Mostly everyone knew me in person, knew how much I had a sweet tooth. As a blog-follower, you must have noticed this from this post at least The Diet That Everyone Is Talking About.
Almost everyone used to gift me chocolate. I loved bonbon a lot. When it comes to kitchen, I enjoy baking most, I loved baking cinnamon rolls and brownies especially. I ate daily chocolate and lots of sweets. I wasn’t into fruits and vegetables. I loved fried food. I loved stuff that is overdose!..like cheesy, fatty, sugarish!. I even invented this expression of sugarish, which means it gives a rush. A party is always about food. A birthday must have a cake, chocolate on and pizza and you simply eat a lot to enjoy.
I got four main factors to start feeling “we need to change” here:
Weight and Being Healthy
So I gained extra weight through engineering’s exams, not so much extra weight. But enough weight to feel I need to have a diet. I tried multiple times to stop sweets so I would lose weight, but there is no hope. I used to depend earlier on the idea of that I am energetic. Yet, you are never as energetic as you were as a kid or teenager. I felt unhealthy as well, I had anemia sine long time, that wasn’t annoying me that much.
Self-Trust And Will
I got an issue of not trusting fat people since I was a kid. Nothing impresses me as a man with strong will. Most fat people I know are fat because of not having a will and high determination. So imagine when it is you!. I started to lose self-trust when I kept on failing in doing what I wanted to do of just losing couple of KGs. I can’t be someone who is not impressive to my own self, lol.
In 2011, I started reading about modern economy and I was affected by the idea of how it depends on making your wants higher than your needs. I felt very bad about being used. I need to take any reaction to feel I did something with what I read. So I stopped all types of Soda, as I knew it is part of stuff that are meaningless that they make us feel we want then need, to get money. Since then, I knew that it is not just about Soda. So I always had thoughts about how Food shouldn’t be based on wanting, it is more about what my body seriously needs.
Religion, as usual.
وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنشَأَ جَنَّاتٍ مَّعْرُوشَاتٍ وَغَيْرَ مَعْرُوشَاتٍ وَالنَّخْلَ وَالزَّرْعَ مُخْتَلِفًا أُكُلُهُ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالرُّمَّانَ مُتَشَابِهًا وَغَيْرَ مُتَشَابِهٍ ۚ كُلُوا مِن ثَمَرِهِ إِذَا أَثْمَرَ وَآتُوا حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ ۖ وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ
And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.
Surat Al-‘An`ām (The Cattle) – سورة الأنعام
This verse and a lot of other verses mentions how excess is not lovable. So I always wondered while eating am I going for the right limit?. Also there is a hadith, that tells that basically you should eat the minimum, only if there is no hope you take third for food, third for drink, third for air. I always took the worst case as the norm, and exceeded that multiple of times for sure.
So the 4 factors started to push me to change, until one day I was trying to blog and I blogged the post mentioned above. Actually, when I blog I never really know what I am willing to write. It is kind of a brain storming in letters. So I was surprised by how many thoughts I got about healthy food now! And the question was, since when you don’t follow what you believe in? I questioned my will, my determination and how I always used to be. To suddenly decide, I know I got no plans, no imagination for how it should be..but from this moment there is no more unhealthy food. And Whenever you are missed up, you can’t eat until you search to learn what to eat.
It was a huge decision, I was terrified actually, as I knew if I didn’t go for it..I will break my will again. And alhamdu LAllah after 8 months, I can tell it worked!. And through the 8 months, this is what I learned.
Will and Determination grow by challenges.
So I was afraid my will and determination won’t work as they weren’t there for long time, I was waiting to have them strong again so I can start such challenge. Yet, it turned out the opposite. I needed the challenge to strength and regain my will and determination.
It’s about going Nature, not just healthy.
In the old ages, the issue of what to eat was not an issue. May be some people would have an issue about how much, but the what was simple..eat what is around and that’s it. The issue in our modern world is that what is around is not natural. So It is okay to eat anything in moderation as long as it is natural or cooked in a normal way. So you should question anything sold in a market, read the ingredients, think about it..is it natural?.
Natural Food is magic, rather than ingredients!
And when it is time to eat totally natural food, there is no need to over analyze it. I needed to analyze a lot in the beginning to get the idea. But natural food got magic. There is always secret ingredients, there is balance in it, so there is no need to seriously worry much. So If it is normal and natural since ever to eat honey! there is no need to cry about how sweet it is, just have it in moderation.
It’s part of nature that we shouldn’t have food in excess.
