My Mum's Story
This is my mum. Her name is Anna. Since I remember she was always heavily overweight, she never did any kind of exercising in her life. She gained weight when after giving birth to me and my sister and wasn't able to drop it. She was trying to lose weight by trying various diets but nothing worked. She also was avoiding doctors at all cost.
Until at the age of 55 she had a heart attack. On that day she had pain chest but still went to work, where it got worse. She called my dad to come and get her. She was insisting to go home where she could rest. Luckily my dad was wiser and took her to hospital instead, where they told her she was having heart attack. She was immediately admitted to ICU and treated. She had to have stent inserted in her blood vessel as it was blocked, stopping the blood flow to her heart.
2 weeks after leaving hospital, she was referred to rehabilitation center for people after heart attack. And this saved her life more than doctors and stent. In that place she met with dietitian to discuss changes in her eating habits (even though her daughter tried to change it for years!) and she listened to him. She wasn't eating massive amounts of food, fast foods, sweets etc. before the heart attack, but she was eating breakfast early in the morning and dinner late at night, not eating throughout the day. Dietitian advised her to have 5 small meals through the day and include a lot of vegetables. She started to follow it.
In the rehabilitation center she had also been prescribed exercise routine on stationary bicycle. When she went to first class she was afraid, she didn't know what to do, how to operate the bike, she thought she can't do it, she is too old, she never rode the bike in her life. Trainer there helped her overcome those fears, explained what to do and how to do. And so she did it. And it wasn't that bad, she said! She kept attending the classes for 2 weeks of her being there and when she returned home I bought her stationary bike so she could exercise at home.
Since that day my mum every day has been doing 50 km on the bike! Every single day! For 5 years now! She divides it to 20, 15, 10, 5 km throughout the day, puts her favorite music on or some film and goes. In 5 years she did the same amount of km as if she went around Earth 2.5 times!! When the weather is good she also goes for a walk in near park. When she had heart attack she weighed 105 kg, one year later she was 70 kg and she maintains it since by exercising and eating well.
My parents live on 4th floor in building without lift. Before heart attack she had to stop for few minutes on each floor to rest and catch breath. Now she can go all 4 floors in one go, despite her heart being weaken by the attack. Exercises made her heart, body and mind stronger, even after all the years of carrying extra weight. She does take a lot of medicines prescribed by doctors of course, but her condition is not getting worse, thanks to consistent exercises. She is also behaving well and not afraid of doctors anymore, although she still get nervous when she needs to see one.
My happiest moment was when 1.5 year after the heart attack we went to buy her dress for family event. When she was overweight, we had to go to special shops which had sizes 26-28 to buy clothes that would fit her. When we went to buy a dress, we went to normal shop, where she could fit in size 12 and look amazing. She looked in the mirror and saw a woman that she hasn't seen for so many years. Everybody complimented her at the family event, some people didn't even recognize her.
The inspiration and motivation from her story is that no matter age, fitness level, illness, fears - you can achieve your goal! You just need to be patient, consistent and with help and support, you can definitely change your life. Don't be afraid. Try.
I want to share this story with you to give hope and motivation to people who think they are too big, too old, too lazy, who say “I can’t” - to start changing their life, body and mind to healthier version of themselves. Because it is possible!
I met Eman in summer of 2018, she wanted to lose weight and her weight was quite significant. Her life style was mostly sedentary with totally unhealthy junk food every day (some of the meals she told me about sound to me like horror story!)
For a person like this to pick up the phone and call personal trainer takes a lot of courage, motivation and hope, that I can help her to change her body.
We started straight away and definitely it wasn’t easy for her. After years of sitting her body was not used to moving and exercising. But she was so determined to change her life, she kept going despite getting tired very quickly, getting out of breath, sweating even at easiest exercises. And she started losing weight, her fitness level started to improve, exercises started getting easier, I started to challenge her more. Be clear here - it didn’t happen in few days, it was a process that took some time and is still ongoing, and she is not stopping!
But what’s more important her mentality changed - she increased her activity by small changes in her daily routine, like using bathroom that is downstairs, just so she could walk on stairs. Stopped all junk food and swapped it to plenty of vegetables and proteins. Coke replaced with water. She eats sweet treats from time to time, but she knows to earn it by walking longer or exercising.
And she is winning despite of some health challenges she has been facing. She is determined, she is strong and she will win! She is also crazy, loving, caring friend, that I am happy she become to me.
Recently she had surgery and is giving headache to her doctor, asking all the time “When can I start exercising???”, even straight after waking up from anesthesia.
It’s not easy to change Panda lifestyle to healthy one, but everything is possible with the right motivation, strong dedication and little help from people around you.
My Cancer Story
This photo is not “before and after fat loss”.
This photo is “before and after finding out ovarian cancer” at the age of 28.
