Thursday, July 6, 2017

Saving My Saviour


She saved me, from me, from myself, from my lost self, from my evil self, from my fake self...

All it took was a few smiles, a few laughs, a few transparent and open and sincere conversations... and she saved me...

It was quick, deep, profound, and real... Destiny in the making, as if she was sent for me... and I was meant for her...

She saved me, and I gave her back everything... so fast... that it was too good to be true!!!

My troubled self did not go away completely though... I struggled, up and down, back and forth, strong then weak, determined then lost, and more lost, and deeper lost…


She stayed the course, she stayed there for me, to support me and empower me, receive me after every failure and every mistake and every disappointment and every hurt... She was my loving and forgiving Saviour... Always...

But I kept on dragging my Saviour down, letting her down, hurting her, slapping her in the face, times and times again... not intentionally!!! But does it matter, intentional or not?!?!

How can you hurt someone who saved you, brought you to life, again and again... how can you fail to appreciate and cherish someone who gave you every good and every beautiful thing in your life…

But I kept doing it... Until my Saviour started falling apart!!! Yes, I failed her to that extent... Neither I, nor anyone around could believe it, or accept, or forgive me for it... I did not forgive myself either, and will never ask for forgiveness...

Instead, I changed course, I stood strong, determined to learn from my mistakes, and save myself, and her... Yes, I went on a mission to Save my Saviour back!!!

And I succeeded, for a while, then failed, back and forth... Because no one is perfect, no one can avoid mistakes and failures... To Err Is Human... But... Success after failure, I kept reminding myself of my true Saviour at the days when it all started, I kept getting strength and power and passion from the days when my Saviour was relentless, never giving up on me... I gained inspiration from her, to be strong, and make her strong again…

I saw things and felt things no one could ever see or feel… I lived it, touched it, loved it… Some around us never believed that either of us can be saved!! Some around us never believed any of this is real and genuine… And they intervened, they destroyed, they interrupted, they damaged, they harmed, intentionally or not, they did… Still, we believed in saving each other, in turns, together, one after another… And we kept doing it… Even at the closest moments to utter failure, when the evil company and the doubters predicted the end, even when one of us gave up, one of us always saved the other... and US...

Now it's my turn... I made it my undeniable purpose and priority, to save her, and me, and US... and nothing will ever stop me, whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes... For I always see it, the power of my true Saviour, in every song, every picture, every feeling, every memory, every emotion... It is there, and will always be there...

It is the power of True Love... That never ceases to exist...

And against all odds, Love Always Prevails...

To Genuine, Deep, and True Love...


Cheers everyone...

BISS

Saturday, October 22, 2016

LOVE is beautiful...


Look deep into your lives, dig up your memories, try to relive those happiest moments of your life... And you will find that it all involved one common feeling and sensation: It is without a doubt LOVE...

And by LOVE, I don't mean only the love between couples!! It is every kind of love that we may experience: LOVE of your work, LOVE of your favourite movie, LOVE of your sports teams, LOVE of your car or hobby, LOVE of your country, LOVE of your city, neighbourhood, restaurant, cafe, spot, LOVE of your pet, LOVE of your family, LOVE of your children, LOVE of your partner, spouse, or soulmate...

LOVE in all its forms brings the Beauty in us... LOVE takes us to levels of happiness we can never imagine possible... LOVE shakes up every norm in our lives... LOVE breaks all the rules that we live by... LOVE changes every logic and every belief that stood against every other force in our lives... LOVE is so powerful in ways I can never describe... And most probably neither can anyone of you, right??

You can try to claim the opposite, refuse the whole notion that LOVE is so powerful, or even argue that LOVE doesn't truly exist!! Normally I would say that I respect your point of view... But in this one, I would actually say politely that you are a fool if you believe so... Apologies, but you are!!!

Somehow, somewhere, and sometime in your life you for sure experienced the beauty of LOVE!! You felt butterflies in your tummy... You imagined you could fly... You wished time would freeze at that special moment... You relive this beautiful memory over and over and smile... I am pretty sure you all lived this!!

LOVE not only gives us those beautiful feelings and memories, when I say it brings the Beauty in us, I mean it makes us beautiful humans!! When we are truly and deeply in LOVE we become positive, we become passionate and romantic, we become considerate, understanding, generous, forgiving... When we are in LOVE, we become devoted, faithful, strong, we become genuinely Beautiful...

