For so many years, for as long as I remember, I struggled with my weight. I am overweight, and by overweight I mean I have reached the medically dangerous level of fat in my body. I was too arrogant, and I was too stupid to do something about it. In fact, I even created an alias, the Fatonista, and bragged about how cool it is to be fat. For this I apologize. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being rounded, or even chubby; but something is terribly wrong if your fat stands in the way.
Two weeks back, I was at the club with my children, a daily routine. My son, five years old, fast as thunder, started running and in a few minutes was out of sight. I attend one of the “biggest” clubs in Egypt; very spacious and open. My heart dropped to my knees as I ran trying to find my son. After surviving 30 minutes of the utmost fear and having the scare of my life (flashback of all the kidnapped children’s pictures we see all over Social Media) I found him safe and sound. I sat down, and my body started giving abnormal reactions. I was sweating like a fish, I had short breaths and severe chest pain, my knees crackled and I had hard pain in my left shoulder. I thought I was having a heart attack; I thought I was dying. Turns out I am having a “fat panic attack”.
“He smiled and said one thing, “every kilogram you lose, means one extra day with your kids”. I stopped at his words.”
Some people would argue that this had nothing to do with my weight and a slim, fit person would have the same due to the scare I got. Scientifically not true. I consulted my physician, who has been begging me to lose some weight for the past 10 years, long before I reached my current weight, which is about 30 kilos more. He smiled and said one thing, “every kilogram you lose, means one extra day with your kids”. I stopped at his words. Before I had kids, this sentence wouldn’t have made any difference in my life. Now, a mother of two, and hoping to have more, this sentence just changed my whole life. He explained that due to my excessive weight, my heart had problems translating the panic attack, and that I could have suffered a serious heart attack, or even a muscle or bone injury.
So, I am on a diet. This is not a diet that aims at a smaller jeans size, or a better curved body. I won’t complain if this came with the package though. It is not a diet to keep my husband from looking at other women. This is a diet to live longer, or die trying. My diet, does not include starving myself, and it doesn’t include exercising like a machine. My diet includes cutting fats and fast food out of my system. It includes drinking more water, and not the water in coffee, because this doesn’t count. I added vegetables to my meals. Did you know that there are so many cool vegetables that one can eat, and actually enjoy?
“This is a diet to live longer, or die trying. My diet, does not include starving myself, and it doesn’t include exercising like a machine.”
For one thing I am not cutting beef out of the menu! To me this would be like committing suicide, but I am making sure this juicy yummy steak is not accompanied by penne white sauce pasta. Instead, I eat broccoli. Happily. I want that extra day with my kids. I have no official targets, I keep no record of how much weight I lost; and I try to fight the burning urge to stand on the scale and see how much weight I lost. I do however, smile at the mirror when I can easily put on my jeans, and do not require my husband’s assistance to tie my shoes because I can not reach it anymore, or if I try I could faint from the lack of oxygen. I just eat, drink, and move – healthy.
Instead of going to the club, throwing my self on a chair, sipping my coffee and sucking my pack of cigarettes, I put on my sneakers, and I walk around. This has turned into a family activity! I meet my husband at the track, my kids finish their training and join me there, they run and I run after them, they have become my motivation to finish those damned 15 laps. I made friends on the track, and discovered a whole new range of songs, and that music can actually push you further and accelerate your adrenaline rush so you walk, jog or even run more/faster. I enjoy street walks; I park a street or 2 away, and I walk to and from my car. I discovered new little boutiques, a beautiful florist, and a dentist that is much closer to my house than the one I go to.
“I do however, smile at the mirror when I can easily put on my jeans, and do not require my husband’s assistance to tie my shoes because I can not reach it anymore.”
Turns out, I was wrong all this time. Turns out that being a fatonista has nothing to do with how much I weigh or what my jeans size is. It’s all about taking myself new places. Turns out that 30s are not so cool! They are like my final exam for the last 10 years; and I was failing. They are a new beginning, and they are also the few years that shape your next 30 years. My mother passed away at the age of 35. She had colon cancer; she was a force of nature, an artist, a great cook, a very bright spirit, and she was fat. My mother left us when I was 11, and I took the decision to do my best to live longer than she did. Every single day, I look at her picture and smile, for I know, had she been alive today she would have kicked my ass so hard, for being this fat.
Today, I make a better choice, for myself, and for my family. No matter how sparkly and amazing this chocolate nuts crepe is, or how many times this hot spicy plate of penne calls my name; I choose to say no; because every day I spend with my family is a hundred times more delicious and sparkly. I am just wondering how long I can last, I am hoping I can add a few more years to my life.
Marwa Fayed’s Toy Run
Follow her on Instagram