I eat push ups for breakfast, I can make anyone all in love with lifting weights but this was not how it was always.
I was a plump kid and was used to being called chubby and cute and that kind of stuck by me even during my college years when I in fact weighed only about 55 kgs but I was often comfortable in my skin.
It was during the time when I was really serious about my career working long hours, 6 days a week that my tendency to gain weight hit me with a vengeance and I didn’t even realize that. I realized I was gaining weight but always thought I could control it by tweaking my diet a bit whenever I needed, not realizing that my metabolism had gone for a complete toss because of my unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. I had no idea that I had become almost 85 kgs on a 5’3’’ frame and this reality dawned on me when I went for my first gynae visit during my pregnancy. When I saw that number I was in utter disbelief but then I thought let me enjoy my pregnancy and will worry about the weight later so I continued my unhealthy eating, but fate had other plans and I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. For someone who is petrified of needles injecting myself with insulin 6 times a day and testing my blood 8 times, a day was nothing less than horrifying. The more I read about Gestational diabetes the more I realized that I was now prone to type 2 diabetes even later in life which literally jolted me. The fact that I maybe even give birth to a diabetic child was perhaps the only shock I needed to get my acts right.
The seeds of eating healthy were planted during the pregnancy when I was made to give up sugar, eat timely meals, and walk as much as I could. I took my doctor’s instructions very seriously and I think that really led to the foundation of me eating healthy and start getting active. The more I researched the more I learned that short cuts to weight loss do more damage to the body than we could possibly imagine and this time I was determined to do it right.
Bringing up the baby, managing my work left me with a weak back, poor stamina, and no time but for once at the age of 31, I was determined to do this the right way. I first started eating healthy but timely meals. No crash diets – I had vowed to myself so I would load up on complex carbs, fibres and lots of protein. I got myself a weighing machine and would track my weight every single day. I managed to lose my first 10kgs with diet and walks alone and came down to around 73 kgs.
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With my baby a little more grown-up I joined a group Zumba class 3 times a week soon realizing that 3 days are not enough so I added 2 days of yoga. What started as a weight loss program started becoming my favourite hour of the day and I was getting addicted to it. The weighing machine kept tilting to the left which was the biggest motivation one needed. I had realized that one can’t exercise their way out of a poor diet now my will power had become so strong that I would attend a wedding or a party and still manage to eat the healthy options. I would also allow myself occasional cheat days that only helped keep me on track. My diet mostly was high protein, moderate carb, and low fat during this time.
So far, I was able to gain back the lost confidence but that wasn’t enough, it wasn’t holistic. I started to read and understand the problems that women face and realized the biggest myth of all times in fitness that Strength training is not for women!
I also had read a lot on the importance of weight training for women and wanted to give that a try. It was an addiction of a different sort , it practically changed my life. Apart from becoming stronger and getting toned up my stamina went up multiple times- both physical & mental. But I also realized that weight training wasn’t taken seriously by the trainers and so I started studying about it and doing certifications and attending workshops.
So yes I juggled with multiple forms of workout from Zumba, yoga to weight training, and managed to lose more than 23 kgs in a year but the best part is that it has been more than 5 years that I have managed to maintain it. In fact, over the years I have stopped obsessing about an occasional kg here and there. I workout 5 times a week, 80% weight training and 20% cardio, eating healthy is a norm at my place now so not a struggle anymore.
During this weight loss journey, I found my true calling in fitness. I am currently at age of 38 running my own venture called ReSculpt for the past 5years, where I do personal training, with weight training being my forte. I have trained 1000’s of clients mostly women and made them fall in love with weight training. Most of them had never lifted and are now addicted to it. I have conducted numerous workshops advocating sustainable fitness.
I strongly believe that fitness is not a synonym to weight loss and Weight loss should be a process in which we not only make our bodies healthier and stronger but also our mind and that is possible with 100% commitment to diet,100% commitment to exercise and 100% commitment to mental well being.
My mantra is strong, not skinny.
This is the story of Shweta Rai Bajaj written in her own words
Shweta is 38yrs old. Founder: ReSculpt, Co-founder at Krishak Agritech Pvt Ltd,Blogger & Instagram Influencer
Antifragility -a word that truly defines her. When faced with adverse situations she only comes out stronger! While she got into fitness to lose weight, the transformation was beyond physical. Not only did she find her true calling, she laid down the foundation of her entrepreneurial journey but it truly has transformed her life
This write-up has also been published on healthshots.com (A Hindustan Times Venture)