‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab (ra) encouraged the people to perform marriages with different tribes, so that love would develop amongst the people. Therefore, a slave went to a man from the Quraysh and asked him to marry his sister to him, which the latter refused.
‘Umar went to that man and asked him, “Why did you not marry your sister to him? He is a talented and pious individual. You should seek the opinion of your sister; if she accepts the proposal then you should marry her to him.”
The man from the Quraysh accepted the advice of ‘Umar and went to his sister to ask her opinion. She agreed to the marriage and the married his sister to the slave.
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.
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.
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.
So 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.
Umar Ibn Al Khattaab gave the following advice to Ahnaf who he had employed as a governor, advice that is applicable to all of us:
O Ahnaf, one who laughs too much loses dignity; one who jokes too much loses respect; whoever does something a great deal, becomes known for it; one who speaks a great deal makes mistakes; one who makes many mistakes loses his sense of dignity. Whoever loses his sense of dignity loses his fear of God and whoever loses his fear of God is spiritually dead.