So when you limit your choices to just natural food, you got the idea of moderation and to eat with a limit. Nature gives you chances for food in a very moderate way, limited way. Each area got its own type of available food. If you live by the sea, you get specific kind of fishes, if you live by the Nile it is different. If none, it is different. Types of fruits – naturally- got specific areas, specific seasons, and never in a huge excess to the surrounding. So before Hypermarkets, malls, huge industries and exporting too much. It was normal that I can’t get everything at once. It was normal to say one spoon of honey per day!..because that’s mostly how food would suffice us. Imagine in a natural world, how would we be eating chicken daily?. I still eat it daily, but it doesn’t sound natural, I am still searching about this. And the way that modern world is going makes this point weird and not easy to understand. But let me recommend this topic for searching, check out how much more an american guy eats than an a guy from ughanda or kenya for example?. And when you reach the huge difference, you will know how the world system is not balanced!. Someone is having everything there from the whole world, and another got just what natures give..and sadly not even all what natures gives as those resources are taken to feed the hungry guy in the -so modern- world.
Some people would feel what I have to do with this?..In a religious way, you should have an issue. But even in a healthy way, I am saying in this point you are having an issue. As nature is created in a very balanced way and we are part of nature, so actually when we eat too much, we are hurting ourselves even if we feel we are enjoying. And In intellectual way, actually we are in a huge heedlessness, food is actually running out. Types of fishes are disappearing for example!, even the natural food is no more natural as they add industrial plans to have it all the year or anywhere!.
In a modern system we are living in, we are not going to leave the city and live in a very natural way and raise our own chickens (unless, I got really crazy, that would be fun), but we should have a huge self-control that having everything available doesn’t mean we can have them non-stop without limits.
And actually, with just stopping all food with artificial sugar, my meal got really smaller than before. As What is available is enough without excess and not available everywhere around anywhere!
It’s part of my lifestyle I tell about here, is to be always present! To always have awareness! It is part of step one of boycotting TV 8 years ago!. So through the 8 months ago, I found how present I am is getting really higher. You can’t just eat anything, you need to have a lot of effort to just have breakfast. Before my decision, I used to have anything for snack, especially when I am out doors. I would just buy a chocolate, biscuits or anything available. But suddenly, I need to be aware of what I am eating, I need to plan what to eat outside, I can’t just run into anything. At this point I remembered Hamza Yusuf, he was talking about his teacher’s wife and he was saying:
People used to be present when they cooked food. They cooked with love, I had one teacher Umar Malahji; his wife would cook her food doing prayer on the Prophet (peace be upon him) the entire time, with Niyat-us-Shifa. That God would make that food a healing for the people that ate it and make the energy that they derive from it, used for worshipping Allah. They would only buy from grocers in Madīnah that they knew prayed five times in the Masjid. They would go out and pick their own animals and sacrifice them, because they did not want to buy meat from these butchers, because they didn’t know how they were treating the animals. This is a real family, and it is a fact, and I guarantee you, many people have experienced this. If you go and have eaten a full meal, and you go there, and they serve you food in the house of Umar Malahji you will not get indigestion by eating a second meal immediately after, and they will force you eat. That food was made with presence. People don’t have energy anymore. How is your food being grown? How is it being cooked? Because this is where energy comes from.
For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.
This quote is for Emerson, and I guess you memorized I use it a lot since I ever started blogging. It is a rule in my life now. It is about “then what are you going to eat”. It was always question one about every change. If you are going to stop this, then how will it be? And I had fears about that actually I didn’t love fruits, they are not sugarish for me. They are boring. Vegetables, that’s boring too. What else would I do?
And the surprise, things didn’t go like this. In the beginning I didn’t eat much, as there is some rules and I can’t break them, yet I don’t love the opposite! I started to lose the idea of enjoying food in an huge way, which was positive. But also I started to feel I love the other option!. This was a huge surprise for me!
The idea is that when you remove something from your life, you give a chance for another thing to come. When my tongue was filled by how sugarish is very thing I enjoy, fruits was boring. But when there is nothing in my tongue, fruits became fun! I started to feel I need fruits. It is not as a homework, not as a duty or discipline..but I got an internal feeling of desiring a fruit. I was like moving to the kitchen and having strawberry!. I used to find strawberry very boring. As they are not sugarish at all. Suddenly, I find them one of the perfect sugarish fruits!. I don’t know how to explain this as it sounded as a magic. but the idea of how a small fruit like strawberry would just give me all what I need is impressive!.
After 8 months, I desire the good food, the food my body really needs. I have a new favorite meal, I got a very different likes and dislikes. There is a lot of food that I liked for the first time in my life this year!.
Is it Eatable?
