It’s not a race, it’s a journey

Shivani Patel, is a founder of Sculptasse Studio, and has been a personal fitness instructor for 5 years now. She trains around 600 fitness enthusiasts every month.

Her day begins at 5 a.m. which is when she either goes for a run, walk or indulges in cycling every morning for her cardio. After her morning cardio which serves a very meditative purpose in her life she starts her workday. She believes that each individual should have their “me time” that they luxuriate in that helps in rejuvenating them, relaxing them and absolutely soothes their soul each day. It could be a walk, a dance form, anything that one enjoys that involves moving your body and keeping it active, even it is just for half hour a day. Research suggests that moving helps form new neural connections which can cure so many mental ailments, and it helps keep you young.

She begins her workday by training her clients and feels truly passionate about making a difference in their lives. Over the years through her weight loss journey and now being a fitness trainer herself, she believes that fitness is not a chore one does but something one makes into a lifestyle and looks forward to each day. So to practice what she preaches she goes to the gym 4 times a week. She also trains in ballet and salsa twice a week to make her fitness regime more exciting throughout the week.

However, she was not always like this. It took a lot of hard work, determination, and perseverance.

This was her not too long ago, weighing a hefty 286 pounds.

130 Kgs

Back when she had embraced the corporate world and all the lifestyle changes that came along with it. Her job as a PR agent involved coordinating with two time zones on either side of the hemisphere – U.S & Indian. She worked for Motion Picture American Association (aka Hollywood) and her responsibility included getting press releases ready in time for the Indian media. The consequence of that resulted in sleeping at odd hours, and undue stress, which she coped by eating processed junk food which ultimately added to her heavier-than-normal frame – the end result being this whopping size you see.

Despite the outer shell of “I don’t care attitude”, it hurt when the people made snide remarks and body shaming comments started to pour in subconsciously.  When Auto drivers would ask her to step out of autos when driving up the hill. Once a guy at a club made a remark that “everything below my neck was ugly.”  Although she loved shopping, I hated it when the dresses she loved would never fit – she was 5XL which was an extremely uncommon size to find in India. Words such as “fatty, jaadi and moti” by friends and colleagues became too familiar which tanked my low self-confidence even further. The struggle was real!

Not knowing any better she coped with the struggle by further indulging in comfort food and emotional eating. Her solution for depression back then was food, although she did try antidepressants for a while – which didn’t help much at all. The body shaming in subtle and open ways continued,  which she felt addicted to food in order to cope – it was a vicious cycle.

Her life changed one day when she was at a movie theatre and got stuck in the seat. It was so embarrassing that the entire seat had to be taken apart just so she could get out. That was when she decided she had enough and had to do something dramatic.

Here is her story:

The first step in a fitness journey is WHEN YOU yourself decide that you want to lose those pounds. What is your “WHY”, your motivation? SETTING YOUR GOALS

I decided to get a personal trainer.  I was lucky that I found someone highly knowledgeable and persistent. Despite my late night lifestyle, he made it a point that I showed up for a workout at 6 a.m. every morning. During routines, he told me the names of exercise and also which muscle groups I was working on. He did not just make me exercise but educated me on what I was doing in that one hour I was with him.

Which brings us to the second step in fitness journey – FOCUS,DISCIPLINE & SELF-BELIEF.

Both of these are interconnected. You have to stay focused on your goal and to attain that stick to a regime. Your journey does not have to be similar to mine, it could be anything that you want to wake up to each day. For me, it involved completely reorganising my schedule. I woke up at 6 a.m., went to bed earlier,  set definite timelines for activities and ate healthy. Trust me it did not happen overnight, I failed a lot more before I succeeded but I had my eye on the goal, so surrounded myself with mentors that would help me reach my goal.

This lifestyle change resulted in how I see fitness today but self- discipline is the key to fat loss.

Keep following this blog for the next article : The progress from student to master to the trainer.

I do hope you enjoyed reading this article, and it inspires some of you to take up and continue fitness. If you do like this blog, please like/comment and do follow us for updates.

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