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Dr. Mansi Ashta

Physiotherapist & Founder at EXORiSE
Mansi Ashta is a practicing physiotherapist and fitness consultant, a certified prenatal & postpartum exercise instructor, Head of Dept. - PT for Special Population at a reputed fitness training institute in Mumbai for which she is also the author of the study manual - ‘Personal Trainer for Special Population’. She is a Guest Author with LifeBeyondNumbers.

Mansi-AshtaInitially, I was very apprehensive about coming out with my transformation story. However, now I feel if my story can inspire even one person to lead a healthier and fitter life, it’ll be worth it.

I dedicate this to all the men and women out there who are trying to lose weight, who have tried everything and got only disappointment as results.

I was born overweight, close to 4Kgs. Since then, fat always clung onto me like my best friend. As a child I was called cute, cutie pie, chubby, etc. I used to think that the poem ‘Chubby Cheeks’ was written keeping a child like me in mind and took pride in being fat. Little did I know that the image of a cute child will not carry forward as I grow up to being a young girl.

Lose weight or else no one will marry you, You’ll face problems in conceiving a child,  You eat a lot! and Fat Mansi are just some of the few phrases I have grown up listening to again and again.

I know it feels terrible to be fat – hearing those comments and taunts, not finding fitting clothes, going out for shopping and coming back home with an empty pair of hand. All these things are enough to bring the confidence levels of anyone to its lowest; and then after sometime you start questioning God, “Why me?”

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I have gone through it all and I know exactly how it feels like to be in XXL size clothes. But today I’m proud of myself for what I have achieved so far & my journey is still on.

When I first started my journey towards losing weight way back in 2003, I had little knowledge about how to go about it. A complete amateur, I didn’t know if my approach towards losing weight was right or wrong. Fitness for me then was just to lose weight and get slim. Like everyone else, for me the only purpose of exercising and so called dieting was to lose weight and not really fat – which I learnt later that losing weight is simply not the right thing. Losing FAT is my goal.

The flaws in my initial approach:

  • From crash dieting to working out on body parts for spot reduction – I have done it all!
  • My journey started with aerobics and then a lot of cardio in the gym and weights to target only my problem areas.
  • My mother was my nutritionist, and the only thing according to her that would help me lose weight was giving up on sweets and fried stuff.

Well, no doubt I did lose some weight but it was not a healthy weight loss. I was still carrying enough fat and I had lost a lot of my precious muscle tissue. Hence, the weighing scale would please me but the mirror would speak the truth by showing the fat still hanging from all those undesirable places.

Then, something life changing happened. I learned the new (for me then) and actual meaning of fitness.

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Weight-Loss-Mansi-AshtaI learned that fitness is a way of life – that it’s the journey, not a destination. It’s about respecting your body and showing that respect through a structured diet & exercise plan; and sticking to that plan long enough to see the results. Long years of disappointment and distress was behind me. But I didn’t give up. I put everything that I had, more than my 100% to doing what needed to be done. I regularly exercised which was a combination of intense weight training & cardiovascular exercise. My diet plan was made by professional Sports Nutritionists – which had the right ratios of nutrients needed for my fat loss goal.

And along with the right knowledge, my most important weapon was consistency and perseverance. Body transformation takes time. It does not happen overnight. Nor does it happens in single digit number of weeks as promised by some fake so called fitness gurus. And trust me on this: this is not easy at all. But hey, nothing good comes that easy, does it? I mean think about it – If it were so easy as some people claim it to be, everyone would be flashing beach bodies all the time.

You have to be patient enough to keep doing it long enough to even start seeing substantial results. I DID NOT give up. I knew I had found the right way to my goal. And I kept moving forward.

Now, I’m getting leaner and I am building & preserving precious muscle which makes me toned. So I’d say getting into a proper exercise routine and supporting it with a structured diet plan is the key. And most importantly, the will. The desire and determination to achieve your goal. To see it through. To finish what you started. That’s what makes the difference!

As Zig Ziglar has so rightly put, “You don’t have to be great to start, you have to start to be great”

And a word of advice: Please! Please! Please! Don’t be fooled by people who promise fat loss with no exercise and diet planning.

Hope my journey will motivate you, inspire you and most importantly – help you to get started. Keep chasing your dreams. Never ever give up!

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