Dubai Fitness Challenge: Diet, exercise changed my life, says Pakistani expat


Dubai Fitness Challenge, Dubai, Fitness, DFC

After hitting rock-bottom, Alena decided it was time for a change and enrolled in a gym three months ago.

by Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Fri 25 Oct 2019, 10:57 PM

A turning point in 28-year-old Alena Mascarenhas' life was hitting a shopping mall nearly three months ago - in search of new clothes.
The Pakistani banking professional realised that she had to get dresses that were three sizes bigger than those she bought the last time she went shopping. She also couldn't help but catch her breath after 20 minutes of walking.
"I am five feet five inches tall, and all the doctors I consulted with said I was overweight. I am the youngest in my family and the heaviest. My weight was already causing several health-related complications," Alena told Khaleej Times.
After hitting rock-bottom, Alena decided it was time for a change and enrolled in a gym three months ago.
She lost four kilogrammes in two months and has no intention of slowing down.
"Before I started, I would usually get breathless after walking a few steps. At one point, I thought I haven't even turned 30 yet and when I looked at myself, I started thinking - 'Oh, God. No'," said Alena.
When she started working out at NitroGym in Silicon Oasis, she did not know how half the equipment worked.
"I would go to the gym and do my own thing. I couldn't work out for more than 15 to 20 minutes. Then I started working out with Sajjad Salim, a personal trainer. I worked out with him for two hours thrice a week," she explained.
Slowly, she started seeing changes in her body. "I started a strict diet, and my trainer pushed me to do outdoor cardio. He said weight loss is 30 per cent exercise and 70 per cent diet. In two months, I lost four kilogrammes, and I have no intention of slowing down," Alena added.
Her diet consists of lemon water in the morning followed by oats with walnuts, almonds and blueberries for breakfast; salads with egg whites for lunch; and another salad with grilled chicken and Greek yoghurt for dinner.
"Cutting sugar was a challenge. However, I keep having green tea and fruits as snacks," she explained.
Alena said her family was a huge inspiration to get her going.
"For the Dubai Fitness Challenge, I attend boot camps at my gym, and I accepted the challenge a little before DFC began."
She said working out every day for the last two and a half months has been helpful.
"Any exercise helps. There will be a huge change in your face, body, and mindset," said Alena.

Dhanusha Gokulan
Dhanusha Gokulan

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