Prior to embarking on my journey towards attaining a healthier lifestyle with Sunnah Fit, I was very fond of the popular french fry. Some who knew me in my past would even say I was addicted. If it was in front of me, I had to eat it, even if that meant taking it off my siblings’ plates. At the same time, I was trying to help a brother who was addicted to smoking who was a close friend of mine and was trying to convince him that smoking is indeed bad for your body, and a sin in Islam as you are knowingly harming yourself. He then presented me with an unexpected and thought-provoking response which I have not forgotten:
“Aren’t those chips you eat killing you as well, the large portions you stuff down are going to be the death of you with all that cholesterol and fat?”
Subhan Allah! It was like an unexpected slap in the face, or like someone had violently shook me awake from my sleep. I began to think about this constantly, and arrived at the conclusion that perhaps what my friend said was true.
We all know that cigarettes are horrible for us; it does explicitly say on the box that they kill. However, have we ever contemplated that just as cigarettes slowly ruin the health of a person, excessive eating and lack of exercise do the same?
I am not saying that eating whatever you want is haram yet we know Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala has blessed us with all these good foods (fruits that are delicious and nutritious for example). So then why do we choose that which has no benefit to us? We need to take a step back and consider the reality of what an unhealthy lifestyle does to our bodies, and our lives. We often hear of smokers passing away in their 60s, but have you ever realized how common it is for people to pass away due to heart attacks orginating from bad eating habits and unhealthy lifestyles?
More significantly we can improve our worship as the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) has advised us that our body has a right over us and the strong believer is better than the weak believer.
How can you do this?
The first step is to recover from your unhealthy eating style. Recovery is a crucial stage as everything tends to fall into place afterwards. To recover, first we have to realise and acknowledge the condition that we are in. We need to stop fooling ourselves and making excuse after excuse, a form of procrastination. Does the following sound a bit too familiar?
‘Well I’m going to die one day, it’s the qadr of Allah’
Excuse Buster: Yes, it is the qadr of Allah when we die. That does not mean we can neglect and harm our bodies whilst we’re alive. We should take care to not eat too much in the same way we ensure we do eat so that we don’t die! ”And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you Ever Merciful.” (Surah An-Nisa, Verse 29)
What to do next?
Let your healthy food journey begin with the intention to improve and change. All you have to do now is implement your promise to your self – eat more consciously and choose healthier options for snacking/meals. Also jump on board a fitness Programme provided by professionals such as ‘Sunnah Fit’, and try to fit in light daily exercise wherever possible (such as choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk to work instead of taking the car!).
The following is a simple step by step plan to help you on your way:
Step One: Make Dua
Be sincere about the results you want for yourself mentally and physically by starting this process with dua. People forget fitness is not only training your physical features but also you mental fitness (ie, cravings, addictions and habits).
Step Two: Always Train Smart
Training hard everyday without a correct plan will affect the way you progress in your fitness and health. Sunnah Fit recommends that you take time to write up a realistic plan for a month or so, to really understand what you should be eating and when/how you should be exercising.
Step Three: Be Consistent.
Many people fail their diets and fitness regimes because of the fact that they lack consistency. Results do not come overnight so don’t expect to see any changes in the first few weeks. In reference to step two, this is why your plan should be practical and long-term; when you lose weight too quickly, you also tend to put it back on very quickly thereafter; so slow and steady wins the race.
Step Four: Avoid Eating Artificial/Processed Foods
It’s unnatural, and has many additives that are just not healthy and do not provide energy or nutrition. Instead try to opt for organic food where possible and reduce the amount of artificial foods in your diet.
And that’s your 4 step journey which will take effort and patience, but it will be worth it in the long run inshaAllah. May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) make this new road easy for you, Ameen.
About the Author:
Imran Khan, founder of sunnah fit