Tag Archives: Health

ALREADY NOTICING THE DIFFERENCE

orangutan1

Umar ibn Al Khattab (radiallahu anhu) saw a man with a huge belly and said: “What is this?” He said, “A blessing from Allah.” He said, “Rather it is a punishment from Allah.”

Manaaqib Ameer al-Mu’mineen, p.200

Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,

Those who have known me for a while know I occasionally go on a diet regime, it lasts for a short time, somewhere between weeks to months, I lose some weight, I do walk a lot anyway, so I do a little bit more exercise, eat healthily ish but soon enough I slack off and my big fat reserves and and overly large waistline comes back again within a few months or at most a year.

orangutan4
“So I keep eating this green stuff and it makes me healthy right?”

I’m overweight and terrible at dieting and worse at getting around to exercise, it’s not good, and it’s certainly not Islamic to be so badly out of shape but it is what it is and it’s my burden to be dealing with.

The main issue is that this has been my lifestyle for the past two decades since prior to accepting Islam and all the way through my life as a Muslim and not having done any serious exercise for so long means my body needs a lot of work on it. I’ve always until now used this as an excuse to go easy on the hardcore work outs thinking if they are necessary I can always do them later on.

I was always into rugby at school, always relied on my size and natural strength to get me through but I’ve noticed over the years this natural strength has seeped away and in reality given I’m creeping up on 40 that if I don’t turn things around soon I am really asking for a middle age and later of bad health and a likely early death.

orangutan2
“I’m always trying to lose weight, but weight just keeps finding me.”

THINGS ARE GOING TO BE DIFFERENT

This latest attempt is going to be different, it definitely feels different in my head and Allah willing it will be different. I don’t know, I just feel more determined rather than just going through the usual motions.

I started eating a little more sensibly again just before Eid as I usually do, though I admit to partaking in too much cake and lots of big servings of lovely curries with the family over that time but now I’m back to sensible eating again rather than going back to bad habits and this time I’ve decided to actually listen to the experts on exercise and not go so easy on myself and my overweight, muscle puny body.

The main thing all these fitness people advised me was I need to do more of the sweaty hard stuff, one brother as well as the usual advise on making sure I do cardio also told me I need to do lots of big weights, to help burn the fat, little weights are good for toning but no good for weight loss and quickly getting my health back again.

york-weightsSo my little weights that I used every time I went on a health kick… they’ve had a makeover and now weigh approx 3x as much, gone are the long lightweight reps which seem to take forever to get results, in comes some heavy duty work with the Mr’s weights and brothers I can tell you I am already feeling and seeing the difference after just a week.

It’s only a 15 minute daily workout of tummy crushers, sit-ups and heavy weights and already I’ve lost 4lbs and I can feel my atrophied muscles coming back in a little way, but the results are enough to firm up my commitment to the new healthy gingerbeardman regime, to try to break the bad habits built up over the past 20 years and Insha’Allaah this time actually stick to a healthy lifestyle for good.

So lets see how we go this time. I don’t know why I feel different, but I do, maybe the last fried chicken burger was the one which broke the camels back… to totally mash up that metaphor.

I want to be fit and healthy within two years, tops. Insha’Allaah long before then but a little encouragement wouldn’t hurt so feel free to throw in suggestions along the way, and I’ll keep doing regular updates.

I am hoping keeping it semi-public will help motivate me more for the hard-times when the sugar and fat cravings are making me paw at the door like a junkie going cold turkey (Turkey and cranberry sandwich!), that knowing others who know me, either online or in person and know of my struggle can help keep me on the straight and narrow path to a healthy lifestyle so it will become much harder to chicken out (ummm fried chicken) when it’s no longer just a private battle of the bulge.

