Unit 1 Revision

“Inshallah” if Allah wills.
“Mom, are we going to the grocery store?”
“Inshallah, dear.”
“Mom, I have an exam today.”
“Inshallah will be easy.”
Very common, used daily. Inshallah is a word that we Muslims use so much. We sometimes say it without even realizing it. Sometimes doing or saying things multiple times makes them feel less special, but “Inshallah” is just different. It’s dug deep in our hearts. Mentioning God no matter how many times can never be less special. Instead, it makes us more hopeful, appreciative, and thankful. “Inshallah,” May God helps me in the exam. May God help me do the homework. May God help me get over the difficulties I’m facing. Such a powerful word fills your thoughts with positivity. Ensures you that God is always with you, every minute, every second. You keep going forward because you are sure that God will never let you fall.

Sixth grade wasn’t that easy where I lived. Science, Geography, History, and so on, all different topics had a whole book in which you had to memorize every detail. At the end of the year, you get tested on all the subjects. Tests were kind of competitive. The exam questions were not associated with just one school. They were the same for all schools in the whole country. Therefore, you can conclude that it was like a race, trying to get the highest grade possible in each subject. On the morning of my first exam, half asleep, half awake. Though I heard the alarm, I decided to stay in my bed for a few additional seconds. I then woke up, smelling the fried eggs, the most typical breakfast in my house. I would hear the birds chirping, partially seeing the sunlight through my window. I was a bit scared, just as everyone in my grade was.
“Are you scared?”
“Mom, How else would I be?”
“Inshallah, you will ace the exam. Don’t worry.”
“Inshallah.”
After I got ready, my mom took me to school. Since it was far, I had to get there by taxi. Facing the school gate, I felt a little nervous. The closer the exam time became, the worse it felt.
“Inshallah, you’ll be fine, don’t worry about it. You studied so hard.”
I felt confident. The word Inshallah made me calm and confident. It reminded me that I did what I could. Inshallah, my work pays off. I should take the exam and do my best. I entered the school, saw my friends, and chatted for a little. When the exam was about to start, we said
“Inshallah, we all pass the exam with good grades.”
I finished the exam. Thankfully, it was easy. Then I got back home.
“How did you do on the exam?”
“Inshallah, I did well. It was easy.”
This one word can bring you comfort to keep going. We keep reminding ourselves of Allah. We don’t forget or become less caring when we get what we want. We ask Allah to be with us in the hard times. Thank Allah for what we already have. Thank Allah when our wishes come true.

“Inshallah” was not a word I heard at a specific age or came to realize suddenly. I grew up with it until I started to use it personally. The more mature I’m becoming, the more precious it feels to me. Not just the word “Inshallah,” there’s “Alhamdulillah,” which means thank God. Among many others. It’s about Allah, God. Reminding yourself that God is everywhere gives you the strength to keep going. With that, living in this busy world, and between all the tasks or things we have to do, saying these simple words that require no effort would always remind us of Allah. We don’t only remember Allah when we have something to ask for or wish. The love we have for Allah does not have a limit. It does not expire. Instead, it keeps growing. These simple words or phrases such as “Inshallah” are just one way that expresses our love and trust in Allah because it reflects how we mention Allah in our daily conversations. Whether my plans are simple or not, I say Inshallah first. Then I’d start to work on them.

The use of the word Inshallah is not only associated with Muslims. It is used by Arabic speakers of other religions as well. When hoping for something, saying “Inshallah” feels inspiring. Sometimes I would feel lazy about starting my homework or getting something done. Then, I would say,
“Inshallah, I will do it an hour later.”
Well, I possibly do not do it after that one hour exactly.
“Inshallah after thirty minutes, this time for real.”
And then I would start. Mentioning Allah motivates you to get your job done. It keeps it in our minds that we should stop being lazy since Allah wants us to do our best to be successful. I was a little bit lazy to start this essay, keeping in mind a thousand words waiting for me.
“Inshallah, I will start after having dinner.”
And here I am. There are so many things in life that we feel lazy or procrastinate to get done. They can be as simple as being willing to go to the grocery store and as big as having your finals in college. This or that, saying “Inshallah” will always be your source of inspiration. Different people from different communities say Inshallah. Saying Inshallah and believing in it by so many people creates a new community. This community is built due to our belief and trust that saying Inshallah would always be powerful. People looking for inspiration and comfort would say “Inshallah” while working on their goals to make a better future.

