Suzana Krkeljic is pure mom-fitness goals. This Serbian-born, Abu Dhabi-based personal trainer never expected to end up in the Middle East — but now that she’s here, she can’t imagine anywhere else she’d rather be.
“In Abu Dhabi, I feel like home,” she says. “I love the people, city and opportunities this country can offer you.”
When she’s not creating online fitness programs and healthy YouTube videos, Krkeljic shares her journey to nearly 18,000 people on Instagram. Yet, through it all, she stresses, her new baby takes priority. Here’s she gets her day off right.
My life right now is all about the baby schedule. This means I currently wake up every morning at 7am. I drink a 500ml bottle of water right away first thing, always on an empty stomach. Then I breastfeed my baby.
Before baby, I’d check social media as soon as I got out of bed. Now social media has to wait until after baby’s morning routine. Anyways, since social media is a part of my job, I always find time to fit it into my day.
My beauty routine is pretty simple. I’ll wash my face with Clinique liquid face soap, then tone with Clinique as well. I apply hyaluronic serum from Neutrogena and moisturize with Clinique. Next come sunscreen by Avena, because that’s critical here in sunny Abu Dhabi. Finally I put some vaseline on my lips.
If you ask me about my makeup, I’m a simple girl. Mascara, concealer and lip gloss are my best friends.
For breakfast, I try to do a different thing every day — easier said than done with a baby! Honestly lately I feel the best with banana and a protein bar, or a protein shake and black coffee. That’s not my option for a weekend breakfast though!
I love to do cardio in the morning. It gives me such a boost for the day.
My one healthy tip is to have a bottle of water right away on an empty stomach every morning. It cleanses your stomach, keeps your gut healthy and feels like a detox.
My morning indulgence is a family breakfast. It’s the best feeling really — just starting my day with family, our favorite foods and plenty of funny chat. Even though right now, it’s only really me, my husband and the baby, since we’re the only ones that live here. But that’s our tradition.
Having a baby changed my whole life. Even before the baby I was an organized person, planning everything in advance. I’m not really a spontaneous one! But now with the baby, everything is on another level. Especially because there are tons of little surprises that constantly try to change my plans! Anyways, somehow I keep my routine. Doing work, working out and having time to play with the baby, that’s all part of my day. But I have learned that it’s all about patience and not stressing over new adjustments.
My one big piece of advice is for women not to work out from a hatred their bodies. Don’t let this be your motivation. Work out because you love yourself, mentally and physically. And when it comes to fitness itself, consistency and persistency is key.
Featured photo: Suzana Krkeljic
Danae Mercer is a freelance health and travel journalist and globally recognized influencer and leader in the body acceptance movement.