A FITNESS guru wants to encourage Asian women to break stereotypes and lift weights.

Nila Patel from Bolton became fitness obsessed after going from working at a bank to be a housewife for more than ten years.

The personal trainer feels women in the Indian community feel too intimidated walking into a gym and lifting weights but wants to make this normal in her hometown.

The mum of an 11-year-old, worked as senior management at Lloyds TSB bank for 12 years but struggled to move forward.

Mrs Patel said: “I worked myself hard trying to break through the glass ceiling as an Asian woman but did not get to the level I wanted to be at.

“I learned everything I could about training and coaching despite my dyslexia, which brought many challenges to me when training the directors of the bank.”

After becoming a mum, the 41-year-old left her job to focus on being a parent.

Mrs Patel said: “During my time as a housewife I felt a bit lost, as I always worked hard to get where I needed to be.

“I was always into the gym and fitness since I was a kid so I just got back into a routine of waking up at 5.30am every day to train with weights.”

Training in Bolton, the mum was determined not to let anything stop her.

The fitness guru said: “I was judged for being the only Indian girl in a gym full of boys.

“They used to say that I would never be able to lift or build muscle, especially on an Indian vegetarian diet.

“But the boys taught me to use the determination I had lost as a housewife.”

Now, Mrs Patel wants return to Bolton from Nuneaton to talk to women, and encourage them with her story, to not just be housewives.

She said: “I want women to lift more weights over cardio, as they burn more calories this way.

“You look and feel great and don’t need a man to tell you, the weights show you.”

“Self-confidence is a huge thing, I wake up, get ready, and walk into a gym full of men at 6am, they respect you for that, because they know exactly why you’re there at that time.

“Empowering women to me, means helping other women to grow within themselves away from the traditional housewife role.

“I aim to talk to Asian women in the community and highlight that as ethnic minorities we are more at risk from diabetes and other chronic illnesses.”

Follow her Instagram - nilgopsfitness