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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Spotlight on Mum: The martial artist helping mothers find themselves


Fitness coach Khedija Dellal believes it’s important to remember that before you are a mum or a wife, you are a woman – you are you.

Khedija Dellal is a superstar mum and it is so easy to understand why. The French-Algerian ACE Certified personal trainer and Martial Artist is a passionate, driven, positive, friendly, and determined mum of three beautiful kids. 

But above all, Khedija wakes up to the affirmation; “Remember that before you are a mum or a wife. You are a woman – you are you. Everyday I say to myself that I am Khedija before everything else.” 

This confidence and self-value is the first thing that comes across when meeting Khedija, but it comes as no surprise because says she was raised in this way throughout her childhood.

As the eldest of four siblings, Khedija’s father got her into sports early. Her family highly valued sports and so it naturally became a vital part of their routine. 

“One day I asked my dad how I fell in love with karate. He said that I saw him doing karate movements at the park and asked him to teach me,” she told Doha News.

This soon led to Khedija kick-starting (literally) her karate journey at the age of 4, and spent much of her upbringing training four times a week while competing every weekend. However, this passion was soon put on hold when Khedija found out that her dad was diagnosed with cancer. 

At the age of 19, Khedija quit all sports and focused her attention on her studies and professional life. It was a promise she made to her dad, and as the eldest, she felt the need to support her family financially. She soon became a workaholic; studying during the day and working nights and weekends.

Through this turbulent time, Khedija found herself praying to God, seeking a job where she would be able to help people. Several years later, Khedija found herself pregnant with her first born and living in the Qatari capital city of Doha, thousands of miles away from her home.

Khedija said becoming a mum inspired her to make a positive change in her life, and to get through the transition, she began to work out twice a day. Soon after, doors began to open, and Khedija soon became friends with an individual that inspired her to get back into training. 

“She looked at me and told me that I look amazing for someone that gave birth 5 months ago. That I didn’t look like that I just had a baby. I explained to her that I used to workout and then she asked me if I can train her,” Khedija said.

Spotlight on Mum: I never expected to see my newborn baby in a coma

This same friend was 4 months pregnant but nonetheless determined to be trained by Khedija twice a week on her balcony. Soon, her friends and colleagues began to notice her progress and Khedija was flooded with requests by other women seeking a fitness instructor.

Tragically, Khedija’s father passed away but the lessons that he taught her have helped her continue to push forward, and his legacy helped her maintain her dedication towards her clients. “Helping my clients and making them happy helped me. It was like a healing for my heart,” she said.

Anyone that meets Khedija immediately recognises that motherhood is a valuable part of Khedija’s life. After having her first child through an emergency c-section at 36 weeks and almost losing her life due to the immense loss of blood, Khedija’s recovery taught her the meaning of unconditional love between a mother and her child. 

Her daughter became her best friend, and these days, her much-needed hugs are a reminder of how amazing and magical motherhood truly is. For Khedija, motherhood is a rainbow of emotions that can be tough at times but always worth it. 

“It’s not about being a biological mom, it’s about being here for them, playing with them, being their best friend, their teacher, their doctor,” she said, adding that motherhood is all about good listening and provides an opportunity to help guide young souls navigate through life.

Read also: Dear Mum, ignore the comments

This eclectic philosophy continues to inspire Khedija in her roles as full-time mum and trainer. 

Her main focus is to leave a legacy for her children and to make sure they understand the value of gaining good deeds. Khedija wants to show her daughters that the best job is the one you are passionate about, not the one where you can make most money from. 

Speaking about her children, Khedija said she is content when looking into their eyes and seeing nothing but love. Satisfaction, she notes, is watching them evolve and grow into tiny people with their own unique personalities. The laughs, giggles, and tickles all make every moment of motherhood worth it for Khedija.

For now, maintaining the balance between her career as a trainer and motherhood continues to keep her motivated to succeed. Although nothing worth having comes easy, the passion and drive towards motherhood and training is the reason Khedija wakes up everyday and feels excited to accomplish her goals. 

After all, giving yourself something to look forward to is the best thing you can do for yourself. 

“My goal is to be a role model for my daughters, to show them through my training how important it is to have healthy habits. I want them to always know that a mum, a woman, and every hijabi can take time to exercise, take care of herself and she is able to do anything. Moreover, I want my daughters to always remember that your health is always your priority.” 

Khedija is an inspirational Doha based ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Martial Artist. To follow her journey or to connect with her, Khedija’s instagram account is: @fitwithmummy_k.

Chereen Shurafa is a Doha based community counsellor, writer, and certified change coach. She is the founder of “Dear Chereen”, an online platform dedicated to mindfulness, mental health, and inspiration.

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