“You are just gonna be fat and unhealthy”
“Hey, do you get your clothes stitched or are there ready made ones your size?”
“Only surgeries can help you now…”
“You have a good face, but you are so huge!”
Body shaming is a curse. And these were the torturous comments and questions that plagued Ayushi as she was body shamed time and again over the course of her childhood and youth. But Ayushi Goyal’s story is not only an inspiration to fight against this social evil of body shaming, but a testament to what can be achieved with sheer determination and grit, and a “Never Say Die” attitude! Here is the story that has made headlines and silenced those body shaming voices once and for all –
From childhood to adulthood, Ayushi had always been ‘that chubby girl’ who was always considered inactive and clumsy. Surrounded by slim and fit girls her age, it was agony for Ayushi growing up, and while she struggled with the social stereotypes and the stigmas attached to her body type, she just didn’t know what to do to handle or change the situation. All she knew was the ‘fat’ label that stuck to her for years on end.
And nothing changed even post marriage, when the weighing scale pointer generally shifts right for most women. For Ayushi, it touched 82 kgs…then 100 kgs… and just didn’t seem to stop moving in the wrong direction! The post pregnancy period saw her at 113 kgs. Though she was confident this time around, having a baby took its toll on her physical health, and a crippling back ache, recurring Patellar Tendonitis, and the travails of a new motherhood left her lethargic and demotivated. The turning point came when one day, she found herself unable to climb the staircase carrying her newborn. She knew she had hit rock bottom, but more than that, she knew it deep inside that the only way now, was up!
The Way Up
Born out of this was the resolution to restart her aborted fitness journey and a decision – to not stop till she reaches her goal. Of course, this decision was not easy. It was fraught with questions and doubts…
How will I manage things with my 1.5 year old baby?
Will my in-laws cooperate with me?
Who will take care of my son in my absence?
And the worst of them all…
What if I give up mid way?
Someone had said, “If you want something you never had, you have to do something you never have done.” This is what stayed with Ayushi in her periods of darkness. And it was enough to fuel her motivation and keep it going! She chose to believe that things would fall in place automatically if she wanted it bad enough. And yes, it did.
Ayushi’s journey was focused around strength training at the gym, and with a huge paradigm shift in her diet. Once she had started on it, she found herself propelled onwards, despite occasional setbacks and niggling injuries. She chose to ignore them this time, or attend to them and surpass them. “There is no magic diet, no magic elixir, you really only have to work hard to achieve a fitter body,” says Ayushi, “…and when I started seeing results, it became an addiction.” Rain or shine, summer or foggy winters, the addiction alone saw her through it all. And the results validated her beliefs – after 6 months of dedication, Ayushi stood at 77 kgs, having lost over 35 kgs of weight.
No real journey is without its pitfalls. For Ayushi, it was largely her ill-health, and her cravings and lack of self-control. While cravings led her to indulge in junk and sweets occasionally, it played havoc with her mind, eventually causing her to develop a fear of eating. With no structured dietary guidance, Ayushi assumed (like most of us start by doing) that the less she eats, the more fat she would lose. That, she would learn later, was the sure shot way to ruin the metabolism for good, and impair the body’s ability to adapt. ‘Crash Dieting’ was followed by binge eating, and everything she lost would pile back and reset her progress to zero. Sure, she did lose a fair bit by then, but post 70 kgs, there were more plateaus and more frustrations.
The S.Q.U.A.T.S. Story
That was when S.Q.U.A.T.S. happened. Ayushi joined the Facebook group S.Q.U.A.T.S. thanks to her cousin, and in initial days, she stayed a silent observer, reading and absorbing everything, and trying to understand it all.
One day, she came across a post by JC (the founder of S.Q.U.A.T.S.), titled ‘Getting in the Zone.’ There, he had written:
“Dieting should be goal oriented, your goal should always be to reach the ‘zone,’ before deciding to go any further. The last couple of miles are always the difficult but once your reach your new home, it’s equally difficult to get back to your old home. That’s how life works, that’s how our mind works, and that’s how pretty much everything in the world works including our bodies.”
Reading that post, Ayushi finally decided to take the plunge and enroll under a mentor. Her mentor was Nida Aziz, and under Nida’s assiduous guidance, Ayushi went from the heavier side (70 kgs) to a proportionate and fit 59 kgs. “Seeing this number on the scales was a dream,” she says emphatically. Seeing this number reaffirmed her faith not only in SQUATS and its vision, but more so in her own self, in her ability to achieve what she set out to achieve. And it helped her overcome her fear of eating, and adopt a clean, balanced lifestyle. “It is not just weight loss,” she believes now, “it is my new birth. Now it’s a new me, a better, fitter me!”
“Ayushi personifies dedication, for me. She has taken up this journey, like most of us, but unlike the others who give up easily, she’s someone who worships fitness. Her commitment is not to a goal or a number, she is committed to giving her best every single day, and that is inspiring, indeed. She’s one of the rare ones, people like her go places that the average lot simply dream of. More power, Ayushi!”
About S.Q.U.A.T.S., Ayushi has a lot to say: “The best part of S.Q.U.A.T.S. is that they not only provide diets but they also impart knowledge about nutrition.” This knowledge is what is crucial in any transformation. Teaching a man how to fish, is much more valuable than giving him a fish, as the adage goes. Ayushi realized this and joined INFS in order to further her own knowledge and also help and inspire others who were struggling with their own fitness journeys, like she had done before. Today, she has cleared her foundation course, and is preparing for her expert course under INFS.
“Fitness has become my lifestyle now. Strength training and quantified nutrition are part of my daily routine. My parents, husband, son, and my whole family are all proud of me.” Says Ayushi confidently today.
Here are Ayushi’s words of wisdom for others who are yet to embark (or have started) their own personal journeys:
- Consistency is the key.
- Set your goals and be committed towards completing them.
- Plan your meals before time.
- Stay hydrated.
- Everyone falls in their journey; don’t lose hope, stand and move ahead even if you fall.
The few people she is thankful to are JC, her mentor Nida, her gym trainer, and her whole family who were instrumental in their unconditional support and motivation. “Without all of them, I would not have been here writing my transformation story,” says Ayushi.
Fitness, like knowledge, is a journey that has no end. We at Fitmag, congratulate Ayushi on her accomplishment, and wish her all the best for the future. Hats off to a memorable metamorphosis!
– Fitmag Team