This reader got nostalgic, kicked the bad and the negative to the curb, and embarked on one helluva weight loss journey.
NAME: Nur Athirah Airen
PROFESSION: Fitness Instructor
HOME: Kuala Lumpur
Looking at her now, you would have never guessed Airen once weighed 86kg. As a college student, she made food choices based on convenience – and that included snacking when deadlines loomed. The words ‘fitness’ and ‘healthy diet’ never entered her mind, until one day, just out of the blue, she decided, she’s had enough. Right about the same time, a new Celebrity Fitness outlet opened near her place. To Airen, it was a sign.
A ROCKY TAKE-OFF
Though she was excited about joining a gym and kick-starting her exercise regime, she was less than enthused about the changing room, where her insecurities were magnified. “I felt self-conscious in ill-fitting clothes, and wanted instant results,” she says. But what she got was negative comments from haters instead, and when the scale didn’t move, she felt defeated. “I was ready to quit. I thought perhaps, being better was just not my thing.”
GOING DOWN MEMORY LANE
But just when she was ready to throw in the towel, she remembered how different she had been as a child; she truly enjoyed sports, running around the park, and climbing monkey bars. She needed to find that kid again, and she certainly wasn’t going to find her by giving up. Armed with renewed vigour and resolve, she began to join the group exercise classes offered at the gym, such as Step, RPM, BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT and hip hop. “Merely running on the treadmill just didn’t do it for me. I needed – still do! – movement and motivating music.”
PEDAL, PEDAL, PEDAL!
She slowly built up her stamina with RPM, where she would put her body through intense 45-minute workouts. To push herself further, Airen took up BODYPUMP (“Its high-rep count is really challenging, plus seeing others lift heavier weights makes me want to train even harder”) and Step, a seriously underrated programme that doesn’t just burn fat like crazy, but also improves concentration and coordination tremendously. By sticking to these classes and cutting
down on food intake, she began to see results, losing 20kg in three months! Encouraged by loved ones, she slowly transitioned from a gym-goer to a fitness instructor at Celebrity Fitness.
Today, she weighs in at 65kg (at 169cm), but the number on the scale is of no importance to the 25 year old. Shedding the kilos meant shedding the initial perception she had about weight loss (i.e. that it was impossible), thus proving that she can do anything she set her mind to. She continues to consume just enough food to supply her body with the energy it needs, but is not averse to sweet treats on cheat days. As she has learnt, “moderation is the key to everything”. And by refusing to stick to the same exercise routines, Airen continues to set new limits for herself. “Sometimes, it’s fun to prove people wrong, but this is not a race. I’m not looking to out-do anyone but myself. Self-betterment is my end game,” she adds.
HOW AIREN DID IT:
• Just start
• Don’t take shortcuts
• Be patient with the process, be persistent with the progress, and persevere with your goals
• To be a better you, surround yourself with positivity.