Friday, August 31, 2012

Looking back, a note to myself

If there were a way to communicate with my former self, my self from 5 years ago, this is what I would like to say....


Dear Zahida,

I want you to know that your world is about to change dramatically. Everything you currently know, is going to get flipped on its head.

Don't fear. Don't shrink away. You are strong. Like everything else in life, you will face it, head on. And you will overcome.

Remember that cliches have truth. So go for it, go grab life by the horns, wear your heart on your sleeve, appreciate life's simple things, and please, always tell others how you feel about them. Honesty is a virtue and one should not be shy about their feelings. Life is to love others.

You are going to lose someone you love dearly. You might forget to express yourself to this person before it's too late and regret this. But don't live your life with regret. Trust that those you love know they are loved by you. Find peace in this knowledge.

One day you will find a way to honour the one you've lost, in the most beautiful way.

I know you look back at a former version of yourself and wonder why she's not in the reflection you see in the mirror. You are going to cry. You are going to yell. You are going to hate yourself. Don't go there. Cry, scream, but don't go to hate. Remember that you are the same person. Bigger yes, but stronger, wiser, and able to be who you want to be. If you could run half marathons before, you will run them again. And guess what - they'll one day be easy!

If anyone starts a sentence with, "you would be pretty if only you were to....", please please ignore them. They are stupid.  You are already beautiful. It might just take some work before you believe it for yourself.

I know you once dreamed of running a marathon before age 30. I'm sorry to tell you that it isn't going to happen. But I'm pleased to tell you that the dream indeed comes true. You will run your first marathon, and at the age that it happens, people will mistake you for being 28. That has to count for something! 

And there will be more than just one.

Most importantly, I need to thank you. You might question me for this, but you are the very reason I am who I am today. Without your struggle, without our struggle, I would not be the athlete I am today. I would not be the woman I am today. 

Without having to overcome what you did, I would not value hard work the way I do today. I would not have the drive, the willpower, and the mental determination I do. You taught me that good things don't come easy. You taught me that progress requires a whole lot of sweat, time, patience, tears, kindness, and a new attitude. With hard work comes reward. You showed me that impossible is not a word in my vocabulary.

Remember that when you do start to run again it's not going to be easy. Those first 2km of every run are going to suck. People are going to pass you. Some won't even bother to acknowledge you. Some are going to make something so hard look so effortless. You are going to feel embarrassed about going out there and hitting the road. You're going to hate being seen by others. You're going to have nothing appropriate to wear. Just remember that you're working twice as hard as those around you.  And even when running gets easy, those first 2km still suck. It will start to feel good after! And every time you suck it up and go outside to run, you get one step closer to your goal.

So dance like nobody's watching, run like it's what you were born to do, because you are never going to see those same people again. Well, maybe you will, but they will soon not recognize you. And who cares about their opinion anyway? It's you that matters. You are going to turn your life around. Life will flip around again. But in such a good way. You will one day be classified as an athlete. One day you are going to inspire others to find health. Yes you - you inspire. And you're not going to believe it's real. 

- Love Z


  1. Great post, Zahida. I have had the same journey as you (well, not identical but you know what I mean!) and wrote the same letter to my former self just a few months ago. You look younger than 28, by the by ;)

  2. That was a brilliant post Zahida and something I really needed today. Really inspirational and universal and thank-you for sharing that.
    Much love,

  3. Thank you both of you! Sometimes I write to feed the soul. This was sparked by me seeing a beautiful woman complain about her body, while acknowledging she'd accomplished significant weight loss. I wasn't 100% pleased with my initial response to her. So this was partially for her, as well as to myself. Glad you enjoyed it too :-)