A journey to acceptance

One day our landline rang, it never does because no one has the number. I picked it up and it was a slimming center nearby offering a body review and 2 sessions for free. I was so excited! Not that I needed a body review or slimming sessions, but because I was so bored and haven’t done anything new for a long time.

Once there, a nice lady asked me to unattire so that she can check my body. As I stood there in front of the mirror waiting for her to come point out every imperfection, I was surprised by how I felt…

It was never easy for me to accept my body. I started having stretch marks since I was 13, and at such a young age I started being very self conscious.

Growing up, my mother always criticized her body. She was never satisfied when she looked in the mirror. and even though she always told me and my siblings we were beautiful and meant it, I grew up thinking that the normal thing to do was to criticize and point out the things you like the least about yourself. A lot of my friends used to do the same and we would all sit together and have a “competition” about who can put herself down the most. Sounds fun right?

Then I grew older, and people in the media began promoting self love. I still remember the Oprah episode when I first realized that it’s okay to accept ourselves and our bodies, that it’s not only “okay” but necessary! It was news to me. I believed in every word said and I started promoting these ideas myself! But truth is, I still hadn’t entirely accepted my own body.

More years passed by and I got married, pregnant and then everything changed.

Although a lot of women struggle with accepting their bodies while pregnant, it was the first time I had ever accepted my silhouette as it is. It’s the only time I wasn’t trying to cover my belly and was instead amused by how big it became. And even though my hair grew longer and softer than it ever was, I developed acne and a lot of darkening skin, and as you probably guessed, a lot of stretch marks. But I looked at it as a small price to pay for having a baby. Then I gave birth, and another thing unexpectedly helped me in the journey. It’s MY HAIR CUT! After delivery, I cut my hair to a short pixie. Strange how I didn’t realize before that every time I looked in the mirror, my hair had taken almost all of my attention. I even used to get a little surprised in fitting rooms when I had to actually focus on my body ( not good surprises). Now that there is nothing else to focus on, I no longer get surprised by my belly or thighs or anything else, because I see them everyday.

As I stood in front of the mirror waiting for the nice lady to check my imperfections, all of this went through my mind. I knew it was the first time that being checked by a stranger didn’t bother me. I smiled and my reflection smiled back at me, it told me proudly: “there is nothing to be ashamed of..”

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How having one Less app changed my life

How having one Less app changed my life

If you are a stay at home parent like me, you know that despite what the “perfect moms” say, we don’t really worry about “special bonding time” with our babies as we worry about “alone time” without them.

But because I took time with my baby for granted, I was never ‘fully’ with her. I was always half there.

I felt that I was better exploiting time if am checking whatsapp and Facebook while sitting with Lina because I can do it while am sitting down or holding her. It only needs one hand and not a lot of concentration.

I caught myself numerous times sitting with my baby and not paying any attention to what she’s doing because am so caught up in posting or commenting nonsense… hurts to admit I even caught myself delaying picking her up while she’s crying until I finish checking a notification, but the final straw was a time that I left my baby sitting in front of me with her mouth wide open, because I just couldn’t stop answering this women I have never even met, while feeding my baby!

This day I realized that it’s no longer harmless socializing, it has become an addiction. The first thing that came to my mind was simple, I deleted the apps from my phone and my iPad ( my phone alone had 3 Facebook apps).

This very small act has totally changed my life! It has been a month now and it’s almost unbelievable how much more time I have. It has also allowed me to really enjoy Lina’s company without the notifications popping on the mobile lock screen every five minutes. Now I barely remember to open it when my baby sleeps or naps. I hardly check it twice a day. You don’t even want to know how many times I used to open it before. COUNTLESS!

I’m sharing my embarrassing story because it might inspire someone else, who misses on their children playing, friends lunches and family bonding time because they can’t resist checking the notifications. Believe me, Facebook will wait, if you can’t… Delete the stupid app.

My One resolution for the new year

I had started this year without any resolutions. Then on the third day, I came across a Facebook post from a little known Egyptian actor. He was talking about starting a plant based diet and how in just 3 months, he not only dropped weight, but felt more energetic and lost a lot of physical problems he had had for years. He said he’s eating a lot of the things he loves, like pasta, rice and potatoes, but also a lot of fruits, vegetables and beans. He wasn’t promoting anything, just sharing something he found very useful for himself. I trusted his story thus was very confused! I thought carbs and weight loss were contradictory.

I had come across vegan youtubers before, who claimed to eat all the carbs they want and keeping their bodies very lean, but I always thought there was a catch, something they’re not sharing… but here was that actor, someone who isn’t a blogger, vlogger nor nutritionist, and still benefited from this calorie-full diet.

After reading further on the plant based diet and the forks over knives way, I realized that most informations I had about food were wrong! That it’s not important how many calories we eat, but rather “how” we eat them.

