Marga Nerghis embarked on a journey of self-transformation that ended up touching everyone around her. Now she’s sharing how she built not only a strong body, but also a supportive community.
In her 20s, Marga’s weight yo-your between 92 and 130 pounds. She considered 130 pounds to be too heavy for her petite 5’2′ frame, while 92 pounds was verging on dangerously light. She struggled to find a happy medium. Marga doubted her ability to reach her fitness goals and she became easily discouraged.
Marga started doing group fitness classes, like Zumba and step. They were fun and helped her stay motivated—she calls them her “endorphin bombs.” Soon enough, she had progressed to more challenging, boot camp-style classes. However, her routine was derailed when she suffered a knee injury in 2015. She switched gears and started to focus on physiotherapy instead of her fitness classes.
THE ROAD TO REHABILITATION
In light of her injury, Marga needed to start a weight-training program to strengthen her hurt muscles and avoid further injuries. “I was very intimidated using the equipment in the gym at the beginning,” she recalls. She felt that the gym was a male-dominated area, and she did not want to be looked at. Another barrier was that she didn’t know how to train properly. Marga enlisted a personal trainer to show her the ropes, which helped her gradually step out of her comfort zone and gain confidence.
A SILVER LINING
Marga’s knee injury may have been a setback at first, but it helped her discover a lifelong passion for weight training. She signed up for a fitness competition, which gave her a motivational boost. At first, she found it difficult to balance a full-time job and prepare for competitions with her social and family life. However, she learned that the people who could not support her active lifestyle were not the people she wanted in her life. Meanwhile, Marga formed an even stronger community with her friends and co-workers who encouraged her transformation. Many members of her circle were inspired to improve their own lifestyles and diets.
Over the course of her journey, Marga learned to see food differently. She views it as fuel, and she knows that eating well does her mind good and keeps her body healthy. Thanks to this attitude, she has been able to keep her cravings in check and keep her weight steady at 110 pounds. When people ask her for her secrets, she recommends consulting a nutritionist, hiring a certified personal trainer, and stepping out of your comfort zone for a physical and mental challenge. Weightlifting is a source of mental fuel for Marga. “Preparing for bikini fitness competitions taught me discipline, structure, and self-confidence,” she proclaims. “It helped me discover that I have leadership abilities, that I am in fact a very positive person, and that it feels incredible to give back and motivate others.”
MARGA NERGHIS AT A GLANCE
GO-TO HEALTHY SNACK
Cashews and almonds
FAVE SPLURGE FOOD
A peanut butter sandwich
BEST EASY-TO MAKE MEAL
An imaginative salad
Do good and good will come to you
Photos By GLEN E. GRANT Follow (@GLENEGRANT)