 20’s will have a significant impact on your health in your 40’s (1). It is also important to remember that the changes you make are long term rather then short term. Engaging in a “diet” such as no carb or juicing diet may work temporarily, but let’s face it such fad diets never last. More often then not, once you quit the diet not only do you gain the weight you lost back but you also get to keep a few extra pounds…. that you didn’t even ask for. To achieve long term changes we must enforce a healthy lifestyle, which is a way of life that allows one to enjoy food, exercise, and implement healthy habits on a daily basis for years to come.
In Islam we are discouraged to waste time but rather use every minute and second to doing good for your self or another as it is a blessing from God. With this being said, seize the opportunity to finally start and continue making healthy lifestyle choices. The prophet (S.A.W) said “There are two blessings which many people waste; health and free time” reported by Al-Bukari. However, we don’t value our health until it starts to deteriorate, so to keep us in check make it a point to visit an ill person or some one who is terminally ill. Not only will you be practicing the sunnah of the prophet (S.A.W) but you will also learn to appreciate your good health and take precaution in how you decide to nurture your body.
Here are 7 tips to jump start your healthy lifestyle;
- Maintain a balanced diet; eating healthy means having a variety of fruits, vegetables, protein, and carbs while keeping in mind the importance of moderation
- Clean up your kitchen as well as your secret stash; Set your self up for success by eliminating junk foods and any other unhealthy food choices as this will help reduce temptations
- Get active; every week try to at least complete 3-4 days of 30 minutes exercises or more
- Track your success; have a calendar where you can cross of each day that you committed to a healthy lifestyle, this will help keep you motivated to be persistent
- Keep the Goal in mind; right when your about to give up remind your self why you started in the first place
- Love the process; learn to appreciate your current self and the accomplishments you make along the way, whether it may be the reduced shortness of breath as you go up the stairs or the confidence you gain from achieving your goals
- Ditch the Scale; stop taking your weight on a daily or weekly basis, it will only drive you nuts simply focus on how you feel as you progress through these lifestyle changes and if you must weigh your self, do so once a month
It is obvious that change is never easy but it’s important to also remember that your circumstances won’t get better by chance but only through change. So take that first difficult step and don’t look back, I am sure you wont regret it!
Written By: Raya Haddass
Liu, K., Daviglus, M. L., Loria, C. M., Colangelo, L. A., Spring, B., Moller, A. C., & Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (2012). Healthy lifestyle through young adulthood and the presence of low cardiovascular disease risk profile in middle age. Circulation, 125(8), 996-1004.