The key to losing weight, she says, is epitomised in one word – Balance. From a massive weight of 150 kg to 58 kg, from a 72-inch waistline to a 28-inch waistline, this Fitness Model has come a long way. Naini Setalvad has proved that nothing is impossible if you set your mind on it. Read on to discover her health secrets.
“Where is the pain of running the marathon when you are experiencing the pleasure of having gone past the finishing line? Where is the pain of having renounced the lower when you are experiencing the pleasure of the higher?” – Mahatria.
She has walked the path of pain and failure, and now she is walking the path of triumph. From 150 kg to 58 kg, from a 72-inch waistline at the age of 32 to a 28-inch waistline at 40, Naini Setalvad’s is a journey of sculpting herself into a shape her Creator would be proud of.
What was the turning point?
A slightly overweight friend came up to me at a party and ended the conversation with this – “It scares me to look at you. What if I become like you?” Something inside me got turned on, and I told myself that enough was enough. Finally, I took action and went under medical supervision. I started eating sugarless, low calorie, low fat food. Out went aerated drinks, refined foods, fried foods, desserts and packed foods. I started with 5 minutes of walking, for that’s all I could do. My thighs would rub while walking, giving way to rashes, aches and pains. Very slowly and gradually, my weight started reducing. Every time I climbed on to a weighing machine, I noted a difference in my weight – and for the first time, it was a positive difference. I lost 40 kilos in eight months. It was a very big achievement. I attached pleasure to my exercise – singing songs to keep me going as I walked and telling myself that I was getting closer to my goal with every step I was taking. I kept visualising a thin me. At 98 kilos, finally able to fit into an economy class plane seat, I flew to Hong Kong. I experienced simple pleasures… I could fit into theatre seats, fasten the seat belt in the car and sit with my nephew on the floor. I started swimming again. It took me two years to lose all that weight and I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of victory I felt. It was a new birth as I was doing new things. Climbing was new, wearing heels was new, dancing was new, buying ready-made clothes was new… Ever since, there has been no looking back.
You have been on both sides. What according to you is sensible eating?
The culprits are fried foods, aerated drinks, refined flour, excess protein, yo-yo diets, surviving only on boiled vegetables and fruits, low-calorie drinks and reducing pills. After decades of bouncing between homeopaths and ayurveda specialists, doctors and dieticians, health farms and nature cure institutions, extreme diets and starvation, I have finally realised that the key to losing weight is epitomised in one word – Balance. One’s diet must include all food groups, organic food without preservatives, and minimum oil. Your day must include 50% fruits and vegetables, and 50% proteins/fats and carbohydrates. And of course, you either move your body or lose your body.