One sad truth in all of this, and this is probably where the fools I described come into play, is that with all this beauty we might witness our worst feelings or moments ever in life!! Simply put, in the unfortunate circumstances where LOVE is taken away, lost, or gone, we lose the most beautiful moments, the most powerful feeling we can ever have, and that can turn into deep hurt, disappointment, agony, and every ugly feeling we can imagine!! It's like living in heaven then being thrown into hell!!

But that's life, unfortunately, and we have to deal with it... LOVE is beautiful, amazing, wonderful, and powerful... Live it and enjoy it to the fullest, hoping it will last forever... If it doesn't, that cannot take away the beauty it brought to our lives!!

My own reflection on this, I have lived 3 great LOVE stories in my life that I never imagined they would affect my whole being, my whole existence, my entire life: My LOVE to my DAD, my LOVE to my daughter KINDA, and my LOVE to my wife & soulmate NEEMO. Although no love story is perfect, each one changed so much in me, brought the best of me, the beauty in me, and that I will never ever forget, on the contrary, I will cherish them, protect them, live them, appreciate their beauty and power, forever and ever...

You as well, you have for sure your own LOVE stories to cherish and enjoy...

LOVE is a beautiful thing, and it will always bring the beauty in us...

To Happiness, Beauty, and LOVE...

Genuinely,

BISS

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Love, Responsibility, and New Year Resolutions


Here we are at the end of 2015, another year gone by, another year spent... We close another chapter of our lives, a chapter full of memories and stories we can never erase or rewrite... Another chapter filled with joy, happiness, sadness, hurt, fun, adventures, success, failures, death, or love... Whatever happened this year, we have to accept it, learn from it, and look forward for a better year ahead... a better 2016...

Whether we like it or not, setting goals and plans is a proven way for success in professional as well as in our personal lives. So setting our New Year Resolutions is actually something really important to do, as long as we do it right. And when I say right, I mean, it has to be meaningful, genuinely meaningful to us. So depends on you, look for those big things you want to change in your life, big things you want to accomplish, big things you want to get rid of, big things that will make 2016 a better year than 2015... There are plenty of articles out there flooding social media channels which gives a lot of advice about setting those New Year Resolutions. I would say invest time and effort in actually setting those Resolutions, carefully, write them down, and keep them in front of you all year long to remind yourself of your goals, crossing out the ones you accomplish, and motivating yourself to seek the ones remaining on your list... It is so worth it, believe me...

For me personally, 2015 witnessed big accomplishments, that unfortunately did not stick, and turned into big disasters, disappointments, and hurt... How, why, what happened? I have been trying to figure it out before we close 2015, in order to learn from it, and plan for a better 2016, hoping I can fix, redeem, and regain a lot of what I have lost in 2015. So what did I find out, that is worth sharing with you, in order not to do a similar disaster?

I am by nature a very Loving and passionate person. I love madly, genuinely, deeply, with all my senses. Love of all kinds, love to my country, my city, my friends, my family, and of course above everything, my love to my soulmate, my Goddess, my love to my wife NEEMO... And although everyone knows this, with every action I have taken throughout 2015 and before, it was not good enough to close my 2015 on a happy note. Because something was missing, and I had to learn it the hard way: Love is not enough if it is not coupled with Responsibility!!

Love is an amazing thing. Those who know me, and who read my previous piece (Religion, Love, and ISIS), would understand what Love means to me... But as I said, I was missing the Responsibility ingredient... And so, my love became intoxicating, suffocating, damaging, even destructive!!

If you over do it in Love, you choke your loved ones... If you cover up lies for your loved ones, you are actually causing them more harm than good!! If you spoil your children, you are actually raising them wrong!! If you make your loved ones completely dependent on you out of love and care, you are ruining their individuality and independence!! All these examples and many more are examples of love with no responsibility... I come to realize this is a Careless kind of Love!! Eventually, even though all this is done under the flag of LOVE, it backfires completely, and would steer you away from a life full of love!!

For 2016, I have set a single huge Resolution: To Become a Responsible Lover. This is my deep, genuine, and meaningful Resolution. For 2016, I seek new ways, new paths, new adventures, and new actions, aimed to redeem myself to the ones I hurt, to the ones I damaged, to the ones I lost... I seek redemption in every single step I take, in every single action I do... I am a good learner, although I do many mistakes, which I admit, endorse, take responsibility, and try to work around them... But sometimes the damage is so deep, and so I am obliged to take extraordinary measures to really redeem my mistakes... I have done it before, and I will continue to do it, over and over again, hoping I can avoid repeating those mistakes, and doing good in 2016 and beyond...


