Despite staying away from showbiz, you command a huge fan following on social media thanks to your fitness endeavours. Where does your love for fitness stem from?
I have always said that I will be grateful for finding fitness. It has truly given me an identity of my own, away from the family name that I come from. I think my love for fitness stemmed from the very beginning. As long as I can remember, I have been an active person throughout my childhood. I only attended school so that I could play on the sports team. I was active in all sorts of sports, football, basketball, volleyball, badminton–You name it, I was playing it. I was not playing it only for fun but for my team in school. Whenever I have free time, I love being outdoors, close to nature. I go for treks; I love the sun. All of this comes under fitness. But if you are talking only about workouts and the gym, then that I discovered only five-and-a-half years ago. There has been no looking back since. It has become my number one love and on top of that, I am also making a living out of it, so, I am truly grateful for finding it. I keep saying, it is the best decision of my life.
While you must be receiving fabulous comments on your toned physique and stunning looks, how do you deal with negative comments on social media?
To be honest, I don’t really deal with those negative comments because I feel like the support and the love that I receive is immense and that automatically tends to drown all that out by itself. If I am in the mood, I might just give it back to the troll, just for laughs. I don’t let these outside noises bother me too much anymore. Now that I have found this new confidence and security with myself, I am comfortable with who I am which is why I put myself out there. So what a troll says on social media doesn’t really affect that.
Recently, Taapsee Pannu was shamed for her muscular looks in ‘Rashmi Rocket’. What are your thoughts on the same?
This one has to be the most annoying thing. This is ignorance at its finest. It is one of the myths that I hope gets busted very soon. Weight training doesn’t make you bulky. What is going to make you bulky is your nutrition. If you are going to eat pizza and burger for lunch and dinner, that is going to make you bulky. Lifting heavy weights is going to increase your muscle mass and muscle takes up less space in your body than fat, therefore making you leaner and toned. It is as simple as that, guys. Let’s not make it complicated.
You had once spoken up about being a chubby kid. How much does shaming affect people and how one can stop it?
This whole body-shaming thing affects people differently. When I went through it, I was a young teenager. And as a teenager, you tend to get influenced more easily by your surroundings, people around you, and what they say. So, at that point of my life, I was very affected by it. Some people can take it in a really negative way and possibly could do something harmful to themselves.
Luckily, I was able to take that as fuel and push myself to work on myself to be better. Let’s say if I was going through that now for any reason, I would probably not be feeling the same as back then. Fitness has not only changed me physically, but mentally as well. The focus that I have now and the ability to prioritise me and know what’s important and keep striving for it every single day, is all that matters. All other things are just outside noises that I don’t pay any attention to at all.
Body shaming just needs to stop now. Everyone is different. You are an individual for a reason. Not everyone is going to look the same. Not everyone has the same goals in mind. As long as you are happy with yourself and you try to be better than you were yesterday, it is fine. Everyone’s journey is different and these things take time. It is necessary to stay focused on your own path. Nothing is unattainable and I am a proof of that.