Fitness is an aspect of my life I cannot do without though this would have not been my exact thoughts a few years ago.The fast paced life we all lead is also the story of my life with hardly anytime for exercise. What started out as a spur of the moment decision to run a 3K turned out to be turning point in my life. Being an athlete, I did not realize the wrong choices I have been making these past few years and this 3k run I struggled through woke up me literally and I decided to make a few changes in my lifestyle.
While I went about improving my running, working out in the gym, there was no conscious decision to change my diet. I knew after a year that I needed something more to shake out of my comfort zone and thats when I came across Swetha Devaraj’s instagram page. After going through her profile I realized that she is not only a fitness coach but also an athlete and a doctor based out of Bangalore. Her Instagram page was very inspiring and I looked forward to her daily posts and encouragement. I decided to approach her to train me and those 6 weeks under her guidance has changed my outlook to not only exercising but also on making positive changes towards my diet.
While I cannot possibly explain the 6 weeks, I had a few questions of my own for Swetha which I am sure many who are starting out or into fitness would love to hear from her.
Were you always into fitness? When did you begin this journey?
As a kid I remember being always very active in all kinds of activities at school whether its athletics, drawing or singing competeitions and somewhere along the way sports took over and before I knew it I was into tennis in my teen years which led me to get recruited to play for a university in the US. So yeh, I would say my journey began since I was a kid and it has just taken different forms. Now I don’t play tennis anymore but I’m into running and crossfit.
What form of exercise do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy running a lot, it’s my way of meditation. But besides that I enjoy lifting weight, high intensity weight training as well as calisthenics.
What is a regular day routine like for you considering you are a doctor?
Early morning for me starts at around 5am with my own training whether it’s running or working out at gym, followed by either personal training to my clients or group sessions at the gym which I love taking, they are so full of energy and it’s awesome sharing the knowledge I have learnt from some amazing mentors. Right after that I shower and head to the hospital which is exactly the opposite of working at a gym where in its mentally and physically exhausting because I am on my feet all day standing and moving around but the satisfaction is beyond imagination doing what I do there. I am usually there till evening but I constantly monitor my online clients with their diets and workouts whenever I get time at the hospital juggling between the patients. Then I head to the gym again either for my workouts if I haven’t had the time in the morning and then take a personal training session. Head home … relax a bit and interact with my online clients and answer their questions, cook and meal prep .. early dinner by 7ish and bed by 9ish !! I love my jobs 🙂
What is your advice on eating healthy? Do you ever indulge in your cravings?
My advise is to rely on locally sourced natural fresh foods mostly greens and cook it as clean as it can be and keep it simple like how our moms and grandmothers would cook. Cut down sugary stuff and junk. Yeh I do indulge myself from time to time but in moderation. I am vegan throughout the week and one day I may take a bite out of a brownie or eat ice cream but absolutely no meat. Because I strictly believe that animal agriculture is the leading cause of pollution, climate change , global warming etc and I absolutely don’t want to support it. So I am strictly vegetarian, following a vegan diet was for my performance which got better with cutting dairy and other products sourced from animals like butter cheese, yogurt and ghee. I felt cleaner, fitter and better than ever and don’t wanna let that feeling go!!
What advice do you offer women who shy away from any form of exercise.
Go and explore , you might just get pleasantly surprised about yourself to find out what other strength you may possess. We are stronger than we think in so many aspects and exercising is not just for men. Working out can make a very confident person inside and out!!
Do you have your own transformation story you would like to share?
Like a lot of people I have always gone yoyoing with my weight but because of sports always have been fit. But last couple of years were emotionally stressful and a few months of health issues led me to put on a lot of weight which made me look like a different person even though I was still fit. Age was a factor as well which made it harder to get leaner and I’m a runner and runners need to be leaner. It was a struggle for a few months until I found out about intermittent fasting and carb cycling which did wonders to my body and of course turning into a vegan definitely changed my soul not just my body. I believe now, it’s all in our eating habits. We may workout for 3 hours but if eating is not right it’s a big waste. Our emotions depend on our eating habits. Our dedication and discipline depends on eating habits. For example: the sadhus in the olden days who meditated for months and years depended on plant based natural foods. There are a lot of stories I have heard that have made people with diseases feel better or live longer after switching to vegetarian or vegan.
How can you help stay at home moms as well as office going ladies – young and old with your online training?
I customise their workouts and diets according to their needs and convenience along with some of my conditions which are not over the top. If there is a woman with a toddler and can’t leave her and go to the gym then I got to customise the workouts so she can do them from home but getting it done is her job. My programs are result oriented meaning if everything is done according to the program and plan there is no way you are not gonna see results. I customise their diet according to what they eat but push them to explore outside their comfort zones just so they can find out what it’s like and who knows they may just get more options. A lot of us are just so accustomed to eating our way from the time we remember eating and sometimes we are close minded. For example I always wondered why we’re people even vegetarians let alone vegan. Now I am very glad because there such amazing vegetarian options I would have never tried before plus it makes me healthy and feel great. What more can I ask?
Doctor, Marathoner, Fitness Trainer what’s next for Swetha Devaraj?
Well the sky is not the limit is my motto .. u never know what’s next. I truly believe that humans are made to be multi dimensional and designed to handle multi tasking otherwise what are we gonna do all day there are so many hours in a day!
If I am not busy like this I prolly can’t go to bed! I have a lot of things that I want to do and the list is long .. guess you just have to keep track of me on instagram and you know exactly what I am upto 🙂
I wish Swetha all the success in her life while she continues to scale new heights.
Do check out her insta page – sweatyswetha for inspiring posts, workout videos and online training assistance.