👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hola everyone, This is Muneeta Aneja, a 21-year-old, hailing from India. Basically, I am a Public Relations Executive for Samvaad, DPR Chhattisgarh by profession and I occasionally write journalistic articles and editorial pieces for leading English dailies as well. Digital content creation & fashion and lifestyle blogging is something which brings a dash of spark in my life.
I enjoy gaining and sharing matters of value and interacting with my audience on myriad topics. I am a journalism and mass communication scholar and right now, I am up with my masters in Public administration along with my full time PR job and additional hobbies.
My major brand PR's include the ones with Daniel Wellington, L’Oréal Paris, Garnier Skin naturals, Michael Louis, Profusion cosmetics, Urban Monkey, Miniso India, Elizavecca, Mama Earth, Giva co, Amazon influencer program, and many more national and international brands and agencies.
My work has been featured in various magazines and top Instagram pages as well. But, I owe all of this to my fitness schedule and a strict training regimen.
Obviously, I am not who I used to be before 2015, when I started up with my fitness training. With the sad demise of my maternal grandpa, things started changing in 2014, and I was continuously getting ill with something or the other, I went through my sinus operation, then asthmatic and bronchial issues arising up, then all of a sudden I got hit with malaria, typhoid, and brain fever back to back.
My health deteriorated, to some extent my family lost hope but my mother never did. After five to six months of severe illness and two and half months of hospitalization, I returned home. I never wanted to drop out, and I had to continue my further education but CBSE registrations were closed by then, I appeared privately for my senior secondary exams.
Meanwhile, I started gaining weight, my metabolism rate got low after typhoid, and I was gaining weight like anything. Some of my family members and neighbors started body shaming me.
I was already under depression about my grandpa's demise, opting for private exams, and now body shaming added to the list. I did nothing but just sat in my room and studied for the entire day, left all my usual interests, and activities, I used to enjoy earlier.
My weight increased immensely, and It was one fine day, when I took a look in the mirror, and I couldn't believe at the version of myself I was watching right in front of my eyes, I broke down,
I was literally baffled and shattered to the core by what I made of myself. The girl standing in front of the mirror. That day was miserable, lacked confidence, felt emotionally burdened up, was embarrassed of facing this world with that body.
I had to do something and that something was to muster up the courage to reconstruct this body into a whole new rock star again. I had to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit and no one could've helped me, if I wasn't willing to help myself. I was ready for the transformation, head high, beast mode on, highly motivated mind with a determination to reckon with.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I am quite disciplined with my training regimen, and I like variations in the type of workouts I try. In the beginning, I used to be a gym freak but with the pace of time and my routine getting much hectic every day with my full time job, blogging and family responsibilities, I have managed to buy some gym equipment, get an entire wall mirrored and make a tiny home gym.
I workout alone here in my space and peace of mind, sometimes I like working out outdoors too, it gives me a sense of serendipity for the entire day. I opt for a full body workout session instead of split training.
Usually, I train for five days a week for 45 mins, which includes cardio and weight management exercises in the morning, and a half hour power walk, aerobics or zumba training in the evening.
For the rest two days, I indulge in yoga sessions including additional meditation. It really helps me in balancing the flexibility of my body and maintains the synergy between my mind, soul and body.
Training for me is fun, I like new challenging workout sessions. If by any chance, I miss my training, I try to indulge in other healthy exercises such as cycling, kickboxing, jogging, and even high functional gardening at times in my personal homegrown garden.
I don't lift heavy weights, Instead, I focus much on core ab exercises like planks & side planks, boat pose, push-ups in sets, reverse crunches, bicycle crunches, cross mountain climbers, plank crawl out & toe reach.
Some additional overall body exercises include jumping jacks, squats, sit-ups, jog in place, power knees, burpees and leg lunges. I like to have warm lemon & honey water early in the morning with almonds soaked overnight.
After a few hours, 40 mins before my training, I have my sugarless black coffee. I don't believe in taking additional supplements at all, I think, our kitchen and gym have everything we need to grow organically.
Post training, I like to have chia seeds soaked in water and some citrus fruit. My fitness bag usually includes a fitness band, a pair of 3 kg medicine balls, resistance bands, step ups and additionally at my home I have yoga mats and my fitness ball. I love practicing freestyle exercises also.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
As I've mentioned before, I am an extremely disciplined person throughout all aspects of my life, there are days when I do feel low, exhausted, burdened up with additional work, and I feel like giving up on my training, but then I look at my body and I think about the results I have gained over the years and If I refuse not to train like this for every single day, what self- discipline or control, do I exercise over my mind?
I have been training since early 2015's and on the days when I feel bored with doing the usual monotonous exercises, I usually opt for freestyle training. I run through the stairs of my home 15 times or I lift weights and walk via the stairs or I indulge in power aerobics with high pitch music.
The key behind me not giving up on my training, despite whatever the circumstances were, was the fact that it makes me a more disciplined, calm, patient, and a self loving person who cares enough for her body and health to maintain it in the right order, not for the society, but for the fact that I love myself too much, to ignore my health and fitness.
It has helped me immensely in battling my inner frustration and anxiety issues, so that's another reason for not giving up on my training. There was a time, like a period of about three to four months when I was battling severe depression, and the high dosage of antidepressants made my body kind of weak on the inside.
The prescribed medicines were doing good for my mental health, but I was gaining fat like anything due to the presence of mirtazapine in it. I started facing some brutal remarks on body shaming and the worst part was, that with such high-intensity medicines, I was not able to work out. The girl who did 17 pushups at once was not able to complete a single push up.
