fitness journey

Why Girls lift

If you are like me and you lift, you MUST have come across the most banal question ever in existence, “Why do you lift? Aren’t you scared of becoming big?”

IMG_20170205_134858_371To this, I ask, what is the definition of big and why being a girl makes people ask me this.

Our body is the only vehicle we have this life and we should expect to make it the best version of what it is. Be it yoga, pilates or weights, there are various fitness regimes that make you feel super healthy and do things you never thought you could ever do.

It is a wondrous feeling and having lived on the opposite end of the scale for ages, I can truly appreciate the feeling of strength that pulsates through my body after I finish a workout.

For the longest time, I could barely jog for 10 minutes and now I am sprinting and running for 1 hour, lifting weights almost as heavy as me and being so energetic that people think I am younger than I actually am.

This is a small post but the bottom line is, make your body the best version of itself and if lifting does that for you DO IT and ignore everyone else.

A shoutout to my inspiration Bani Judge!!

fitness journey, Uncategorized

The head of a Fat Girl

We all know her. We have seen her and mocked her for eating that ice cream alone. Have seen her stuffing a hamburger and feeling pity for her weight. We have told her to lose weight and have given her advice on how to eat properly or workout more effectively. We think we know better because we are thinner than she is. Because being thin is the only measure of fitness and health. We know better because we are better.

But, are we?

I was 200 pounds once, tipping the scale to such an extent that I stopped weighing myself. I lost 100 pounds and have been steady for the past 2 years, now gaining some courage to start building muscle and accept my body.

But losing weight is not a physical process, it is more of a mental one. You may not look like your old self but you still feel like her. She is lurking in the corner somewhere.

When you open the fridge to cook something “healthy” she is there right beside the door staring at the piece of chocolate you have kept as a cheat meal. When you are trying new clothes at a store, she is right next to you criticising your tummy and fat thighs, love handles and fat arms. When you are out on a Friday night, she is in front of you with all the others who judge you for how you dress and how you look.

She never leaves.

When people come to me and compliment me for losing weight, I feel happy but she feels sad. Is she not worth anything? All her achievements in life mean nothing because she weighed 200 pounds?

Because she is fat, people think it is ok to call her names knowing full well she can hear them?

Because she is fat, it is all right for relatives and friends to come and give her advice on what to eat and judge her?

Because she is fat it is ok for mothers to point her out to their daughters and scare them?

Because she is fat she is not worth anything and now that you have lost the weight, the only thing you will ever hear is “how good you look now” because she was ugly.

Because fat was ugly.

Because fat IS ugly.

She will always be with you.

She will always be you.


Healthy Recipes

Healthy swap Chicken Burger

As I posted on instagram, here is a recipe for my go to burger dish for cardio days.


Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 13.52.17


1 Skinless Chicken Breast

1 Salad Tomato

0.5 White or spring onion

0.5 Red Pepper

0.5 Cucumber

3 Wholemeal Bread Slices

1 tbsp Homemade spice mix (Red chilli, white pepper, garam masala)

1 tbsp yoghurt

1tsp olive oil

1 tbsp cottage cheese

1 whole potato (or a sweet potato)


  1. Rub the chicken breast with the spice mix and some yoghurt and keep aside for 30 mins.
  2. Cut the potato into thick wedges and rub with a bit of white pepper and olive oil and roast for 30-45 mins till you like the crispness.
  3. Slice all the remaining vegetables.
  4. Roast the chicken for 30-45 mins on 180 degrees till the outside is brown and crispy.
  5. Assemble the burger with cheese. Keep the quantity of cheese real low but DO NOT use low fat cheese.(it contains added ingredients which are not wholesome)
  6. Enjoy your burger.


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Let me know what you think of it.


Happy Healthy Eating!!!


Comfort Food and Hormones

As women, we are very well aware of our hormonal changes every single day.

