Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fat / Skinny

I have had battle with the bulge back and forth for over a decade or so.I was buying larger clothing sizes every other month, I went from size 34 in pants waist all the way to size 46, that is 12 extra sizes, I went from size 38 long in suit jackets all the way to size 46 regular, that is 8 extra sizes on the shoulders. My shoes size went from 9 to 11 triple e. I was starting to have trouble with my left knee, my lower back was aching all the time to the point where I was having trouble walking for a short distance, I was constantly having a heart burn, I would get up at night feeling like something is chocking me, my wife abandoned the bed room because she said that she couldn't stand my snoring all night long, my daughter refused to go with me to her school to pick up her report card for the fear that her girl friends would make fun of her because of her dad being too fat, I was getting to the point where I was unable to do any of the work around my house areas --such as cutting the grass, trimming the trees, and sweeping the leaves. All I wanted to do is eat and stuff my stomach with food. I was constantly shopping for food, the food was falling out of the refrigerator when you open the door while I'm still going from store to store buying more meat, more chicken, more fish, and plenty of sugar and rice. My situation was getting ridiculous by the day, every one I meet tells me that I ballooned a lot lately but all of their remarks were falling on my deaf ears. I just didn't want to hear that I was fat, I thought that I'm still in control of the situation, and while I can see that I'm a little over weight I still felt that it was manageable.. Then In February of this year 2006, that is about ten months ago, something clicked in my head and told me enough is enough, you have got to lose all that darn weight that you have been carrying around for several years now. And lo and behold, over night I stopped eating like a pig, I started by cutting down on my carbohydrates intake, i kissed the potato, the rice, and the bread good buy. Then I moved to the glucose intake, I kissed the sugar good buy, that was the most difficult one to give up since I used to love my tea and my coffee real sweet. I'm not kidding you I used to put about 4 or 5 spoons of sugar on a small cup of tea. It is a thing of the past now. From there I reduced my saturated fat intake to 6 oz per week, be that fish, chicken, or meat. I switched from eating solid food to soups. I started eating lots and lots of salads, something that I used to hate eating in the past. I added lots of fruit to my nutritional intake, oranges, apples, carrots, pears, and so on and so forth. I started drinking plenty of fluids, mainly water, about 64 oz per day, water helps flush many of the food we eat, but since I grew up in Jordan and the water was always scarce there, I wasn't used to drinking plenty of water. I started walking briskly for about an hour a day, sometimes an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, that is on my days off. I gave up all of the sweet stuff. My meal portions have become smaller and smaller day after day. Within the first month I started feeling the difference, my waist size was getting smaller by about two sizes. In April I was in Jordan visiting my family and I happened to be there while the Jordan Planet monthly meeting was taking place. I sent an email to Roba and I advised her that I'll be attending the meeting but then on that fateful day I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I was still fat looking and I shouldn't expose myself to the Jordan Planet gang members while I was still fat, so I decided not to go to the meeting, I also never wrote back to Roba to advise her why didn't I show up for the meeting[ sorry Roba]. Now we all know the reason, I simply was embarrassed from being too fat. At least by my own standards, as I may or may not have looked fat for some people but nevertheless it mattered what I thought of myself at the time. Any way by June which is 4 months later, most of clothes were starting to look big on me as the effect of the diet was starting to work, and all of that excess fat was melting away, only then did I start to believe that I'm inching toward my goal, so I continued with my strict food intake, daily walks, plenty of fluids diet. I started buying clothes in a reverse order, down to size 44 from 46, down to 42, to 40, 38, 36, 34, I now even can fit in size 32 pants but I don't want to push it. All of this ladies and gentlemen took place in about 7 months, I set out on one single diet and exercise course and stayed with it until I achieved my goal. Today I'm happy to announce that as of September 1, 2006 I'm fully emancipated from the dreadful heart burn that used to wake me up at night thinking that I was having a heart attack, my knee is no longer bothering me, my back feels great I can walk for miles and miles without feeling tired, my wife has come back to sleep with me in the same bed because she said that she doesn't hear any kind of snoring at night, and my daughter is proud of me for becoming a skinny dad again. I feel so much better, so much lighter, I can move around much easier, I can climb a fifty story stairwell without panting at all. I'm so much at peace with my self, carrying all that weight around was a burden that I had to contend with for many years. I'm pleased to announce that I got rid of 50 kilos. I used to weigh 140 kilos and now I weigh only 90 kilo. What a difference seven months can make. I look completely like a different person, those who used to know me before can't believe their own eyes, somebody the other day asked me: Whatever happened to the other half of you?! Some other people don't recognize me at all, some say that I look too skinny, and so on but It matters what I think and I really like myself right now more than any other time before, no one is going to be able to shake my confidence any more, I don't need to hide behind difficult vocabularies that are only discern able to the select few. I'm what I'm and I'm proud of it. May be one day I'll post the before and the after pictures and let you decide for yourselves, as for now, I'll just leave it like that.


