Vaani Madan decided to decode the formula for fitness after watching multiple fitness videos online, and becoming intrigued by a way of life that promised health and well-being. She has lost 8 kg and 7″ from her waistline.

My fitness journey was triggered by my dissatisfaction with my own body. Having watched enough bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts lifting weights, I was keen to give fitness a go.  So I enrolled at a gym and enlisted the help of a trainer. The combination of regular exercise and a healthier diet helped me achieve my weight loss goals.

A diet of boiled veggies & raw foods 

For 2 years, I followed a strict diet. I had black coffee or green tea thrice a day, and only consumed boiled foods – vegetables, rice, pulses, etc. I cut down on sugar and oil, and began eating sprouts, fruits and basically all raw foods. Once in a while, I  included cornflakes in my meal plan.

A mixed exercise routine

I’d devote 1-2 hours every day to my workout, with the exception of Sundays. On this day,  I practice yoga at home. My  gym routine began with brief warm up, after which I did 10 minutes of intense cardio, followed by 200 jumps and then 200 squats everyday. Then, I’d focus on the two body parts chosen for the day. At the moment, I’m working on toning my body.

Parental pressure didn’t deter me

Sticking to my fitness routine called for determination. The added challenge of my parents’ disapproval of my pursuits didn’t help matters. My parents didn’t want me to participate in fitness competitions such as Most Fit Female, or to lift weights. To this day, they are not aware of the degree of weights that I can lift.

Nevertheless, I was driven to become healthier, and looked for help within my friend circle. Some acquaintances did guide me, but overall, it has been a solo journey for me.

Success has given me new hope

Having lost 7-8 kg, and reduced 7” from my waist, I feel much better, and more knowledgeable about fitness. Today, I have acquired the confidence to set my own rules and exercise schedule. This includes working out in the gym, based on a self-drafted set of guidelines.

My success has empowered me and given me fresh hope. Channeling my energy into building my physique was a great decision. As a teenager, I used to be interested in modelling, and today, I’m glad I focused on fitness instead.

Indian women should value fitness

I’ve observed how members of my family harbour the misconception that eating right is enough to remain fit and healthy, and that going to the gym is a personal choice, unrelated to health. This is absolutely wrong!  Indian women need to go past this construct, and realise the true value of exercise and working out.

Instead of considering a workout a route to slimness, women need to take exercise seriously. At the gym, I see women my age dawdling about, and exercising their jaws more than their biceps. Sometimes they approach me in the midst of my workout, and ask whether I am an athlete, given my serious attitude!

Women need to take their fitness and health seriously, not merely to fit into the narrow dresses and skewed identities handed to them by society, but to do justice to themselves.

It’s time we created our own legacy!

Vaani Madan