Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What Happened to You?

Exactly a year ago I had oodles of people in my home over the New Year’s weekend for a religious gathering (we had an out of town group of Muslims from Brunei and many Muslim sisters in the community came to visit/learn). A local sister, whom I hadn’t seen in several months, had the audacity to ask me, “What happened to you? You got BIG!” (All while using her hands spread incredibly wide as a gesture to reinforce her question - as if there was some small chance I didn’t understand, I suppose)

Mentally, I had a few choice words lined up... What I really wanted to know was why the pot would ask the kettle such a question. However, I refrained my snarky thoughts and simply explained I gained a lot of weight from medications.

This was in part true. I did gain roughly 70 pounds after I started taking various medications for my bipolar disorder... What I didn’t admit to, however, was the medication wasn’t entirely to blame.

Yes, the medication altered my appetite drastically. I honestly could eat, and eat, and eat and never feel full. I had incredibly intense cravings. The cravings were so bad that oftentimes I just couldn’t function until I fulfilled the craving (Coke, chips, cakes/cookies, Frappuccinos, sushi, etc...) and I would go out of my way to get said craved item(s). In spite of all that - I still made the choices that resulted in the 70-pound weight gain. I could have opted for one Coke instead of drinking 3 Cokes in succession (usually on a daily basis). I could have ordered one small sushi roll instead of 3-4 gluttonous sized rolls. I could have allowed myself an ounce of chips (a serving) instead of half the bag. 

Medication became my convenient scapegoat. Sadly, however, at that time - I hadn’t been on medication in months - so I truly had no excuse for why I was still morbidly obese. I had given up on myself and continued to secretly eat and drink like a glutton in spite of the consequences.

I stewed in the pain and anger from that question for a day before literally crying on my hubster’s shoulder. He gave me a great big hug/kiss and told me he loved me and just to ignore it. I did just that - I continued to ignore the reality that I was a giant hot-mess. A month later I finally received the little spark which ignited the fire that has become my determination to lose weight and get healthy! {You can read about that here}

I have only seen her once since her offensive question - and even then, although I had lost weight - she still managed to make a fleeting comment about us both being heavy. Seriously, what is her obsession with pointing out my size?  *lots of annoyed eye rolling going on over here*

Today while I was out running I passed that Sister’s house. I was VERY tempted to stop “just to say hi.”  I was not at all interested in catching up - I just wanted to see the look on her face as I stood there 100+ pounds lighter and looking awesome, red-faced and sweaty from running- but awesome nonetheless.

Instead, I kept on running. I knew my intention wasn’t right and honestly, I have nothing to prove to her. I haven’t worked my butt off for nearly a year because of her - I did it for me! I won’t lie - I still relish the thought of us crossing paths because I look forward to that priceless look and hopefully the opposing question, “What happened to you?  You got smaller!" I doubt that's the question I'll be asked... more like, "How did you do it?" 


  1. Congrats to you...doesn't matter what other people think as long as you are happy in your own skin...great job with the weight loss...wow!!

  2. Serena, congratulations sister! You look so amazing and more importantly so very happy! I am so very proud of you!

  3. Chances are that sister is miserable being overweight and wanted to drag you down with her. I think you are doing an amazing job taking care of yourself and sharing your journey with us!

  4. ASA Serena, I loved reading this blog. So funny mashAllah. I didn't know you had gained that much weight until I saw your picture. I get picked on about my weight by "sisters" and Ive actually said what's on my mind! I pick on myself enough, I don't need help in that area. Keep up the good work. MashaAllah

  5. I don't know why my Google name appears as Benicio omar (my son). This is iman (raquel)


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