In a country where some two-thirds of residents are overweight, Qatar has been searching for ways to combat its obesity epidemic. Medical experts and athletes are constantly weighing in on the fight, but one voice that’s rarely heard is that of an overweight person trying to get a handle on his/her health. In this weekly series, one Qatar resident gets personal about her struggle to lose weight.
My name is Mrs. N.A. Rashid. I am 29 years old. I am a Pakistani but born and brought up in this beautiful and blessed place. I have been diagnosed with a disease called severe obesity, something I’ve had for a long time. I am genetically obese and I am also a victim of my lifestyle. I have tried so hard to fight my obesity in the past. The saddest part is that whenever I tried, I have always failed.
Over the past few months, I have asked myself repeatedly, why do I want to lose weight? And, how I should be losing weight? After months of thinking, I finally have answers to those questions. I have recently started my weight loss plan and will share my journey every week with you.
Taking its toll
I believe since my childhood, various people (young classmates, teachers, relatives) have taunted me about my weight. No doubt that these comments have psychologically affected me negatively since my childhood.
Being overweight has always fueled my depression in the past. Whenever I go to restaurants, after eating the delicious food, I always blame myself. Shopping has always been challenging because to imagine myself in fancy clothes is difficult. I always dreamed about a perfect body but the cruel mirror has always brought me back to the reality.
I have been avoiding meeting people in order to hide and to not listen to any criticizing words. I always felt that I am not living my life to the fullest. I have tried several time different techniques to lose weight, but failed. My inability to lose weight has taught me that the above reasons should be secondary motivations to lose weight. I have to convince myself that I should not lose weight to satisfy society or to wear certain clothes.
Rather, I want to lose weight because I value a long, healthy and happy life with my family members. Enjoying a healthy lifestyle is the right answer to the why part of the question.
In terms of how, I believe before fighting any battle, we need to have weapons. I am going to fight obesity and I need to have my weapons too. My weapons will be:
- Determination and willpower. I realized from my past failures that weight can be lost with the help of one major thing: It is neither diet nor exercise, but it is strong determination and willpower. Diet and exercise are secondary things.
- Spirituality. I do pray and perform other religious activities, but am I really connected strongly to the Divine? Sadly, no. I realized that my connection and relation is weak with my God. Spirituality or connection with God Almighty is the most fundamental and essential thing in order to get peace and strength. I have been working to get connected to God by praying on time and reading the Quran with translation. I start to feel His presence and support everywhere and all the time. In a day, I am asking my God several times to show me the right path and help me to lose weight.
- Organization: Here, I am talking about getting my own thoughts in order. During the last few months, I have been over-thinking this issue, but never reached to any answers. The reason was that my process was never productive or focused. By writing down my thoughts about why and how to lose weight, I believe that I have organized my thinking. The second part of organization is related to organizing daily activities. I have been always complaining about having no time. Now, I am planning to manage my time by becoming an early bird. I decided that I am going to wake up early in the morning (around 3 or 4am), pray, exercise, sleep for a while, go to the university, dedicate two hours to household chores and sleep early. I know that two hours won’t be enough for household chores but I divide cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing and other things over the days of the week.
- Communication and support: I have communicated with my husband about my plan and I am grateful to him that he has promised that he will fully support me.
- Diet and exercise plan: I decided that I will walk for 40 to 60 minutes early in the morning at 4 am on the Corniche. I have devised a diet plan for myself with help from the internet.
I am hoping that my strong spiritual connection with God, my strong will and determination, the support of my husband and organizing my thoughts and tasks will not let me fail this time.
I have made prepared my weapons and am entering the battlefield. I will need your supportive comments and prayers.
Credits: Images courtesy of Free Digital Photos