Featured post


Written by Tayyaba Aziz & Saqib Hussain   After 30 minutes of struggling to focus on work, Moosa finally gave up. He stumbled in hi...

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Weight Loss: Stuck in the middle

When we start a workout routine, we shed weight off faster. You’d start to feel change in your mood, your body would feel lighter, and all the daily tasks get easier. Whether it’s inner or the outer self, either way the change will be visible. Overall it feels amazing, as if weight loss is a piece of cake.

In this phase you’d be passionate and positive about your goals. We get too confident looking at how fast our body is responding to the effort. It doesn’t stop there, people start to notice and their compliments adds to your excitement. Your dreams are coming true, OMG you are almost there!

After sometime of the workout routine, your body gets used to of the pressure. The same routine that was doing its wonders on your body now gets easy and less effective. In fact the transition in your body fat comes to a complete HALT! Hence you are not as obese as your used to be but not as fit as you wanted to become either. So it’s something in the middle.

Most people give up in this phase and go in reserve gaining more weight than they had before. 
It affects you psychologically too, for it’s frustrating and highly depressing. It reminds me of what Dan Brown says in his book Inferno, ‘When you are swimming in a dark tunnel, keep moving forward.’

My advice for all of you stuck-in-the-middle is, change your routes but stick to your goal. And by routes I mean reasons, do it for the good mood, do it for a good health, do it for a better lifestyle! This is your emotional route change.
Now we have to change your physical routes too. Change your entire workout routine, even if it requires you to switch to your most hated exercises. Some people hate legs workouts, some hate to work on arms, I hate the ones which involve jumping, my cousin hates lunges. Let me know what your LEAST favorite exercise is.

The results won’t show as fast as the beginning phase, but persistence pays off eventually. When you can’t play the rabbit anymore, play the turtle to WIN the race.

It took us a lot of sweat and hard work to get here, right? Then we won’t stop till we get there!
Weight loss may not be easy but it is achievable.

Keep going all of my fellow turtles out there!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Weight loss: How to lose Belly fat?

Are you doing Abs workouts to lose belly fat? Stop! You are doing it wrong. Abs workouts are there to help you build abs, not lose fat!

Our mistake is we fantasize too much. We start doing abs exercising hoping to magically wake up with six packs the next day. Guess what these abs workouts start to grow your abdominal muscles under your belly fat. This way you end up getting a stiff yet fatter stomach. That is far worse and harder to shed than the belly you started with. Oops!

Those of you who do Abs workouts already know how many things can go wrong. The trainer would tell you to keep your focus on your abs while you do the exercise. Like with crunches, don’t let your stomach bulge out. Keep your back on the floor. Sometimes they just ignore the damage it can do on other parts of the body. What about the pain in the neck from the crunches? There are so many things to be careful about.

Here’s my advice, avoid abs workouts entirely. Those fitness freaks you see posters of, are working to build muscles not lose that jiggle. See my point?

However everybody is different, you’d have to experiment yourself to see what works for you.

 Now you’d ask, ‘if I don’t do abs workout how would I lose belly fat?’

Let’s do it RIGHT:

Start your workout session with a warm up, and then only 5 or 10 minutes of cardio; follow it up by low impact to medium intensity workouts. If you can do HIIT workouts, even better!

Remember your goal is to lose FAT. Your body doesn’t work like segments, it works like one unit. When your body is in need for energy to help you move with intensity and strength, fat will be burn no matter where it is hiding.

This is why they tell us to keep going even when we start to feel like giving up. It’s never the first round where the work happens; it’s the final round for the workout. You want to lose belly fat, just focus on losing fat; you’d get there faster than anyone doing crunches or sit-ups. 

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Weight Loss: How Long Should I Workout?

I get asked many question about fitness, health and workouts whenever I meet my friends. Thus I’ll try my best to respond to all of your frequently asked questions.

First question always is how long should a girl workout in a day to lose weight?

When I reply, 10 minutes, they take a long pause, trying to figure out why I would lie to them. In the back of their heads they would be like, ‘Lost all that jiggly flab in 10 minutes! Such a “OMG, I-WAS-BORN-THIS-WAY-FREAK”’

No dude, I wasn’t born this way, I had to work for it, every single day. Yes dude, 10 minutes do matter when you are persistent and you do it right. What these people completely ignore is the time phase. I achieved my goal after one year of this routine. And then I started to get all those ladies reaching me for a fitness advice.