Before I go, here is one final Orangutan picture for good measure, it has absolutely nothing to do with me or my health kick other than I googled words around being overweight and ginger and up popped some images of my overweight ape friends here.

orangutan1-jpg5

Advertisements

HOPING TO BE HAPPY? BECOME HEALTHY

Written by Tanya Abbasi and originally posted to Islam21C

burger close up

One thing which seriously needs addressing in our communities, aside from our seemingly inherent inability to arrive in time for anything, is the attention we fail to pay to the second greatest gift bestowed upon us by our Creator, namely, our health. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Ask Allah for forgiveness and health, for after being granted certainty, one is given nothing better than health.”1 Yet statistics show that ethnic minorities, in particular South-east Asian men and women, have shockingly higher rates of angina, heart attacks and strokes than the overall general population. Diabetes is also a big issue, particularly amongst Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and Black Caribbean people 2.

Our health is an amānah (trust) from our Lord, one which will be questioned about on the Day of Judgement. Yet we fail to appreciate the beauty of this blessing and constantly abuse the rights our bodies have over us. It is vital to remember that good health is not limited to our physical well-being, rather it should be viewed holistically, extending beyond the exoteric to encompass our emotional and spiritual health also.

Truly Islam, being a complete way of life, emphatically stresses the importance of this oft neglected blessing. Diet, nutrition and exercise combined with the remembrance of God and a sincere intention to fulfil our religious obligations is what makes a healthy lifestyle. Using the prophetic guidance to ensure we are fulfilling the rights of our bodies is sure to bring about both worldly and otherworldly success.

We are told by the Almighty: “O Believers! Eat of the good and pure things that We have provided you with and be grateful to Allah, if you truly worship Him3.” The importance of ensuring that we eat only what is lawful and pure cannot be stressed enough. Purity with regards to sustenance encompasses not only the halal stamp on our lamb chops but goes right back to the very source of our income, whether our earnings themselves are halal as well as how our food was prepared, whether we remembered Allah in its preparation or were busy committing sins, either with our limbs or our tongues. As with all aspects of life, Islam teaches us that moderation is key to a healthy diet: “And eat and drink, but waste not in extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not those who waste in extravagance.” 4

There is no doubt that exercise does wonders for the health – physical, mental and spiritual. Aerobic exercise fights heart disease and high blood pressure, and reduces the risk of diabetes, whilst weight training increases muscle strength and reduces fat, increases bone density, fights back pain and arthritis, and improves overall mental health. By natural extension, improving our physical and mental health can lead to spiritual well-being. A decrease in activity levels can make a person lazy and apathetic, which in turn makes us feel less inclined to perform our ritual acts of worship such as Salāh. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) would encourage physical activity and himself used to frequently walk, at a quick pace, race, wrestle, practise archery and horse-riding amongst other activities. During the Battle of the Trench, he himself partook in digging the huge trench which surrounded the city of Medīnah to keep out the enemies.

Thus we shouldn’t cheat our bodies, but must aim to take care of them as best we can. A healthy diet should include a balance of nutrients against calorie intake. Avoiding processed foods and instead opting for what is tayyib (pure) would be far more beneficial both for our health and our souls. Exercise should not be put off, even something as simple as walking to the shops instead of driving can make a difference if made a regular substitute. Walking strengthens the heart, increases bone density, builds endurance and most important of all is a sunnah of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). Thus we ought to all practise these things in line with the Islamic ethos of moderation and insha’Allah, happiness in our physical, emotional and spiritual will follow.

 

Notes: Tanya Abbasi writes on behalf of 1st Ethical Charitable Trust who empower Muslims to enrich communities through faith based campaigns. For more information, please visit http://www.1stethical.com

Islam21c requests all the readers of this article, and others, to share it on your facebook, twitter, and other platforms to further spread our efforts.[1] Tirmidhi, sahih
[2]  Health and Social Care Information Centre, 2006
[3] Q. 2:172
[4] Q. 7:31

DISCLAIMER: All material found on Islam21c.com is for free and is for information purposes only. All material may be freely copied & shared on condition that it is clearly attributed to Islam21c.com [hyperlinked] as the original source. The views expressed on this site or on any linked sites do not necessarily represent those of Islam21c.com