And although we have AMAZINGLY delicious plant based food in Egypt, I never thought about it as eco-friendly nor healthy. Thinking about ‘Koshari’, ‘waraa Enab’ (which is stuffed vine leaves) and of course ‘Foul and Falafel’ (which is the traditional Egyptian breakfast) I feel sad am realizing this while 2 thousand miles away..

Making these realizations pushed me to make small changes in my dietary lifestyle. taking it slowly, I decided to have one Vegetarian day a week. It’s my one and only resolution for the new year. Started the very next day I read the article, and it was a Monday, so I get to call it “meatless Monday”!

On the very first meatless Monday, I had lots of fruits and a most delicious pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil. Honestly I felt good, I was completely satisfied and didn’t miss having chicken or meat. I later realized I didn’t have enough protein that day. So on the next meatless Mondays I added oatmeal, quinoa, beans, mushrooms so I can get my daily recommended protein. I try not to have dairy products that day but it’s hard for me to cut off milk because I use it In my coffee. Next week I’ll look for some “lait d’amande” in the supermarket ( that’s almond milk)

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My delicious spinach,white beans and mushroom pasta
The reason I wanted to write about this is that this day has changed a lot in my eating habits in the rest of the week too. I used to eat next to Zero fruits, but since I started buying them at least once a week, I eat them. And since I look for beautiful vegetarian plates full of veggies for meatless Monday, I end up eating these veggies all through the week too. I also started monitoring my protein and vitamins intake which is good because I usually never cared about what I eat as long as it’s delicious 😀

If you’re like the old me and you don’t eat enough fruits and veggies I invite you to try a meatless day a week and watch it change your life! Let me know how it goes.

Men are going to Hate this Post -short hair don’t care-

Men are going to Hate this Post -short hair don’t care-

In another life, I had time for long hair…

in this current life though, since an angel called Lina came along, for six months I finished every shower with crying in the background and no time left to do anything (including brushing my hair), but the really annoying thing was, half the time I spent in the shower I spent gathering my excessively falling hair from the bottom of the tub.

I remembered the Egyptian proverb that says “block the door that brings you trouble” or in Egyptian الباب اللي يجيلك منه الريح، سده و استريح. And I did.I got rid of most of my hair and got a short pixie instead. 

Wow, older generations were so Right about that proverb! I LOVE it, I have never felt so stress free about my hair like I do now, I wake up looking put together, and I go to shower to actually SHOWER and finish in 10 minutes, The feeling of water touching my head is so amazing and the ease of handling short hair is addictive. Not just that, it also gave me time to do a small shower routine afterwards… like towel dry, put on deodorant, brush my hair…(Only moms will get the sarcasm)!!

Don’t get me wrong I never hated my hair, but it was so stressful. Their frizzy and curly nature meant waking up a complete mess, NEVER EVER knowing how it will look after the shower (the curly hair mystery) and my “post baby” hair was always in a stupid lifeless ponytail anyways.

My mom was so worried about this haircut, I believe she’d be less worried if I had told her I’m going to cut Her hair, and my husband and sister were picturing me cry over a ponytail of curly human hair.

I myself didn’t know what I was getting into or how am going to look or how to handle short hair, having always had long locks. But as the overjoyed hairdresser was cutting my hair, the ladies in the hair salon where staring at me with big round eyes, and as the hair on my head was getting shorter and shorter I was happy, a week later now, I think it’s the best hair decision I’ve ever took.

While at the Salon another hairdresser caught my cut ponytail while I was washing my hair and yelled in French “Where is the head?I’m looking for the head!”

What makes you Happy?

What makes you Happy?

A few days ago a friend of mine was talking to me about happiness and how he defines it, right then I didn’t know what was my own definition for happiness.

Then today I went out with my girlfriends, and as usual came back in that happy state I always have after spending time with them. We go out and we just talk about anything and everything, food, boys (of course), relationships, family, work, beauty…. no matter what is going on in our lives we always have a good laugh and time ends too soon (even when we’re having a sleepover).

Thinking about this I realized that happiness is not a place that you reach and just stay in forever!  Because it’s not about reaching a certain position at work, or having a certain amount of money or beauty. It’s a feeling, and it’s renewable! Like feeling full after a generous meal doesn’t mean you’ll be full forever 🙂 It’s doing something that makes you feel good during, and afterwards. It can be spending time with your new born baby, in the arms of your hubby, contemplating on the beach, eating a homemade meal with your parents…

I now have a better understanding of the saying “Money can’t buy happiness” I don’t think I ever reached that phase of inner peace and satisfaction after seeing that I had enough money in my bank account, but rather when I see that I have enough love to get me through the toughest times <3.

And you? What makes you happy?

Blog Introduction

Hey everyone,

It was time for me to update this introduction since all if the information in it had became obsolete.

Well, I am a mother now! Have the most loving baby girl. And we moved to Paris. So it’s only the 3 of us in a big big world ( and a tiny Parisian apartment). I’m probably going to write about motherhood, Paris, thoughts, life changes and of course food! It wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t some food involved in EVERYTHING. That’s what I think I will write about… But you never really know…