body positivity

The relationship between physical fitness and mental health: My Story

Last week I asked my community to send in questions asking about the relationship between physical and mental fitness and I just uploaded a video about it.

HERE is the video for you to check out.

Now, I tell my story.

I was 270 lbs at my peak and suffered from severely low self esteem, this resulted in a minor personality disorder where I would act out in the weirdest ways, hate every single person and decided that I would rather be alone and eat than do anything about what plagues me.

A no filter #transformationtuesday I bulked and cut and lost weight and am so happy with my results. And despite the physical change a strong mental change has ensued. I have started a journey of discovering myself. Cliched enough? But under layers of fat and bad eating habits and stupid society, you tend to shut yourself in a cage. I am on youtube now, breaking the cage so that no one goes through what I did. we are beautiful at all sizes and fitness is about making you the best version of yourself. Join me on liftlikeagirl . . . . . . . . . #fitfam #fitlife #girlswithmuscles #beautiful #ukfitfam #weightloss #selflove #instafit #stronghold #strong #delhigirl #londonblogger #fitfam #bodybuilding #femalefitnessmotivation #indianfitness

A post shared by Samridhi R Kumar 🇨🇦 (@liftlikeagirl13) on

I was friendless and bullied and took it out on food and my family. I was NOT the best person to be around that time.

Slowly, I started dieting and lost “some” weight but by all means was still “fat” . This resulted in a minor change in me where I started getting some male attention (Hello, male validation for making women feel “good” about themselves) and I started drowning in depression and compliments. I would rather be called pretty than anything and I had no self respect.

I started lifting weights and had so many people muscle shame me because of that. I cut them off.

I started doing yoga and started listening to my mind for the first time in so many years.

Today, I stand here, a girl with muscles, a bodybuilder, an iyengar yogini and a person who is happiest at the gym, hitting the iron and I ward off all depressing thoughts with headstands.

If there was ever a cure for my depression, ED, low self esteem and everything else, it was physical fitness.

 

Advertisements
body positivity

Are Beauty Pageants Sexist?

CLICK ON THE LINK FOR A CHANCE TO FEATURE IN A VIDEO TALK

I have always believed that parading a bunch of good looking people, mostly tall, skinny and fair women is one of the ways media and the society makes you think believe in a different standard of beauty.

We are all so different and are all beautiful.

I look at myself, I am short, barely crossing 153 inches, muscular with bulking biceps and strong quads, have red hair and brown skin and in no way will be getting a beauty queen crown in the near future.

So, I am slightly amused at the amount of happiness India has been giddying with an Indian woman winning the coveted Miss World crown. (Is Trump still behind the scenes?)

The banality of this is such, that in a patriarchal society where the media refuses to talk about rampant issues, we would rather feast our eyes on such beauties and objectify them

But

I am glad for Manushi Chillar, daughter of two doctors who, surprised me by actually having an opinion. (that does show my prejudice towards beauty contests and I plead guilty.)

And, as a consummate traveller, I stalked her instagram and found her very pleasing, raising hopes in me that she will take this pla60133549tform and speak up and do some good.

The other beauty queens who did something sensible, albeit a bit late were Priyanka Chopra and Sushmita Sen and everyone has been pretty much stereotypical.

But, I stand here, an optimist, waiting for the day when Indian beauty queens and beautSushmita-Seny queens in general represent the women of the world in a more wholesome and inclusive way.

But, do click here and watch her instagram and get some travel inspo.

MANUSHI CHILLAR TRAVELSPO

And

I would love to know your opinion on beauty pageants.

 

body positivity, fitness, Healthy Recipes

Carbs for building muscle

Carbs to build muscle?

Carbs bad for you?

The science behind carbs explained in this video.

For the longest time, carbs have such a bad rep that even now, all people who want to lose weight are advised to give up carbs.

Haven’t you heard of low carb diet? Carb cycling? or just giving up carbs all together?

Let’s get to the point, carbohydrates are made up of glucose which are present in so many food groups that you just cannot avoid them

As such, in order to use carbs to build muscles, you should not give it up. Carbs are one of the three main nutrients you need to live.

As a girl who lifts on a muscle building journey, I have been advised against carbs for the longest time.

In my 100 pound weight loss journey, I have read up on carbs and personally experienced all kinds of carb diets.

I have done carb cycling.

I have lived through low carb diet.

and I have googled all possible carb terms from losing weight with carbs to carbs to build muscle and this video explains the science behind why your body needs carbs.

