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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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Homeschooling in India is having a moment. As families become increasingly weary of traditional schooling thanks to cookie-cutter policies and high costs, parents are opting for alternate methods of education
Homeschooling in India is having a moment. As families become increasingly weary of traditional schooling thanks to cookie-cutter policies and high costs, parents are opting for alternate methods of education.
Come Monday morning, homes with young families across the country are in a chaotic yet familiar dance. Ceiling fans are turned off, and lights turned on with a vengeance.
Teeth are cleaned, and breakfasts are shovelled down. Uniforms and shoes are thrown on, and heavy school bags are picked up as parents and kids alike make a mad dash for the door.
But if you look closely, the underlying reason for anger and frustration in both groups of women is the same. It is the anger amongst women in being told what (or not) to wear.
A twenty-two-year-old Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, was detained by the morality police for breaking the country’s strict dress code. While in custody, Mahsa passed away. It was alleged that Mahsa was beaten in custody, leading to her death. An allegation, the Iranian police have dismissed as baseless.
The incident has sparked protests all over Iran. Women are taking off and burning their headscarves. They are chopping off their hair in public squares. These acts of defiance are against a regime that makes the hijab mandatory for women.
Closer home, in Karnataka, a few months back, young girls in PUC colleges were protesting against the administration’s decision to ban headscarves in the colleges. They were demanding their right to education while following the tenets of their religion. The matter was taken to the Karnataka High court, where the women lost. The matter is now sub-judice in Supreme Court.