Garima Bharucha, 39, from Mumbai shares her inspiring fitness journey and the lessons she learned along the way.
- EARLIER IN THIS SERIES: How I lost 23 kg and reversed diabetes in 5 months
Losing weight is just a small part of my larger journey.
What I want to share with you is my discoveries over 39 years through the different phases that a girl/woman goes through.
It started with trying to be an ideal daughter, wanting to make my parents proud.
I remember being an average student not very inclined to studies and more interested in extracurricular activities.
Coming from a traditional Hindu family, I wasn’t encouraged to venture into dancing, singing or games and focused only on the conventional activities like art and elocution.
I went through the drill -- completed BSc, MSc (where I topped my college and secured the third rank in Mumbai University) .
I took up a part-time teaching job in my college itself, while I was preparing for PhD which I quit in between.
I was selected for the Young Clinical Professional Program at Reliance Life sciences (only 32 postgraduates were selected across India) where I worked for 3 years.
Then I got married, took up a job at Tata Consultancy Services followed by Watson in the field of clinical research.
All these years I just wanted to be an ideal daughter, sister, wife and daughter-in-law. Then pregnancy happened and with it began the quest to be an ideal mother.
As I moved through these different phases, I was never my priority and would always seek validation from family and friends.
In-short, even after doing well in my life, I had no identity of my own.
There was a constant struggle inside with a silent acceptance outside. I gained weight post-delivery, completely disconnected from corporate life and was drifting along aimlessly.
How I gained weight
It all started after pregnancy. I wanted to ensure maximum breast feeding. And to compensate for postpartum depression I ate a lot of rich, high calorie food.
I thought I was doing the right thing for my baby and never realised the amount of weight I was gaining.
I was comfortable fitting into oversized pregnancy gowns.
I rarely stepped out and gave up my career so I could be the 'best mother' for my child.
At one point, I remember weighing 75 kg after which I stopped stepping on the weighing scale.
I can vividly remember three distinct incidents that shook me off my blissful numbness.
Seeing a mother of my age who was perfectly in shape soon after delivering a baby; I felt like a cow getting milked.
At a vacation, one of my family members very subtly mentioned that I am blowing out of proportion.
The third time was when another family member alluded to my bulging waist and suggested I should shape up to keep my husband interested.
I was 34 when I decided to get back in shape. My daughter was 3 years old.
I participated in a dance performance at the annual day of her playschool.
That's when I realised I enjoy moving and have a natural flair for dance movement and balance.
In May 2015, my instructor suggested I do basic dance training in a professional setup.
I enrolled for a 3-month program.
For me this was a childhood dream.
I did not hire a trainer.
But I did some things right, which I would suggest everyone to try as well.
- I gave time to myself. I listened to my body and mind. I chose the workouts that worked for me.
- I stopped craving for colas and replaced them with fruits. Drank lots of water.
- My advice: Don’t skip your meals. Spread them over the day.
- Indulge in some creative/recreational activities like drawing, journaling, music, etc.
I'd work out 10 hours a week. I did free hand, Pilates, power yoga and of course dancing.
Watch the video to see Garima work out at home:
I came down to 54 kg.
Currently I have an unrestricted diet.
I don’t deprive myself of any pleasures. From ice creams to Maggi – I indulge when I want to. I ensure that I earn these liberties.
There was no defined timeline for me.
In the first 6 months I lost easy fat and water retention. Stubborn fat, muscle chiseling took longer.
Some lessons I learned
Don't be in denial. Accept that you need to lose weight.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. There are lots of instant ways to lose weight. It's important to stay grounded and not get influenced by every fad.
Pull through plateaus. Find out ways to trigger your body through the inertia to reach your next goal.
After a while it’s a constant investment. Focus no more on weight loss but on core strength, flexibility, balance, etc.
In the quest of being an ideal mother, daughter, wife don’t forget to invest in yourself.
Your well being reflects in the well being of your family.
The concept of ‘ideal’ does not exist; ideal is what you make of it.
As a mother, I need to be an example for my daughter.
Best education is through demonstration -- a happy mother, taking her own decisions while managing everything around is the best education I can give her.
Acknowledge your smallest effort. Don’t look for visible changes all the time. Sometimes you have to cherish the moments you feel good.
Accept your body. Body best responds to self-love. Transformation if just physical will not sustain – it’s the mindset you need to change.
Message for readers
Don’t do harsh diets.
Understand your body type. Get basic knowledge. Don’t expect your body type to transform.
Be the best version of your own body type as we are all unique.
Workouts help but don’t focus on just high intensity movements. Posture, alignment is most important.
Listen to your body; it's always good to increase your range.
Difference between sweet pain of labour and strain.
Physical changes are directly related to emotional state. Physical and emotional wellbeing go hand in hand.
Try to take a holistic approach towards your transformation -- a blend of body, mind and soul!
- DON'T MISS: Inspiring FAT to FIT stories on Rediff
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