I’m Rowaida Touma. Mama of 2 beautiful boys, wife, sister, daughter, friend, retail corporate professional, personal trainer and online nutrition and fitness coach. Reading this back, I’m out of breath!!!
Ouuufff! Where do I begin?!? Alright, I’ve been a National level athlete to 50 lbs over weight from my 1st pregnancy. When it comes to fitness, I’ve lived it all, felt it all and said it all! Where you are right now, I most likely have been there! Then again, I am a Gemini after all.
At 12, my parents registered us in the local Taekwondo school where my 14 yr journey in it began. Little did I know how this period of my athletic life would be so impactful. I competed for about 10 yrs at a National level and hold a 4th dan black belt. Maintained the same weight class throughout and was fit as a fiddle.
At 26, I retired from the Taekwondo fighting world. Suddenly, I had empty hours daily that used to be filled with purposeful training and now nothing. Was a little lost over the course of that summer post Nationals in June when I was “discovered” by a trainer at the gym I was at. At 1st was approached about Figure competitions….it’s the category right under Bodybuilding. Although I loved tight proportionate physiques, I knew I did not want to be “bulky”. I walked into her office with an Oxygen magazine at hand and showed her the cover model…”make me as close to this as possible and I’ll do it”.
Of course, I did not expect to be that girl but if I was going to do this I wanted to look feminine, tight and proportionate…at that moment, as fit as I was, because Taekwondo is very legs focused, my legs and hips were disproportionate to the upper body. Barely any shoulders, no visible back muscles…something I worked my butt off to achieve in the year to come.
Considering how new I was in the fitness competition game, I did fairly well in a short period of time.
I, ultimately, ended up leaving that scene 2 yrs later due to a few personal dramas. My path from that point on deviated away from fitness altogether.
THE BACK END!
I should say that in Taekwondo, I was also teaching it and coaching others at competition. All while completing my studies and working part time. Had a short stint at a gym as an instructor and personal trainer when Tae-bo was the biggest rave. I gave a variation of that class.
In 2007, I decided to get myself certified officially as a personal trainer and quickly started working with my trainer at that time on a part time basis as a side gig while I was building my retail corporate career. Oh ya, I should mention, I’ve been in the retail corporate world for about 15 years now but that’s a whole other story!
FAMILY AND NEW BEGINNINGS
Alright, in 2011, my husband and I (newly married) wanted to quickly try to have a baby…but we were unsuccessful for about 1.5 yrs. In that time, we did every test in the world only for the doctors to tell us we were perfectly healthy but perhaps we were stressed and to take a vacation. The emotional rollercoaster was not a fun one every time my monthly friend arrived. We did end up going on some hormone therapy stuff but it didn’t work so I had little choice but to slow down. Because my corporate job was the one paying the bills, I had to stop doing any personal training and stop giving group classes, as well.
It took us 1.5 yrs, but finally, we got pregnant with our beautiful boy, who today is 4 yrs old.
I continued to grow in my career and finally in early 2017 we find out we are pregnant with my littlest one. I also found out very early on that I had gestational diabetes, which isn’t common in the early stages of pregnancy… but I was older and heavier…all factors.
Difference with this pregnancy is that I actually did feel great. Contrary to my 1st where I had every symptom in the book and ate like I was still training daily, gaining 50 lbs…(not including the baby stuff!). With my second I was able to workout regularly and due to the strict nutritional plan to follow with gestational diabetes, I was eating like a champ and gained no additional weight.
In the early stages on the 2nd pregnancy I made the decision that I wanted more. Sure, I have a good job, with a big team and a healthy salary to boot but it just wasn’t enough. I needed more. I missed working with ppl in their fitness journey. I missed connecting with them in such a different way and seeing them achieve their goals and being part of that journey!
So, I decided to update my credentials. Got re-certified as a personal trainer during my pregnancy and started exploring the opportunities!
TODAY- ME, PERSONAL TRAINING AND BEACHBODY
Fast forward to today. I am currently helping ppl as a personal trainer and an online nutrition and fitness coach with Beachbody. 2 very different hats but serving the exact same purpose. Helping ppl along on their fitness journey. It holds me accountable on my own journey while giving me the opportunity to help others along the way. And, I’m happy to say that I’m back in Taekwondo and training purely for the love of it and nothing more. Something I was not capable of doing in the past.
OK, so where did that gap happen…what happened between my 1st pregnancy where I gained 50 lbs and today? Well, as you can imagine, already I was no longer a competitive athlete prior to being pregnant, which for me has always been a driving factor to my training motivation. I was never a disciplined person even when I was a fighter. Discipline and consistency is so key. Had I had those qualities at the time, I would have been an International level athlete. I definitely had the talent for it! Cue in my 50 lbs weight gain and a VERY rough 1st year as a new mom, I was completely lost. Although my corporate career was growing, I, inside and out, was not! I was in a RUT! And not one I could get out of.
A few yrs back, I started working with another personal trainer wkly…and not because I couldn’t build my own programs. It was for the accountability. This way I was guaranteeing that I would be working out at least once a wk.
Got pregnant, felt amazing….was probably more active during my pregnancy than I was in the few yrs prior. I knew at that point, I needed a change….that realization hit me as quickly as the light turns on when you flip the switch. I knew post pregnancy I needed to find my way “back to fit” and start that mission to help others on their own journey. But I wasn’t exactly sure how just yet. Figured, I’ll be on maternity leave and will have plenty of time to figure things out as I got myself back in the game….and just like that something happened. And I’m a strong believer things happen for a reason.
I met a beautiful, vibrant woman who is a fellow Coach, as well. Meeting her in that exact time was fate. At 1st, I was a little skeptic. I was very familiar with Beachbody but didn’t know what kind of services Coaches offered. I quickly told her that I didn’t think Beachbody fit my business model….like what business model, right?!? WELL, I’m so glad I kept listening and jumped in. I was in observation mode for a few months. It only took me a few wks to realize how big this is. How much I could help others by adding Beachbody to my tool box. As a personal trainer I can help a lot of ppl, but by adding the Coaching hat, I just opened up the flood gates to a world of amazing ppl that want to get on their journey but not sure how and most want to be able to do that from home.
I won’t bore you with all the details as this is already long enough, but I’ve been completely in love with the whole process.
MY JOURNEY BACK
The 1st blog post will be about the start of my journey…stay tuned to find out what exactly FOREVER CHANGED MY LIFE!!!!