Do you think ‘I love you’ is a cliché? Well, think again!

‘I love you’, ‘I can’t live without you’, ‘you are my life’…etc. We all heard these words and phrases too many times, whether in cheesy romantic movies, corny pop songs, or anywhere else. Love became so shallow that the word has no deep meaning anymore. The movies, music, books, and almost everything around us portrays love as a relationship between a man and a woman. When you read the title of this post you probably thought about it that way. But that’s not right! Love has more to it than just that.

I like to act as a philosopher sometimes, so let me introduce you to some of my “philosophical” opinions on love.

What is love?
Love is the fuel we use every day to live. Love is the power that drives us to success. Love is the reason why we are happy. Love is how human beings and other creatures managed to live together on this planet. Love is something instinctive in the human nature.

What are the different forms of love?
– The love that you receive from your parents
– The love you give to your children
– The love between you and your spouse
– Your relatives who love you and you love them too
– Friendship is a form of love
– The love you have for your pet and the love your pet has for you
– Generally the love of human beings to each others
– The love of human beings to other creatures on Earth
– The love of human beings to Earth
– The love of oneself
– The love of God to mankind
See, love comes in different shapes and sizes! It is everywhere around us. So even if you are single, that doesn’t mean you have no love in your life. You just need to look deeper and you’ll find it.

Do we need love?
The definition of love I mentioned above shows clearly that it is something important in order to live a sufficient happy life. And as I said before, it is an instinct in us so we can’t help but feel it, give it, or want to receive it.
If you want to check if that’s true or not, I want you to close your eyes and imagine this world without love…no family, no friends, no pets, or any source of love.
What do you think now? How is the world you imagined in your head? A place full of hatred, crimes, wars…etc. Isn’t it kind of what we are turning into? Why do you think that is? It’s because of the lack of real love in our lives. In fact, I think that the answer to world peace is simply love.

So what is your homework for today? You should let the people in your life know that you love them. Here are some simple tips you can use to spread love everywhere you go:
– Tell your parents that you love them and that your thankful for what they’ve done to you.
– Tell your children that you really care about them and you’ll always be there for them.
– Buy flowers or bake a cake and send it to your spouse when they are at work with a card saying that you love them.
– Visit your cousins, or your grandparents, or your in-laws and spend a day with them.
– Meet your friend for lunch/dinner and talk about the good old days and how grateful you are that they are in your life.
– Take more walks with your dog.
– Give money to charity, volunteer, buy dinner for a homeless person…etc.
– Adopt an animal, be kind to other creatures, get involved in an organization for animal rights…etc.
– Plant something in your garden or inside your house, take good care of it.
– Love yourself! You deserve it.
– Pray to God. Ask Him for guidance, for blessing, for grace, or anything you want because He will always be there for you. All you need to do is just ask.
And of course there are a lot of other things you can do. Whatever you choose, make sure you do it from the heart. You don’t know what this can result into; it could make someone’s day, or stop someone from ending their life, or make a stranger happy. So why not tell people ‘I love you’? Why not show it? You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

So start acting like a human and LOVE. Always remember that you should say it and show it. When you will truly love and care for the people in your life you will be happy and loved in return.

Wish you all a happy life full of love.
Cheers!

12 Things You Need To Know Before Losing Weight

So, as I lost 19 kgs (about 42 lbs) I’d like to share my weight loss journey with you. I made a new category ‘Health & weight loss’ where I’m going to write about it, and I hope it will inspire those who want to lose weight. But first, before I tell you my story I want to hit you with the truth about weight loss.

If you decided that you want to lose weight and now you’re preparing for the journey, here are 12 things you need to know before starting.

