Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Hubster

In continuing my weekly gratitude - this week (and every week really) I’m grateful for my husband. I was truly blessed with a wonderful husband. I often take for granted how wonderful my husband is. He’s not perfect but he’s perfect for me. He’s always been considerate and helpful - he loves to cook which is an awesome bonus! More importantly, he loves me for me - flaws and all (well, at least I believe he does because I’m such a difficult person I can’t imagine he would stay married to me if he didn’t - LOL). So, despite my occasional gripe I still truly appreciate and admire my husband for the man and father he is.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting Back on Track - Take 2

Last week I got the bad news that I was pre-diabetic (because one of my regular medications can cause diabetes). My labs also indicated I was very anemic - which I've had problems with for years. Of course my doctor and I will have to evaluate my medications and work on an alternative that won't cause diabetes, but I needed to make some serious life changes.

I rededicated myself to getting back on track. No more oh-so-delicious Starbucks Carmel Frappaccino's and McDonald's Caramel Frappé's for me. No more Coke or Diet Coke (doctor said I can't even drink diet soda because it's not healthy and can be contributing to my anemia - something to do with iron absorption). I reintroducted myself to healthy whole-grains, veggies, fruits, and lean protein.

It's been a little more than a week and I'm doing great! Of course I have a long road ahead but I have a good routine already established!

I wake up at 4:30am ish everyday- yeah, early I know! I pray, read Qur'an, make remembrance - there's no better way to start your day than remembering Allah (God). Afterwards I jump on the treadmill for an hour - for now I'm just walking but as I shed more weight and get more energy I hope to jog and eventually run. The most important thing is that I exercise EVERY day!

I'm taking a lot of supplements for the time being- B Complex vitamins to help with energy, Chromium GTF to help with my blood sugar, Iron to help with my anemia (although someone told me my anemia may not be related to iron deficiency but something else), and a Multi-vitamin.

I'm "eating" breakfast religiously. Since I'm not really hungry at 6am when I finish my workout I have a high protein shake as a meal replacement (Muscle Milk - this stuff tastes great) and I blend in some strawberries for a little vitamin c boost!

I'm not on a typical high protein (aka Atkins) diet. The doctor did advise me that a high protein diet would be very beneficial for me. Protein helps keep you feeling fuller longer... there are lots of other key points to having a diet rich in protein. So, for the time being I'm trying to eat a lot of protein - I still eat carbs but I eat complex carbs from whole grains, fruits and veggies instead of from refined sugar, etc... basically anything naturally occurring.

I've already lost 9 pounds this week - but I always lose a lot of weight the first 2 weeks then I level off at around 2-3 pounds a week.

Here's to the beginning of my journey!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Showing Gratitude..

I’ve recently learned from an awesome book, The Emotional Toolkit: Seven Power-Skills to Nail your Bad Feelings that having a gratitude journal is one way to increase one’s happiness. I wholeheartedly understand why acknowledging those things for which you are grateful for is so important to happiness... oftentimes it’s the little things that matter and recognizing those can be just as important.

In an effort to show more gratitude I’d like to reflect weekly on one thing I’m grateful for.

First and foremost I’m grateful for Allah (God). I already teeter on the brink of insanity most days but it is Allah who keeps me grounded. Without Him I would be a complete mess. Of course, I tend to take Him for granted more often than not - and I’m slowly trying to fix that great flaw of mine. However, I’m grateful that no matter what happens in this life I can always turn to and depend on Allah. He is truly my strength in times of weakness and difficulty. I can talk to Him anytime, 24/7. He alone knows my heart and all my intentions, for I have many good intentions - just haven’t had the ability to execute them all.

I pray I will forever be grateful for everything Allah has done for me and will do for me in the future.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Today started off fairly great. I was able to workout for an hour - of course Ilyas had to cause trouble in the middle of my workout and made a mini pool out of the kitchen - so that stressed me out a little. I was able to take a shower and then run some errands. I came home, had some satisfying sushi - I even refrained from eating all of the sushi in one sitting and only ate half and saved the other half for dinner. I was proud of myself! I did have a couple extra pieces of the kid’s sushi because I couldn’t resist but overall, not bad.

I got a jump start on the laundry before it got too out of hand - then we all took a nap. I woke up a little earlier than I would have liked - but I was able to start reading a new book I checked out from the library, Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents by Christine Carter, Ph.D.

After the kids woke up from their nap things started to go a bit downhill. I started dinner and as I was busy cooking Aaliyah started nagging me for stuff. I irritatingly asked her to wait until I was finished preparing dinner but like a typical kid she wouldn’t wait and kept pestering me. In hindsight it was probably better if I just stopped what I was doing and gave her the glass of water she was asking for - but I have a VERY hard time stopping what I’m doing to do something different... I’m very focused and although I’m quite capable of multi-tasking there’s just something about being interrupted that throws me off track and frazzles me.

Now, many of you may not know this about me/my family - but we eat on the floor. We have a thick waterproof tablecloth (in Arabic we call it a “soofrah”) that we use and everything is served just as it would be on a table except we’re on the floor. After dinner came my meltdown...

The kids were still eating so I went to the kitchen to put away the leftovers. Ilyas decided to get into the plate of butter my husband had put out for the bread and he smeared the entire right side of his face with the butter. He was also a complete mess from the spaghetti and he managed to get noodles and sauce all over the floor. Between Ilyas and the messy floor I started to come unglued. I put Ilyas in the bathtub and went to go clean up the floor. I don’t know why I insisted on cleaning up the floor first - but it was not the best decision. Ilyas started playing in the toilet while I was cleaning up the spaghetti... and that’s when I lost it.

Hubby was sitting on the couch making remembrance (remembering Allah/God) and I was so mad at him for not stepping in and helping me when he could clearly see I had lost my mind. I started ranting about not being able to do everything by myself and then I proceeded to give Ilyas a much needed bath which only stoked my burning fire because he didn’t want a bath and he kept trying to escape as I washed and rinsed him.

When I was finished getting Ilyas ready I went into my room and locked the door. I was so angry I started crying. Poor Aaliyah and Halimah were talking to me through my door asking why I was crying, if I was okay... I felt loved but frustrated because I wasn’t in the right state of mind to answer them. I asked them to please let me be alone but they wouldn’t budge from the door. Eventually I stopped crying and I tried some deep breathing (a new technique I learned from this awesome book I will talk about another time). I calmed myself down and tried some thought shifting exercises. Instead of being mad at my husband for not helping me - I decided I would let him know that I need his help. I came out and calmly told my husband that when I start getting crazy like I did that I need him to help calm me down and diffuse the situation. He didn’t respond as positively as I had hoped - I think maybe he thought I was attacking him or something - but I was just genuinely trying my best to communicate what I needed from him without the need for a defensive response. Ultimately, he came around after I further explained what happens to me... I’m so focused on one thing that I can’t just instantly turn around and focus on something else and that immediate change is very difficult for me and I start to lose my composure. I need him to step in and ask me to go lay down while he takes over what needs to be done. He said he’ll be sure to do that should it happen again.

Here’s to hoping I don’t lose my mind again!