Dina, a 37 years old lady who has graduated English Literature from Ain shams University in 2005, has been and still is working in corporate for 15 years now. Although Dina has a very demanding professional life in the morning, she managed to find her passion advocating for wellness, both physical and mental. She started by influencing her close circle, then she decided to blog on social media in 2020. Besides that, Dina is a mom to an 11 years old boy who is one of the biggest motivating factors in transforming her life, mentally then physically.
Because she has always had demanding jobs and a family, Dina had little to no time to pursue anything else. Being career obsessed and very successful at what she does, she had to accept an international assignment abroad in 2014, it left her feeling guilty for not spending time with her son. In 2015, Dina decided to settle in Egypt and established a more balanced life between her family and her career.
Dina was known to be very anxious, occasionally feeding her soul with guilt. Later on, she realized that it stemmed from a severe anxiety disorder. “Suffering from this mental disorder paralyzes your whole life and always arises the fear of tomorrow, stopping you from enjoying today.” Dina took a stand and started her therapy journey to be and feel well.
One for the son
“Between 2015 to 2019, I have been trying to work out on and off. Had some of my friends encouraging me but still my workaholic nature was dominant.” Like any mother, Dina wanted her kid to play any sport, but he wasn’t enjoying any. The coaches suggested that he needs to see one of his parents working out so that he understands how important physical activity is. “I decided to be that parent, together with the intention of changing my own life-style.”
“Psychotherapy is one of the bold decisions I made to heal myself from endless panic attacks to lead a peaceful life.” Therapy was an eye opener to Dina’s whole life and life-style; her priorities, her interests, her purpose of life and what actually makes her happy. “I remember how much I struggled to articulate what actually makes me happy, a question that sounds basic, but the answer is much deeper to find.” This step was rewarding and successful enough that instead of feeling ashamed, Dina did seek therapy, and shared her decision with her family and friends.
The passionate turning point
“My therapist always asked me to explore things in life that I can enjoy. Something I struggled to act upon, my life was too serious.” She always raved about how sports can be a therapy in itself. Being a busy bee as a mom and an employee, Dina was not very good at time management. The turning point was in 2019, specifically in Ramadan, Dina needed help to create the daily habit of working out. She registered in of those 21 days challenge to build the habit. Dina was 35 and was filled with doubts on how her mature body will respond.” I remember I used to laugh when I realized I am literally the oldest in the arena, even older than the coaches.”. All of this was not easy to grasp.
Dina never played any sport in her childhood and she always had a slim body that she never found the need to lose any weight. “Sports for me at that time, is only an activity we perform if we need to lose weight.” Every day the coaches used to complement her progress, which was considerably fast. Dina slowly started to realize that while she was working out, it was the only time she was not threatened by experiencing any panic attacks.
Day by day, her body started to surprise her and her coaches for how it can be challenged further. Dina Started to gain all the goals she desired; shape wise, without event noticing. She started to actually enjoy telling her age with comfort and pride. Dina started to fill her workout schedule, till it reached 6 times a week, and mostly 2 hours a day. Going through every physical challenge that you can think of. She mainly trained cross-fit and enjoyed weightlifting.
One day, Dina decided to break her hate of running, so she registered for the super-sprint race organized by Tri-factory in Sahl Hashish. Dina gracefully won 2nd place in her age group. She went to that race with the objective of only finishing it and breaking her barrier of any cardio workout. “Small race, but for Dina, a big achievement. “I won against my mind, which was always making me doubt my strength and potential of accomplishments.”. It is an achievement that proved to Dina that she should no longer underestimate herself nor her strong will. “I only trained a month before the race and whoever doesn’t enjoy endurance training like I used to, will understand how discomforting this effort can be. I also realized that everybody around me knew that I would finish it strong except myself.”
“Ever since, I started to be considered an athlete for my age, I got hooked into that journey that evolved to wanting to share my story to the whole world. I am a person who is always complemented for the positive mindset and the energy I propagate.” Slowly, Dina started to receive feedback that she indirectly helped her small circle change their lives to the better, whether mentally or physically. With every feedback, she always had this sound inside her that there is much more to give beyond her morning job. “I love my job and still very passionate about it and It shaped big part of who I am today, but giving back to the community and wanting to have a bigger influence is what drives me.”
“I looked at my life with all the responsibilities I have then I realized that I have managed to transform myself physically and mentally the day I put myself as a priority. The day I also stopped worrying about being judged as a selfish mom just because my life doesn’t revolve around my family. I actually realized that if I am happy, I will be able to make people around me happy.
The wellness advocate
“In 2020, I decided to go on social media to advocate for everything I managed to change. I blog on social media with the notion that “if I could do it then any woman can”. “I am just a working mom who has a big job in the morning and responsibilities for my kid and I am not a professional coach, nutritionist, beauty expert but I managed to teach myself everything that I need to know. My life is not easy neither is my journey. I have been through very tough phases and traumas that cannot be shared in public, but I survived them and they shaped who I am today. I actually now look at them as blessings.”
In less than a year, Dina became super proud and humbled to be considered as an inspiring figure for a lot of people. Her platforms across social media grew in a year to over 300k organically of women finding her content as genuine and inspiring them to make a step change in their life. ‘It’s an achievement that I also didn’t plan nor targeted but it is very self-rewarding. “There is so much more in being fit than losing weight. Being fit mentally is what we need as women. Being strong and have muscles is a basic need to be able to perform our daily duties without help. “I have exercised getting out of my comfort zone in so many phases in my life. that worked magic for me.”
“I am not claiming that I have it all figured out in my life. My life is not easy, but now I learnt to be stronger mentally and physically to be able to deal with my struggles better. I also learnt to celebrate all my achievements that I earned them by being resilient. I came across a lot of women with very strong potential, whether in their professional life or finding their passion, and they inspire me personally. I just hope that every woman realizes her own potential and to keep breaking all social barriers. We have been raised with number of social taboos that cost most of us our lives and happiness. “
For my next steps, pursuing fitness coaching is surely on my mind but I need first to make sure it is something I really want and I have passion for. All I am focused now is to keep pushing my boundaries and challenge my body. A big step I am taking this year is my registration for the Iron Man 70.3 coming to Egypt in November. A big scary step that is way beyond my comfort zone, specially that endurance is something I am not hooked into, but this step, for me, is about the journey of building mental toughness, so wish me luck!”
Dina’s last words to everyone is that it is never too late for anything. Turn your struggles into blessings. Be the woman you want your son or daughter to become. Instead of pushing your kids to lead a healthy life “Walk the Talk”!