Look into 2015, reflect on your actions, on your accomplishments, on your mistakes, learn from them, and set a new plan for 2016, a meaningful plan... A Responsible plan... Set Resolutions that mean to you, that mean to others, that will do good to yourself and others... Everyone has the capability of doing this, everyone is obliged to do this, for your sake, and for the sake of your loved ones...

To my family, friends, and to the love of my life: I am sorry for my Careless Love, I promise to work harder, I promise to learn and improve, I promise to change, I promise to become a Responsible Lover...

One quote I saw and loved goes like this: "2014 was practice, 2015 was the warm up, 2016 is game time". 


I close 2015 with some sadness... But at the same time, I am grateful, for all the happiness, health, joy, adventures, accomplishments, successes, and lessons... I am grateful for having amazing friends, family, a precious daughter, and the most amazing and loving soulmate... I am grateful for the LOVE I have in my life...

Goodbye 2015, and hello 2016, with everything you will bring... I am ready and so excited and looking forward to starting this new chapter. What about you my friends, are you ready??

To Happiness, Responsibility, Hope, and LOVE...

Happy New Year Everyone...

BISS

Friday, December 18, 2015

Religion, Love, and ISIS


Yes you are reading it right, I put LOVE and ISIS in the same title with RELIGION. And I know this piece might sting!! But it's coming from the heart, explaining my philosophy Love, and its relation to Religion... So here it goes...

Most of us are born with some form of religion, whether Judiasm, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc... And our religions shape up a lot of our lives, what we can and we cannot do, what is acceptable and what is not, what is the norm and what is the exception, what is good and what is bad... Religion shapes up our traditions, our rules in society, our family ties, education systems, marriage and divorce, inheritance, sex life, politics, business, etc. Religion has endless powers and controls on us...

Some people used religion to control the politics and the people of their territories. You can almost certainly find incidents in all religions where religion was not used as a genuine faith, but rather twisted and abused to seek certain benefits by those who controlled that religion. Some used religion to wage wars, others used religion to divorce and remarry, and others used it to brainwash its followers and gain territorial control... You get the idea...

And the fundamental component in all this is something called FAITH, without which, religions shatter... It is faith that we have in our religions and Gods that puts us under full control, in a sense, to those religions we believe in. We just believe, some of us question, but in the end we are pushed back to just believe, believe in a higher power, a creator, in a God, and trust that this higher power is the source of everything, this power holds the secret to everything, controls everything, etc... Some religions won't allow you to question or doubt this higher power. Some will request continuous sacrifices from its believers, to please that higher power, or to prove the unconditional loyalty and faith. Some religions are submissive. Some religions are passive and general... But the common thing among most religions is that we believe in it, have faith, and that's why we stay with our religions, or at least the majority of people...

In some rare situations, relatively speaking, people do change their religions, or even lose this faith in religion completely and become atheists. If they change, most probably it's because they lost faith in their higher power or religious group and teachings, and found a stronger faith in another religion or group. They still have faith, they still believe in something, it just changed... As for atheists, well most probably they lost this faith in the higher power completely, maybe shifting their belief to science or logic or certain rules and laws, whatever the case is... But again, I say relatively speaking, this is not widespread, and the majority of our world today is ruled by religions, and with the majority of those followers of religion being faithful to the religions they were born with (inherited basically).

So this is my unscientific view of religions, which is just to make my next point. I want to stress though that I do not mean to offend any religion or any kind of believers or followers by what I mentioned or will mention next, whatever religion you follow. I am not criticizing religions, rather I am trying to explain my point about Religions, and how it relates to my next section: LOVE...

For me, LOVE is religion, just like any other religion any of you follow. How? LOVE is my higher power, it is the source of everything, it controls everything, it is this supernatural force that affects every single aspect of my life... And like you, I have faith in LOVE, uncontested faith, strong and deep faith, that no matter what, LOVE is my religion, what I believe in, what I adopt in my life, what I follow, what dictates how I live and act and decide and function. And just like you, I will never abandon my religion when I feel down, I will not give up on my religion if I do not get what I want. Just like you, I choose to have faith and believe that good will come, if I am patient, if I work harder, if I sacrifice, if I connect... Just like you, I worship a higher power, a God, or let me say, a Goddess in my case. Just like you, my religion, faith, and Goddess are sacred...

