First half-marathon experience


I want to lose weight! Maybe I will just go to run!

Since I was a teenager, I was always little fat girl. Comparing to my cousin and my best friend, I was always seeing myself as fat child, later girl and women. I was always thinking it is impossible for me to start some sports, exercise or even stop eating junk food, and especially start eating healthy food. For my family, there is moto – if you eat a lot you’re healthy and if you eat less it’s sign of unhealthiness. I grow up in this environment. And it was hard to push all those thoughts away and start living different lifestyle.

And I have to admit, I was never sports person. Ok, I loved to play volleyball with friends. But just once in a month of even less. And it was just for fun, without any goal. Truth is I was always lazy and not motivated enough. I was blaming and hating my own body. I hated that I had to buy clothes for older women, because they don’t have my number of clothes I wished. I hated that I could never look good on photos, because I was fat. I knew this, I knew I was fat. But everyone around me was saying, no you’re not, you’re in the middle. So, whenever I start to do something about my weight, these comments would make me quit. People around me made me quit every time. I never had any support from anyone.


But all that changed when I came to USA. After I got married, I became pregnant and after pregnancy I gained almost 25 pounds (11-12 kg) more than I had before, which was already too much. And it was huge change. I couldn’t fit in any of my clothes, I was so passive, inactive, lazy. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. But thanks to my husband, who supported me from beginning, I started running first. It happened in October 2017. I went for my first run, early in the morning. My husband left to school, and I took my baby, put her in strollers and went to park. Yeah, first I started running with strollers. I begin my run, and one minute later I stopped, I couldn’t even run more than a minute, in one breath. I was so sad and angry at the same time. But I continued walking. Then, next day I tried again. And day after it again and again. Until one day I run and walked for two miles, and I was so happy. It was huge improvement for me. I noticed I can run better. But what I didn’t noticed is my weight change. I was again so depressed. Even after one month, two months of running it is not changing. But I liked running. It made me so alive. It was like flying for me. And then winter came. Being depressed because I’m not losing weight made me quit running. Now I wish I never did this, but I did.  And I didn’t run for about 2-3 months.


But again, I felt really bad, I am still just gaining weight, not losing. I was reading everyday what to do to lose weight. And I would say, ok this one seems easy I should to this. And next morning I would start dieting, exercising at home, but until the dinner I would be tired and I would take that hidden chocolate and I would finish it. And blaming myself again and again. But doing the same thing every day. And it was like this for a while. Until one day I didn’t apply for gym. I said, ok I gave money for this, and I need to use it as much as possible. (or it’s going to be wasted) And I started going to gym 3-4 times a week. And it was good. Great actually. And all this was followed with healthy diet. But then one day I said, maybe I could go outside and run. And I did it. It was at the end of February. And after that day I am running 5-6 times a week. I enjoy running. What’s pray for soul, it’s running for the body, I say. Every time I come back I feel happy, full of energy and feeling so proud of myself. Being impressed seeing how time and effort are bringing results.

Than one day I decided to apply for half marathon. I knew I could easily do 5K or 10K, but I wanted to test my limits and try a half.

Trail run

I spend around two months preparing for it and I did it. And I have to tell you the feeling is incredible. I was even crying at the end. Crying from happiness. This was my Boston Marathon (goal of all runners), I might never reach that goal, but even this one was huge for me. But trust me, if I could do it, I am sure you can do it too.


When I applied, I saw sign ‘trail run’. I never run on this kind of field, but I said I want to try it. I am usually running on the streets, without any jumping or climbing. But in this half marathon there were a lot of it. It was run throughout the woods, single road and lots of mud. But it made it fun for running. It wasn’t boring. And what I realized it’s much easier to run with someone, it doesn’t have to be someone you know, but just someone running similar pace as you do. I found one person, and around 8 miles (13 km) I was behind her. Then I got tired, and stayed behind. The rest 5 miles (8 km) were hard. I was making intervals of running and walking. But I made it. And I was done, being 6-th in my age group. When I finished, my legs were still fine, I was just walking around for a while, stretching and drinking water.


Everything was fine, until I arrived home, after I rest. My legs got relaxed, and then pain in my knees started. It was really hard. I couldn’t even walk properly and my daughter wants me to go out, to play. And I did. The same day I went outside with her, for a small walk. I think it was good for me. It was hurting, but I wasn’t giving up. Next day, I didn’t feel any pain in my knee, but I felt in my thighs. So, I did some yoga, to stretch those muscles. I gave rest for two days, and today, third day after the run I went outside and run 3 miles (5K). it was good run and I am back on the tracks again.


Forget the face! You can’t look good in running photos 🙂 

Why am I doing it?

Some of my friends, and even my family members asked me why you’re doing this? Why do you need this? Answer is simple, I want different lifestyle, I want to have this energy for a long time after. I want to prove myself, not anyone else, that I can do it, that this body can do amazing things, and all that with my hijab. This feeling of achievement, of winning is something I don’t want to lose. Yes, my primary goal was to lose weight, but now it’s not just that. I want to be active, I want my children to learn they should take care of their body as well as their soul. I want them to have a head start, which I didn’t, and start while they’re young. I want them to be proud of me and be better than me. That’s what I want, and that’s why I do it.





People around me


Lately I got asked a lot what were my experiences after the new president came.
Well in this post I’m going to tell you what I’ve been through. When I first heard that new president is coming, and when I heard his ideas towards Muslims, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that one person like that could be allowed to be president. But then I heard some of his other ideas, and some of them make sense, but generally I thought he cannot be new president. After he was chosen I was even more shocked. And even more when I saw he won in Texas. But then, it was obvious, because here people are mostly conservative and he is coming from conservative party.
Then I was just praying that nothing of the things he said is not going to happen. There are lots of politicians saying one thing and doing another. I was praying he’s now one of them. But then he made this huge ban for seven Muslim countries. That was a first time I really felt fear. I’m not coming from any of these countries, nether my husband does, but just thinking about all those Muslims who are not able to see their families, or if they were visiting them and can’t come back, made me so sad and frustrated. After this ban happened I was scared about people’s reactions here in States.
But I was positively surprised. I never expected this kind of support and encouragement. In each city, small and big, there were protests against this ban. I went to one protest, here in CS, TX. And people there were coming to me, asking for hug. Saying you’re welcomed here. And there were more non-Muslims than Muslims. And that my heart filed with warmth. There are still good people in this world. They stand with us, fight with us. And that means a lot.

After this ban, I was scared people might become more aggressive towards us, they might agree with their president and want us gone. Especially after that one mosque here in Texas was burned. But nothing of it happened. Contrary, people are more kind and more respectful than ever. After this, they just became more interested in us, trying to learn more about us. And that all gives a hope.


When you’re trying to take photo but your baby girl want you to take her sippy cup

I was never ashamed of my hijab. I was always proud of it. Now even more, when people see you’re fighting for something and you’re standing on the ground for things you believe in, they will also support you. And they will be there to fight with you too. And we’re grateful for people like that.


I just wish that people read more and learn more about Muslims and hijab. We’re just like you, we laugh, cry, have families, we love others and just above everything we love Allah, One and the Only God. I am just like any other women, I like to look nice, I like fashion, make up, jewelry, shopping and more. It’s just that I am combining my hijab with all that. And by hijab I don’t mean just headscarf, I mean full body coverage clothes and behavior that flows it. Modesty is our key. Hijab is who we am, and it will always be part of our identity.