Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
07 November 2018| 28 Safar 1440| Zahir Bassa
Coming from a childhood, where I was obese as a teenager, I always knew that I was not meant to be that way. I didn’t understand the concept of diet or training but that all changed when my sister and mum approached me and literally forced me to join a weight loss program. I was hopeful but mostly skeptical at the time. When I got to the meeting I was welcomed by a room full of aunties. I was the only male in the room. I’m sure I heard myself being compared to the shape of a “Ladoo”, “round and wholesome”.
When I was asked to step onto the scale my heart began to beat faster. I hadn’t set foot on a scale in years, and I was dreading what the result would be. 115kgs was the figure announced. 115 kilograms as a15 year old, that was a recipe for disaster. However it wasn’t the end of the torture. Measurements were next. My 44” inch waist was the real shocker. At that moment I was begging to find out what I could do to end this embarrassing feat.
I was put on a diet that consisted of foods that I liked but all in moderation. I also learnt how important it is to drink a lot of water during the day as this aids in increasing the metabolism. I tried this change over a week and when we had to weigh-in I was overwhelmed that I lost 4.5kg by simply making simple changes to my daily consumption of food. I was able to eliminate all the sweets and chocolates and double servings of food at the table.
In a space of 6 months I lost an overall 43kg. Losing weight became a competition between my mum, sister and I. The best part about transforming the body is that your general well-being changes too. The feeling of becoming alive, reborn, confident and seeing the world differently were new found aspects in my life at the time. People at school noticed and started asking questions. Here I was, ranked in the top 5 in the grade for being the heaviest, to now fitting in amongst my peers. I dropped from a 44 inch waist to a 32. What I knew from this point was that I had to share these steps with those who have been battling with being overweight or obesity.
Over the years, through trial and error, one learns new things when it comes to their own body as well as how food, training and lifestyle changes, impacts one’s life.
The key to a healthy well-being begins with one word, MINDSET!
One cannot think in a certain way all the time and expect different results. You need to adopt a mindset that channels positivity and a healthy outlook on life. Many people would often say, it’s easier said than done, but I believe it’s better to say and think than not at all.
Once a person learns to condition their mind and create a routine that works, then it will so be achieved. A famous quote by Napoleon Hill states, “whatever the mind can conceive and believe it will achieve.” This is something that has stuck with me for years. Your mind shapes your environment and also as to who you are as a person. A healthy mind equals a healthy body.
So with this journey in mind here are some of my own quick tips on how to make a simple change to your lifestyle and start adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle for your mind, body and soul:
Making dua is the key component for changing your mind into the way of thinking. One needs to adopt an attitude of gratitude. Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Quran, “If you are grateful, I will give you more” (Surah Ibrahim, Ayah 7). These are words that echo throughout each day and is a remembrance that anything is possible if you put your mind and heart into it.
Visualize your goals, whether you want to be thin, muscular or toned, picture yourself in the shoes of the person you want to become both physically and mentally. People create this self-doubt which makes them feel they aren’t good enough to achieve greater heights. Your limit is defined you!
Like any health program the most important factor is what you consume. We have all been taught that eating the right amount of “good food” will result in one being fit and healthy. But how true is this? Fruits and vegetables have been a staple in the knowledge we have been taught, but did you know that too many fruit rich in sugar will not get you the body you’ve always wanted. The one thing that I have learnt about true dieting, and yes I say true, is that one needs to understand the basics that have not been taught to us, and that is Calories (oooooh).
Calories, in food, provide energy in the form of heat so that our bodies can function. Our bodies store and “burn” calories as fuel. Many true dieters (yes that word again) try to decrease caloric intake to lose weight. It’s simple science, if you burn more calories daily than you consume you will ultimately lose weight.
I won’t delve too deep into the diet aspect as I want to go in more depth about the different forms of calories that we consume namely Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats.
Okay, the reason many people either thrive with weight loss and healthier living or failing and quitting is the idea of what training should entail. So here we go, the one that everyone dreads, the gym and cardio sessions. Let me say firstly that this is just the minimal aspect of leading a healthy lifestyle as compared to diet. Diet accounts for 80% of what you will look like and training is the cherry on top to get that general sense of well-being. The two work hand in hand. When you take training seriously, and I mean when you walk for more than the average 20 minutes a day coupled with some daily weight training your body will tell you to feed it healthy food. That’s just how the protein cookie crumbles. We will go further on training and the various aspects associated each week.
This is the one that everyone loves but too much or too little of it is a bad thing. They say that 8 hours of sleep is the correct amount of time a person should endure each night. Personally, especially when one reaches my age (I’m not that old – just saying), you learn to adopt a sleep pattern of 5-7 hours per night and catching up with the 8 a night on the weekend. This has been my current routine and I have been functioning at an optimal level. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is different but my personal feeling is that between 5-7 hours is sufficient to move forward and get your day going.
So there you have it, just a brief introduction as to who I am and my journey. The future is going to look good as I will unravel each week something new and exciting about health and fitness.
Here’s to living a healthy, more active and spiritually fulfilling life!
WRITTEN BY: ZAHIR BASSA
Zahir Bassa is a radio presenter based in Durban, KZN. He Co-hosts the popular breakfast show with fellow presenter Muhammad Sheik. Zahir is also a photographer and videographer. In his spare time Zahir like going to gym, taking walks in the park and building sand castles. His favourite animal is the Unicorn