Balancing her and her family's health and fitness on the one hand, and her The Wellness Log clients on the other, Norshek Fawzy's boundless energy and commitment to all parts of her enviably fit and fabulous life never ceases to inspire. Here, she opens up about how she does it all... And then some!
Balancing a baby on one hip, and grasping the miniature hand of a toddler with a head of corkscrew curls is how Norshek Fawzy shows up to our shoot, but the fitness instructor’s day-to-day interaction with her two kids revolves more around her doing yoga on the bathroom floor while they shower or stretching in her living room while they crawl around in diapers beside her, fiddling with their toys.
“Yesterday I didn’t have time to practice - Tala was showering and Taj was seated in his chair so I just did my yoga in the bathroom, with them on towels on the floor,” Fawzy laughs. “It was 20 minutes, and it may not seem optimal, but it worked!” It is precisely that fit-in-a-workout-whenever-you-can mentality on which her and her husband Nabil Rostom’s health and fitness organisation The Wellness Log is based; creating entirely customised food and exercise programmes for their clients, down to the last minute detail. “The main advantage of The Wellness Log - and I’m really not being biased - is it’s 100% customised so if you don’t have time at all, we’ll manage to fit whatever you need to do in your schedule,” Fawzy explains.
In recent years, Egypt has seen the emergence of a flurry of various health and fitness programmes, among them The Wellness Log. But before most of them exploded onto the scene, one of the very first to pioneer the movement, several years back, was The Bootcampers by Fawzy and Rostom, a hardcore workout programme that they literally started running from the clubhouse of their compound. “We had to think of something creative to make a living and we were both very active and certified trainers so we founded The Bootcampers. We stayed in his room in his parents’ house and we did the sessions in Gardenia’s Soccer field at the club house!”
Eventually, the fit duo wanted to up the game, moving away from standardised fitness routines instead to individualised health and exercise ones – a more well-rounded and holistic approach. “We felt like we wanted to up the standards and we wanted to make it more personal and more customised and personalised for each person. It went from boot camp to The Wellness Log.” The online programme tells you what to eat, what workout sessions to attend, what personal workouts you can do at home (which come complete with animated GIFs) and everything else in any way related to helping whip you into shape. “We’ll guide you to help you reach your target and the integral part of it is working together and always adjusting – versus what used to happen with gym trainers back in the day where it would be situations like ‘the only right way for you to lose weight is to do only cardio every freaking single day for the rest of your life’,” she comments.
Fawzy’s personal philosophy had a lot to do with the shift in direction. As a wife and hands-on mum-of-two, she doesn’t exactly have gaping hours in her life to dedicate purely to working out but she insists that fitness permeates every part of her life from her relationship with her husband, to both her pregnancies, to her daily mummy routine. Her Instagram feed is scattered with photos and videos of her and her husband working out in tandem, or her getting in her daily fitness while sporting a balloon-sized belly or with a child frolicking around beside her – or alternately clambering on her back while she planks or does push-ups. She and Rostom even launched a campaign a while back to encourage couples to work out together. “There’s been SO many studies about couples working out together,” she says. “They sweat together and they push their limits together, it improves their emotional attachment and sexual relationship; it’s very, very important.” Their programme has actually attracted a lot of couples, probably seeking to replicate some semblance of Fawzy and Rostom’s matrimonial fitness routines. “We’ve had a lot of couples in the programme too, which is the cutest thing. They get logs together, live together, eat together and workout together so they really push each other.”
Pregnancy also, did not deter the fitness junkie – and in fact, the certified pre and post natal trainer advocates strongly for the continuation of exercise throughout. “With my first pregnancy, I worked out from day one,” Fawzy explains. “The thing is, pregnant women, their body is in building mode; their hormones are in building mode because they’re building a baby, literally. Everything you do your body translates into building muscles,” she explains. “Also during delivery, it’s a tough time where you go through around 24 hours of your body going through so many things! If you’re strong then it’s easier, it helps.” The benefits of working out throughout a pregnancy translate not only to its duration but after it as well, in being an all-around more healthy mother, as evidenced by Fawzy herself who seems to have some source of boundless energy as she keeps an eye on one baby and runs after one highly energised toddler throughout the shoot, her riot of strawberry blond curls flowing behind her.
Essentially, Norshek Fawzy has found a way to turn fitness and health into a lifestyle, to allow it to be something she lives and breathes, in tandem with her husband and her children. The Wellness Log now taps a myriad of instructors and nutritionists to work with them and help develop client programmes, are currently working on an app, and have even worked with eateries such as Euro Deli helping create special healthy menus for them. Fitness is her professional life and it’s her personal life, and the two are tightly intertwined, and she’s thrilled that it has finally risen to the foreground here in Egypt. “There’s quite a bit of trend following here. In the past 10 years we’ve followed sucky trends and for the first time, we’re following something that’s actually we benefit from.”
You can check out The Wellness Log’s Facebook page here or follow them on Instagram @thewellnesslog.
Photos produced exclusively for CairoScene by @MO4Network's #MO4Fashion
Styling & Art Direction: Gehad Abdalla
Photography: Lobna Derbala
Styling assistant: Mariam Wael
Norshek Fawzy Wardrobe: Norine Farah Coture
Tala Rostom Wardobe: Baby Posh