How do I lose weight? Have I gained too much? What is my scale saying today? Which diet should I follow now? I simply cannot overcome my cravings. I shouldn’t have eaten that piece of cake. The chitter- chatter of our brain just doesn’t stop, our thinking is so wrapped up around food and exercise, especially us women, with the changes our bodies go through our entire lives, puberty, pregnancy, childbirth and menopause, these changes leave us drained and stressed about our body image and the umpteen number of experiments we keep trying to get ourselves on track.
On the occasion of this International women’s day, I am here with my interview with my dear friend and sister in deen, and an amazing Muslimah, Sr. Oum Chouaib, she is a transformation coach, and as her movement on Facebook #sisterssupportingsisters suggests she is passionate about uplifting her sisters in deen, and I am really happy to have here on my blog today to give us an insight into this important topic and her approach towards how she teaches her clients to break through this illusion we wrap ourselves with around food. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to be on her Intuitive Eating- Food For Thought program and was able to build a super awesome relationship with my own eating habits. الحمدلله.
Her program works, and it does on an internal level and not only does it help with our thinking around food, but it has an overall transformative effect on all aspects of our lives. الحمدلله.
Without further ado, I’ll let you beautiful ladies jump right into the interview. إنشاءالله.
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته Sr. Oum Chouaib, can you please tell the readers a little about yourself?
وعليكمالسلامورحمةاللهوبركاته my beautiful sister Umm Rayyan, firstly I would like to say جزاك اللهُ خيرا for thinking of me in writing your blog for International Women’s Day. You are an inspiration to me as well and to many other sisters. May Allah bless you in this life and the next. آمين.
الحمد لله for everything. I reverted to Islam over 15 years ago, الحمد لله. I am blessed to be a mother, wife, and the ability to help women worldwide as a transformational Life coach and mentor. Allahﷻ has blessed me through my own personal journey from where I have come from to where I am today. اللهم بارك, Allahﷻ has guided me to Islam, insight, healing, and a serene state of mind.
We know that weight loss is a huge concern, especially with women, and your program “Intuitive eating- food for thought” actually gives some food for thought :D. It’s an unconventional approach to weight loss, can you please tell us what’s it about?
So this is program Intuitive Eating- Food for Thought is definitely the missing link to what is out there. You see what is uniquely different about this program is that it is not about all the surface… what to do… quick fix…. new diet… How to. It is deeper than that, it really goes to the source, to where these misunderstandings and illusions have been created around “food”. To our relationship with food, believing it has the power to dictate how we feel. This program is about freeing your mind from all of the emotional eating, and understanding how you are truly experiencing food and not just food, but life around you. We are looking into understanding the Truth in our psychological experience around “food”, hence Food for Thought. With this understanding, we effortlessly experience eating intuitively, and truly experience all the wisdom in the Sunnah of the Prophetﷺ.
How does following the sunnah help in this approach to weight loss?
Great question… The Sunnah has so much wisdom, it is the Truth. Islam is a way of life and the Sunnah is the example for us in all matters of life. We are so caught up in the illusion with the outside world and all the quick fixes, how to’s, and ‘The’ diets out there. We get lost and complicate our lives, getting further away from the simplicity. You see we get caught up in the illusion that something outside will bring us happiness and we desperately run after those things, after this illusion. We fall into the journey of ‘doing’ and pull away from ‘being’. The Sunnah of the Prophetﷺ has all the wisdom on being mindful, not overeating, simplicity, and teaches us that nothing has power over us except Allahﷻ. We would be free of all the physical illnesses of over-consuming, obesity, and emotional eating. If we truly understood that we are aligned with and followed the Sunnah. The beautiful Sunnah teaches us everything, from how to start with بسم الله ( Mindful). How to handle our food, with our three fingers of our right hand (the perfect amount in a bite full). How to sit, sip water and breathe. Then there is the Sunnah of natural healing through food, to how much food to actually eat in moderation, and avoiding food that is harmful to us. Practicing Sunnah, truly understanding it, and being connected to the truth and wisdom of it, can only help us be in our natural healthy state of being.
Any sunnah foods or particular practice from the Sunnah that has been insightful for you personally, that took you on this journey?
Many! But I really had personal insights with 1⁄3 water, 1⁄3 food, 1⁄3 air. Again simple, but we need to get in touch again with our own bodies’ signals, that we have lost sight of. Just this alone, eliminates, obesity, associated diseases and an unhealthy relationship with food. All the pleasures I innocently was fooled to believe I was getting from food, brought me to a point it created great difficulty for me in that area of my life. Although I had lost my own body weight before reverting to Islam. It was always an emotional struggle. I found that as a Muslim this kept me away from practicing the beautiful Sunnah. One Ramadan I was very ill, bound to the wheelchair, every day I practiced the Sunnah by drinking Zam Zam water facing the qiblah and made du’aa with conviction I believed Allahﷻ was going to heal me. I asked Allahﷻ for complete healing, physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and to heal me of this illusion that was burdening me with food. You know what….that is what happened, by the end of that Ramadan I was walking, then I started jogging, then eventually I was blessed with this beautiful insight in understanding the truth of our psychological experience. That we are living in the feelings of our thinking in the moment. Which effortlessly freed my mind and the implications of that were emotional mental physical healing. My spirituality, clarity, insights, and serene state of mind deepened. Then I noticed this truth in food and that illusion I held almost my whole life, fell away too. So practicing Sunnah was effortless اللهم بارك, and fell right into place.
What is the one thing that you would want our readers to take away from this interview?
I would love them to take away that truth is simple. That it is possible to free your mind from all illnesses, in the state of mind, obesity, and emotional eating. That everything starts with asking Allahﷻ, and He is always there to answer. Believe in that. Also as Imam Al-Ghazali said, “When God wishes His slave well, he grants him insight into the faults which lie in his soul.” Insights, this insight I have had was a blessing from Allahﷻ that only helped me free myself and live a better version of me. الحمد لله. Insights are possible when we are open to them, facing our own illusions and ego thinking, lower self, seeing them for what they are, and noticing the truth. May Allahﷻ bless you all with guidance, healing, and insight. آمين.
I hope you enjoyed reading the interview with Sr. Oum Chouaib as much as I enjoyed putting it together. To know more about her services you can visit her website: www.serenelifestylecoaching.com
And if you wish to jump right into it, here is the direct link to the sales page of her program:
Are there any questions that you wish I had asked? Fire away in the comments section إنشاءالله.
*This blog post is part of #girlpowerhop, a blog hop hosted by Aurora Hikma, in honor of women worldwide, on International Women’s Day. Click this link to read the rest of the posts!
Seema Umm Rayyan is a Spiritual Contentment Coach and a Self Awareness Facilitator
She accompanies her sisters in deen in creating a life that’s pleasing to Allah سُبحَانَهُوَتَعَالَىٰ, facilitating them in their journey discovering contentment and deep diving into the understanding of their own self and developing their self-awareness.