One difference though, is that we get to earn this religion. We are not born with it, we are born with the ability to get there, to LOVE, but we grow up nurturing this ability in us, loving our parents, loving our family, loving our society, loving our traditions, etc... We nurture LOVE as we grow up, strengthening this faith, looking for our God or Goddess, or maybe just faith in LOVE without God/Goddess...

When we find our God/Goddess in Love, for those of the religion of Love, we make this leap of faith, we believe, we commit, in good and in bad, no matter what the circumstances are, it is our religion, and nothing can shake this strong faith and belief... And just like other religions, this faith is tested the most in times of crisis, in times of despair... In those times, you got to search inside your faith, in your heart and soul, find the strength to protect your believes and your commitments, your faith, your religion, your LOVE... You might need to sacrifice, you might go through pain, you might suffer... Just like other religions, you got to prove your faith...

I remember in school we took the story of one of the Islamic figures called "Bilal Ben Rabah" who was extremely tortured, almost to death, because he became a Muslim, but he resisted and tolerated the pain, defending his faith, and refusing to give up on his new religion and belief... And we can find examples like this in so many other religions...

And so, for those who believe in the religion of Love, why is enduring pain not acceptable? Why are those defending Love looked at as being weak or delusional? Why is sacrifice for Love considered stupidity? 

Which brings me to ISIS!! This group is the hot name of terrorism these days. How is it related to my philosophy? Well, just like ISIS are distorting the religion of Islam, acting in the name of Islam in their own twisted view, for their own benefits and gains, in the same manner, those who claim to know much about Love, and yet, would boldly come to me in moments of crisis, and convince me to let go, to give up, to move on, to abandon my religion and Goddess, those are ISIS of Love!! Not because they are giving advice or trying to help, of course that part is the noble part. But to help by convincing me to abandon my religion and faith is terrorism!! It is choosing the easy way out!! 

Look at it this way: If you are a Muslim, or a Christian, or a Jew, and you lost your house, lost a loved one, lost a fortune, or going through any other form of crisis, would you listen to me and consider changing your religion to something else? If I try to convince you that your solution is to change your belief, change your God/Goddess, to something better, something more beneficial, would you consider it?? I guess not... So why should a believer in Love consider changing believes so easy??

In some circumstances, abandoning this religion might be the only way, but that is only after depleting all options, after giving it all you can, after fighting for your faith and believes to the end... What might break this faith, make you reach the point where everything you believe in is shaky?? It has to be something extremely profound or traumatic. The examples and scenarios can be so different and unique, so I am not going to get into details, only stick to the point that it has to be so strong to demolish your foundation of religion, of Love... And only genuine Lovers would know when they have reached that point...

You might disagree with all my philosophy, just like you would disagree with the other religions, and strongly claim that your religion is the best religion on earth... Well I would respect your view and your opinion and your faith, but would ask you to do the same to me: Respect my Religion, Respect my Faith, Respect my Belief in the Power of Love...

I'm not weak, I am strong in my faith... I'm not delusional, I am a genuine and true believer in my Love...

Right now, I'm fighting for my religion, my Goddess, my Love, with everything I got... And unless I lose faith and belief, until I reach that breaking point, nothing can stop me!!

I end this with a quote by the German Psychologist Eric Fromm: "Love isn't something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn't a feeling, it is a practice."

Now let me go practice :)

Cheers To Hope and Love...

BISS

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

My Journey of Redemption and Weight Loss


A lot of you who know me in person, or through social media, have been following my journey of weight loss of the past few years. Basically I lost between July 2013 and January 2015, 22 kilos, and I am till today maintaining this weight I achieved... Amazing? Indeed! Easy? Nope! Doable by others? Absolutely, if I did it, anyone can. But how, what's the secret? There is no secret. And here is my experience for you to learn about, get motivated from, and replicate with modifications to suite your specific needs and goals...

