World Health Day 2022: How This Fitness Trainer Overcame Thyroid, PCOD, Depression And Body Shaming
On World Health Day, the founder of Diksha Chhabra Fitness Consultations, takes us through her amazing journey.
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Fitness expert and sports nutritionist Diksha Chhabra was riddled with physical, emotional and mental problems as a result of trying to be perfect in everything. These expectations which she had put upon herself finally took a toll and led to a range of lifestyle diseases and depression. Add to that the body shaming that she had to face, which led her to feeling guilty and insecure all the time.
Chhabra was going through all of this until she came across weight lifting, and the iron she lifted day by day gave her the strength to battle the various issues she was facing in her life, come out stronger and eventually turn into a fitness trainer. She now helps others fight their difficulties.
But what was it that led her down to that complicated phase in her life and how did she overcome it? On World Health Day, the founder of Diksha Chhabra Fitness Consultations, takes us through her amazing journey.
Depression, hormonal disorders and massive weight gain by the age of 28. How did all this come about?
All this happened because I had forgotten myself completely. I was in that stage of life where I was juggling many roles at a time and wanted to excel in all. From a doting daughter in law, ideal wife, loving mother and an excellent head of the institution, I wanted to shine and rise in whatever I was doing. It took a toll on my mental health, and the stress was only released via food. Then came a breaking point where everything crumbled on to me and my health and I realised what a terrible state of health I was in.
How and why did the body shaming begin?
It never stopped, it does not stop for any woman I guess. We are conditioned to take it on a lighter note since the time we are little girls. From the colour of skin, height, body type to ultimately my weight it was an ongoing process but yes when I became an obese young mother, people started judging me for my weight outright and loud. I was considered lazy, careless and not smart enough to participate in any meaningful conversation. I was placed behind everyone in group photos. My opinion didn't matter at work because I was just another chubby woman who loves to sit and eat.
Post PCOD you went on an exercise regimen. Where did you go wrong there?
I started with the wrong notion of starving myself and excess exercise which was unaccounted for hours of walking on a treadmill or outdoors and it backfired further. I was anaemic and deficient in essential nutrients within 6 months of my starvation. Daily chores became a struggle because I had no strength and my PCOS and thyroid turned worse.
How did the weightlifting journey begin?
As soon as I realised how messed up my body was even after losing weight, I started educating myself the right ways of getting fit and healthy. Strength training and a nutritious diet seemed a believable and exciting idea and that's how the journey began. My focus shifted from weight loss to strength gain and in no time exercising with weights became a passion for me.
How did you turn into an entrepreneur?
The struggles I had to face to reach a healthy state of mind gave me an understanding of how women after childbirth or career responsibilities struggle to get hold of their health, it not just affects them physically but their self-esteem, relationships and overall existence goes for a toss. This thought was my motivation to do my bit to ease that commotion. I started posting about my journey on social media and more and more women connected with me for my journey, which gave me an idea of taking this up as a profession. In no time I finished my qualifications to be a certified sports nutritionist and exercise expert and within a span of 1 year my operations changed from a freelancer to a full fledged registered company.
Tell us about your and your company's achievements.
We started with zero investment in the year 2018 with a very organic approach of talking about our work via social media, gradually the word of mouth and popularity picked up and within a year the company made a profit of 15 lakhs per annum. Today the company is growing exponentially with 4000 times growth in its 4th year. Our profit margins are double than last year. The team has expanded 4 times. We are intensively spreading value added information with our media platforms, electronic and digital channels as an expert. We have mentored more women to start their own business via talk shows, TED talks and articles. The company has its own fitness series on DTH platforms as well.