My nerves used to shiver, and I faced body quivering issues while working out. So, my doctor instead suggested me to opt for low intensity exercises like walking, cycling, gardening, and dancing. I did more of aerobics but that was the most challenging time for me, as I lost my well-built in hard abs at that time, because I was not able to perform my high-intensity workout and cardio regime.
I did feel awful about losing my abs, I was really proud of them. But things are better now, I am back on track, fit with my moderate to high-intensity training schedule, with my abs getting visible again with the pace of time.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
At present, I am quite satisfied with the results I have, I am maintaining zero belly fat, four abs for now, firm thighs and calf muscles, erect posture and a flexible body due to yoga.
In the upcoming years, and near future, I would love to have a eight-pack abs with me, not to reckon with ab training schedule and my hard core inner motivation, which never lets me give up. I may even get more equipment for my home gym to aid my training throughout my goal.
Well, besides my training, I am an ambitious lady with big goals, I have immense faith in my lord, and me. I would like to make a career in fields related to public service whether it be through journalism or some other means. But, I want to give away my life for public service.
I don't want anything gifted in life, I want to make everything by my self with my hard earned money. I trust the process and by God's grace, I am doing good, and I will continue to do better.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I do face quite a lot of injuries and that makes the training a lot interesting and humorous to remember at times. If it isn’t pressuring you or causing you pain, it honestly ain't helping you.
I usually get a lot of blue marks on my back spine due to rigorous crunches, pain in feet and thighs are quite common if you are practicing leg exercises after long especially squats or lunges.
But, there's a way to handle your training with precautions, I properly warm up my body before rigorous training, Rubber mat or an old firm mattress comes convenient.
I have a good recovery rate though so my injuries heal fast. I make sure I apply vitamin E oil on my body daily and take a proper sunbathe, too, as that adds differently for your body resistance, and the oil helps in getting rid of old scars.
I have a short sleep span of about three hours a day and I travel very often due to work, but amid that too, I make sure to workout in my hotel room for at least 20- 30 mins or I make use of stairs a lot wherever I go and include walking wherever I could.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I heard it once that your body is like a luxurious car and if you fuel it with high quality engine oil, the engine will run smoothly, but what would be the consequences if you fuel your engine with kerosene or some cheap quality oil?
Eventually, your car's engine would crash down, right? Same rule applies with your body. Well, regarding my diet, I've been pure veg. Since childhood and since the year 2015 along with my vegan diet, I follow my spiritual diet strictly, which avoids much use of spices, garlic, onion too. It's basically called, "Satvik diet” in India and it aids in keeping your mind calm and anger free.
Never go for anything cheap or fast. My thumb rule is to, not indulge in the intake of more than 1 teaspoon of oil for the entire day, less salt and zero sugar and saturated fats. My calorie consumption is 1500-1600 calories per day, but that may vary from time to time. I avoid the intake of sugar, even in my daily beverages, but I can't run away from them when I see bitter chocolates.
Being a vegan and also the one who doesn't rely on any kind of supplements or protein shakes, it's quite tough for me to cut in carbs & fats and build in the proteins naturally, and for that I rely on peanuts, lentils, chickpeas, and tofu.
Being honest, I do indulge in unhealthy eating at times, but very minimal, I exercise a lot of control and balance while doing so, like if it's a pizza, then just one slice of pizza with wheat thin crust with more veggies and less cheese and I work out a little extra that day. I usually opt more for South Indian food as it's super healthy.
I have less cheat days, but I do have some and to cut on to these days, I try to understand what my body really needs or craves in for at that moment, sometimes It just wants a lot of fluids, sometimes it demands glucose, so instead of eating those cakes and cookies, have a tiny piece bitter chocolate or some fruits.
When I crave for chips, I go for homemade oven baked chips. So, that's the art of switching. I have never touched alcohol in my life and neither do I smoke, I have two cups of tea, one cup of green coffee and one cup of a green tea per day. I use applications like, "Google fit” for health and activity tracking, and additionally, I go for “pacer” to count my daily steps.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
Honestly, that inner voice inside all of us motivates us the most and the same applies with me. Apart from that, a vision of having a fit body to retain a healthy mind kept me intact with my training all this time.
Additionally, Pinterest could be your greatest motivator, books like the 5 Am Club and the Alchemist left a dose of running behind your dreams inside you. Also, I switch on to loud English music while working out, some typical feminist power songs by Little mix, they drive my inner inspo all the time.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Self actualization & self realization is the fundamental key here. If I were be the one, who would be new to the entire training regimen, I'll believe in body positivity first because negative energies and nagging do not help, so, it's better to feel good about your own self.
Talk to yourself in the mirror, that you are looking good with this body and you love it and you'll look extremely great, if you put in just a little more extra efforts. Now when you start, I would recommend that please don't jump in directly to the core exercises and crash dieting, that's where we all go wrong.
Start with some basic home exercises, stretching, cycling, yoga, jogging, brisk walking. Indulge in outdoor sports of your choice. Make training a fun activity for you, so that you don't give up.
Have simple food with less oil, cut down on sugar, junk food, saturated fats and aerated drinks completely. Don't starve yourself. Eat something every two to three hours. Have a good morning breakfast, and a light dinner. The best hack for staying fit outside the gym is to get involved in your home errands, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, painting fences, gardening etc. Use this opportunity in becoming a more self-reliant version of yourself.
What's wrong with people who work out or lift a weight for like 10 secs, and then check up on themselves in the mirror, Bro, what's the change here! You can totally count this as one of the strangest things I witness in the gym.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
No, I am not taking on clients right now.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
💬 Muneeta Aneja quotes
Muneeta shares some great, motivating insights in this interview. Feel free to share these quotes on your Instagram, Pinterest and so on 😍