Sonakshi Sinha on fitness, chasing happiness and why perfection is a myth


Sonakshi Sinha on fitness, chasing happiness and why perfection is a myth

The actor is stronger than ever

By Mamta Mody  July 9th, 2019

Sonakshi Sinha is probably the most relatable fitness icon out there. She hates going to the gym (“it’s always a struggle”), dreams of having six-pack abs (“just once in my life”), and isn’t prepared to give up on cheat meals (“I can binge on pizza, rice and noodles”). At a time when we only see perky butts and effortless post-workout selfies, the actor casually bares her efforts towards getting fitter on Instagram. Sometimes she’s holding a headstand and bemoaning the months it took to perfect it, other times she’s attempting a complicated inversion at the Pilates studio while her whole body is visibly trembling. Like most things in her life, Sonakshi shares each moment with confidence and never lets the grind get her down. Her outspoken and spirited attitude filters into her outlook towards fitness as well, which is you don’t have to be superfit to be proud of your workout, every step counts.

 

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The actor who spent most of her 20s working non-stop (her debut film Dabangg released in 2010) has found a peaceful balance in her 30s. This year she is making efforts to dedicate time to her health, while also gearing up for three film releases: Mission Mangal where she plays a scientist working on India’s Mars Orbiter Mission, an untitled comedy with T-Series, and Dabangg 3 where she reprises her role as the feisty Rajjo. Sonakshi weighs in on her her drive to stay fit and the importance of building your self-worth.

 

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ELLE: What renewed your enthusiasm to hit the gym?

Sonakshi Sinha: Recently my [film] shoot got pushed and I tried Pilates because I had nothing better to do. Now that I finally found some time to take care of myself, and the fact that this workout has showed such amazing results on me, it just stuck. You see, I’m not someone who takes to fitness naturally, and it’s always been a struggle for me to go to the gym. I can’t find the will to pick myself up and go workout at a gym, but I think I found balance with Pilates. It’s not stressful on the body and I love the results.

ELLE: What keeps you motivated to continue?

SS: I’ve been at my fittest best over the last few months, and I don’t want to lose that feeling. I enjoy working out with my friends—that’s a motivator too. We get into a healthy competition, like who can do more reps or who’s the last one to give up. I am yet to meet someone who can hold a headstand longer than me.

 

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ELLE: Has your healthy lifestyle influenced other aspects of your life?

SS: I’ve always believed that it’s not about perfection; it’s about enjoying the journey and doing what’s best for you. Being an overweight teenager taught me a lot of things, like my confidence never depends on how I look. I started losing weight at 18 or 19 when I realised I couldn’t run on the treadmill for more than 30 seconds, which is shameful. I felt this is something I had to do for myself and not just to look a certain way. I also know that it may not be the same for a lot of girls who are very conscious about the way they look.

 

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ELLE: Your honest workout videos and pictures have been giving us major fitness inspo. What encouraged you to share this journey on Instagram?

SS: I actually do it for myself, as a pat on my back. If this motivates even two people that’s great—I’m not doing it to show off. If you feel good in your skin, you don’t have to change anything about yourself. Even when I was overweight, I always felt good about myself. What I really hope for is that every girl is able to look beyond her appearance, and doesn’t let a number on the weighing scale define her.

 

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ELLE: There were several instances when you were fat shamed on social media. Did this ever shake your confidence?

SS: Maybe earlier in my career. I had put on some weight right after my debut mostly because I was shooting non-stop for a year. I was also doing roles that required me to look very real so I was quite happy in my personal space. When the comments started getting to me, I gave it some thought and figured why should I let this affect me? I was still getting great work, and if five people had something stupid to say about my appearance it made no real difference to my life.

 

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ELLE: How do you practice self-care?

SS: Anything that makes me happy is self-care, like a random day off, spending time with my friends and family, playing with my two dogs, a food binge session or just watching my favourite TV show—right now I’m watching Suits. If you are mentally happy, everything falls into place: your outlook towards life is better, you feel better, and you do things that are good for you.

