4 Things Exercise changed in my life!


I will always vividly remember the moment I stepped into this gym, the moment I started my trial class and how I realized I needed to run away before my lungs give up. I would really like to thank B.A Paris for writing Behind Closed Doors (you can read my review of the book here) and Christine McGuire for writing Perfect Victim: The True Story of The Girl In The Box (you can read the book review here).

It was because of these two books, which lead me to realising the importance of knowing a few moves and techniques, so I shall be able to protect myself if and when the moment comes. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined I would end up accomplishing something much more than just techniques and self-defence moves. I ended up with a physical, emotional and mental over haul, in a span of almost 9 months.

For those who are interested in knowing, I owe most of what I have pulled off and learnt to my friends and coaches at Fight Fortress, Islamabad. (contact here).


I can go on and on about how my life changed when I started training, but to save your time I would just give you a glimpse of some changes that are apparent.

  1. 1. The Aesthetics- like my coach puts it!

First of all, accept your body. You have been blessed with only one in this life time. It’s a general trend I have observed among our women that they want to LOSE WEIGHT but don’t want to work for it. You work for things you love. Everything else is just an extra annoyance in life. Instead of focusing on LOSING something, try to have a mindset to GAIN something, like gain extra strength, gain extraordinarily toned legs, or toned arms or 6 packs. That’s how I stated my goals when coach asked “what do you want?” and I knew I did not want to LOSE anything (regardless of the sheer truth that I really need to LOSE 100 pounds or more, but since I’m a self-obsessed woman, I will not admit that *sighs*) my goals list was something like:  I want to be stronger than I am.


And I don’t want to lose anything, but I want all the flesh pushed in the proper places.

Stating a goal is the first step towards achieving it. When you know exactly what you want, your trainers are better able to help you and guide you.img_0548

6 months down, I am so sure I have not LOST anything, *sighs* ! But I have GAINED a lot. Not weight, god forbid, but the feeling is priceless when girls and guys are equally admiring your shaped up body. The adjectives and phrases I hear all day are shaped, toned, beautiful, amazing, attractive, sexy, oh I want mine to look like yours etc, you get the point!


  1. The emotional overhaul:

When I walked away from a 10yrs long attachment, it took me almost a year to admit that I was an over emotional creature who caves in to wrong treatment. It took me another 6 months to grasp that it was never a relationship to begin with because only I was in it. It took me another 3 to admit that I can live with the loss and I can carry the cross. When I started training, I learnt to accept the situation better, hell, I learnt to accept myself better. Not only did I accept the situation, I went through a phase of emotional overhaul. I realised the flaws I had, and instead of loathing myself for that, I accepted them and decided to change that about myself. AND NOT ONLY THAT, I also raised the standards for myself even higher. img_0552How often does that happen that you walk out of a place being an emotional wreck and end up with standards and head even higher than before? Not very often. Most of us let the air out and develop low self-esteem and are willing to accept something even marked down.

  1. Getting and setting the priorities right!

We all have a personal list of priorities which help us choose what deserves most of our time, energy and effort. I will never forget the day when I heard myself saying this to my 10yrs-long-attachment-which-wanted-to-get back-together “I don’t have time and energy for something that will not add value to my life. I want to spend the same energy and time on myself because for me, you don’t come first now. I DO!”. I don’t know when and how I got this idea in my head that I should always prioritise others, make others and their happiness my priority, I mean, who even does that! Well, a lot of people! Specially us women are taught from a very young age that we should never think about ourselves, so we end up being someone’s doormat, or their punching bag.

But when you make yourself your own priority, your life shifts. You do only the things that make you happy, and not others. You do what pleases you and sisters, there is NOTHING wrong with that no matter what your mother or sister or friends or colleagues or phupho is telling you. I am my priority and there is no way I will change that for any one.so when I’m dealing with other people and my personal relationships, the list remains the same, I am the priority here or im out and thank God for the sane choices I have made in life!

  1. The bottom line of my bank statement

img_0488Retail therapy is real. It’s because of people like me the brands are thriving. I have single handedly kept Nishat Linen in business for 3 years. Have you seen those long lines outside Sapphire and Khaadi sales? Those women obsessed with buying new clothes, shoes, bags are almost addicted to it. Those are the women who have their lives full of shit and are trying to find their salvation, acceptance from other women and acknowledgement of people around them by controlling that only part of their lives; their wardrobes. I have been one of those, so I can tell you this; I used to shop every weekend. Not the stuff I needed or wanted, but the stuff I still have in my wardrobe with the tags on. The stuff I don’t even wear or use. Because, that was apparently the only thing that made me happy. Not anymore guys! The bottom line of my bank statement has been soaring steadily since the day I joined the gym.


Simply put, shopping is not what makes me happy now. Lifting does. Second, I don’t find enough time to go shopping now, because I spend all my free time at the gym. Third, I’m more in control of my impulses now.

I am in control of my body, mind and emotions. It feels better than it sounds though. Thing about addiction of any kind is, it’s hard to quit it when you tell yourself you will quit. so you need to find something which becomes more important to you than the addiction itself. Replace the unhealthy in your life with something healthy instead of trying oh so hard to quit the unhealthy and let the void either disturb you mentally or draw you back in again and again.img_0514

So here is my story, I hope some of you learn something and start investing in yourself. If you are having problems at work, dealing with stress in personal life, want rehab from an addiction, have too much time on your hand, have children are constantly complaining about parenting being a tough job, or are a bored housewife, get off your ass, do something! Do something your body and mind would be thankful for.


Love and light,

X Zb




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