First of all, this is not a scientific method or an accredited weight loss technique, nor am I a dietitian or nutritionist or even a personal fitness trainer!! I am simply a guy like you, for reasons which I explain below, went on this weight loss journey, using techniques and methods that worked for me. If you have any medical conditions, seek professional advice before embarking on this journey. If you are skeptical about certain steps I did, do your own research and modify the steps as you deem appropriate. If you tried my steps and did not work for you, apologies for not being of any help!! Overall, this is my personal experience that worked for me, and hopefully it will give you some kind of benefit  :)

My most important component of this whole journey was the MOTIVE: The reason for doing this. For me it was REDEMPTION, which is not really related to weight loss. But it was so profound and strong. What do I mean though? In 2013, I lost the love of my life, we were no longer together, which devastated me, and left me empty from the inside. It was my fault, my weakness, my confused state of mind that cost me losing my soulmate. When she left, I wanted to discipline myself, teach myself a lesson, reform and rehabilitate myself, with the hope that one day, somehow, I can win her back. I needed a REDEMPTION plan. Of course weight loss has nothing to do with regaining the love of my life, but it was one of those things I lacked back then: DISCIPLINE. So through imposing this tough exercise and diet discipline, I was testing myself if I can stick to a plan, and be disciplined. It was just one part of a bigger redemption plan I put to myself. But it was so profoundly important to me, redeeming myself and regaining my love, that I took it so serious, with complete DEDICATION.

So for you, it might be much simpler (my life tends to be complicated, and so my motive is probably complicated in the same sense!!). Whatever your motive is, it has to be strong, profound, and genuine to keep pushing you and reminding you to stay dedicated through out the journey... So look inside you, look for your personal strong motive, write it down somewhere visible and keep reminding yourself of this motive... Looking good might be after all a strong motive for you!! So that's the first foundation of the weight loss journey...

Next, which is very important, is your GOAL: what is your desired outcome? For me, it was to reach my ideal weight and body fat percentage, which you can look up from different sources, and decide on a final target. For you it might be a certain weight, a certain shape, like building certain muscles or a six pack or flat tummy, or maybe just losing a few clothes sizes. Whatever it is, you need to set a goal. Preferably a certain weight figure should be set, because you will need that for the next components of the journey. So again, figure out your goals and write them down. Check... Moving on...

Now you need to decide on the METHOD: what technique are you going to use to reach your goals? I used something called the CALORIE DIET, and it is what I will definitely recommend to you. Simply put, this is a method where you are counting what you eat, counting how much energy you burn, and through a simple arithmetic formula, subtract the 2 figures to get a CALORIE BUDGET, your daily food allowance. For example, if you burn 2000 calories per day, and you want to lose weight, depending on how fast you want that, you will budget yourself 1750 or 1500 calories to consume per day. How do you get these numbers though? I answer that in the next component. The main thing here, to lose weight using the calorie diet, you have to eat less than what you burn on each specific day. Note that you will burn different amounts every day, and so your set budget will be a specific number below your burn figure, like -250 calories, or -500 calories. I will only talk about the calorie diet of course, because this is what I adopted, and I genuinely believe it is the most effective for the simple fact that you are not depriving yourself from a lot of foods, rather, you will become more conscious and more careful and more selective about what you eat. I will elaborate on this later on to understand more how it works...

Then comes the TOOLS: What do you need to help you achieve your set goals? To start with, you need to track how much you burn per day. I use Fitbit products. I am not an employee of Fitbit, and i do not own Fitbit stocks (although I think I should!!), and I am not getting paid to promote them. I am simply a happy client, who bought a Fitbit wristband in 2013, and used it to track my statistics, and it has been an amazing and successful experience till today. Fitbit has wristbands as well as other products that help you track so many vital stats that you need in your weight loss journey. Based on your movement, as well as the exercises that you perform and log into the Fitbit app, you will get your final calorie burn figure, which is the base to determine your allowance of food consumption. If you like or have other products that can count your calorie burn as well as exercise stats, then use it. Your call...

Next to tracking your calorie burn, you need to track your food consumption. For that you need 3 things. First of all you need a small scale to weight and measure your food portions that you eat at home. You might say this is too much, but believe, at least in the beginning of your weight loss quest, this is very helpful. I measure the grilled chicken portions I consume, I measure the yogurt or hummus I consume next to my chicken portion, etc. Measure everything you can measure.