Back to junkfood and artificial food, question was is it eatable?. Many people asked me how I don’t feel any desire towards the food I boycott anymore, they would hold a bar of chocolate and wonder how It doesn’t affect me anymore. And the answer is simple, that not everything looks delicious is eatable! So I started to feel that anything that is not eatable according to rules I put for myself, is like plastic!. If you made by plastic a sandwich, will I eat? sure no!..same to the rest of artificial food! When you change your perspective, it doesn’t look delicious anymore, especially if you are someone who doesn’t watch TV or Cinema as me.
Need Vs Want
Do you remember my issue with modern economy? now, I feel I am balanced with my intellect more. As I appreciate my real needs more and how I feel they suffice me is just beautiful. Unlike when I was based on my wants in food, and just a bar of chocolate would never be enough. As now, I eat what my body needs, and I just get energetic and happy enough to use food as a fuel, not as an entertainment in itself, although I do enjoy the little details by being present. This point affected my whole life, as the more you do stuff in practice, the more you get oriented to.
Juices were a funny experiment through the 8 months, I started to try a fruit juice after another. I felt in the beginning that it would be impossible to have it without sugar, and I didn’t want to add honey, as I shouldn’t have a lot of honey per day as well, and fruits should be sugarish enough for me. The first thing I realized is that “fruits taste” in the juice tastes more real! Before, all juices were mostly about how sugarish they are. Not, I can taste the fruit and enjoy every detail about it, not just how sugarish. So you don’t need to hide its taste anymore with a lot of sugar.
Same to normal food, as I decided to limit salt as much as I can, as we pass the needed salt per day by *10 mostly. I started to feel how normal food doesn’t need salt anyways and salt hides its taste.
A funny news to tell about this point, when I started I thought that I will never drink lemon juice again and I used to love it a lot. As the lemon juice used to depend on a lot of sugar. And the surprise is that I drink now lemon juice normally. It tastes lemon, and I like it a lot.
hint: some people argue about how juices is not the best choice as you lose fibers, having more concentrated quantity in a little cup. Personally I see that adding water and milk to the drink make the idea of quantity controllable. And it is a great chance for me to go for milk, as I still got issues with pure milk. Yet, not with all types of fruits you can do this.
There is no need for a rush!
If you read the mentioned old blog post above, you would get that the whole issue was that I was addicted to the rush. I didn’t enjoy food that got no rushes, either it is about sugar rush, cheesy rush, fat’s rush or anything alike. So as stated earlier, it is about going with nature. So you don’t need to eat something that gives you a huge rush, normal when you get used to it and it would be what you normally have, is fun, and actually relatively, a lot of food would give you a rush from time to time. like dates for example. Yet, you would feel it is enough to have a one, no need to have 100, just like you would have with chocolate of feeling give me more. This is not just with sugar, but nearly every thing. Like I can’t eat any type of cheese now. It should be balanced in fat and salt or amazingly beneficial in a way that would make me finish my daily limit of salt in it like blue cheese for example. And for sure small quantities.
Quality Over Quantity (Excess?)
As I am still in my way in customizing this. I always check the daily limit for such food. So for example honey, I found it should be around 1 spoon. Cheese, one big spoon too, nearly. and same to all food. So I started to feel the quality of food more. I don’t need to eat too much to fulfill my needs. And the definition of excess seriously changed. As before excess was to eat too much as quantity. So eating 1 spoons of Nutella was not an excess for me, but when you focus on that this one spoon got stuff that would be in a lot of spoons of natural food, you understand that this is an excess now! because simply it is more than what your body seriously needs.
Also I needed the idea of quality over quantity in deciding to pay money for expensive food.Nuts are expensive for example. Before I would compare it to Maltesers for example. so even though Maltesers is expensive too but it sounded better to buy that nuts in terms of money as quantity. How many in terms of quantity. But when you compare as quality. A one almond vs one Maltesers..now almond won’t sound expensive that much as you just need 3-7 almonds per day to enjoy, while Maltesers are not useful and will actually harm you, and you need much more that just 3-7! So even though I am not saying it is okay that nuts are expensive, but when it is time to compare money, you compare it in getting what you need. What made me mention this, is that someone told me they need sugar rush as they live in a very cold area so they depend on Nutella and chocolates, so when I said what about dates? the answer was it was expensive and I am sure it is it, but if you could save money you used to pay in unhealthy food, you will have a lot of money to get more of the food you need even the expensive as you don’t need a lot of quantity.
Since when do we act like people around?
