There is this one thing that we all struggle with at some point in our lives – It’s Fitness. This Universally loved topic can make people talk and talk. You say Fitness and suddenly people will lend you an ear. Some are obsessed, some are frustrated, some have no clue, some maybe even switch off cos well they think it’s just not their cup of tea but somewhere silently wish they could be the fittest person around. It is one of the most loved / hated aspect of our lives. Believe me, when I say that I still struggle with it. There would be a time when people around me would lose weight like it was the easiest thing to do and the only thing I was losing – was my mind. I had the stamina and I was doing good with weights in the gym but I wasn’t happy at all. It was somewhere in 2009 that I was at my heaviest. Mind you this was despite me doing some or the other exercise (albeit mindlessly) and being moderately active. That’s when the alarm bells rang & I decided to take control of the situation. Initially I started with this madness about losing Kgs and checking my weight every now and then but as I progressed with my Fitness journey & started understanding & accepting things my Fitness Goals changed – I just wanted to be Fit.
Since I post a lot about Fitness on my Social media, Interestingly I get asked questions every now and then on Fitness either through DMs, Mails or even personally. I have been therefore thinking of doing a Q & A sort of post for a long time. Ok before I start I have to tell you I am no expert and I will just answer from my own experiences. I still have questions of my own that are unanswered and I keep seeking help from whomsoever I think can help me. Since I have been on this journey for more than 6 years I would be more than glad to help out anyone out there who is looking for answers. I promise to keep it 100% real & truly hope that its of some help to whosoever comes across this Blogpost.
So without any further adieu I have compiled a list of questions that I get asked so here we go -
Q : How much time do you spend in the Gym
A : Contrary to the belief that I spend hours and hours in the gym, I actually am in and out of the gym in 1 hour flat. I spend 40 -45 min on my exercise and the rest of the time I am trying a pull-up or some new move & stretching. Exception to this fact is if I have to tape some videos or I catch any friend in the gym & I stop by to chit chat but that too after I am done.
Q : Do you go to the gym everyday
A : Initially I used to go 5 days a week then there was a time I would go 7 days a week. And like I said I learnt a lot on the way through my journey. One such thing was that my body needed rest so I made 1 day mandatory rest day.
A : Honestly I don’t know. I guess its become a habit of sorts. Like many women out there I too suffered from Distorted Body Image issue for a very long time. I never loved my body & would keep criticising it and have unrealistic expectations. It went on for a very long time. I suffered from it as recently as 2011 – 2012. I am not very sure how & When exactly my mindset changed. I think I had been working very hard on myself and sometimes I would punish myself for not being able to see results as I wanted to. I sort of broke down in despair. I didn’t know what to do. I remember losing it on my trainer too. And then something strange started happening. I started receiving compliments for my body. I started receiving appreciation for my stamina and my workouts. People would actually walk up to me and say nicest things about me motivating them to push themselves & be fit. I couldn’t believe it. Were they talking about me?? That’s actually when i started feeling ashamed of myself for being so damn cruel to my body. My Body had started showing changes but I was so mad at it all the time that I had failed to see it. I think that changed my outlook. I started feeling thankful towards it. I started appreciating it. I actually started loving it and felt proud of what I had achieved. I am not lying nor am I giving any motivational speech but that’s when my body started responding better. I could feel it changing. i could see my stamina increasing & I started feeling stronger.
I realised one thing that this is how it is. If I do not have visible collar bones I just don’t have them. If my back is wider that is how it is. If I am broad boned that’s how I am. I can NOT change these things about me. I have to accept them and work around my flaws. I accepted my body the way it is and like I said changed my goals. I now wanted to be the FITTEST Badass. Strong not skinny. Period!!
I also get motivated by people who work very hard in the gym. I did have one or 2 such people around me. I used to see them working their asses off and I just wanted to be as good as them. I always seek inspiration from people around. Currently its Kayla Itsines. I want to be as badass as her but I also realise that it may not happen at my age but that won’t stop me from trying.
Am I happy now – Honestly like most of you out there NO I am not. I still have flab at so many unwanted places. I still sometimes get upset about my results. I feel low at times. I want to give up because of my frustration of not being able to achieve what I want so yeah the struggle is very real but a few bad days won’t get in my way.
I swear this is 1000% honest answer.
Q : What exercises do you do
A : Ok if you follow me on Instagram you would know that I am currently following Bikini Body Guide (BBG) program by Kayla Itsines. I came across this amazing woman on Instagram (Instagram is an awesome media ) when I started seeing a lot of transformation pics she used to post of people following her plan. TBH I am not a big sucker for all these fitness programs being sold on the Internet. I always am very apprehensive about them so initially I did not pay much heed to it. I kept seeing her Instagram for almost a year till I was just sold on it. There was something very special about this program and it was not the program itself but the community that she has built through it. There are millions of women across the world who would swear by this program & the best part is how they help / motivate each other in their journey. I started following many of them and believe me it answered so many of my questions.
So to cut the long story short I bought her e- books online and now have finished 6 weeks of Part 1 (There are 3 parts). I am hoping I will stick to the plan because I am kind of liking them.
Q : What is BBG
A : It stands for Bikini body Guide and is a 12 week plan designed by Fitness expert Kayla. I will explain the plan in another post but you can find about it on the net.
