Tag Archives: muslim women fitness

How Do I Stay Motivated?

9 Jan

I wanted to share a few techniques I use to stay motivated to work out:

  • Know that no matter what you do, no matter how much you ate last night…putting one foot in front of the other is better than nothing at all.
  • There’s never time. For anything. Everyone is tired, everyone is stressed. Making excuses will not get you fit. Just put your shoes on and get out the door. Once you hit the pavement, track, or treadmill, all those excuses will fade away insha Allah.
  • Read articles and statistics on the obesity epidemic. And then get out the door as fast as you can.
  • Being fit is Sunnah! Read the narration of Um Mu’bad on the physical characteristics of our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, recorded by At-Tabarani: “I saw a very handsome, very good looking man, and his face was glowing and a good proportion. He didn’t have any defects of the stomach
  • Read the hadith! “No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath.” Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasaa’I, Ibn Majah – Hadith sahih
  • “The best generation is my generation, followed by the one after them then the one after them. Then will come a people who bear witness but are not asked to bear witness, who swear oaths but do not fulfill them and fatness will appear among them.” Bukhari and Muslim
  • Sit down and make a list. Don’t say, “I want.” Write, “I am.”I am fit and have the energy to wake up in the morning to worship God.” “I am fit and I’m a good role model for my kids.” “I am fit and I expect the same from my future spouse/current spouse.” “I am fit and I can wear whatever I want.” “I am fit and I look forward to walking into the fitting room.”
  • Wear nice clothes when you workout. You don’t need to look like a scrub. It helps to have your workout clothes laid out the day or night before so it eliminates the excuse of not having anything to wear to workout in.
  • Keep your workout clothes and shoes in your car.
  • Wear outfits that can double as work or schoolwear. After work, switch out your shoes or shirt/hijab and you’re good to go, instead of having to change into an entirely different outfit. Just make sure you workout AFTER, not before!
  • No matter how your day is going, when you workout, you can feel proud of one good thing you did that day! And nothing can take that away.



One More Day of Freedom

9 Jan

I have one more day of freedom remaining before school begins. Al-Maghrib exam tomorrow!

Today I worked out for an hour and some change. I walked/ran 30 minutes around the indoor track, and then did another 30 minutes on the treadmill. I finished up with dips and chin-ups on the Gravitron.

Stereotypes: Eastern Girls vs. Western Girls

8 Jan

In the last few days, I’ve come across some pretty one-sided articles purporting the supposed East vs. West dichotomy among Muslim women. The overwhelming attitude seems to be this:

Western Muslim women:

  • domineering
  • man-hating
  • can’t cook
  • anti-domestic
  • too focused on career
  • ‘hos

Eastern Muslim women

  • submissive
  • shy
  • great cooks
  • domesticated
  • family-oriented
  • angels


Has it ever occurred to anyone that all of us women, regardless of which religion, race, or creed we come from, are the combined total of our life experiences? And that regardless of where we grew up or come from, be it “East” or “West” (and even this differentiation is subject to debate) we all have unique characteristics and values?

We’ve heard the song and dance before: “Oh, Muslim girls here are too wild, we need to go back home and find us a nice, ‘gaow-wali/village’ girl.”

But that’s all it is, a song and dance. And I think people repeat this just to repeat it, because it’s catchy and it’s what they’ve heard, and it’s what everyone is saying. But honestly, I don’t think anyone, Muslim man or woman, really believes it.

Just today, I had a delightful lunch with a friend of mine and her lovely co-worker, who I met recently at an office party where my friend works. All three of us (I feel safe to include myself in this group 😛 ) are educated, intelligent, and gainfully employed…and guess what we talked about? COOKING! It started with my Mediterranean Veggie sandwich, and from there escalated into an exchanged of recipes, the similarities between Columbian, Arab and Indo-Pak cooking, and the power of knowing exactly what you’re eating and how it was prepared.

Not a single one of us felt like we were discussing an inferiority-inducing topic, or that a village fairy would descend from on-high and with a touch of her magic wand banish us to some fictional village where we would be chained to a tandoori oven.

It’s funny, but so many of these articles I read focus so much on MEN do this and WOMEN do that…doesn’t anyone remember we’re all people, too?

There is an amazing vidder out there, named Lim. She made an amazing video, called Us. It put whatever is coming out of these cutting-edge studios to shame. Someone commented and said, This is fantastic. Which company do you work for? She quite succinctly replied, I’m a housewife. 🙂

It’s unjust to box Eastern Muslim women into this category of submissive, shy doormats whose only existence is to serve her man and keep her mouth shut.  It’s unjust to box Western Muslim women into this category of loud, overtaking, domineering you-know-whats who hate men and hate anything to do with domesticity and spit on babies and tea-cozys alike. I’ve noticed so many Muslims here in the ‘States and abroad, men AND women, have this attitude and it simply isn’t true.

