02 March 2015 Last updated

Life Challenge Week 2: Noha El Shazly

Life Challener Noha is finding ways to let go of the past and move into her future.

Aquarius magazine
18 Mar 2012 | 03:42 pm
  • Chocolate

    Noha has a little chocolate indulgence at the start of week two.

    Source:AFP Image 1 of 2
  • Noha El Shazly

    "The Life Challenge came at exactly the right time, and I’m so looking forward to going through it and making a good use of this experience."

    Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM Image 2 of 2

Week two, day one

A song for the ladies

So yesterday I went grocery shopping with Sarah, and boy is she good. She taught me how to read the ingredients and how to look for hidden sugar and salt – it turns out that you can’t always believe the sugar-free labels, even if it's organic! I stocked my fridge with food, and actually bought food to cook. Sarah also gave me a couple of recipes to make that are easy and light. I was planning to cook something today, but didn't have time. My food diary for today is good, except later in the night when I indulged in a little bit too much chocolate! But today is Women's Day, after all, and what would Women's Day be without a little indulgence? Back on track tomorrow Sarah, I promise!

Speaking of Women's Day, this song is a personal favorite… we don't have to fight and have muscles to be strong and we don't have to go to war to show our courage. Each of us has her own fight and we are here, standing and smiling... To my life coach, Patricia who is amazing and very supportive, to the five brave women doing this challenge with me and to myself, because I know I was down and I'm trying to find my way up again. To all the women I know and don't know… Happy women's day!

Week two, day four

Overcoming the past

Yesterday’s session with Patricia, my life coach, wasn’t like anything I would expect…

See, life coaching is meant for personal evolution, to set goals and help you move forward, which is exactly what I need considering what I have been through over the past year. I have no regrets and it didn’t affect who I am. But it did cause some kind of blockage that prevented me from fully being in charge of myself, as I have always been in the past.

Yesterday, Patricia Quartin von Sydow helped me with the first step in designing my life the way I want it to be. It was the most intense, thrilling, and positively exhausting three hours I’ve had in a long time.

Last year I got married. Only three days into my marriage, it became clear that I might have made the biggest mistake of my life when my husband showed himself to be abusive. I suffered for the whole four months I was married. Thankfully God had different plans for me and I managed to break free.

But it sure did get the best of me. I don’t regret the experience at all, but it did leave me doubting myself a lot… Why would anyone hurt the ones they love? Why do some men have the need to cheat? Why is it that we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s too far gone? Does marriage mean “I do… take you for granted”? A lot of thoughts were storming through my head and a lot of beliefs were shattered.

Having said that, I should clarify that I have three amazing men in my life: my dad and my two brothers. They have always shown me how a man should be and how a woman should be treated. What I experienced was completely out of my world. I trusted someone too much! I trusted when I was promised that it would never happen again and trusted the apologies and the tears.

Today, with Patricia’s help, I moved past all the mental blockages I’ve been carrying around. Thanks to her, I realised I’m a survivor and that feeling sorry for myself was just simply keeping me stuck.

Today, I don’t only feel lighter, but I also feel more positive. As Patricia told me, “It might not be that easy, but it is that simple.” I acknowledged, accepted, learned from, and released negative emotions.

If I'm able to inspire someone who is in the position I used to be in, my message to them would be this: There is always a way out – you are stronger than you think you are. Dare to speak up.

Sara Queen, nutritionist, says: “Noha’s first comment to me was ‘I don’t want to cook’ but after our initial consultation she agreed to step foot once gain into the kitchen. Since then she has gone from strength to strength and has concentrated on eating three meals a day as opposed to one, or two, and has made most of them at home rather than eating out – fantastic! Our trip to the local supermarket has also widened Noha’s easy to cook meal options. Next week we are concentrating on Noha’s overall health as well continuing with meal preparations.”

Week two, day six

Fitness a go-go

So I finally started with my Fitness First plan two days ago when I met my personal trainer, Vanessa, who is very energetic, sweet and knows what she’s talking about. 

Boy was I surprised! I’ve just realised that yo-yo exercising has left me so much out of shape. So we’ve started, as Vanessa said, slowly but surely. Vanessa emphasized that no matter how hard I workout with her, most of the responsibility falls on me… Outside the gym, will affect how I perform inside. 

I admit to occasionally being tempted by sugar, or to just skip a workout. But, truth be told, since I started following Sarah’s advice, my energy levels have gone from zero to hero in no time, and I wouldn’t want to go back to the zero state again. I’ve always loved being active and eating right. I’ve started and won’t stop.


Aquarius magazine

Aquarius magazine