Neha Sharma Jha’s inspirational post-pregnancy transformation
April 30, 2021
April 30, 2021
When new mom Neha Sharma Jha signed up with HealthifyMe, she showed her fitness trainer, Meenakshi S a picture of herself in a dress that she fit into during her first trimester. “Her goal was to be able to wear that dress again”, recalls Meenakshi.
Neha was 62 kg early into her pregnancy; by the time she entered her final trimester, a diet rich in unhealthy fats and carbs, and lack of exercise took her weight to 72kg. “I had been struggling with my weight even before I got pregnant, back in 2014, and the reason behind that was the lack of control I had over my eating habits”, says Neha.
After a C-section delivery, her weight began to spiral out of control. “I felt heavy, and started to hate the way I looked.” By December 2015, her weight soared to 75 kg. “People began to comment on how fat I had become, and expressed concern about my health. Handling my twins became hard because I was out of shape”, she recalls.
Instinctively, Neha knew part of the problem was her diet. While she enjoyed being pampered, she admits people at home had very old-fashioned ideas about how to feed a new mother. Her gynecologist was the first person to point that out. “I remember this one incident when I went in for a routine check-up and my doctor asked me what I had for breakfast, to which I responded saying I had an aloo sandwich, and instead of pointing out what was wrong with that, she chose to ask me whether I thought it was good for my health”, recalls Neha. “This was an eye-opener for me!” she says. Between looking after her twins and managing her home, she didn’t have the time to consider nutritious food options. “There was no one at home to guide me either”, says the New Delhi resident.
Things came to a head when Neha found herself unable to breastfeed her children. Determined to overhaul her diet, Neha began researching options online and found HealthifyMe. Her first interaction was with diet coach Ritu Puri; “I explained my problem to Ritu. She told me to avoid tea, and suggested I have a glass of milk half-an-hour before feeding my kids.” The tip worked, and left Neha confident that Ritu’s diet plan would show results. Small meals taken at frequent intervals, emphasis on protein and fiber-rich foods while cutting down on carbohydrates, and drinking water half-an-hour before meals were some broad guidelines that Ritu recommended for Neha’s vegetarian diet plan. Most importantly, the diet focused on ingredients that are widely available and easy to prepare. “Apart from solving my breastfeeding problem, my weakness disappeared once I began following the diet. I felt so energised”, says Neha, who isn’t the only one to benefit from the diet – the rest of her family, including her kids, are now eating healthy too.
Incorporating exercise into her day proved to be more challenging, but Neha gives credit to her trainer Meenakshi for steering her in the right direction. “I had a very painful C-section, and my doctor had asked me to wait for three months before starting an exercise regime. I found it really difficult to get started, even after the 3 months wait, and failed to follow the plan Meenakshi had given me. I’d work out one day, and skip the next. My schedule, based on the kids sleep cycle, was erratic. I couldn’t even maintain the time gap between meals and exercise”, she says.
Through all the craziness, Meenakshi remained steadfast, tackling Neha’s immediate problem – a post-pregnancy belly – first. “I’ve never met a fitness trainer who was as patient as she was. She kept telling me not to worry, to wait until the kids were on a more disciplined sleep cycle, and kept motivating me to believe I could do it”, says Neha, while Meenakshi credits Neha for being open to challenges. “She was determined to get her figure back, and always made time to exercise”, says Meenakshi, who put her on a one-hour cardio-resistance training plan, introducing a bit of dance and kickboxing to shake up the routine. After Neha’s husband gifted her a cross-trainer for her birthday in January, a whole body workout was incorporated into her weekly routine, which also involved taking 10-12,000 steps every day.
Neha’s diligence, coupled with HealthifyMe’s guidance, helped her maintain a steady weight loss of three-and-a-half kilos a month. Today, she has hit 64 kg, the target weight that Meenakshi set for her, but her goal is to touch 63 kg and maintain it. “I’ve told Meenakshi that when I am 63 kg, I will celebrate by having my favourite food” says Neha, for whom binge eating is no longer a worry. “Earlier I had no control over my diet. I used to eat a lot and complain about not losing weight. Now, thanks to HealthifyMe, my eating habits have become so disciplined that even when I eat anything that is not on the plan, my weight remains constant”, she says.
Her friends are impressed by the visible changes in her appearance! She believes she could never have accomplished it without the attentiveness of her coaches. “When Ritu learnt I made idlis from a ready to eat/ readymade packet, she shared her own recipe with me. I can ping and ask her about anything and expect a prompt reply. Same goes for Meenakshi, who has become like a sister to me”, says Neha. Adding to that, the Whatsapp groups her trainers run have connected her to a wider community of health enthusiasts, who inspire her everyday!
“Getting fit is a big confidence boost. Most women neglect themselves until it’s too late and then get depressed about their weight. Just eating healthy and exercising regularly has reduced my stress levels, helping me feel fit, and the entire credit goes to HealthifyMe. She urges everyone out there to experience the change from unhealthy to healthy themselves, by enrolling with HealthifyMe. I never plan on leaving, and I hope that inspires others to take care of their health too”, says Neha.
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