To compliment this, and to be able to measure your food or calories consumption, all the food you eat should be measurable. Meaning, I only consumed foods that had a nutrition table that tells me the calories count, plus other measures like fat and protein and carbohydrates, etc. And once you become more used to reading those nutrition tables, you will become more picky about the foods you buy. I used to spend considerable time in the food isles of the supermarkets reading and comparing the different products and choosing the lightest among them.

Here are quick examples of how I changed my food consumption in a way that reduced my calories consumption significantly. Example 1, I switched from using regular sugars into sweeteners, like Splenda or Sweet & Low. This saved me a lot of calories. How? I am a heavy coffee drinker, and I put 6 sugars in my coffee. If I drink 8 coffees per day (my average) with 6 sugars in each, assuming 6 sugars amount to 300 calories, so by moving from regular sugar to sweeteners (which have ZERO calories), I saved myself and average of 2400 calories per day, which is massive!!

Another example, I switched from consuming normal breads into Weight Watchers breads (toast, bagels, English Muffin). Normal toasts would have on average 100 calories per slice. While Weight Watchers toast is 50 calories per slice. So if I eat 2 sandwiches per day using Weight Watchers bread instead of the normal bread, assuming each sandwich requires 2 slices, I am basically saving myself 200 calories (400 calories for normal bread vs 200 calories for Weight Watchers bread).

My last example is a practical one: We are all on the go these days, eating out most of the time. So to be able to stick to this weight loss journey, you have to plan for emergency foods. I used to eat Subway (the sandwiches franchise) whenever I find one close by. If I have to eat in a certain restaurant, I make sure to to take my time looking for light options, like grilled chicken or seafood, with less toppings or sauces, etc. Don't fall into the trap of surrendering to the place you are eating in. Every place would have light stuff. And by light I mean low on calories and fat. I used to stick most of the time, and still do, to eating in places that have their nutrition information available, like the calorie count for their items, and so I would pick what to eat based on this. As a last resort, I used to pack with me light snacks, like Special K products or Fibre1 products, and munch on these snacks until I can find a convenient place to eat in. Places like McDonald's or Pizza Hut or KFC became history for me, for the simple reason, most of their products have high calories and high fats (their info is available to the public). It is not easy as I said at the beginning. But if you that strong MOTIVE and you have the WILL to pursue your GOALS, you can do it, just like I did.

Now the last thing you need for the process of counting your calorie consumption is a Food Log tool. There are so many apps for our smartphones that we can use, like MyFitnessPal, Lose It, etc. Personally, and to be consistent with my previous tools, I use the Food Logging tool in the Fitbit app. So basically I am using Fitbit to measure my calorie consumption and calorie burn. Fitbit has a huge food database to use for logging your food, in addition to the ability to add custom foods based on the nutrition tables of those specific foods. It is something new to all of us, but once you start logging your food, getting used to measuring your food portions, and adjusting the frequency and size of your meals, you will become a pro in doing this. So, now you have in one place, in my example the Fitbit app, you have your goal set for losing how much weight in how much time, based on that you have your calorie budget. With the Fitbit app tracking your movement and recording your calorie burn, and you logging your exercises and workouts plus your food consumption, the Fitbit app will tell you how much food you can eat. That simple. So your job in this is to stick to that budget, and plan your meals accordingly.

I have to stress one important point here, and you can dig more about it to be more scientific if you wish: To be effective during this weight loss journey, you have to work on your METABOLISM. There are so many ways to do that, but I will share my experience, and feel free to work around that, or follow your own thing. So basically, the more you move, the more active metabolism you get. And the more frequent you eat, the more active metabolism you get.

Moving does not necessarily mean joining a gym, although that would be a good idea if you actually use your gym membership, and don't end up paying without going. But again, moving means simply moving. Small examples: whenever you are talking on the phone, make it a habit to walk around. When you are going up or down a building, use the stairs instead of the elevator (escalators do not count as stairs!!). When you want to buy something from the close by grocery store, go walking instead of taking the car. Any small movement counts towards increasing your metabolism. Of course, exercise is the best choice, but that does not mean that you can skip the previous tips I mentioned. For me, at the beginning of my quest, I used to exercise frequently, I used to take long walks around the city, I used to keep myself moving whenever I had the chance. No slacks!!

