I feel the strongest post motherhood: Mandira Bedi
Mandira Bedi shares how a foot injury and a C-section only motivated her to push the limits when it comes to being fit.fitness Updated: Jul 29, 2017 19:49 IST
Over the last few years, for me, fitness has turned into a very important aspect of life. I’ve been working — by God’s grace — for 22 years in the industry. And the kind of roles that I’ve been getting such as the cop I played in [TV show] 24 has to do with the fact that I look fitter and sharper these days.
To be honest, I never found myself glamorous. I was the rookie at Prahlad Kakkar’s office and was assigned tasks that no one else wanted to do. When you start out, I guess that’s how every job is. But I lucked out when Adi Pocha saw something in me at Prahlad’s office, and offered the role of Shanti. I never felt like I belonged in front of the camera, so weight was never an issue for me. At that time I was 56kg. But now, at 45, I weigh 50kg. I think this is my happy weight.
How it started
The turning point was when I was signed for Khatron Ke Khiladi in 2008. I thought if I’m going to be wearing shorts on national television, let me have the body for it. This is when I got myself a trainer. I wanted to be a fit and strong contender. And the training got so ingrained in me that when I broke my foot, the first thought to cross my head was, “How am I going to exercise?” From then on, physically, I got a more toned body... a sharper jawline. That was the time I also did several covers of magazines.
A bump in routine
Then, at 38, I got pregnant. During my pregnancy, I gained 22kg. My gynaecologist said, “You’ve overdone it. Eight to 13kg weight gain is normal.” I never went overboard but I did gain the weight. At that time one of my co-actors advised me, “Just remember to lose your baby weight within seven to eight months. The faster you lose the weight, the easier is the process. Else, your body gets used to the excess weight and it remains.”
I always wanted a kid, and motherhood has been one of the best things to happen. However, I thought to myself, ‘goodbye to work and fit body’. But I was wrong and how. I feel the strongest post motherhood. My two half marathons happened after I delivered my son.
Some people have great metabolism. Some lose weight due to breastfeeding. But for me, none of that happened. And the process [of losing weight] involved tremendous hard work and carefulness. I had a C-section, so I had stitches. I was very jittery about starting to work out again. I heeded to my gynaecologist’s advice and took complete rest for 40 days. I still remember the 41st day. It was pouring, so I grabbed a raincoat and went out for a walk. Wasn’t much but I walked for about six to seven kilometres. A few days later, I tested my body by running for the last three minutes of my walking routine. Gradually, I increased it and eventually made it a half hour walk and a half hour run session.
Exactly six months after my son was born (June 17, 2011), on December 17, I was to go to Dubai for an event and I checked the scale. I had returned to 52.5kg — the exact pre-pregnancy weight.
I try to work out for six days a week, which eventually comes down to five or four. On my best days, I spend about one hour and twenty minutes in the gym, and on my not-so-good days it would be 50 minutes.
Over the years, I’ve realised that workout for me is not just about physical fitness. It is also a great stress buster. I’ve tried yoga. But what works for me, on a day when I’m feeling low, is a run that gets my heart racing. Especially during the rains, I love to go for a run. Most people divide their days at the gym for cardio and weight training. But I prefer to include cardio every single day.
Raising a healthy kid
I do not believe in restricting [my son] Vir from having any kind of food item. I want him to enjoy his childhood. I want him to eat chicken and eggs even though I’m a vegetarian. Let him grow up and choose whatever he wants to be — vegetarian or vegan.
However, he has learnt some amazing things from school. He identifies junk food, and refuses to have them because they are “bad”. He tells me, “Pizza is junk food mumma, I won’t have it.”
So here we are. A mother who wants her child to have pizzas and burgers, and a kid who is happy with the home- cooked dal, chawal and sabzi.
Mandira bedi’s fitness tips:
1. Whenever you travel, carry your workout gear, maybe something as simple as your walking shoes. You may not have a gym facility where you visit but you can always walk — discover places in a city other modes of transport can’t reveal.
2. Never exercise on an empty stomach. Always eat something. If you have breakfast like me — toast, banana, milk, etc. then rest for twenty five minutes post eating. If you are just popping a couple of dates, then you can start working out immediately as they give you instant energy.
3. Do cardio every day, even if it’s something as simple as jumping jacks. It increases your heart rate and ups the feel-good factor.
4. Listen to your body. Do not blindly emulate the inspirational YouTube or Instagram videos. There is sweet pain and weird pain. Sweet pain is when your muscles are pushed to a whole new level. But weird pain persists. If you’re trying something new, always do it with a workout buddy.
5. Mums-to-be, try and lose your post-pregnancy weight as soon as possible. Do not put it off for later. Also, if you have a C-section, be very cautious while resuming workouts.
— As told to Susan Jose