There are some other factors that might come in your way.
I used to exercise for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day when I had a very hectic routine back in university days. Now that I don’t have to walk miles from my home to the bus stop, or face other travelling-traumas, those 10 minutes stopped their magic. Instead I started to put on weight despite the exercise.

Sometimes chores around the house aren’t going to be as hectic as your usual routine. Or when it’s lesser workload phase, like Ramadan has passed, so did both Eids of this year. Either way people who are used to of hectic routines try to find comfort in whatever break they manage to get. Trust me; the thought of exercise is the last thing to occur to you in a high paced routine. Then we get accustomed to those little rest breaks that we start to take free time for granted. Of course this gradually leads you to an unhealthy lifestyle, even if you are not a complete coach-potato yet.

Hence my answer to the same question now, is one hour a day! It sounds like a lot when you say it like that, but it’s not. Although try to do less cardio and more HIIT (high intensity interval training). I know I know, cardio is important, but we don’t want you to do straight 30 minutes of cardio on day one and pass out. 
Also HIIT helps you lose weight even when you are sleeping, watching TV or whatever. 

Allow your body time to recover, build and prepare.
Go slow, but keep going.  

Sunday, 28 August 2016


At a local cafĂ© on her favorite spot Rafeya could see the beautiful beach. She was staring into the emptiness, slowly sipping on her coffee all alone.  Right then her childhood friend Sabiha taps on her shoulder and startled her.

“Oh you are here!” She says with a warm smile spreading on her face. Her friend who was sharp looking, smartly dressed tall girl, replied, “I’m here but where are you my darlin’?”
Rafeya passed a sheepish smile and continued gazing at the beautiful site outside the window as if it wasn’t enough to take it all in once glance. Thinking if she came prepared for the persuasion that was about to come up. For a moment they just sat there breathing in all that nature has to offer. As if lost in the sound of the waves and the frequent distant sounds of seagulls and the feel of the continuous cool breeze kissing their cheeks. 

Sabiha who was now staring at Rafeya, breaks the silence, “I’ll be straight to the point, girl”, then she bangs her palms on the table yelling, “ARE YOU INSANE?!”
People from other tables stopped and stared. Sabiha who didn’t seem to care, went on “this was your dream! Girl what is wrong with you? Isn’t this how we always defined our freedom?”
Rafeya looked up at her friend but before she could say a word, Sabiha continues “Freedom was never a stupid escape or a need to keep going, freedom for us was just freedom. You would regret your decision of giving up on your dreams for others.”
Her friend pause mid sentence as Refeya’s expressions turned from contentment to deep pensive one. As if she is far away, redoing all the mathematics to reach a sane decision. Busy in constant verification alongside, absorbing this new perspective shown to her.
Rafeya could feel her friend’s eyes on her face waiting on a response. She pulled out a glass jar from her purse and placed it on the table. The jar had a beautiful butterfly inside it, fluting and struggling to come out.
 “What is that? And why is it in your purse?!” Saibiha gasped.

Rafeya speaks up for the first time with the voice unusually calm, “Sabi, Define the word freedom for this butterfly. Tell me she doesn’t think of it anything other than getting out of this jar. Tell me her dream of escaping the jar is less important than the gardens and the flowers right now? ”
Sabiha just sit there dumbfounded. Rafeya went on with a Mona Lisa smile set on her face now “yes we had dreams larger than life but they are far less than my kids and my spouse now. My definition of the word changed. My family is my freedom, the significant dream and purpose that defines me.”
Sabiha who was now more sad than relaxed, faked a smile and looked away. Rafeya moved forward and place her hand on her friend’s and whispered “I can’t come with you now but I will always be here to support you. You go and live it up for both of us, Sweetheart”

Sabi smiled at her friend and pulled the glass jar towards her. She opened the jar and they looked at the butterfly flutter away. They sat there in silence which was more comfortable than ever before. Letting themselves be a part of that breathtaking sight of the sea. 

Friday, 19 August 2016

Weight Loss: Keeping it off!

 Written by: Zainab Waqar

Yay! I did it! I lost 65 lbs, which is almost 30kgs! Hats off to me!!

This was me six months ago: I was always the fat kid, and I struggled with weight all through my life up until now. It took me over sixteen months to reach my goals. Yes, this was a big deal to me!