 

Polyester dress, INR 15,003, DB Berdan. Gold-plated brass earrings, INR 3,605, Kichu. Metal ring, Sinha’s own
Polyester dress, INR 15,003, DB Berdan. Gold-plated brass earrings, INR 3,605, Kichu. Metal ring, Sinha’s own
Polyamide bra, INR 3,999, polyester top, INR 1,199, polyester-blend pants, INR 2,699; all Reebok. Gold-plated brass earrings, INR 2,575, Kichu. Goldplated brass ring, INR 1,200, ring, INR 1,250; both Lune. Sterling silver ring, INR 7,800, Misho. Metal ring, Sinha’s own
Polyamide bra, INR 3,999, polyester top, INR 1,199, polyester-blend pants, INR 2,699; all Reebok. Gold-plated brass earrings, INR 2,575, Kichu. Goldplated brass ring, INR 1,200, ring, INR 1,250; both Lune. Sterling silver ring, INR 7,800, Misho. Metal ring, Sinha’s own
Cotton bra, INR 3,499, Calvin Klein Underwear. Crepe pants, INR 10,999, jacket, INR 11,499; both Two Point Two. Leather and mesh shoes, INR 9,999, Puma. Metal ring, Sinha’s own
Cotton bra, INR 3,499, Calvin Klein Underwear. Crepe pants, INR 10,999, jacket, INR 11,499; both Two Point Two. Leather and mesh shoes, INR 9,999, Puma. Metal ring, Sinha’s own
Cotton bra, INR 3,499, Calvin Klein Underwear. Crepe pants, INR 10,999, jacket, INR 11,499; both Two Point Two. Leather and mesh shoes, INR 9,999, Puma. Metal ring, Sinha’s own
Cotton bra, INR 3,499, Calvin Klein Underwear. Crepe pants, INR 10,999, jacket, INR 11,499; both Two Point Two. Leather and mesh shoes, INR 9,999, Puma. Metal ring, Sinha’s own
Cotton bra, INR 3,499, Calvin Klein Underwear. Crepe pants, INR 10,999, jacket, INR 11,499; both Two Point Two. Leather and mesh shoes, INR 9,999, Puma. Metal ring, Sinha’s own
Cotton bra, INR 3,499, Calvin Klein Underwear. Crepe pants, INR 10,999, jacket, INR 11,499; both Two Point Two. Leather and mesh shoes, INR 9,999, Puma. Metal ring, Sinha’s own
Polyester jumpsuit, INR 8,999, Adidas Originals. Silverplated metal earrings, INR 1,850, Minerali. Suede and leather shoes, INR 10,000, FILA X VNV. Sterling silver ring, INR 7,800, Misho
Polyester jumpsuit, INR 8,999, Adidas Originals. Silverplated metal earrings, INR 1,850, Minerali. Suede and leather shoes, INR 10,000, FILA X VNV. Sterling silver ring, INR 7,800, Misho
Polyester jumpsuit, INR 8,999, Adidas Originals. Silverplated metal earrings, INR 1,850, Minerali. Suede and leather shoes, INR 10,000, FILA X VNV. Sterling silver ring, INR 7,800, Misho
Polyester jumpsuit, INR 8,999, Adidas Originals. Silverplated metal earrings, INR 1,850, Minerali. Suede and leather shoes, INR 10,000, FILA X VNV. Sterling silver ring, INR 7,800, Misho
Neoprene jacket, INR 1,80,000, Siddartha Tytler. Cotton shorts, INR 1,850, H&M. Leather, suede and mesh shoes, INR 7,999, Puma

Photographs: Colston Julian; Styling: Malini Banerji; Hair: Madhuri Nakhale; Makeup: Divya Chablani; Assisted by: Pujarini Ghosh (styling), Suhani Lotlikar (Intern); Location Courtesy: Jio Garden, BKC.