As for the part of eating frequently, well it is based on some scientific research which proves that point. I usually eat my 3 major meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), plus small snacks throughout the day. This of course entails that my main meals are smaller than what I used to have before, in addition to being more light and lean. The snacks can be fruits, snack bars (like Special K or Fibre1 snacks), or anything which is basically light. Remember it's all about your calorie budget. So the more active you are during your day, the more food you can consume. If you are having a slow lazy day, then your food consumption will be lower than the norm. That's why, make sure you keep yourself active in order to be able to eat more quantity, more frequently...

The last thing I will mention in this blog post, is that you need to create some kind of SELF MOTIVATION for yourself. Find out what will keep you going, pushing you to continue relentlessly, no slacking, no quitting. Going back to my case, I had a few things that kept motivating me. One, I became more disciplined, which was my biggest motive in the first place. So the more I felt I am disciplined, the better I felt about myself, and the more I was motivated to keep going. Second, I became an inspiration to a lot of my friends and family, following my progress and getting motivated to follow my steps. A lot started buying the Fitbit products, at which point I realized I should have worked for the company's marketing or sales divisions!! Just kidding of course. But seriously, the more people that I was able to motivate into getting into a weight loss quest, the more I was motivated myself. And the last thing that kept me going was me liking the new slim me!! I was going from Large size clothes, to Medium, to Small, all within a year. I went down from a Jeans size 34 to a size 29, within a year. I was not confident I will be able to go this far, but the more progress I saw, the more weight I lost, it motivated me to keep going further and further. Originally, to be frank, I set my goal to go down from 88 kgs to 72 kgs. I surpassed my expectations and crossed the below 70 kgs after 10 months. The rest of my journey, till reaching where I am today (65 kgs) was slower because I stopped being so accurate about logging my food. It kind of became easy for me to estimate the amounts of food I can consume, without the need to accurately log the quantities. It becomes part of your life style!!

So, to wrap up, here is my weight loss journey takeaways in a nutshell:
1. Find a strong MOTIVE to push you into doing this and committing to it.
2. Set clear GOALS in order to measure your progress.
3. Choose your method, and if you want to follow mine, it is the CALORIE DIET.
4. Get the TOOLS to help you in this journey. A food scale, a Fitbit product and app, a collection of foods that have clear nutrition tables, and log all your food consumption.
5. Stay ACTIVE, by exercising, walking, moving, or any other form that will make you consume energy.
6. Build SELF-MOTIVATION techniques to keep you going during the journey.

I hope I was able to share much of the useful information and tips to help you build your own weight loss journey. I will probably follow up this blog post with smaller ones, focusing specifically on certain steps or phases and examples and practical advice. Feel free to send me any questions you have, and I will try to address it the soonest I can...

Good luck to all of you who are serious about getting into a journey of your own. Hope you can achieve your goals, and I hope my tips would be of help.

Cheers to Fitness, Health, Discipline, Redemption, and LOVE...

The New Slim BISS

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thank you for being My Princess

For the past 6 years, my life has been in constant change, drastic changes, ups and downs, happiness and sadness, joy and drama, beyond the normal variance of life... Divorce, marriage, moving countries and homes, shifting careers, and more... But throughout those 6 years, there has been one amazing constant, my source of unconditional joy and happiness, my source of deep genuine love, my inspiration and hope, my Princess: KOUKA, my sweet little daughter...

No matter what my life brought me, my little princess was always there, smiling, laughing, playing, growing up, learning, and with every step she took, with every new adventure she lived, with every game, I also grew up, and learned, and realized that no matter what, my princess is always there for me, giving me strength and happiness, when we are together, or apart, when playing together, or when looking at her lovely pictures...

For 6 years, my love for being a DAD has grown more and more... For a person who did not value family ties before, for a person who never played with children before, for a person who could not commit to living in once place for more than a few years, KOUKA has transformed me completely, enjoying being a DAD, loving commitment, seeking stability, and planning for a future that is beyond a few years, planning for a future for my little princess, with me in it...

For 6 years, I have been unable to explain or express what KOUKA has taught me, or what she means to me... Because with every day that passes, I realize that there is nothing more precious or genuine like this love of a DAD to his daughter... It is simply priceless and indescribable...

No matter what I say or write or do, nothing can fully describe the joy and happiness my little princess brings me... And I hope that I can do the same to her, over and over again for the rest of my life...

I might be repeating a lot of my words, because for the past week, as we come to celebrate her 6th birthday, I have been trying to write this blog, but every time I fail to find the right words, or the right expressions...

And so, simply, to my little Princess KOUKA, thank you for being my PRINCESS...

