Posted in The Afro Muslimah

A Fitness Journey

As we all know by now, I have a love-hate relationship with my body. I’m always searching for this perfect figure or maybe a nonexistent magic number on the scale to make me happy, but my New Year resolution is to get back in shape and eat healthier. Whatever size or weight I end up with that’s what it’s going to be. I need to learn to love my body the way it is, and not some unknown expectation. 

I’ve said all these beautiful words before, but this time feels different. I have real fitness goals and I’m doing it for myself, no longer seeking some outside validation that I’ll never receive. So, the first step was my diet. I simply wanted to cut down on my sugar intake, and for me, that was juice and sodas. I increased my daily amount of water and tried to only drink one cup of juice a day. I’m also a late-night eater, I get the hungriest around 10 PM and would eat a full meal and then go straight to sleep. That needed to end immediately, so I try to stop eating at 8:30 PM. I had to reduce the amount of junk food I eat as well if I wanted to obtain a healthy diet.

After I got a nice flow with my diet, it was time to focus on the fitness component of this healthy lifestyle. Initially, I only had one goal, to run a mile in seven minutes or less. So, after I did my cardio for the day I was pretty much done. The closer I came to reaching the goal, the more I wanted to push my body to get stronger. Then the stay at home order hit, and all the gyms closed and I came back home with my parents. That was definitely a setback and lost my motivation to continue with my fitness goals. Then one sad night eating junk, I realized I didn’t want all my hard work to go to waste. 

So, that next day I ran my mile and made my little brother do some home workouts with me. I increased my water to a minimum of eight cups a day and at my last meal by 8 PM. I reduced junk to twice a week, and juice only once a week. My body and skin started to show that my hard work was paying off, but more importantly, I started to feel good and proud of myself. I found joy in working out, it’s no longer a chore, but a therapeutic release.

I can’t say now I’m in love with my body and the way I look, but I am done trying to be fit, thick, or whatever else I wanted to be for some external validation. Honestly, up until a couple of nights ago talking to one of my best friends, I didn’t even feel like I was accomplishing anything, but I am. I’m sticking to this healthy lifestyle and proving all of my negative thoughts wrong.