Never say never - GulfToday

Never say never

Elaine Superio

Elaine Superio

Fitness 180° Manager Sharjah Ladies Club

Fitness 180° Manager Sharjah Ladies Club


Maira Rifat Saeed before and after her weight loss.

I had a conversation with an interesting lady who I have been seeing in the gym almost every day. She wears the biggest smile and radiates positive vibes. Seeing her during my Spinzone class and now Box and Pump, there are two things that I found consistent in her; her focus on listening to safety techniques as well as giving her full effort to every move that she does.

One day after my class, I spoke to Maira and she shared with me her weight loss experience. A board-certified behaviour analyst (USA), Maira Rifat Saeed started her journey one year ago during the pandemic after realising that it was time to make a lifestyle change.

For the past few years, she was working and studying full time and it became challenging to attain a work-life balance, so she started relying on eating fast food or eating out most days. From the beginning her goal was not just to lose weight, but to truly make a lifestyle change that included exercising and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet as a part of her daily living.

Through a self-management strategy, Maira taught herself to prepare daily meals and learn new exercises. She consistently monitored her progress, recording and rewarding her performance. To see any form of progress she needed a reporting out partner, her husband, who she would report her daily progress to. Maira never rewarded herself with a cheat day or a day off from exercise. Her reward was to praise herself and buy new outfits as her weight went down.

Finding a place that can help you continue to perform your daily exercise is imperative. For Maira, that place was the Sharjah Ladies Club. The staff and trainers at the club are very supportive with their clients. The club offers several different types of aerobic classes such as Body Pump, boxing, Pilates, Tabata core and Zumba to name a few. 

Looking back to when she started her journey, Maira shared that anybody would find it challenging. She had questions of whether she could do this, how long it would take her to lose weight and when would she see those changes. She needed to analyze and have practical goals for herself.

Started with a weight of 128kg in June 2020, she has lost 44kg since then. Maira never thought of going on a crash-diet or just exercising and not eating. She was aiming to have a healthy lifestyle with a proper balance of eating, exercising, and sleeping. She would remind herself daily that she had been carrying her body weight for the past five years. She set a target of at least one year to a year and a half to get back in shape and achieve her fitness goals. Consistently monitoring progress helped a lot. If there is no improvement or visible weight loss, she would immediately stop and check her routine or diet and then make the necessary changes to keep progressing.  

 Maira believes that everyone can achieve anything if we have goals. Consistency is vital. We need to be consistent with monitoring and recording our progress and most importantly, rewarding our performance. Each time we reward ourselves, we encourage ourselves to repeat that behaviour, which is key to success. A reward can be a positive statement from your spouse, friends, parents, or siblings who see your hard work.

To all those out there who want to start the weight loss journey, have practical goals, be consistent, find a partner to report your progress to and reward yourself for every improvement you see. Most importantly, remember to say to yourself, I CAN DO IT! 

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