You know, since long time I started to be a weirdo who just doesn’t have to do everything like people around. We do stuff we believe its right. SO you don’t need to just eat what everyone else eats. For sure this is the main issue, as my home doesn’t eat alike yet. My friends, and even people in streets. When I get hungry outdoors it used to be a big issue in the beginning. What can you buy outdoors when you need something as a snack? Do I always have to prepare something ahead? not logical that much. So instead, I just buy some strawberries, banana and eat!. In the beginning, I hate some team mates I work with comment on how surprising what I eat. While it is just fruits, and some people feel it is kind of weird to just hold a banana and enjoy. But I always reminded myself in the beginning, if I was seriously hungry and I got a bar of chocolate, would anyone feel I am doing something weird? Mostly no. So some culture needs to change here.
Snacks are perfect!
Before, what caused me to gain weight was snacks, as my snacks was a bar chocolate, a bonbon, cake, biscuit, ..etc. So It was horrible!. But now my snacks is one fruit, few nuts, vegetables,..etc. And actually most of my meals’ size turned into a snack size. And I may eat all day, every 2 or 3 hours, but a very very small portion. Not because I got a clear system. But I just feel hungry so I go eat something small, and won’t eat until the next hungry point. Instead of eating 7 strawberries at once for example, I eat one whenever I feel I need something. I believe this is number one behind me losing weight. As I got now ideal weight without doing excess of exercises, just the normal energetic me without new plans yet.
The Health effect!
Although I am planning to have exercise in a regular and sportive way soon and for sure it is needed for fitness and have a strong body. Yet, this way of eating what you need by a natural way and full presence turned out to be enough to have a perfect weight. I lost a lot of weight and now I am kind of steady. I feel my body lost a lot of toxins. My skin is getting a lot better. my hair growth is faster than before as well. I don’t have anemia anymore. Yet, I don’t seriously believe I reached the health effect yet, as What I did in 20 years, wouldn’t simply be fixed suddenly in just few months, It is upgrading but not getting perfect yet. May be after 5 years it would? If I am still alive.
It is not Perfect or none!
I still got a lot of imbalance in my eating habits. The only clear thing is getting rid of clear artificial products as much as I can. Else, not everything is balanced and in a perfect quantity. Yet, It is getting better daily. And I learn more, and I feel enough of the wanted way more, I get more balanced daily. Yet, there is still issues about how much meat I should eat, as eating meat daily is not logical for me anymore. I am still lazy to cook for lunch and be present that much as I stated above. I still got issues with how artificial stuff is used in normal stuff. Like the way they plant fruits in non-normal seasons? I still need more vegetables in my meals. Yet, now the argue is about good or better. Before it was about worse or just bad. So being non-perfect doesn’t mean to give up. Actually I don’t have the desire to give up at all yet, as I feel I wish I would find more balance here and that I am more oriented with the 4 points mentioned above.
People were actually nice!
At the beginning I used to have a surprised questions about what am I seriously doing, a repetitive chocolate gifts, that I had to give to another family member. A repetitive requests to just take a break today and eat this cake or biscuit!. I was worried of how people will cope up with that change. My family was saying that it is okay, do whatever you want..it is you who will eat not us. Yet, they would feel little bad at the meals we are gathered at, as I won’t eat everything, and they sometimes want me to actually prepare that fried food, or the issue of salt with mum, and missing my desserts!. Yet, as soon as I looked heather and lost weight, my family really appreciated what I did and felt proud of what I did. And normal people too, would express how they surprised an addict like me is sugar free now and they would say it in a very clear way ” we are proud of you”…some family members add “even if I won’t do like you” to remind me to stop trying to change them. They are awesome people, and the way they handle me, is just incredible. So don’t worry about people much, people will enjoy seeing someone with high determination. And actually, this point is a great chance to thank you guys :)! You helped me a lot.
A year is not that long!
One of the first topics I read about no sugar’s life, was telling about a family’s challenge to life without a year. When I read the article, I felt Oh! A whole year! this is too long!..so when I decided later on to take the chance, I was afraid of how long I will stand firm on this. I was feeling that 6 months later will come too late. And surprise, I am in my 9th month, so just 3 to 4 months to have my first year in this.Yet, I am still in upgrading and putting the basics and feeling the beginner’s changes!. I remember I told someone I would blog about it if I reached 6 months!..but when I did, I felt I still got a very long way to go before I feel I can say I am practicing this and I still feel like this, yet I am just blogging in sense of diary to remember how this experience was and to go with my promise. Yet, A year turned to be very short. There is a lot to discover more.
There are a lot of more points, but I guess a post with ~4600 words with enough, that’s too long. Sorry about that!