Just like you as a revert know how it probably happened in different stages, there are different stages to go through as you level up your lifestyle as well. Learn more about what to expect when you change your lifestyle in order to understand the process better.
First of all, it’s normal that a change takes both time and energy. It’s normal that there might be resistance to work through. A solution to this is to:
- Remember why you want to make the change
- Get the best plan in place; to save time and get results
- Work patiently
I’ll take my own revert journey as an example. First, I was unaware of Islam, and especially about the meaning of it. Then when I moved to Qatar, I was introduced to it and I became aware. I expressed my interest, meaning I took action, and got two big bags of Islamic books (in Swedish!). Then, when I also got to know that there is only One God, which is Allah, everything fell into place and I declared my faith.
You see, I already went through three different stages here. The same goes for your health. To begin with, you might be unaware of how to lose weight in the best way, or that you have high blood sugar. Perhaps your doctor will advice you to lose weight and start to exercise. Then you’ll become aware of strength training, and that this preferably precedes cardio for effective fat loss in combination with calorie deficit. Knowing that, you’ll make a decision to go for it and change.
Remember, change must come from within oneself.
When I first reverted, it was difficult at first to establish the prayer on time, stop listening to music, not run outside in leggings and singlet, go to mixed gyms and learn Qur’aan for example. Same goes for establishing a healthy lifestyle.
It’s normal to struggle a bit, and it’s normal to fall back into old comfortable (yet not comfortable, because they might not be really beneficial) habits.
Therefore, focus on the process and progress. Not perfection.
It’s normal that it takes some time to get the habit of a regular fitness routine in place. Because this might be a new and beneficial habit that you’ve implemented into your life based on your own decision. Likewise, initially, you’ll need to think more and plan more. Later on, this will happen naturally. All you need is patience and keeping up momentum.
Nowadays, I also struggling from time to time in my daily life as a Muslimah (which is normal and part of this dunya!), but the routines are in place and I know what to do, so it happens automatically.
During this stage when you’re establishing healthy habits and routines, it’s likely that you’ll “fail”. I say “fail”, because that’s how many sisters feel. Even though we shouldn’t! It’s easy to get back into old habits, and it’s also part of the process. Personally, I can see it as a lesson, which over and over again teaches me what I want, and what I don’t want to be part of my lifestyle. An example would be for example to eat a too heavy dinner without any vegetables, too high in carbohydrates and too low in protein. It’ll remind me of how it didn’t really benefit me and how much better I feel and sleep when I eat healthy.
Disregard the All-Or-Nothing Principle
From that stage, I’ll practice on strengthen my lowest level. Because it’s so easy to fall into the All-Or-Nothing Principle, thinking every day needs to be perfect.
As a Muslimah we know however that we are humans and we aren’t perfect. Like it’s normal that our faith/iman goes up and down. We all sin, but we should always ask forgiveness.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning:
“…ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength [added] to your strength…” [Qur’aan Surah Hud 11:52]
Similarly, a “failure” can turn into a beautiful lesson that makes us stronger.
In this stage before the new, healthy and beneficial habits are part of your daily routines like brushing your teeth; it’s all about staying on track and getting back when fall of. Just like again, that we should always ask forgiveness from Allah, and always return back to Him (and never ever give up!).
Finally, support yourself in the process by having powerful reminders. Here are some examples for inspiration:
- Change must come from within oneself.
- We can only take responsibility for ourselves.
- Everything worth achieving takes time, and we must stay patient.
- Focus on the process and progress, not perfection.
- Enjoy every single bit of the journey (with its ups and downs)!