Q&A with Rushda Ebrahim

Rushda Ebrahim, aka Rushda Glow, believes in nothing less than awesome. This is the philosophy that drives her approach to health, fitness, and wellness. The functional trainer from Cape Town teaches women-only classes that help women be their best through tailored functional training and a positive approach to health, fitness, and every type of body. She does this well if her 14,300 Instagram followers who stay glued to her inspirational posts are anything to go by. Catherine Hayden caught up with Rushda to chat about what's made her so successful in her field.       

What's Glow all about?

Glow started with my own fitness journey. Through study, teaching and training I found that most women have the same fitness goals: they want to be confident, feel strong, stand tall and be able to hold their own. 'Glow' is an ideal that is based on a mind set, rather than a body fat percentage and a number on the scale. I wanted to teach women and girls that having that dream body is about having the best body you can have, and not someone else's. I also wanted to teach women that getting there is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, consistency and structure.

It sounds hard. How do you get started on that journey?

My advice as a trainer is simply to start. Start wherever you are, and go on from there. It's crucial to work with what you have (your own personal fitness level and skill or lack thereof), then to build a solid foundation to progress from. You can't jump from sedentary to superwoman. I believe in education behind every movement and exercise and I often refer to my clients as students. The secret sauce to achieving results is having an equal amount of enjoyment and focus in your training programme. It's easy for people to get caught up in the hype, fitness fads and quick fixes that they neglect the fundamentals of why they are doing what they are doing.

What are the fundamentals?

I focus specifically on women's physique in my gym. Through the years I've trained in many different styles, teaching various techniques and using different modalities. All movement and lifting can be manipulated to achieve a desired result. To me the ultimate result is what I call the 'goddess body'. It's the best version of the body you were born with. Technique is important; attitude equally so. 

That brings us to body positivity...

This is a fundamental. Negativity toward the body creates blockages, it manifests resentment with one's self. There is no room for growth and forward moving when there is no positivity and love for the body. Appreciation for everything the body has done and does for you every day is so important. If weight loss is one of your health goals, don't look at it as a 'loss'. You don't want to find it again! This takes me back to the fundamentals of my philosophy. Quick fixes, hate and stress will only get you further from where you want to be. Every women's journey is unique and learning to love your body is the ultimate goal.

What's your take on diet and shedding weight?

I personally don't have a meal plan. I listen to my body. I eat such a well-balanced rounded diet (which includes chocolate) and I don't believe in exclusion of anything. Of course there are some things I would never eat, but that's because I love myself. It's not because I'm trying to be 'good'; there are no bad foods, just bad diets. It's about education and positive change over time. Not restriction and guilt. I believe in nutrition.

What is a well body?

A well body is your best body. It is the best version of you. You should feel energised, confident and ready to take over the world. It's a body you can wake up in and go for a run/cycle/swim/ hike and feel in control. It's a body you feel sexy in alone in your pjs or on the beach, for yourself, not for anyone else. It's a healthy strong body. It's a body that will be ever improving. Your Goddess Body is your best body and a reflection of you being your best self.

Rushda qualified as a trainer through ACE (American Council of Exercise). She is currently completing a course in nutrition at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. Find her ebooks on her website and follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @rushtush

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