Well, just then, out of the blue, I was offered a job as a teacher in a private school - with a handsome pay (just saying). And guess what. I accepted the offer and everything turned around but not necessarily for the better.

My schedule completely changed. I was not working out as much as I did before and some days no workout at all. The cherry on top: due to stress and workload, my bad habits of eating junk were coming back. I could feel my body changing and, after four months, I could see it in the mirror too.

No matter how hard I tried to keep up with my workout routine it was not working and I had to make a decision. I made the right one, which was to quit my job because nothing is more important than your health and my health was suffering. I missed working out and that great feeling of victory after a workout.

So here I start again, yes I have put on a few pounds but this is nothing to be depressed about. I’m happy that I made the decision early before all of it came back. I will just have to work harder. Honestly, if you want to keep the flab off you have to change your lifestyle because, if you don't, sooner or later you will be out of shape.

It all comes down to making the decision. Do you want to be healthy for the rest of your life or you only want to look good for a certain time period?

I made my decision and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. When you put yourself first it only means you love yourself enough. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Group chats these days...

The more social media advances, the more it gets easier to stay in touch with your friends, and not just friends, but your old friends, new friends, close friends, and barely friends.

Not that I’m ungrateful for this access to our childhood friends but in all honesty it can be pretty annoying at times. The first and the foremost dilemma come when your friends start to add their friends into your close group. In other words total strangers suddenly start crashing into your stupendous party. For some reason these new strangers-kind-of-friends will always become more active in the group than your actual friends. However these intruders most probably lack to understand your sophisticated level of humor.

Then there is usually an old friend who would call you out and then leave you hanging in the middle of the conversation, embarrassing you in front of all this new bizarre audience.

Soon this group has all sorts of people, and most probably your childhood bullies too. Yep, and that’s the height of awkwardness anyone can ever reach. Just when you start to think it cannot get more ridiculous than that, one of the members would start sending you selfies. Selfies of their car, of their bedroom, of the office, and kids and food and home supplies and what not!

It is frustrating having to go back in the phone memory and keep deleting the unreasonable pile of stranger’s assets in your phone, but be grateful that button exists.

Moreover the chat would become extremely fast paced that you start to lose track of everything. Check your phone and find another EIGHT HUNDRED MESSAGES to read after every five minutes. Meh! who has time for that? Just go with the flow and respond when you feel like.

So maybe one day you might feel the need to talk to one of your old friend from the group in a separate place, to avoid all this absurdity. Don’t even think about it! Even if this person is responding in the group chat but when you send them a private message, you are doomed. You will NEVER get a reply in the private and also this person might ignore you in the group after this mistake you made. This is some kind of a GROUP NORM or something. Once you break this rule you shall pay the price. Therefore beware of the undefined rules of the group chats; they can be anything, hiding in dark places, waiting for you. Oh well then there are always exceptions, we learn as we go. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but then run as fast as lightening.

Happy chatting!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Fitness: When There Is NO Motivation!

What motivates you when there is no motivation?

Let’s say you don’t have an access to your computer or phone where you can see half-naked people with photoshopped unrealistic bodies to encourage a workout. And let’s say you only have 20 minutes on hand and there is no way to find a push to get you off that couch.

Here’s the thing, when you depend on external sources for motivation, you may face various obstacles at times:
One: You may NOT have access to it some days.
Two: You can easily get carried away and end up wasting your free time instead of using it to achieve your actual goals. Sounds familiar?
Three: When you get depended on these external sources, you can’t work on generating the internal drive and desire to reach your goals.

Note: Consider these obstacles for any goal in life, whether it’s your diet improvements, work or projects.

Okay back to lying on the couch and finding ways to keep ourselves from turning into potatoes. They say to adopt a new habit, set a trigger for it. Once you pull this off for almost a month and BAM! You have a new hard to avoid healthy habit already!

It reminds me of a sitcom, where they showed a chubby guy who would wear his grandma’s dress to respond to his the problems sent by his audience on the blog. Well then in the show his brother finds it out in a funny embarrassing situation and makes him change his trigger to something sensible. Anyway the point is no matter how silly your trigger may be it will help you get there.

Wearing your sneakers, sweat shirt or whatever prompts you.  
Now stop reading and start working! Go Go GO!