Up Close and Personal + 2 World Premiere’s

6 03 2011

Let’s begin with the two world premieres.

While catching up on everyone’s blogs I had the radio playing and there were 2 world premiere songs.

Kim Kardashians new song Jam (Turn It Up)

, and J Lo’s new song, On the Floor ft. Pitbull

First, these are two extremely beautiful women, and I love both of them for embracing their curves and not being stick thin.  

However, when it comes to reviewing their songs I don’t love them as much as I love these women.  Kim Kardashian’s song is not my favorite.  She probably could have used like Drake or someone big on her song.  I don’t see it being a hit.

J Lo’s song isn’t too bad.  I wouldn’t change the station if it came on.  But, it does have Pitbull on it (who i LOVE when it comes to music) so that helps.

What do you think about these songs?

On to the meat of this post.

What I am about to share with ya’ll is very personal.  I have not shared this information with many people in my life. In fact, only 5 people know about this.  I don’t ever want to make people think that I haven’t had my fair share of struggles, or that I don’t understand what its like to have body image issues.  I still struggle to this day with how I look.  I don’t want to look frail, and I don’t want to look like a body builder.  I want to look like how I’m supposed to look….if that makes sense.


When I went into college I weighed somewhere around 145 and 150.  *Note* I am 5’11” and a volleyball player so I have lots of muscle mass.  That weight felt perfect to me.  In the sense that I ate well, I worked out/trained hard, and never obsessed about how I looked or anything.  I never wanted to lose weight or gain weight. I honestly didn’t even think about that stuff whatsoever.  I just lived.  It was amazing.

My first two years of college were a struggle. I had a weight gain of about 30 pounds.  Half of it was pure muscle from the weight training we were doing for volleyball and the other half was from eating poorly and not taking care of myself. 

I began to feel negatively about myself when I looked in the mirror.  I would hate to dress up because I never felt like anything looked good, nor did any of favorite clothes fit anymore because of the weight gain.  I lived in sweats, sandals and big t-shirts.

Many of my friends from Lubbock would say things like “how do you gain that much weight if you are playing collegiate sports?” when I would talk about my weight gain.  I would say, i had no clue.  I had no idea about nutrition really, how sleep affected weight gain, and I never realized that I had started to indulge in overeating on a consistent basis.

I was very unhappy due to an event that happened to me during my time at Cal Poly.  I didn’t talk to anyone about what had happened, and I just kept all feelings inside.  SOmetimes when dramatic things happen to people they stop eating, I’m the opposite.  I would eat and eat and eat. Then sleep.

One day I went to practice (sophomore year) and by that time it was extremely noticeable how my weight gain had affected my ability to play volleyball.  I was never a sprinter, but I was quick.  I had great reaction time, and I could jump well.  After the weight gain, I had zero concentration during practice which affected my ability to react to balls being hit at me, and I could not jump as well anymore. I stopped caring about volleyball, school, and just being me.  All I wanted to do was eat, sleep, and go out occasionally…as long as I didn’t have to dress up too much, because then it would be too uncomfortable for me.

I never expressed any of these feelings with anyone.

One day after practice my coach, Jon, walked up to me and pulled me to the side and asked me what was wrong with me.  He could see the changes in me and my attitude at practice.  I didn’t care for him (completely different story) but I just said, “I ate a big lunch and now I feel a little sick to my stomach”. I was dizzy all the time and lackadaisical. Then, he proceeded to point out my weight gain and that it has a lot to do with my inability to move as well on the court. 

In my head I thought, “duh, obviously that is why I can’t move as well”.  I was pissed that he said that to me.  Not because he told me I had gained weight, but that I knew now everyone was noticing the changes in me.

I was not as driven as I used to be.  I have worked so hard in my life for everything, and I just gave up my first two years of college.

Then, I moved back to Texas to attend UNT in Denton and play volleyball.  That summer I found out I had extremely high cholesterol and decided for my health I needed to change my diet.  Not for weight loss. I started eating well and Everyone except me noticed that I had lost about 15 pounds my first semester at UNT.  THings weren’t fitting the same, and I knew that but when I looked in the mirror I still saw the unhappy, fat version of me.

During our offseason I began to get a little obsessed with my weight. We had weekly weigh-ins for volleyball and I would always freak out about my number.  There were times when I would overeat and think about possibly throwing it up but that grossed me out so I never did.  But I thought about it, which is the worst part. 

Instead, I started to use laxatives.  The worst decision of my entire life.  I felt guilty because here my parents are helping me out with groceries etc. and anytime I would overeat I’d just take a laxative and try to get rid of it immediately.  On top of this I was doing more strength and conditioning training than I had in my entire college career.  I kept telling myself, if I got thinner I would be more mobile on the court and just a better player.  The words JOn said to me that one day in practice were stuck in my brain. I had no idea how to get rid of them.

Even though I looked great (now that I look back on those pictures) I still was unhappy about my appearance.  That spring I was down to about 160 or so, which is a great weight for me considering the amount of muscle I had. 

For my junior and half of my senior year of college I took laxatives on a consistent basis.  I made up a story eventually that I had trouble using the restroom so I needed the extra help just to prevent getting speeches from friends on how it was bad for me.

I then started having issues without the pills.  I had developed IBS.  It was awful. There were times I would have to get out of bed 4 or 5 times a night to use the restroom and not in a good way.  Those damn pills (excuse my language) ruined my system.  I began to get to angry with myself for using those pills for so long especially when i knew they weren’t good for my health. 

