From the uncertain grays to colorful rainbows
Hi everyone! My name is Darine Ahmad but you can call me Dee or Lil Dee (inspired by being on the not-so tall side of the spectrum). I am a Belgian Lebanese who has moved A LOT (supposedly I have an ‘itch’ but I blame it on the search for my purpose in life or as the Japanese call it, my ikigai).
For as long as I can remember, my intuition naturally pulled me towards wanting to help others but we all know how that goes. You graduate from school at just 18 years of age, and are suddenly faced with too many big decisions to make. Lost and unequipped for all the changes to come, you never fully realizes the impact these decisions make on your future career and life. Let’s just go with the flow. Planning? What’s that? I’m 18 years old. I am not expected to plan – not yet at least.
I graduated from Kingston University with an Honors BSc in Biomedical Science and after 4 fun years of intense studying I realized I didn’t want a career in a lab (can you imagine a people’s person locked up with test tubes and cell cultures – it just didn’t seem right for me). So… I applied to Medical School in Imperial College and was ecstatic to be accepted.
Suddenly, my life took an unexpected turn. From one day to the next, everything changed. My brother passed away in a car accident, my parents were heavily afflicted and as the eldest, it just didn’t seem right to be away from my loved ones. We moved countries for a fresh start, Dubai it was… And I felt like I was literally in the desert. I felt like there was no one who could fully understand the pain I was going through. To be fair, I couldn’t fully understand it myself – was it anger, anxiety, disbelief? ‘The 5 Stages of Grieve’ I didn’t get any of that and I just kept asking one question: ‘Why me…?’
For the next 9 years, I suited up nearly every morning for the corporate world. Don’t get me wrong… I learnt a lot of great things and met a lot of wonderful people that are now some of my closest friends but I always felt a sense of ‘fitting out.’ I remember when those mornings started to become a struggle. I was only 33 but I didn’t have the desire nor the energy to face the day. It was quite surprising because I did escape with my sports (volleyball and gym were always a MUST) and was an advocate for healthy eating yet all other aspects of my life seemed unbalanced.
I woke up one morning and I just couldn’t recognize the woman looking back at me so I decided to take matters into my own hands. Reconnect with the bubbly, fun, energetic person I used to be! So while researching on the ‘how to’s’ of life, I came across Joshua Rosenthal’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) where I learnt the importance of primary foods, or non food sources of nourishment, that truly fuel us.
So, I quit my corporate job (to say the least it was a move NOT recommended by many), moved countries (once again) and certified as a Health and Wellness Coach.
During this time, I have UNlearnt many things that are just a media craze with no substantial scientific evidence and learnt about post-modern nutrition; the importance of bio-individuality and the strong connection between our lifestyle (career, relationships, spirituality and physical activity) and the food choices we make.
Today, after having found my ikigai… I feel more vibrant and alive than I did in my 20’s. So after seeing how small changes can make such a big difference in my life, I wanted to help others strive to live healthier and happier lives. Through education, support and empowerment you will take control of your life choices and begin to slowly integrate healthy habits that will last a lifetime!
I strongly believe that it is never too late to make changes. Life isn’t out of your control, even if it tends to sometimes feel that way. When you are ready to take matters into your own hands and ask for help, you will break free from anything that holds you back!
If I could do it, you can do it (Nike style)!