Today is another Monday. Its the 1st of another month and I have decided to make another resolution, an early resolution…..
I resolute to be a better person, to be a happier person, to give more in charity, to be richer too by some unlikely chance and of course to be thinner!!!! Aaah but isn’t this the resolution of many, in fact hasn’t this been my resolution for over a decade? (or is it two decades) To be thinner? Each year as my resolutions change it seems one thing always remains on the list, the quest of battling the bulge(big or small) effectively….
I look at the chocolate chip muffin sitting on the kitchen counter. My mouth salivates. My mind whispers. My hand begins to reach. My heart is in turmoil! Ok tomorrow I tell myself. Okay nevermind… Okay I’ll eat it today and work out tomorrow or should I rather workout today and eat it tomorrow in the hopes that it would all be finished by some muffin monsters while I’m not looking? Okay I’ll just eat it…. Okay? I whisper to my mind trying to gain some sort of consent… No! Its not okay! Do you want to lose weight or not!? My mind shouts back at me! I do…. I really, really do!
I sigh a loud sigh as I sit down while my waistline and my mind engage in a mental dialogue and argument. Wouldn’t life be beautiful if we could have our cake AND eat it? Wouldn’t live be perfect if we could eat chocolate and NOT gain weight? Wouldn’t all the difficulties in the world be worth it if at the end of each day we could down a slice of cheese cake or some ice cream or a dollop of chocolate mousse without feeling GUILTY, without dreading the reading on that cursed scale the next morning and without immediately feeling FATTER!?
Utopia or a dream world rather, that’s what that is. That’s probably what all women will be doing in Jannah… Eating cake and not worrying about getting fat! I can’t wait, Insha Allah….
As my mind and body continue to battle it out, my eyes scan the chocolate muffin and for a second or two I wonder if either of them would notice if I wolfed it down leaving only fragments of crumbs around my mouth…. And just then my mind trails off to days when I was younger, when I WAS thinner, and I realize that even then I was not pleased, even then I thought; wouldn’t it be awesome to lose a kilo or two? And that’s just the thing about a woman, she is always trying to lose a kilo no matter what her waist size! And when she’s lost it…. Lo and behold, she’s trying to lose just one more (even though she lies to herself that this would be the last kilo) !
Our minds are infiltrated, brainwashed and tortured with images of models who don’t even look like their own images! Even they wish that they looked like their picture perfect counterpart when they woke up!
So I ask myself, why then are we trying so hard to be thinner and not trying hard enough to be happier and to be content? Has a thought such as this even occurred in your mind? Whoever said that being thinner meant that you were happy? Are we that vain that we judge our own selves by the mirrors reflection? And whoever said that she (the mirror) was your friend? And who asked you to listen to the world? And as you sit there, staring at that chocolate muffin wondering if it would be more worth it to eat it and allow all that chocolate goodness to warm your insides, or if it would be more worth it to walk away and eat a carrot instead, have you wondered who will heal you? Who will help you un-brainwash your mind? How will you transform your self image? Only you will….. Only you can…. Are you ready to do that?
The average woman is never pleased with her physique no matter what her body shape! Daily I pray to Allah, speak to Allah, thank Allah and ask of Allah and we know that to be a true believer you must show gratitude to your Maker, Allah, for ALL His blessing on you. Suddenly I was taken aback, shocked in fact! How am I showing gratitude if daily I exercise ingratitude to Him and His blessings upon me when I complain and lament about my body, when even its smallest imperfection unravels me? Is this a trait of a grateful soul? Is your body not a gift to be used for His service and not just for the worlds pleasure as the world scans you and tells you how far you are from being perfect while never ceasing to remind you of how imperfect you are?
The journey to self acceptance is a difficult road to travel, a tiring path and one many fail to ever reach the summit of.
But just as we should not be fixated with painting our images with the color palette that the world offers us, so too should we know and understand that we were not meant to over indulge as that brings with it many health issues too. So I am not saying eat everything and just be, but I am saying perhaps we should pay less attention to what we look like to ourselves or to the world and pay more attention to what we look like for Allah. Islam teaches one the beauty of moderation through mention in quran and in sunnah:
(And eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.) (Al-A`raf 7: 31). Be moderate in how and what you eat.
“No human ever filled a container more evil than his belly. The few morsels needed to support his being shall suffice the son of Adam. But if there is no recourse then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath.” (Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi)
Striking a balance between extravagance and self-depravation is the fundamental goal of the Islamic Shari’ah.
Yet sadly it seems that the world has devoured us to the extent that on the one hand we fill our bellies with every extravagant morsel offered to our minds and on the other end we engage in a silent war of self destruction as we aim to look like the definition of what the world dictates we need to look like! If we look to the right, we see advertisements of food chains, maybe some baked delicacy or maybe a giant burger suspended in the air as we drive by on the highway, all enticing us to succumb to our cravings and if we look to the left we see an image of a girl barely dressed trying to sell you some or other pill promising that you would end up looking like her! Which do you look at, which do you choose? You look down, you choose Quran, Sunnah and Allah’s pleasure….
If the world never judged you I doubt that you would be so fixated about how you looked to the world. Yet Allah is the judge of you, then are you fixated on how you look to Him? SubhanAllah….
There are more important things to be doing in life then torturing your mind constantly, then putting yourself down tirelessly, then injuring yourself by setting unrealistic goals and aims. There are more valuable things awaiting you in life then succumbing to your desires, to your cravings and to your naffs….
From this day on, I strive to first be happy and content and pleasing to Allah, Insha Allah. I intend to be a grateful servant and a thankful soul as I praise and thank Him for these eyes, these ears, these limbs, this tongue, this heart and this mind. Daily I will thank Him for this body in its perfectly imperfect form as it was designed for the worship of Allah, SubhanAllah. I will aim to change the eyes of the world by changing my own eyes and the way that I see things and perhaps if after reading this you did this too then Alhamdulillah, there would be another set of eyes changed, Insha Allah.
Life is about breathing, living, worshiping, believing, striving and all for the purpose and pleasure of Allah first and only. If you’re happy what does it matter how you look to anyone else? And if you’re not happy then who better than Allah to turn to with your hands open asking in duaa. If Allah is pleased with you and you are pleased with Him then of what importance is the rest of the world?
Close the book of the magazine, look away from the screen and billboards as you set your gaze away from the unhealthy bodily image of a girl that doesn’t even look like her own picture. Eat the muffin sometimes! Exercise often! Drink water daily! Be happy always! Smile more with each new day! Worry less about the world and worry more about Allah, Insha Allah….