FITNESS TRAINER | SPORTS ACTIVIST | MOTIVATOR
“Exercise isn’t just about jumping, running or lifting heavy weights. It is all about proper awareness and guidance of what you are doing and how it may affect you,” says KASHAF in an interview with DAILY PUNCH.
KASHAF TAHIR, CEO/FOUNDER of “FITSPIRATION”, is an emerging trainer from Pakistan who started with zeal and energy to motivate people, train them physically and make them aware about the consequences of obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. She is now conducting a 40 days challenge “BURNOUT40” at NORTH NAZIMABAD, KARACHI. Besides training, she is pursuing her Masters in HEALTH, PHYSICAL EDUCATION and SPORT SCIENCES. Being a sports activist, motivator and fitness trainer she’s extremely passionate about the idea of “Being Fit” and wants people to stay fit, eat clean and live long.
Let’s explore her journey and find out the secrets she revealed while talking to us:
DAILY PUNCH: From where did you start your journey and for how long you have been in this field?
KASHAF TAHIR: I started my journey 10 years ago when all of a sudden I realized that my body fat level was very high, although I was not over weight. Following that I took admission in a gym, there I observed the kind of exercises trainers were following without even knowing the pros and cons of it. They were making people jump with some normal physical movements; it was so disappointing for me to see the trainers taking advantage of the people who weren’t aware enough.
DP: What motivates you to be here?
KT: “Improper Guidance” motivates me to be here. My trainers were guiding me according to their experiences and they were advising people to starve in order to fight with obesity. This is not what one is supposed to do; starving makes one feeble. Seeing the erroneous diet plans and unguided workout, made my curiosity level high and I began to explore what really is “Proper Guidance” and a “Healthy Physique”.
DP: What is your inspiration?
KT (takes a long sigh of relief): Ah! Negativity and criticism were my only inspiration. Whenever someone criticized me, it pushed me one step higher. It motivated me to do more and to explore more opportunities to grow better.
DP: How did people respond to you when you initiated the idea of being fit with WEIGHT TRAINING?
KT: They responded negatively, mainly because of my gender. I don’t remember any positive words I heard when I started weight lifting. They even said that weight lifting is a manly thing to do and that girls should not lift weights. However, lifting weights doesn’t make you muscular, it only enhances a woman’s feminine curves.
DP: We have seen people taking steroids, supplements and injections to lose weight in a short duration, do you recommend this?
KT (laughs): Try it if you want to! It will make you look good for a temporarily, but on the inside you will be no more. It’s like pulling yourself towards death. Switching towards a healthy lifestyle will definitely take time but in the end it will add years to your life.
DP: Why you are so focused on “Weight Training”?
KT: Weight training reduces your fat level and it removes the excess fats growing in the body. It tones the body and transforms it into a good shape that’s why I keep more focus on weight training.
DP: Is it necessary to follow a proper diet with exercise?
KT: If on one side you are eating too much and on the other side you are exercising daily it will probably make your body fat hard and it will be problematic for you to cut it down. You should maintain a balance between proper diet and exercise. You can do cheat meals if you want once a week but try to make it as healthy as possible.
DP: What is an ideal body?
KT: There’s nothing like idealism, neither skinny nor curvy is an ideal body. If your diet is proper, your skin isn’t lose, you have healthy hair and you have proper nutrients your body is perfect. Never believe in people’s judgments about you.
DP: What do you want to say to the people who are criticized because of being bulky?
KT: “Turn negativity into positivity” is my message to all such people. Just be calm and answer them with your improvements in your body; work on yourself and become better each day. You’ll observe a change people’s attitude towards you.
DP: You seem so passionate for the idea of “Being Fit”. How successful do you think you are in engaging people with this idea?
KT: Girls who have been training with me from 2 to 3 years have not only changed their lifestyle but the lifestyles of their families too. For me, my idea isn’t about earning money. It’s my passion which I want to be in people’s hearts and minds. I want everybody to follow a healthy lifestyle. Even when having conversations with the people I meet, I prefer to talk about the merits of having a healthy lifestyle and that’s one way I try to spread awareness about staying fit.
DP: How would you describe your love for sports?
KT: Sports is like an energy-boosting drink for my body, I absolutely love sports! Even if you wake me up when I am in deep sleep, and ask me to play I’d never refuse. I recently won an arm wrestling competition and I’m studying sports as well; it’s one of the secrets of my fitness.
DP: How do you manage your studies with such a busy lifestyle?
KT: Well, when we want something desperately we try our level best to achieve it. Similarly, my passion for physical fitness enables me to manage everything together. Also, my friends and family are very cooperative (they sometimes even complete my assignments for me but that’s a secret!)
DP: How much family support do you have?
KT: You won’t believe it if I would describe this to you. I consider myself very lucky regarding this. My father still packs lunch boxes for me because after arriving from university I have to leave for my “Burnout 40″ sessions. My mother is my role model and none of my family members ever discourages me or tells me that I can’t do something. Whenever the society tries to impose restrictions on me, it is my family who stands firm with me and motivates me to continue doing what I’m doing. I belong to a mediocre family and it’s difficult to rise from this background but my parents always understand. They never make boundaries for me and give me space to grow.
DP: You have been conducting different boot camps and 40 days challenges. Are these sessions helpful?
KT: Nowadays, I’m working with the team of BURNOUT40. It’s a challenge for 40 days to turn towards a healthy lifestyle and to reduce your weight and body fats. It’s a proper guide for Body Toning and Weight Loss. It corrects your body postures; how you sit, how you stand, guides you to a proper diet plan and tones up your body. It eventually depends on you: if you are honest to yourself for 40 days and maintain balanced diet and exercise, I can guarantee that you can definitely cut down 6-8 kg. Most importantly, make sure you are always under the supervision of a proper trainer who can guide you well and has complete knowledge about what he/she is teaching.
DP: Where do you see yourself in the future?
KT: I see myself learning and exploring more in this field. I want to stay in this field and deliver quality work to my students. I never prefer quantity over quality I choose to have less but I want that to be of good quality. I want my idea to spread everywhere and I want people to switch towards a healthy lifestyle.
Read her student’s story here: Journey from fat to fit
DP: What is your advice to the people who are health patients, fighting with sugar, high cholesterol and body fats and can’t follow strict diet plans?
KT: There is nothing one can’t do. You have to move out of your comfort zone! If you can’t do anything try to start with a slow walk, stop eating oily food and include fruits and vegetables in your meals. Try to build the habit of exercise, it might be difficult at first but if you will make it a habit you will reap the benefits of it very soon.
DP: Any tips you want to share for a healthy lifestyle?
KT: Sure, here you go:
– Never skip meals, specially breakfast
– Stay hydrated
– Exercise regularly
– Instead of white rice, white sugar and white bread eat brown rice, brown sugar and brown bread.
– Eat fruits and vegetables as much as you can
DP: What is your message to everyone?
KT: Eat healthy, train well and take good care of yourself. Stay focused and please don’t hand yourself over to any trainer until you research about him/her. Remember,“To starve is not a diet and eating healthy is a lifestyle”