We speak to founders Huda Bushehri and Anastazia Salinas about how they help with your weight loss goals
When Huda Bushehri and Anastazia (or Staz) Salinas first met it was as student and master back in 2013. Huda had been battling with her weight for years and had taken the first step in turning her life around – by getting some help. With Anastazia’s determination and encouragement, Huda was able to drop pounds, as well as discover an underlying passion for fitness. This led them to co-found a womens-only fitness group in Budaiya known as PUSH Bahrain.
PUSH stands for Physical Understanding Starts Here and that’s what it’s all about – taking that step towards being stronger, fitter and having a better life. We speak to the ladies to find out more about what they’re offering the women of Bahrain.
So tell us about the moment when you decided to set up PUSH…
Anastazia: The inspiration for PUSH came from Huda’s weight loss back in 2013. I moved to Bahrain for a job opportunity that I took up at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). I was head soccer coach for both the men’s and women’s teams, as well as a personal trainer for staff and students. Huda and I met through football and she asked me if I could train her to lose weight. I did, and she ended up losing 20 kilograms. During this time, we had a chance to bond and we ended up becoming good friends.
Huda: I have been overweight my whole life. When I asked Staz to train me I had already lost 20kg from crash dieting and starvation. My weight was always fluctuating between 78 and 96 kilos and when I met Staz I was at 78, which was my lightest. I told her I was never able to get to 58 kg – which was always my goal – and she told me that nothing is impossible.
Over the next year she trained, taught, and showed me how to eat healthy and how to gain control over my own body. I achieved my long term dream and goal of reaching 58kg with her help, and that is when we both realised something… With my experience going through this journey, and her talent and expertise in fitness and health, we can help others who are struggling as well.
What are you ultimately trying to achieve? What is the message you are trying to get across?
A: We opened PUSH for many reasons, mainly to give women a chance to lose weight and reach their goals in a comfortable atmosphere. We also want to change women’s overall perspective of health and fitness in Bahrain.
H: That everything is possible and every goal is attainable. The main message we are trying to send to all women is that there is always room to improve and that it’s never too late to start!
How did you discover your passion for fitness?
A: I found my love for fitness when I watched my parents going to the gym as a kid. I couldn’t wait to be of legal age to join a gym and I knew at a young age that I wanted to become a personal trainer when I grew up. I have been an athlete my entire life, as I have played soccer in the United States from the age of six.
H: Although I was overweight my whole life I had a passion for sports. I love playing and watching almost every kind of sport. However, I knew that my weight had held me back in terms of performing my best at each sport and, as a teenager, I did not know where to begin as I was too ashamed to ask for help. I joined many gyms and sat there, clueless, not knowing what to do. Staz has taught me how to make working out enjoyable, whether using the machinery at a gym or just your own bodyweight. Learning under her wing has changed my perspective of fitness forever.
What is your personal favourite type of exercise?
A: I personally like to strength train. I love lifting heavy weights and pushing my strength to the max.
H: I love working out my upper body – pushups, presses, and so on.
What great advice would you offer people who haven’t exercised for a long time (or at all) and are looking to get into it?
A: Make the first step and commit to a fitness plan and/or gym. You have to start somewhere! The beginning is always the hardest but the benefits down the road are so worth it all.
H: Just get up and do it. People don’t accomplish their goals just by thinking about it. They take action. Don’t be afraid of failing because not to have tried is true failure.
It’s coming up to summer travel season. What advice can you give our readers who are going on holiday when it comes to maintaining their fitness?
A: Keep setting small goals and aiming for them.
Don’t let all your hard work that you have done up until the summer go to waste. Remember how hard it was to start and to get to where you are today.
H: At PUSH, we try to teach our girls how to make their own workouts which they can do anywhere without utilising a gym. If you truly care you will find a way!
What is your personal fitness motto?
A: ‘When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope to not have a single bit of talent left and can say: I used everything you gave me.’
The reason I love this quote is because it reminds me where my abilities came from. I would have never been where I am today if it wasn’t for God.
H: ‘I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say: “Because of you I didn’t give up”.’
I know how it feels to be trapped in a body that limits you and feel uncomfortable in your own skin. Staz inspired me so much that, because of her, I didn’t give up and never lost hope. I faced so many obstacles in my journey and through Staz’s inspiration and guidance I always got back up and tried again. Nothing would feel better than to do the same for others and be the inspiration that Staz was for me.
PUSH Bahrain is based in the Habitat Centre in Abu Saiba, off the Budaiya Highway. Class prices start from BD5 per class or BD45 per month. If you’re interested in joining, contact Huda on 3990 2422.