Architect and Interior designer Manisha Hakim was obese at the age of 32. Read how she transformed into a 45 year old woman capable of doing 20 pull-ups, at one go.
I used to be a fit, during my school and college days. But, due to self-negligence after my marriage, I became terribly fat and unfit. Just 13 years ago, I was a 32 year old woman, totally engrossed in motherhood and my work-life.
But, my turning point came when some of my friends and cousins started making fun of me. It made me kind of depressed, and felt I had to take action.
Got Onto the Fitness Track
Initially, my fitness journey began with swimming for an hour every day. Later, I moved on to attending aerobics and step classes. When I got bored with these activities, I decided to join a gym.
At the beginning of my gym days, I focused on functional training and light weights. Eventually, I developed an interest in exercises that involve lifting heavy weights.
Right now, my main focus is on weight training and calisthenics. I’ve also added Yoga to my routine and practice it thrice a week.
My weight loss was slow and steady
Losing weight wasn’t easy for me. Even though I exercised regularly, it took me 3 years to lose 18 kg. Maybe this was because I wasn’t particular about my diet, and never used fat burning supplements.
Actually, I think I was pretty laid back about the process of transformation, and let the time take its course.
I modified my diet slowly
Once I became conscious of fitness, I began modifying my diet. Though I did not cut back on any food group, I began moderating my portions. Also, I increased my protein intake and today egg whites, cottage cheese, sprouts and red meat are my main source of protein.
Today, I eat clean and have no cheat days! And junk food and carbonated drinks are off my menu too.
A muscular woman stands out from the crowd
My transformation has incited all kinds of reactions from people. It is very common for me to hear hate comments like, “Hey, why do you want to look like a man?”. Sometimes I’m also asked if I take any steroids.
It’s strange how people fail to see the hard work of years behind what I have achieved today. I have always ignored such comments, and I continue to pursue my journey.
People who look down on a muscular woman, should understand that stereotyping no longer exists. Everyone has different goals and journeys. We grow with our own experience, and the circumstances of our lives.
Achieving balance was challenging
The biggest challenge of my transformation, was balancing my family, work and work out routines. Trying to create this balance meant no time for television, a reduced number of outings and no socializing.
Because I belong to a conservative Kashmiri family, my new-found love for fitness wasn’t easily accepted. They took time to come to terms with it.
A journey towards stength
With this journey, I discovered my physical and my mental limits. It helped to have the support of my husband, coaches and most of all, my determination. It’s great to be standing here and claiming that fitness has become a way of life for me! And that I enjoy being a muscular woman.