40 Things I learned In 2013

So this is it, the last day of 2013. This year has been a rollercoaster ride. So many ups and downs, but I sure enjoyed the ride. I feel that I achieved a lot and learned a lot during this year, and I definitely not the same person I was in 2012. This was actually the best year in my life so far. Reading my diary I realized that there were so many lessons learned this year. I wanna share these lessons with you. Here is the list:

  1. Your health should be a priority.
  2. Plan, plan, plan. You have to plan what you are going to do in next week, month, year…etc. Planning is important even if you didn’t follow the plan. It shows you where you are and where you wanna be. It makes it easy to see your goals and sort your priorities.
  3. Sometimes some people will be hard on you, but it’s just because they want you to work harder to become better.
  4. If you want to really know someone, stop listening to what people say about them and go find the truth yourself.
  5. If you want to accomplish something or reach a goal you have to want it so bad, everything then will work out. Drink it in, breathe it, dream about it, and live it until it becomes your reality.
  6. Some people are just there to waste your time with meaningless conversations and gossip. Either cut them from your life, or don’t give them more time than they deserve.
  7. If you want to do something, just go for it (as long as it’s legal and not against your religion or beliefs). Life is too short, why wait?
  8. If you woke up one winter day and saw sunshine, go out and enjoy it! Trust me it will help.
  9. If there’s a certain activity that you don’t need or you don’t make much out of doing it, then just remove it from your schedule to find room for more important stuff.
  10. Tough times will show you who your real friends are.
  11. Gratitude.
  12. Try to empathize more with others, show compassion even if you they’re not close friends.
  13. There are some things in life that should be left as it is; it can’t be fixed. The same goes for people.
  14. Stop being so hard on yourself.
  15. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel.
  16. Do not let anyone or anything distract you from your path.
  17. Sometimes your brain should make the decision, not your heart. (Although a lot might disagree with me on this one).
  18. Live in the moment, just live in the moment for God’s sake!
  19. Learn to listen, people will appreciate it.
  20. Help others, it will make you feel more human.
  21. Spend more time with your family; these are precious moments.
  22. Negative criticism, prejudice, suspiciousness, and apathy are BAD! They will eventually consume you.
  23. Celebrate more.
  24. There’s a thin line between interest and obsession.
  25. Learn to give sincere compliments, it might make somebody’s day or even save a life.
  26. Take things slowly.
  27. Do not base your happiness on something or someone, because you might end up heartbroken or disappointed. Happiness always, and I repeat always, comes from within.
  28. Forgiveness is important, but learning to apologize when you’re wrong is vital.
  29. Learn to accept rejection; it’s not the end of the world.
  30. Sometimes you need to take a time out, get away from everything, and just relax.
  31. Make a time in your schedule to do the things that you love, it will keep you alive.
  32. Spirituality is way more important than material possessions.
  33. If a job is draining your energy and doesn’t teach you anything new, quit it if you can.
  34. It’s not a shame to ask others for advice.
  35. What works for others might not work for you. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
  36. Learn to let go and move on; it is an essential part of life.
  37. Most of the time it’s better not to get involved in other people’s personal choices or decisions.
  38. Do not create delusions and live as if they’re real. It’s just in your head, so it’s your problem.
  39. When you feel there’s so much pressure or stress in your life, start reading fiction or watch a drama series. It eases the pain of reality.
  40. Keep a journal/diary/memoir/scrapbook…etc. It’s good for self-reflecting and keeping of memories.

Finally I wish you all a happy new year full of excitement, success, and good times.

A Month Without Coffee

As I mentioned in the post My Detoxing Experiment, I’ve decided to quit coffee. Today marks the end of my first month without my favorite drink. Since I became totally caffeine free, I thought it might be a good idea to try a cup today to see how it will affect me. Well first, before I tell you what happened I am going to share with you how things went during the past month.

The past month

The reasons why I decided to quit are mentioned in the above post. And how did I quit? I did it Cold turkey. I know it’s not the right way but I just felt like this way would suit me more. The first two weeks were the worst. I am a coffee lover, meaning that I love its aroma in the morning and my breakfast will not be complete without it. I also used to occasionally drink an afternoon cup of Turkish coffee or espresso. I hated the caffeine but I loved the coffee, and since it was a part of it (please don’t even suggest decaf) I had to get used to it. Apparently it affected my body badly, but I was already addicted to coffee and didn’t notice. So the first two weeks I was a zombie. I craved the smell, the taste, I wanted my morning cup! And because I couldn’t have it I didn’t feel like eating breakfast, so I skip it. Then comes lunch, still no appetite. I’d have a quick snack though. Even when it’s time for dinner I still don’t feel like eating a full meal. Then when it’s late at night I start to get hungry, so I eat anything there. Few bites from this, few bites from that, but not a decent meal. So my eating pattern was disrupted and my diet was destroyed, and I’d end up with only 400 to 600 consumed calories. I also would feel tired and fatigued through out the day. Those were the withdrawal symptoms. And because I suffered from these symptoms I was glad I actually made the decision to quit drinking coffee. During the third week I started to eat more, and by the time it was the fourth week I was eating breakfast again. Now I completely recovered from the caffeine withdrawal.

Today

I thought that a cup in the morning wouldn’t hurt, I mean what’s the worst that can happen? More visits to the restroom? So I made the stupid decision and prepared my (used to be) usual 8oz of black coffee. I had it with breakfast, and to be honest I didn’t feel anything special when I drank it. I missed the smell though, that was the best part. Anyway, half an hour after I finished breakfast I felt dehydrated. I had to drink about two cups of water to quench my thirst. Then two hours later my stomach started to get upset. Three hours in and the madness begun. I felt my heart beats started to increase, and I’d suddenly feel like I can’t breathe. I became very tense. I started to move back and forth, I felt like running fast and jumping off a cliff. It took me two hours to get back to normal. I had no idea that caffeine can do that to me. Bear in mind that my diet is caffeine free; I don’t consume any soft drinks, tea, energy drinks…etc. Coffee (before I quit it) was the only source of caffeine in my diet. So yeah, the dose today was too much for me.