  1. It IS a journey. The road is definitely going to be bumpy, but it won’t matter when you finally reach your destination. While keeping your eyes on the road, do not forget to enjoy the ride itself. There is no point of doing all this when you are not willing to enjoy or learn things from this experience. And there will be a lot of roadside attractions that will make you want to stop, but don’t fall for it.
  2. It IS hard. Yes! Losing weight IS hard. If someone tells you otherwise, they’re either lying so you won’t be turned off or they don’t know what they’re talking about. But don’t look for shortcuts just because it’s hard. Let determination and persistence be your fuel.
  3. You might not find support. Of course you will be lucky if your friends or family or anyone else supported you in this journey. But trust me, even if you didn’t find the support that you expected, you can still do it alone! And don’t be surprised when you get discouragements instead of support. You might return home to find your family gorging on pizza or your co-worker put a chocolate-chip muffin on your desk again, and they might be doing it to see how long you can resist temptations. Don’t let this stop you. Blow them away!
  4. It’s not about being thin, it about being healthy. If your goal is to fit in a dress for an upcoming party then you might not last long in this journey. Your destination should be a healthy fit body, not a skinny body!  This is a strong motivation that will keep you going no matter how rough the road is.
  5. There is only one right way to do it. Exercising and eating healthy. Voila! Fad diets, pills, surgeries, or any other means of ‘fast easy’ ways to lose weight will NOT work. Yeah I know that someone you know tried the latest detox diet and lost 20 lbs in a week or whatever, but did they keep it off? I bet they gained it all back, if not more! Are you looking for a short fix here? No you’re looking for a lifetime change.
  6. It is really a life style. I know you’ve heard that thousand times before, but it is true. Tony Robbins said “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got”. If you are not willing to change then do not expect to achieve something worthy. So do NOT diet, eat healthy! People who go with the mentality of ‘dieting’ will definitely gain the weight back.
  7. Do not stop cold turkey. As I said before you are changing your eating habits and not dieting. So do not deprive yourself from your favorite food or you might go crazy. I made the mistake of not eating anything, and I mean ANYTHING that was basically a dessert. This is wrong because you will eventually start craving it and then end up binging. Instead of quitting cold turkey, take baby steps into reducing the servings of desserts (for example) you have per week.
  8. Weight loss isn’t a magic pill that will solve your problems. Do not expect that all your life problems will disappear when you lose weight. Of course a lot of problems will, but not all of them. You will be healthier which means your high blood pressure will decrease your cholesterol levels too, you will no more have headaches in the morning, you will have better sleep, better quality of life…etc. but do not expect to get married just because you lost the weight, or get the job you wanted just because you did so (unless that job is a personal trainer of course). This means that you shouldn’t be doing this for anything else but yourself. Let being healthy and feeling good about yourself be the sole purpose of weight loss.
  9. Weight loss has its own problems. So it’s not just that it won’t solve all your problems, but it might even add more to the pile. How? You might start having body image issues, or start obsessing about calories, or even develop anxiety because of it. Also there are times when you might hit a weight loss plateau or lose motivation. I am not trying to scare you, I just want you to be prepared psychologically for this. And I am not saying that you WILL face these problems, I am just saying that you might.
  10. People be mean, people be nice! You will notice after losing weight how people will start to treat you differently. Those people who were against the idea at the beginning will probably start cheering you on by now. It’s not as nice as you might imagine. It actually sucks! This just shows how shallow people are. I gotta admit that when I lost weight and people around me changed the way they think of me I was happy at first, but then I was angry. Why should they assume that I am a better person now since I am thinner? I am almost the same person, but they decided to give me a chance just because I look different now? Smh!
  11. You gotta get used to numbers. Are you good at Math? Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a genius to do this. Weight loss involves simple but effective calculations. The basic equation is: burn more calories than you consume. Of course that involves calculating your BMR, your caloric intake, the calories burnt during exercise…etc in order to be able to know how much you can lose per week. I suggest you keep a journal where you record all that along with your weekly progress. It will help you to stay on track and know where you went wrong if you’re not losing weight or gaining some back.
  12. You need to do your homework. As I said at the beginning this is a journey. So if you are planning for a trip to somewhere new, will you just take your car and go? Of course not! You have to prepare first. You search on the internet about your destination, you try to find the best way to get there, you ask people who have gone there before, you pack the things you need to take with you, and all those preparations. It’s the same thing for weight loss. You have to gather as much information as you can, ask others for advice, read success stories, read about health, fitness, nutrition, well-being, and do all that you need in order to be armed with knowledge enough to successfully kick start this journey.