“Inshallah” is a source of inner confidence and hope. The variations when using the word “Inshallah” differ from one person to another. Some say it ten times a day. Some say it five times a day. In the end, no matter how many times we say it, it will always be special. We go through the good days and the bad days, but you would still hear “Inshallah” coming from our mouths no matter what. We work. We don’t just say “Inshallah” because “Inshallah” is meant to encourage us to do what makes us better. The depth words carry comes from their meaning. Specifically, what they mean to us. “Inshallah,” “alhamdulillah,” and many other words. Are they important to us because they contain seven or ten letters? Or are they important to us because they mean something and make us feel a certain way? “Inshallah” is just one word that reminds us of God. Using one word in small conservation would bring you comfort and happiness. Reminding yourself that God is always by your side when saying Inshallah gives you the power to keep on going no matter what you face in your life.

 

Unit 2 Revision

Planning On Starting A Diet? Here Are Somethings You Need To Keep In Mind

Spending our time on social media every day, we must have come across a few videos of people showing before and after dieting photos. It influences us. We want to lose weight too. Most importantly, in the shortest possible time. We go on the internet, but we see different opinions from influencers, articles, videos, and celebrities. Everyone has something to say that contradicts the other. We hesitate on who to believe. Then some of us might decide to go the risky way of strict dieting. Not aware of the side effects on your health and your appearance, the body shape that caused you to start dieting in the first place. Fortunately, you came across this article that will help clear the air for you. Give you some knowledge about diets and ways to lose weight without risks.

 

Diets are taking over. People who have gained weight or are gaining weight go on a diet without having enough knowledge about the side effects or the myths that many follow. Famous diets, regardless of their harm, are now the obsession of numerous people. Only willing to lose weight in the shortest possible time. Some diets help you lose weight, but you would gain the weight all back again. Some diets do not help you lose any weight. Better not waste your time on them. Other diets help you reach your goal but then ruin your health. Therefore, before going on a diet, you should probably consider learning about diets and their impacts. Fixing something should not end up destroying another. 

 

Along with healthy dieting, people need to consider exercising. As suggested by the British Heart Foundation, “exercising can improve your mood, make you feel more energized, and help you sleep better. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.” So, considering exercising will not just help you lose weight but also enhance how you feel throughout your day. It gives you the energy to be more productive. And at the end of a tiring day, you will sleep peacefully. Although exercising can be annoying, not a lot of time is required. Just 150 minutes every week. The moment of exercising probably feels exhausting, but exercising is beneficial. The benefits mentioned in the article are three of multiple ones. Based on my personal experience, and since I started exercising, I felt that exercising enhanced my life in various ways. Exercising makes you more productive. So, when trying to lose weight, exercising should be the first step. You will notice other positive effects along your way. An adult would need at least 150 minutes every week. So, I would suggest doing around 20 minutes every day. Not much, but surely it will make a big difference. It will not be the end of the world if you skip a week or two. We all get lazy sometimes. Though make sure to include exercising as a priority in your schedule because it makes a difference in your health and daily routine. And is a better alternative to losing weight than a strict diet is.

 

By now, you are probably thinking. I want to lose weight sooner. How can it happen without strict dieting? You have probably heard this phrase before, “Ask one who has experience rather than a physician.” And here I am to tell you how my diet went. First of all, keep this in mind, do not starve yourself. Just switch a cupcake with an apple. So, what I did was cut junk food from my meals. Besides that, I ate everything else because we should treat our bodies well. I usually used to eat junk food every day, literally. Just by eliminating junk food, I lost weight and started to feel healthier. Another piece of advice is to think of diet as a time of having a perfectly healthy lifestyle. Do not just focus on losing weight. When I first decided to go on a diet, I never thought of going on a strict one because how long would it last? Eating normally back again after a month or two will cause me to get all the weight back again. What have I done then? So if you are looking for a short time of having a perfect body and a long time of suffering plus starvation (not to mention possible long-term risks). Go for a strict diet. Do not tell me, “I can control myself. I will not ever end up like those people who end up eating a lot and gaining their weight back.” Are you never going to eat a piece of cake again? Go to a restaurant?

 

A New York Times article about how diets make you feel bad mentioned that “restrictive eating can affect memory and executive function, lead to obsessive food thoughts and trigger a surge in cortisol, a stress hormone.” This means that strict diets will hurt you in many ways. Imagine risking your memory for the sake of looking a certain way. Becoming an uncontrollable eater, then why were you dieting in the first place? Now, probably many will ignore all those quoted side effects and focus on the part about being obsessive because, in the end, it makes you think about how your goal of losing weight would turn into its opposite, gaining weight more than you used to. After reading this part, you are probably reconsidering your diet plan.

