Chandni Singh tells us about the rigorous exercise and eating ritual she adopted to shed 15 kg and bring down her shirt size.
It’s hard to believe that I used to wear XXL sized shirts. My efforts to lose weight through regular exercise and a cutback on food has changed this sad scenario. Today I wear size M. Aside from losing 15 kg, my waist has slimmed down by 6 inches too.
Four years ago, I didn’t like to look at pictures of myself. At the age of 33, I thought I looked 45. I suffered repeated episodes of frozen shoulder, which I tried to cure by exercising at home with a personal trainer.
Eventually, my shoulder got better and stronger. But I was bored with the home workout, so joined a gym instead. After 3 months, I decided to drop this too, since I hadn’t shed any weight. There was no escaping the fact that my eating habits were to blame.
Adopting a new fitness regime
I started running regularly in a park in my vicinity. 6 months later, acute knee pain pushed me to stop. Knee strengthening exercises were advised. Along with these, I changed my diet too. The changes were simple: less sugar, salt, aerated drinks, alcohol, and junk food. Two months later, I lost 4 kg.
At this stage, I got myself a capable trainer. He really helped: I began working out more scientifically, with the right posture, and slowly increased my weights. A year later, my trainer suggested that I increase my consumption of protein , coupled with my rigorous work out. I subsequently bought my first jar of whey protein and also ate more natural sources of protein.
Home workout took over
By this point, I’d lost around 12 kg and it was a struggle with the last few. I’m prone to quick and easy weight gain- I can easily put on 3 kg in a week, if I’m not regular with my workouts and mindful of my eating habits.
Being a working woman, I was too tired on days to work out. To overcome this slump, I began ‘mini workouts’ at home, before leaving for work. Giving up was not an option, and I pushed to accommodate fitness into my routine. Even the thought of an extra five minutes of sleep wouldn’t stop me from working out.
When I had time for the gym, I did mostly weight training with occasional HIIT & functional training. I specifically loved kickboxing. Around September 2015, I ran my first marathon then. This covered 10 km in a span of 1 hour and 28 minutes. Happily, I had no knee pain!
Weight training and high protein route
I was in top form around November 2015, since I had done 6 months of training with heavy weights and followed a clean, high protein diet. My upper body and legs were well defined. The next part of my body I wanted to shape up was my stomach.
But a tennis elbow struck, and I was barred from lifting any weights altogether. It took another few months for me to get back into the mood to build fitness. By February 2016, I was running 5-8 km a day.
Change of routine
In May, 2016, I suffered a leg injury while doing aerobics. An MRI confirmed a torn plantaris muscle, and I was grounded for 6 weeks. Despite my handicap, I stuck to healthy eating and did every exercise my doctor recommended.
4 weeks later I borrowed a cycle and started cycling 6 to 12 kms! This experience showed me exercise had really become a habit for me. Though I am not as lean as I was today, I’m still pushing myself to keep at it. I participated in my second 10 km run in September 2016, and nailed it in 1 hour and 15 mins.
A bright tomorrow
Any woman edging her way into the world of fitness should remember that it’s best to workout in the morning. That’s when motivation is at its peak. For me, nothing beats a morning workout.
Another aspect of fitness that should never be ignored is strength training. Women must add weight training to their regimen and realign their goals; it’s better to be strong and fit, instead of just thin.
My successful transformation makes me feel incredible. No matter how hectic my day is, I have high energy. Anything I wear looks great. The calm feeling that fills me up after a workout, lasts all day long.