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“When you realise that life is all about taking one step at a time, nothing can stop you or fail you. You fail only when you stop trying.” – Afreen Khan
This is my story from fighting severe weight and health issues to being a fit mother, winning the title of ‘Face of South 2018′, emerging as a fitness influencer and an entrepreneur… essentially being my own BOSS.
5 years back, I was just an unhealthy woman who believed that health and fitness are only for athletes, sports professionals, models or actors…hence finding excuses for not being fit. And I was none of the above so how could I have fitness goals? Then after living in this shell for most of my life, I started noticing my insecurities build up to an extent that anyone talking about my weight or body made me cringe and gave way to self-doubt.
This got worse when I became a mother and my own friends and colleagues started making fun of me, calling me a ‘fat Punjabi aunty having a midlife crisis’. I had to break out of my shell and take action, if not for myself then to just prove them wrong.
I started my fitness journey just as a means to get approval from others but now my growth is mine. I have no inhibitions about how people judge me or my body now. In fact, people questioning me on my healthy lifestyle actually makes me smile because now I no longer base my worth on their opinions.
It’s not just the mental blocks of entering into fitness, a female body deals with a lot of stress when she gives birth to a child. Like every mother, when my child was a year old I started feeling immense weakness in my body, so much so that I could barely stand carrying her. It got worse as I had medical conditions like low BP, slip disc etc from an early age.
My discipline in fitness has not only made me stronger, but it has also made me set an example for my 5-year-old daughter who is my biggest supporter now and it makes me proud to see her learning about the importance of health at such a young age.
When fitness and self-love became a passion for me, life started paving unknown territories for me. I had the opportunity to represent Bangalore on a national level platform and was crowned the FACE OF SOUTH 2018 in MRS INDIA EARTH pageant.
I was not only fortunate enough to join the stage with beauties all over the country but also got specially recognised and applauded for my physical strength in the fitness round of the pageant. After the pageant, I was featured by renowned platforms like Decathlon Sports India, Women, Body and Strength etc for my transformation journey.
From being a shy art loving person who never played a sport all my life, I am now a health blogger and fitness influencer who lives the life of an athlete. I do a combination of cardio and strength training. I love doing strength training and my focus right now is calisthenics. I am learning bodyweight training and that is the reason I am much stronger from inside than what I was when I did only weight lifting. I feel that strength grows immensely when doing movements like push-ups, frog stands and headstands which are not easy to perform as they need a lot of stability and core strength.
My idea is to inspire as many people around me as possible about the importance of health and fitness, especially young mothers. We, as mothers should set examples of being healthy and fit for our children all through their life and not restrict fitness to a particular age or profession or status.
I hope someday every woman will include fitness as a part of her routine as a means of self-love. Be healthy for your own self. Do it because it’s your body and it deserves the best from you.
Whether you are single or married or a mother, your health and well being should be your priority, not something that you need excuses for.
All images used here are shared by Afreen Khan, the author of this post
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