The Hijabi 15

Hey people,

I need to write this post. I put on hijab about 2 years ago now, alHamdulilah. All’s good except I totally regret the pounds I put on because of it. I feel like such a bad Muslim because I’m mad about this even though it’s my own fault. Before I wore hijab my clothes were pretty form-fitting not skin tight but form fitting enough. I had a figure In was proud of and most importantly I was healthy and physically active. The switch of clothing made put my guard down and I gained some pounds. Actually I gained lots of unnecessary weigh (well not ALOT but more than I would like to have put on) and I’m also less physically active because I feel more self concious. So for any girls that are thinking of wearing hijab-go for it! But stay active and healthy. Once you hide in those loose clothes it’s sooo easy to let yourself go and I am so unbelievably upset that I did. Everyone says that you have to beware of the freshman 15 but I say beware of the hijabi 15 new hijabis!! Go for the hijab but not the extra pounds!! And I do NOT think it’s wrong or vain to want to keep a nice figure even if you’re not showing it. It’s for your health and personal satisfaction.

I’m also curious: did anyone else suffer from this?



  1. Mohammad Said:

    Ahum, yes I suffered a similar thing. I used to wear traditional Pakistani salwar kameez all the time and it indirectly caused my weight to increase – as you say the loose clothing lets you put your guard down. I have found switching to western clothes has made dramatic changes – the extra weight has gone – I had to work at removing it, but its gone, Alhamdulillah.

    I think the sisters need to support each other and create a demands and expectations of each other to keep their weight in check – a sort of self-regulating sub-culture. Keep around weight-conscious people and you should be well on your way, Inshallah.

  2. Mohammad Said:

    BTW, did you post anything further on the Dr Herman Jackson lectures?

  3. Annie Ain Said:

    Yeah, I did, I started wearing a hijab and got married at around the same time…and the pounds packed on. Out of happiness and out of the fact that I had started wearing loose clothing, hiding what really was underneath. Never the less I’m back on a great regime, of active and healthy living coupled with extensive meditation….

  4. Umm Layth Said:

    I can understand how it can happen but we should not lose focus of the importance of caring for our bodies. A few years back I lost weight because I wanted to look good and not so much because I wanted to feel better and have more energy. I gained it back and some and now I have finally taken on a real initiative by joining Curves here in Cali with my mother and sister. Alhamdulillah I really feel a lot better now and I encourage any sister who isn’t active (thin or big as thinness does not equate healthy) to do something about it now. I don’t want to be the cause of my suffering later on in life because I chose to neglect this important obligation.

    May Allah grant us the determination to care for our bodies. Ameen

  5. Sumera Said:

    Nope not had a problem 😀

  6. TwennyTwo Said:


    I was just thinking about this today. I don’t think that being muhejebah caused the issues- I dropped crew team around the same time I first started wearing it, and going from extreme activity to regular college activity would’ve brought on what I gained anyway. I’m the only person I know (not on the team) who lost 30 lbs freshman year. Yeah.

    That said, alhamdulillah what I noticed is that when I wear truly loose clothes, I’m HAPPIER. Because I’m NOT worried about my weight, high or low though it may be. I notice when I need to hit the gym a little more, but I do that anyway based on family health factors. Even when I’m covered but wearing loose-style western clothes I think more about my body and comparing it to others, which isn’t productive (and isn’t fair, cuz there aren’t many who are actually evenly comparable, y’know?) and isn’t leaning toward my goal of more taqwa.

    Two sides of the same coin: beware the hijabi weight gain? Or beware the Western-wear body image issues.


  7. Jana Said:

    I’ve been wearing hijab for longer than I’ve cared about my weight/figure, so I don’t think it’s a factor for me. Although the loose clothes are brilliant for ‘letting it all hang out’ without anyone actually seeing 😀

  8. Solace Said:

    I can identify with this. I used to be a gym bunnie, but when I started wearing hijab and abayas, I felt it was inappropriate to be out exercising in tracksuits and other “fitted” clothes.

  9. Salaams,
    Yes, I was getting up there when I started wearing hijab in the Kuwait and Egypt. It didn’t help that I was cloistered for the entire time in Kuwait. I walked around a lot in Egypt and sweated profusely. But for some reason I lost my waist line. I also think the bloat from gastro-intestinal problems and water retension contributed to my mishappen hijabi physique. The carb laden diet in Egypt doesn’t help. Everytime i ate, I felt just gross. The cuisine is just not as good as Moroccan or Shami food. Anyways, I did go through a depression kinda about my pooch and new boxy figure. I began working out though at home. I started watching what I ate. The pounds started coming off. Now that I’m back in the states, I feel a bit normal.

    When I was younger, I picked up a lot of pounds when I wore hijab. Maybe that’s why we should take time to dress nice for ourselves because then we can have that ocassional reminder to say no to that extra serving of this or that double scoop sundae.

    Don’t get me started on hijab and curly hair. My hair is a hot mess. I’m still struggling to keep my waves nice while having to bind it up everyday in hijab.

    Well, there are bigger things to complain about in this world. But it is something that we have to keep in mind. The truth is, when you live in the Middle East, you realize that Muslim women are human too. We want to look beautiful, we are just as concerned with fashion and beauty, and body image. Body image varies from culture to culture. Hijab hasn’t stopped millions of Muslim women in Muslim societies from bleaching, cinching, wearing corsets, dieting, overeating, starving, straightening, tweezing, waxing,, dyeing, etc.

  10. […] You gain weight. A lot of Muslim women will deny this one, even to themselves, but you can’t deny what you see in front of you when the jilbabs are […]

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