Q : Is it working
A : I am sure it is cos its a killer plan involving a lot of Plyo, own body weight & functional movements which leaves me totally out of breath in 30 min so I am sure something is happening in there. As far as physical results are concerned its just been 6 weeks so its a little early to say anything plus the tougher ones are going to start post week 8 so its a long way to go. I am most certainly positive that I will not be disappointed
Q : Do we need to have a personal trainer
A : I have always always always had a personal trainer. The reason being I did not know much about fitness or exercises when I started. So a PT helps you with your forms and also brings about a discipline in your routine. There were times when I would just not want to go to the gym but my trainer would land in the gym dot on time and I had no choice but to go. So yeah I feel a trainer is very very important. Having said that its very difficult to find a good PT. Some good ones are really expensive and some are complete sham. So I suggest wait, observe and then make a move. Also a PT can only help if you actually physically go to the gym so self motivation is the key guys.
Q : Do you have a PT
A : This is the first time I do not have a personal trainer because I am following a plan that actually doesn’t need one. Also since I have been working out for a long time now I kind of know the forms a bit. I still falter a lot but then there are people in my gym who help me out from time to time. Also I learn a lot from watching people on Instagram.
Q : I can lose weight by controlling my diet so why do I need to exercise
A : Ok I get that a lot and I get very upset by people who say these things because guys Fitness is not about losing weight. It’s a lot more than that. It’s a discipline, It’s a stress buster, It’s a way of life. It’s a paradigm shift in your thinking. Also exercising helps you build metabolism, helps you build strength , build stamina, build your bones, build muscles. In the end its the muscles that help you burn calories even when you are not doing anything and lying on the couch. Also it helps you prepare for your day to day activity. Yes you can become skinny by controlling diet but will you be strong?? that’s a question you need to ask
Q : Cardio vs Weights
A : I have done a whole article on that which you could refer to but yes strength training is extremely important especially for women. We are so prone to Osteoporosis and Arthritis that this is the least we can do for our body.
Q : What cardio do you do
A : Earlier I used to do a whole lot of HIIT or anything that would bring my heart rate up. Ever since I have started BBG, I do just as much as is recommended by her which is Low Intensity Steady State walking for 40 – 45 min. The idea is to remain in Low Intensity Fat burning zone which is recommended for Fat loss but it will keep changing as we proceed further in the program. I also envy people who can run marathons because i am not a runner at all. I can hardly clock 5 kms.
Q : How much weight have you lost
A : Honestly from 2009 to now just 4 – 4.5 Kgs. I had touched 60 kgs in 2009 (at my height of 161 cm) That’s when I hit the panic button. Today I fluctuate between 55 – 56 kgs. I went as down as 54 Kgs ( with cardio) but then built muscles and now am stagnant at 55 – 56. However people who have seen me earlier find a lot of difference because my body constitution has changed more than weight loss. Muscles carry more wight so sometimes you may weigh heavier and look slimmer. Therefore I hardly see my weight these days #screwthescale but I do once in a while get my BMI which tells you Fat & Muscle %ge
After following BBG I also firmly believe in taking a lot of pictures of yourself. You will be surprised to see in your progress pics how much your body is changing which may not be visible to our naked eye so yeah people click click click.
Q : Do you follow a diet plan
A :I am a firm NON BELIEVER of Fad diets like GM Plan, Cabbage diet, Fruit & Juice diet blah blah blah. I have done them in the past & let me tell you this once & for all they are RUBBISH. I plead & urge each one of you please do not go for these CRASH diets. They do more harm than good.
I am very bad with my eating . I feel if I could control what goes in my mouth, my body would have been much different from what it is. Plus I go out a lot with my friends especially on weekends so you do end up eating outside food. I however try and stick (if possible) to food that is less damaging. Other days I try & control my urges. I am not very finicky. I eat everything in moderation. If I feel like eating something sweet I do. Sometimes I totally watch what I eat and I see better results but sometimes I just give in to cravings so it’s a balance that I try to work for myself. You could do your own mix n match and see what works. Balance is the key. Always be mindful & aware of what you are putting in your mouth. You will automatically start feeding it less junk.
Q : Can I eat whatever I want if I am exercising every day
A : No you can’t. As simple as that Your Diet constitutes 70% of your weight loss. Rest is exercise so yeah you have to watch what you eat. (More on that sometime later). As I explained earlier nothing fancy just try & stick to a Balanced diet. watch ur sugar intake & avoid junk, fried & processed food as much as you can. Even this much will sort your life.
Q : Do you take supplements
A : I do take Omega EFA , Calcium & Multivitamins. I also take Amino & BCAA (pre & during my workouts)
Q : Do you take Protein drinks
A : Yes I take ON Hydrowhey protein. It is entirely up to you if you wish to or do not wish to take supplements or Protein. It is recommended for faster recovery and muscle building so I do take it but in no way am I promoting or recommending anything to anyone. Just telling what I do
Q : Where can we follow you
A : Guys if you are interested in knowing more I am available on Instagram as fashionufeel and I have created a hashtag #FUFfitnessjourney I keep posting tips, exercises & my struggles.
People, Fitness is a way of life. Losing weight is a by product of being Fit. Do it for yourself. Do it for your happiness. It’s like meditation. It’s therapy. No need to go to the gym. Do whatever makes you happy & most importantly do NOT compare your results to someone else’s. I learnt it the hard way and very late. Our bodies are so so so different from one another. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa so dive into it & you will learn what works for you along the way. Don’t join Zumba cos the girl next door is doing or start running cos someone is running marathons every year or start cross fit cos its the latest thing or mindlessly lift heavy weights because every macho guy in the gym is doing it. Do what you can do and what works for you. Make mistakes and learn on your own. Yes you may never look like that model in the magazine but Eventually you will only be better than what you were yesterday.
Hope this helped you in someway or the other. I will definitely follow up with more sometime later but this is all I could think of compiling from the questions i received. Do feel free to write to me if you want to ask more.
PS : This Adidas gear is from their latest Spring Summer 2016 collection.
Pics : Ushmi