The conclusion

It was a good decision to quit coffee. Will I ever drink it again? Probably yeah, but it will be occasional and something like a latte or a cappuccino, nothing stronger than that. I might even go for decaf. By the way, regular consumption of decaf coffee (as far as I know) is unhealthy, but since it will be something occasional I might try it. But I have to admit that it saddens me to know that my favorite drink could do all this to my health. I’ve always loved coffee and still do, but I have to let go, it’s for the best. What a tragic love story…

P.S: I have no idea what I’m gonna do with a 200g jar of my favorite instant coffee, a bag of instant coffee sachets, a jar of Arabica ground coffee, and a jar of Robusta ground coffee sitting in the kitchen cupboard.

My Detoxing Experiment

Three weeks ago I started a detoxing experiment. Weeks before that I wasn’t exactly eating healthy and I stopped exercising. I also gained 4 kgs (about 9 lbs) and I was afraid I am going back to my old unhealthy habits. So I decided to change again, but I needed something to signal to my body that this is the beginning of a new phase. I wanted to detox and clean my digestive system from the impurities, and this was my plan:

Day 1: Fast and drink only cleansing drink
Day 2: Start eating again. Only fruits.
Day 3: Fruits and vegetables.
Day 4: Fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates.
Day 5: Fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fats/oils.
Day 6: Fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, fats/oils, and proteins.
Day 7: Fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fats/oils, proteins, and dairy products.

So you see the pattern here; every day I introduce a new food group to my body. I thought this would be a suitable way to teach my body about the different food groups and how to enjoy real food again. As for the cleansing drink, it was basically lemon, orange, and mint water. So, you’re probably wondering now how this went. Well, it was HORRIBLE!!

First day: I was starving and had no energy to do anything. And let’s not forget that I was not to drink coffee for the rest of the week. Beside that the cleansing drink is plain disgusting. I admit that this experiment was the silliest thing I’ve ever attempted.
Second day: I lost a kilo (2.2 lbs) in just one day (of course water weight). I was happy to be eating food again, but it wasn’t enough to provide me with my daily energy requirement.
Third day: I decided to quit coffee for good, because I noticed how I craved it and how I felt crappy in the morning if I didn’t have my usual cup. I don’t want to be addicted to any food or drink.
Fourth day: I was finally eating carbohydrates again. I was very happy, and I had more energy.
The rest of the days were the same.

Overall, this was an unpleasant experience and I don’t think I’ll ever attempt it again. I also do NOT recommend it. But I won’t lie to you, I did learn few things during that week.

1) I learned the importance of eating not only a healthy diet, but a balanced one too. The human body needs ALL the food groups in the right amounts. So the low-carb diets and things like that are dumb! I also learned to introduce more greens to my diet to help digestion and clean the colon. I used to love carbs the most, but now I appreciate each food group.

2) Coffee is bad for you! Although I love it more than anything in the world, I have to admit that it’s not good for your body. Some of the withdrawal symptoms I had: fatigue, loss of appetite, mood swings. I will probably drink coffee again, but I’ll make it occasional. So yeah, goodbye morning cup!

Now I am back to my healthy habits and feel better. I lost 3 kgs (about 7 lbs) in the past two weeks.

Paul Walker: An Inspiring Life

I assume everyone by now heard the news about the car crash and the death of 40-year-old actor Paul Walker (famous for his role as Brian O’Conner in Fast & Furious movies). It’s shocking for many people because he died at a young age and had a lot of fans worldwide. To be honest I wasn’t a huge fan of Paul Walker, but what I learnt after his death is that he was more than just a Hollywood star. This post is not about Paul Walker the actor, but about Paul Walker the person. It’s not about death, it’s about life.

I was checking Facebook and noticed a lot of posts about Paul Walker today, one of them is this post by the trainer Josef Gloor known as “Joey” from MTV’s I Used To Be Fat

pw3

and when I checked Reach Out Worldwide page I found this (click on the image to see it clearer)

pw1

Bill Townsend (an entrepreneur) commented as follows

pw2

then I realized he was a humanitarian loved by many people and wanted to change the world to a better place.

I decided to Google him to know more about his philanthropy work and these are some of the stuff I found

“In March 2010, Walker went to Chile, specifically to Constitución, to offer his help and support to the people injured in the 8magnitudeearthquake that struck on February 27”

“He also flew with his humanitarian aid team, REACH OUT Worldwide, to Haiti to lend a helping hand to the 2010 Haiti earthquake victims”

“Walker founded REACH OUT Worldwide in January 2010, following the Haiti earthquake. Its mission is simple: to offer help and hope to people affected by natural disasters.”

“Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker had a heart of gold and has left behind a charity legacy matched by few.” http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11183-paul-walkers-charity-legacy

As you can see he was a giving and caring person who should be taken as a role model. Also he apparently was a person who loved life and lived it to the fullest. Some of his quotes

“You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae.”

“Surfing soothes me, it’s always been a kind of Zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful, and awesome. The rest of the world disappears for me when I’m on a wave.”

“My philosophy is: If you can’t have fun, there’s no sense in doing it.”

“I’m not afraid of anything. That’s just the way I am.”

We can all learn a lesson from him on how to enjoy life and not just live for ourselves but for others and for the rest of the world. We always have to remember that our lives can end unexpectedly, but what remains from us after death is what we offered to the world around us.

R.I.P Paul Walker