By Farah Jamil
The Harder the Struggle the More Glorious the Triumph
A professional female weightlifter Maryam Nasim currently based in Melbourne but hails from Peshawar proved the quote right by breaking stereotypes about women of her native province and country.
While talking about her fitness journey, Maryam Nasim told, “My fitness journey started in Pakistan even when I had very little information or knowledge about fitness”. “As a teen age girl I was overweight and struggled with confidence. In our society you are definitely known by how you look. And I remember when I’d meet people the first thing they’d point out is if I have gained weight or not”, she went on to speak about her struggle. So after all the bullying she decided to lose weight.
“I remember starving myself to lose weight. I did lose weight but end up having health issues”, told Maryam. As a teenager, Maryam left her family and moved to Melbourne a decade ago to complete her studies in accounting. She told, “When I moved to Australia I started exercising and was inspired by my Australian friends in university to eat healthy and maintain a balanced diet. I learned that it’s not about how you look but it’s about how you feel.”
With time, she looked more into it and researched heaps. “I educated myself as I became very passionate about it. I wanted other girls to not go through the same bullying. I wanted to promote a fit lifestyle and wanted to help people understand that being skinny isn’t actually a good thing”, Maryam shared her views. “I got inspiration from my Gora friends who would exercise daily and eat healthy. I learned starvation isn’t the right way of living in long term. It’s important that we eat everything in moderation”, shared Maryam. While talking about a healthy lifestyle, she said, “Our body needs fats, carbohydrates and protein. We shouldn’t exclude these completely from our diet.”
The story of how she pursued weightlifting as a profession is not quite what you expect. “Difficulties I faced were all about dominant industry and the people who don’t trust females. I used to and still face criticism from men in the fitness industry in Pakistan where they think they know better”, told Maryam. But she didn’t let any of this get to her. Funnily men compare how much they lift with what she could, which obviously is hilarious as this doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.
If your Dreams Don’t Scare You, They Aren’t Big Enough
On a question of how does she manage training with her job, Maryam told, “Also it was and still is difficult to manage my full time job with my training. I live in Australia alone so I have to look after every single thing whether it’s fixing my car, paying bills or buying groceries. But my passion for the sport keeps motivating me to push through”. “Nobody has the time, it’s all about taking out time from your schedule for what matters the most to you”, added Maryam.
She cites her parents’ support and good wishes from her fans on social media as the reasons for her success. “My parents’ supports and prayers give me the energy to keep going. My parents have always been extremely encouraging and because of that I’ve not stopped”, told Maryam.
In the end, the female weightlifter gave the most powerful message to the young generation, “Always focus on you and not waste time on discouraging others.” According to her, it’s important to always focus on what can you do better with your life or how you can add value to your life.
“Find what you are passionate about, make a plan and start working towards achieving your goals. There will always be set backs and criticism from others, but remember it comes from depressed people. People who have nothing better to do in your life will always try to bring you down. Be confident in your abilities and keep going. Plus always be positive”, she added.
Don’t Give Up – Maybe Someone is Watching You