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Be the change

Nasik Swami
Saturday, January 27, 2018

IF nothing changes, nothing changes".

This quote best describes Elizabeth Maki — a household name when it comes to fitness training and bodybuilding in Fiji.

The reigning Miss Fiji bodybuilding champion, commonly known as Liz, is not an easy woman when it comes to fitness training and staying fit.

She means business and if you ask her clients, they would surely tell you their success stories after having gone through trainings with her.

Liz started exercising in 2007 and prior to that, she described herself as unhealthy, overweight and sickly.

"Prior to the change, I lived a very unhealthy lifestyle, I was overweight and never knew anything about exercise or the right type of food to eat," she said.

"My unhealthy habits involved smoking cigarettes and binge drinking.

"I would eat anything at any time out of boredom, even when I am not hungry."

She revealed that her unhealthy habits included having barbecue on the roadside at 3am after a big night, which became a habit.

"I would also eat deep fried food, a lot of snacks such as chocolates and after having all these, I would sleep the whole day to recover and repeat the routine."

And because she was too heavy and unhealthy, she said she used to get sick most of the time and had knee issues because of her weight.

Liz was generally a lazy person, weighing 88kg.

Now an inspiration to many, changing her lifestyle was tough, but she had no choice.

"Changing my habit was one of the toughest decisions, but I knew I had to do something or I would get more sick and overweight.

"Quitting cigarette was the hardest habit that I had to change, however, I decided to go cold turkey and mentally prepared myself for it.

"In the process, I had to initially avoid being around smokers or any smoke-related habit."

Liz said when she realised how unhealthy she was, she decided to change.

"I wrote down my long term goals and then broke them into years, months and now, after doing it for almost 11 years, it has become a lifestyle."

An inspiration to many and someone who believes in transforming lives, Liz says change should start from within.

"I have experienced many people asking me to help them achieve their goals and the first question I usually ask them is why and how bad do you want to change?

She said once she understood their needs, then she adviced them on what to do. Liz says it's important to keep fit for many reasons.

"It's not about looking good, but about being healthy and fit. You need to reflect on yourself and get an opinion from your general practitioner about your health condition and then you can start taking baby steps towards achieving your fitness goals."

She said for starters, a 30-minute walk per day was advisable.

And with food being the main factor, Liz keeps her meals simple.

"My food consists of protein such as fish, beef, chicken breasts and loads of green vegetables and good source of carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, brown rice and pumpkin.

"I, however, give myself a treat every two to three weeks depending on my energy level and progress with my training."

And because of bodybuilding, she trains six days a week.

Liz said after changing her lifestyle, not only did she feel good with her energy level, but her overall health had improved to a point where her heart rate now was about 45 beats per minute (BMP).

For those who want to change, Liz's advice is never wait for tomorrow, next week or for new year's resolution — you must do it now.

"If you don't make a change, no one would do it for you."

Liz lost about 35kg in a year through her dedication and hardwork and managed to maintain a healthier weight thereafter.

* For professional advice on weight loss and fitness, Liz can be

contacted via email:

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