And as a bonus, I share a low carb, high protein and totally delish recipe which I am using in my muscle building program.

HERE is the video.

Hope you enjoy it!

 

body positivity, fitness, fitness journey

Loose skin After weight loss: VIDEO

After losing 100 pounds, I have tackled issues of loose skin, cellulite and stretch marks. It is not easy losing 100 pounds and is often recommended that you do not go and lose weight fast but make your weight loss slow so that you do not have loose skin.

My personal story of this 100 pound weight loss is a slow one, I started lifting and dieting and I was so scared of getting surgery for loose skin that I tried all possible remedies to get rid of my loose skin.

I was shocked to see cellulite on my thighs and stretch marks started cropping up in my flabby arms and back of my stomach, I looked up so many remedies to get rid of loose skin.

I tried creams and stretching exercises for my loose skin but I have realised that dropping 100 pounds has been such a monumental step in the direction of my health that I need to accept my body for it is and be body positive.

I look at how media represents weight loss and even extreme weight loss with after pictures of people who have lost weight looking so amazing with muscles and skinny legs but as a filmmaker, I know it is all because of perfect lights and cameras and editing softwares.

The point of this presentation is to increase my library of body positive videos and as liftlikeagirl, I show the imperfections in my body after my 100 pound weight loss.

You can be anywhere you want but just love your body and do not search for losing weight fast and easy but instead search for exercises and workouts and fitness tips to better you life and lifestyles.

VIDEO LINK

 

body positivity, fitness, fitness journey

How I lost 100 pounds| Starting my Own Youtube Channel

When people talk about losing weight and sharing their journey with others, it is often construed as self service and shaming fat people.

There are vultures waiting around for you to fail and get on that binge and eat your own weight.

I keep insisting that weight loss is not just a physical journey but a mental one at that.

Here I share the levels of my weight loss journey that have helped me get to where I am and hope that it helps others going through the same.

cropped-cropped-img_3899.jpg

  1. Self Loathe: This was the most difficult level to cross as I would hate looking at myself in the mirror. I wished fervently to lose the weight but the willpower in me had died. I would eat and then fast for days and then eat some more. Eating made me feel good. I would have conversations with myself justifying my eating habits and lack of exercise thinking its all in my genes and I kept expanding.
  2. False starts: This continued for 2 years. I would decide to make a change (every monday!) and join a gym or an exercise program and then give up and eat my weight. Or I would run for an hour, feel exhausted with my body hurting for days later and then eat as much as I wanted. I would never really exercise regularly.
  3. Home workouts; I felt ashamed of myself and the laziness in me was so deeply rooted that I downloaded home workouts and would follow that. I tried this method for a good few months and when I started noticing some changes. Not many but my stamina was improving I felt good and then went off to eat.
  4. Food and diet: I realised I had an unhealthy relationship with food, so I put myself on a strict diet. All was well, as I weighed myself and was dropping pounds after pound a day. It was water weight but I was happy. I pushed myself to an extreme and would only eat salads the whole day and chug on green tea. When I did eat normal food, I would purge it all out. Not a very healthy choice but I kept losing the weight.
  5. Gym and Trainer: I had an on and off relationship with the gym. So, one day I waltzed into my gym and a trainer approached me. I was very skeptic of trainers since I never thought they had any good intentions (mostly money minting). But this one came to me and said he wanted to help me workout. I agreed. He seemed like a decent guy and I had nothing to lose. He slowly started putting me in body workout splits and encouraged me to lift. I did not pay him for any personal training but I guess he was that rare person who actually loved his job. He gave me diets to be followed and slowly I fell in love with lifting.
  6. Lift Life: After almost a year with this trainer, I put on a red dress and was shocked to see it fit! I was a size 4 and I hadn’t realised it. Maybe, I had but the point was that I was enjoying what  did.
  7. A new Change: I gained enough confidence to pick up projects that had me travel and I had to quit this gym. But I was equipped now. I interacted with many lifters, digested bodybuilding tips and workouts (many were for men and few for women!).

17512_10151684925016928_503718091_nThe point here is, I finally found something that I enjoyed and that empowered me. I have gained muscle weight. I look smaller than ever but weight more.

What I have realised is that women focus so much on dropping the pounds, on the number on the scale that we do not really experiment with what form of exercise we like. Exercise not to get a perfect shape, but to feel good. and when you feel good, you will get what you want.

