Like everyone else, my first step into the world of fitness was with a pursuit of weight loss 8 years ago. Hi, my name is Ami Bhatia, fitness professional & part time corporate manager. From a Fitness Newbie to a Personal Fitness Trainer, over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my journey with you.
When Size Started To Matter
School and college for me were about creative writing and performing arts. With no background in athletics or sports, my only motivation to hit the gym was to ‘loose weight’. What pushed me to spend more time at the gym than with people was consistent comments like, “Ami eat with care,” or,”Ami, control your diet.” Photographs showed me what I was heading towards, so what did I do? I started running away from cameras.Food was a favorite topic amongst college friends, restaurants were our hangout places. That was enough to PILE on (pun intended). Nevertheless, I had this teeny motivation to keep hitting the gym & my newfound love for lifting weights.
I had almost tipped towards the ‘overweight’ category. But when regular visits to the gym saw me dropping down a few kilos, that felt like an achievement. Working out with trainers and friends allowed me to push myself. I started lifting heavy a** weights and got obsessed about getting muscular – thanks to the gym culture that existed & still does. Gym had become my religion. Just as I was about to get to the peak of my fitness form, in came a corporate job which, at that time was a dream come true.
The Calm Before the Storm
Erratic schedules (events!), constant travelling and long hours at work – all put me off the hook. Work was going great but my health was not – dealing with exhaustion & irritation added to the stress. I had to start again and again each time & it wound up into a cycle of gaining and losing weight. There were days I would do excessive cardio to shed faster (eeks my joints!). Shopping was not an enjoyable experience. Personal instructors and trainers started telling me dos and don’ts, fitness hacks and tips started flying off the shelf, “Lift less weights, more reps”; “post workout put in some cardio,” “AM PM workouts,” “Compound lifts only” – so on and so forth. Between exhaustion and injuries, I would find myself at my peak and then a sudden drop. I would hit the gym at 6 AM or 9 PM.
My colleagues mocked me for scheduling meetings around gym sessions; my parents got offended as I would skip social events for time at the gym. Weekends were about skipping dinners with friends and Saturday nights became ‘makeup’ days for missed workouts. I knew a time would come when this had to stop.
The Decision to Change
I sat myself down one day and planned to strike a balance between my obsession and work. I also planned to enroll into an extensive course on Personal Training thanks to all the confusion that was created in my mind and the countless questions I had with regards my own workouts.
I scheduled 1 hour of workout 3 x a week & office on weekdays, while weekends were about lectures & classwork. Browsing through health magazines & fitness websites became my favorite pastime. Nutrition became an area of interest. Although it would only end up tasteless and disappointing most of the times, healthy eating came in the picture.
Self-made corrections in gym techniques made me more confident, yet I would have the usual aches and pains. I knew somewhere I wasn’t doing it right. That awareness of form, of self learning in hindsight was the beginning of my journey to get fit. I made small changes in my lifestyle, few tweaks in my habits, and time passed by. Slowly, gradually those changes became a part of me; a year passed by, two years and before I knew it, it had become a five-year long journey.
Just like you and I have our set of fears, Ami had them too. But she kept coming back to fitness, that’s all that we need to do. Fitness is not a function of weight loss or gain, it is a lifestyle change. Through this three part series, Ami Bhatia talks about how she lives a fit lifestyle.