H ow long do you think you will be doing this for? He was referring to my amateur competitive powerlifting, which involves lifting squat, bench and deadlift at the heaviest weight you can handle. His arched eyebrows spoke volumes. My parents have always been glad that I keep myself fit — my dad has been lifting weights most of his life, and is an avid cyclist. But being female and South Asian definitely makes things harder and lonelier. South Asian women are subject to all the same conditioning as other women when it comes to our bodies: the pursuit of slimness over strength. But we often have added layers to contend with: the sustained stereotype of South Asian women depicted in western TV and film as oppressed by their men: demure, obedient and soft. And the expectation from our families — even liberal, educated and feminist ones such as mine — that your destiny includes settling down with a man, and shaping yourself to be as attractive as possible. Role-modelling outside of these narrow paradigms matters. So when I learned this week that the first Indian to win a world title in motorsports — a notoriously male-dominated sport — was a year-old woman named Aishwarya Pissay in August , my heart soared.
With the help of an old friend, I am embarking on my first health and fitness challenge next month. I'm going to keep it real with you: health was generally not my focus before. My eating and fitness habits were mostly informed by the way I wanted my body to look. Any time I was winded after walking up a flight of stairs, or wasn't able to carry a heavy box, it was easy for me to dismiss it on the grounds that I was just unathletic and bookish. When I did go to the gym, it was for one singular purpose: to somehow will myself a butt like J. I always hoped that any fat I gained would go straight to my bum, but my body just isn't built that way. The only criticism I ever got was from my aunts and uncles, who seemed to have a keen eye for whether or not I was eating enough or too much.
2. Jane-of-all-trades Elaine Daly
A SBOM is a chick who is serious about her health and fitness, and has gone above and beyond her struggles to get where she is now. Mary and I met on the Ultimate Sweataway — she was actually the first person to sign up for our retreat! The first second I met her, I knew she was unique and driven. She had broken her wrist snowboarding a week earlier, yet she was still standing there in her workout gear ready to sweat. Can you say badass? I got to know this lovely lady over the course of the week, and the more I heard, the more inspired I became.
Between caring for the hubs and little ones, keeping the house in tip-top condition, and handling all the challenges at work, sometimes it's difficult trying to find a way to wedge in some workout plans in your hectic schedule. While that's perfectly understandable, here's a motivating thought: With some inspiration and a whole lot of determination, any busy mum could achieve their fitness goals! Followers of this beautiful mum's Instagram may remember a sneaky post husband Harith Iskander took off her dozing off in between meetings. The struggle is real - the jet-setting Jezamine is one busy lady, dividing her time between her role as a mum to three beautiful kids and Managing Director of Harith Iskander Productions, all the while pursuing a PhD in stem cells.