I know that some of the points I’ve stated might have surprised you, but I don’t want you to be discouraged. You have to accept the truth and work hard to get what you want. We all know that life was never easy. Finally, I wish you the best of luck with your weight loss plans and I hope all your goals and dreams come true.

Have a healthy life.
Cheers!

Note: this post is intended for adults with normal health conditions.
Some people have health conditions (e.g. thyroid problems) or take medications that might make them gain weight. Overweight or obese children under 18 shouldn’t be reading this; their parents should be taking responsibility for their weight problems.

The Spirit of a Fisherman

I was spending a day at the shore when a fisherman caught my attention. He would repeatedly throw his bait in the sea and roll the reel back to get his catch. I had no idea what he was doing, and still don’t to be honest. I think it was some kind of recreational fishing, or maybe he was practicing or something. I am not a fan of fishing, and that’s not the point of this post. What caught my attention and what I want to talk about is the act itself. He threw the bait many times and every time he’d get nothing. Still, he’d throw it over and over again while keeping a smile on his face. As I said before, I couldn’t understand what he was trying to do, but it inspired me somehow.

We all face situations in life where we fail, get frustrated, and decide to quit. In other words, we decide to stop trying. We would set goals and get determined to achieve them, but in the middle of the drive we would just stop! Why? Here are some reasons why we stop trying:
– We can’t see the point of going further anymore
– We no more have the enthusiasm we had at the beginning of the journey
– We don’t have enough will to go on
so quitting becomes easier and justified. Let’s say you started a project and was so excited at first, then in the middle of it your performance started to slack off. You no more feel enthusiastic as before and start slowly to get off track. Or maybe you are trying to lose weight, you eat healthy and exercise but you are not really seeing the results you were aiming for. It makes you angry and want to reach for the nearest box of donuts. You assume that since you’re not as thin as you imagined you’d be by now your effort is in vain. That’s not true of course! What you’ve been doing is called trying. Trying is your way to reach your goals. If you are going to give up from your first failed attempt, then don’t expect to get what you want. The difference between successful people and failures is that successful people never give up. They never get tired of trying over and over again to see the results they’ve been wishing to see. Let me remind you of a quote by Thomas Edison: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

I decided to take the fisherman as an inspiration for patience and persistence. Let’s look at it that way:
the act of throwing the bait in the sea equals trying. He doesn’t know for sure if he’s gonna get a catch. But he will never know if he doesn’t take a shot, right? Then he pulls back to see what he got. Now there are two scenarios here. The first scenario he will have a big fish right in front of him. The other one is he will end up with an empty hand. If the second scenario happened would it be the right thing for him to put the fishing rod down and start crying over how he couldn’t catch a fish? No! He would try again and again until he catches something, and it doesn’t matter how long it will take him. The only thing that matters is that he does not quit before he gets what he wants.

So if you are tired of looking for jobs for example, remember the fisherman. Throw your CV, resume, cover letter…etc into the sea of companies and wait till someone swallows the bait. Even if you did not get accepted from the first try, don’t give up. Take another shot and stay optimistic. Always remember: don’t ever stop trying until you see the results you were anticipating. And trust me, all your failed attempts will pay off at the end. The most important thing is to learn from it and use it as your way to a foolproof performance. When you feel like quitting or start to lack the enthusiasm, just remember how important your goal is and how sweet it will be when you finally achieve it. So let’s all have the spirit of a fisherman and go get the catch!