A Personal Tragedy can kill the Spirit… Or can it? Read the story of how one woman’s willpower helped her transform her Body and her Mind to rise above her despair!

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” – Anjali Dash’s conquest of grief and loss through the mantra of  fitness

In turbulent times, giving up is the easiest. When the grief of loss is great, the mind withdraws into a shell and cannot be motivated. And then, everything just piles on – regret, guilt, weight, inches, and bleak disappointment.

In such a situation, Dr. Anjali Dash discovered that the mind can conquer it all and rise to transform not only itself, but a reluctant body as well.

The Darkest Hour – Loss

A tree requires strong roots to grow so that it can reach the sky. For an individual, those roots lie in family and the place they call ‘home’. But Anjali lost these very roots at one stroke when she lost her father (who died defending the country), and lost her home during the exodus of Kashmiri Pundits in the darkest chapters in the annals of J & K.

A tree without roots perishes. Depression and lack of direction clouded her vision and she found solace in two things – her medical studies, and food. Hours of backbreaking studies added to her sedentary lifestyle and before she realized, the kilos started piling and the scales kept on scaling new heights.

Grueling work hours, nuclear family, postpartum depression and many other problems kept compounding. Faced with such odds, any other person would have resigned to her fate and circumstances. But not Anjali.

It is in these turbulent times that she discovered the weapon she had all along – Her willpower.

Faith can Move Mountains

In the initial stages of her journey, what helped her was – clean eating, portion control and cardio, she faced her weight issues head on. But it was more like- ‘One step forward, two steps backward’. She tried to blamed her failure to genetics, but deep within, she knew the quest for fitness was far from over.

Anjali did not stop trying and as luck would have it, she stumbled on S.Q.U.A.T.S. and found her mentor and friend in Shanu Shashank. And since then, there has been no looking back.

Will power is a muscle. The more you train, the stronger it gets

Quantified nutrition and strength training became a part of her life. Nothing could ever deter her from her road to fitness – be it a broken tail bone, a rotator cuff injury, or a severe chikungunya infection. While people around her were struggling to achieve work life balance, here was Anjali adding ‘workout’ into the mix and trying to juggle it all! Colleagues discouraged her saying that pumping iron might hamper her surgical skills. But nothing, absolutely nothing could break her will power to rise above it all. Anjali was now on a mission to lose weight and gain strength. In her own words- ‘The more I was incapacitated, the more determined I became’.


Today, Anjali has lost oodles, but that’s isn’t the best feather in her cap. She is a proud winner of the 10k run for the past 2 consecutive years in her city. The storms of yesterday have forged her will of steel, the will to strive to be the best she can be. She loves her life and life loves her back.

We, at FITMAG, wish her the very best and success in all her runs ahead.


– The Fitmag Team