If you're an average red blooded woman, we all know we gaze at other woman more than we do with men.
I'm just telling it like it is.
By scanning a room full of women, our head conjures a million outfit ideas as you internally visualize how to pair a clothing ensemble with what you already have in your closet.
And I bet you caught yourself scrolling through your feed, stalking a few instagram fitness models here and there, saving images to your "Body Goals" collection board, giving yourself the 'inspiration' to hopefully one day have a body like that.
That was me. Who am I kidding? That's still me.
But not in a "bent-up, I have to be instagram perfect" kind of way.
The truth is, I've struggled with body image my entire life.
I yo-yoed from being an overweight 15 year old to being a bag of bones as a grad student.
My diet comprised of Nutella (lots of it), Doritos and a 1 litre bottle of Coke (or Pepsi, I'm no carbonated-over-the-top-sugary-drink discriminator).
And so for years, I fluctuated from being fat to being super skinny (grim reaper skinny).
Heaviest weight = 82 kg (180 lbs)
Lightest weight = 52kg (114 lbs)
I lived abroad and every time I made a visit back to Egypt (where I'm originally from), I would be swarmed with comments like:
"Why aren't you eating? You look sick"
"Should you really be having another slice of pizza?"
Yeah, not cute.
My poor diet and lack of nutrition eventually lead me to develop a very bad case of anaemia. The kind that would get you hospitalized.
And so followed the agony of being in and out of hospitals for multiple iron and blood transfusions in a desperate attempt to stabilize my health and iron levels.
And for a girl who is scared shitless of needles, it was the kind of torture that resembled being trapped in a glassed box surrounded by puppies I cannot pet.
(Yes, that's how I think of torture).
Trying to make it right, I would frequently go on spurts of exercising and eating right claiming "this time's gonna be different!".
I'd download all the health apps, clear my pantry from any junk food and ask Hratch to be my sounding board or confiscate anything I shouldn't be eating.
But then I WOULD ALWAYS CAVE!
I was always one little cookie crumb away from reversing all my hard work, followed by a rampage of binge-eating as I watch re-runs of 'New Girl'.
And so following a very depressed period of my life, my best friend, Farah (the Gale to my Oprah), urged me to join one of her workout sessions at an F45 studio.
This was basically a series of 45 minute workouts that compressed strength and cardio trainings all in one.
Forget the fact that I already had a gym in my building, hired trainers in the past and dipped my toes in a few workout classes here and there.
I had officially accepted defeat.
I figured the only way I'll be smokin' hot is when I get cremated.
But being the relentless non-quitting grade A go-getting type that Farah is - she just wouldn't take no for an answer.
It's such a pain in the ass on how she's always right (don't tell her I said that).
And so I rummaged through my closet for any appropriate working out attire, strapped my bottle of water (that I always lose) and dragged my cellulite-filled ass to join her.
We worked out HARD!
I sweated in places I didn't even think was capable of producing sweat.
And just like that, I was hooked.
Working out became a daily routine, a habit that latched on my back like Quasimodo of Notre Dam.
It first started with going twice a week, then 3 times a week, then 4 and now 5!
Damn you Farah for always being right! (again, don't tell her I said that).
It stopped being about wanting to get skinny and more about wanting to be healthy, strong, and aiming to be the best possible version of myself.
Finally able to perform an unassisted push-up
And if I end up looking good in the process, why the fuck not?
I mean, I still haven't gotten the body goals I'm after but I'm damn proud of myself (and grateful for Farah) to have instilled such a positive daily habit.
And with regular exercising, you can guess what happened:
My anaemia is totally gone. I haven't had to set foot in a hospital ever since.
My skin is always glowing (I used to have a real bad case of the pimples).
I feel as confident as an unqualified white man applying for a job
I can probably beat Hratch in an arm wrestle match (don't tell him I said that)
So why am I telling you this?
If my fitness journey has taught me anything is that any goal you set for yourself requires three things:
Consistency over a stretched period of time
Fucking hard work
Crash diets, 1 month challenges and magic pills do not result in a beach bikini body.
I had to learn that the hard way.
If you want or crave success, working out will rewire your brain into understanding exactly what you need to do in order to attain it.
We all know you won't get ripped by eating a single quinoa salad & protein shake, but rather it would take months, if not, years, to get to the desired outcome you want.
Being an entrepreneur is no different.
Building a business is like a muscle that you need to keep strengthening over and over again.
The problem is that more often than not, I'm approached by artists and creatives who say things like they want 100 thousand followers.
Well, how are you gonna get that unless you get your first 100? Then 1,000? Then 10,000?
Just like you can't expect to walk in a gym and be able to deadlift a 50kg weight bar right off the bat, you can't expect to have overnight success either.
You'd need to prime your muscles by lifting 8kg, then 9kg all the way up to the 50kg that you're after.
The other important lesson...
Surround yourself with people that have a fucking good influence on you.
You are the byproduct of the 5 people you hang out with.
I made a lot of shitty mistakes and toxic friends over the years.
But if there's any good decision I've ever made in my life, is having a friend like Farah who pushes me to be the best I can be.
Cue the cheesy violin.
Now it's your turn. What's a life or business goal you're dying to achieve? Do you have a ride or die homie like I do with Farah? What are they like? How did they help? Comment below!