 

If you are reading this, you might be questioning. What is the daily calorie intake needed to lose weight? Calorie intake relies on your gender, age, weight, and activity level. An article from HealthLine suggested that “Most women between the ages of 19–30 require 2,000–2,400 calories per day to maintain their weight, men between the ages of 19–30 should consume 2,400–3,000 calories per day, and children, a 3-year-old child might need only 1,200 calories, but a teenager can require closer to 3,000 calories per day.” You can use any calorie intake calculator to know exactly how many calories are needed to maintain or lose weight. Note that eating less than 1000 calories puts you at the risk of nutrition deficiency. Notice how the activity level is significant. A person with zero activity hours requires fewer calories than a person running for an hour daily. Eating after 8 pm does not make you gain weight as many people think. It is just a myth. It is all about your calorie intake. Since we exercise to burn calories, we eat an orange instead of an ice cream because it contains fewer calories. You can see that calorie intake is the central factor.

 

My mother completely disagrees with diets. Therefore I decided to interview her. I wanted to understand her perspectives on diets. Probably most mothers do. When asked what she thinks of dieting, she would instantly say, “The worst idea to lose weight, exercise instead.” Exercising is her only healthy way to lose weight. I asked her about her perspective regarding a diet that only eliminates junk food, which is what I did. She said, “Why cut something? Eating one little piece will not hurt.” Although I agree with her, I feel that it will not be an effective diet even if I decide to eat just one small piece of chocolate every day. When I asked my mother about her opinion regarding going on a strict diet for just one year, she said, “No, even if just for a month since there is a probability of risking health. No one should take this kind of risk.” I can never agree more. Risking your health for anything isn’t logical. Think about it. Having just a headache takes the enjoyment out of everything, even going out. So have you ever considered getting the body of your dreams but without enjoying your life? To decide on a diet, you need to know all the different aspects and possible results. Don’t turn a blind eye to things thinking that “People are probably exaggerating. Nothing bad will happen.”

 

Don’t think about it as I either go on a strict diet or keep eating a lot no matter how much weight I gain. Consider having a balanced diet. Diet isn’t about “starvation” but about “balancing.” An article by heart&stroke suggested what a healthy diet should include, “eating lots of vegetables and fruit, choosing whole-grain foods, eating protein foods, Limiting highly and ultra-processed foods.” You need to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits since they are full of different nutrients. Whole-grain foods such as bread and rice should be the base of our daily meals. Seeds, eggs, milk, and many other foods that contain proteins should be part of your everyday meals. You might need to fill a quarter of your plate with proteins. We probably eat most of these foods every day. Many strict dieters remove all these important sources from their meals. So, when deciding to choose a specific diet, you need to think about these foods that you might accidentally end up eliminating.

 

If you’re still looking for a straightforward answer about what could be a healthy diet to lose weight, I would say none. To lose weight “healthily,” you need to start exercising and eliminating junk food from your diet, which will reduce your calorie intake. That’s all. It might take time, but patience is always the key to long-term results and happiness. Focus on your overall health when deciding to go on a diet. Losing weight shouldn’t be your only motive. Remember that you matter, your health matters, and choosing risky ways to lose weight should never be an option.

 

Sources used in this article are listed below:

Diets Make You Feel Bad. Try Training Your Brain Instead.

How Many Calories Should You Eat Per Day to Lose Weight?

Dangerous Side Effects of Going on a Diet, According to Science

Dieting myths

Healthy eating basics

 

Reflection

Since I started my writing journey, I have been trying to observe myself as a writer. When I first write my pieces and then reread them, I feel like I have made a masterpiece. Then, after gaining more skills from writing multiple other things. Reading my old work feels very different. Each paragraph or even each sentence seems off in some way. Whether the way I structured my sentences, my word choice, or even the details I chose to include. That is how it felt this semester too. Reading my unit two work did not feel very different, but reading my unit one did feel very different. When I read unit two, I thought I only needed to alternate and change a few things. When I read unit one, I wished I could rewrite the whole thing. Probably the perspective I use when looking at my work has its impacts. Reading my piece just after finishing my writing probably differs from reading it after a while. It is more like reading it from a writer’s perspective to a reader’s perspective. One thing I think I could’ve done better with unit one was my choice of details and the way I introduced them. In the second paragraph, I chose to include a story about my sixth grade. “Sixth grade wasn’t that easy where I lived. Science, Geography, History, and so on, all different topics had a whole book in which you had to memorize every detail.” Now I feel like I had many other stories that I could’ve included and would’ve hooked my readers more. Probably would’ve felt more relevant and inspiring. I also feel like the paragraph seemed off since I just dropped my story without a good sentence starter. I now realize how important that is because if I think of myself as a reader, I don’t want to start reading a new thing every time I move between paragraphs. I would expect to see each paragraph start and end with a sentence that has a sort of connection to the whole piece.

