For all of you out there interested in better health, diet & exercise plan, we are pleased to offer you a sneak peek of the interview we made with Maya Nassar; the Lebanese fitness model, personal trainer, nutritionist and entrepreneur who’s currently taking the Arab fitness world by storm! Maya gave us lots hints and facts regarding health, working-out and dieting.
Hi Maya! Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I’m certified in personal training and sports nutrition. I have a personal website and mobile application which offers useful and helpful tools to help people live a healthier lifestyle. My platform has been endorsed by the Lebanese minister of sports and received lots of media attention. I also compete in international bikini competitions and have won a total of four titles in the last two years. I recently started my own fitness show on MTV Lebanon which is aired live twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 am Lebanese time.
Before you started exercising, you were overweight. What made you change your life and get into fitness and the toned physique you have today?
I was fed up with feeling insecure and self-conscious about my body. I realized that I am responsible for my own lifestyle and that there was something I could do about my weight. At one point, I gained so much weight that none of my clothes fit me anymore. There is a quote that says: “Sometimes you have to fall lower than you have ever been, so you can stand up taller than you ever were before”. I believe hitting rock bottom was the trigger that made me change for the better.
From a Listings Editor at Beirut Editor to a fitness model, how did that journey take place?
My dream had always been to start competing internationally and step on stage next to other top fitness models. I decided to pursue my passion because I realized I wanted to experience this dream. It wasn’t about winning trophies, but more about accomplishing my goal. I saw it as a challenge against myself. It was like “as long as I can get myself into shape and step on stage, then I am a winner!”
You are inspiring many women all over the world, what was your inspiration to take such a big step in life?
When I lost weight, my entire life changed. I became happier, healthier, more confident and even had better relationships with people. I wanted to share my passion with other women and change their lives for the better by learning from my experiences. To me, hearing that I helped someone else reach their goals is just as rewarding as achieving my own goals.
What do you think is the ideal exercise to staying fit and healthy?
I would say weightlifting. Weightlifting shapes our body, builds up our metabolism and helps us lose fat much quicker. It also enables us to eat more overall calories without gaining weight.
What is the biggest misconception about female bodybuilding?
I would say the mistaken belief that bodybuilding makes a woman masculine. A woman can never become bulky or masculine from weightlifting simply because she does not have enough testosterone in her body. The only way a woman can look masculine like the stereotypical female bodybuilder is by either taking steroids or anabolic drugs.
You launched a “start living Right” mobile application, tell us more about that.
My mobile application is the first fitness application in Lebanon and has been endorsed by the Lebanese minister of sports. It has been ranked as the number one application by the Apple Store several times, competing with international applications. My application offers lots of tools and information to help anyone reach their fitness goals. It includes exercise programs, fat loss calculators, recipes, information and advice, quizzes and lots more. I want my application to help anyone like my old self who does not know what to do or how to begin. My application offers all of my knowledge and advice and is available for free. People can download it by searching for “startlivingright” in their smartphone stores.
What has the future got in store for Maya Nassar?
My long-term goal is to open a gym and to keep on competing in bikini fitness competitions abroad. I will also be adding new features to my mobile application and constantly working on improving it. In the meantime, people can watch me on my new fitness show Get Fit on MTV every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 am.
You can enjoy more of Maya’s insights in Magnificent Special Wedding Issue coming out SOON. Don’t miss it!
By Ghada Sakr
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