DU student sheds weight, inspires peers to be body positive
Some stories deserve to be told for the sheer grit and determination that a person has shown while battling societal expectations and mockery. One such inspiring tale is of Vanshika Abrol, a second year student of Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Delhi University (DU), who transformed her life by losing around 22 kilos since the starting of lockdown last year!
Abrol’s journey to a healthy lifestyle is full of body positivity, self love and inspiration. Today, as her peers, who once taunted her, reach out to her for #WorkOutTips, she says, “I have over 6,000 comments on my Insta video, asking me how I did it. My Instagram DMs are flooded with queries. I have responded to more than 100 people already, I guess, and still have a lot of pending requests. People are still reaching out to me, to get tips that they can include in their routine, too.”
Today an influence who is motivating many youngsters to lead a healthy lifestyle, this Delhi girl’s journey is something that will bring you too to agree to the adage: Nothing is impossible. “I am 20 years old, and have been overweight for almost 12 years of my life. At my heaviest, I weighed 118 kgs! I have tried to lose weight many a times, and in fact I did reduce a few kilos, but each time I ended in giving up somewhere in between. It’s not that easy after all... During the lockdown, when I gained back a few kilos, I became much frustrated with my lifestyle. Then one day, I saw a friend of mine posting videos of work out. Something got into me that moment, and I decided to start working out, too!”
Surrounded by a sea of diet recommendations and lifestyle changes, it was hard to decide what works and what doesn’t. What worked for Abrol? “Keto diet, Paleo diet or any other diet actually works only when you are in a caloric deficit. I tried intermittent fasting too, but I had really low energy levels during that period. What really worked was being in a caloric deficit. I ate whatever I wanted to, but in moderation.”
It’s been around 10 months now, “since that day and I’ve been working out and eating a good diet consistently”, shares Abrol and adds proudly, “That’s how I lost 22 kgs!”
Being an over weight person isn’t easy, and same was the case with Abrol, who had to face a lot of hurt and taunts and that took a toll on her confidence. “I’ve been mocked at by people including my friends. It just might be a joke to them, but to me it was something that shook my confidence. I always tried to not let my weight affect any of the things I do in life, but it somehow just ended up coming in my way. With time, even I accepted that the society is going to judge you no matter what. So I just stopped worrying about what people said or thought about me,” she adds.
Now, as she beams like an ambassador of body positivity, and addresses queries of brands who are approaching her to model for them, Abrol says, “Body positivity for me is to love yourself the way you are. I have had stretch marks all over my body for a better part of my life, and now, after losing 22 kgs, I have been left with a lot of loose skin. But, I don’t let any of these things affect me because I love the way I am... And you don’t have to fit into society’s perception of what an ideal body should look like. You are amazing the way you are. There’s no need to lose weight to be body positive. On the contrary, I believe that one should lose weight to live a healthy life and be free of ailments and not because the society expects you to! Loving myself means acceptance to me. To be able to love yourself, you need to fully accept yourself the way you are!”
And what advice does Abrol have for anyone aiming to have a fitter physique? “To lose weight, one needs to have patience. Don’t try to lose weight quickly. You might just end up gaining all of it back. Just try and find an eating pattern and a physical activity that you can stick to for the rest of your life. Losing weight is not a one time thing, it’s a lifestyle change,” she says, adding, “Don’t worry if you go off track on some days. Just bounce back on track as soon as you can. Consistency over perfection is what works because consistency is the key,” concludes Abrol while tapping in to her gram to answer the hundreds of questions from her enthusiastic followers who have been awestruck by her journey to attain a fitter body.