For the uninitiated, our oestrogen levels spike up and down as we go through a monthly cycle. The uterus prepares for a baby and when it does not find one, the lining dissipates out in the form of periods that causes cramps, clotting and blood flow out from the vagina.

This monthly cycle means, there are days we feel sluggish and days we feel our active best, add various mood swings and triggers and you have a veritable mess of feelings and hormones. Somedays we have an active sex drive and on other days we just want to cover up and lie in the duvet, some days we are the happiest ever and on other days we are our angry best. get the drift?

To people who relate food with feelings, this causes us to eat our feelings. On days we feel active and happy, our diet is the very best and then there are down days where a bar of chocolate and a block of cheese calms down all rampant hormones and when the deadly red fountain appears, many of us feel like digging into our comfort foods.

In order to not face a mountain of guilt over our comfort food choices the next day, it is important to keep your food in check. We can dig into delicious treats if we time them well and know when to stop. Binge eating will not just set you back in the gym (or wherever you exercise) but make you feel worse later on.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson points out the importance of comfort foods and how he uses just one time of the day in a week for this. With this, he can keep his macros and diet in check while not craving pizza or cheese while sticking to his diet.

I tend to keep a check on my portion because who wants to eat a low fat chocolate or a low fat version of cheese?

Here is a list of swaps I incorporate in my diet which lets me feel happy with my comfort food, battle the period monster and hit it out in the gym:

  1. Chocolate: Avoid milk and truffles and stick to dark or 1 square of regular chocolate.
  2. Wine: Prefer Red and stick to a glass (Something I find very very difficult).
  3. Indian Food: Homemade with no cream and swap naan with 1 roti or 1 cup rice.
  4. Cheese : I stick to a bite of 2 of my favourites (goat cheese or blue cheese is better than others.)
  5. Pizza: Thin crust with more protein
  6. Chinese food: I avoid it but look for ramen or dumplings


Did I miss anything? Would love to know your healthy swaps and comfort food items.!


Pizza night gone wrong

Don’t we all love a nice cosy pizza night on the sofa in front of the TV?

With my cellphone in ICU still and my absence from the world of live social media taking its toll on my mood, I decided on a pizza night and my token from home, good old “Old Monk” rum.


Now, the thing about pizza and alcohol is that its pure fat. We ended up ordering a large pepperoni pizza with chicken nuggets and guzzled down half a bottle of rum. Fried, cheese and fat screamed my head and body but it was bliss.

Not so much the day after.

So, today, after my fun pizza night of abandon, I hit the gym with leg day and a minor leg injury. Now, my usual workout is a 20 minute medium paced cardio followed by hitting the weights hard and then another 5-10 minutes of cardio and stretching or yoga.

Without my phone, I had no access to Bollywood songs to pump me as I tentatively pushed the buttons on the treadmill. And with all the pizza fat swimming in my gut, waiting for me, I had no idea what I was in for.

To compare, take my usual treadmill workout timing and intensity, I do 20 mins at 6 mph varying the incline with the last 5 mins dedicated to a run at 7.5-8 mph. Today, I started off with a light jog at 5mph and imagine my utter shock and devastation when after 20 seconds, my heart rate pumped up and I started huffing and puffing, barely able to hold myself together. Guilt filled my brain and the pizza and cheese swam in front of me as for the most part of my workout, I jogged at 4-5 mph feeling rundown. Nothing seemed to be going my way this week.

I constantly have an argument with myself. As someone decimated to a fit lifestyle, I don’t want to give up on pleasures of life just so I can show my abs and a toned body to the world. But when a night of abandon leads to utter failure in the gym and your two worlds collide what do you do?

I suppose, the answer to this would be to eat in moderation and listen to your body. Have a slice of pizza or two or a pint but do not go overboard.

I love pizza but feeling this weak in the gym and feeling all my handwork go waste is not 20170308_111842something I want to deal with ever again.

