Sonakshi Sinha’s stunning fitness evolution over the years
"Fitness is not always about being skinny; it's about being healthy mentally and physically"
How does a person with over eight million followers on Instagram and Twitter each—all of them watching, judging, adoring, trolling her every move on- and offline—manage to get through showbiz unscathed? Sonakshi Sinha has carved out a stronghold in a male-dominated industry, delivered multiple hits as a solo lead and still found the time to come up with enough body positivity to drown out the haters.
In an industry where advice abounds aplenty, Sonakshi has defiantly stuck to being herself, peddling the message that self-worth stems from loving yourself in just the shape you are. That said, she can still kick your butt in gym.
If you’d like to get in on Sonakshi’s (abundant) body acceptance, here’s how she does it.
How Sonakshi Sinha transformed over the years
The year was 2010, the debutant success stories ran along the lines of the leggy Deepika Padukone. Along came Sonakshi Sinha, having just dropped 30 kilos to bag a dream debut under the patronage of Salman Khan. She may have done her time in the gym, but the Dabangg actress was “very clear about what I wanted to project. I’ve always believed that women should look real and not like stick figures, so my aim was to look fit and healthy and not like a size zero model. I didn’t starve myself. I respect my body, love the shape I’m in and most importantly, I’m healthy.”
The blockbuster was followed closely on the heels by multiple 100-crore grossers, but through it all, Sonakshi ensured that she held on to who she was. “You won’t be able to lose weight if it’s for the wrong reason. I can't starve myself. I am curvaceous. I cannot be skinny. It is important to think what you want to be. Right now, I'm happy with the way I am,” she explained.
The release of Lootera washed up a fresh wave of online trolls determined to slot Sonakshi into the cookie cutter body standards of the industry. Her co-star Ranveer Singh stepped in to intervene on when the media pressure heated up during the movie’s release. It’s just as well though that Sonakshi had plenty of that body-positivity to pass around. “It's been four years, and yes, now I don't give a damn. My audience accepts me as I am. If my weight was really an issue, I would not be where I am today. People would not want to watch me onscreen, they would pay money for the tickets, as simple as that. And anyway who has an issue? Not the directors who are signing me, not the producers who are putting their money on me, not the audience, so who?” she dismissed.
The year 2014 had her gracing the cover of a health magazine, looking her fittest self yet. But before you get any ideas about Sonakshi buckling into societal pressure, she’d like to clarify: “I did want people to shut up, but that is not why I started working out; I did it for myself. I woke up one morning and thought let's not be lazy about it. When we do it for the right reason, the results show faster. After three weeks, my family told me I was looking thinner. My clothes went loose. People are using words like slim, sexy, and slender for me. Can you imagine? It feels good,” she beamed.
The internet, being the blackhole that it is, continued its free judgments until Sonakshi was goaded into clapping back the haters with an Instagram post:
To all those who keep commenting on my weight, whether it’s a full length picture, or a close up where you can’t see jack. Take a good look at this picture. Now get this:
1) This ain’t ever gonna be me.
2) Get over it.
3) I wish u could see which finger I hold up for shallow and idiotic people like yourself.
Tuning out all the critics’ chatter, she continued to focus her tunnel vision on reaching the goals she had set for herself before the shoot of Akira, that also happened to be her first film as the solo lead. Sonakshi cradled that responsibility with ease, while also delivering on the ass-kicking physique required of the titular character. “I had to do this for myself. Also, since I had one film, I had the time to maintain my physique. Fitness is not always about being thin or skinny. It’s about being fit, mentally and physically,” she asserted.
The 30-year-old has since gone to work being the fittest version of herself with an Instagram feed littered with enough high intensity workout videos to guilt you out of playing truant on your gym appointments. She simply explains, “When you see the results, you want them to last. You want to maintain that level.”
Come 2017, and Sonakshi brought in her 30th birthday with us, giving out major cool vibes to all her haters in all-black on the cover of ELLE June. How has her journey been thus far, clinging on to her sense of self-worth in an industry that could just as easily drown it out? “I was an overweight child, and I knew I’d never be an actor because I didn’t look the part. But it didn’t bother me, because I always felt I had so many other things to be confident about— I was well educated, I was good at sports and painting, and I could hold a conversation,” she smiles. Her parents, she says, are entirely to blame for her robust sense of self. “They were a really strong support system. I was never made to feel like I was less-than or that there was anything I could not do.”