I was so unhappy with the person I had become I had no idea what to do.  I finally went in one day to my old coach, Coach Headrick and had a long talk with her about everything.  She suggested that I should go talk to a therapist.  At UNT we had free therapy, unfortunately I only went to 4 sessions because school ended.

Going to those 4 sessions did help a lot, for the most part.  I took what I learned from that and started going back to church on a consistent basis.  I loved being back in the church scene but still felt a sort of emptiness inside myself.  I kept putting Him off for other things.  I’d always pray and say stuff like “God, I promise I’ll start getting back into your word this week.  I just need to take care of some other stuff first.” My zest for life was not as prominent as it used to be.

I’ve always been known for smiling, and I still smiled a lot, but for some reason the meaning behind my smile was more of just putting on a facade instead of smiling because I love to smile.

However, I was proud of myself for staying away from the pills.  My last semester of college it seems as though I found my true meaning again.  I went to church one morning and the pastor talked about being advocates of love.  of HIS love.  I thought to myself, how in the world can I be an advocate for His love?  He has shown me so much mercy, and I wanted to repay Him for EVERYTHING.

Later that day I went to play sand vb, and met a lady who told me about interning for a non-profit here in Austin called ACTIVE Life.  I went home that night, researched the organization and found that they were an organized movement for healthy change.  This sounded like a dream.

Healthy change to me isn’t just being physically well, its being mentally well.  For me, I had to change mentally and in my heart to truly love me for me.  I wanted to change lives. I prayed, and felt drawn to this organization.  I interviewed early, in august for the Spring internship.  I found out I got it and knew that this was where I was supposed to be.

I am at a place in my life now where I feel great about myself.  To this day I am still in contact with my therapist.  It’s nice to just have that one person to talk to regardless.  I also have a true relationship with God.  He has shown me so much recently how I need to trust in his plan for me and its been awesome.

I feel good when I see pictures of myself.

I am strong and beautiful.

I have found my smile again.

Please don’t lose yours either.

You never know what you are limiting yourself to.  I have no gotten into modeling, I’m going skydiving in June, I’m running a marathon in June (first one), and I am wanting to travel…hopefully Costa Rica in the summer.

Keep Smiling 🙂


I know this was a long post, and I hope I didn’t put anyone to sleep.  I just felt compelled to share this.  I feel as though on my blog its so easily to portray someone who has it all together all the time and in reality no one has it ALL together.  We all have our struggles and this was one of mine.

If you have any questions feel free to email me at trust2345@aol.com



22 responses

6 03 2011

I love that you shared this. It shows your heart, which I love! And yes, so happy you found your smile!

8 03 2011

THank you 🙂 Your post on Smiling was a big reason why I decided to share this!

6 03 2011
Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

What a beautiful, honest post. Thanks for sharing it all 🙂

8 03 2011

Thank you 🙂

6 03 2011

i love you so much…you truly are beautiful in every way. the way that you’ve handled what life has handed you so far is such a testament to the way God is working in and through you. you are my favorite 🙂

8 03 2011

I love you too! I couldn’t do it without you! You inspire me so much and are the best big sister ever!

6 03 2011

i had no idea you were a vball player at cal poly! that’s AMAZING! i played in college but d3 and totally not on an insane level like you! loved your story and so happy you’ve found your happy place and you’re GORGEOUS!

8 03 2011

That’s awesome that you played! I love meeting fellow volleyballers :-). Thank you for your sweet words!

6 03 2011
Michelle (Housewife in the Raw)

Yes, you are strong and beautiful, but, more importantly, you have a great heart. I love that you shared this and I love that you are letting God work in your life. Your sweet spirt and your obvious inner strength are such a testament to His love. May you continue to seek Him first and always remember that you are loved by the creator of the universe!

8 03 2011

Thank you! Your words are so kind, thank you so much 🙂 I’m so blessed to be a part of such a positive blog world and get to meeting wonderful people like you!

7 03 2011
Blond Duck

Wow. I’m so glad I popped in to your blog today from How Sweet It Is. I recently struggled with my weight/ body due to a stressful year (IBS + bad job + life) and know how hard it is to let go of demons and to be happy in your own skin. Thank you for posting this today.

8 03 2011

Thank you for popping in to my bloggie! It’s amazing how many of us struggle with these demons!

7 03 2011

WOW , this is so incredibly beautiful. the Lord has so much in store for you- your story is amazing. i am so so encouraged by your heart and your beauty. THANK YOU FOR THIS ❤

8 03 2011

Thank you! Your blog inspires me so much!

7 03 2011

Thank you for sharing such a personal and inspiring story. You are a beautiful girl, look how muscle-y your arms, abs, and legs are in that yoga pose! I am jealous 🙂

8 03 2011

Thank you very much 🙂

8 03 2011
Candice @ ChiaSeedMe

Thanks so much for sharing something so personal to you, Salah. It’s truly amazing how far you have come! You are so beautiful, and I know God has amazing plans for you. Your job right now sounds so great – I would love to find something like that!

8 03 2011

Thank you! I will keep you in my prayers, and hopefully you can find a job that you truly love!

8 03 2011
Megan @ Healthy Hoggin'

Love this post. I can totally relate to so much of this, and I’m sure many others can, too! Like you said, we all have our struggles. I’m so glad that you’ve tackled yours and have come out smiling!

Thanks for sharing!!

9 03 2011

Thank you for your sweet words! I’m so lucky to be a part of such a wonderful and supportive blog world!

9 03 2011

I loved reading this post!! Thank you so much for being so honest and open!! You are such an inspiration Salah!!! 🙂 and you are seriously beautiful girl!!!

9 03 2011

Thank you so much! 🙂

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