Lifestyle, health and fitness influencer Bilqees Baker shares her journey
During your late teens to early twenties, trying to live a healthy lifestyle is most likely the last thing on your mind. And it’s usually around your mid-twenties when you start to feel a sense of regret: You start thinking about all those late nights out, the bucketloads of fries you’ve consumed (and are probably still in the habit of doing), and how sticking to a health and fitness regime seems to be the hardest thing to do. And that’s okay … for now. Just take a cue from influencer Bilqees Baker, who seems to strike the perfect balance between health and fitness, yet still chows down on whatever she wants – which, in most cases, would be the Recco pasta from Primi.
BACK ON TRACK
For the 23 year old, health has always been a priority, however, she was never really fully committed to fitness, which caused it to be put on the back-burner. It wasn’t until she faced a minor stress-induced scare in 2017 that she placed focus on her health. And we too agree that spending a series of days (even over NYE) in
ICU with no conclusive results could shock anyone into living a healthier lifestyle.
However, for this strong-willed influencer, there’s a lot that goes into trying to stay healthy. ‘Health is simply not just about having a matcha every day (which I do because I love it, LOL) or eating kale… For me it’s about being able to indulge when the moment allows,’ she says. Bilqees also explains that it’s about aiming to strike a perfect balance within a busy lifestyle which could become more and more stressful, especially when attempting to juggle a plethora of commitments such as trying to maintain an online persona.
And with the drastic rise of social media, seeking #fitspo on Instagram is not always the answer. ‘On Instagram, not everything you see is real.’ Bilqees decided that she would be ‘real’ and be the person she was looking to follow on social media. So, with loads of encouragement from her sister, Aisha, she started to document her own fitness journey. And now, she’s an inspiration to both men and women alike. Bilqees eased into the influencer role effortlessly, and has recently scored her first major client.
ON A HEALTH BUZZ
With everything she has to focus on, she still manages to squeeze in an hour or two to train, study, tutor, meet up with friends and, on occasion, books a nail and ozone therapy session, which she’s obsessed with. ‘It’s hard being a woman,’ she says jokingly.
All jokes aside, though, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is about being ‘confident and happy in your own skin’, she asserts, and that’s what matters most to her. She deems mental- and physical health and trying to live healthily equally as important as anything else. And one way to sort of take control of your health, mental state and life stresses is with prayer, meditation and working out. ‘Exercising specifically makes me feel strong and sexy in the body that I am in – I feel happy and confident and have a great sense of body positivity,’ she explains.
Like many of us, Bilqees too struggles with eating right and sometimes feels bad about what she finds herself chowing. ‘My goal is to stop feeling guilty about the “naughty” foods I eat,’ she says. But, just like fitting exercise into your daily agenda helps, she also believes that clean eating can establish a dietary equilibrium, which can be helpful if you maintain the regime and don’t worry about eliminating food groups.
Without question, Bilqees is mostly inspired by her dad. With her main goal being to live a healthy lifestyle and her dad being a competitive cyclist, we can understand why: He wakes up at 4 am to make sure he exercises, goes to work and ends his day with a swimming session. ‘He can bounce back from any setback and works so hard to achieve all of his goals,’ she says.
With encouragement and motivation all around her, it’s no wonder Bilqees is such an inspiration to others. Her advice to anyone starting off or struggling to find a balance: ‘Do you, boo! No, but really, just do what works for you and stop trying to mimic what works for someone else.’ She also advises you to set realistic goals and celebrate every mini milestone.
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