Lesson learnt for the foodie in me, get your fun cheat meals in the day time or the afternoon as that gives the body enough time to digest it and this does not hit your fitness progress as much.

And the body NEEDS a cheat meal, tell me otherwise and be ready for a fight.


My Transformation Journey

“From an upcoming article on me. I couldn’t have written better. Stay tuned for links. ”

At my heaviest, I was around 110 kg. This is a rough estimate, since I was not one to weigh myself very frequently. I began exercising a bit and found that I’d gone down to weighing 98 kg. It was only then that I willingly came in front of the camera. It took me 2 years to come down to 60 kgs, since I kept faltering, and then another year to build muscles and to attain some definition; I now have a 2 pack and maintain my weight at 53-55 kg with muscle mass. My waist was 38”, and after dropping 20 kgs, it’s now 25”- my hips changed from around 48” to 34”. The journey of change was gradual, as all my previous attempts at gymming had proven unsuccessful. I finally got a personal trainer in India; however, after working out, I would end up negating my own efforts by resorting to consuming unhealthy food items, as I felt entitled to them after exercising. Unsurprisingly, I did not lose any weight, which caused dejection and disappointment. I definitely had a long way to go. Of course, there have been several hurdles on this journey. But in retrospect, their presence only makes me prouder of what I’ve accomplished. For instance, I would get out of breath really quickly in the initial stages of my journey; I would blame this on my low metabolism, flat foot or bad diet.

Moreover, once I saw concrete results, I developed an unhealthy relationship with food, so much so that I was eventually diagnosed with bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder where one binges and then purges out the food. I have discussed this openly and am now on the road to recovery.

Presently, I consume a high protein diet and videotape my workouts regularly. I try to keep myself accountable in order not to fall down the abyss again. Having said that, throughout my journey, my personal trainer has been a valuable source of encouragement and knowledge. He explained everything, from muscles, the benefits of protein, to workout routines. I would watch videos of trainers like Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper and Jennifer Widerstorm- this served to keep me motivated to continue exercising. I began consciously monitoring my diet and started losing 2-3 kg a week! My trainer was intrigued and impressed with my progress and asked me if I wanted to start bodybuilding. I hopped on the bandwagon and began lifting, with the guidance of my trainer; he would advise me about different muscle groups and exercises. At this point, I began seeing striking results- I pushed myself and joined communities to see more people and felt extremely encouraged and motivated. Although I still saw very few girls lifting, it was invigorating to see other kinds of fitness posts. I found myself looking forward to trying out new exercises and regimes and, fortunately, this thirst to explore has not died down. In India, it is rare to witness a healthy attitude towards weight loss, with people focusing on diets and weird tricks instead.

Having said that, I keep myself motivated by watching and following the american trainer/bodybuilder Jennifer Widerstorm who was an Iron Maiden and lifts amazingly, and Bani Judge, who I met on her recent visit to the UK. These women encourage girls to lift without any social taboo and that feels great. My transformation has made me a more active person. Earlier, my friends used to call me inertia (for my lack of movement) whereas now, they call me an inspiration.

At the gym, here in London, people look at me lift and I feel proud of the fact that I may be encouraging others on their respective journeys. I speak to people at the gym and as a woman, I feel great lifting as much and sometimes even more than the guys! I am much stronger, with my dad actually enlisting my help to move stuff around in the house; moreover, as I work on film sets, people are surprised to see this small, short girl lifting heavy equipment at par with tall Europeans. What’s important is to stay consistent- any activity, when done for 40 days becomes a habit, and once this is a habit, vices that are hard to drop, like addiction to cigarettes, drugs, liquor- all of these fall away. Furthermore, the intense dependence on junk food and even the will to eat horrible food disappears. What’s more, you feel so much better and lighter.

I work out remotely with a couple of people in India and USA and we keep each other accountable, even though we follow different regimes. But at the end of the day when I look at their messages, and at my own progress, it’s worth going the extra mile.