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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.

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