At the same time, the more you like an assignment or a topic, the better you will be at it. Though I liked the idea of the first unit, I knew that it would be hard to come up with details. And that’s what I noticed with my writing. When writing about a topic I don’t have much to share, I would not perfectly ace it. I noticed repetition in my writing, which I don’t like but sometimes can’t help avoiding. The repetition doesn’t have to only be in words or sentences. Looking at one paragraph and reading the next, you might say, “well, that’s the same thing but rephrased.” For example, in one paragraph I said, “Whether my plans are simple or not, I say Inshallah first. Then I’d start to work on them.” And in the next paragraph, I said, “People looking for inspiration and comfort would say “Inshallah” while working on their goals to make a better future.” What is the difference here? It’s necessary to have not only different words and sentences but also different ideas. As a reader, I want every sentence I’m reading to be worth my time. I want to learn something new or feel like I’m seeing new ideas the more I keep going with my reading. Compared to my unit one, unit two was much better. Since I started it, I knew it would be good because I had a lot in mind to write. When I want to write about something and feel like there’s a lot to say, my writing turns out to be much better than if I have very little information. Something I enhanced in unit two was the conversion from one paragraph to another. The way I start and end my paragraphs with relevant sentences to my overall topic. This is important because having a perfect and balanced structure helps with grabbing the reader’s attention every now and then. In unit two, I tried to end every paragraph with a note or a piece of advice. For example, one paragraph ended with, “Fixing something shouldn’t result in ruining another.” Another paragraph ended with “Losing weight shouldn’t be your only motive.” The pattern is important in one’s writing. When I read articles online I like it when I see patterns. A specific method that’s used in every paragraph to keep the whole piece of work consistent and organized.

I feel like every time I write, even when writing the short weekly assignments, I learn something new or adapt additional skills. Something about me is when I decide to start writing I feel very lazy. After writing the first few sentences, I feel very linked to my writing and don’t want to stop doing it. Therefore, I enjoyed all the work I’ve done so far. I don’t only learn new things, but I enjoy doing the work as well. Most notably, I enhanced my sentence structure. I learned from my grammatical mistakes. I used to only focus on the content of my writing and didn’t pay attention to my sentence structure. I feel that focusing on sentence structure has made my writing much better and more advanced. Though I liked all the work I’ve done, my favorite one was unit three. I enjoyed the concept of multimodal. Be creative in your way to convert your words into a new genre that interests your audience. This semester I’ve done rough drafts for my work which is more beneficial than I thought it would be. Redoing something and rereading your work will always give you the chance to change something and make your final piece a better version. Working on the multimodal, I didn’t feel satisfied with my first video essay, yet I didn’t seem to have an idea of what was missing. The conversation I had with the Professor was very helpful to understand what needed to be done. I made a new video and felt very satisfied with it. One thing I liked about this course is the constructive feedback I got from my Professor and my peers. When fixing my work I used my perspective as a writer and their perspectives as readers. It’s important to take into account a perspective other than your own to avoid any biases and get an idea of how would your audience react to your work.

 

Throughout my journey this semester I learned different things about myself. I learned that I get more skills the more articles I read and the more I redo my work. I learned that there’s no perfect final piece. There is an okay piece, a good piece, and a better piece. There’s no limit when trying to enhance your work because there are always better alternatives. I haven’t been used to writing drafts before. I used to write my piece once, look at it and submit it. Now I realize how much difference it makes to have a rough draft and I’m sure this will benefit me in my future writings. One other thing I decided to do is read my old work and compare it to my current work which I realized is important now while working on my final portfolio. Reading your old work shows you how much you’ve changed. It shows you how many skills you’ve gained. Might also teach you new things when comparing your old to your present work. Things you probably haven’t noticed while working on your piece of writing. It’s important to focus on learning new things and enhancing your writing every time your write something. Don’t just focus on getting the work done. You should deeply look into your work to keep progressing as a writer.