My Suzhou: Laila Alieh the Fitness Astronaut

By Ned Kelly, April 9, 2018

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My Suzhou is a That's series when we ask a Suzhou-based somebody to tell us about their life.

Born and raised in near NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, Laila Alieh always dreamed of being an astronaut, and ended up working for NASA. Following her husband’s relocation to China, she recently landed on Planet Suzhou, and is hoping to colonize it as the Fitness Astronaut.

So how does a person become a Fitness Astronaut?
For the longest time I wanted to become an astronaut and work for NASA. So I went to engineering school at Purdue University to study Civil Engineering, and later studied Mechanical Engineering at Portland State University. I worked for NASA for four years and worked in Corporate America for three years.

Can you give us the ‘elevator pitch’ for the Fitness Astronaut concept?
I like to help people explore fitness as astronauts explore space. Most specifically, I help brides explore fitness as astronauts explore space.

How did the idea come about?
In 2015, as I was getting ready for my wedding and getting into shape so I fit into my wedding dress, I realized it really felt like I was preparing for a space launch. There is so much that goes into planning out a wedding, and in my circumstances (the dress didn’t fit) I pretty much treated myself as an engineering problem that needed to be fixed in T minus four months and counting. So I call myself the Fitness Astronaut, because I use engineering and problem solving tools to help people learn to love health and fitness and find the right methods that work for their bodies.


Can you give us an example?
Before I start coaching my clients I ask them a lot of questions about their current lifestyle, what they struggle with, and what obstacles they are facing. I use data analysis every month, using control factors to track their transformation progress: centimeters lost, body fat reduction, photos and much more. Most importantly as an engineer, you have to have a deadline. For my brides, the launch date is the wedding – W Day. And they have T minus a certain number of months to get Wedding Fit Forever. I believe that anyone can be Wedding Fit Forever. Just like being an astronaut, it’s a mission.

What stage are you at exploring the final frontier?
I am currently coaching brides in Suzhou and to clients around the globe online, writing content for a bridal website, and have started smoothie prep classes in Suzhou. I would love to help brides both locally and all over China. I would love to do speeches and presentations, providing content classes and workshops to not just brides, but anyone who needs help with their health and fitness.

What inspires you?
Helping people and watching their faces light up when they see a change in their physique and start to feel better both inside and out. We each need that one small step of support to make that giant leap for ourselves.

Learn more about the Fitness Astronaut at, contact her at, or add her on WeChat:


Read more My Suzhou.

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