In 2011 I gained weight because my job was sitting most of the day and I was eating way too much, mostly pizza, pasta, potatoes, bread, sweets, all in one evening sometimes! I was going to gym, wasting time, spending 20 min on treadmill, abs, cross-trainer and be out. It didn’t help me and was boring. Until one day Personal Trainer approached me in gym and offered free session. For one week after that session I couldn’t move properly, laugh or sit on toilet, because I was in pain post exercise. And I love it and I wanted more! So I started regularly training with him. After few months I noticed my body changing, getting toned and slimmer, I was very happy. Only problem was that my tummy was still big. Unfortunately for me when I gain weight it goes first into my stomach. I kept complaining to my coach that all body is nice but stomach is big, to which he said that the fat from there will go last. So I waited and kept complaining, until one day he suggested I go to see a doctor because the stomach was really sticking out now in compare to rest fit and slim body.
When I went to doctor, he asked if I was pregnant cause I looked like 5 month pregnant lady… After tests they found out I had cyst on my ovary of size of football ball… I was admitted to hospital and had surgery to remove the cyst, together with my right ovary. They took ovary to laboratory to check it and found out cancer on it. When they told me this I was shocked but happy it was out. I had to have another surgery to remove other tissues in abdomen area where cancer could have spread. Luckily there was no more cancer. Since then I do regular checkups to make sure all is fine. I had few health complications after that, some have effect till now unfortunately. But I am ok!
No one was able to answer me why I had cyst, why I had cancer. It was shocking to everyone that 28 year old girl had this as usually it happens to women in their 50ties.
What I know is:
1) I don’t want to have cancer again – that’s why I am little freak when it comes to eating healthy and exercising, I want to keep my body is best shape and give it nutrients that is needs to fight off anything bad. This is my motivation to do what I do and to share it with other people around me.
2) This Personal Trainer saved my life – because I worked out with him properly, I lost fat % which showed the cyst hiding under the fat, he also suggested for me to go and see the doctor.
3) You need to know your body - If I didn’t work out with this coach, I would be dead by now, because I would never discover cyst and cancer until it was too late. I didn’t know my body, I didn’t understand how it can change. Now I watch my body every day.
To all ladies – check your body regularly. Eat healthy, give your body nutrients to be strong, exercise, don’t poison yourself with processed food and drinks, take care of your body, stay positive, make yourself really truly happy. Be safe.
Thoraya contacted me a few months ago, looking for a personal trainer to help her reach her goal of losing almost 50 kg weight. That’s a huge challenge not only for client, but also the trainer. With high weight there are many limitations on exercises that can be done (for safety and due to body physical restrictions), the overall fitness level is low, new limitations can be revealed (very common problems with knees, joints due to high weight that body is carrying every single day).
However with consistent training, excellent communication between us, positive attitude, steady weight loss, we managed to decrease so many limitations that Thoraya had when we started!
Thoraya loves food. Like really seriously loves food. The way she talks about it is like she talks about heavenly things. How can she loose weight if she loves food so much? She makes food choices with her goal in mind. She enjoys the flavors, variety, the quality but she controls the quantity. She tracks her food using an app and often shares the pics with me so she can be accountable. She set up a routine so it’s easier to follow on a daily basis without being in situation “I am starving, I will eat whatever is around me”, which is what can make you feel guilty after and slow down your progress.
The journey to her goal is not over and she is not stopping. Her consistency is admirable and gives me motivation also, especially in past few months when our lives have changed drastically.
Thoraya is lighter, her body is healthier, so incredibly stronger (makes me scared sometimes!), she is happier and she seems quite excited for my daily morning torture...training I mean.
“Healthy weight gain” goal is not as common as “weight loss” among ladies but both are result of a woman not feeling happy about her own body. To achieve either of them, you need to be brave to take the step to reach for help to change that. You need to be ready to adjust many aspects of your life: change what and how much you eat, be very consistent with training and patient with seeing results.
I was very happy when M. contacted me looking for help to gain weight in healthy way. Being a young woman in her 20ties, she was already thinking about her body when she will over 50, which is quite rare to think that much ahead (but that’s what we all should do! How we treat our body while we are young, will pay off to us when we grow older).
It wasn’t easy for her to change her eating behaviors, but gradually with focused approach she did. When she started working out, she was afraid she will hurt herself cause she felt weak. But opposite happened - not only she didn’t hurt herself, but her body became stronger and fitter and she felt in control of it. I loved it when she was excited feeling her muscles working (before we met she thought she was born without hamstrings in her legs).
There were ups and downs, as it happens in life, but what’s important is that she bounced back from downs even higher.
She has left Qatar now but I am sure that she will continue her new lifestyle and keep on being strong (opening jars will not be an issue), healthy, confident about her body and happy woman!