PALFORCE said...

WOW Hatem!!

Good job and way to go man.

I'm you 10 months ago. LOL

I tried everything I cant get myself on anything, but I knew about cutting on bread and suger and walking thingy but I still cant get myself to do it, I need to start maybe this would be my new resolution .

Thank you for the inspirational post and mabrook .


Iman said...

Hey Hatem, good luck!

by the way, I'm trying to remember if I've ever seen you around ... at either community functions and/or meetings..I was under the impression that you're tall (over 6 feet) and slender..I'm not sure, I could be mistaken!

kinzi said...

Hatem, are you for real? WOW!! Amazing how men can just make a decision and do it. That kind of decisiveness AND metabolism are gifts from God.

But remember it will come back if you return to ALL the former habits.

Hey, with you, Iman and Qwaider flying through regularly, there are enough JP folk for a meet-up!

Hatem Abunimeh said...

Palforce, Iman, and Kinzi : Thank you for stpping by.

Palforce: No body can tell you what to do, you need to realize on your own that your looks aren't what they should be, only then will you start doing something about it. When you are satisfied with your looks you aren't going to change it.As soon as you become dissatisfied-- that is when you will do something about it.

Iman: I'm exactly 6 feet tall and weigh 178 Lb. You are proably thinking about the year 2000 when the second Plaestinian intifada broke out and we had all of those community functions, even back then I was a little chubby but not any where near where I was few months ago, between 2000 and 2006, I must have gained extra 80 lbs. any way it is over and done with now, thank God. How is your sister Maryam doing? She used to write a lot but I haven't seen anything for her lately.

Kinzi: You are absolutely right, Qwaider has already started the trend and soon we will follow his foot steps as far as the meeting are concerned, I want to call for one to be held at Jeffra Cafe, I don't know if it is large enough for large size audience, but that would be my first meeting place choice, the second choice would be the dead sea. Inshallah soon we will meet.

Iman said...

for some reason, I can't really put a face to you! maybe if I see you, I'll remember!

Maryam is doing well ...she's active in her own way I guess. But I think we, in general, are not as energetic about involvement as in the past!

You should bring the family to the UHLF Annual Bowling event on Dec. 23rd. it's usually a lot of fun. Let me know if you'd be interested.

Hatem Abunimeh said...

Can you furnish me with more information about this bowling event. How on earth are you going to remember me when you met me only once in a life time more than 6.5 years ago. I'll remind though : On that fateful evening we had a stormy debate about suicide bombing and whether it was useful deterrent or nothing but an act of self immolation. By the way : Did you meet Bo3 Bo3 when he came to Chicago? He posted something about being at Tuscany reasturant, a place which is less that 100 yards from my office, but I didn't know that he was coming. In additition, Qwaider was in town too, did you get to meet him! My daughter would probably like bowling but I'm not sure.

Iman said...

was it in the center on 79th? I don't remember...

The bowling will be at Orland Bowl - 159th and Harlem I believe. 9pm, on Sat, 12-23. Tickets are @ $25 and include 3 games, pizza, soft drinks, and shoe rental.

I have not met bo3bo3 and I have not met Qwaider.

You're not too far from my work either!

Hatem Abunimeh said...

Thanks for the info Iman. Yeah it was the 79th street center, way back when. I thought I read something once before in your blog stating that you are with some kind of a state agency but where exactly are you located. I'm at 1140 South Morgan. Right by the Physical education building.

kinzi said...

This world is TOO SMALL!! You guys know each other? Is it an Arab club or something?

Actually Hatem, I meant to write the first ever Chicago JP meet-up! But if you are coming, I think Khalidah plans these things around people's visits, so it sounds great!

hamede said...

Good job,what college did you went tow,i lived in chicago for 16 years went to loop college on 64 e lake st.

Hatem Abunimeh said...


I'm a graduate of and employed by the University of Illinois at Chicago.

hamede said...

What year did you graduate.

Hatem Abunimeh said...

I987. College of Liberal Arts and sciences

Summer said...

Hatem...i should say Mabrouk! really inspiring story.
i have never had a weight problem but sometimes i wish i had! kind of strange wish but i think working towards your goal is a very satisfying thing!
i am happy for you and for your family too..inshallah you will be around them for a long time. i am sure you turned your life around with very simple changes in your life style. best of luck and keep it up.

21stCenturyShea said...


You are to be congratulated. I have waged a losing battle to lose 20 pounds. You put me to shame.