It takes a lot to admit to yourself that you're not happy with your body and that you need to make some changes. After all, our body image affects not just our physical but also mental health--and there's a very thin line between motivating ourselves to be fitter and becoming obsessed with looking a certain way.
In an honest and brave video, our video star, Upalina opens up about her own fitness journey, which started 10 years ago. "I call it phase 1 of my fitness journey--when I finally accepted that I was not comfortable with my body, that I was overweight." Watch the video here:
After you've realised you want to make a change, deciding what exactly to do can be overwhelming. So where did she begin? "10 years ago, when I was 18, there wasn't as much information and awareness about fitness out there. I was under the impression that if you want to lose weight, you go to the gym."
But of course, gyms can get overwhelming when you've never exercised and don't have a personal trainer to guide you. So she turned to her father for guidance and motivation. "For one whole month, all I did was go for walks and runs with my father. It kind of shocked my body, and I would often be very sore, but it prepared me for proper workouts later. That's where I started."
It took Upalina two years to lose 15 kgs, and since then, her focus has been to maintain her weight. It isn't as easy as just losing the weight--you need to work hard to maintain your weight and size.
Want to know what she does to maintain her health and fitness after losing weight? Scroll along.
If you think that hitting the gym hard but eating whatever you want will make you fitter, you're approaching it the wrong way. Upalina reminds us what experts have been repeating for years: that fitness is 80% diet, 10% determination and 10% working out. So it doesn't matter if you spend hours at the gym--you won't see any results if you don't eat healthy, nutritious food.
Upalina starts her day at 8:30 am with some water, and then enjoys half a cup of tea with a rusk. Before heading to work, she eats one boiled egg (only whites) and a glass of coconut water or vegetable juice on alternate days.
Once she's at work, she eats a sandwich around 11 am, which usually comprises two slices of multigrain bread+ egg white omelette (2 eggs) + seekh kebab or a besan cheela made with 2 egg whites.
She eats lunch around 2 pm, which is usually rotis, sabji/chicken and daal. Around 4 pm, she has half a cup of tea with a biscuit.
At 5 pm, she eats one small bowl of muesli with milk, and at 6:30 pm, some seasonal fruits. After that, she heads to the gym.
For dinner, which she eats around 9:30 pm, she has grilled vegetables + chicken or paneer.
She also drinks some black tea before going to bed.
You must've noticed that she doesn't follow any extreme diet or consume fancy ingredients or exotic produce. "The key is to eat small meals at small intervals and stick to simple ghar ka khaana. Just cut down on junk, processed food and sugar. You'll see a drastic change"
Once your eating habits are sorted, it's important to exercise to stay fit and strong. Making fitness her priority, Upalina works out 4- 5 times a week.
Here's what her fitness routine looks like:
On Monday and Tuesday, she goes kickboxing, which is intense cardio for an hour.
The remaining 2-3 days, she starts with 10 minutes of cardio and then does weight training for the rest of the workout.
"Working out doesn't need to be more. If you look around, I can name ten things that are super fun--Zumba, Crossfit, Dance, Yoga or Pilates. Go and enrol yourself!" she says.
If you've decided, like Upalina, that you too are ready to make the change--here's some 'golden nuggets' of wisdom from her to help you. First, you won't lose weight by starving yourself--you'll only get sick. Also, don't be obsessed with numbers, it isn't an indicator of fitness. Concentrate on losing inches instead--notice if your jeans are getting loser--those are the real results. And the most important thing: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
"Don't lose weight because you want to look like someone else. Do it because YOU are not comfortable with the way you look!" she signs off.
Can't say we disagree with her. Feeling inspired yet?
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