I wanted skinny legs (thanks to my Indian hips) and I started doing squats and lunges and I still don’t have skinny legs but I have started loving the muscle definition in my thighs. I have strong broad shoulders and biceps and I love it.

I am stronger than ever. I am the luggage carrier of the family now. I beat guys bigger than me at physical challenges and for the majority of my life, my friends had dubbed me inertia (A body at a state of rest continues to remain at rest until an external force is applied.)

This prompted me to start a youtube channel, not to showcase my weight loss but to show women that there are ways to lose weight and love yourself, lifting is easy and maybe give it a try?

I want to share my mental struggle with ED and body dysmorphia and I am so thankful for the loving community I have found on youtube.

My channel link: LIFTLIKEAGIRL

 

 

body positivity, Healthy Recipes

Websites spreading fake fitness news

There are so many websites that spread fake fitness news under the garb of a “new Diet” or “Weight Loss Tricks”.

 

So many desperate people are duped by this and succumb to trying silly diets and workout which have absolutely no effect.

 

As I have been saying time and again, there is NO substitute to a good diet and exercise.

 

I make this video to counter the silly claims made by an Indian website, a cheap dupe of Buzzfeed.

 

Comment on the video if you want to know the name of the website.

 

And till then, enjoy, me busting these myths.

 

body positivity, fitness, fitness journey, Life Lessons

Girls who Lift: My View

As a girl who is a regular entity at the local gym and the weight lifting section, I feel the lack of women every single day.

Even though it is changing, the people i meet at the free weights section are usually strong, big, buff guys, girls with male partners or bodybuilders. I rarely see girls like me, regular non buff girls at the section. The rare occasion that I do see her, we exchange shy smiles, unknowingly created a bond as the only two anomalies in the system, change in the changing rooms and then disappear in the regular medley of life.

Why is it that girls with muscles are just found in the bodybuilding world or weird fetish world? Even if it is changing, it is so slow that my passion of gym and lifting is not taken as seriously as it should.

I am not applauded for bench pressing 200 pounds or not even praised for my brick abs or broad shoulders.

As a social media influencer, I battle crazy messages on a daily basis, people with weird fetishes asking for my pictures, men sending me unsolicited pictures and random people telling me that I look big or manly.

Do we ever pause and think that lifting might just be good for us?

That some girls like to loft and it is no big anomaly?

I made a video on the 5 reasons girls should lift.

Have a look and tell me what you think.

5 Reasons Girls should lift

 

body positivity, Uncategorized

MALE BODY SHAMING

Body shaming is not just about girls getting shamed for being fat but men also deal with the pressures of the society.

Patriarchy does not differentiate between men and women as such. If women are confined to feminine roles, men, too, are forced to be masculine and have a perfect definition of “fit”.

I have been developing a web series called Cocktail Confessions, where I meet such people and talk through their experiences.

Here is a friend talking about Male Body Shaming:

Male Body Shaming

body positivity

Cocktail Confessions

My journey is something I always talk about but when I came up with this idea of confessions of other people and their body issues, I did not think I would meet so much resistance.

Back home, in London, and even in the whole of the UK, body acceptance is at an all time high. My idol, Anne Marie shows a regular sized body and everywhere in the media you will see regular sized people. As a filmmaker, I know how the camera adds some pounds. There will be skinny heroin chicks and buxom beauties. They will ALL be there.

As a big fan of Bollywood, I have been disappointed by the past few years where Indian women, known for their curves are going under the knife and dieting to ape the 90’s skinny American girls. The world is moving forward and Bollywood is going backwards.

But, coming to the point. As a body activist, I am not going for skinny shaming of glorifying obesity as I have been accused of. I am looking to help people love and accept their bodies the way it is.

As a fitness coach, I don’t advocate a weight or a size but the rush of endorphins and a happier and healthier lifestyle. I have seen the difference in my own body that it now rejects unhealthy items like cigarettes, alcohol and junk food. I want to run. I want to lift weight, I want to skip and be happy. THAT IS FITNESS.

So, with my cocktail confessions series, I started by talking to a sufferer of PCOS who suffered to facial hair and obesity and mental health issues. In the course of this, I am still in talks with other people but so far, the response in India has been appalling.

I have had a “fit” person ask me how is a fit person body shamed?

I have had another person tell me that you ned to be thick skinned and ignore the comments.

And a skinny person being rude to me saying he does need to eat.

