My name is Mohammed Faisal Al Qassemi and I have lost around 90 kilograms. I had planned this to be a bit comedic but I don’t think the joke would translate well if worded.
For a very VERY long time, probably most of my life, I kept doubting myself for what I’m able to do. So, I secluded myself with minimum to average passing grades in school, minimum to average skills in art-related activities, basically minimum to average anything in anything. I never really flourished and that was because I’ve always doubted myself to be something. To be someone. But ever since I started this journey, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I learned that anxiety is both a bad and good thing to understand (more on this later), I’ve learned that people can easily influence you, and that your environment is one of the most important things to choose when you want to understand yourself. Let’s start with influence, environment, and finish it off with about anxiety and mindsets.
Influence from others
It’s obvious that we take influence from things we grew up with or people we know or know of as well. But getting influenced by people that inspire you can really change you. So much so that I am now writing this. I didn’t even think that I’d be doing this. But, the influences of wanting people to be happy in their lives are way too strong to not make me want to.
Influences can be a funny thing. Being influenced by your friends and family to shape you, and now with these influences, you get to shape yourself with more precise and clear designs. You’ve been shaped up to be what others expect, shape yourself to show who you really are and influence them.
In my context of environment, which is your location where you feel the most attuned or comfortable, if you have the right people that influence you, then make sure the environment influences you as well. In my beginning of Innerfight, I was introduced to André Houdet and Mohammed Qassim. They were excited that I was getting into a new lifestyle and new healthy future, but I wasn’t. I was nervous, filled with anxiety, and wondering when I’ll fall off the wagon by doubting myself again.
Being around Andre filled me with determination, courage and eagerness to shed off this weight and burden. My self doubt was being diminished. Then over the few weeks I met Ben, Carmen, Matt, Marcus, Mia, Phil and all the other employees if Innerfight and each one influencing me differently. At that point I didn’t care of what I used to be, I cared about what I was going to be. What I will be. Being around the environment of Innerfight has shown me what I’m capable of. What I’m learning. What I’m doing. My laziness imploded into an explosion of ambitions and dreams, of actual wants and needs, of joy and determination. I was in the right environment.
Anxiety is your frenemy
I cannot exclaim to be a professional about anxiety, but I’ll give you of what I know. I’ve been a worrywort all my life. I get worried over friends, family, what I’m eating, what I’m doing, and the benefits of my new lifestyle. I worry more times per day than every 100 mls of water I have per day. Enough so that I feel overly stressed and filled with pressure in my body. But I’ve learned through my journey that anxiety can be a good thing. At very opportune times. They affect me in ways like warnings, reminders, or what to focus on. Whenever I eat, I am reminded of my nutrition plan. When I worry about a walk, I am reminded not to over do it due to my knee injury. When I’m worried about my form, it helps me focus on it and learn it. I guess Anxiety (in this context) is like a really glutenous doughnut covered with maple bacon, nutella and peanut butter. It tastes way too good, but it’s ridiculously unhealthy to indulge yourself with that, so pick apart before it ruins your body.
Mind your mindset
With all this, your influences, your chosen environment, and controlling your anxiety, your mindset now changes according to what you’ve done. On what you’ve turned into. And never let that idea go. If you feel anxious that you cheated on your diet, own up to it and go forward knowing that you can be better. If you stopped working out for a while and gained a bit of chub, get back to the wagon filled with your hopes and dreams and pull it with determination. You have to work on who you are and never let go of who you used to be. Learn from that fat child who grew up fatter and fatter. I have.
And with much love and support, Moh.
“If no one believes that you can do it, I believe you can do it!”