Meet Hani Ramli
Where do I start?
(I actually stared at the screen for a solid 5 minutes before any sentence came out from me!)
I’m the MAma in mom-MA Rants. I have 2 beautiful healthy kids, a girl (Ayra) who’s turning 8 in April and a boy (Elhaan) who just turned 4 in January. Since I’m going to pour my heart, soul and life into this I might as well tell you how I got here and why I started Energise Kids.
Choosing to feed the kids, healthy food was no brainer for me especially so for Ayra, my first born. Everything had to be home-cooked. No salt before 2 years, no processed food, no excessive sugar and all that jazz. I was pretty sure I could keep her in a bubble but then pre-school happened! They have birthday parties EVERY SINGLE month, they party harder than we do. We party? What party? My thoughts exactly.
I know some pre-schools are strict on party packs, good for them and bravo for you moms and dads for making sure you chose the right school. Mr. MAma (my babies’ daddy) and I, we made our decision based on a lot of other factors and well we overlooked this itsy bitsy tiny part. Instead of beating ourselves to death, we decided to educate Ayra on what is healthy and what is not. We can’t control her life (What do you mean? Of course you can, she’s 8!). What I meant is, instilling healthy eating habits early in life is important for our children to grow up knowing what is good for them and what is not. We’re not always there to tell them what they can and cannot do (even if we want to desperately).
Choosing to be fit and stay fit. Now that’s a struggle. I was a fit kid, played sports actively until I was 17, then I turned cold turkey and totally stopped. I avoided sun like a vampire, all I cared was trying to be fair (Asians can relate). I was lucky, blessed with good skinny genes. Credit goes to my high metabolic rate. For the next 13 years or so, I didn’t gain that much weight (please, don’t hate me) even though I wasn’t mindful of what I was eating or whether I was exercising. Little did I know skinny doesn’t mean you are healthy (I know that now).
Then along came Elhaan, my youngest (for now maybe forever). Like Ayra, I breastfed him. So I had no problem bouncing back to my pre-pregnancy weight. That was all that mattered to be back then (hello, shallow hani). Again, I took it for granted. Elhaan was 2 years old, when I realized I was getting sluggish. I didn’t handle stress very well, I wasn’t sleeping well, even though I had enough sleep I would wake up feeling so tired the next morning. Worst of all I had no stamina whatsoever, I’d be out of breath climbing a flight of stairs. I was SKINNY FAT.
You would think, I was tired because I was juggling 2 kids, a husband and a demanding career. Nope! I had a full time live in helper by then. So no, it wasn’t because of that. It was because I was not exercising plus I was enjoying too much good food and desserts. Mr. MAma on the other hand started a cycling club with his buddies and was cycling on an average 100km weekly. Did he inspired me to start? Perhaps, that and the vain pot in me got a shocked of my life when I could no longer fit in my POST pregnancy jeans. Just to prove this is not a typo, I repeat POST pregnancy jeans.
I am forever thankful to a close friend of mine (shout out to Nivin!). She practically dragged me to yoga and signed me up for my virgin 10km run. My lifestyle slowly changed. I was not only eating healthily but keeping fit at the same time. I would go to my yoga classes on weekdays and do my runs on weekends.
Our weekly routine would start with me going running first then the kids get their turn when I’m done. They get to choose to either go running, cycling or sometimes roller-blading. Ayra normally can’t decide (a chip of the old block), she wants to do it all. Elhaan will choose cycling always, like father like son. We’re blessed to be in Malaysia where it is sunny (mostly!) all year round. Unless it’s raining, there is no reason not to go outdoors (ok except when it’s scorching hot, common sense is required here).
Has it been easy? Hell no! It’s a constant struggle and still is for me personally. There are days I’d rather just lie in bed to read or binge watch my favorite TV series.
So what is it that keeps me going? My kids. They keep me in check. On days I don’t feel like running, I still have to bring them out. Technically, I still run because I’m forced to chase after them. Hey, win-win situation! I get my workout, they get their workout. They spend more time outdoors now compared to when I was a couch potato (a skinny potato one mind you – not trying to rub it in, I promise! Haha!). Less screen time too. Don’t get me started on screen time, I’ll tackle that in another post. We’re still working on it.
Well, that’s how I got here. It took me a long time but I’m here and I’m moving forward. I worry about a lot of things and I worry more when I became a mother. I’m sure you can relate. I worry when I read the rate of obesity slowly increasing in children around the world, especially so in Asia. Am I doing enough to teach my kids the importance of eating right? Do they have enough exercise? Are my kids happy? Will I raise kind kids? Will my kids develop empathy? All those questions led me to wanting to read more to find more information and talk to parents (or “stalk” on social media) to see what they are doing and how they do it.
My partner in crime, the MOMmy (Meet Emiza Merican) in MOM-ma Rants, is one of my go to moms I would talk to seek advice, exchange notes because our kids are BFF. We have a lot in common, our girls being diva daddy girls and all. It started with just us wanting to make a positive difference in our own children lives but we felt we could do more. That was how Energise Kids was born. We hope to create an open platform, to build a community that inspires, encourages and supports each other when it comes to our children wellbeing.
It’s not something that will happen overnight but it is a conscious journey in ensuring that we are creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle for our children. Together, lets’ make it our mission to cultivate healthy habits from young!
Love, Hani Ramli (MAma)