‘I lost 50kg and I’m now a trainer at the gym where I turned my life around’

‘I lost 50kg and I’m now a trainer at the gym where I turned my life around’

Over the course of four years, Norasa lost 50kg. The 29-year-old now hopes to inspire others to become the best version of themselves. 

Norasa firmly believes that you can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. As a personal trainer at Genesis Health + Fitness in Cairns, the 29-year-old loves working with people coming that possess the determination to change their lifestyles for the better. She understands her clients perhaps better than anyone else because she herself undertook a similar overhaul four years ago when she stared down the barrel of type 2 diabetes.

In 2016 and at her heaviest weight, 125.5kg, Norasa embarked on her own health and fitness journey, with hard work and dedication resulting in 50kg of weight loss.

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Before then, “I would eat large portions of food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On average, I would eat leftovers for breakfast—usually some sort of meat and rice—for lunch, it would vary depending on what was available at work or it, again, would be leftovers,” she tells Body+Soul.

“During my days off, I would consume, on average, two to three cartons of alcohol and sugary drinks with minimal water in-between.”

No exercise regime existed and she describes feeling “uncomfortable in my own skin and body”.

Awareness of heart health, in particular, came to the forefront when Norasa’s mother underwent triple by-pass surgery; a procedure that takes a healthy blood vessel from the leg, arm, or chest, and connects it below and above the blocked arteries in the heart.

“After witnessing and helping my mother and the pain she went through, I thought to myself, ‘If I want to live longer, I need to change my lifestyle immediately’,” Norasa says. And so she did.

She added more veggies and fruit to her diet, upped her water intake, and cut down on her vices like takeaway food, alcohol and sugary drinks. Her portions became more controlled and she began meal-prepping lunch and snacks to sustain her at work.

Physically, she managed fine, but adjusting your lifestyle takes mental grit as much as it does bodily commitment.

“I had to train and adapt my mindset to the different changes my body went through on a daily basis,” Norasa recalls. “I would cry myself to sleep at first because I was always hungry after dinner.”

She introduced exercise into her routine as well. Norasa started out walking to work, then picked up the pace with some running, and then gained the confidence to join her local gym. By this point, she’d lost 20kg solely through diet changes.

Her brother Karim, who was on his own health journey, helped her with strength training and weights, but it wasn’t until Norasa discovered a group training section called the Coaching Zone that she found her calling. She lost even more weight, reaching 75kg.

“My coaches encouraged me, as they saw my potential and my passion – and I wanted to gain a better understanding and knowledge of health and fitness,” she says, so much so that she was motivated to complete a Certificate III and IV in fitness training.

“I now have a better understanding of fitness and how important the little things are to each individual,” Norasa says.

“My job and seeing other people determined to change their lives further inspires me on my health and fitness journey as well.”

Her journey continues.