This 56-Year-Old’s Journey To Fitness Will Inspire To Get Up And Do Some Crunches
- IWB Post
- December 28, 2018
It was a wakeup call for 56-year-old Karuna Khatwani when her mother’s lungs gave up at 79 in December 2017.
She shared in an interaction with The Hindu, “My mother’s lungs gave way. She has been obese for a major portion of her life, and her immobility worsened after her hip surgery in 2013.” She adds, “I knew if I didn’t do something about it, I was headed her way.”
The first step was a major deal for Karuna as she had always followed a sedentary lifestyle. Her slipped disc also stopped her from pursuing physical activities.
She laughingly shares what her routine used to be like, “Wake up, play Candy Crush on the recliner until lunch, eat, sleep, watch TV, and then eat and sleep again. I was afraid of what working out would do to my back.”
But her mother’s example acted as a strong push and she decided to leave her inhibitions and laziness behind. Keeping her medical issues in mind she “decided to select a coach with a background in physiotherapy. Ismat Khoja, from SQUATS, fit the role.” She adds, ” Ismat mentored me over video calls, while I had a personal trainer, also a member of SQUAT, at a gym here[Indore].”
She also stayed in a regular touch with her physiotherapist. “I would show my workouts to her, and she would ask me to avoid certain postures. If I had any lasting pain, I would get it checked by her,” shares Karuna.
She was initially apprehensive of heavy weight-lifting and forward-bending exercises and thus concentrated on core strengthening. Owing to her underactive thyroid and the resultant slumped metabolism, her body didn’t yield immediate results.
“I wouldn’t say that it was demotivating, but it was definitely discouraging. It would upset me to look at how drastic other people’s weight loss was,” she shares. However, it was her faith in her coach and the zeal to change that kept her going. She eventually also realised that it wasn’t a race and she had to move ahead at her own pace.
“I couldn’t work out as rigorously as the rest because of my back. My mentor reminded me that it was a lifetime of weight that I was trying to lose. It wouldn’t happen in a few months,” says Karuna.
She eventually started including lifts, barbell squats, incline presses, flat bench presses, tricep rope push-downs and more in her workout routine. Her perseverance started yielding results and they can be easily seen today. Her weight has dropped down to 63 kilograms from 72.
But the best part is that the weighing scale doesn’t matter much to her now. She explains, “I am more interested in my body-fat percentage.” With time, she has also learned the importance of understanding the diet.
She shares how it used to be earlier. “I’d get into these fad diets that lasted for a month at max; I even went to weight-loss clinics. I would lose two kilograms at the end of the first week, then gain five at the end of the month. All the dieticians I’d earlier been to would just hand me a diet chart without explaining it.”
Each time, as she didn’t understand the basic reasoning pertaining to the diet, she had no motivation to stick to it. “Now, I can even make my own diet chart. I can eat out but eat right. I know my limits, I have learned when to say no,” she proudly shares.
Of late, she has also started encouraging her family to eat healthier. “I oversee the cooking and instruct our cook on how much oil has to be added,” shares Karuna. Her four-year-old granddaughter has been taking inspiration from her and often goes to her, flexes her muscles, and says, “Daadi, look how strong I am!”
Karuna, who is the mother of two sons, is jubilant by the change. She gleefully shares, “My abs have just begun to show. For the first time in my life, I don’t need to look for high-waist jeans. My J-Lo hips are gone!”
H/T: The Hindu