By Maya Nassar
Maya Nassar Maalouf is a mother, fitness entrepreneur, certified personal trainer, sports nutritionist and international fitness model champion. She began her fitness journey several years ago when she was overweight and has lost more than 20 kilograms of fat and five dress sizes. She is the first Arab female to be endorsed by the government to compete in international fitness modeling competitions and has won 9 trophies in the last year. She has her own online platform, mobile application and gym named Start Living Right where she helps others live a healthy lifestyle and changes their lives for the better. Her mobile application is the first of its kind in Lebanon, is endorsed by the Lebanese minister of sports and has been ranked as the number one app by the Apple store. Maya hosted the sports segment Get Fit on MTV Lebanon for the last 2.5 years.
Just last week I found myself feeling extremely demotivated about working hard to transform my body for the second time and compete in May. I’m well into my third week of dieting and have started to face the reality of how much sacrifice it takes to achieve some really difficult goals.
I’ve had moments where I’ve been surrounded by people eating cake while I simply turn a blind eye. The other issue I’m faced with is watching my calorie intake. I can’t just eat whenever I’m hungry. I have to stick to portion sizes, keep my carb intake quite moderate and suppress my appetite if I have any extra cravings. I’ve lowered my calorie intake from 2500 down to 1750 calories in total.
However, despite the discipline and sacrifice it takes, it is totally worth it at the end of the day. I’ve already started noticing some changes in my physique. My abs are more cut, my legs are harder and I’m already much stronger. I’m not going to build the best body I’ve ever had by sitting on the couch and eating cake. The cake isn’t going anywhere and I know I’ll indulge as soon as I’ve achieve my goals.
Even though it can be extremely difficult, I will always transform any negative thoughts into positive action to keep me going. Here is how you can do the same:
1- Read positive quotes
Sometimes all it takes is a simple sentence to remind you not to give up and to keep moving forward.
2- Think about the results
Although you might want to binge and skip gym sessions, never give up what you want in the long run for what you want right now.
3- Pushing to your limits will make you a stronger person
Remind yourself that sitting in your comfort zone will not benefit you in any way. Challenges are what makes you grow as a person and in all other aspects in your life.
4- Be an inspiration and role model to others
Working hard means you might inspire others to be like you. Be the one who is different and not the one gives in because everyone else is doing it.
5- Fitness and health should always be a priority
Taking care of your body will not only improve your physical health, but your mental health as well. If you want to live a long, fulfilling and happy life, the way to do it is to take care of yourself. A sedentary lifestyle, bad food and frequent alcohol will not serve you or your family in any way.
On the other hand, I wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day. This is one night where you can actually ditch the diet and enjoy a rich piece of cake.