I vow to continue to learn and strive to become a better DAD with every moment...

Happy Birthday KOUKA, Happy 6th Birthday my precious, Happy Birthday my love...

Thank you for everyone who sent lovely birthday wishes, wishing you all the same for you and your lovely families...

Love and Peace to all...

BISS (Abu Kouka)


Sunday, February 16, 2014

When there is a WILL, there is always a WAY...


It's amazing how each of us is different, the way we think, the way we react, the way we understand, the way we feel... Really, each one of us is so unique in all those sets of actions that we may do when put in the exact same situations!!!

One important overall action that is one of my favorites, is BEING POSITIVE... Facing problems and hurdles with positivity, trying to learn from situations and gain a positive lesson... Refusing to hate, keeping calm, and hoping for the best always... Persevering and not quitting till the end... Facing obstacles with solutions and alternatives... Handling obstacles and changes in a positive manner, trying to resolve and overcome all issues in a positive way...

In my life I have been through a lot of instances where without my positive attitude I could have lost a lot, my life even... And I have seen a lot of my friends do the same, embracing hope and positive attitude and keep going forward towards the best there is... It doesn't always work, but it's more fun and exciting going on this journey of change, of resolution, of triumph, of winning, of overcoming, it's more fun doing that while being positive...

You got fired from your job, look at it as an opportunity for change, to look for new ones, a better one maybe, a more exciting job, a job you always dreamed of... But you have to work to get it, search and apply, improve your skills, network and make contact with key people who can help. It's not your positive attitude alone that will get you your dream job while sitting playing with your PlayStation 24/7 and expecting the employer to look eagerly for you!!!

You discovered you have an illness, well, besides getting the right treatment, you need the positive attitude to help you overcome whatever disease you got. Think about changing things in your life if it helps your case... Join groups who can help you deal with the illness... Volunteer with associations who work on your illness, maybe try to help others who are in the same boat, but they unfortunately fell in despair and negativity...

You got a divorce, maybe it was not working out and you are better off on your own, or with someone else... Or maybe you need to really work hard on yourself to win your spouse back, and prove you can make it with the new YOU... However nasty and devastating and sad your divorce is, there is always something positive to take from it, there is always a positive way to deal with it and handle it...

And this is my special one, which everyone have been asking me about recently: WEIGHT GAIN & LOSS!! A lot of us get depressed when we gain weight, when you start trying on those clothes that you like and discovering that it doesn't fit you anymore!! And I'm talking here about those of us who gained weight because of eating or because of laziness!! The medical conditions of obesity are beyond my expertise... But as far as dealing with normal weight gain, well, deal with it, positively... Don't sit and whine, or sit depressed, eating more depression food, like finishing a Nutella jar every night, because you are depressed and you can't control it!!!

Of course you can deal with it positively. Like I did... I gained a lot of weight over the past few years... And although it never bothered me, this Fall, I decided that getting fit and losing those extra kilos is an area I wanted to tackle... And for those who were following my updates on Facebook or Instagram, yes I lost 13 kilos in just 4 months!! It did not come easy, and I did not take a magic potion or eat those weird foods that taste awful!! I ate chocolates, I ate hotdogs, I ate bread, I ate chips, I ate whatever I wanted, yet differently. And above all, I have to give the biggest credit to this gadget that helped me achieve my goal, the FITBIT FLEX fitness bracelet. Again, the bracelet doesn't have magical powers, nor will it do the work for you while you keep doing exactly what you used to do to gain those extra kilos... First of all, I handled this positively, meaning I did not let my over weight depress me. I just handled it as a target that I need to reach. And along the way, if I am not progressing according to plan, I'll change something or do something different or do more work to get on track... Always staying positive, and believing that I can do it... As for how exactly I did that, that's a different blog, or actually might be a series of blogs that I will need to write and discuss with others who are interested in this topic...

To end this blog, I want to thank all of you who stood by my side in my low moments, in my problems, in my desperate moments and reminded me to put on my positive attitude and face life with a smile on my face... Thank you for being part of my life, my positive happy life :)

Now off you go, think about your life, your issues, and how you can face it all in a positive manner, and achieve something... I am myself have been dealing with all the accumulated issues I gathered over the years in a positive manner, and it has been going well, being resolved one after the other, hoping to achieve all my goals very very soon...

Good luck folks...

BISS