I am fighting against labels. Just like the ones I used above.

Body shaming is a person judging you for your body first and your personality later.

Body shaming is you feeling the need to hide a regular bodily function because people cannot accept that. Period stains anyone?

Body shaming is people taking the liberty to call you fat or complimenting you on losing weight.

Anyone commenting on your body without your consent is body shaming.

Find the first episode of cocktai; confessions here and if you want to be a part of it, contact me.

body positivity, fitness, fitness journey, Uncategorized

Yoga Journey Update

As I am in India, I am practising and learning various forms of yoga. Mostly, it takes a lot of breathing and meditation, controlling your own self and flexibility.

The following pictures are snippets from my flexibility training and hoping to post an update that would show an improvement.

IMG_2184IMG_2099Plank Position to PushupIMG_2095IMG_2115IMG_2173

 

Also you can find me on my Youtube Channel LIFTLIKEAGIRL

And on Instagram : LIFTLIKEAGIRL_SAMAIRABLACK

 

body positivity, fitness journey, Life Lessons, Uncategorized

I am a FAT GIRL: A Poem

Fatso, giant, big boned, big fat arse

They smiled knowing it was just a farce.

She was not human, was she?

She was just a punchline of a joke.

When I picked a pizza, you saw me and scowled

How dare she eat that, you judged and frowned.

I remember the day i went to the cloth shop

A mother pointed at me, warning her daughter

You don’t want to look like her, she said

They both looked at me, messing with my head.

Fatso, giant, big boned, big fat arse

They smiled knowing it was just a farce.

She was not human, was she?

She was just a punchline of a joke.

I pulled and pulled the biggest jeans over my fat thighs

Wishing I could cut off the flesh with the sharpest knife.

You came to me and said I was fat

You were a friend but what right you had?

You said he will love you for your personality.

Insinuating I wasn’t good enough for him.

I see you today and I want to ask you again.

Did you see me that day, did you feel my pain?

You said my sister was prettier than I

You said I was ugly forcing me to hide my sigh.

I walked on the street and you screamed at me

Oi fatty! You shouted in jest and ran off before I could see.

Fatso, giant, big boned, big fat arse

They smiled knowing it was just a farce.

She was not human, was she?

She was just a punchline of a joke.

You said I was bigger than my mum

Reducing me to just a size of my bum.

You asked me out on a date

It was a dare to make the fat girl wait.

At parties you wanted to laugh at me.

Watching me eat or dressing me up, wasn’t it fun to see?

I went to the gym and dropped the pounds.

You came running after me like hounds.

Suddenly what I said mattered to you.

My face, my brains, my heart were yours to woo.

Do I leave the fat girl behind?

Does she not deserve a chance and a love to find?

Was she not human enough or just a wad of fat.

For you to mock and shame and wander in your tall hat.

The fat girl in me is still within hearing range.

You may not see her, but I see your behaviour change.

I may be half of her but she is whole of me.

She remembers and so do we.

body positivity, fitness, Life Lessons

Are you a body shamer?

body shaming
noun
  1. 1.
    the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size.
    “she is not the only celebrity to speak up about body shaming”
adjective
  1. 1.
    expressing mockery or criticism about a person’s body shape or size.
    “the singer has been dealing not only with heartache but with nasty body-shaming comments”
    body2

The society has conditioned us in such a way that for most of us, body shaming is a natural and normal way of life. So much so that, we don’t realise when we cause it and unintentially perpetuate it.

So, here is a handy list to strike off to see if you are a body shamer.

Have you:

  1. Called someone fat?
  2. Called someone skinny?
  3. Said this particular type of clothing doesn’t look good on them?
  4. Commented on thick thighs?
  5. Commented on skinny arms or any part of their anatomy?
  6. Complimented them on losing weight?
  7. Complimented them on gaining weight?
  8. Asked if they are a on a diet?
  9. Asked if they are sure they want the last pizza slice?
  10. Given free advice on healthy eating?
  11. Said if they only lost/gained the weight they would look so much better?
  12. Said you look amazing for a fat/skinny person?
  13. Said the person they will fall in love with will love them for their personality and not their looks?
  14. Discussed someone’s body and looks with friends?

A person’s look and body and what they wear is a completely personal choice and till the time the said person does not ask for your opinion, giving it results in body shaming and if you ever do that, however well meaning you might be, you only add to the problem.

 

Ciao Adios!body