Every Muslim woman I meet is a complete, multi-faceted creature unto herself. We’re all struggling to be good Muslims, insha Allah, and it’s unfair to try to box us into a single category and call it the truth. It’s not.


In other news, I walked and ran almost 4 miles today. Feel grrrrreat. That, my friends, is what’s up. 🙂


5 Jan

Today was cold enough–as the Desi people say–to turn your blood to kulfi, an otherwise delicious frozen treat made from milk, sugar and natural flavorings like coconut, mango, pistachio, strawberries, etc. In this context it means, “It’s cold like nobody’s business, yo!”

After staying awake post-Fajr, I was crazy enough to brave the freezing cold and head to the UCF gym at 8 AM. To my utter sadness, the gym was not opening until 11 AM.

I headed to the virtually deserted student union to thaw out, and struck up a random and delightful conversation with one of the employees workin’ on the second floor. She saw me peering at the closed computer lab, and with a smile said, “Sorry, everything is closed.” From there we stumbled from polite conversation about the weather, to the similarities between Desi and Puerto Rican cookin’, to the etymology of language, to the quirks of her son before and after he was born, to the correlation between spices and prevention of memory loss. It was…one of those little moments that only happen in the morning. I think we talked for a good half an hour, just with me standing on the stairs of the second floor while she leaned over the banister.

I decided to drop by work and take care o’ some bidness, then puttered around in the library for a bit, and by the time I was done it was  5 minutes to 11 AM.

I headed to the now open gym, and walked/jogged about a 2 mile loop around the indoor track, (took me about 30 minutes) followed by some sets on the Gravitron, my favorite machine ever.

Just got back from spending a few hours with my Nani and Nana…which was interesting 😛

Seerah Path review session tonight! Woohoo.

Frozen Toes.

4 Jan

Decided to knock off an item from my list. I braved the freezing cold Florida weather (“freezing cold” and “Florida” should never be in the same sentence) and went for a walk/jog outside. I told myself I would walk, but my toes started to numb after one loop so I ran the second. Traced my route, I did about .7 of a mile today. Meh. Didn’t feel like much. I would’ve done more but I couldn’t feel my face anymore and I felt like I was inhaling ice. Came back inside, did some 8 Minute Abs (hello abs, I’ve neglected y’all!) and now, salmon curry.

I tried making mac n’ cheese today, but underestimated the amount of cheese I would need. Too much macaroni, not enough cheese = very uncheesy mac n’ cheese. Or Kraft Dinner, for you Canadians.

Curled up and comfortable.

4 Jan

So here I am, curled up under a comforter, after having finished a cup of slightly-too-sweet chai, due to overenthusiastic addition of honey.

I have rented all my textbooks for the upcoming semester, and arranged a meeting with my supervisor this Wednesday to go over the details of my new job at UCF. Everything pressing has been pressed.

Something really slightly awesome happened a few days ago. Up until now, every time I logged into my school account, I would have these messages under my ‘To-Do” list regarding scary form things that were “In Progress.” Everyday I would say to myself, Well, better call admissions about this. But everyday I would put it off because I remembered already submitting the forms, and the “In Progress” did have a somewhat hopeful ring to it.

A few days ago I checked, and it was all. Gone! The message, “There are no items in your To-Do list” made me so happy. I wish it applied to my entire life.

Now, a list.

Things I am putting off today that I could be doing right now.

  • Folding that pile of laundry sitting in my eyesight.
  • Cleaning up the cast away clothes, books, pens, kohl-ridden QTips, etc. that are cluttering up my room.
  • Doing dishes
  • Going for a walk
  • Heading over to UCF to start C-Print training again
  • Familiarizing myself with my classes at UCF
  • learning Urdu
  • learning Arabic
  • reading Quran
  • brushing my teeth (again)
  • finding the cure for cancer
  • saving the world

My response to all this, But baby, it’s cold outside!

Ran a mile!

3 Jan

Ran a mile around Lake Eola today! More exactly, .9 miles, but who’s splitting hairs?

Project Downtown this morning, followed by Seerah Path review, followed by running around Lake Eola! Even though it was freezing cold, we went out to the lake anyway because it was right there. It was still really pretty.

The Nabsterator and I started running, and we kept up a good clip until alllllmost to the end. I had to leave my fallen comrade behind *tear* but alhamdulillah I was able to complete the loop without stopping.

I still got it, baby!

2 1/2 hours of Seerah review, *spiritual and mental exercise* followed by running *physical exercise* = one very happy running muslimah!