Thursday, March 8, 2018

My Setback Story

As much as I wanted to keep my story successful, but reality hit me in mid 2015. I had to go through some setbacks which caused me to bounce back to where I was before I lost 15 kilos. In this post, I will share the story of my setbacks – what causes me to go from 55 kilos to 80 kilos, and the lessons you can learn from it.


The beginning of 2015 was everything that I’ve ever dreamed in life. I had just graduated from uni and conquered Mount Kinabalu at the end of 2014, life felt more like at the top of the world that time. I was energetic, excited and always looking up for challenges. I felt like nothing could stop me from getting what I want. But that’s where the problem actually begins.

Just like other fresh graduates, I was looking for a secured job. So, I started applying it online and offline. Months later, I still haven’t received any offers except one from Universiti Sains Malaysia but it wasn’t a secured job offer and no allowance was given so I decided to decline the offer. While waiting for a job opportunity, I started my own brand, Pastels by Ieka Ahmad, in early 2015. I was so in love with my business that it distracted me from feeling sad over not receiving a single job offer.

Not long after, that was when my life started to become unstable. You see, the thing about expectation is, it disappoints us when we fail to achieve it. Back then, I expected myself to have a great and stable job because in my mind I deserved it. After months of waiting, I finally received a job that I really liked and that was from FashionValet. I was so happy when I read the email and I even searched for a potential place to stay in Damansara. However, my father disagreed with the offer because it didn’t match with my degree. My heart was crumbling. Realising the reasoning behind his disapproval was somewhat logic I had no choice but to let it go. But I was already feeling rebellious on the inside.

The second time I received an offer from a big company was from Love To Dress (now known as Olloum) and I had to turn it down too. Because I waited for this opportunity for so long but I had to let it go because of the disagreement, it built anger, frustration, rebellious feeling, and resentment in me. The thing about these feelings, if you keep them too long in your heart, your mind will slowly be shifted towards negativity. I didn’t learn about this then, but I understand so much about it now.


So what happened to me next?

The downfall of everything I’ve built in the last one year and a half. That happened.

My expectation was way too high it frustrates me when I couldn't get it. So, for months I was carrying the negative feelings inside of me. When my father disagreed with the second offer I received, I told myself internal and externally that I wouldn’t bother about anything else anymore. I said to myself that I don’t care about my life anymore!

What I didn’t realise was I was sending this message to the universe. It’s in the law of attraction that what you seek is seeking you. I was, during that time, seeking not to care about anything else in my life and that was what I received slowly. I started not to care about what I eat and it led to my weight gain. From gaining weight, my appearance started to change too. I had lost my self-confidence. I detached myself from social world. I was changing into someone who has no peace within her. It was war on the inside. It pulled me deep into the darkness. From body weight issue to work and relationship issue, I felt unhappy and angry all the time. Nothing seems right to me. It was as if I was a black hole and every negative thing was suck into me.

I didn’t realise I was so heavy until I weighed myself on a scale. The feeling was miserable and helpless. All the time I kept saying there’s no way I could help myself losing weight again. I avoided meeting up with friends because first impression was always unpleasing and I would cry myself at night thinking about what I have done to myself. As time went by, I developed social anxiety, and more and more weddings I had to skip because of it.


How did I escape from this misery was not easy. It took me months to finally be where I am right now – which I will share in my next post soon insha’Allah. But if I could share you a lesson or two that I’ve learned from this experience is to take control of your mind and reshape your expectation whenever you feel frustrated. Or simply do the things that could lead you to achieving your expectation if you can.

What do I mean by this? Here is a simple explanation. In my situation where I didn’t receive any job offers despite the fact that I’m a degree holder, I let myself suck all of the negative feelings because my reality didn’t match my expectation. What I could do then was I could control my mind and tell myself that if I don’t get the job that I want, that’s fine. It doesn’t mean that I’m a failure or that it’s the end of the world. Changing expectation means changing the idea that I deserve to have a secured job and stable income because I have a degree from overseas to even if I am a degree holder, it doesn’t necessarily mean I cannot be successful in my business.

Here is another example – your expectation says that if you are thin, you are happy. This means that if you are gaining weight, you will not be enjoying your life because you are unhappy. If you keep this expectation for the rest of your life, you will be living a miserable life forever until you die and that is not what we want. What you can do is you can reshape this expectation or you can do something to achieve that expectation. Instead of thinking that you’re the happiest person in the world if you are thin, you can change it to as long as I am healthy, I am happy. Or if you like to keep that expectation, you can start exercising.

What I’m teaching you now is to take control of your mind. It’s important to practice this because when you are in a situation where your mind keeps dwelling on the things that don’t meet your expectation, it’s not easy to think positively because apart from your expectation, there is a thing called social pressure that you have to face. Imagine you have a degree holder from abroad and still can’t find a job. Then you have your mother’s friends who constantly asking if you have a job yet or not. I’m sure a lot of us can relate to this example. Tell me what do you feel? It was an unpleasing feeling, right? That’s right. Failure to control your mind will lead you to your self-destruction.


The best things happen outside of your comfort zone. It is time to stop the autopilot button in your brain and start taking control of your life again. Be it about work, relationship or body issue, if you are still in autopilot mode, you will not be enjoying your life.

Finally, I hope this post will help you go through the hardest phase in your life. Just remember that someday you will look back at life and be smiling that you are stronger now because of the experience you’ve gone through before.

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