As I look back and turn pages of my life, I go behind in time and see how everything unfolded, How all that I experienced, felt, suffered and went through was needed to be where I am today.
When we feel pain,
When we struggle,
When it feels like a dead-end and we begin to curse our destiny for placing us in a no-win situation. Those times we are at our wit’s end and we don’t have the wisdom to understand His bigger plans for us. The only thing that He asks from us is to not give up. See the next step, take the next move, to not lose hope and always believe something beautiful is waiting for you at the other end.
Being born in an orthodox, conservative and humble Marwari family,
I was always a fat brown girl, with my nose into books, studying and hiding from people, stay put in a room, not willing to socialize at the fear of being mocked by friends and society for my heavy frame.
Books and music gave me the company for the major part of my formative years. I became a recluse and would mostly keep my thoughts to myself or write them down in a dairy when they overwhelmed me. After graduation, one day my best friend brought some light into my perspective asking me to take care of my health and work on losing some weight. It was a casual discussion but for me, it became a defining moment.
I thought if I join some gym or work out place, it would expedite my weight loss. This was 15 years back. I went to my father requesting him to get me enrolled in some health facility. He was quick to judgment and told me that whatever I choose to do for my health should be in the confines of home.
With no choice left, I began moping and cleaning the house three times a day. I would do this religiously but when I saw the results are hard to come by, I thought of making some quick fixes and began starving myself depriving the body of vital nutrients it needs for healthy functioning.
From 85kgs to 53kgs, I got lighter in a mere 6 months. Everyone was surprised by my quick transformation. Many times people would fail to recognize me as the lost weight made me look different Between this and many other episodes of finding my identity and struggling with the identity crisis I got married.
What made me really happy was finally my dream of being married, loved and being someone’s wife and life partner finally came true. I was the kind who would daydream of happily after married life as I would watch all mushy romantic Bollywood stuff.
Little did I know that there is a stark contrast in what life is and what dreams are. Outwardly I was beautiful as I had lost weight and looked younger than before but inherently my body had lost all charm, tone, and beauty as I lost weight with drastic measures, my skin sagged all over and I would feel old like an 80-year-old woman.
The effect of this showed in my marriage. My husband was always caring and loving towards me but I could always feel something missing in my marital life because of how I looked inside. He never made it transparent to me but I would feel my dream fell like a pack of cards. I remember how I would crave to seek his attention, love, and care. And How gradually I understood that actions are taken in my past bear holding in my present. I realized the damage I did to myself, my health and how it percolates in my married life as well.
9 years went by in dilemma, pain, depression, self-sabotaging feelings and a lack of self belief and worth. I would always want his validation, I remember how I used to curse my body for my predicament. How I would feel back to square one with my body.
I would endlessly feel jealous of couples enjoying the beautiful, passionate and loving relationship and within myself, I would cringe and burn with envy.
I had a miscarriage and delivered two beautiful kids who kept me busy with for major part of these years.
Amidst all these, I would keep feeling an emptiness in my heart. This feeling would keep haunting me and I would feel lash in my heart for what I missed so much. Until one day I decided that this is not the way I am going to live the rest of my life. What I damaged with my ignorance and child-like action has to be repaired with my wisdom and smart move. I told myself that it is my body and I have to take ownership of it and if I don’t take care of it no one else ever will. I will keep seeking validation from someone outside of me. It should permeate from my end and not otherwise.
I went up to my husband and told him that I want to work out in gym and build some strength and muscle mass and take some step towards repairing what I lost 10 years back. This time I was supported and he was very proactive in helping me to take a step in the right direction.
I joined a gym in June 2014 and then set out on a journey into self-discovery. A journey of understanding what it is to feel pain again, this time of lifting weights, doing plyometric movements, jargon, and terms which had no business with me. I had zero experience and no genes of working and sweating it out in the gym. It was not easy.
I met Loringail Almeda, my personal trainer, a girl with a beautiful heart and face and angelic aura. She heard my whole story and began training me. Each session at work out was a mix of strength, agility drills, and conditioning.
At times I would cry endlessly sitting despondently at the gym floor for the pain which my body was undertaking to get some semblance of respect for my own self.
I was transforming gradually under her guidance when she broke my heart and told me she was leaving India permanently for London. She requested me to run a 10k race with her as memory she would take back with her. I had never run even 100 meters but I was willing to do that for her. We ran the race together. She left India after this but gave me a gift for life. Running.
After this, my love for running took new dimensions. I began running and racing more and farther From 10ks to 21ks to full marathons(42.195kms) now. I have run across India( Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, and Bangalore.) Won podiums in many places and found what it is to live for one own self To find that love, respect, and care in your own self rather than searching it in someone else. You need to love yourself first and then life will love you back. I workout and maintain a healthy and strong body.
Many people take inspiration from my transformation, and my achievements but I feel these achievements don’t make me who I am, it is the journey that shapes me inside out.
In this journey of 5 years into fitness, I met many people who helped me selflessly and unconditionally and I am grateful to Almighty for all that I saw and experienced, without which I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I am grateful to get a life partner who loves me, respects me and supports me in my endeavors and was pivotal in giving shape to my dreams.
No one has life plans carved out on a piece of paper, We all need to take a step into the next step that we can see and just leave the rest to Almighty.
I share my experience of nutrition, self-worth, and mindset coaching through my programs and help make a difference in people’s lives. (to know more click http://sapnaagarwal.in/mind-your-plate/ ).
Life is beautiful only if you believe it is Your belief is a changemaker.❤