Here at Aflete, we love learning more about people and their ways of keeping fit and healthy. We also love to hear of women empowering other women to get involved in sports they might not even think about. Sirine, also known as the Gymcess, is using her love for kickboxing and love for nutritious meals to do this and is on a mission to help the world become a healthier place.
Be sure to follow @Sirine on Aflete to see what she eats and how she is getting on. Also, check out her website here at : http://thegymcess.com/
Enjoy her interview!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do for anyone who hasn’t come across you before?
Sure! My name is Sirine and I go by The Gymcess on social media. I am a food and fitness lover, but I have to admit what got me into this is my fascination by the human body. I have a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and currently in the last stages of a master’s degree in Nutrition. I obtained my personal training certificate almost a year ago now. I share my knowledge online and little bits of my life to hopefully inspire people.
You are in incredible physical shape – How long have you been training and being healthy?
Oh thank you! I have been an absolute gym rat for the past three years, but I only became super focused on my training in the last year. Being healthy followed that. I have never been unhealthy but training hard has made me focus on my eating more.
We can see that you do kickboxing? Which is great! How long has it been and how has it affected your physical strength and health?
I have been kickboxing since last November, but I also used to do Thai boxing for a couple of years before that. Kickboxing is the best thing I have ever done both for my physical and mental strength. It is amazing the confidence I have built since starting and the endurance I have developed is something I never thought I would have.
What is a standard kickboxing workout like? Tell us a bit more so others can benefit from it.
A kickboxing workout is mostly a team workout. We always start with some exercises to warm up (running around, jumping, lunging, burpees, push-ups). Once we are all warmed up we usually do boxing combos for a good half hour. Then we pad up and get ready to sparr! Our trainer puts us in “circles” and we keep switching partners so we are constantly challenged. Finally, once that’s done we take a little break and then do a quick kicking session on the pads, which is my favourite part of the whole session.
Do you do kickboxing professionally?
I don’t! Well I haven’t yet. My debut fight was scheduled back in May but because of circumstances from both parties it was cancelled. But I could be making my debut in September!
Do you also do any others workouts? What do these entail?
Yes I do. I only kickbox once or twice a week and I train six days a week. The rest of the week I work on my core, which involves balance-challenging exercises (bosu ball, step) as well as abdominal exercises. I lift weights on a daily basis. Doing weights has massively helped strengthen my punches and kicks and helped me develop the shape I am in today.
We see that you like to create your own healthy meals…what are your favourites?
One of my favourite dishes is one of my latest posts and it’s a Spinach and Rice recipe. It’s an Arabic recipe so I didn’t create it, only adapted to be healthier.
An absolute favourite is the breakfast banana split; I ate that every morning for a long time. It is like a nutritious dessert.
And dessert wise, the chocolate peanut butter fudge is always a winner and it’s sugar free.
What type of nutrition do you follow/take? What is your daily diet like? (If you can list an average days meals)
I am not too strict with my diet but I really do enjoy eating clean. I am on a sugar free diet, which is why I am constantly baking sugar free things. I also limit my carbohydrates intake because I bloat very easily when I consume them and eat loads of protein.
A typical day’s diet would be:
- Breakfast one: Cup of tea and half of grapefruit or orange
- Breakfast two (an hour later): Porridge with more fruits and some nuts
- Lunch: A refreshing salad, no dressing only lemon juice and pepper, with whatever source of protein I feel like on the day (roasted chicken, tuna, salmon).
- Dinner: Roasted chicken with vegetables and maybe some rice or quinoa.
I don’t keep snacks in the house so I rarely snack but a snack I recommend is low fat Greek yogurt and pure honey! Delicious and guilt free.
How do you create your own recipes and healthy meal ideas? Where do you look for inspiration?
It usually starts with me staring at my fridge for a few minutes… I am very impulsive when it comes to cooking and tend to just throw things together and that’s how my recipes are born. I grew up in Syria so my taste buds love flavoursome dishes. I always use spices; they make everything more delicious and give the metabolism a boost. You will never find me cook dinner that doesn’t have some kind of meat in it; I just can’t seem to give that up. Then it’s a matter of making the most of vegetables, finding combinations that are nutritious and full of flavour. Healthy food is anything but bland!
I am a Pinterest addict and always looking at healthy recipes on there that I could change up a bit and make my own. Jamie Oliver is also a great inspiration.
Have you ever hit a plateau? How did you overcome it?
Many times. They are so mentally challenging. I remind myself that if I don’t see it, it doesn’t mean my body isn’t changing and improving. I push through, eat cleaner, train harder but also allow myself to rest a bit more than usual. It is amazing how much stronger the body can be after resting.
What is gymcess all about? We love the message you are putting out, can you tell our users more about it?
The Gymcess is about empowering women. I want women to look at it and believe that if I can do it so can they. I also want men to believe in women, to see that we can be strong but that it doesn’t rip us of our femininity.
What’s next for Sirine?
I am focused on finishing my degree at the moment. I am also working on a few projects for The Gymcess, one of which is providing online nutrition and fitness counselling. So much to look forward to and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.
How do you like our app Nomnom? We have created a way for people to share and connect with other like-minded people who want to be healthier.
I am a big fan. It’s a great use of technology. I love connecting with people who either want to start their fitness journey or are already on it. It feels like you are building a healthy-fit-family.