Insight Magazine
June ‘15
Maya Nassaris apersonal trainer, a fitness model, a sports nutritionist as well as a young entrepreneur whofought and wona battle with herold weak-willed self creating an inspiring journey of determination, persistence and fortitude for people to follow
I stay in shape for my personal benefit. I want to look in the mirror and like what I see. I also want to wake up every morning feeling confident, energetic and healthy.
Maya Nassar

What were the hardest challenges that faced you?

The hardest challenge was probably my diet. I found it really hard to give up junk food that I loved and eat healthy meals like chicken, fish and vegetables. However, I believe that nothing tastes as good as being lean feels.

Talk to us about your inspiring health journey.

I never had any background in fitness. When I was younger, I had an extremely unhealthy lifestyle and ended up gaining a lot of weight. I used to eat unhealthy food on a daily basis and never exercised. After reaching my heaviest five years ago, I decided it was time to change for the better and get into shape. I realized I am responsible for my own lifestyle and I did not want to feet insecure or self-conscious about my body.

When did you discover your interest in bikini competitions and what drove you to this path?

After achieving my goal of reaching my ideal weight, I wanted to set a new challenge. I believe we should never stop setting goals and challenging ourselves to do better. I knew that the ultimate challenge would be competing in a bikini fitness competition and standing on stage next to top fitness models. I wanted to be the girl who transformed herself from being too insecure to go to the beachinto becoming a confident fitness model and parading on stage flaunting the best shape Ive ever been in my life.

Tell us about your experience at Pure Elite UK Championship.

I had an amazing experience. I won first place last year in my second competition and was extremely flattered as I was competing against some really beautiful women. My third competition was in April and I took home three trophies: One 2nd place, one 3rd place and best of all I was voted the overall female winner by the audience out of more than 200 competitors.

How did you become certified by International Fitness Professionals Association?

After getting into shape and doing a lot of reading about fitness and nutrition,I enrolled in courses by the International Fitness Professionals Association and got my certification.However, my personal belief is that you should practice what you preach. It is not enough for me to just be certified if I do not practice the things I want to teach others. This is exactly why I participate in competitions, to show others that if I can do it, they can do it too.

You also have your own application Start Living Right, tell us about that.

I created the first ever mobile application in Lebanon for living right. It is endorsed by the minister of sports and has also been ranked as the number one fitness application by the Apple Store. The application is a free mobile version of my website and it offers useful tools to help anyone live a healthier lifestyle.

What about your role as a board member of Animals Lebanon?

I have always been a passionate animal lover. Animals Lebanon is currently the largest animal welfare in the Middle East and I am a very proud board member.

What are your plans for 2015?

My plans include staying in shape and helping change peoples lives as well as working on my goal of opening my own gym.

Do you feel pressure to be in perfect shape?

Not really! I keep in shape for my personal benefit. I want to look in the mirror and like what I see. I also want to wake up every morning feeling confident, energetic and healthy.

What do you like best and least about your body?

What I like best about my body is my physical strength. I never knew I could get into such great shape and train as hard as I do. What I like least is that I have average genes. I cant eat whatever I like and not gain weight. I have to work very hard to stay in shape. However, I am a firm believer that the harder I train and the stricter I diet, the better my genes become.

Whats the one thing that you never skip in your workout?

I never skip leg training as I carry most of my fat around my lower body and it is vital that I always train my legs.

What's the best way for someone to get motivated to get fit?

I would suggest to have some sort of emotional attachment to your fitness goals. Think about how good you will feel if you build the best body youve ever had. Establishing why it is important to you to get into shape is what will motivate you to never give up.

You were overweight as a kid. Are you still influenced by an inner fat girl?

Definitely! Deep down there is a girl who loves to eat and I have to be disciplined every single day. However, a lifestyle of health and fitness is far more rewarding than eating junk food and feeling insecure.

What's the biggest mistake that fitness newbies make?

Doing cardio without lifting weights. Weightlifting is the best thing that will ever happen to a fitness newbie. It will transform your body naturally and help the fat melt off. It also builds incredible mental strength.

Bikini season is knocking the doors, what are your 101 tips to our readers?

The best advice I can give is to work hard towards getting in shape and to avoid extreme diets or scams. Diet pills, starvation diets or scams that promise results with little or no effort are very dangerous for your health. If you want to get into shape, eat healthy and exercise. There is no magic bullet that will help you get into shape if you do not work for it.

By Rania Ihab